Author Topic: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries  (Read 107084 times)

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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2008, 08:53:46 PM »
Solex01, why are you just fundamentally opposed to monasteries?

Let me repeat that I'm NOT fundamentally opposed to monasticism and monasteries.  I am concerned about the Monasteries operated by one Elder Ephraim in the United States and Canada.  I'm also concerned when priests affiliated with the monastery preach that the ethnic Orthodoxy is on life support.

If you are reading about monasteries online on certain gossip-oriented websites, do be aware of two things:
1) It is very easy to make a monastery SOUND like a cult. I could easily describe my own experiences in the Monastery as being extremely cult-like, if I so chose, but it isn't a cult.  You can make almost anyone or anything sound bad without lying if you just phrase it right.
 2) There are a lot of odd people who visit monasteries, and a lot of people who have a lot of problems. This can mean that they come away from it with a lot of very strange ideas, but normally, these ideas are their own and not those of the monastery or the abbot or anything.

Well, I still think cults in general are nothing but bad news regardless of Jurisdiction.  I've only been to a monastery once in my life back in Greece almost 3 decades ago.  I guess the Greek saying is accurate, "Believe and don't inquire."   :(

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2008, 08:55:42 PM »
Show an average American the inside of an Orthodox Church and their you have it. ;)

Do we really think of ourselves as cult followers?  Can we even think of Christ as our cult leader?   ;)
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #47 on: September 28, 2008, 08:59:23 PM »

 It's quite possible that a lot of the nuttiness comes from the people, not from the Elder.
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #48 on: September 28, 2008, 09:04:37 PM »
Show an average American the inside of an Orthodox Church and their you have it. ;)

Do we really think of ourselves as cult followers?  Can we even think of Christ as our cult leader?   ;)
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I introduced a Protestant too the inside of our church during our Greek Festival. He saw the all seeing eye and said that we follow Satan. :o Sounds like a cult to me.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #49 on: September 28, 2008, 09:08:31 PM »
I introduced a Protestant too the inside of our church during our Greek Festival. He saw the all seeing eye and said that we follow Satan. :o Sounds like a cult to me.

Was the Protestant referring to the Pantakrator icon or the little "mati" amulets?   :)

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2008, 09:50:10 PM »
I introducjavascript:void(0);ed a Protestant too the inside of our church during our Greek Festival. He saw the all seeing eye and said that we follow Satan. :o Sounds like a cult to me.

Was the Protestant referring to the Pantakrator icon or the little "mati" amulets?   :)



It is similar to this eye.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2008, 11:23:04 PM »
If you are a member of the Antiochian Diocese of Los Angeles and all the West, Bishop JOSEPH has written a directive about Holy Confession in order to protect you from spiritual guides who can be abusive. There have been problems in our diocese with members who have been given penances by monastics in other jurisdictions so our Bishop wrote what I have copied below. If you wish to read the whole article on Holy Confession click this link:

http://www.antiochianladiocese.org/Chancery/bishop_speeches/confession.htm


Some of you may desire to receive spiritual guidance from Clergy or Monastics outside the Antiochian Archdiocese. In such cases, people run the risk of choosing a spiritual guide who is not under appropriate discipline or who may hold to policies that conflict with our Archdiocese’s pastoral standards. To prevent such problems, Clergy and Laity who seek out Confessors outside the Archdiocese must first seek permission either from one’s Pastor or the local Dean. Once permission is given, Laity are expected to inform their Pastors each time they make Confession, so the Pastors know that the flock is being ministered to.
 
Clergy who are not licensed marital counselors or psychologists ought not to engage in these fields during Confession. Confession is not psychology, and deep problems in these areas ought to be handled by professionals who are trained in these areas. I expect Pastors to locate mental health professionals in their areas to whom they may refer parishioners. Such professionals, if not Orthodox Christians, should at least be ‘friendly’ towards our Faith. Those professionals who espouse ‘values free’ counseling are to be strictly avoided.
 
I pray that all of you have a fruitful Advent Fast, so that we may all greet the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ with great joy and cleansed hearts. Let us endeavor to make our Confessions in an honest manner, so that we may fully receive the benefits of Absolution. May our Merciful Lord have mercy on us and forgive us!
 
Your Father in Christ,
 
+ JOSEPH
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Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2008, 11:54:16 PM »
It is similar to this eye.

