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Author Topic: Are you annoyed by evangelists?  (Read 8009 times) Average Rating: 0
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GammaRay
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« on: September 06, 2009, 06:25:25 PM »

Greece had always been peaceful for me and the only conflict was probably between Orthodox Christians and a few atheists (and, maybe, Jehovah's Witnesses too). Recently, I -all surprisingly- had some encounters with evangelizing Protestants; both on the internet and in real life.
When I say Protestants, of course, I'm not talking about Lutherans or Christians who know History, but about non-denominational "Sola-Scriptura-Christians" who wander the streets and preach the Word of God.
Although I do admire their great faith, I am very, very, very annoyed by the fact that they preach what they believe as a universally accepted truth, which condemns anyone who denies it as an idiot.
They can't even answer the simplest questions, yet they choose to keep on preaching about it.

What's even more bothering? They often use quotes, books and other evidence from other fields (science, songs, whatever suits the situation), but they will not even dare to use a Saint's quote!

I really don't get it. Why would so many people who have been brought up in an Orthodox environment didn't bother to study some Orthodox theology, since they are so much interested in the Bible?

What do you think about those kind of Evangelists?
Is there any way to put them into thinking about Orthodoxy, rather than instantly reject it as a form of "human wisdom which was made up by religion and not God"?
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 01:38:21 PM »

What's even more bothering? They often use quotes, books and other evidence from other fields (science, songs, whatever suits the situation), but they will not even dare to use a Saint's quote!
What makes you think they even believe in the Saints, let alone want to use their words in an argument?

I really don't get it. Why would so many people who have been brought up in an Orthodox environment didn't bother to study some Orthodox theology, since they are so much interested in the Bible?
What makes you think they were brought up in an Orthodox environment? I have a friend who grew up in Romania, yet was raised Pentecostal. Just because someone lives in an Orthodox country doesn't mean they were exposed to Orthodoxy enough to understand it.
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009, 02:45:29 PM »

I am only annoyed, and angered, when TV evangelists tell their audience that Jews still are God's chosen people and that all Christians must give money to Israel. Otherwise, I am pretty indifferent to their spiel.
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 03:13:12 PM »

I suppose it just depends on the evangelist.  Some bring a great message with love and humility; others have something to prove.
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2009, 06:25:00 PM »

What's even more bothering? They often use quotes, books and other evidence from other fields (science, songs, whatever suits the situation), but they will not even dare to use a Saint's quote! ...

Do you consider Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude saints?  Would you say a quote from one of those men is a quote from a saint?   Huh
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 06:34:41 PM »

I would rather call them evangelicals than evangelists.
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2009, 07:03:08 PM »

I would rather call them evangelicals than evangelists.

Am I annoyed by evangelicals? Yes. Just as I am by anyone who has the discourtesy to presume my belief is the result of a state of ignorance.
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2009, 09:58:12 PM »

Am I annoyed by [TV] evangelists?  No.  I pity them and the their blind followers.
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2009, 11:08:09 PM »

I recently got into it at work with two people who were followers of some of these television evangelist. They straight up looked at me like I was crazy for denouncing 'God's chosen ones.' They made it known that bad things could happen to me in so many words for having the audacity to question these mighty men of God. There was some tense back and forth bantering for about half an hour in the break room while many others looked on. I could not even attempt to have a logical reasonable conversion with these people. They were right in my face the whole time lol. They stormed out after I wouldn't back down and insisted I thought these evangelist were heretics and white wash sepulchers. Everyone in the breakroom thanked me for standing up to these 'holier than though' bullies. Some chick came in shortly after and said the lady I was arguing with was crying and she heard her say some very irrational things. I told everyone I could care less and don't give an F because it's Christians like that who put a bad taste in everyone else's mouth. Everyone agreed and people were dumbfounded at the sheer ignorance and unwillingness these two so called Christians displayed. That's what the extreme pentecostal faith movement does to people...turns them into raving nut jobs.   
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 02:54:10 AM »

No. I'm not. I've never met any personally.
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 03:09:12 AM »

Am I annoyed by evangelicals? Yes. Just as I am by anyone who has the discourtesy to presume my belief is the result of a state of ignorance.

