OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 16, 2014, 11:50:23 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: I don't understand the Evangelical mindset - never have, never will!!  (Read 43281 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« on: November 15, 2009, 03:33:24 AM »

I've just been reminded of how Evangelicals turn everything into an evangelical event.

Last year a relative of a relative was dying of breast cancer and when I expressed my sympathy regarding the sad loss of this vibrant young woman - for her family of young children and even her estranged husband - I was told that it wasn't really all that sad at all. God was working great miracles by showing how well she was handling death to her unbelieving exhusband.

The same sort of thing has been told to me by a close relative of my relative who might just die of leukemia. That "oh well, Gran isn't a believer yet and how well we all handle this might just push her into believing and get her saved."

These are just a couple of examples and whenever this sort of thing happens, I'm always like.... Hello??! What the heck are you people on? I have never heard an Orthodox believer express anything other than regret that a person they love is dying or has died. We actually grieve, rather than look at someone's passing as an opportunity to evangelise. To me this crass evangelical need is, as my husband says, diabolically insenstive and presumptuous.

I'm kind of angry, flabbergasted and even hurt as I write this, so it's probably good that I get it off my chest. 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 03:35:44 AM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 03:42:58 AM »

Sorry, Peter. I wasn't sure where to put this rant of mine.  Undecided
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
GregoryLA
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Moving toward Eastern Orthodoxy
Jurisdiction: Western Japan
Posts: 377



« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009, 03:49:51 AM »

I've just been reminded of how Evangelicals turn everything into an evangelical event.

Last year a relative of a relative was dying of breast cancer and when I expressed my sympathy regarding the sad loss of this vibrant young woman - for her family of young children and even her estranged husband - I was told that it wasn't really all that sad at all. God was working great miracles by showing how well she was handling death to her unbelieving exhusband.

The same sort of thing has been told to me by a close relative of my relative who might just die of leukemia. That "oh well, Gran isn't a believer yet and how well we all handle this might just push her into believing and get her saved."

These are just a couple of examples and whenever this sort of thing happens, I'm always like.... Hello??! What the heck are you people on? I have never heard an Orthodox believer express anything other than regret that a person they love is dying or has died. We actually grieve, rather than look at someone's passing as an opportunity to evangelise. To me this crass evangelical need is, as my husband says, diabolically insenstive and presumptuous.

I'm kind of angry, flabbergasted and even hurt as I write this, so it's probably good that I get it off my chest. 

Lord have mercy!

I'm sorry to hear about the deaths of your friends and family.  May the Lord comfort you and yours at this time and give you peace and comfort.  May those who are sick and suffering experience the healing of the Master Physician and may those who have already passed be granted peace in a place of comfort and light.

I think though there may be some worth in what those evangelical folks around you have said.  It would in fact be a wonderful thing if those nonbelievers around you were moved by the strength and hope present in the Christians they saw as God "works all things to the good for those who love Him."  Perhaps these evangelical folks are just trying to look on the brighter side of things as they face what, I'm sure for them as well, is a very heart-wrenching situation.  I know almost nothing about your situation, but try not to take your hurt out on them, as I'm sure you will need each other in this trying time.  

I'll pray for you.
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009, 04:05:46 AM »

I've just been reminded of how Evangelicals turn everything into an evangelical event.

Last year a relative of a relative was dying of breast cancer and when I expressed my sympathy regarding the sad loss of this vibrant young woman - for her family of young children and even her estranged husband - I was told that it wasn't really all that sad at all. God was working great miracles by showing how well she was handling death to her unbelieving exhusband.

The same sort of thing has been told to me by a close relative of my relative who might just die of leukemia. That "oh well, Gran isn't a believer yet and how well we all handle this might just push her into believing and get her saved."

These are just a couple of examples and whenever this sort of thing happens, I'm always like.... Hello??! What the heck are you people on? I have never heard an Orthodox believer express anything other than regret that a person they love is dying or has died. We actually grieve, rather than look at someone's passing as an opportunity to evangelise. To me this crass evangelical need is, as my husband says, diabolically insenstive and presumptuous.