Where is the Canonical Justification for such an image, although that may have been discussed elsewhere....

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2008, 12:01:28 AM »
Why is thee an eye like that in the church?  Leftovers from the Egyptian sun worship?

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2008, 01:34:36 AM »
Why is thee an eye like that in the church?  Leftovers from the Egyptian sun worship?

That would make a good new thread, asking what the all-seeing eye is etc...

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2008, 01:44:24 AM »
Off to start a new thread!

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2008, 02:36:45 AM »
Honestly, SolEX01, I would like to see some of the sources you've read that led you to be concerned that Elder Ephraim's monasteries may be too cultlike.  So far, I haven't seen anything from you that looks like anything other than your own opinions.  I think it good for this discussion if you can give us some evidence from outside yourself.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 02:37:04 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2008, 11:18:20 AM »
Honestly, SolEX01, I would like to see some of the sources you've read that led you to be concerned that Elder Ephraim's monasteries may be too cultlike.  So far, I haven't seen anything from you that looks like anything other than your own opinions.  I think it good for this discussion if you can give us some evidence from outside yourself.

OK, here's the primary source (Cult tracker Rick Ross) of all my concerns regarding Elder Ephraim's monasteries.  The same source provided the one comment a poster made about Elder Ephraim.  The top two articles are the most recent, dating back to 2006 from a Tucson, AZ reporter.  I apologize for any trouble I caused.   :-[

Rick Ross' Elder Ephraim website:
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 11:21:13 AM by SolEX01 »

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2008, 11:34:45 AM »

Fr. do you have any documented sources about the allegations against Fr. Ephraim.  I've heard some things, but it's all rather whispered. As I said, I only met with him once, and I saw no substance to the charges, although I do see something in a number of his followers.  As you said, a geronta should address that.

I am only relating what three people whom I am close to and trust told me based on their personal experiences. No one has written anything down.

I think it is possible that Fr Ephraim is oblivious to some of his followers' more extreme positions, but at the same time, is he totally oblivious that there might be a problem? Not sure on that one. Let's hope that better and continued integration of the monasteries into the Archdiocesan structure will bear positive fruit.
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Offline zebu

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2008, 12:13:15 PM »

OK, here's the primary source (Cult tracker Rick Ross) of all my concerns regarding Elder Ephraim's monasteries.  The same source provided the one comment a poster made about Elder Ephraim.  The top two articles are the most recent, dating back to 2006 from a Tucson, AZ reporter.  I apologize for any trouble I caused.   :-[

Rick Ross' Elder Ephraim website:
Rick Cross isn't even Orthodox and most of his concerns about Elder Ephraim are really concerns about Orthodox monasticism in general.  If you are going to agree with his criticisms, then you would have to say the entirety of the Orthodox monasticism is cultic. 


I am only relating what three people whom I am close to and trust told me based on their personal experiences. No one has written anything down.

I think it is possible that Fr Ephraim is oblivious to some of his followers' more extreme positions, but at the same time, is he totally oblivious that there might be a problem? Not sure on that one. Let's hope that better and continued integration of the monasteries into the Archdiocesan structure will bear positive fruit.

Don't be so quick to believe stories people tell you! As I said before, you can very easily twist a story without even lying!  I could even make my own spiritual father/experiences at his monastery sound cultic, and you know that my spiritual father is not a cult leader, Fr Anastasios! 

I have met Elder Ephraim crazies though.  He has very little to do with them. There are generally a few crazy people who hang around monasteries, and the monks let them come in hope that maybe they will be impacted by the life and change, because these people are normally in a lot of pain and need help.  Generally, these people latch onto one or two things that the spiritual father says, take them out of context, build their lives around those things, and so on.  And what can the spiritual father really do when it's not normally his spiritual children who are like this, but people who come and see him once or twice and then just go out into the world with their insane interpretations of what he said?  The people who go crazy as a result of monasteries normally also lack any sense of accountability, they are not the ones who will come back and keep the spiritual father updated on their lives or who will build a relationship with him. There's not a lot he can do in that kind of situation.  Really, I think a lot of the crazies are crazy because they have some psychological issues, and I don't say this to be mean but because it seems to be true.  I once met someone who after spending FOUR DAYS in a monastery went home, stopped showering, covered up all his windows with cardboard, said thousands of Jesus prayers a day, limited greatly how much food and water he had in a day, stopped talking to his friends, gave away most of his posessions, and dressed all in black.  I can tell you it had nothing to do with anything that would have been told to him in the monastery. 