A bit of a veiled stab at the Orthodox assumptions about Anglicans?  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 07:16:59 AM »

Am I annoyed by evangelicals? Yes. Just as I am by anyone who has the discourtesy to presume my belief is the result of a state of ignorance.

A bit of a veiled stab at the Orthodox assumptions about Anglicans?  Wink

Not particularly. I've encountered this attitude from plenty of people, from devout Muslims to the parts of my family who are atheist. I get pretty irritated by people who stand around with banners telling me God hates Homos, or God punishes Muslims, and asking me if I'm prepared to take Jesus Christ as my Personal Saviour? (Answer: No, I'm not so selfish as to pretend Christ is 'my Personal Saviour', and I suspect He is the Saviour whether I want Him to be or not). These people are often what we call Evangelicals.

But, to be fair, I must observe that plenty of people with less irritating and/or blasphemous views can also evangelise, and evangelise badly. That was all.

Liz.

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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 07:18:58 AM »

I recently got into it at work with two people who were followers of some of these television evangelist. They straight up looked at me like I was crazy for denouncing 'God's chosen ones.' They made it known that bad things could happen to me in so many words for having the audacity to question these mighty men of God. There was some tense back and forth bantering for about half an hour in the break room while many others looked on. I could not even attempt to have a logical reasonable conversion with these people. They were right in my face the whole time lol. They stormed out after I wouldn't back down and insisted I thought these evangelist were heretics and white wash sepulchers. Everyone in the breakroom thanked me for standing up to these 'holier than though' bullies. Some chick came in shortly after and said the lady I was arguing with was crying and she heard her say some very irrational things. I told everyone I could care less and don't give an F because it's Christians like that who put a bad taste in everyone else's mouth. Everyone agreed and people were dumbfounded at the sheer ignorance and unwillingness these two so called Christians displayed. That's what the extreme pentecostal faith movement does to people...turns them into raving nut jobs.   


Yeah, questioning men of God would be bad. Now, what was that man's name ... you know, the one who welcomed questions even from small children and the ignorant, and who patiently sat and answered them? Oh yeah .... Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2009, 08:23:24 AM »

Quote from: mathetes link=topic=23278.msg355179#msg355179
Do you consider Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude saints?  Would you say a quote from one of those men is a quote from a saint?Huh
Well, I include those Saints in the Scripture's ones. My point was about the Church Fathers etc., who are not in the Bible.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 08:24:43 AM by GammaRay » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2009, 01:10:16 PM »

I've encountered this attitude from plenty of people, ... asking me if I'm prepared to take Jesus Christ as my Personal Saviour? (Answer: No, I'm not so selfish as to pretend Christ is 'my Personal Saviour', and I suspect He is the Saviour whether I want Him to be or not).

Well said, Liz! Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2009, 04:56:32 PM »

Quote
Are you annoyed by evangelists?


Nope - I have the power...



As for the internet, I know where the "logout" button is.  I also have a nice set of earphones.... Cool
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2009, 05:07:45 PM »

By the way, I have a few evangelical friends...  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2009, 05:25:07 PM »

I recently got into it at work with two people who were followers of some of these television evangelist. They straight up looked at me like I was crazy for denouncing 'God's chosen ones.' They made it known that bad things could happen to me in so many words for having the audacity to question these mighty men of God. There was some tense back and forth bantering for about half an hour in the break room while many others looked on. I could not even attempt to have a logical reasonable conversion with these people. They were right in my face the whole time lol. They stormed out after I wouldn't back down and insisted I thought these evangelist were heretics and white wash sepulchers. Everyone in the breakroom thanked me for standing up to these 'holier than though' bullies. Some chick came in shortly after and said the lady I was arguing with was crying and she heard her say some very irrational things. I told everyone I could care less and don't give an F because it's Christians like that who put a bad taste in everyone else's mouth. Everyone agreed and people were dumbfounded at the sheer ignorance and unwillingness these two so called Christians displayed. That's what the extreme pentecostal faith movement does to people...turns them into raving nut jobs.   

