Author Topic: Proselytizing  (Read 3050 times)

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Offline TomS

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Proselytizing
« on: May 20, 2003, 10:13:44 PM »
Posted by a Greek Orthodox in the forum at Orthodox Christian Laity relating to Evangelicals - www.ocl.org

I have seen this same type of aversion in many cradle Greek Orthodox. Just wondering how other Orhodox feel about this?

--------------

"I agree that prosletyzing is wrong, and my Catholic and Orthodox girlfriends and I DID NOT appreciate it at the school we attended. However, to their credit, they did stir up a fervor for Christ in us, which we then took to our respective churches. Trust me, anyone brought up in the traditionalism of Orthodoxy or Catholicism may attend Baptist or such services initially, and may like them and appreciate them, but will never feel at home. Not one of us ever left the traditional churches we were raised in and felt home in. I do believe that prosletyzing, no matter what the faith tradition, is wrong. Example is much stronger."



« Last Edit: May 20, 2003, 10:14:53 PM by TomS »

Offline Linus7

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2003, 12:12:35 PM »
Quote
"I do believe that prosletyzing, no matter what the faith tradition, is wrong. Example is much stronger."

I guess somebody should have told Jesus!

What was that He said about going out into the world and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?

Somebody should have told the Apostles, too. It might have saved them the martyrdoms they suffered!

Somebody should have told Sts. Cyril and Methodius. They could have been "examples" at home in Greece and maybe, just maybe, after a thousand years or so, the Slavs might have heard about them and sent emissaries to learn why they were such nice people.







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Offline Elisha

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2003, 02:21:29 PM »
Quote
"I do believe that prosletyzing, no matter what the faith tradition, is wrong. Example is much stronger."

I guess somebody should have told Jesus!

What was that He said about going out into the world and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?

Somebody should have told the Apostles, too. It might have saved them the martyrdoms they suffered!

Somebody should have told Sts. Cyril and Methodius. They could have been "examples" at home in Greece and maybe, just maybe, after a thousand years or so, the Slavs might have heard about them and sent emissaries to learn why they were such nice people.


;D  and  ::)

I'm wondering if that respondent is just confused.

Offline TomS

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2003, 03:27:12 PM »
Exactly Linus7.

That was my response to her also --

If I am not mistaken, in the book of Acts every time that Paul went into a new city he went directly to the Temple and started to preach.

I guess they just left out the places where he really went in, found a real-estate agent, rented a house and waited for the people to say "Hey, Paul, you sure do act different. What's your secret?" (or from the words of Weber "What's the buzz, tell me whats a happenin') ;)




« Last Edit: May 22, 2003, 03:54:06 PM by TomS »

Offline Linus7

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2003, 03:58:05 PM »
Elisha -

Let's hope she was merely confused; but I don't see how someone who says "I do believe that prosletyzing, no matter what the faith tradition, is wrong. Example is much stronger" can plead confusion as an excuse.

It sounds like the statement of someone who compartmentalizes her religion and tries to keep it separate from "real life." It is a "faith tradition" (little "t") rather than the truth.
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Offline bripat22

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2003, 04:28:51 PM »


 But Orthodox "witnessing" does differ from the fundamentalist Protestant form and thank God for that.

     It truly was the example of people's Orthodox praxis that drew me to the Orthodox Faith.  For example, seeing a Russian babushka (a woman in her late 70's)  making a devout prostration during the Services of Great and Holy Week.   Surely these things draw more people to the Faith then matching polemic with polemic??
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Offline The young fogey

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2003, 04:35:35 PM »
Quote
But Orthodox "witnessing" does differ from the fundamentalist Protestant form and thank God for that.

    It truly was the example of people's Orthodox praxis that drew me to the Orthodox Faith.  For example, seeing a Russian babushka (a woman in her late 70's)  making a devout prostration during the Services of Great and Holy Week.  Surely these things draw more people to the Faith then matching polemic with polemic??

There's a place for polemic and debate but I think we agree here.
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Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2003, 04:40:53 PM »


 But Orthodox "witnessing" does differ from the fundamentalist Protestant form and thank God for that.

     It truly was the example of people's Orthodox praxis that drew me to the Orthodox Faith.  For example, seeing a Russian babushka (a woman in her late 70's)  making a devout prostration during the Services of Great and Holy Week.   Surely these things draw more people to the Faith then matching polemic with polemic??

I agree with you totally.
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Offline TomS

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2003, 06:34:33 PM »
    It truly was the example of people's Orthodox praxis that drew me to the Orthodox Faith.  For example, seeing a Russian babushka (a woman in her late 70's)  making a devout prostration during the Services of Great and Holy Week.   Surely these things draw more people to the Faith then matching polemic with polemic??

That only works if you are aware and exposed to Orthodox people. Most WASP's are not.

I never even KNEW there was such thing as Christian Orthodox until I met my future wife in 1997. Prior to that whenever I heard the term Orthodox - I related it to Judaism.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2003, 06:35:28 PM by TomS »

Offline bripat22

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2003, 06:55:16 PM »
Quote from: Serge
There's a place for polemic and debate but I think we agree here.
[quote



   Another miracle, Serge!!!   ;D
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Offline Anastasios

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2003, 12:31:20 AM »
Check out this wacky website!

http://www.christianity.gr/index_en.php  What gets me is their url "chrisitianity.gr" as if THEY are "the" Christianity in Greece!

