Author Topic: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.  (Read 3205 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rosehip

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,760
Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« on: March 24, 2009, 09:40:10 PM »
I was searching for information on the Orthodox view of the new birth and came across this from one of the usual infamous sources:

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Hellivision/tom_hanks.htm

Unfortanately, what he says here is almost identical to what many evangelicals would say about the Orthodox view of being "born again". What do you think? How to respond to such accusations? No matter what I say, my friends are all convinced that being born again is all about having a life-changing experience in which one cleans up one's life and begins to live glowingly, vibrantly, for the Lord, etc. Is there any room in Orthodoxy for such sentiments?
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline StGeorge

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 714
  • St. George
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2009, 09:56:48 PM »
I was searching for information on the Orthodox view of the new birth and came across this from one of the usual infamous sources:

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Hellivision/tom_hanks.htm

Unfortanately, what he says here is almost identical to what many evangelicals would say about the Orthodox view of being "born again". What do you think? How to respond to such accusations? No matter what I say, my friends are all convinced that being born again is all about having a life-changing experience in which one cleans up one's life and begins to live glowingly, vibrantly, for the Lord, etc. Is there any room in Orthodoxy for such sentiments?

The experience of uncreated light is life-changing. 

I think it was St. Symeon the New Theologian who experienced the uncreated light while yet in the world, and who subsequently became a monk (the story is described in the Philokalia). 

Interestingly, there are today Orthodox Christians, including priests, who claim to have had such a "born-again"-type experience, and who yet believe this sudden, vibrant experience is not necessary for being a Christian.  Fr. James Bernstein, as just one example, expresses this view in his memoir Surprised by Christ

However, Orthodox Christians do not speak of this experience as being "born again."  To be "born again" is to be regenerated in baptism.

 

 

« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 10:12:04 PM by StGeorge »

Offline Marat

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 383
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2009, 10:41:14 PM »
"The Greek Orthodox Church is nothing less than diet-Catholicism."

 ???

Initially I didn't read the article but after seeing your quote I had to. I'm so glad that quote was not from Tom Hanks. I would be so disappointed to read that someone who converted to the Orthodox faith made such a statement.

About that site. I've never understood why someone who rejects the teaching authority of the ancient church thinks we should listen to their rantings. Why should we accept their teaching authority?

Offline GabrieltheCelt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,014
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox OCA
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2009, 10:47:40 PM »
 Why trouble ourselves with this silliness?  People who have this outlook usually are quite rigid, militant and incapable of rational discourse (to wit, they've already condemned a sizable portion to hell...).  As far as your friends are concerned, the best way to teach them our faith is to live our faith.  Sure, we're to have answers for the hope that is in us, but arguing is rarely productive, imo.    
"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying

Offline Marat

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 383
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2009, 10:52:15 PM »
Gabriel, your post reminds me of a quote I heard years ago. I think it is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Something like, "Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words." I agree with you that someone is much more likely to show interest in a faith which transforms you than something you debate with them.

Offline StGeorge

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 714
  • St. George
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 12:07:24 AM »
This appears to be a very contorted, confused, repressed angry person who seems to have a grievance not only against the Greek Orthodox Church (which is straight from the pits of hell because it teaches baptismal regeneration??? :o), but he seems to be saying the Protestants teach sacramental salvation too??? I'm VERY confused now...

The author is trying to defend what he/she believes to be the true meaning of "born again."  For the writer, to be "born again" can only be applied to that one-time justification by faith alone in which God justifies, blots out sins from his sight.  For the writer, to be born again essentially is a transaction of God, not an experience, which may or may not accompany justification. 

The writer seems concerned with fellow Protestants who claim to be "born again," have a "born again" experience to tell, but who speak of all this without reference to their sins; or who have confidence in their eternal salvation because of a powerful experience, but who do not speak of being born again by faith alone in Christ alone.   



« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 12:08:33 AM by StGeorge »

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,058
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 01:59:30 AM »
Tangent on Jesus-Is-Savior.com, Yourgoingtohell.com, and other anti-Orthodox web sites split off and moved here:  "The Greek Orthodox Church is nothing less than diet-Catholicism."
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline lubeltri

  • Latin Catholic layman
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,795
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 05:46:26 PM »
A much more interesting question for me is why in the heck is Tom Hanks (whom I like and respect) doing yet another Dan Brown dung pile . . .

Offline Orthodox11

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,999
Re: Tom Hanks, "Born Again", etc.
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 11:14:46 PM »
A much more interesting question for me is why in the heck is Tom Hanks (whom I like and respect) doing yet another Dan Brown dung pile . . .

Perhaps he sees it for what it is: a work of fiction that no one in their right mind would take seriously. As for those not in their right mind, it probably made no difference to their view of Christianity, besides give them a mythology they could spend money on.

And didn't enquiries into Opus Dei membership actually go up as a result of the book? There's no such thing as bad publicity...