I'm kind of angry, flabbergasted and even hurt as I write this, so it's probably good that I get it off my chest. 

Lord have mercy!

I'm sorry to hear about the deaths of your friends and family.  May the Lord comfort you and yours at this time and give you peace and comfort.  May those who are sick and suffering experience the healing of the Master Physician and may those who have already passed be granted peace in a place of comfort and light.

I think though there may be some worth in what those evangelical folks around you have said.  It would in fact be a wonderful thing if those nonbelievers around you were moved by the strength and hope present in the Christians they saw as God "works all things to the good for those who love Him."  Perhaps these evangelical folks are just trying to look on the brighter side of things as they face what, I'm sure for them as well, is a very heart-wrenching situation.  I know almost nothing about your situation, but try not to take your hurt out on them, as I'm sure you will need each other in this trying time.  

I'll pray for you.

That God can bring good out of bad situations isn't the issue. All Christians believe that and I'm fine with anyone looking on the bright side of their own situation, but neither of these cases - and others I can think of - were that. It's always someone else in the "hot seat", so to speak. That is what I don't understand. That I might wish that some good will come out of my suffering is all very well, but to disregard the very real pain that other people are suffering, the sadness of their situation and having sympathy for those who mourn for them, to not even acknowledge it, and in some way turn into into an altar call, is simply unfeeling in my opinion.

Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,880



« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 04:08:01 AM »

My step-mother, a former Roman Catholic of over 40 years turned Evangelical Southern Baptist, made a point to fly up to see a dying relative, expressly with the purpose of proselytizing.  Apparently however her family's deep rooted Italian Catholic faith was handling the situation wasn't good enough; she needed to swoop up and try and save the day at the last minute, despite her total lack of involvement in this person's life leading up to the critical condition.

These frustrations are quite normal.  When I was at my sister's Catholic wedding a few years ago, I ended up collecting informational pamphlets out of the lobby on Catholicism (I was raised Catholic) out of an honest curiosity.  I realized that I had never really given the Catholic perspective a fair shake, that I had only gotten my views about the Roman Catholic Church from the Baptists who helped to 'save' me a decade before.  My step-mother was at the wedding, and when she noticed this, she was sure to give me a stern warning:  "Don't listen to any of that.  All of that is invented by man."

I didn't want to argue, especially not at a wedding, so I just let it go.  I wasn't even a practicing Christian at that point; I was simply offended at how obviously ignorant and presumptuous she was being.

So you're not alone, but my hands are blood red on a lot of this.  I was trained up in an Evangelical church in my teens, and for years I hounded people around me about what they needed to do.  Orthodoxy has taught me about a great many things that I need to do.

May God have mercy on us all, wretched and prideful sinners that we are.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 04:08:49 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009, 04:14:21 AM »

My step-mother, a former Roman Catholic of over 40 years turned Evangelical Southern Baptist, made a point to fly up to see a dying relative, expressly with the purpose of proselytizing.  Apparently however her family's deep rooted Italian Catholic faith was handling the situation wasn't good enough; she needed to swoop up and try and save the day at the last minute, despite her total lack of involvement in this person's life leading up to the critical condition.

These frustrations are quite normal.  When I was at my sister's Catholic wedding a few years ago, I ended up collecting informational pamphlets out of the lobby on Catholicism (I was raised Catholic) out of an honest curiosity.  I realized that I had never really given the Catholic perspective a fair shake, that I had only gotten my views about the Roman Catholic Church from the Baptists who helped to 'save' me a decade before.  My step-mother was at the wedding, and when she noticed this, she was sure to give me a stern warning:  "Don't listen to any of that.  All of that is invented by man."

I didn't want to argue, especially not at a wedding, so I just let it go.  I wasn't even a practicing Christian at that point; I was simply offended at how obviously ignorant and presumptuous she was being.

So you're not alone, but my hands are blood red on a lot of this.  I was trained up in an Evangelical church in my teens, and for years I hounded people around me about what they needed to do.  Orthodoxy has taught me about a great many things that I need to do.

May God have mercy on us all, wretched and prideful sinners that we are.

