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Author Topic: Article "What's So Wrong With the Eastern Orthodox Church"  (Read 10005 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 17, 2008, 10:36:06 AM »

Quote
What’sWrong With The Eastern Orthodox Church?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
……and why do they think we are distorted Catholics?
David M Young MA, Director Albanian Evangelical Mission
There is real Orthodoxy and folk Orthodoxy. In Albania, people often speak of the "Greek Orthodox Church", though really it is the Albanian Orthodox Church; but many clergy are Greek and the beliefs are the same.

Until about 400 AD the Christian church in the east and the west of the Roman Empire developed together on official doctrine, and the main interests were the Person of Christ and the Trinity. Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant still agree on these doctrines.


THE FOUR 'A's


But after about 400 AD, you need to remember the four A's to understand something of how the west (Catholic and Protestant) grew apart from Eastern Orthodoxy: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, the Awakening. These have probably fundamentally affected if not determined the faith of everyone reading this article, but they never affected Orthodoxy.


Augustine of Hippo (354 430) taught that man has totally fallen away from God and is unable to stir himself to come back; that every person inherits Adam's guilt (not just his nature); that salvation is entirely of God's initiative and grace; that those who will believe and be saved have been chosen and predestined before they are born.


Anselm (1033 1109) was an Italian who became archbishop of Canterbury. He taught that in Christ God became human so that Jesus Christ could die in our place as a satisfaction for all our sins: substitutionary atonement.


Aquinas (ca 1225 1275) was a Dominican monk who blended Greek logic (from Aristotle's philosophy) into theological method.


The Awakening in the 18th century (Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, George Whitefield etc) emphasised personal assurance of forgiveness and of the new birth.


THE REFORMATION


The church in the west was greatly influenced by Roman law and tended to see salvation in legal terms: God pardoning the guilty. The Reformation in the 16th century (Luther, Calvin etc), as well as re emphasising Augustine's doctrines of man, sin, election and grace, made another change, namely that whereas Augustine taught that justification is being made righteous, the Reformers and their followers (e.g. the Puritans) taught that it is being accounted righteous by Christ's righteousness imputed to us. They also adjusted Roman Catholic teaching on church and sacraments.


The Orthodox don't emphasise the Cross and forgiveness as much as we do; rather, they see salvation more in terms of Christ's Incarnation, our union with Him, our glorification, and the renewal of creation. They see Christ's death on the Cross less as His paying our penalty in our place, more as His victory over death and Satan.


They have a more optimistic view of man and his ability to turn to God than Augustine's. They have more place for mystery and are less concerned to make theology logical.


They are often "apophatic" (that is, they talk more bout what we don't know about God, while we concentrate on what we do know.)


BELIEFS AND PRACTICES


The Orthodox also have beliefs and practices which make us shudder! They pray for the dead; they also pray to the dead; they believe icons are a meeting point between the living and the dead; they believe God's grace is active in relics of the saints; they pray to angels; they have a view of sacraments which is very different from ours: salvation is deposited in the Orthodox Church, and the priest gives saving grace through the sacraments, so that people have a relationship with the Church rather than with Jesus Christ.


Most of our readers, and most evangelical missionaries to Albania, probably derive their personal religion either from the Reformation or Puritans, or from the Evangelical Awakening. That means up to 1300 years of separate development from the Eastern Orthodox churches. No wonder we are so different! What's more, many Orthodox theologians have seen the Reformation either as resulting from a wrong interpretation of Paul's Letter to the Romans by Augustine (who used a Latin translation, not the Greek: in quo omnes peccaverunt (Rom 5.12) &c) or as God's judgement on the Roman Church for its breach with Orthodoxy. The Reformation holds no relevance.


INTOLERANCE


So is there enough truth in Orthodoxy to save the soul? Let me say: "That isn't the issue..." The real issue, in practical terms, is their tendency to curse us as heretics and to accuse us of breaking up the Albanian nation.


They have pasted posters on top of our posters, calling us heretics and sons of Judas Iscariot. Their leadership are quite simply intolerant.


An Orthodox priest wrote to David Young, Director of the Albanian Evangelical Mission:


"Well, it is a fearful thing to be cursed by a bishop who stands in the shoes of the apostles ... an unwelcome incursion into the sheepfold of Christ. What to do about it? Close the door on it ... So why exert yourself to hijack the native Christianity of Albania by introducing a foreign mission and belief system?"