You were a bit "holier than thou" yourself.  Physician, heal thyself.
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2009, 05:36:44 PM »

Are we all talking about the same thing when we say Evangelicals? I got a bit confused by posts like Catherine's and like this one:



You were a bit "holier than thou" yourself.  Physician, heal thyself.

Is Evangelism particularly to do with television or being sanctimonious? What I've always thought of as Evengelicals are those people whose main religious activity is (or at least appears to be) not worship, but the conversion of others. The people who would never agree with the view that has been stated by Douglas on this forum, that there are 'some sheep outside the fold, and some wolves within'. In my experience they can be quite offensive and I would neither be able to ignore them like Catherine, nor would I think of them as 'holier than thou'. Does the term have a totally different connotation than this that I'm not aware of?

(Btw, thanks Heorhji)

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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2009, 07:19:27 PM »

Are we all talking about the same thing when we say Evangelicals? I got a bit confused by posts like Catherine's and like this one:



You were a bit "holier than thou" yourself.  Physician, heal thyself.

Is Evangelism particularly to do with television or being sanctimonious? What I've always thought of as Evengelicals are those people whose main religious activity is (or at least appears to be) not worship, but the conversion of others. The people who would never agree with the view that has been stated by Douglas on this forum, that there are 'some sheep outside the fold, and some wolves within'. In my experience they can be quite offensive and I would neither be able to ignore them like Catherine, nor would I think of them as 'holier than thou'. Does the term have a totally different connotation than this that I'm not aware of?

(Btw, thanks Heorhji)



 An "evangelist" is one who shares the "good news", of course. Sometimes it is best to shut up (remember this, Sarah   Lips Sealed ) and act out the Gospel - forget words, try to be an example. However, on "thefreedictionary.com", evangelical is defined as..

 "of certain Protestant sects which emphasize salvation through faith alone and a belief in the absolute authority of the Bible."

I was referring to TV evangelists also, but my comments were tongue in cheek. I do have quite a few "evangelical" friends. The "holier than thou" attitude can be found in all parts of the church, that is, in all "denominations." I would say, there are times when keeping quiet is not the solution (for all involved). This isn't about me as I can, thankfully, deal with it and pray, but I do witness the "holier than thou" attitude and I am aware of the effects it has on people/Christianity. People often stick up for others rather than themselves. I have to be true to what I believe in all circumstances, but rebuking others/"looking down upon people" in the name of Christianity is what I would object to. I would not do it. If asked I could give my opinion but no way would I actually "rebuke"/point the finger whilst talking about Christ. As I said (elsewhere), you come across all sorts of scenarios in the workplace, severe rudeness is one! I would object if I witnessed a person being rude to another. I have to be careful, that's not the same as being a people pleaser but it is so easy to come over as holier than thou and judgemental, even if I don't mean it that way.
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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 09:04:27 PM »

Quote from: mathetes link=topic=23278.msg355179#msg355179
Do you consider Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude saints?  Would you say a quote from one of those men is a quote from a saint?Huh
Well, I include those Saints in the Scripture's ones. My point was about the Church Fathers etc., who are not in the Bible.

GammaRay, I should've stated my point.  It's wise to seek ways to relate to people with different beliefs.  Finding common ground is one such way.  So, to someone reluctant to quote from a church father, why not mention that the apostles were saints and, in a certain sense, fathers?--at least, St. Paul identified himself as the Corinthian believers' spiritual father (1 Corinthians 4:15).  Why not add that the apostles' writings, like the church fathers', weren't originally assembled in one book?

Our Lord was versatile this way.  Thus, when He rebuked the Sadducees for denying the resurrection, He appealed to the Torah because the Sadducees recognized only the first five books of the Old Testament (Matthew 22:23-33).

It's always helpful, as much as possible, to meet people where they are.  St. Paul, for instance, became all things to all men so that he might save some (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
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« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2009, 09:15:08 PM »

... Everyone in the breakroom thanked me for standing up to these 'holier than though' bullies. Some chick came in shortly after and said the lady I was arguing with was crying and she heard her say some very irrational things. I told everyone I could care less and don't give an F because it's Christians like that who put a bad taste in everyone else's mouth. Everyone agreed and people were dumbfounded at the sheer ignorance and unwillingness these two so called Christians displayed. That's what the extreme pentecostal faith movement does to people...turns them into raving nut jobs.   