Amen.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 04:15:00 AM »

Stupid people need to believe stupid things in order to make "sense" of the world. I don't deny anyone any crutches they need to get through life, but I wish they'd keep them to themselves and stop waving them about as they tend to cause injuries to others.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 04:15:26 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2009, 04:22:37 AM »

Stupid people need to believe stupid things in order to make "sense" of the world. I don't deny anyone any crutches they need to get through life, but I wish they'd keep them to themselves and stop waving them about as the tend to cause injuries to others.

I agree. This was almost exactly what I said to my daughter. If someone thinks such a thing, that's one thing, but why throw it in my direction, so that I now have to deal with the hurt of it?

Lord, have mercy on me, but I am angry and hurt. I'm honestly trying not to be bitter, but this has stirred up all the other unpleasant memories of tragedies that have been turned into prosletysing opportunities that I have had to endure with these people - family funerals where one is asked why one is crying; because it's all ok with God that so and so died!
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,880



« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2009, 04:29:18 AM »

Any Christian that is OK with death needs to pick up that Bible they are thumping.  Death came into this world because of sin, and it is unnatural.  Death is such a tragedy that Christ actually came and suffered death himself to free us from it.
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2009, 04:36:02 AM »

Any Christian that is OK with death needs to pick up that Bible they are thumping.  Death came into this world because of sin, and it is unnatural.  Death is such a tragedy that Christ actually came and suffered death himself to free us from it.

That is so true, Alveus. I just don't understand this way of thinking. These people seem to be so confident that the person dying has "made it", that they can therefore be sacrificed on the altar of evangelism. I just don't understand.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2009, 04:39:24 AM »

Lord, have mercy on me, but I am angry and hurt. I'm honestly trying not to be bitter, but this has stirred up all the other unpleasant memories of tragedies that have been turned into prosletysing opportunities that I have had to endure with these people - family funerals where one is asked why one is crying; because it's all ok with God that so and so died!
Have you read "Functional and Dysfunctional Christianity" by Fr. Philotheos Faros? It actually deals with these very issues and the "neurosis" in a lot of "western" Christianity. If you haven't read it, I have a copy I can give you.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2009, 04:42:59 AM »

Lord, have mercy on me, but I am angry and hurt. I'm honestly trying not to be bitter, but this has stirred up all the other unpleasant memories of tragedies that have been turned into prosletysing opportunities that I have had to endure with these people - family funerals where one is asked why one is crying; because it's all ok with God that so and so died!

Tell the bible-bashers to read John 11:35. The context is the death of Lazarus Whom Christ was about to raise from the dead.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2009, 04:54:57 AM »

Lord, have mercy on me, but I am angry and hurt. I'm honestly trying not to be bitter, but this has stirred up all the other unpleasant memories of tragedies that have been turned into prosletysing opportunities that I have had to endure with these people - family funerals where one is asked why one is crying; because it's all ok with God that so and so died!
Have you read "Functional and Dysfunctional Christianity" by Fr. Philotheos Faros? It actually deals with these very issues and the "neurosis" in a lot of "western" Christianity. If you haven't read it, I have a copy I can give you.

ozgeorge,

No, I haven't read that book. I would be most grateful to read it. I'll contact you in private. Thank you so much.  Smiley
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2009, 04:56:35 AM »

Lord, have mercy on me, but I am angry and hurt. I'm honestly trying not to be bitter, but this has stirred up all the other unpleasant memories of tragedies that have been turned into prosletysing opportunities that I have had to endure with these people - family funerals where one is asked why one is crying; because it's all ok with God that so and so died!

Tell the bible-bashers to read John 11:35. The context is the death of Lazarus Whom Christ was about to raise from the dead.

I have been thinking about that very verse all afternoon!
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,268



« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2009, 02:55:27 PM »

Orthodoxy has taught me about a great many things that I need to do.



