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Author Topic: Conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy?  (Read 3488 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 05, 2007, 04:30:53 PM »

I know the Eastern Orthodox Church professes herself to be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? This being the case, do Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that it is important to evangelize non-Eastern Orthodox Christians as an act of charity? Do they seek the conversion of Catholics and Protestants?
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Btw, this is random place to throw this in, but you don't have to refer to me by my screen name, "Papist". Anyone can call me Chris or Christopher if they like. Smiley
 
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2007, 05:02:43 PM »

Not in the Baptist sense:

"This month we evangelize the Jooz!  Next month we'll target those Godless Episcopalians!"  or whatever drivel I've read in the past.
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 05:27:10 PM »

Regarding members of other apostolic churches the answer is no, we would not actively seek them as members and doing so would be highly discouraged.  The only case I know where it is expressly forbidden is in this agreement signed between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and the Non Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox Church.  Point three says

Both Churches shall refrain from accepting any faithful from one Church into the membership of the other, irrespective of all motivations or reasons.

http://www.antiochian.net/content/view/143/21

So one many not switch between churches for any reason.  The same agreement lays out guidelines for the administration of sacraments to members of either communion when their own priests are not present.  It seems to me overall to be a fairly well thought and reasonable set of guidelines.

In general I think if in their own conscience a member of the Roman Catholic or Oriental Orthodox Churches decided to convert, they would be welcomed, but it's not something we're out encouraging people to do.  In my parish we have intermarried couples where the spouse is Catholic and has never converted.

Members of Protestant churches are sought out as potential members by some churches in various ways and at different levels of activity.

Our real priority should be on the unchurched, but generally I think the already churched tend to be targetted.
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2007, 05:40:38 PM »

Regarding members of other apostolic churches the answer is no, we would not actively seek them as members and doing so would be highly discouraged.  The only case I know where it is expressly forbidden is in this agreement signed between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and the Non Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox Church.  Point three says

Both Churches shall refrain from accepting any faithful from one Church into the membership of the other, irrespective of all motivations or reasons.

http://www.antiochian.net/content/view/143/21

So one many not switch between churches for any reason.  The same agreement lays out guidelines for the administration of sacraments to members of either communion when their own priests are not present.  It seems to me overall to be a fairly well thought and reasonable set of guidelines.

In general I think if in their own conscience a member of the Roman Catholic or Oriental Orthodox Churches decided to convert, they would be welcomed, but it's not something we're out encouraging people to do.  In my parish we have intermarried couples where the spouse is Catholic and has never converted.

Members of Protestant churches are sought out as potential members by some churches in various ways and at different levels of activity.

Our real priority should be on the unchurched, but generally I think the already churched tend to be targetted.
Please forgive me. I am having trouble understanding this position. If the Eastern Orthodox Church believes herself to be Jesus' Church, wouldn't Eastern Orthodox Christians want to bring everyone into this Church out of charity for fellow man? Wouldn't they want everyone to be fulfilled Christians? This is not a criticism. I just want to understand the Eo position.
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2007, 05:56:04 PM »

Papist,

You must understand, the Orthodox must somehow reconcile two different approaches. The early Eastern Christians were evangelistic to the point of matyrdom. The later Eastern Christians were paralyzed by muslims, soviets, etc. and didn't do much evangelizing. So while the blood of the martyrs was supposedly the seed of faith in early times, later Orthodox preferred to avoid dying if at all possible, even if it required them to not be as bold. Admittedly, there are other factors that have been added to the mix: ecumenism, political correctness, freedom of religion, etc. We've come a long way since the days of the Roman Emperors, when (for example) Theodosius said that you either agreed with the trinitarian beliefs of Rome and Alexandria, or you were (both according to the government and the Church) officially outside the Christianity.
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2007, 06:26:27 PM »

First off, an example of thinking more in line with what you are thinking is being pursued by the Moscow Patriarch, seeking to train evangelists and missionaries. And on that same topic, there are missionary societies such as the IOCC that seek to evangelize. Why now and not earlier?

