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Author Topic: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?  (Read 39150 times) Average Rating: 0
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FrancisA
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« Reply #135 on: January 08, 2008, 12:41:31 AM »

^ Ask them how many non-Orthodox sacramental services they've been a part of. My guess it that it's pretty close to zero.

In the group I was in, the answer better be none.  Under threat of not going to the Eurcharist for a real long time or the threat of excommunication.
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« Reply #136 on: January 08, 2008, 10:31:52 AM »

Exactly. My point is that those who generally claim absolute knowledge of a matter are usually the ones who actually have no knowledge of the matter.

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

So is there grace outside the Church? Maybe. Grace is given by God, and He alone decides where it should and should not be. I have a feeling a list of the latter is very short indeed.
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« Reply #137 on: January 24, 2008, 02:46:47 PM »

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

One of my stumbling blocks in converting to Orthodoxy (OCA) is that I bought into the old simplified church history story.  The one that goes ‘there was one church with one set of beliefs for the first one thousand years of church history, then the Catholics left, and then the rest of Christianity came out of the corrupt Western church.”  But upon reading more and more of the early church fathers, I found this story to be way oversimplified, to the point of being misleading and wrong.  Every apostolic church can cherry pick their teachings out of the early church fathers.  The EO can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the Roman Catholics can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the OO can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the Assyrians can go back and cherry pick their teachings.  The first question I can’t answer is why should I believe one set of cherry pickings over another?  Every apostolic church can justify their teachings by cherry picking.  Why should I chose one over the other?  The usual EO answer I get to this question is ‘don’t worry others are just cherry picking, ours is the true faith.’  For me, this doesn’t answer the question because it’s the same answer any other member of any other apostolic church can give.  The second answer I get is ‘I need to understand that no individual father is right all the time, some had personal beliefs and some we’re in fact wrong.’  Once again for me this doesn’t answer the question because it’s the same answer any other member of any other apostolic church can give.  The third and follow-up answer I get is ‘it’s the teaching of the fathers that we’re accepted by the church that we believe.’  Once again, this really doesn’t answer it.  It really puts the cart before the horse.  If I don’t know which church is the church, then how do I determine which early church fathers to accept.  Plus it is the same canned answer that any other member of any other apostolic church can give.
Wow...these two paragraphs express much of what went through mind when I was exploring Orthodoxy (and had actually became a catechumen for a couple of weeks) 2-3 years ago.  In reading church history, and reading some debates on this board between EO and OO, I began to have similar concerns that you expressed.  In addition to some family issues, the reason that finally decided not to become EO was that I was unconvinced that the Holy Spirit vanished from the Western Church in 1054 (which is what some of the more triumphalistic EO seemed to imply in their polemics).  Also, despite my acceptance of the Trinitarian and Christological definitions of the Seven Councils, I have a hard time regarding Oriental Orthodox Christians as heretics and definitely outside the church, particularly from the constructive dialogues I had with some OO on this board previously regarding what they actually believe, and given many of the political factors that were involved in the history of this particular 'split'.  At any rate,  I've landed in a traditional Continuing Anglican church (I didn't go to Rome because I'm unconvinced of modern papal claims) and am content to say that I'm in a "branch" of the One Apostolic Church--which is still a significant change from my previously long-held beliefs as Southern Baptist.  Grin
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« Reply #138 on: January 25, 2008, 01:10:54 PM »

Doubting Thomas,
I am often tempted to join a traditional Anglican Church, as well.  I cannot look at either the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church and say that God has abandoned either one of them.  I am aware that to choose one is to, in a sense, renounce the other.  This is something I am not prepared to do.  That being said, I am a little wary of Anglicanism, as, at least in America, it seems to be wandering from the path just a bit...
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lubeltri
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« Reply #139 on: January 25, 2008, 02:46:40 PM »

Doubting Thomas,
I am often tempted to join a traditional Anglican Church, as well.  I cannot look at either the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church and say that God has abandoned either one of them.  I am aware that to choose one is to, in a sense, renounce the other. 