I just thought this was so fine and so true, it needed repeating.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2009, 03:09:16 PM »

My mother and her sister were raised in the Catholic Church, attended Catholic schools and as adults became Evangelicals. My Grandmother, a devout Polish Catholic woman with pictures of the Pope, religious paintings and statues of Christ, and icons of Our Lady of Czestochowa all over the house (literally every room but the bathroom), had been the object of their tongue-clucking judgment for years and comments of how "sad it was that Mom didn't know Jesus."

Now that my Grandmother is in her nineties and suffering from dimentia, my Aunt told me this summer that she has decided that "Mom must be saved, since she does pray to Jesus in her own little way, and I'm sure he understands."

I'm sure my Grandmother will take comfort in knowing that her daughter has assured her salvation. (facepalm)
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,798


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2009, 03:52:12 PM »

I think it is proper to see the dying process or just illness as Holy Ground. It humbles us and can open many doors to other people. It may not even be something as dramatic as a full conversion but just that it allowed them to tend to us.

I think what you may be noticing is that Orthodox have a rather sober form of piety, so we can express the same hope as your Evangelical relatives but in a way that may seem more proper to you.. Different strokes for different folks
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Andrew21091
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 1,269



« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2009, 05:26:00 PM »

I have never understood Evangelicals either since I've never been a part of them or been involved with them. Born Roman Catholic and then converted to Orthodoxy pretty young. I've never understood the whole "saved" business they talk about, such as asking people if they are saved. I was asked that once and I only got confused saying that I cannot possibly know and that it is something that must be worked toward. I never understood how someone could know if this person or that person could be saved since that is up to God.
Logged
Liz
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2009, 06:12:40 PM »

I've just been reminded of how Evangelicals turn everything into an evangelical event.

Last year a relative of a relative was dying of breast cancer and when I expressed my sympathy regarding the sad loss of this vibrant young woman - for her family of young children and even her estranged husband - I was told that it wasn't really all that sad at all. God was working great miracles by showing how well she was handling death to her unbelieving exhusband.

The same sort of thing has been told to me by a close relative of my relative who might just die of leukemia. That "oh well, Gran isn't a believer yet and how well we all handle this might just push her into believing and get her saved."

These are just a couple of examples and whenever this sort of thing happens, I'm always like.... Hello??! What the heck are you people on? I have never heard an Orthodox believer express anything other than regret that a person they love is dying or has died. We actually grieve, rather than look at someone's passing as an opportunity to evangelise. To me this crass evangelical need is, as my husband says, diabolically insenstive and presumptuous.

I'm kind of angry, flabbergasted and even hurt as I write this, so it's probably good that I get it off my chest. 

That's so sad. I hope they were just masking their grief the only way they knew how, by telling themselves that something 'positive' could come. I guess that's a natural impulse too, but I agree that it feels offensive and disrespectful to the dead to evangelize in that situation.

I think (and I'm aware that my own culture is not so rich in this area as I could wish) that some of us are very impoverished in terms of solid, comforting rituals with which to acknowledge all our feelings for our dead.

I ended up finding the Psalter and the many prayers for the dead it in, all on my own. Maybe your family just haven't found these things. They might feel very angry and alone in their need to find an a-temporal 'meaning' for this death, which you might find in the established structures of Orthodoxy.

I'm so sorry you had this experience. God be with you.
Logged
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2009, 08:27:48 PM »

I think it is proper to see the dying process or just illness as Holy Ground. It humbles us and can open many doors to other people. It may not even be something as dramatic as a full conversion but just that it allowed them to tend to us.

I think what you may be noticing is that Orthodox have a rather sober form of piety, so we can express the same hope as your Evangelical relatives but in a way that may seem more proper to you.. Different strokes for different folks

I agree, I don't see anything wrong with what they do. Different strokes for different folks.








ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 08:29:30 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2009, 11:56:32 PM »

I've just been reminded of how Evangelicals turn everything into an evangelical event.

Last year a relative of a relative was dying of breast cancer and when I expressed my sympathy regarding the sad loss of this vibrant young woman - for her family of young children and even her estranged husband - I was told that it wasn't really all that sad at all. God was working great miracles by showing how well she was handling death to her unbelieving exhusband.