Dan Baynes Quotes an Orthodox publication as follows:


"The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania is being hit today from many directions. An organised attack is being carried out against it by missionaries ... particularly by the Evangelicals ... heretics who come in as a wedge to destroy our beautiful faith... traitors to the Church and successors of Judas Iscariot..."


The practical issue is not whether or not there are some true, humble lovers and servants of our Lord Jesus Christ within the Orthodox Church in Albania, but the aggression and indeed poison with which the leadership sometimes speak and write about us and oppose our work.


Apart from disagreeing with our teachings, they see us as breaking up the nation. An Albanian can be Moslem (70% are), or Catholic (10%) or Orthodox (20%), but if you persuade people to become something else, you are destroying national identity with a foreign belief system.


POPULAR RELIGION


And finally, as no doubt with any religion, there are many who are Orthodox in name but who have little or no idea of what their Church really teaches. They don't know what they ought to believe, they just know others are wrong! Shaun Thompson explains:


"When we do gospel work among people with an Orthodox background, really what concerns us most is Orthodox practice. One of the basic faults of the Orthodox church in Albania (as it has been with many other denominations closer to home) is the appointment of men to the ministry who are seemingly unconverted, and often ill mannered too. These are shepherds that care more for their pockets (or their egos) than the souls of their parishioners. There are, of course, exceptions.


"Another general fault is the focus placed on maintaining a religious ritual, as opposed to seeking the moral and spiritual regeneration of men, women and children. The Orthodox church offers people what they want, which is easy religion, and thus false peace. The emphasis seems to be along the lines of 'go light your candle, make the sign of the cross, kiss the icon and all is well with your soul'. This is tantamount to a spiritual crime. There doesn't seem to be any attempt (in practice) to make a distinction between true and false Christians, only between true and false churches so called! There is also a tendency to so focus on the saints, as to lose sight of the Saviour."


WHAT IS RIGHT?


It might be gracious now to ask, "What is right about the Orthodox Church?"


The Bishop in Korce recently said on the radio that they have gone too far from the Word of God, and from now on there will be preaching in the churches under his leadership. This is a new bishop, not the one who cursed us from his pulpit in the 1990s.


Larry Stucky, Conservative Baptist missionary in Korce working together with Ian Loring at the Evangelical Church and sent by the same mission which sent Edwin Jacques in 1932, says that some of the clergy and some in the congregations in the Orthodox Church are people of spiritual perception.


Evangelicalism has often been portrayed as a foreign religion, brought in by Americans or other Westerners, alien to national Albanian culture. I can understand something of that.


The Orthodox aim to model their services on the worship of heaven, hence the altar, incense, robes and visual splendour: they see these things in Revelation and elsewhere. They aim for reverence, mystery and holiness. They respond negatively to what they see as jarringly American. In August in Albania I attended an Evangelical service, and I noticed a shapely young woman wearing a tee shirt with this statement on her bosom: "Jesus is my homeboy." I winced, and understood afresh how certain aspects of contemporary Evangelicalism jar on peoples sensitivities.


There is also the slick, easy triumphalism one hears so often. In the early 1990s, Barth Companjen, leader of Ancient World Outreach, stated that "According to the statistics, everyone in Albania has received Christ four times." This facile, unrealistic optimism characteristic of some sections of Evangelicalism is risible and unattractive, a far cry from the thoughtful words of John Wesley: "I wish all our Preachers would be accurate in their accounts, and rather speak under than above the truth."


But there is another side to all this: many Albanians want to become westernised! In fact, the American Orthodox Church is working in Albania, including workers who have converted from Evangelicalism.


GREECE


There is one further aspect to this that I wish to mention. I know a good deal less about religion in Greece than in Albania, but I have not heard such optimistic impressions of the Orthodox Church in Greece. It is estimated that some 2,000 to 3,000 Albanians who are evangelical believers are working in Greece and its islands. It seems to me that, whilst we do well to rejoice that some Albanian Christians are looking and indeed going eastwards to bring the Gospel to the Moslem world, we might also hope and pray that the migration southwards into Greece will bring a breath of new life to that beloved and beautiful land.




http://www.ianpaisley.org
Email: eips_info@yahoo.co.uk  So
 
 
 
 
 
 


Comments, anyone?
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 02:42:59 PM »

Seeing that it's coming from an American Evangelical Protestant group, I think they did a better job than Morey. It doesn't really matter what they say "our bad things are", because you will always find, another protestant group that will say the opposite. and that's the main weakness of protestantism.