Nacho, you used the "F" word while identifying yourself as a Christian?  What kind of impression do you think that made?
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2009, 09:38:43 AM »

Mathetes, I think you didn't understand me. Last time I talked with a Protestant on the street, he did not hesitate to talk about science or bring me some examples from non-Christian books. But he obviously was hesitant towards the words of the Saints that are not included in the Scripture.
Same with Jehovah's Witnesses. The last leaflet I was handed out was about the meaning of life or something. Many quotes from people who had no particular connection with Christianity, yet not even a word about the canonization of the New Testament or anything.
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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2009, 10:10:28 PM »

Mathetes, I think you didn't understand me. Last time I talked with a Protestant on the street, he did not hesitate to talk about science or bring me some examples from non-Christian books. But he obviously was hesitant towards the words of the Saints that are not included in the Scripture.
Same with Jehovah's Witnesses. The last leaflet I was handed out was about the meaning of life or something. Many quotes from people who had no particular connection with Christianity, yet not even a word about the canonization of the New Testament or anything.
GammaRay, I hear where you're coming from, and can imagine your frustration over the Protestant's inconsistent acceptance of non-Christian books and rejection of saints' words.  Still, I think we should meet people where they are just as our Lord and the apostle Paul did with people of their day.

As someone who's been studying Eastern Orthodoxy from afar, I've appreciated certain EOs' willingness to cater to my Bible background.  Pointing me to the OSB Study Bible opened me up to considering teachings and customs that I hadn't imagined were biblical.  I wouldn't be surprised if your Calvinistic acquaintances are reluctant to consider extra-biblical sources; after all, some people have been trained to insist on book, chapter, and verse for every truth claim presented to them.

When a Protestant declines to hear from a saint, maybe you should appeal to Proverbs 18:13, which declares it foolish and shameful to answer or reject what we haven't heard.  You might also want to cite a Bible passage that concurs with the saints' words you'd like considered, and you might remind your Protestant friends that John Calvin himself quoted St. Augustine.

Something else: you might stress how important holiness is for discernment.  Jesus taught, "If anyone wills to do [God's] will, he shall know concerning the doctrine whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (John 7:17 NKJV).  This could help people realize the importance of relying on a holy person for guidance and instruction.  Of course, when you follow this approach, you must avoid the "F" word.   Wink
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2009, 03:23:47 AM »

I've encountered this attitude from plenty of people, ... asking me if I'm prepared to take Jesus Christ as my Personal Saviour? (Answer: No, I'm not so selfish as to pretend Christ is 'my Personal Saviour', and I suspect He is the Saviour whether I want Him to be or not).

Well said, Liz! Smiley


Well let's be careful here. While evangelicals pervert the concept of a personal relationship with Christ, the idea in itself is not unOrthodox. The point is that our relationship with Christ is not individualistic and exclusive; it is both personal and corporate, finding its expression and fulfillment in and through the Church.

Selam
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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2009, 04:53:29 AM »

I've encountered this attitude from plenty of people, ... asking me if I'm prepared to take Jesus Christ as my Personal Saviour? (Answer: No, I'm not so selfish as to pretend Christ is 'my Personal Saviour', and I suspect He is the Saviour whether I want Him to be or not).

Well said, Liz! Smiley


Well let's be careful here. While evangelicals pervert the concept of a personal relationship with Christ, the idea in itself is not unOrthodox. The point is that our relationship with Christ is not individualistic and exclusive; it is both personal and corporate, finding its expression and fulfillment in and through the Church.

Selam

Yes, I agree with what you say about our relationship with Christ. What I object to is the way it is expressed by these people. But I would do well to look for a bit of patience.
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« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2009, 06:59:47 AM »

Boswell wrote a wonderful poem which is interesting.

The living Truth is what I long to see
I cannot live on what used to be
so shut your Bible and show me how
the Christ you talk about is living now
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« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2009, 07:19:45 AM »

Boswell wrote a wonderful poem which is interesting.