The same sort of thing has been told to me by a close relative of my relative who might just die of leukemia. That "oh well, Gran isn't a believer yet and how well we all handle this might just push her into believing and get her saved."

These are just a couple of examples and whenever this sort of thing happens, I'm always like.... Hello??! What the heck are you people on? I have never heard an Orthodox believer express anything other than regret that a person they love is dying or has died. We actually grieve, rather than look at someone's passing as an opportunity to evangelise. To me this crass evangelical need is, as my husband says, diabolically insenstive and presumptuous.

I'm kind of angry, flabbergasted and even hurt as I write this, so it's probably good that I get it off my chest. 

That's so sad. I hope they were just masking their grief the only way they knew how, by telling themselves that something 'positive' could come. I guess that's a natural impulse too, but I agree that it feels offensive and disrespectful to the dead to evangelize in that situation.

I think (and I'm aware that my own culture is not so rich in this area as I could wish) that some of us are very impoverished in terms of solid, comforting rituals with which to acknowledge all our feelings for our dead.

I ended up finding the Psalter and the many prayers for the dead it in, all on my own. Maybe your family just haven't found these things. They might feel very angry and alone in their need to find an a-temporal 'meaning' for this death, which you might find in the established structures of Orthodoxy.

I'm so sorry you had this experience. God be with you.

Thanks Liz. Yes it is sad. Our relatives - mine and my husband's - are, but for a few exceptions, pragmatic fundamentalists. Both sides are varying kinds of Evangelicals; some very conservative and stoic; some charistmatic and kind of “out there”. Even with these differences, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that they as a group would seek a *practical * explanation to death and grief that fits in with their mindset. From my experiences with them through many situations over the years, I just don't think that they are in touch with the reality of sorrow and very human need to express grief. I honestly see them as emotionally disfunctional and have never been able to either comfort them or be comforted by them in times of sorrow. 

Having said all this, I love these people very deeply. They are very devout and committed Christians; but they are just beyond my comprehension.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2009, 12:10:03 AM »

I think it is proper to see the dying process or just illness as Holy Ground. It humbles us and can open many doors to other people. It may not even be something as dramatic as a full conversion but just that it allowed them to tend to us.

I think what you may be noticing is that Orthodox have a rather sober form of piety, so we can express the same hope as your Evangelical relatives but in a way that may seem more proper to you.. Different strokes for different folks

I agree, I don't see anything wrong with what they do. Different strokes for different folks.








ICXC NIKA

Well, I don't think of these things as being *wrong*, per se. It's not like it's immoral or a sin to be lacking in empathy (or is it?) I just see this ploy as typical of Evangelicals. I simply view seeing someone else's death in such an opportunistic light as crass and unfeeling.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 12:11:54 AM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
EkhristosAnesti
'I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."' - Psalm 91:2
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Posts: 2,743


Pope St Kyrillos VI


« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2009, 02:30:45 AM »

We actually grieve, rather than look at someone's passing as an opportunity to evangelise.

Why is it necessarily an either/or thing?

I think you are being overly presumptuous in denying that people who deal with tragedy in such a way must be lacking in sympathy and compassion. What is to preclude a more positive interpretation, such as that which may suggest that such people possess such an extraordinary level of faith which, being so absorbed by genuine conviction in the Goodness and Love of God, inspires them to respond in a way most conducive to His ultimate Good and Loving purpose?  I would think the first step of responding conducively as such would be acknowledgement of the reality of the spiritual backdrop to any given tragic circumstance.

I am reminded of an incident where a certain lady had written to a great Church Father (whose exact identity escapes me at the moment, but I can dig for more specific information if you wish or require me to) complaining of a severe illness which she was suffering from. This Church Father certainly sympathised with the woman, but he did not stop at that. His advice to her was that she should not be so absorbed by her sufferings, but that she should rather be philosophical about them--that this was the Christian way, as opposed to the way of the world. The spirit of the Psalms of lamentation I believe echo the same sentiment. The Psalmist is honest about his grief and sorrows, yet counters his natural emotionalism with philosophical sentiments. Take Psalm 4, for example; the Psalmist complains about his hardships not less than a few times, yet he proclaims how God "enlarged" him amidst his affliction--which is to say, as per the commentary of the Fathers, that God allowed him the opportunity to converse more intimately with him. This alludes to one of the most common and general Christian responses to why God permits suffering in certain instances--it allows us the opportunity to grow closer to Him. Certainly I am expected to acknowledge the possibility of this amidst my own suffering, but why would I be wrong in trying to help see others suffering see this for themselves also?