I think the Albanians should do three things. They should continue to call them heretical, they should continue to show that they are dividing the Albanian culture, and they should also start preaching more sermons that use alot of scripture.

Now that the Protestants are overthere, they need to teach their Parishiners Orthodox Church History, And the Historical Interpretation of the scriptures. They also need to teach their Parishiners that the Protestants have a foriegn canon of scripture. If they do this, then it will marginalize protestantism inthose lands.

It will also be a good thing for them to hear a few convert testimonies. This will help those in Albania, who are thinking about becoming Protestant to think twice about the idea. For they will see that there is something special about the faith they were raised up in. And it might help them to seek the spiritual deepness of their own Faith tradition.

Also alot of prayer should be used. The Albanians need to pray that the Protestant missions will see the truth of Orthodoxy and will convert. They also need to pray that the Albanians will not be deceived by the Protestant missions.


A number of non-violent different tactics can be used. Albania will have to make use of Radio, the Internet, Telivison, and the movies, to help keep her flock safe from Protestant missions.


But it has to be nonviolent!!! I stress this because some protestants who go on missions to Eastern Europe, actually convert to ORthodoxy when they come back home to the United States. If Eastern Europe physicaly hurt them, then it will only give the protestant a reason to hate ORthodoxy, and a reason to try to proselytize evenmore.



I know that "All Saints Orthodox Church" in Chicago, does missionary work in Albania. They are mostly a convert Parish, but they are doing alot of work in that country.

If more American Orthodox Parishes do missions in Eastern Europe, the middle East, and north Eastern Africa. Then it will nuetralize what the American Protestants are doing.


I visited All Saints Orthodox church last year, and I loved it.

This is their website:

http://www.allsaintsorthodox.org/hoppe.html


There was someone at my Parish, who went to the Ukrain, to help out at an orphanage for a number of months.

So if we go on missions to help out, then it should nuetralize what the Protestants are doing.



This next link isn't about Albania, but it is about Russia. It's two podcasts about former Protestant missionaries that became ORthodox.

It's an OCA website. I think of Canada.

http://www.orthodoxradio.ca/Shows.htm
 

If you look at May 4th and May 11nth. You will see what I'm talking about.




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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 03:29:23 PM »

I certainly think the article a good, balanced attempt by some Evangelicals to understand both sides of the antagonism of the Orthodox locals toward their missionary efforts and to recognize to some degree how the objectionable manners in which they conduct their missionary work is equally worthy of blame.  We Orthodox can certainly do well to learn the Evangelical mantra that conversion of the inner man is necessary for salvation, that mere application of the name Orthodox to ourselves because this is the title we inherited from our forebears is not enough to make us truly Christian.  (Is this, in fact, not the message of such great saints as St. John Chrysostom?)  Yet the Evangelical missionaries in Albania can also stand to learn how deeply intertwined Church and culture are in the Old World "Orthodox" countries and that this is in fact a good thing if the people truly convert to the faith of their fathers.
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 10:40:42 PM »

Rosehip,

What connection has this article with Ian Paisley? I remember his anti-Catholic rants from decades ago. Has he started on the Orthodox Church now?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 10:56:15 PM »

Rosehip,

What connection has this article with Ian Paisley? I remember his anti-Catholic rants from decades ago. Has he started on the Orthodox Church now?  Roll Eyes
Have you noticed the self-criticizing section of this rant?  This isn't just another "bash the Orthodox" article from the Evangelical camp.
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 12:16:18 AM »


I was an evangelical for twenty-two years; and I know that evangelicals do not deal on a scholarly level. They don't have any real scholars. They go to "Boola Boola Bible College" and come out pretending to be great theologians. They are not.

Read "Bible Church and Tradition", by Geroges Florvosky. It was while reading that book that I made the conscious decision to become Orthodox. I read many books, but it was while reading that one that I decided to join the Church.

Orthodoxy is the one true Church, period.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 05:34:32 AM »

Have you noticed the self-criticizing section of this rant?  This isn't just another "bash the Orthodox" article from the Evangelical camp.