At the same time though, Elder Ephraim is in a very different context from the average American, and so it would be especially easy to misunderstand him, since Americans normally won't take the time to understand the monastic/Greek context in which his advice is given. 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 12:15:14 PM by zebu »
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #60 on: September 29, 2008, 12:56:38 PM »
It is strange to see both Hieromonk Seraphim Rose and Archbishop Lazar Puhalo agree but they both do when it comes topeople making Gurus out of Gerondas. This seems to be a major issue with many new converts, myself included.

Fr. Alexey Young, a spiritual child of Hieromonk Seraphim Rose of blessed memory noted that “Father Seraphim … warned against what he called ‘guru-ism,’ which is the temptation to treat certain people in authority as gurus or startsi (elders). This danger frightened him very much, for he saw a basic flaw in the American character: a flaw which leads some individuals…to seek out false elders, giving their free will and control over even the most basic details of their lives to them. Fr. Seraphim repeatedly pointed out that real elders are extremely rare, that we do not deserve such spiritual guides and would not know how to treat them even if we did have them in our midst.” Fr. Alexey Young, "The Royal Path of the Righteous Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina," Orthodox America, no. 167 2002, p. 12.
Many converts seek such a controlling director as they seek in their pride to become the “perfect convert”. Fr. Alexey in explaining how a spiritual father guides a child cites his experience with Father Seraphim, “One of the most striking aspects of Fr. Seraphim’s guidance was, first of all, his utter disinterest in controlling me or anyone else. Unlike some others, he did not play guru or give orders ---he had spiritual children, not disciples. I asked for his opinion and he gave it—frankly—but always he left the final decision up to me. This meant that I was bound to make mistakes, but he knew that I would learn from the consequences of those mistakes. Also, whenever he felt the need to criticize something, he always balanced it with something positive, so that one did not feel somehow destroyed or discouraged about one’s work. This is an indication of spiritual health as opposed to the cult-like behavior of those who always think they know better.”  Fr. Alexey Young, Letters from Fr. Seraphim, p. 35

I have experienced a spiritual “guru” that sought to separate me as the spiritual child from my parish home by encouraging me to pray the hours of the church alone, away from the parish church, to attend only monastic services rather than attend parish services. This is very different from a good spiritual director who will not seek to divide his spiritual child from their parish church but rather will seek to help them integrate within the parish.  The good spiritual director will provide assistance through suggested prayer rules, patristic readings, and encouragement that will help the spiritual child to become enfolded with in the love that the parish community has to offer them.

My first word of concern is that any spiritual father who seeks to seperate you from the local body of Christ is probably on shaky ground.  Those who seek to make you a lay monastic in the community are even more to be wary of as they seek to bind you into the monastic community and keep you away from the local body of Christ. In reading the historical  Gerondas or Starets, I find they tended to point their  spiritual children to the local parish for day to day sustinance. If that is not happening  you probably need to flee from that spritual father who seeks to seperate you from your parish and local church, something is not right.

Thomas

Please note my experience was not with one of Elder Ephraim's monasteries but with another one that has since been closed down. My visits to Elder Ephriam's monasteries have been pleasant , however as a result of my previous experiences I am using my local pastor as my spiritual father, not a monastic father.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 01:01:46 PM by Thomas »
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #61 on: September 29, 2008, 12:58:20 PM »
Never realized there was so much controversy re the Ephraimites. Did visit Holy Protection Monastery in White Haven, Pa. (USA), about 20 miles from where I live, a couple of timesafter Divine Liturgy at our parish. We met the abbess (& told her some us were Antiochian), venerated icons in the church and a chapel, were invited to lunch, purchased books, had conversations with a couple of nuns. Everyone seemed most pleasant and of sound mind. Just my 2 cents of a casual experience & not necessarily contending w/ any views expressed.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #62 on: September 29, 2008, 01:14:18 PM »
OK, here's the primary source (Cult tracker Rick Ross) of all my concerns regarding Elder Ephraim's monasteries.  The same source provided the one comment a poster made about Elder Ephraim.  The top two articles are the most recent, dating back to 2006 from a Tucson, AZ reporter.  I apologize for any trouble I caused.   :-[