But maybe I am talking past you here? I wonder if your generally negative reaction is shaped even in the slightest by an underlying skepticism as to the legitimacy of the spiritual interpretation of these tragedies by the relevant persons. If we could assume for argument's sake that in regard to the first incident you relate, for example, that God truly did allow the tragedy in question to prevail for the purpose of inspiring some penance and faith in the unbelieving husband, would your reaction be any different? Or do you perhaps object to the hypothetical situation I posit upon the presumption that since God could never permit such tragedies for such purposes one cannot even assume such even for argument's sake?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 02:32:07 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2009, 03:50:11 AM »

We actually grieve, rather than look at someone's passing as an opportunity to evangelise.

Why is it necessarily an either/or thing?

I think you are being overly presumptuous in denying that people who deal with tragedy in such a way must be lacking in sympathy and compassion. What is to preclude a more positive interpretation, such as that which may suggest that such people possess such an extraordinary level of faith which, being so absorbed by genuine conviction in the Goodness and Love of God, inspires them to respond in a way most conducive to His ultimate Good and Loving purpose?  I would think the first step of responding conducively as such would be acknowledgement of the reality of the spiritual backdrop to any given tragic circumstance.

I am reminded of an incident where a certain lady had written to a great Church Father (whose exact identity escapes me at the moment, but I can dig for more specific information if you wish or require me to) complaining of a severe illness which she was suffering from. This Church Father certainly sympathised with the woman, but he did not stop at that. His advice to her was that she should not be so absorbed by her sufferings, but that she should rather be philosophical about them--that this was the Christian way, as opposed to the way of the world. The spirit of the Psalms of lamentation I believe echo the same sentiment. The Psalmist is honest about his grief and sorrows, yet counters his natural emotionalism with philosophical sentiments. Take Psalm 4, for example; the Psalmist complains about his hardships not less than a few times, yet he proclaims how God "enlarged" him amidst his affliction--which is to say, as per the commentary of the Fathers, that God allowed him the opportunity to converse more intimately with him. This alludes to one of the most common and general Christian responses to why God permits suffering in certain instances--it allows us the opportunity to grow closer to Him. Certainly I am expected to acknowledge the possibility of this amidst my own suffering, but why would I be wrong in trying to help see others suffering see this for themselves also?

But maybe I am talking past you here? I wonder if your generally negative reaction is shaped even in the slightest by an underlying skepticism as to the legitimacy of the spiritual interpretation of these tragedies by the relevant persons. If we could assume for argument's sake that in regard to the first incident you relate, for example, that God truly did allow the tragedy in question to prevail for the purpose of inspiring some penance and faith in the unbelieving husband, would your reaction be any different? Or do you perhaps object to the hypothetical situation I posit upon the presumption that since God could never permit such tragedies for such purposes one cannot even assume such even for argument's sake?

Fair enough to assume anything for argument's sake. I can be philosophical about my own sufferings, but hold those of others in high regard. God might have allowed these things to happen for any number of reasons; spiritual growth not being the least of them. But I think perhaps you misunderstand my point, but that is understandable in this medium. I, in no way, deny that God in His great goodness can or will allow tragedy or even use it or even a potential tragedy for such miraculous purposes. In fact, some years ago my own son had a brain tumour. It was removed, but later it was shown that fragments?? (I don’t know how to explain this correctly) were still present and becoming active. The prognosis wasn’t good.  After some months of specialist visits that seemed to go nowhere, my husband took him to Australia to receive Holy Unction. When he returned to his specialist there was no sign of the tumour’s *remains*. I think that I can with some confidence say that was God working a miracle. I’m not speculating on God’s intervention; my son had a lethal condition and now it is gone; he has been able to bring his family to live in Australia and can work again. So I know that God works miracles; even though this particular one was virtually ignored by my family or treated with great skepticism.