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

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

I understand your attraction to traditional Anglicanism. I was nearly confirmed in a "Continuing" Anglican church until Rome called me. I still have great fondness for traditional Anglicanism. One of the loveliest moments of 2007 for me was attending choral Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral in England on Christmas Day.
 proselytizing
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« Reply #140 on: January 25, 2008, 02:53:42 PM »

^ Warning: The preceding was a Proselytizing Advertisement!
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lubeltri
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« Reply #141 on: January 25, 2008, 03:29:32 PM »

^ Warning: The preceding was a Proselytizing Advertisement!

Just clarifying that becoming a Catholic does not require (in fact, forbids) you to conclude that "God has abandoned" the EO or OO churches.
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« Reply #142 on: January 26, 2008, 01:54:15 PM »

Lubeltri, you have been warned repeatedly not to proselytize on this site. Therefore, we will be moderating your posts until you have proven to us that you can follow the guidelines of this site.
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« Reply #143 on: January 26, 2008, 03:05:56 PM »

lubeltri, you are kind of fishing in our pond.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #144 on: January 26, 2008, 04:20:51 PM »

Lubeltri, you have been warned repeatedly not to proselytize on this site. Therefore, we will be moderating your posts until you have proven to us that you can follow the guidelines of this site.

I was merely responding to and clarifying this statement:

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

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

If clearing up misunderstanding makes me guilty of proselytization according to OC.net, then I am leaving. I consider this an indignity. Farewell.
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #145 on: January 26, 2008, 04:54:41 PM »

Lubeltri,

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

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

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

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

If you choose not to post here any longer, then that will be your choice. But I hope you do not think that we wholesale object to what the Catholic church teaches. We merely strive to make OCnet a place where all Christians, and even those of other faiths, feel comfortable talking about issues that are important to Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #146 on: January 28, 2008, 12:20:58 PM »

Maybe the question should be why do Orthodox rejeect Protestants? Or, do we reject them. Or only some of us.  angel
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« Reply #147 on: March 07, 2008, 11:50:58 AM »

Maybe the question should be why do Orthodox rejeect Protestants? Or, do we reject them. Or only some of us.  angel

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

Ebor
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« Reply #148 on: March 23, 2008, 11:18:25 PM »

Quote
Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?

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

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

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

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

Sorry if this offends.  You are now free to flag this post for removal.
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« Reply #149 on: March 23, 2008, 11:35:44 PM »

Stundist, I am very, very sorry you have experienced these terrible things. I'm a convert myself, but I still regret the wrongful, racist actions by the Orthodox Church. I have a friend whose family was originally Old Believer and he is very embittered towards Orthodoxy and has become a Baptist.

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

Please, is there a way we can atone for all this? Have our leaders ever, in humility, asked forgiveness in person of those groups who have been wronged, as has the RCC? I for one would greet such a gesture with profound gratitude and wish to do my part in healing any wounds although my heritage is not Orthodox. I want to pray fervently to this end...
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« Reply #150 on: March 24, 2008, 12:01:48 AM »

Hey Stundist,

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

There are a lot of us here, it seems, that are converts to Orthodoxy (myself included) and will have little notion as to the horrible events you've described.  Personally, this is the first I've heard about the Stundists.  That being said, I sincerely apologize for what my Orthodox brethren did to you and your family.  I pray that your time here with us will be enjoyable, educational, and hopefully contribute to some healing (for all of us.)   
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« Reply #151 on: March 24, 2008, 02:09:28 AM »

A quick google search brought the following links up.  I had never heard of them either.

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

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


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« Reply #152 on: March 24, 2008, 03:21:52 AM »

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

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

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

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

Sorry if my little ramble here is a tad incoherent. I'm tired, have baby brain, and cooked and prepared for 2 birthday parties  this weekend. That, and I obviously do not have the ability to discuss theological issues with any authority - just the wish to learn.
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« Reply #153 on: March 24, 2008, 05:54:03 PM »

You may be right, kmm.  I occasionally think how much easier it would be for me to stay Protestant and just pick my favorite church, rather than going against everything I've ever known or believed was "proper" Christian doctrine/practice.  But I learned too much, and just can't go back, even though I have to find a way to fit in among a Greek culture I know very little about.  When I visit other churches with friends or family, no matter what church it is--Catholic, traditional, contemporary, liturgical, "free"--the service lacks something.
     
