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Author Topic: Joe's Recent ROAC plug  (Read 8197 times) Average Rating: 0
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JoeZollars
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« on: October 27, 2003, 03:01:11 PM »

Dear Kburt:  If you got to http://www.roacamerica.org, you will find a list of our parishes and misssions.  However this is only a partial list.  by emailing or calling Dormition Skete (information found at above site) you can find out if there are any other Churches nearby.  

Also, I would stress that if you know Orthodoxy is truth and that you must be Orthodox, than location means nothing.  even if you have to drive a considerable distance, you still have an obligation to do so.

I shall pray for you,
Joe Zollars
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2003, 04:26:46 PM »

Joe, when you get a car and start driving long distances, try offering this advice again.

I'm presuming that there actually aren't any Orthodox churches close by. It seems to me that the first thing to do is to read some orthodox Orthodox basic stuff: Thomas Hopko, Timothy Ware, Anthony Bloom.... Joe is going to get mad at me, but the problem with diving head on into ROAC stuff is that it isn't aimed at people who are trying to learn something about being Orthodox. It's aimed at people are already Orthodox to convert them to the ROAC sect (not that we need to continue the debate about ROAC again).

Some of the best stuff I've seen online is the extensive listing of stuff on the OCA website.
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2003, 04:53:10 PM »

keble, I have a car.  How polite of you, a full fledged heretic, to discount my advice without knowing anything of the situation.

yes there is much at the ROAC site that is aimed at new Calandrists showing them the importance of being Orthodox.  However Vladyka Gregory has composed a wonderful catechism  (a .doc file) that is short and very good.  If you contact me at the email listed in my profile (roacnicholasii@yahoo.com) I will be more than happy to send it to you.  

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2003, 04:57:23 PM »

ROAC is such a pain the neck for Orthodoxy
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2003, 05:00:08 PM »

Is this really an apropriate way to react to someone saying they are interested in converting to Orthodoxy?

If you have issues with the ROAC take them up in another thread or with me personally.  But we shouldn't have to close this thread for discussion of the Old Calandrists too.  

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2003, 05:03:41 PM »

ROAC is such a pain the neck for Orthodoxy

Blah!! Only if some "holier than though" Orthodox feel the need to be concerned with what other "holier than though" Orthodox are doing.

Personally, I know that I am not in the position to judge others..... although I still do  Embarrassed
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2003, 05:10:31 PM »

All right, I'll take back the part about the car, but maybe not the part about driving long distances.

In any case, given the battle we've just had, it seems to me that he needs to learn about Orthodoxy first before he dives into the sectarian battles that you have made yourself a part of.
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2003, 05:37:18 PM »

I have split this topic and will say the following.

We Admins regularly have let Joe and Seraphim post whatever they like about ROAC all over our board.  I figure, "the truth will be made obvious."

However, it now seems that everytime someone asks about Orthodoxy, ROAC is plugged.  You don't see other people plugging their jurisdictions all the time.

We admins are taking this under advisement.  We will decide a new policy shortly.

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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2003, 06:53:29 PM »

Friends, I apologize for my earlier remarks. I was stating my opinion in agreement with Keble, but my remark was  rash and uncalled for. I think the important thing is Kburt's and his family's journey to Orthodoxy, which has been sadly neglected.

In Christ,

Frobie
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2003, 07:29:10 PM »

Don't worry Anastasios, I will refrain from posting at this forum.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2003, 07:31:56 PM »

also I was merely attempting to help kburt find a nearby Orthodox Church and get him some good reading material.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2003, 03:25:50 PM »