Rick Ross' Elder Ephraim website:
Having no in-depth knowledge of the various threads of Orthodox monastic tradition, the Rick Ross Institute can only compare what they see and hear to the models they understand, which appear to come primarily from Protestant Western culture.  To me, this renders whatever they have to say about Orthodox monastic movements in North America mostly not credible.  I would trust Rick Ross much more if they actually had the experience to see Elder Ephraim from within the Orthodox perspective.
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Offline Heracleides

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #63 on: September 29, 2008, 02:29:55 PM »
When relying on antedotal testimony of critics (or for that matter, partisans) of the Athonite Monasteries in North America, one should take into consideration the mental state and/or motives of those offering up their tales.  This is amply borne out in a careful viewing of the videos of a former novice monk from St. Anthony's - Mushroom Jesus.  MJ has produced a four-part account of his sojourn at and eventual expulsion from St. Anthony's and placed it on Youtube.  View the videos in the links that follow and you will see that this individual is a rather sad fellow who is very likely suffering from mental issues. As always, consider the source.

Pt. 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MmUevzpCBI
Pt. 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsV97iSuxYE
Pt. 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLOn1JJ-3ds
Pt. 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEQAOsq7nDw
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #64 on: September 29, 2008, 06:14:58 PM »
Having no in-depth knowledge of the various threads of Orthodox monastic tradition, the Rick Ross Institute can only compare what they see and hear to the models they understand, which appear to come primarily from Protestant Western culture.  To me, this renders whatever they have to say about Orthodox monastic movements in North America mostly not credible.

So, if a Tucson TV station does a 2 part broadcast on events at St. Anthony's, they are not credible?  Not everything on Rick Ross' website is authored by Rick Ross; He reports only what people report to him.

I would trust Rick Ross much more if they actually had the experience to see Elder Ephraim from within the Orthodox perspective.

There is no clear consensus on what is the Orthodox perspective which is evidennt on this thread.   8)


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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2008, 06:41:23 PM »
Having no in-depth knowledge of the various threads of Orthodox monastic tradition, the Rick Ross Institute can only compare what they see and hear to the models they understand, which appear to come primarily from Protestant Western culture.  To me, this renders whatever they have to say about Orthodox monastic movements in North America mostly not credible.

So, if a Tucson TV station does a 2 part broadcast on events at St. Anthony's, they are not credible?  Not everything on Rick Ross' website is authored by Rick Ross; He reports only what people report to him.
And yet RRI's inclusion of Elder Ephraim's monasteries on their list of potentially dangerous cultic organizations is itself a judgment beyond what is merely reported to them.

Quote
I would trust Rick Ross much more if they actually had the experience to see Elder Ephraim from within the Orthodox perspective.

There is no clear consensus on what is the Orthodox perspective which is evidennt on this thread.   8)
Circular reasoning, since much of that "lack of consensus" on this thread is based on your speaking from Rick Ross's un-Orthodox perspective.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 06:42:00 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2008, 09:22:47 PM »
And yet RRI's inclusion of Elder Ephraim's monasteries on their list of potentially dangerous cultic organizations is itself a judgment beyond what is merely reported to them.

So, has Rick Ross judged every cult out there from Scientology to Heaven's Gate?  Is the bigger problem the comparison between Elder Ephraim and Scientology (bear with me for using Scientology since Scientology is merely an example of the many cults listed on the Rick Ross site) just because both are listed on the same website?  Can we trivialize, ignore or minimize the presence of Elder Ephraim on a cult website - is there no outrage or simply another sign of "persecution" of the Orthodox faithful by heathens as expressed by the handful of people posting on the "Flames" portion of Rick Ross' site? 

Circular reasoning, since much of that "lack of consensus" on this thread is based on your speaking from Rick Ross's un-Orthodox perspective.

Very few from the Orthodox perspective have said much about the Elder Ephraim Monasteries.  I just found what Father John Peck said in his sermon very disturbing which triggered this entire thread.  In addition to Rick Ross, I read a lot of info from the Pseudo Prophet website except it's not clear to me who's behind the site other than saying he was a married disciple of St. Anthony's Monastery.