It is also important to look at the history of the Orthodox and the persecution we have suffered: in Muslim countires, evangelization of non-Christians meant death usdually for the neophyte and the person helping to convert the other. Even in some 'Christian' countries, Orthodox missionaries were put to death (St. Peter the Aleut, for example---and I'm not trying to cast stones at your church!). In countries that were already considered "orthodox' there was little need to formally missionize people, so it really wasn't on our radar screens.

In this country I've lived in two communities where the Orthodox were considered only one step above African-Americans in the informal apartheid of American society (one mayor in 1920's Indianapolis,a Klansman, ran under the promise that,if elected, he'd 'run all the n****rs and Greeks out of town'. He kicked out the latter but not the former). Here in B'ham, the club many parishioners use as a reception hall did not allow Greeks in through the front door until the 1970's--- up to the 1960's we could come there only if we were there to cook or clean.

A similar situation occurred in the United States with the growth of the Catholic church. While communities were established by immigrants and those fleeing injustice, the missionizing in this country didn't go full force until the immigrants were more accepted by society (It eventually became OK to be Irish, Italian, etc, and the children of the immigrants were educated enough to articulate their message outside of the initial cultural group). Basically we're getting there now---my own parish just celebrated their 100th anniversary, and we are waaaaay older than any other Orthodox parish in town by a factor of 4 or 5.

Otoh, one way to look at missionizing is that of the four EO communities in Birmingham, AL, there was only one that existed 35 years ago. One formed just last year and there's talk of another forming in a few years as well!

Plus, let's face it---many Orthodox were horribly catechized. Most were unaware that there really is a palpable difference between the Church and those of other groups who yearn for the Truth but were unaware that the Spirit resides among those that society despised. So you had a terrible brew of lay ignorance and societal discouragement.

Regarding the Antiochian agreement with the Non Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox Church: my understanding is that the communities are so intermixed that both church hierarchs basically just got tired of the bickering about who was snatching who's sheep. They just agreed to keep the other where they were, which is defensible especially when considering how close the Chalcedonian and Non Chalcedonian Orthodox apparently are, based on the statement of hierarchs and such.

Just my $.02. I'm sure it'll be castigated by many, but there ya go...

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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2007, 06:49:15 PM »

First off, an example of thinking more in line with what you are thinking is being pursued by the Moscow Patriarch, seeking to train evangelists and missionaries. And on that same topic, there are missionary societies such as the IOCC that seek to evangelize. Why now and not earlier?

It is also important to look at the history of the Orthodox and the persecution we have suffered: in Muslim countires, evangelization of non-Christians meant death usdually for the neophyte and the person helping to convert the other. Even in some 'Christian' countries, Orthodox missionaries were put to death (St. Peter the Aleut, for example---and I'm not trying to cast stones at your church!). In countries that were already considered "orthodox' there was little need to formally missionize people, so it really wasn't on our radar screens.

In this country I've lived in two communities where the Orthodox were considered only one step above African-Americans in the informal apartheid of American society (one mayor in 1920's Indianapolis,a Klansman, ran under the promise that,if elected, he'd 'run all the n****rs and Greeks out of town'. He kicked out the latter but not the former). Here in B'ham, the club many parishioners use as a reception hall did not allow Greeks in through the front door until the 1970's--- up to the 1960's we could come there only if we were there to cook or clean.

A similar situation occurred in the United States with the growth of the Catholic church. While communities were established by immigrants and those fleeing injustice, the missionizing in this country didn't go full force until the immigrants were more accepted by society (It eventually became OK to be Irish, Italian, etc, and the children of the immigrants were educated enough to articulate their message outside of the initial cultural group). Basically we're getting there now---my own parish just celebrated their 100th anniversary, and we are waaaaay older than any other Orthodox parish in town by a factor of 4 or 5.

Otoh, one way to look at missionizing is that of the four EO communities in Birmingham, AL, there was only one that existed 35 years ago. One formed just last year and there's talk of another forming in a few years as well!