Sorry, Peter, I'm a bit confused. Who actually wrote the article? When I went to the site, I couldn't find it - so I assumed that it was in reference to something Mr Paisley had written. Yes, yes, I know; I shouldn't assume!! And yes, yes, I should read things properly before going off half-cocked!!  Grin
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2008, 09:24:53 AM »

Sorry, everyone, for the confusion! I found this article quite by accident, and assumed it was written by British evangelicals, rather than Americans, due to the site on which it was found.

In any event, here is the link to the actual article (I had intended to provide the link with the article, but somehow neglected to do so). Hope that helps!

http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=easternorthodox
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2008, 09:29:55 AM »

Ian Paisley. The Godfather of anti-Catholic bigotry.

26 + 6 = 1! is what I have to say.
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2008, 12:38:38 PM »

I was an evangelical for twenty-two years; and I know that evangelicals do not deal on a scholarly level. They don't have any real scholars. They go to "Boola Boola Bible College" and come out pretending to be great theologians. They are not.

Hi Euthymios,

What do you mean by "scholarly level?"
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2008, 02:09:15 PM »

Here's an excerpt from the article:

 
Quote
salvation is deposited in the Orthodox Church, and the priest gives saving grace through the sacraments, so that people have a relationship with the Church rather than with Jesus Christ.

I've heard this criticism frequently. How to respond to this  accusation that people "have a relationship with the Church rather than with Jesus Christ." ?
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2008, 04:07:48 PM »

Here's an excerpt from the article:

 
I've heard this criticism frequently. How to respond to this  accusation that people "have a relationship with the Church rather than with Jesus Christ." ?
For one, I think we need to understand what many Protestants mean by "the Church".  To them, the Church is a mere human institution that has no place in their spirituality of individual conversion, so to have a relationship with the Church rather than with Christ is to have a relationship with the hierarchical, sacerdotal institution instead of Christ.  To us Orthodox, however, the Church IS the presence of Christ in the world, the mystical Body of Christ, so to have a relationship with the Church IS to have a relationship with Christ.  It is within and through the Church that Christ makes Himself present to us, so that we may enter into a relationship of [Eucharistic] communion with Him.
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2008, 04:15:34 PM »

The closing line of this article kinda set me off, though. Angry

Quote
GREECE


There is one further aspect to this that I wish to mention. I know a good deal less about religion in Greece than in Albania, but I have not heard such optimistic impressions of the Orthodox Church in Greece. It is estimated that some 2,000 to 3,000 Albanians who are evangelical believers are working in Greece and its islands. It seems to me that, whilst we do well to rejoice that some Albanian Christians are looking and indeed going eastwards to bring the Gospel to the Moslem world, we might also hope and pray that the migration southwards into Greece will bring a breath of new life to that beloved and beautiful land.
How arrogant of these Evangelical missionaries to believe they can parade into a land that has been Orthodox since the days of St. Paul the Apostle and bring to its people "a breath of new life"! Angry  What is so good about Western Evangelicalism that so many want to leave it for the faith St. Paul brought to Greece? Huh
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 07:04:29 PM »

The closing line of this article kinda set me off, though. Angry
How arrogant of these Evangelical missionaries to believe they can parade into a land that has been Orthodox since the days of St. Paul the Apostle and bring to its people "a breath of new life"! Angry  What is so good about Western Evangelicalism that so many want to leave it for the faith St. Paul brought to Greece? Huh

I totally agree as far as arrogance is concerned, Peter. However, from what I have heard from a Greek-born friend of mine who returns frequently to Greece, there is much godlessness and corruption there too. He is a deeply committed Orthodox fellow, but he tells me male homosexuality is rampant there and that very few take their faith seriously. Here where I live there are some serious-minded Greeks, but sadly, many with whom I speak have totally left the Faith and are far from God.

What I have often wondered is why couldn't North American Orthodox Christians go to the Orthodox countries and lend their support in being missionaries to their own? In my former faith, almost all young people gave a few years of their youth to work as volunteers doing mission work-either here in America, or abroad.  It seems to me the Orthodox youth in America, for the most part, are more interested in studying at Ivy league universities and pursuing the "American dream" than they are in living in poverty for the sake of the Gospel. It's so very sad for me to see.

This is why I think that, rather than bitterly protesting what the Evangelicals are saying, we should open our ears and eyes and see if we can't learn something, perhaps. This is a challenge for me.
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2008, 11:46:51 AM »

The author wrote that the real issue is that the Orthodox in Albania are calling them heretics and accusing them of disrupting the culture.