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2008, 09:55:06 PM »
I spent some time with a Monk from the Great Lavra on Athos. He thinks Elder Ephriam is the real deal. On that advice my Godfather started traveling to one of his monasteries on a regular basis to receive some spiritual guidance. He also says the place is solidly Orthodox.

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2008, 10:00:35 PM »
Very few from the Orthodox perspective have said much about the Elder Ephraim Monasteries.  I just found what Father John Peck said in his sermon very disturbing which triggered this entire thread.  In addition to Rick Ross, I read a lot of info from the Pseudo Prophet website except it's not clear to me who's behind the site other than saying he was a married disciple of St. Anthony's Monastery.

As stated earlier - lose your internet sources (  ::) ) and actually go visit one of these Orthodox monasteries - you just might be pleasantly surprised.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2008, 10:54:17 PM »
So, has Rick Ross judged every cult out there from Scientology to Heaven's Gate?  Is the bigger problem the comparison between Elder Ephraim and Scientology (bear with me for using Scientology since Scientology is merely an example of the many cults listed on the Rick Ross site) just because both are listed on the same website?  Can we trivialize, ignore or minimize the presence of Elder Ephraim on a cult website - is there no outrage or simply another sign of "persecution" of the Orthodox faithful by heathens as expressed by the handful of people posting on the "Flames" portion of Rick Ross' site?
Is this supposed to make any sense?
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #70 on: September 30, 2008, 12:28:24 AM »
Is this supposed to make any sense?

To an extent, yes.

Well, if I won't join Scientology and embrace Dianetics, why would I want to go to a place listed on a cult website just because it's affiliated with the Greek Orthdox Church?  That's my whole point.

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #71 on: September 30, 2008, 12:30:21 AM »
As stated earlier - lose your internet sources (  ::) ) and actually go visit one of these Orthodox monasteries - you just might be pleasantly surprised.

I know you meant well in this entire discussion.  Forgive me.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #72 on: September 30, 2008, 12:53:27 AM »
Is this supposed to make any sense?

To an extent, yes.

Well, if I won't join Scientology and embrace Dianetics, why would I want to go to a place listed on a cult website just because it's affiliated with the Greek Orthdox Church?  That's my whole point.
And why would you refuse to go to a place that's affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Church just because it's listed on a cult website?  Why do you even trust that website?  That's my whole point.


FWIW, I never needed to read Rick Ross's website to know that Scientology is a cult, but if it weren't for you citing that site, I never would have thought that Elder Ephraim's monasteries could possibly also be a cult.  Why is this, I wonder.
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Offline DanM

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #73 on: September 30, 2008, 01:07:11 AM »
Having no in-depth knowledge of the various threads of Orthodox monastic tradition, the Rick Ross Institute can only compare what they see and hear to the models they understand, which appear to come primarily from Protestant Western culture.  To me, this renders whatever they have to say about Orthodox monastic movements in North America mostly not credible.

A possible Orthodox source critical of the Arizona folks may be http://www.pokrov.org/.
I once asked a priest involved with them about Elder Ephraim's position on marriage.  He intimated that children were a blessing from the Lord, but did not commit him to a position on marriage per se.  I thought I had phrased my question clearly enough.
The same priest also taught that it was the job of monastics to pray sinners such as himself out of Hell.  I objected by tossing up Dives and Lazarus, but to no avail.
DanM

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #74 on: September 30, 2008, 01:11:06 AM »
And why would you refuse to go to a place that's affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Church just because it's listed on a cult website?

See, as others have said, I need to see one of these monasteries up close and personal and I admit to having a fear of going there.  After all, my last visit to a monastery occurred 3 decades ago (as a 4 year old) and I remember mosaic floors, friendly monks, lots of folk dancing and not much else.  I do need to go alone and not with a bus trip or anyone else and hopefully not with a chip on my shoulder (which has been the biggest reason why I haven't gone).

Why do you even trust that website?  That's my whole point.

I did look at the "About Us" section and realized that most of the Advisory Board are attorneys and private investigators with Dr. Margaret Singer as a former Advisory Board member.  Rick Ross spent 26 years "studying, researching and responding to the problems often posed by such groups or movements."  Source  While I think their goals are noble, I can also see how the site goes after wealthy cults for financial damages due to the suffering inflicted on those who left the cult.