The living Truth is what I long to see
I cannot live on what used to be
so shut your Bible and show me how
the Christ you talk about is living now
Who is this Boswell and from which book did this poem originate?
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« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2009, 07:52:59 AM »

oops..my mistake.It wasn't Boswll..it was Barclay in his "Apology". I memorized the poem in prep school and it has always stayed with me....


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« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2009, 08:31:09 AM »

When a Protestant declines to hear from a saint, maybe you should appeal to Proverbs 18:13, which declares it foolish and shameful to answer or reject what we haven't heard.  You might also want to cite a Bible passage that concurs with the saints' words you'd like considered, and you might remind your Protestant friends that John Calvin himself quoted St. Augustine.
Oh, that's nice. By the way, the fact that some people act as Calvinists doesn't mean that they surely know about Calvin. It might be just their interpretation that leads them to believe in predestination.

Quote
Jesus taught, "If anyone wills to do [God's] will, he shall know concerning the doctrine whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (John 7:17 NKJV).  This could help people realize the importance of relying on a holy person for guidance and instruction.
They just believe that the Saints are misled and only the Scripture holdsthe truth. See, fastings, prayers, almsgiving and their rest righteous deeds do not count for them, since the Scripture is above everything.

Quote
Of course, when you follow this approach, you must avoid the "F" word.  Wink
Cheesy Wink
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« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2009, 08:39:35 AM »

When a Protestant declines to hear from a saint, maybe you should appeal to Proverbs 18:13, which declares it foolish and shameful to answer or reject what we haven't heard.  You might also want to cite a Bible passage that concurs with the saints' words you'd like considered, and you might remind your Protestant friends that John Calvin himself quoted St. Augustine.
Oh, that's nice. By the way, the fact that some people act as Calvinists doesn't mean that they surely know about Calvin. It might be just their interpretation that leads them to believe in predestination.


Good point.



Quote
Jesus taught, "If anyone wills to do [God's] will, he shall know concerning the doctrine whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (John 7:17 NKJV).  This could help people realize the importance of relying on a holy person for guidance and instruction.
They just believe that the Saints are misled and only the Scripture holdsthe truth. See, fastings, prayers, almsgiving and their rest righteous deeds do not count for them, since the Scripture is above everything.

[/quote]

There are plenty of people (and even a very few Evangelicals) who believe Scripture is the only infallible truth, and who don't believe the Saints were misled. You don't have to think someone is wrong, for you to reject them as an infallible authority. In my experience, the people who rail against the Saints are either people whose grasp of theology, Scripture and even basic literary theory is extremely weak, or people who've been fed propaganda about 'evil Saint-worshippers'.
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« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2009, 08:58:35 AM »

Saint Anthony the Great said that God cannot actually be angry or jealous and he also said that he does not fear God (not anymore). This would seem like a heresy for almost every Protestant.
In my experience, the people who rail against the Saints are either people whose grasp of theology, Scripture and even basic literary theory is extremely weak, or people who've been fed propaganda about 'evil Saint-worshippers'.
So right...
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« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2009, 09:17:17 AM »

Quote from Bishop Anthony Bloom...another favorite of mine.

"I met Christ as a Person at a moment when I needed him in
order to live, and at a moment when I was not in search of him.
I was found; I did not find him."


I would think that this quote would make most evangelicals freak out but I think it is beautiful and yes,Ms Hoorah I am sure it is from Bishop Bloom.
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« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2009, 06:37:50 PM »

bump
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« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2009, 08:31:23 PM »

What annoys me are the atheist evangelists who treat religious people as all but sub-human dimbulbs and use the writings of the neo-Atheists as near-infallible scriptures and apologetics.
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« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2009, 10:08:31 PM »


I have a very good friend who is a convert to Holy Orthodoxy from the Lutheran Church.  He was also a professor at ORU for seven years.  He tells the story of when either Jerry Farwell or Pat Robertson (forget which) had an appeal at ORU for funds to evangelize Russia.  During one of the pre appeal meetings someone got up and asked -
"Shouldn't we be collecting money to support the existing church.  The Russian Orthodox Church?"  The reply was - "To support the Russian Orthodox Church is like putting eggs underneath a dead chicken and expecting them to hatch!"  I have no use for any of those TV evangelicals.