What, exactly, are the Evangelicals trying to accomplish in Albania?  Are they trying to make the Albanians more faithful Orthodox Christians?

I hope this promotes an awareness of Protestantism's dark origins and history.
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2008, 12:04:20 PM »

Quote
Comments, anyone?

Probably the most charitable and balanced article of it's kind/origin that I've read in a while.
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2008, 12:31:45 PM »

Out of curiosity, I explored the site a bit and discovered an article about the RCC's attempts to infringe on Orthodox territory in Russia. Interestingly (and extremely  ironically!l lol), this Ian Paisley organization finds such actions on the part of the RCC highly immoral. So, whilst being totally blind to their own actions as Protestants poaching on Orthodox folks, they are highly offended when the RCC tries to do so...
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2008, 04:01:24 PM »

Probably the most charitable and balanced article of it's kind/origin that I've read in a while.

Yeah, like we expected any other opinion from the "non-christian"...
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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2008, 11:49:20 PM »

Actually, a number of American Orthodox sussesfully and dedicatedly provided Orthodox missionary support in Albania. Fr. Luke Veronis and his wife Presbytera Faith, Nathan Hoppe and his late wife Lynnette, Dr. Charles Linderman, just to name a few.
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2008, 08:42:07 AM »

Comments, anyone?

The article comes from Ian Paisley's group in Northern Ireland - or possibly from North American supporters of the Rev Ian Paisley. The source is in itself no refutation of the claims made in the article but the source should serve readers as an alert that the content is likely to be very anti-catholic since the Rev Ian Paisley has a very long history of teaching innumerable anti-catholic things. And this leads in to the consideration of Orthodoxy. The web site does appear to follow the line of thought that is common among anti-catholic protestant groups as far as Orthodoxy goes - that is, they identify Orthodoxy with Catholicism because of the very close parity of doctrine and dogma between the Catholic Church's teaching and the teaching of the Orthodox.

Basically, the article and the source web site appear to be one of many anti-Catholic and hence anti-Orthodox protestant sources.
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2008, 01:13:42 PM »

Quote
So is there enough truth in Orthodoxy to save the soul? Let me say: "That isn't the issue..." The real issue, in practical terms, is their tendency to curse us as heretics and to accuse us of breaking up the Albanian nation.

They have pasted posters on top of our posters, calling us heretics and sons of Judas Iscariot. Their leadership are quite simply intolerant.

In other words, "The issue isn't that the other side is heretical. The real issue is that they dare to call us heretical!"

I'm starting to think that's the favorite tactic used by Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics alike.
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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2008, 06:01:53 PM »

There is some discussion about the origin and authorship of this article.  I don't know how it got on to Ian Paisley's website, but I have met David Young and can assure you that he comes from an evangelical church in Wales and is not part of the North American scene.  I don't know if that will make a difference to anyones view of the article, but judging from some of the posts, it just might.

It is worth pointing out that the article was written for a protestant audience and is not, therefore, a piece of propaganda aimed at Orthodox Christians.  All the more reason to judge it for its own merit.
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2008, 07:59:59 AM »

I know David Young, and I know he has no links with Ian Paisley's organisation. I do not know how his article got on to their website. I also know he would be happy to enter into friendly correspondence.
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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2008, 08:33:30 AM »

Welcome to OC.net, DavidN and gjon toma!
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2008, 08:45:24 AM »

Welcome, both of you! As a former Protestant who converted to Orthodoxy, I am always seeking for knowledgeable Orthodox to speak to Protestants in language they can understand. Sometimes it seems we are so far removed from each other as to make discourse difficult.

Do either of you know if David Young might be able to discuss with us here in this forum? I always find it helpful to speak with the author directly when possible.
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« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2008, 09:08:29 AM »

I have no idea how this got on to Ian Paisley's website, if indeed it did. It was certainly without my permission. I have no links with Northern Ireland or with Dr Paisley's group.
The article first appeared in the Newsletter of the Albanian Evangelical Mission, which is sent regularly only to those people who have requested it because they are interested in reading specifically about Evangelical work among the Albanians.
A book is with the printer in Tirana right now, and will probably appear on the Internet as well. It is bilingual, Albanian and English, entitled "Perendim-Lindje - nje dore miku" and is a plea for tolerance, respect and mutual understanding between eastern and western Christians. I wrote that book too.
As a mission we are currently producing writings by John Chrysostom and Athanasius in Albanian, having first checked with the Orthodox seminary in Durrës that we are not duplicating their work.
 