It saddens me to see ROAC being presented on a number of forums as a legitimate Orthodox jurisdiction. Please, if you're considering joining the Orthodox Church, do some research- both into the recent events which have formed this schismatic group(and others like it), and into the theanthropic nature  of the Orthodox Church. Read Church history and theology to discover what it means to be the Orthodox Church and what truly warrants breaking away from a bishop. I think you'll soon discover that the history of the Church has been one of numberless grey areas- not as easily categorized as some in the ROAC-type jurisdictions would lead people to believe.
To paraphrase Father Seraphim Rose- "these people don't even consider that there could be a temptation of going too far to the right!"
Just as modernism and ecumenism(whatever THAT means these days, considering the wild ecumenical activities of the 60's are long dead) present one temptation for the Orthodox- Keep in mind that a cold, calculating, strictness which could be entirely "correct" yet thoroughly unChristian, can present a temptation on the other side.
Again, as Fr. Seraphim has noted- both are flawed because both are based solely on human logic and not the divine will. Both can make perfect "sense", yet both depart from the true spirit of Orthodoxy which often contradicts the logic of the world.

Also, use your heads! Met. Valentine was an MP priest for years and even received awards from them. Communism suddenly falls(making it safe to leave the MP) and he is faced with serious moral charges. He leaves the MP and goes to ROCOR because his "conscience" won't allow him to be in the "Soviet MP"(funny how his conscience started working when the threat of persecution ended  Wink )
ROCOR soon finds out that the questions of morality are indeed legit, Valentine is confronted, and again Met. Valentine finds himself "running from apostasy", but this time from ROCOR.  Come on......
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2003, 05:20:40 PM »

And again, as a public service announcement, Joe is only 20 years old.
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2003, 05:39:24 PM »

I am not defending Joe's descision or the ROAC but to result to ad hominem (i.e insulting Joe's age) is in itself very immature and a poor argument.
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2003, 06:37:59 PM »

I am not defending Joe's descision or the ROAC but to result to ad hominem (i.e insulting Joe's age) is in itself very immature and a poor argument.  

I'm not insulting it - I'm pointing it out.  Food for thought.
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2003, 06:52:52 PM »

I would like to point out that as much as I don't like Met Valentine's "Church" I am under the impression that the ROCOR never charged him with immorality and he was only deposed for disobedience.

Perhaps someone can help me out here?

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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2003, 07:17:47 PM »

I'd like some clarification too actually... I was under the impression that certain questions of "morality" were coming to light around the same time as the questions of disobedience. Hmmm.... Ania?

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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2003, 07:31:05 PM »

The tree will be known by its fruit.

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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2003, 08:10:48 PM »

Ok.  I know I said I would quite posting, but I have to say one thing.  Fr. Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina reposed BEFORE the formation of ROAC.
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2003, 08:31:30 PM »

Yes Joe, Father Seraphim did repose before the formation of ROAC- but he spoke very much about the ROAC, HOCNA, ROCIE, etc. mentality. He knew years beforehand that the tone and mentality of the "super correct" factions in ROCOR would eventually lead to their schism. I suggest you, or anyone else considering ROAC or one of these ROCOR splinter groups, read his new biography which contains many letters and writings which speak to the ROAC/ROCIE/HOCNA mind. I'll provide some relevent quotes from the new book later tonight.

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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2003, 09:35:26 PM »

I look forward to seeing some of these quotes...
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2003, 12:24:10 AM »

Some excerpts from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works -

By this time(after Archbishop Averky's repose), the fathers had concluded that, if no one else was going to take up where Archbishop Averky had left off, they would have to do it themselves. For the first time in the pages of their magazine, they would dare to confront directly the problem of super-correct zealotry--and face whatever consequences this incurred. In a prefaceto an article by the current chief hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Philaret, Fr. Seraphim wrote: "There are those who wish to make everything absolutely 'simple' and 'black and white.' They would wish [Metropolitan Philaret] and his synod to declare invalid the Mysteries of New Calendarists or Communist-dominated Churches, not realizing that it is not the business of the Snod to make decrees on such a sensitive and complex question."