I watched one standing in Red Square with St Basil's Cathedral in the background asking for money to bring Jesus to Russia!  What did he think those Crosses were?  He ended his appeal by singing a so called hymn that went something like 'A cold bottle of beer won't wash away your sins!'

Which brings up another incident where one of the evangelists in Russia was asked about the existing Russian Orthodox Church.  His reply was - "Oh we don't consider them Christians.  LOOK AT THE MUSLIM DOMES THEY PUT ON THEIR CHURCHES!"  I once saw one of them wearing a three bar cross.  I asked if he was Russian or Ukrainian Orthodox. He wanted to know why I asked.  I pointed to his 3 bar cross.  His reply was - "THIS IS NOT AN ORTHODOX CROSS.  IT'S A RUSSIAN CROSS!!" 

So to answer your question ----  YES, I'm more than annoyed by evangelists!!!!

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« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2009, 11:02:59 PM »

Quote from Bishop Anthony Bloom...another favorite of mine.

"I met Christ as a Person at a moment when I needed him in
order to live, and at a moment when I was not in search of him.
I was found; I did not find him."


I would think that this quote would make most evangelicals freak out but I think it is beautiful and yes,Ms Hoorah I am sure it is from Bishop Bloom.
I may look for Barclay’s book at a nearby bookstore.  I think Quakers, Church of the Brethren, and the Amish are very interesting.  I live and work in Pennsylvania among many.  (Sorry to lead the thread off on a tangent but you might like the mini-series about John Quincy Adams, the famous Quaker.)

No, the Quakers, Church of the Brethren, and the Amish that I live near and work with do not evangelize like previously discussed groups. 
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« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2009, 11:53:49 PM »

^ Mistake....John Quincy Adams was a Unitarian. He advocated FOR the Quakers for their right to petition Congress to stop the growth of slavery.
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« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2009, 07:52:16 AM »

When a Protestant declines to hear from a saint, maybe you should appeal to Proverbs 18:13, which declares it foolish and shameful to answer or reject what we haven't heard.  You might also want to cite a Bible passage that concurs with the saints' words you'd like considered, and you might remind your Protestant friends that John Calvin himself quoted St. Augustine.
Oh, that's nice. By the way, the fact that some people act as Calvinists doesn't mean that they surely know about Calvin. It might be just their interpretation that leads them to believe in predestination.

GammaRay, you and Liz write as though you could read people's minds and predict their response.  Have you forgotten that Jesus, who "knew what was in man" (John 2:25), came to His own even though He knew they wouldn't receive Him (John 1:11).  If we're supposed to be Christ-like, how could it be orthodox for any of us not to patiently witness as our Savior did?

Quote
Jesus taught, "If anyone wills to do [God's] will, he shall know concerning the doctrine whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (John 7:17 NKJV).  This could help people realize the importance of relying on a holy person for guidance and instruction.
They just believe that the Saints are misled and only the Scripture holdsthe truth. See, fastings, prayers, almsgiving and their rest righteous deeds do not count for them, since the Scripture is above everything.

Again, you're assuming what none of us can know--the response an evangelical or protestant will give.  Mind you, I'm not saying we shouldn't stop unfruitful conversations (Titus 3:10-11).  We should, though, "be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV).  By the way, the Orthodox Study Bible counts 1 Peter 3:15 as "a challenge to all--clergy and laity alike--to answer when asked about our hope in Christ with meekness and fear."
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 08:23:40 AM by mathetes » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2009, 08:17:14 AM »

Saint Anthony the Great said that God cannot actually be angry or jealous and he also said that he does not fear God (not anymore). This would seem like a heresy for almost every Protestant.

At Exodus 20:5, the Orthodox Study Bible quotes St. John Chrysostom as commenting, "God is without passion, but He condescends to call Himself a jealous God to show the intensity of His love for man.  Therefore, let us love Him with intensity, for this is very pleasing to Him."

I'm uncertain about this alleged lack of Divine passion, because I know of no Scripture where God declares Himself to lack passion.  Is this lack of passion an assumption based on finite man's inability to understand how an all-knowing, infinite Being could show emotions?