Perhaps I haven’t expressed myself well, but my complaint isn’t about the belief that God can work a miracle; either in healing my nephew or saving a lost grandmother; but that in the first case a young woman's death was brushed off in such a callous manner, preferring to see it as a prosletysing opportunity than the tragedy it is. Would anyone expect there to be instead of an expression of sympathy a glib sales pitch? The straw to break the camel's back, so to speak, was to hear this same line of reasoning used with regard to my nephew's potentially lethal condition. Of course, we are all hoping for a miracle. Of course, prayers are the first positive towards such a thing, but say what you will I can't understand this brushing aside of concern to make my nephew's condition a platform for evangelism. 

Anyway, thanks for your comments.

edited as usual to make sense.... I think
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 04:15:23 AM by Riddikulus » Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
EkhristosAnesti
'I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."' - Psalm 91:2
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Posts: 2,743


Pope St Kyrillos VI


« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2009, 06:12:53 PM »

I'm of the impression that I *did* get your point, but that you misunderstood mine (probably because of my own inability to properly express myself).

I didn't anywhere refer to the idea of miraculous healings. This is indeed one way in which God's Glory may be manifest amidst tragedy--the very thing which naturally seeks to challenge God's Glory--but it is not the only way.

Please let me try and rephrase my essential points:

The moral that I inferred from St Gregory of Nyssa's response to the suffering woman as recounted in my previous response, is as follows: firstly, that the Christian mind is one which discerns that everything has a spiritual backdrop to it, and that tragedies in particular may serve a spiritual purpose in one way or another (not necessarily, and certainly not predominantly, on account of being an opportunity for some "miraculous" resolution), and that secondly, we are to act accordingly. This being the case, it must nevertheless be acknowledged that God did not introduce tragedy and suffering into the world, for any purpose; tragedies originally entered into the world on account of sin alone, and needless to say they will come to an end. While they remain with us, however, God can (and does) use tragedy for redemptive purposes, in the paradoxical fashion that He could use death (namely, the death of Christ on the Cross) to defeat the ultimate tragedy—death itself.   

I then appealed to the Psalms as works exemplifying the healthy Christian way of dealing with suffering in that they strike a healthy balance between an emotional response on the one hand and a spiritually philosophical response on the other; I made such an appeal because, as far as I can tell, your qualms with the particular incidents in question are provoked by a more general objection to a response to suffering of the latter type and an underlying assumption that the latter type of response is at tension with the former. A spiritually philosophical response to suffering may indeed involve discerning the way in which God wishes to abuse tragedy against itself by allowing it to promote the salvation of others; yet you seem to be suggesting that we should just see tragedy as mere tragedy and grieve as such.

Quote
a young woman's death was brushed off in such a callous manner, preferring to see it as a prosletysing opportunity than the tragedy it is.

In light of my above clarifications (at least I hope they serve as such), can this young woman's death not be regarded as both a tragedy and an opportunity for others' redemption (I'm going to avoid talk of 'proselytising' given the negative connotations attached to such a term which I think threaten an objective discussion of this sensitive topic)? I believe acknowledgment of such is part and parcel of an affirmation of the fact that by Christ's "tragedy" (His death on the Cross) all tragedies met their end (sin and death were defeated) and that His redemptive work operates in the here and now to transform tragedies towards good ends. Could it be that what you interpret to be "callous brushing off" is possibly simply undivided confidence and trust that God's Love and Goodness is at hand even in the midst of apparent tragedy, and a faithful determination to co-operate with that Love and Goodness at work?

Speaking in particular of an Orthodox approach to tragedy, consider our response to the death of the Martyrs. Would you not consider someone being murdered, and so brutally at that, for doing nothing more than upholding their faith more tragic than someone dying of illness? But we know that the tragedy of the Martyrs *was* the foundation of the conversion of many, and we continue to commemorate and celebrate their heroism, even with evangelistic intent.