Also...
With his basically nonpartisan approach, Fr. Seraphim was not to be spared, in 1981, one final run-in with the super correct, super partisan ecclesiology. This time even the chief hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Philaret, unwittingly got involved. On September 22, 1980, he had written to the Brotherhood:

Dear Fr. Herman,
     I am sending you material for printing...about the last elder of the Glinsk Hermitage, Archimandrite Tavrion. According to the information which I have, this wise and pious elder belonged at first to the Catacomb Church; but seeing how the believing people were scattered like sheep without a shepher, he joined the official church, but in his activity he stood absolutely apart from it, giving all his strength to the spiritual guidance of believing souls... May God help you. Peace be to you and the brethren.

With Love,
Metropolitan Philaret.


The book continues:

Far from warding off disturbances, however, the Metropolitan's letter raised a cry of indignation from those on the far right, who could harldly believe that their own Metropolitan could call someone in the Moscow Patriarchate a "wise and pious elder." This time the super-correct party started a whole campaign, with petitions sent out for everyone to sign, and an official delegation sent to protest at the Metropolitan's residence in New York. The petition stated that the photograph of and article on Archimandrite Tavrion which the Metropolitan had sent "serve as Soviet propaganda to mitigate our attitude toward Soviet clergy and the Soviet Church by showing us that there are in fact 'wise and pious elders' who are part of the Soviet Church...Our bishops must come together and make a public statement with regard to this grave matter. The editors of The Orthodox Word need to rectify the damage done by retracting their statements and printing a statement of our Synod of Bishops on this most important matter."

One of the super-correct priests, Fr. Seraphim noted, "is trying to force our old Russian parishioners to write letters of protest to the Metropolitan, and to the poor old ladies don't understand what it's all about! What a narrow straitjacket of logic they want to force us into, and how little it suits the real needs of the Orthodox mission today...They are just not 'where it's at'--they're fighting windmills with their jesuitical logic and justifying their own 'purity', while what is needed is loving and aware hearts to help the suffering and searching and bring them to Christ." In another letter Fr. Seraphim called this kind of Christianity "Alice-in-Wonderland Orthodoxy."

As he had before, Fr. Seraphim voiced his concerns over the dangers that the super-correct ecclesiology posed for the Russian Church Abroad: "Our Russian Church Outside of Russia can continue to be a beacon-light to the other Orthodox Churches--but it will not be so if we become a sect such as the super-correct faction would make us out to be- and a sect which would only be warring with other small "sects" in Greece.


Also, from several letters regarding the super-correct faction in ROCOR.

June 15, 1976: "The 'right wing' of Orthodoxy will probably be divided into many small 'jurisdictions' in future, most of them anathematizing and fighting with the others...We must keep up the living contact with the older Russian clergy, even if some of them may seem to us a little too 'liberal'--otherwise we will be lost in the 'zealot' jungle which is growing up around us!"

July 8, 1980: "We ourselves have felt for some time that Fr._____ and others who share his attitude are heading straight for a schism, which now seems almost inevitable if he does not change his direction. Such a schism nobody needs; there are so many groups of 'correct' Orthodoxy in Greece now(none in communion with the others) that a new group will only prove the devil's power to divide Orthodox Christians.

October 27,1980: "I look with pain and sadness at this whole situation;...but I am powerless to do anything about it...The inevitable schism which they are now preparing(if they don't change soon) will be the last step in a process which only they can change.

December 8, 1981: "How tragic that some are now leading their flocks(albeit still very small flocks) out of communion with the only people who can still teach them what Orthodoxy is and help them to wake up from their fantasies of a 'super-correct' Orthodoxy that exists nowhere in the world."

Not long after Fr. Seraphim's repose, his prediction unfortunately came true just as he had written.
"All this will pass, like some horrible nightmare," Fr. Seraphim remarked in a letter. Looking back at his support of the super-correct group in previous years, he wrote: "We feel ourselves badly betrayed...All these years we trusted that they were of one mind and soul with us, giving everything they had for the cause of the English speaking mission. But really, it seems that all this time they were only building for their own glory, cruelly abusing the trust of our simple Russian bishops, priests, and laymen.... We fear that all our aricticles about 'zealotry' in the past years have helped to produce a monster!"


