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Author Topic: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?  (Read 37654 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ebor
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« Reply #45 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".

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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.

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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.  Smiley 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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.  Smiley

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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
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 12:52:18 PM by Ebor » Logged

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« Reply #46 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.  Smiley Wink

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

Ebor
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« Reply #47 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.   Smiley

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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
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« Reply #48 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.   Smiley

Sounds like my ancestry… maybe we’re related.  Wink

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


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« Reply #49 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.
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« Reply #50 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.
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« Reply #51 on: November 18, 2007, 10:42:05 PM »

This kind of smug condescension...

Just when you think things can finally cool off...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #52 on: November 18, 2007, 10:44:11 PM »

Just when you think things can finally cool off...  Roll Eyes

I agree. And a comment from one who asserts he's not Protestant or Orthodox.
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« Reply #53 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.
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« Reply #54 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.  Smiley 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.
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« Reply #55 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.
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« Reply #56 on: November 18, 2007, 11:29:07 PM »

Just when you think things can finally cool off...  Roll Eyes

Well, I AM Orthodox and think he's right.  Try relaxing and taking a different approach...at least a few days from now. Smiley
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« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2007, 11:32:00 PM »

^ ?
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« Reply #58 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.
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« Reply #59 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. Smiley

Agreed, it seems as though the logic of the OP has run into some problems.
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« Reply #60 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?
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« Reply #61 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.
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« Reply #62 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. Wink
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« Reply #63 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. Wink
Nah.  I think what you're reading from the most recent posts is pretty accurate, as far as it goes. Wink
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« Reply #64 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?
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« Reply #65 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.
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« Reply #66 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?
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« Reply #67 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.
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« Reply #68 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. . .
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« Reply #69 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!
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« Reply #70 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. Wink

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.  Smiley

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« Reply #71 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  Wink ) 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?  Huh  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.  Wink

Could be.. Wink

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

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« Reply #72 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
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« Reply #73 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.
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« Reply #74 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.
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« Reply #75 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.
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« Reply #76 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.
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« Reply #77 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.

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« Reply #78 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.
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« Reply #79 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?    Huh

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« Reply #80 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.  Smiley

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« Reply #81 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
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« Reply #82 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.
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« Reply #83 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?
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« Reply #84 on: December 02, 2007, 02:42:57 PM »

I've narrowed it down to two. Grin  Just a few more pesky issues to work through.
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« Reply #85 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."   Roll Eyes  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.   Undecided  (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. 
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« Reply #86 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.  Smiley

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« Reply #87 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
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« Reply #88 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.
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Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams
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« Reply #89 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
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"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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