One comment on the other side, if I may: I have tried very hard to get Orthodox books in English which will introduce me to an eastern appreciation of Christ and feed my mind and spirit on him. My search included a visit to the shop at Preveli monastery, but such material is almost impossible to come by. Indeed, Preveli was selling only Peter Botsis, who (I think you will agree) is far more rabid in his style than anything I write.
 
May the Lord move his followers to love one another!
 
David M. Young, MA
Wrexham
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« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2008, 09:28:37 AM »

I have no idea how this got on to Ian Paisley's website, if indeed it did. It was certainly without my permission. I have no links with Northern Ireland or with Dr Paisley's group.
The article first appeared in the Newsletter of the Albanian Evangelical Mission, which is sent regularly only to those people who have requested it because they are interested in reading specifically about Evangelical work among the Albanians.
A book is with the printer in Tirana right now, and will probably appear on the Internet as well. It is bilingual, Albanian and English, entitled "Perendim-Lindje - nje dore miku" and is a plea for tolerance, respect and mutual understanding between eastern and western Christians. I wrote that book too.
As a mission we are currently producing writings by John Chrysostom and Athanasius in Albanian, having first checked with the Orthodox seminary in Durrës that we are not duplicating their work.
 
One comment on the other side, if I may: I have tried very hard to get Orthodox books in English which will introduce me to an eastern appreciation of Christ and feed my mind and spirit on him. My search included a visit to the shop at Preveli monastery, but such material is almost impossible to come by. Indeed, Preveli was selling only Peter Botsis, who (I think you will agree) is far more rabid in his style than anything I write.
 
May the Lord move his followers to love one another!
 
David M. Young, MA
Wrexham


Welcome, David Young!  Thank you for posting on the forum!  I enjoyed reading your article and found it to be fair and balanced... I don't necessarily agree with everything you said (not surprisingly, as I am cradle Orthodox and married to an Orthodox priest), but it was a definite step toward discourse from what I could tell.

I am not familiar with your work, I am sad to say.  I am quite familiar with the work of the Orthodox missionaries from America in Albania (someone mentioned Fr. Luke Veronis and Presbytera Faith-- I had the pleasure of getting to know them while at the seminary in Boston).  Please, fill us in on your background and your work in Albania, so that we can have a productive discussion!

You mentioned you are looking for books.  One of my favorites is The Orthodox Way, by Bishop Kallistos Ware (also printed as Timothy Ware).  He also wrote another wonderful book called The Orthodox Church.  This book is a comprehensive look at the Church- it's history and belief.  These two books are great introductions to Orthodoxy.  You can find both of them in the major bookstores and on Amazon.com.  I hope that is helpful to you!

I look forward to reading your future posts, and engaging in friendly Christian discussion!

In Christ,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2008, 09:04:08 PM »

Hello new members,
Welcome! This is a friendly place and I am sure you all with enjoy here!
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« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2008, 11:44:29 PM »

Quote
It seems to me that, whilst we do well to rejoice that some Albanian Christians are looking and indeed going eastwards to bring the Gospel to the Moslem world, we might also hope and pray that the migration southwards into Greece will bring a breath of new life to that beloved and beautiful land.

EEK! And to think on the remote Greek Islands which still have many ancient Orthodox churches.
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« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2008, 01:02:58 AM »


I was an evangelical for twenty-two years; and I know that evangelicals do not deal on a scholarly level. They don't have any real scholars. They go to "Boola Boola Bible College" and come out pretending to be great theologians. They are not.



This is somply not true and it is sheer ignorance and stupidity on your part to state this on a public forum. There is Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Calvin College and Seminary in Michigan, Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Reformed Seminary in Jackson Mississippi.

These are accredited, high academic theological schools who have produced biblical scholars who uphold the scriptures and challenge higher critical scholarship and theologians who uphold traditional Christian doctrine. The course of study at these institutions is thorough and rigorous.

I don't know what branch of evangelicalism you were in but it certainly wasn't mainstream protestant evangelicalism.

For the thousandth time: I am sick and tired of stereotypes, strawmen, caricatures and outright fabrications of evangelicals on this board regarding protestants in general and evagelicals in particular. Do some research or keep your lack of knowledge to yourself. Do not spread untruths and stereotypes (not just you, but everybody!).