FWIW, I never needed to read Rick Ross's website to know that Scientology is a cult, but if it weren't for you citing that site, I never would have thought that Elder Ephraim's monasteries could possibly also be a cult.  Why is this, I wonder.

Maybe we both share that discerning conscience? (aka gut feeling)  ;)

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #75 on: September 30, 2008, 01:26:29 AM »
A possible Orthodox source critical of the Arizona folks may be http://www.pokrov.org/.
Thanks for posting this link.  I visited the site and found these three articles I think would be good reading for a balanced view of this topic.

The Ephraim Question (from a critic of Elder Ephraim):  http://www.pokrov.org/resource.asp?ds=Article&id=128

Response to The Ephraim Question (from a supporter of Elder Ephraim):  http://www.pokrov.org/resource.asp?ds=Article&id=130

Not Athos in America (an article accusing St. Anthony's Monastery of heresy--virtually no mention of any other of Elder Ephraim's monasteries):  http://www.pokrov.org/resource.asp?ds=Article&id=121
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 01:27:01 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #76 on: September 30, 2008, 09:54:49 PM »
^^I particularly enjoyed Juliana Chrisanthus' response to the 'fundamentalist/cult' allegations and DavidBryan's post earlier on this thread.  St. Anthony's Monastery was written written about in Gifts of the Desert by Kyriacos Markides Ph.D.  It was primarily through this book that I really wanted to visit but when Dr. Markides wrote that Elder Ephraim insists his monasteries use Greek exclusively, well, I guess that leaves me out as I wouldn't have a clue what was being said.  Given what I've read here and the above mentioned book, I think I support him.  I only wish he used English (we are in America afterall... :-\).
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #77 on: September 30, 2008, 11:27:27 PM »
^^I particularly enjoyed Juliana Chrisanthus' response to the 'fundamentalist/cult' allegations and DavidBryan's post earlier on this thread.  St. Anthony's Monastery was written written about in Gifts of the Desert by Kyriacos Markides Ph.D.  It was primarily through this book that I really wanted to visit but when Dr. Markides wrote that Elder Ephraim insists his monasteries use Greek exclusively, well, I guess that leaves me out as I wouldn't have a clue what was being said.  Given what I've read here and the above mentioned book, I think I support him.  I only wish he used English (we are in America afterall... :-\).

Agreed - that was my only 'wish' too during my many visits.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 11:28:28 PM by Heracleides »
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #78 on: September 30, 2008, 11:51:06 PM »
Though I am not Orthodox and only speak English, I have visited St. Anthony's several times. It is wonderful monastery and other-worldly.

I have to say, I am a little shocked at some of the allegations about Elder Ephraim. It seems to me that the allegations are more about monasticism in general. Some people are shocked at harsh penances. But why confess to a monastic? While I am not downplaying the concerns or even possible misconduct of monastics, I wish the allegations were either dismissed by clear evidence against them, or verified an corrected. The allegations seem very one-sided. "My confessor said this or told me to do that". How about some verification either way.




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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2008, 04:44:07 PM »
Another "spiritual child" of the Elder Ephraim Monasteries is interviewed by an Oregon Newspaper about how he wound up being a Serbian Orthodox Mission Priest (note that Greek Orthodox Church is used throughout the entire article with no mention of the Church being a Serbian Orthodox Mission Church).

Quote
But, special people helped him to discern his mission for Christ. His spiritual confessor, and the Abbess from St. John The Forerunner Monestery
outside Goldendale gave Father Luke the insight he needed to choose his place of mission. Bend, Wenatchee and Salem were initial possibilities, but when the Abbess told him, "Start a church in The Dalles and it will take off," he did just that, and has never looked back.  Father Luke is pragmatic about his mission for God. He says, "The Orthodox Church is not a warm, fuzzy version of Christianity. It's intense. I mean, we apply orthodoxy."

Would Fr. Luke's Bishop, Bishop Maxim, agree with the last sentence?

The more I think about the situation, the more I realize that the "Athos in America" concept is payback by EP/GOA for the Antiochian Church accepting the Evangelical Orthodox Protestants led by Rev. Peter Gillquist.  After all, Patriarch Dimitrios of Blessed Memory turned away the group in the 1980's.