Also regarding the super-correct types-

"They have built a church career for themselves on a false but attractive premise: that the chief danger to the Church today is lack of strictness. No--the chief danger is something much deeper--the loss of the savor of Orthodoxy, a movement in which they themselves are participating , even in thier 'strictness.'... 'Strictness will not save us if we don't have any more the feeling and taste of Orthodoxy."

In relation to the MP:

"Our Church has no communion with Moscow. But our Church recognizes this as a temporary situation, which will end when the communist regime comes to an end."

This was written in the early 1980's, at a time when the Church situation(i.e. just what types of bishops make up the hierarchy) was fully known.

Also, after communing lay people from "World Orthodox" jurisdictions Fr. Seraphim said to Fr. Alexey Young: "I know this would be frowned upon, but these people come and they are hungry for spiritual guidance and nourishment and...what can we do? Turn them away?"
When asked if he wasn't afraid of being 'denounced' by the ultra-zealots in the Synod he replied: "You don't know me very will if you think I'd be worried about that. Whether I get in trouble or not, I KNOW that this is the right thing to do!"


Some of Fr. Seraphim's thoughts of ecumenism:

"Some would-be zealots of Orthodoxy use the term 'ecumenism' in entirely too imprecise a fashion, as though the very use of the term or contact with an 'ecumenical' organization is itself a 'heresy.' Such views are clearly exaggerations. 'Ecumenism' is a heresy only if it actually involves the denial that Orthodoxy is the true Church of Christ. A few of the Orthodox leaders of the ecumenical movement have gone this far, but most Orthodox participants in the ecumenical movement have not said this much; and a few (such as the late Fr. Georges Florovsky) have only irritated the Protestants in the ecumenical movement by frequently stating at ecumenical gatherings that Orthodoxy is the Church of Christ. One must certainly criticize the participation of even these latter persons in the ecumenical movement, which at its best is misleading and vague about the nature of Christ's Church; but one cannot call such people 'heretics', nor can one affirm that any but a few Orthodox representatives have actually taught ecumenism as a heresy. The battle for true Orthodoxy in our times is not aided by such exaggerations."
In another place Fr. Seraphim said: "The excessive reaction against the ecumenical movement has the same worldly spirit that is present in the ecumenical movement itself."


I suppose I'll stop for now. There are many more quotes from letters and conversations that I could provide from the book; so if anyone is interested maybe I'll type those out too if I get the time.  I believe these quotes should give at least a decent indication of Fr. Seraphim's thoughts of 'zeal not according to knowledge', the position of ROCOR to the Moscow Patriarchate, and the
fruits of 'super correctness'.
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2003, 01:02:38 PM »

Some of Fr. Seraphim's thoughts of ecumenism:

"Some would-be zealots of Orthodoxy use the term 'ecumenism' in entirely too imprecise a fashion, as though the very use of the term or contact with an 'ecumenical' organization is itself a 'heresy.' Such views are clearly exaggerations. 'Ecumenism' is a heresy only if it actually involves the denial that Orthodoxy is the true Church of Christ. A few of the Orthodox leaders of the ecumenical movement have gone this far, but most Orthodox participants in the ecumenical movement have not said this much; and a few (such as the late Fr. Georges Florovsky) have only irritated the Protestants in the ecumenical movement by frequently stating at ecumenical gatherings that Orthodoxy is the Church of Christ. One must certainly criticize the participation of even these latter persons in the ecumenical movement, which at its best is misleading and vague about the nature of Christ's Church; but one cannot call such people 'heretics', nor can one affirm that any but a few Orthodox representatives have actually taught ecumenism as a heresy. The battle for true Orthodoxy in our times is not aided by such exaggerations."
In another place Fr. Seraphim said: "The excessive reaction against the ecumenical movement has the same worldly spirit that is present in the ecumenical movement itself."