Plus, let's face it---many Orthodox were horribly catechized. Most were unaware that there really is a palpable difference between the Church and those of other groups who yearn for the Truth but were unaware that the Spirit resides among those that society despised. So you had a terrible brew of lay ignorance and societal discouragement.

Regarding the Antiochian agreement with the Non Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox Church: my understanding is that the communities are so intermixed that both church hierarchs basically just got tired of the bickering about who was snatching who's sheep. They just agreed to keep the other where they were, which is defensible especially when considering how close the Chalcedonian and Non Chalcedonian Orthodox apparently are, based on the statement of hierarchs and such.

Just my $.02. I'm sure it'll be castigated by many, but there ya go...


Thank you Father, for such a thorough answer.
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2007, 09:13:30 PM »

Quote
Please forgive me. I am having trouble understanding this position. If the Eastern Orthodox Church believes herself to be Jesus' Church, wouldn't Eastern Orthodox Christians want to bring everyone into this Church out of charity for fellow man? Wouldn't they want everyone to be fulfilled Christians? This is not a criticism. I just want to understand the Eo position.

Examine the position of the RCC, and you may see that though we differ in some ways, we are in many alike as far as this topic is concerned.  Perhaps that would help you understand somewhat.
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2007, 12:04:13 AM »

Examine the position of the RCC, and you may see that though we differ in some ways, we are in many alike as far as this topic is concerned.  Perhaps that would help you understand somewhat.

Indeed.

I had the misfortune of being the target of some very heavy-handed Orthodox evangelism. I was handed an appalling brochure (which I still keep) full of propaganda about how bad the Westerners are in comparison to Orthodoxy, complete with a "Time Line of Christian History" so grossly simplistic, polemical, and misleading that I had to laugh when I saw it. Of course, I didn't even need the brochure since I also heard quite an earful of the same stuff. At long last, I had to say to my interlocutor, "Why must you and others always define yourselves against the Catholic Church rather than define what you are for?" Blessedly, many Orthodox I know carry themselves with much more charity and humility, and they faithfully witness to the Gospel in their dealings with others.
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2007, 01:31:43 AM »

Indeed.

I had the misfortune of being the target of some very heavy-handed Orthodox evangelism. I was handed an appalling brochure (which I still keep) full of propaganda about how bad the Westerners are in comparison to Orthodoxy, complete with a "Time Line of Christian History" so grossly simplistic, polemical, and misleading that I had to laugh when I saw it. Of course, I didn't even need the brochure since I also heard quite an earful of the same stuff. At long last, I had to say to my interlocutor, "Why must you and others always define yourselves against the Catholic Church rather than define what you are for?" Blessedly, many Orthodox I know carry themselves with much more charity and humility, and they faithfully witness to the Gospel in their dealings with others.
Isn't it amazing how different our personal experience of Eastern Orthodox Christians when compared with alot of the polemicists we find on the net (not including the many amazing and charitible ones here at OC.net)?
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2007, 07:09:55 PM »

I pay little attention to polemicists and others, unless they are providing for the brewskis and cigars...

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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2007, 09:07:46 AM »

Papist, the other reason it would be pointless to actively seek converts from Catholicism is they already have liturgical churches based on the Byzantine rite who affirm Eastern theology.
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2007, 09:21:57 AM »

Papist, the other reason it would be pointless to actively seek converts from Catholicism is they already have liturgical churches based on the Byzantine rite who affirm Eastern theology.

They profess "Eastern" theology but they do not profess Orthodox theology, at least in my experience as an Eastern Catholic for several years.  For many of them, there is a lot of talk about the "mystical east" but really, what difference does that make when they are in communion with and accept the authority of the Pope whose teachings have been judged as heterodox?  Oftentimes, their view of the "East" and its theology are colored by Roman Catholic scholar's "Orientalist" approach to the East (witness Fr George Maloney's intro book to Eastern theology which seeks to defend the filioque!).  A lot of it is romanticism in my opinion.