Edited to add an end quotation mark.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 04:50:20 PM by SolEX01 »

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #80 on: October 08, 2008, 05:05:47 PM »
Quote
"The Orthodox Church is not a warm, fuzzy version of Christianity. It's intense. I mean, we apply orthodoxy."

Would Fr. Luke's Bishop, Bishop Maxim, agree with the last sentence?
Why not?  Is that not an apt description of the Orthodox way of life?  Surely Great Lent itself would give you that impression, would it not?

Quote
The more I think about the situation, the more I realize that the "Athos in America" concept is payback by EP/GOA for the Antiochian Church accepting the Evangelical Orthodox Protestants led by Rev. Peter Gillquist.  After all, Patriarch Dimitrios of Blessed Memory turned away the group in the 1980's.
And just what does the latter have to do with the former? ???
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 05:16:37 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #81 on: October 08, 2008, 05:56:32 PM »
Another "spiritual child" of the Elder Ephraim Monasteries is interviewed by an Oregon Newspaper about how he wound up being a Serbian Orthodox Priest (note that Greek Orthodox Church is used throughout the entire article with no mention of the Church being a Serbian Orthodox Mission Church).
Father Luke is pragmatic about his mission for God. He says, "The Orthodox Church is not a warm, fuzzy version of Christianity. It's intense. I mean, we apply orthodoxy."

Fr. Luke and I played together when we were young.  He's only a year older than me (he's only 34).

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #82 on: October 08, 2008, 06:05:46 PM »
Quote
"The Orthodox Church is not a warm, fuzzy version of Christianity. It's intense. I mean, we apply orthodoxy."

Would Fr. Luke's Bishop, Bishop Maxim, agree with the last sentence?
Why not?  Is that not an apt description of the Orthodox way of life?  Surely Great Lent itself would give you that impression, would it not?

The Whole point of Great Lent is that ultimately, God is Love because He was crucifed for us and for our salvation and rose on the 3rd Day according to the Scriptures.   :)

The Forgiveness Vespers also imply that God is Love because we see how difficult it is to forgive complete strangers never mind forgiving those who we have differences with.

The Orthodox Church is not a warm, fuzzy version of Christianity only when it comes to preaching and practicing love to the World.  I'm not perfect in that regard.

Quote
The more I think about the situation, the more I realize that the "Athos in America" concept is payback by EP/GOA for the Antiochian Church accepting the Evangelical Orthodox Protestants led by Rev. Peter Gillquist.  After all, Patriarch Dimitrios of Blessed Memory turned away the group in the 1980's.
And just what does the latter have to do with the former? ???

1.  Initially, I thought the post was more relevant to the Orthodox Church of Tomorrow and I provided an Interview from a Priest which. I felt, complimented the OP and found Father Luke's affiliation with an Elder Ephraim Monastery an interesting coincidence.

2.  According to the article, the Fr. Luke's Father was one of those Evangelical Protestants (likely) rejected by the EP/GOA until they were received into the Antiochian Church.  That was my point, when I had one of those "light bulb" moments in trying to understand why Athos in America happened....

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #83 on: October 08, 2008, 06:36:14 PM »
And just what does the latter have to do with the former? ???

I was going to ask the same thing.  But IMO that's a tangent that probably would deserve its own thread.
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #84 on: October 08, 2008, 06:37:16 PM »
Quote
"The Orthodox Church is not a warm, fuzzy version of Christianity. It's intense. I mean, we apply orthodoxy."

Would Fr. Luke's Bishop, Bishop Maxim, agree with the last sentence?
Why not?  Is that not an apt description of the Orthodox way of life?  Surely Great Lent itself would give you that impression, would it not?

The Whole point of Great Lent is that ultimately, God is Love because He was crucifed for us and for our salvation and rose on the 3rd Day according to the Scriptures.   :)
But I'm not talking about what the point of Great Lent is.  I'm talking about the ascetic practices of Lent, which are intended to be intense and not at all a warm, fuzzy version of anything.

Quote
The Forgiveness Vespers also imply that God is Love because we see how difficult it is to forgive complete strangers never mind forgiving those who we have differences with.