Nice work, Bogo.

I think the above should be branded in all of our heads.  Staying the middle course is of utmost importance.  Moderation in all things.
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2003, 03:18:39 PM »

one point:  there is no middle road with heresy.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2003, 03:58:09 PM »

one point:  there is no middle road with heresy.

Joe Zollars

Just make sure you know what that means though - both with respect to what 'the middel road' AND heresy mean.

Trying reading the whole post by Bogo again.
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2003, 04:18:03 PM »

one point:  there is no middle road with heresy.

Sure there is. It's called "I don't know" or "I let my bishop worry about this" or even "this isn't so important that I need to leave my church over it".
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2003, 04:32:07 PM »

one point:  there is no middle road with heresy.

Sure there is. It's called "I don't know" or "I let my bishop worry about this" or even "this isn't so important that I need to leave my church over it".


No Keble. You FIGHT for your church daily!

Otherwise you end up with heresy in your Creed, Bishops who deny that Christ was born of a Virgin, Female clergy, and even Gay Bishops.

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« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2003, 05:19:34 PM »

Josh, I'll see what I can find out tonight re Valintine & ROAC, I remember there was a whole hula-balu when this all started, but I was busy in school & didn't really listen much, so I have to get in touch with some people who were in the middle of this.  Keep reminding me though, I'm an airhead, as you well know, in one ear & out the other.  :-)
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« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2003, 12:09:01 PM »

To be fair, the detractors of Met. Valentine, I want to post this statement, which I received in email from a friend:

Quote
ROCOR investigated Met. Valentine and found the charges baseless and  
there is even a Ukaz on this!  ROCOR never accused Met. Valentine of  
"questions of morality" so I thought I would let you know, as I have  
investigated this quite thoroughly and found no one making this  
accusation until today. He was retired by Met. Vitaly for disobeying  
the Synod.
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« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2003, 12:50:04 PM »

In Orthodoxy, I should like to remind everyone, disobedience of a bishop to his synod (or a priest or deacon to his ruling bishop) is considered to be a very serious infraction and is grounds for suspension or worse (defrocking and excommunication) if not repented of.

Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2003, 01:16:08 PM »

And what of St. Athanasius' disobedience to the Aryan Bishops?

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« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2003, 01:29:03 PM »

We're talking about obedience to legitimate orders from legitmate bishops, Joe.  Of course, one is not compelled to obey bishops who have fallen into schism or heresy.  This was not the case with the former bishop Valentine.

Hypo-Ortho

P.S.  Btw, Joe, don't you mean "ARIAN?"  ARYANS are a different animal altogether.  The Nazis would not have considered me to be Aryan, for example.
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« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2003, 01:30:26 PM »

yes it was.

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« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2003, 01:34:11 PM »

yes it was.

Joe Zollars

Oh, puhleeze!! Tongue

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« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2003, 01:37:10 PM »

When ROCA fell prey to this Anathama* it was the duty of Vladyka Metropolitan Valentine to seperate himself from the Synod.  It was at this time that the rest of the Russian Catacomb church also seperated.  

Quote
"Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!"

The Russian Church Abroad's Anathema on Ecumenism.

anathama quoted from front page of http://www.roacamerica.org

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2003, 02:10:29 PM »

Joe, it would be nice to think you knew what you were talking about (I'll be kind and believe it's due to your youth, zeal without knowledge, and inexperience).  But you are not even Orthodox yet, and now you're thinking that Orthodoxy is confined to the extremist ROAC *sect* and audacious enough to try to teach those of us who have been Orthodox for many, many years and lived and practiced the Faith that this is so.  Sad, very sad. :'(   NO more comments from me.   I have better things to do with my time.

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« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2003, 03:02:14 PM »

as do I.

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« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2003, 07:14:17 PM »

as do I.