I am against proselytizing if by that we mean lying to people or giving them money or other incentives to become Orthodox.  I also don't argue with people that are happily Catholic or Protestant, or even Muslim for that matter. But we most certainly do seek the conversion of all people to Orthodoxy, which is the only True Church of Christ, and when given an "in", we should take it and invite these people to our Churches.  Perhaps the disagreement is in the methodology.
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2007, 09:41:03 AM »

Well, there are certainly some that seem most definitely Eastern.  Apotheoun who posts here on occasion is certainly one.  Without a doubt the Eastern Catholic Churches have suffered from a crisis of identity, with changes foisted on them or through adoption of changes on their own.  Many are quite explicit in their confirmation of adherence to Eastern thought and praxis though.  This can be individuals, parishes or entire churches (such as the Melkites).
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2007, 09:48:17 AM »

Back to the OP,
Quote
...do Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that it is important to evangelize non-Eastern Orthodox Christians as an act of charity? Do they seek the conversion of Catholics and Protestants?

Chris - yes we do, though not to the point of proselytization. Many hierarchy, clergy, and laity of the Orthodox are also still trying to evangelize the other Orthodox. Wink
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2007, 09:49:25 AM »

Back to the OP,
Chris - yes we do, though not to the point of proselytization. Many hierarchy, clergy, and laity of the Orthodox are also still trying to evangelize the other Orthodox. Wink
How do you differntiate between evangelization and proselytization?

Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2007, 10:11:20 AM »

I could write reams on that subject. However, to place it at its most simplistic:

The goal of evangelisation is the salvation of men, to bring individuals and peoples to God. It is a response to God's Will. An evangelist has to love the people he is sent to (meaning, everyone God brings across his path.)

The goal of proselytization is the growth of one's church, to build numbers, wealth, buildings, esteem. It is a reaction to the incorrectness of others. A proselyte only has to love his own (or those he can change.)

There is also a difference of degrees, fanaticism is much more difficult to maintain with evangelism - though all evangelists are driven (God does this to us.)
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2007, 10:52:54 AM »

Aristuble

Without mentioning jurisdictions by name I believe that there is one in particular that is actively proslytizing under the guise of evangelization in this county.  Shocked
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2007, 11:21:50 AM »

Without mentioning jurisdictions by name I believe that there is one in particular that is actively proslytizing under the guise of evangelization in this county.  Shocked

There might be, but I wouldn't know off hand. So far the missionaries I've met (Antiochian, ROCOR, Serbian) were really evangelists. And of course, that is what Orthodox evangelism should be - and has been in the past where it was successful. Proselytism ultimately fails - or makes 'twice the sons of hell'.
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2007, 12:47:17 PM »

Well, there are certainly some that seem most definitely Eastern.  Apotheoun who posts here on occasion is certainly one.  Without a doubt the Eastern Catholic Churches have suffered from a crisis of identity, with changes foisted on them or through adoption of changes on their own.  Many are quite explicit in their confirmation of adherence to Eastern thought and praxis though.  This can be individuals, parishes or entire churches (such as the Melkites).

There's one I used to go to in North Carolina---Ruthenian, it was---that was just about indistinguishable from an Orthodox church (and I would know, having been a regular visitor to Orthodox churches when I was in college).
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2007, 01:33:28 PM »

I could write reams on that subject. However, to place it at its most simplistic:

The goal of evangelisation is the salvation of men, to bring individuals and peoples to God. It is a response to God's Will. An evangelist has to love the people he is sent to (meaning, everyone God brings across his path.)

The goal of proselytization is the growth of one's church, to build numbers, wealth, buildings, esteem. It is a reaction to the incorrectness of others. A proselyte only has to love his own (or those he can change.)

There is also a difference of degrees, fanaticism is much more difficult to maintain with evangelism - though all evangelists are driven (God does this to us.)
Do you believe that it is proselytization to try and convert western Christians to Eastern Orthodoxy or do you view this as evangelization?
Many Blessings in Christ,
Chris
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2007, 01:46:27 PM »

Quote
Do you believe that it is proselytization to try and convert western Christians to Eastern Orthodoxy or do you view this as evangelization?

