The problem with the "social gospel" is that some people get so caught up in the "pro-life" movement that they get flared up with passion and forget about all of the other things that constitute the Christian life. Never mind that the Supreme Court has made its decision, and it is final. If you want your kids to be proactive against abortions, then volunteer at a pregnancy care center that ministers to young women who are in trouble. Don't try to rail against the Supreme Court's ruling, because it won't work.
Agree! But that's exactly my biggest fear: that people won't listen to a simple logic like yours above. The key thing is, "why do we become Christians?"; "Why do we join the Church?"; "What are looking for there?" And so many people here in the US seem to "know" that the answer is, - change this world, or this country! "Improve" it! Make it righteous! "Claim it back from these godless liberals!" etc. There is no "otherwordly" vector, none at all... Right now, this tacit substitution, in which the mystery, the otherwordly existential beauty of the Church is eleiminated and the concrete "left-brain" program of "changing this world" is brought instead, is characteristic mostly for Protestant churches; however, again, my fear is that this trend will soon spread on the Orthodox Church as well, if not already spreading on it in this country.
Well. I have not seen the film, so I can neither defend it nor join you in condemning it. But I have been around a lot of right-wing charismatic types, and I may be the only one in this forum who has. I will attempt a restrained and charitable reply. One of my purposes in being here, I think, is to understand where you are coming from, and take the time to really hear you. This is seldom reciprocated. I think you are greatly mistaken in thinking there is no seeking after God, no hunger for holiness, no desire to please God and rejoice in Him. These things occur in charismatic circles, probably in ways that you cannot perceive. I would like to think you would reserve judgement over the hearts and minds and souls of other Christians and leave that in the hands of God. I hear you saying such people are shallow and trivial and do not seek after God, but rather seek to save the world like the Marxists. I will say that I do not think you have troubled yourself to try and understand them on their terms. Perhaps you cannot. That is a sad thing, and may reflect your inability to see anything good outside of the little you do understand. I wonder: have you ever been to a Protestant service? To a charismatic service? Have you ever read a book by a non-Orthodox? Have you ever tried to get out of your comfort zone and maybe see what it is like to walk in another's shoes?
It is not surprising to me that I am one of the few Protestants posting on this board. Certain things indicate there have been others in the past. It is strange that you want to reach evangelicals but do not bother to understand them or speak their language, dismissing them as shallow and ignorant hypocrites and heretics. It is not surprising they do not stick around. Posts like this are good examples of the climate on this forum and the attitude of the Orthodox towards us rebel Protestant scum.
I am very sorry if I hurt you by my thread. That was not my intention and I ask you to forgive me.
For the record. I came to Orthodoxy very late in my life; even though I was born and raised in a land where Orthodoxy was literally "all around" - in Ukraine - I grew up in a family of very loyal Soviet people, was never baptized in my childhood, and never received any religious instruction. When I came to the USA in 1990, I very briefly visited a Ukrainian immigrant Orthodox mission parish in Seattle, WA (where everyone thought that I was a baptized Orthodox), but I did not take it seriously - rather, simply as a cultural, ethnic club, a means to keep my then little daughter close to the Ukrainian culture. Later, in the late 1990-s and the early 2000-s, after my move to a small town in the Deep South, I started to "wander around" and tried to fit in several Protestant denominations. So, to answer your question, yes, I've been to Protestant services - Baptist, Methodist (both United and Free), and Presbyterian. I was actually baptized in a Presbyterian congregation and even served as an elder there between January 2005 and October 2006. At that time (in the late 1990-s - early 2000-s), I began to think that "all I and other people need is Christ, and it does not matter to what church I go." But then, in ~summer-fall 2006, I finally understood that I am not actually fitting in anywhere in the Protestant world - for the reasons I wrote above in this thread.
Yes, yes, yes - I do see, and I do know, that there are very many wonderful people among Protestants. Yes, they hunger and thirst for Christ, and they lead very good, moral, godly lives, much better lives than the life I am living. But I do really see the general trend in all Protestant congregations I've been to: to replace the Kingdom of God by the improved kingdom of this world. That's why such passion about "issues" like abortion and gay marriage, and also (something that I really seriously hate) - about funneling money to the state of Israel (something that, if not stopped, will most certainly lead to the global nuclear holocaust). And that's why the "adrenalin rush" instead of worship in the ethereal, tacit, tender otherwordly spirit of the Divine Liturgy. I do believe it's satanic, demonic forces at work.
The demonic forces are extremely clever, they do very well know what to do and how to do it. Atheism, libertine ways, hedonism, pagan immorality etc. - is just one of the possible approaches they rely on. Another, and one that seems to be a lot more powerful here, in the USA, is to masquerade as "Christianity." All these forces need when they use this second approach is just this: very inconspicuously change the "heart" of a believing Christian in such a way that the real, the only "treasure in heaven" (Matthew 6:19-21) is no longer seen by this heart, no longer is this heart's desire and goal; instead, plant into this heart the vision of you doing a kind of clear, logical, straightforward "left-brain" "program" of changing this world, along the lines of some clearly defined "issues..."
Again, forgive me if my messages in this thread sound like bashing; I sincerely do not want to offend or pain anyone. But I just need to say what's on my mind, and seeing this movie about the children's summer camp where I, again and again, do see these demonic forces at work, was yet another occasion to do it.
With my apologies and best wishes to you,