Joe Zollars

Yeah, there's probably an extremist church that you haven't tried to join yet.  

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« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2003, 08:14:00 PM »

haha.  No once I am Baptized into the true Church (not the papist or neopapistworld"orhtodox" arch-heretics) I will obviously staying put.  the only reason I would leave ROAC is if the synod fell as did the ROCA synod.

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« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2003, 08:29:28 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

As a fellow "young fogey" I must commend Joe for following his conscience and seeking for a Jurisdiction that for him has integrity and follows the traditional Russian Orthodox praxis.  It is not easy to be young and aware of these important issues.  It can be rather stressful and perplexing, especially when you follow the logical end of modernism in the contemporary Church, either Orthodox or Catholic.  I would be rather stern with those who would be condescending to Joe whether because of youth or a perceived inconsistency.  We all live in glass houses; let's get over our self-righteous self-appointed judge status.  Most traditional pastors would salivate to have interested and informed youth as Joe in their parishes.  I hope that he finds a good spiritual Father and if the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church helps him achieve theosis then Many Years to Joe and his new journey.

Good luck, Joe and be assured of my intercessions.

In Christ,

Alexis
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« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2003, 08:59:13 PM »

Glory forever!

Alexis, I too pray for Joe, but with a slightly different intention, i.e., that he not confuse extremist sectarianism with Holy Orthodoxy (e.g., there's *nothing wrong* with the ROCOR vis-a-vis ecumenism, IMHO, and I'm a very traditionalist OCAer and am saying that, but Joe has bought into the ROAC's extremist self-righteous sectarian propaganda, which doesn't sound much different than that of the ROCOR-hating HOCNA or ROCiE, both of which also went into schism from the conservative, Tradition-conscious ROCOR).  

Remember, it was only last year, as I recall, that this same Joe was a zealot for Tridentine Roman Catholicism and "bonked" everything Novus Ordo.  It will not be too soon, I hope, that Joe also finds fault with his all-too-perfect ROAC.

In Christ our True God,
Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2003, 11:16:16 PM »

I pray for Joe also.  One problem I have is that many people seem to forget that we have a relationship with a *person* when we have a relationship with God.  Some people seem to think it is all about canons and rules and keeping them perfectly.  If I'm not mistaken, Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you.  Love one another as I have loved you."  As far as I know (unless some of you have a different version of scriptures than I do), He never said "A new commandment I give unto you.  Follow all the rules and canons perfectly and make sure you apply them strictly."  And all too often, this is what I see.  I see it in myself too.  Luckily, when my priest catches me doing that, he lets me know in no uncertain terms that this isn't what Orthodoxy is about.  One of the most important things for us to do is to learn to love as God loves, with mercy and compassion.  Think of both Christ and the Abbas you read about in the stories of the desert fathers.  A group of people would bring someone who was sinning before Christ or the Abba wanting strict justice against the person, and Christ or the Abba would almost always take the side of the sinner against all those who wanted the sinner punished.  I remember my first priest saying one time that one of his pet peeves is a layperson getting ahold of a copy of the Rudder.  After 2 years of being on Orthodox lists and boards, I can understand his feeling.  Am I saying that the canons aren't important?  Of course not, they're very important.  However, if they are not applied with love and mercy, then they can become weapons to batter someone with.  Also, we can become like the Pharisees, and Jesus had nothing good to say about them.
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« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2003, 10:39:16 AM »

Let's try this again. . .

As a fellow "young fogey" I must commend Joe for following his conscience and seeking for a Jurisdiction that for him has integrity and follows the traditional Russian Orthodox praxis.  It is not easy to be young and aware of these important issues.

Of course it's easy. If it weren't easy, then why would the college campus have Objectivists, militant atheists, Campus Crusaders, black militants, Young Republicans, gay activists, feminist activists, medievalists, Buddhists, Taoists, neopagans, Wiccans, Marxists,  Black Moslems, Adventists, Ba'hai-- the list goes on and on.