The Orthodox Church is not a warm, fuzzy version of Christianity only when it comes to preaching and practicing love to the World.  I'm not perfect in that regard.
But I don't think this is what Fr. Luke was talking about.  Besides, you're taking your own understanding of what the Orthodox faith is and projecting this onto Fr. Luke's bishop and making this to also be His Grace's belief.

Quote
Quote
The more I think about the situation, the more I realize that the "Athos in America" concept is payback by EP/GOA for the Antiochian Church accepting the Evangelical Orthodox Protestants led by Rev. Peter Gillquist.  After all, Patriarch Dimitrios of Blessed Memory turned away the group in the 1980's.
And just what does the latter have to do with the former? ???

1.  Initially, I thought the post was more relevant to the Orthodox Church of Tomorrow and I provided an Interview from a Priest which. I felt, complimented the OP and found Father Luke's affiliation with an Elder Ephraim Monastery an interesting coincidence.
I moved this post because you said hardly anything to show the connection to the "Orthodox Church of Tomorrow" thread.

Quote
2.  According to the article, the Fr. Luke's Father was one of those Evangelical Protestants (likely) rejected by the EP/GOA until they were received into the Antiochian Church.  That was my point, when I had one of those "light bulb" moments in trying to understand why Athos in America happened....
But the wording of your post spoke so exclusively of the Elder Ephraim monastery in Goldendale, WA, that I took your post to speak primarily to your concern about them.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 06:42:30 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #85 on: October 08, 2008, 07:13:28 PM »
To settle this with Fr. Luke, he is under Bp. Maxim because, because he is the rector of an Orthodox mission parish in the Serbian Western American Diocese.  He is under the Serbian American diocese, because he befriended Met. Amphilioje while studying at the seminary in Thessaloniki (despite growing up in an Antiochian, former Evangelical Orthodox parish), wanted to become a priest and submitted to said Serbian bishops since he liked how they do things.  Fr. Luke is a young, traditional minded priest and why he appears to have chosen Elder Ephraim as a spiritual father.

I think a lot of this about "Athos in America" because the Antiochian's accepted the EOC is bunch of silly speculation with no merit.

Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #86 on: October 08, 2008, 09:35:53 PM »
I think a lot of this about "Athos in America" because the Antiochian's accepted the EOC is bunch of silly speculation with no merit.
My sentiments exactly. ;)
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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #87 on: October 09, 2008, 12:04:17 AM »
But I'm not talking about what the point of Great Lent is.  I'm talking about the ascetic practices of Lent, which are intended to be intense and not at all a warm, fuzzy version of anything.

Like I said in a previous thread, Fasting isn't about food; It's about giving up other passions like Christ when he went to the desert for 40 Days and withstood the temptations of Satan.  Yes, giving up passions produces an intense feeling and definitely not the warm fuzzies.  Denying the temptations/passions strengthens the soul to love the World - that was my point as well.   :)

But I don't think this is what Fr. Luke was talking about.  Besides, you're taking your own understanding of what the Orthodox faith is and projecting this onto Fr. Luke's bishop and making this to also be His Grace's belief.

I admit; I went a little out in left field regarding my understanding of the Orthodox faith and I apologize.   :)

But the wording of your post spoke so exclusively of the Elder Ephraim monastery in Goldendale, WA, that I took your post to speak primarily to your concern about them.

I was more concerned with why Father Luke didn't refer to his Church as a Serbian Orthodox Mission and I saw the link to the Goldendale Monastery as impetus for posting in the original location.  I apologize for any trouble I caused.   :)

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #88 on: October 09, 2008, 01:34:14 AM »

I was more concerned with why Father Luke didn't refer to his Church as a Serbian Orthodox Mission and I saw the link to the Goldendale Monastery as impetus for posting in the original location.  I apologize for any trouble I caused.   :)

Thank you. :)

I just read the article myself.  You were seriously reaching there.  If there is some conspiracy about the OP, this end sure ain't it.  You'll have to think up something else.

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Re: Concerned about Elder Ephraim's Monasteries
« Reply #89 on: October 09, 2008, 01:43:48 AM »
Thank you. :)

I'm easy going and I readily admit my errors in judgment when they're pointed out to me.   ;)

I just read the article myself.  You were seriously reaching there.  If there is some conspiracy about the OP, this end sure ain't it.  You'll have to think up something else.

Gee, it's almost my bedtime - that will have to wait a while longer.   ;)