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« Reply #154 on: March 24, 2008, 06:28:56 PM »

Welcome, Stundist. No, your post does not offend. This is actually the first I've heard of this group. Persecution is terrible regardless of perpetrator or victim. Please know that Orthodox know what it's like to be persecuted, as well, and that though some servants forgiven their talents may demand a few denarii, most are gentle people who will feel nothing but compassion for your family's hardships and troubles.
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« Reply #155 on: March 24, 2008, 10:17:50 PM »

Thanks for the kind words everyone. 

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

I am going to attend Pascha service over at the local ROCOR parish.  I do like hearing the slavonic.
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« Reply #156 on: March 25, 2008, 10:04:14 PM »

Quote
Have our leaders ever, in humility, asked forgiveness in person of those groups who have been wronged?

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

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

Sorry for stealing the thread. Embarrassed

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« Reply #157 on: March 31, 2008, 03:10:28 PM »

Perhaps another reason my be (at least in the USA) is mutual cultural bias. Many Americans do not understand the cultural expression of Orthodoxy from Eastern Europe or the middle EAst and some Orthodox distrust American converts who may express their faith in words that may be validly Orthodox but seem "Protestant" in tone.
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« Reply #158 on: March 31, 2008, 06:41:12 PM »

My family's traditional beliefs equally stem from both the Orthodox old believers and the Protestant mennonites.  (The links in the above are a little more 'baptist' sounding.  If the Baptist heard us break out a chant to the Mother of God, they'd chase us out.)  So, to answer the question.  Yes, sort of. Kind of.  I'll take it.

Protestant mennonites? Now that is one I have never heard. Is it like the Mennonites in any way or what? possibly a Wikipedia article if you post up a link.
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« Reply #159 on: April 01, 2008, 02:42:10 PM »

I suspect that Stundist wrote "Protestant mennonites" since it was proceeded by "Orthodox old believers".  There are a number of different Mennonite groups, some are "Old Order" like the Amish and others more 'modern' in customs.

Ebor
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« Reply #160 on: April 02, 2008, 01:12:32 AM »

Ebor where have you been? We have all missed your digital presence (especially me)!!
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« Reply #161 on: April 02, 2008, 01:21:08 AM »

I suspect that Stundist wrote "Protestant mennonites" since it was proceeded by "Orthodox old believers".  There are a number of different Mennonite groups, some are "Old Order" like the Amish and others more 'modern' in customs.

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« Reply #162 on: April 03, 2008, 02:14:58 PM »

It seems to me Mennonites would consider themselves "Anabaptist" and most would maintain they  are neither Protestant nor Catholic, but I think in reality they are much  closer to the Protestant model , although generally they reject Calvinism.

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

I'm relieved to hear the Patriarch has apologized to the Old Believer communities for past wrongs!
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« Reply #163 on: April 03, 2008, 02:46:19 PM »



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


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

At the moment, there is a huge organization in Ukraine that calls itself "Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists." A funny thing is, they are actually Pentecostals, but they avoid using this term. Smiley
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« Reply #164 on: April 03, 2008, 03:16:31 PM »

Yes, I knew the term "stundist" came from the German word for "hour", which I always understood meant a sort of "Bible hour" i.e. a time spent in intense Bible study, prayer and singing.  I suppose it so greatly differed from the traditional Orthodox way that it was seen as somewhat "holier-than-thou", but also perhaps the piety of these simple believers ,and the way they desired to live out the Biblical teaching in practical ways,pricked the consciences of some, and so, not knowing how to deal with it, they lashed out in dirision and mockery. Sad, but human nature.

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

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

But as always, the modernistic  head of American religious influence continues to rear itself up, and there are many who rush to embrace it...
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« Reply #165 on: April 04, 2008, 07:09:21 AM »

I was protestant for many years.  However, as my years in Orthodoxy pass by I find it more and more difficult to remember what actually being protestant was like.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen


Do you think part of the rejection is that Orthodoxy is not "culturally" relevant?
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« Reply #166 on: April 04, 2008, 04:33:32 PM »

Do you think part of the rejection is that Orthodoxy is not "culturally" relevant?

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

Sigh.
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« Reply #167 on: April 04, 2008, 04:40:30 PM »

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

Sigh.
Which I think is all the more reason for the EO Church to foster growth and a greater appreciation for their own western rite.
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« Reply #168 on: April 04, 2008, 04:51:04 PM »

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

Sigh.