It is the work of reconciliation which is part of the Evangel message. Most Western Christians are received rather than 'converted', though the term conversion is used for every single one of us in our work towards sanctification (that three-fold of purification, illumination, and purification.) I am, of course, one of those Western Christians - I was not proselytized, but evangelized. I was spared coming across Orthodox proselytization until I got on the Net after I converted. Wink

That really becomes an issue between Westerners - what is the best way to return to the unity of the Apostles? Ultramontanists say it is by adhering in every way to the Bishop of Rome as universal bishop. Pentecostals/Charismatics say it comes by being 'free in the Spirit', everyone speaking in tongues, and in general conforming to their sub-culture. Protestants have different answers which come from intellectual assent to their religious systems usually found in their founding documents and a particular interpretation of a selection from the Scriptures. Many of us have come across a different answer which we discovered the Orthodox had been saying all along as well. So, it is helpful to remember in such a case that it is a conversion to Christ rather than a conversion to a religious system. The Orthodox have retained the Faith of the Apostles, and are the Church of Christ - so as Westerners our response was not to stand afar off, but to seek reunion with that Body (as well as healing, teaching, etc.) To seek the same for others then is an act of charity - the question is one of salvation for not only ourselves, but for others. Whether that comes individual by individual, a parish at a time, a diocese, or eventually the restoration of our Patriarchate to full communion with the Beloved Churches of God - we have little control over that beyond our own response, and to bear witness to it.

Not that proselytization doesn't happen - usually in the form of demanding Western converts to learn strange languages, customs, and to submit to second-class status. That is quite outside the norm for Orthodoxy, however. Where it does happen, it is an abuse.
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2007, 11:29:48 AM »

How do you differntiate between evangelization and proselytization?

Evangelizing is making a concerted effort to reach the unchurched and focusing your efforts on reaching them.  Proselytism is attempting to reach people who are already Christian and making them change to your church.

Unfortunately what we for the most part engage in is Proselytism and not Evangelization.
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2007, 11:36:54 AM »

Evangelizing is making a concerted effort to reach the unchurched and focusing your efforts on reaching them.  Proselytism is attempting to reach people who are already Christian and making them change to your church.

Unfortunately what we for the most part engage in is Proselytism and not Evangelization.

I don't agree with that definition.  Evangelism is reaching out to non Orthodox (and even semi-Orthodox people) of any variety, Churched or Unchurched, with the Gospel.  Proselytism is using deception or pressure to convert people.  Harassment is telling people happy in other Churches to become Orthodox when they are not interested Wink

But to say we shouldn't reach out to non Orthodox just because they are in another Church doesn't seem to fit the historical model of Orthodox response to heresy.  Focusing on them specifically by doing things like leafing their parking lot of their church with tracts is harassment.  But telling a Catholic that Orthodoxy is the true faith is not proselytism.

Am I mischaracterizing your thoughts? I just want to be clear.

Anastasios
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2007, 12:16:59 PM »

The terms can have any number of interpretations.  Going strictly by what Merriam-Webster says:

Evangelization

1 : to preach the gospel to
2 : to convert to Christianity

Proselytism

1 : to induce someone to convert to one's faith
2 : to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause
transitive verb : to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause

I would stick by my statement that the former is reaching out to the unchurched and the latter is attempting to bring in the already churched.  What we do is proselytism for the most part, unlike the missionary tradition of the past.

It's further complicated in places like Russia where the national identity element comes in to play.  Religion is not only an identifier of a confessional alignment, but of ethnic orientation.  This sort of touches on the subject.
http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=382
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2007, 01:24:44 PM »

I've never really differentiated the two.  What one may call "evangelize" another may call "proselytize."  Even the word "evangelize" sounds very negative and evil to pluralist Hindus and Buddhists.

The Merriam-Webster definition sounds to me the same, except the former has to do with only Christianity, while the latter with any group.

Have any heirarchs differentiated between the two before?