I ,for one, will not stand for it. There are a number of other posters on these boards who have come from responsible protestant and/or evangelical backgrounds and they won't stand for it either. We have dealt with our issues regarding our former affiliations so we don't have to trash those backgrounds here.
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« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2008, 01:10:19 AM »



I hope this promotes an awareness of Protestantism's dark origins and history.

What dark origins? That they objected to selling of indulgences? And an imperial Church with nominal religious commitment among laity and clergy. And translating the Bible into the vernacular?

BTW,the Catholic Church actually eventually benefitted from the Protestant Reformation by having its own counter-reformation, which renewed it.
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« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2008, 01:12:01 AM »

This is somply not true and it is sheer ignorance and stupidity on your part to state this on a public forum. There is Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Calvin College and Seminary in Michigan, Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Reformed Seminary in Jackson Mississippi.

Calling Calvin, Westminster, and Reformed Seminary 'Evangelical' is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? They're protestant to be sure, but not 'Evangelical' in the common denominational understanding of the term.
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« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2008, 01:15:24 AM »

There is some discussion about the origin and authorship of this article.  I don't know how it got on to Ian Paisley's website, but I have met David Young and can assure you that he comes from an evangelical church in Wales and is not part of the North American scene.  I don't know if that will make a difference to anyones view of the article, but judging from some of the posts, it just might.

It is worth pointing out that the article was written for a protestant audience and is not, therefore, a piece of propaganda aimed at Orthodox Christians.  All the more reason to judge it for its own merit.

Yeah! Someone with a measured analysis. Thanks for the post and welcome!
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« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2008, 01:18:12 AM »

I have no idea how this got on to Ian Paisley's website, if indeed it did. It was certainly without my permission. I have no links with Northern Ireland or with Dr Paisley's group.
The article first appeared in the Newsletter of the Albanian Evangelical Mission, which is sent regularly only to those people who have requested it because they are interested in reading specifically about Evangelical work among the Albanians.
A book is with the printer in Tirana right now, and will probably appear on the Internet as well. It is bilingual, Albanian and English, entitled "Perendim-Lindje - nje dore miku" and is a plea for tolerance, respect and mutual understanding between eastern and western Christians. I wrote that book too.
As a mission we are currently producing writings by John Chrysostom and Athanasius in Albanian, having first checked with the Orthodox seminary in Durrës that we are not duplicating their work.
 
One comment on the other side, if I may: I have tried very hard to get Orthodox books in English which will introduce me to an eastern appreciation of Christ and feed my mind and spirit on him. My search included a visit to the shop at Preveli monastery, but such material is almost impossible to come by. Indeed, Preveli was selling only Peter Botsis, who (I think you will agree) is far more rabid in his style than anything I write.
 
May the Lord move his followers to love one another!
 
David M. Young, MA
Wrexham

Thank you for posting here David. Welcome!
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« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2008, 01:27:29 AM »

This is somply not true and it is sheer ignorance and stupidity on your part to state this on a public forum. There is Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary near Boston, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Calvin College and Seminary in Michigan, Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Reformed Seminary in Jackson Mississippi.

Calling Calvin, Westminster, and Reformed Seminary 'Evangelical' is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? They're protestant to be sure, but not 'Evangelical' in the common denominational understanding of the term.

True, there are some "totally reformed" types at both schools - moreso Westminster than Reformed - but they would see themselves as the capstone of evangelicalism and the model of what all evangelicals should eventually become. Westminster is more associated with the Orthodox (doctrine, nothing to do with our Orthodoxy) Presbyterian Church, whereas Reformed is a PCA seminary and definitely committed to evangelism. Calvin is a bit like us Othodox since it is so ethnically Dutch. But all three contribute heavily to the evangelical doctinal discussions and debate at the highest levels and many evangeilicals read and quote from these schools' professors, even if they do not agree with their predestinarian beliefs. Platinga in philosophy/theology (Calvin), Van Til (Westminster) and Sproul (Reformed) are staples for many evangelicals who are not necessarily Reformed.