I'm afraid to say that EO does seem (fairly or unfairly) to many non-EO to be an inconsequential and insular Eastern European museum piece, hiding from the modern world rather than getting on the front lines and challenging it head-on.
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #169 on: April 04, 2008, 04:53:27 PM »

Which I think is all the more reason for the Church to foster growth and a greater appreciation for Orthodoxy's contributions to world culture.
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« Reply #170 on: April 04, 2008, 05:00:19 PM »

Do you think part of the rejection is that Orthodoxy is not "culturally" relevant?

Actually, I would say that "the cultural relevance of Orthodoxy is not appreciated".
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« Reply #171 on: April 04, 2008, 05:08:08 PM »

I'm afraid to say that EO does seem (fairly or unfairly) to many non-EO to be an inconsequential and insular Eastern European museum piece, hiding from the modern world rather than getting on the front lines and challenging it head-on.
Didn't the Roman Catholic Church try to do so by introducing the Novos Ordo, guitar Masses?
How did that go?
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« Reply #172 on: April 04, 2008, 05:16:50 PM »

I'm afraid to say that EO does seem (fairly or unfairly) to many non-EO to be an inconsequential and insular Eastern European museum piece, hiding from the modern world rather than getting on the front lines and challenging it head-on.
Yes, I believe that this is the impression of many outside observers.

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

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« Reply #173 on: April 04, 2008, 05:18:22 PM »

Didn't the Roman Catholic Church try to do so by introducing the Novos Ordo, guitar Masses?
How did that go?

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

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

(and I don't see how your response does anything to address the common--fairly or unfairly--perception I mentioned.)
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« Reply #174 on: April 04, 2008, 05:18:39 PM »

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

Sigh.

Yes. And I heard an opposite, too. I remember one conversation with a Ukrainian American who was concerned about the preservation of the Ukrainian language in Ukrainian Orthodox churches in the USA. When another person said, "but look, don't you think the Divine Liturgy must be understandable to non-Ukrainian Americans, too?" - he got angry and said, "they have no reason to be there! If you are a Yank, be a GOOD Yank, go to a Protestant church!"  Grin
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« Reply #175 on: April 04, 2008, 05:21:35 PM »

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

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

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

Well, actually, I think it does address your perception.
America was founded by the Pilgrims. How "culturally relevant" is a Tridentine Mass to say, a Southern Baptist? Isn't it simply the imposing of another alien culture on people?
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« Reply #176 on: April 04, 2008, 05:30:08 PM »

Well, actually, I think it does address your perception.
America was founded by the Pilgrims. How "culturally relevant" is a Tridentine Mass to say, a Southern Baptist? Isn't it simply the imposing of another alien culture on people?

The issue goes well beyond liturgy.
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« Reply #177 on: April 04, 2008, 05:36:21 PM »

The issue goes well beyond liturgy.
I agree.
Ultimately the issue is about Christian Truth. What really matters is Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and the real question anyone should ask is "Where is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?" Not "Where do I feel more comfortable?" The first Christians had to walk away from many aspects of their own culture- circumcision, drinking Blood, communing with Gentiles etc. If "cultural relevance" is the determining factor of Christianity, then Christianity is lost.
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« Reply #178 on: April 04, 2008, 06:02:25 PM »

Yes. And I heard an opposite, too. I remember one conversation with a Ukrainian American who was concerned about the preservation of the Ukrainian language in Ukrainian Orthodox churches in the USA. When another person said, "but look, don't you think the Divine Liturgy must be understandable to non-Ukrainian Americans, too?" - he got angry and said, "they have no reason to be there! If you are a Yank, be a GOOD Yank, go to a Protestant church!"  Grin

I've heard this version too, believe me. Been asked by Ukrainians why I became Orthodox since I'm a North American? Been asked by a Russian woman at church in great disappointment why I left my former religion (she told me my former religion was "better" than the Orthodox church, because she'd heard the women are talented bakers... Roll Eyes Oh brother.... Huh
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« Reply #179 on: April 04, 2008, 06:14:14 PM »

I agree.
Ultimately the issue is about Christian Truth. What really matters is Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and the real question anyone should ask is "Where is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?" Not "Where do I feel more comfortable?" The first Christians had to walk away from many aspects of their own culture- circumcision, drinking Blood, communing with Gentiles etc. If "cultural relevance" is the determining factor of Christianity, then Christianity is lost.

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

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