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Offline Mexican

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2003, 02:20:31 AM »
Dear friends:

To me, the Evangelical sect seems worse than the JW's. At least most people know who the JW's are and they won't deny it, but the Evangelicals are much worse, they have millions of dolars in their pockets and I am sure that a lot of people convert because of this.

They have also claimed the title "Christians" for their own, and now, people in Mexico for example, make a distinction "Are you Catholic or Christian?". Then when you talk about Orthodox you must say "Catholic Orthodox" or it will cause a confusion.

In countries like the ones of Latin America, or Eastern Europe, a lot of people are not well instructed to understand the differences between the Evangelicals and the others. Most people here see the American missionaries as having a good intention, because at the beggining they help people without asking for anything, but then they start proselitizing little by little. My cousin, who was a basketball player a team was told that he should become an Evangelical, because most NBA players were Baptist or Evangelicals.

I am convinced that as long as the traditional Orthodox Churches are strong in Eastern Europe for example, political domination will be hard for the "apostles" of integration. Here we have learnt from the experience that they could undermine our independence when protestantism was introduced by Juarez in the XIX supressing the influence of the once conservatice RC.

I would not support proselitism either, such as the door to door proselitism. I believe the liturgy is the best "presentation card", people should be invited to attend it, and to learn about the Orthodox faith with books, presenting them with images of Christ of Our Lady, so that there is no doubt about the "Catholicity" of the Orthodox church. For Hispanic faithful it is a sensation of peace to see it has nothing to do with Protestantism, and that the Orthodox Church is still the same. The music is also a way to approach to people, byzantine choir chant, as well as Russian polyphony.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2003, 02:23:39 AM by Snoopy »

Offline prodromos

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2003, 03:48:37 AM »
Christos Anest!  Christ is Risen!

Check out this wacky website!

http://www.christianity.gr/index_en.php  What gets me is their url "chrisitianity.gr" as if THEY are "the" Christianity in Greece!

I had a look and it seems they are of the full on evangelical, pentecostal variety. They have a section titled "What the Word of God doesn't say" which has a number of brief articles plainly attacking "Tradition". One of them claims that Joseph was a young man (funny, I don't remember that being  in the bible), that he and Mary married and had several children after Jesus :(

John.

Offline javamama

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2003, 11:02:55 AM »
I gotta agree with TomS; I never knew that Orthodoxy existed prior to almost 2 years ago.  I found it quite by accident!  

Somehow we must find a way to make Orthodoxy known and available to all, without resorting to the cheesy advertising and door-to-door salesmanship of others who call themselves Christians.  How do we do that?   ::)

Offline TomS

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2003, 11:29:18 AM »
EXACTLY javamama!

I certainly don't condone the idea of going door-to-door, or cornering someone and trying to stuff it down their throats, or ANY type of "witnessing" that alienates people.

That being said -- we Orthodox have to figure out a way to get the message out there. to at least make other people aware of another option.

I think it has been said in another post -- if you are not Greek, nor Russian, nor middle-eastern, unless you knew otherwise, you would never CONSIDER going to a church with one of those words in its name.

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« Last Edit: May 23, 2003, 11:33:04 AM by TomS »

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2003, 11:35:38 AM »
There's nothing wrong with door to door work IMO. I mean, look how well it works for the Arians (JW's)!
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2003, 08:10:21 PM »


 But Orthodox "witnessing" does differ from the fundamentalist Protestant form and thank God for that.

     It truly was the example of people's Orthodox praxis that drew me to the Orthodox Faith.  For example, seeing a Russian babushka (a woman in her late 70's)  making a devout prostration during the Services of Great and Holy Week.   Surely these things draw more people to the Faith then matching polemic with polemic??

Sorry, but I have got to disagree with you.

How many people will see such things and know what they are?

How many, when they do see them, will fail to understand and chalk them up to "ignorance and superstition"?

How was Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean world and beyond?

By waiting for some female believers to get old enough to make an impression on younger people by prostrating themselves?

People cannot believe in what they do not know about.

And they cannot know about something until somebody tells them.

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14).

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17).


I'm all for the "witness by example," but if that is the only thing we Orthodox ever do to reach out to people then we will have a lot to answer for at the Judgment.

And "witness by example" is manifestly NOT the only thing the early Church did.

We are going to have to go out and tell somebody, whether it's door-to-door or on street corners, or both. And we'll have to show them we mean it by living our faith, too.
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Offline Seraphim Reeves

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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2003, 05:09:44 PM »
While it is true that many have been moved by being present at the Divine Liturgy, or seeing the good example of Christians (very key, since bad examples are very harmful to non-Christians), actualy prostyletism takes pride of place.  Public discourse, preaching, and activism are extremly important.

Keep in mind, in the early Church, non-Christians were not even allowed to attend the Divine Liturgy (that they do so now is largely a matter of laxity - even catechumen were not supposed to stay all of the way through.)

However, if one takes stock of just what a successful mission needs (decent preaching, publication of materials accessable to non-Orthodox, and a means to receive these people that they can access), then we find the situation in the west not simply wanting, but outright pathetic.  Frankly, the Orthodox in the west by in large have no real interest in assimilating the western world to Orthodoxy, no matter how much they protest to the contrary.

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Offline TomS

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Re:Proselytizing
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2003, 05:25:49 PM »
"Frankly, the Orthodox in the west by in large have no real interest in assimilating the western world to Orthodoxy, no matter how much they protest to the contrary."

Right. In fact my Priest said to me "We Orthodox don't go out and try to convert people, how we live is our proselytizing"