College kids in particular are freed from the bonds of having to participate in reality on these matters; that's probably part of the reason that so many of them believe that aligning with the right ideology (and aligning everyone else with that ideology, if it's that kind of ideology) will solve every problem. And a lot of people never let go of this "freedom", which means they stumble along through life without ever confronting their basic responsibility to live it. Thus I know neo-pagans and Wiccans and "devotees" of Asatru whose religious life  extends little further than dressing up in costume. Anyone who has actually read Voluspa seriously understands that just wearing a Thor's hammer on a chain around one's neck has no real connection to the true Norse religion. But these people are very plentiful.

One can easily be Orthodox in the same manner: dressing one's room up with icons, concerning one's self with the esoterica of jurisdictions and canons and rubrics and polity while not having any handle at all on basic praxis. And basic praxis isn't about the Rudder or rules laid down by Saint Rigorios the Particular or Monk Scrupulos of Hirsutsky. It's about picking up the Gospels and doing what Jesus said to do! If you can't bring yourself to do that, then your Orthodoxy is empty!

The problem I see all to often on any computer discussion of religion is that people tend to assume that they're already doing the basic stuff right, and so they can move on to bigger things. But it's the bigger things that are usually easy, and the basic stuff that is difficult to impossible. Any convert should assume that they have years of adjustment ahead in practicing the basics of their new discipline; instead, we have at least two people here, still catechumens, who think they are going to be able to step directly into some sort of anchorite existence. It can't possibly work! Being an anchorite requires a special, superlative kind of adulthood, and all the evidence I see here tells me that there is nothing adult about the whole enterprise (and very likely, little that is adult about the whole ROAC project itself).

In case anyone hasn't figured it out yet, being a dogmatic traditionalist in this culture is an easy way to live out adolescent rebellion. The culture is superficial and juvenile; what better way to assert (prematurely) your adulthood than to rail against this? And when traditionalism stops being something that you direct at someone else, and starts being directed at the unwilling you, where then will rebellion take you?

Nothing about my religious life is ideal. I'm a member of a church that is about to engage in a profoundly self-destructive act. My priest irritates me and peppers his sermons with bogus statistics. People in the choir with me don't show up to rehearsals. We sing too many hymns I'm tired of singing and never liked all that much anyway. My two eldest fidget in church and the youngest can't be taken into church at all, which means that if there isn't a babysitter one of us can't go. I don't pray enough and I spend too much time on forums.  I'm a know-it-all without enough education. I'm selfish, lazy, and full of dispair.

And you know something? That is what life is really like. It's not like sitting in one's room fantasizing about living in a monastery that's hundreds of miles away, when the actual monks, however holy they are, are also often peevish and petty and probably fart a lot because their diet includes a lot of beans.
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« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2003, 10:40:11 AM »

Oh, and I endorse every word that Katherine says.
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« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2003, 11:30:59 AM »

If you ever start feeling full of pride, get a copy of "If We Confess Our Sins" by Fr. Thomas Hopko.  It's a little booklet issued by the OCA (you can get it from Light and Life and other places) and it costs under $3.00.  He discusses confession, and lists the different Beattitudes, each of which has a list of questions underneath.  After you read those questions and think about them and your own life, you get pretty deflated.  Everytime I read those, I see how little I really love others.   If you think that you really love others, you probably won't think so after you get done thinking about the questions.

Also, if you travel a lot, it is a good little booklet to have, as it has the pre-communion and post-communion prayers at the end.  I keep a copy of it in my purse.

Keble, what you said about learning the basics is so true.  That's why I am very wary about reading some of the things people recommend.  I am still learning the basics.  In anything, you have to learn the fundamentals (basics) before getting into the deeper things.  Also, I've read many warnings from the Fathers, the Saints, monks, and spiritual fathers that you can get into a lot of trouble if you are not ready for them.  It's not a bad idea to get a blessing from our priest/spiritual father before we read some books.
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