And John Piper is a staple among intellectual evangelicals. I am pretty sure he is a Westminster grad.
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« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2008, 01:36:19 AM »

True, there are some "totally reformed" types at both schools - moreso Westminster than Reformed - but they would see themselves as the capstone of evangelicalism and the model of what all evangelicals should eventually become. Westminster is more associated with the Orthodox (doctrine, nothing to do with our Orthodoxy) Presbyterian Church, whereas Reformed is a PCA seminary and definitely committed to evangelism. Calvin is a bit like us Othodox since it is so ethnically Dutch. But all three contribute heavily to the evangelical doctinal discussions and debate at the highest levels and many evangeilicals read and quote from these schools' professors, even if they do not agree with their predestinarian beliefs. Platinga in philosophy/theology (Calvin), Van Til (Westminster) and Sproul (Reformed) are staples for many evangelicals who are not necessarily Reformed.

It's somewhat telling that the Evangelicals have to borrow Reformed Theologians...especially Van Til who would no doubt have condemned most Evangelicals as 'armenian heretics'.
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« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2008, 01:53:47 AM »

True, there are some "totally reformed" types at both schools - moreso Westminster than Reformed - but they would see themselves as the capstone of evangelicalism and the model of what all evangelicals should eventually become. Westminster is more associated with the Orthodox (doctrine, nothing to do with our Orthodoxy) Presbyterian Church, whereas Reformed is a PCA seminary and definitely committed to evangelism. Calvin is a bit like us Othodox since it is so ethnically Dutch. But all three contribute heavily to the evangelical doctinal discussions and debate at the highest levels and many evangeilicals read and quote from these schools' professors, even if they do not agree with their predestinarian beliefs. Platinga in philosophy/theology (Calvin), Van Til (Westminster) and Sproul (Reformed) are staples for many evangelicals who are not necessarily Reformed.

It's somewhat telling that the Evangelicals have to borrow Reformed Theologians...especially Van Til who would no doubt have condemned most Evangelicals as 'armenian heretics'.

Reformed people will tell you that evangelicals live on "borrowed capital" meaning that they are inconsistent. They prove the Reformed point in that most of the best evangelical theologians are Reformed.

You are correct about Van Til. He would have said the same about any Reformed theologian who embraced evidential apologetics because any exultation of reason above scripture and presuppositional apologetics was in his view, incipient arminianism, placing man before God.
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« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2008, 02:50:15 PM »

There is such a broad range a Protestants that even telling someone you're a Baptist is too broad. There are so many Baptist denominations.

Quote
I hope this promotes an awareness of Protestantism's dark origins and history.
Well, many Protestant Reformers had very different beliefs than today's Protestants. Martin Luther would today would have been seen as too Catholic. John Calvin's 5 points were never actually written by him. The doctrine of Eternal Security has only existed for about 300 years. It's too confusing, and besides, for most of church history there never were Protestants as we know them now.
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« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2008, 12:32:52 AM »


I was an evangelical for twenty-two years; and I know that evangelicals do not deal on a scholarly level. They don't have any real scholars. They go to "Boola Boola Bible College" and come out pretending to be great theologians. They are not.

Read "Bible Church and Tradition", by Geroges Florvosky. It was while reading that book that I made the conscious decision to become Orthodox. I read many books, but it was while reading that one that I decided to join the Church.

Orthodoxy is the one true Church, period.

This. I take it as a compliment given the source.
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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2008, 05:58:13 AM »

It's somewhat telling that the Evangelicals have to borrow Reformed Theologians...especially Van Til who would no doubt have condemned most Evangelicals as 'armenian heretics'.

Sorry GIC I don't want to sound anal but do you mean "Arminian Heretics"?
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« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2008, 02:24:31 AM »

Sorry GIC I don't want to sound anal but do you mean "Arminian Heretics"?

This reminds me of a funny recollection from when I was a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. My one good friend, who was an ardent Calvinist and Van Til presuppositionalist in his apologetics would get SO frustrated when people referred to Arminians as ArmEnians.

We happened to have a fellow student who was an ethnic Armenian - I will refer to him as Ed K.
My friend would ALWAYS interupt the person saying ArmEnian and deadpan, say, "no Ed K is an ARmEnian, we are talking about Ar MIN ians" then let them proceed.

It really is a "you had to be there" story but it always cracked me up because every time someone made that slip he would interupt, make that statement and let the person proceed. It was the most subtle intellectual put-down and to this day when I picture him saying it, head tilted, I LOL.


Fixed quote tags  -PtA
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« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2008, 10:24:13 AM »

^ Nice. From a lover of grammatical puns and a stickler for accuracy in one's terminology, I heartily approve.
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