God bless.
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2007, 04:03:49 PM »

Have any heirarchs differentiated between the two before?

Well, as the article I posted pointed out, the Russian Church essentially regards any attempt to court potential new members on their canonical territory as proselytism (whether the people in question are members of the church, religious, etc. or not).  This is problematic in two potential ways:

- It could be seen as potentially extremely hypocritical as of course they have set up churches and bishoprics in the canonical territory of other churches.

- It creates a direct link between national or ethnic origin and religious affiliation (one is "Orthodox" by nature of being Russian, as opposed to actually participating in the church and so on).  It is actually something that undercuts real efforts towards evangelization.

I said potential in the first issue because the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate are not interested in gaining converts.  They're really effectively only placed abroad to serve the interests and needs of the Russian diaspora.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 04:05:36 PM by welkodox » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2007, 04:41:43 PM »

First off - burn your Merriam-Webster, and get a real dictionary: The Oxford Dictionary of the English language.  Cheesy The problem with dictionaries is that they are descriptive, not prescriptive - they only describe how the compilers (and that is, their immediate culture) perceive the meaning of a word.

Like it or not, why most of us become Orthodox is *because* of a response to the Gospel, we want to be Christians. The Orthodox Church is not actively engaged in trying to 'recruit' to any party or cause, or 'away' from any other group. I hear that charge often - especially as regards Western Rite, but it just isn't true. It is actually a fault with much of Orthodoxy that we do not even really practice evangelism (let alone proselytization - which I have yet to see) - but merely receptionism. Receptionism in allowing those who knock, and knock, and knock to finally enter (ie, a 'formal welcome').

By the Oxford dictionary:

evangelism n. 1 the preaching of the gospel. 2 zealous advocacy of a cause or doctrine

Meaning 2 is especially true with Orthodox missiology, 1 true if one understands that the gospel must also be preached to sectarians, schismatics, heretics, pagans, Jews, or anyone else.
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2007, 04:57:56 PM »

Dear Aristibule,

How many "Western rite" Orthodox churches are there?  I know the Antiochian has one, and you are a part of ROCOR.  Any others?

God bless.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2007, 05:28:03 PM »

You mean how many Orthodox jurisdictions have Western rite? 8 of the Autocephalous and Autonomous churches of the Eastern Orthodox Church at present. How many communities? Of that I'm not even sure - they aren't always public, and the count changes. I can say though for sure that at present there is canonical Western rite work in at least 13 countries on 5 continents.

There is also Western rite amongst the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church that I do not count above - located on Goa, and across the water in Southern India. I'm assured by a friend in the Malankara Archdiocese here in America that there is also some here in the USA.
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"We must begin at once to "build again the tabernacle which is fallen down, and to build again the ruins thereof, and to set it up;" for HE WHO GAVE THE THOUGHT IN OUR HEART HE LAID ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY ON US THAT THIS THOUGHT SHOULD NOT REMAIN BARREN." - J.J. Overbeck, 1866
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2007, 07:00:53 PM »

Ya, I meant jurisdictions.

Wow...it comes a surprise to me, as I never knew there were actually any OO Western Rites (the closest we have to "Western" are British and French Orthodox, but they're not "Western Rite").

God bless.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

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« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2007, 02:22:13 AM »

lubeltri wrote:

  "There's one I used to go to in North Carolina---Ruthenian, it was---that was just about indistinguishable from an Orthodox church (and I would know, having been a regular visitor to Orthodox churches when I was in college"

   Didn't they commemorate the Pope of Rome? Then I am sorry, but they surely were not "indistinguishable" from an Orthodox Church! I have visited one or two Eastern Catholic churches, more out of curiousity than anything-in one in particular, I told the priest that I was a member of ROCOR; commenting that his church was closer to where I lived than the ROCOR church he told me that I should join to his church, because, after all, it was "Exactly the same thing, yes, we are exactly the same!" Not being in the mood, I just politely and quietly left. Talk about your PROSELYTIZATION! (Not to mention outright deceit!)
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