As for St. Anthony the Great's assertion about not fearing God any longer, I'd like to see his words verbatim (translated, of course  Grin ) and in context.  I'd also like to know how we're sure those words are his and whether other saints or fathers have made similar statements.

The OSB says of Proverbs 1:7-8:

Quote
Wisdom begets the fear of God in "the simple" (v. 4).  The simple are beginners on the spiritual path.  This fear is the beginning of wisdom, godliness toward God, and the beginning of perception.  As these beginners practice this fear, they grow in good understanding of Wisdom and His virtues.  The ungodly are those who despise Wisdom and His instruction.  They may claim to believe in God, but they do not know Wisdom nor live a virtuous life.  Consequently, they do not truly believe in God.
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« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2009, 09:40:03 AM »

When a Protestant declines to hear from a saint, maybe you should appeal to Proverbs 18:13, which declares it foolish and shameful to answer or reject what we haven't heard.  You might also want to cite a Bible passage that concurs with the saints' words you'd like considered, and you might remind your Protestant friends that John Calvin himself quoted St. Augustine.
Oh, that's nice. By the way, the fact that some people act as Calvinists doesn't mean that they surely know about Calvin. It might be just their interpretation that leads them to believe in predestination.

GammaRay, you and Liz write as though you could read people's minds and predict their response.  Have you forgotten that Jesus, who "knew what was in man" (John 2:25), came to His own even though He knew they wouldn't receive Him (John 1:11).  If we're supposed to be Christ-like, how could it be orthodox for any of us not to patiently witness as our Savior did?

You're quite right. It's unChristian for us to judge people like this. I just need more patience with Evangelicals - I have had some fairly nasty experiences with people around where I am, but of course that's to do with individuals and I shouldn't judge other members of the same groups on that basis.



Quote
Jesus taught, "If anyone wills to do [God's] will, he shall know concerning the doctrine whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (John 7:17 NKJV).  This could help people realize the importance of relying on a holy person for guidance and instruction.
They just believe that the Saints are misled and only the Scripture holdsthe truth. See, fastings, prayers, almsgiving and their rest righteous deeds do not count for them, since the Scripture is above everything.

Again, you're assuming what none of us can know--the response an evangelical or protestant will give.  Mind you, I'm not saying we shouldn't stop unfruitful conversations (Titus 3:10-11).  We should, though, "be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV).  By the way, the Orthodox Study Bible counts 1 Peter 3:15 as "a challenge to all--clergy and laity alike--to answer when asked about our hope in Christ with meekness and fear."

[/quote]
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« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2009, 09:42:03 AM »

Btw, a Saint who said he did not fear God any longer, might perhaps simply have a more complete and scrupulous insight into his own faults - knowing that you deserve judgement can remove fear. I don't see it as being an arrogant statement.
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« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2009, 10:49:48 PM »

I just came across this thread, and having recently come across an article, I've decided to use this thread to vent my frustration on a certain website (sorry, I can't help it). Seeing that I have not found an Orthodox response to some of the blatant errors on this website, I've decided to share it:

http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles/The_Influential_Nature_of_Orthodoxy_Endangers_Christians.pdf

For example this is one of things that drives me crazy! Here is a quote:
Quote
Although Orthodoxy claims its origins from the first apostles, its actual start came after the Roman Emperor Constantine in the Fourth Century A.D. founded the state church for the empire.

I think if I see one more Constantine conspiracy theory, I'll morph into the Hulk. Sorry for being ranty, but for some odd reason I feel better knowing I'm not the only Orthodox Christian who is annoyed by these bad polemics.
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« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2009, 11:40:16 PM »

People in general can be annoying. (Myself included.) Why pick on just one group?
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« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2009, 09:58:48 AM »

Btw, a Saint who said he did not fear God any longer, might perhaps simply have a more complete and scrupulous insight into his own faults - knowing that you deserve judgement can remove fear. I don't see it as being an arrogant statement.

Liz, thanks for your kind responses.  Because of an out-of-town business trip, I must be away from my home PC till Sept. 16.  Lord willing, I'll check back then.
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"Iron sharpens iron, and a man sharpens the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17 OSB).

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