Author Topic: Orthodox Controversialism  (Read 1930 times)

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Offline Keble

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Orthodox Controversialism
« on: November 25, 2003, 05:41:57 PM »
OK, so here it is another week and we have yet another off-the-wall topic: whether or not England was Orthodox in 1066. I'm not going to go into the arguments here; go read the other thread if you really must know.

Why there is an argument at all is pretty easy to figure out. For the most part, this is a convert issue; it allows American and English converts-- especially Anglican converts-- to indulge in the fantasy that they are somehow recovering a lost past. (It also seems to allow some Russians/Russophiles to indulge in the "Russia invented everything" shtick, from what I can see. Presumably there is a Greek version too.)

But then we go off into all these other arguments-- labor pains, the epyclesis (or lack thereof), trans/cons, and so forth. Too much of the time it seems to me that this "discussion" is far too deadly serious (and at least in the "trans/cons" discussion, the "why worry?" position seems to be gaining support).

To me this is one of the most off-putting aspects of Orthodoxy. People argue vituperatively over every little thing, glossing over the viciousness of the discussion by saying "we must believe The Truth(tm)!" And if that isn't good enough, they turn their credulity up to eleven and dig out (or make up) a lot of tendentious "tradition" which seems to consist of anything they can find some fruitcake to say long enough ago.

On a bad day, it makes Orthodoxy look more like "right squabble" than "right belief". At least in the Episcopal Church the things we are fighting over are worth fighting over.

Offline The young fogey

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2003, 05:44:25 PM »
Re: 'Orthodox England in the Dark Ages', amen.

We agree to disagree re: the importance of the Real Presence.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2003, 05:46:01 PM by Serge »
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2003, 05:54:09 PM »
To me this is one of the most off-putting aspects of Orthodoxy. People argue vituperatively over every little thing, glossing over the viciousness of the discussion by saying "we must believe The Truth(tm)!"

ISTM the opposite of this is the idea that you can have a lot of leeway on almost anything, and still remain in communion.  I don't know which is better, but I side with the Orthodox.
 
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On a bad day, it makes Orthodoxy look more like "right squabble" than "right belief". At least in the Episcopal Church the things we are fighting over are worth fighting over.

Because there is so much that is important that has been lost?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2003, 05:55:36 PM by Mor Ephrem »
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Offline Keble

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2003, 06:02:45 PM »
To me this is one of the most off-putting aspects of Orthodoxy. People argue vituperatively over every little thing, glossing over the viciousness of the discussion by saying "we must believe The Truth(tm)!"

ISTM the opposite of this is the idea that you can have a lot of leeway on almost anything, and still remain in communion.  I don't know which is better, but I side with the Orthodox.

But the problem with saying that is precisely the word "opposite". We don't have to choose between opposites; we can apply some descernment and determine that some issues are worth fighting over and that some are not.

And worse, people are inventing issues. Arguing about 1066 as a religious issue is completely wrong-headed, for instance. It is simply a matter of history, and the Orthodox position must either be indifference or submission to the historians. When it is not (and in the thread I linked to, it certainly is not), it is not Truth.

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On a bad day, it makes Orthodoxy look more like "right squabble" than "right belief". At least in the Episcopal Church the things we are fighting over are worth fighting over.

Because there is so much that is important that has been lost?  

It doesn't help to invent losses that never happened, or to portray every change as a loss!

Offline Justinianus

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2003, 06:03:12 PM »
Keble,

Maybe you should post this question over there.  

I do not think the topic or the discussion it generated amounts to much.  From a historical standpoint, the whole debate on the Varangian guard in the link seems incredibly superfluous.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2003, 06:14:00 PM »
But the problem with saying that is precisely the word "opposite". We don't have to choose between opposites; we can apply some descernment and determine that some issues are worth fighting over and that some are not.

And worse, people are inventing issues. Arguing about 1066 as a religious issue is completely wrong-headed, for instance. It is simply a matter of history, and the Orthodox position must either be indifference or submission to the historians. When it is not (and in the thread I linked to, it certainly is not), it is not Truth.

I personally don't care about the question of the Orthodoxy of England in 1066 because it doesn't affect my salvation, and because it is something better addressed by historians.  In this, I agree with you.  

Why do these guys invent issues?  I don't know.  Maybe you are right on this one, and it is done to make Orthodoxy look less foreign.  But I would hesitate to take any of the goings on there as representative of Orthodoxy on the whole, as your post seemed to say to me.  I, of course, don't agree with that.  I even take a little offence at that.  :P
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Offline carpo-rusyn

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2003, 07:00:39 PM »
Keble

Well of course England was Orthodox in 1066 it was in communion with the See of Peter wasn't it.  ;)  The bit about the Varangian Guard was true but the few English that went went because England became unhealthy for adherents of the Saxon line not because of faith.

[I personally don't care about the question of the Orthodoxy of England in 1066 because it doesn't affect my salvation,]

Very true.  I hope this arcane question doesn't affect anyone's salvation but it probably does

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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2003, 07:54:20 PM »
Keble

Well of course England was Orthodox in 1066 it was in communion with the See of Peter wasn't it.  ;)


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Offline TomS

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2003, 09:15:00 PM »
Why there is an argument at all is pretty easy to figure out. For the most part, this is a convert issue; it allows American and English converts-- especially Anglican converts-- to indulge in the fantasy that they are somehow recovering a lost past.

Stop fighting it. Come home Keble!

Offline carpo-rusyn

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2003, 10:25:41 PM »
Demetri

Was I being funny????

Seriously though the idea of England prior to the Norman Conquest being Orthodox in the Eastern Orthodox sense is laughable.  If you would've taken Harold Godwinson or St Edward the Confessor and plunked them down in Hagia Sophia they would've promptly left and looked for the nearest Latin chapel.  The episcopacy of Saxon England as well as the laity were thoroughly RC in communion with Rome.  True the Roman rite was used along side the uses of Hereford, Sarum and others but they were RC.  This is not a commercial for the RCC it's just historical fact.  Read Bede's history!  

[Stop fighting it. Come home Keble!]

Keble IS  home. Rather than invalidating his position within ECUSA he should be supported and prayed for.

[But the problem with saying that is precisely the word "opposite". We don't have to choose between opposites; we can apply some descernment and determine that some issues are worth fighting over and that some are not.]

Keble, I quite agree but figuring out what the issues to fight over is tricky.

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Offline Linus7

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Re:Orthodox Controversialism
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2003, 01:50:13 AM »
Re: 'Orthodox England in the Dark Ages', amen.

We agree to disagree re: the importance of the Real Presence.

What he said.

How about a new thread: Catholic Greece before the Visit of Cardinal Humbert ?   ;D
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