Fr. Pishoy Kamel, a recently departed priest of our Church who is unanimously considered to have been a living Saint, died of cancer; in his final days he came to regard his cancer as the "sickness of heaven". In the manner of the Saints, he praised and glorified God amidst his suffering till his last breath; he regarded his illness a final token from God--a final opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ and receive greater glory in the Heavenly Kingdom. His example was appealed to by a certain deacon's spiritual adviser when I accompanied the latter on one of his hospital visits to the deacon. This deacon is and has always been a very holy and dedicated servant of the church and his spiritual adviser, whilst saddened by the sight of his spiritual son having lost his hair and looking weaker than ever due to the chemo, nevertheless saw it fit to raise this deacon’s focus in relation to his condition beyond the level of mere tragedy towards a higher, spiritual level--to acknowledge it as an opportunity for him to earn greater glory in heaven. The deacon didn't merely *suffer* from cancer; he *earned* the sickness of heaven.

I realise how difficult, emotionally and psychologically, it is to adopt this higher level of thinking amidst tragedy—to move beyond our sensory perceptions and reflex responses, our emotions, our instincts etc.—to penetrate the veil of all this and grasp the underlying spiritual reality. I speak as to such a difficulty on account of my own experience. I haven’t suffered great physical illness, but I’ve suffered some things that at times made me wish to have had physical illness instead. It took me over a year and a half to try and finally view one such experience through a spiritual lens, and to take that vision seriously enough so as to put my emotions aside and act accordingly. Once I began that effort, God was more than generous with me, and granted me the liberation I had struggled to acquire for a year and a half, in just a few days. I don't want to harp on about my own experience here; I just allude to it to reinforce the idea that I’m not just speaking abstractly here. I can empathise with how difficult it is to adopt the mindset i'm promoting, but I can also attest to the beautiful benefits of so adopting that mindset and taking it seriously.

I hope my intent has been made clear and that I have not offended or hurt you. Glory to God for the wonderful outcome of your son's situation. I entreat the Saints to pray that God be with your nephew and all those who suffer with him; that He heal him for the glory of His Name, and that He make His power and glory known amidst such circumstances, for the peace, comfort, strength and salvation of all.
Logged

No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2009, 07:52:25 PM »

I'm of the impression that I *did* get your point, but that you misunderstood mine (probably because of my own inability to properly express myself).

I apologise for misunderstanding. The old brain isn’t quite what it used to be. But I don't think that you have understood the thrust of my lament.

Quote

I didn't anywhere refer to the idea of miraculous healings. This is indeed one way in which God's Glory may be manifest amidst tragedy--the very thing which naturally seeks to challenge God's Glory--but it is not the only way.

Please let me try and rephrase my essential points:

The moral that I inferred from St Gregory of Nyssa's response to the suffering woman as recounted in my previous response, is as follows: firstly, that the Christian mind is one which discerns that everything has a spiritual backdrop to it, and that tragedies in particular may serve a spiritual purpose in one way or another (not necessarily, and certainly not predominantly, on account of being an opportunity for some "miraculous" resolution), and that secondly, we are to act accordingly. This being the case, it must nevertheless be acknowledged that God did not introduce tragedy and suffering into the world, for any purpose; tragedies originally entered into the world on account of sin alone, and needless to say they will come to an end. While they remain with us, however, God can (and does) use tragedy for redemptive purposes, in the paradoxical fashion that He could use death (namely, the death of Christ on the Cross) to defeat the ultimate tragedy—death itself.

I agree completely. Of course, the Christian mind is one which discerns that everything has a spiritual backdrop to it. Of course, God can and does use tragedy for redemptive purposes. Where have I suggested otherwise? This isn’t my issue. My issue is when the spiritual backdrop becomes the focus to the exclusion of human suffering; when the tragedy is minimalised. 

Quote
I then appealed to the Psalms as works exemplifying the healthy Christian way of dealing with suffering in that they strike a healthy balance between an emotional response on the one hand and a spiritually philosophical response on the other; I made such an appeal because, as far as I can tell, your qualms with the particular incidents in question are provoked by a more general objection to a response to suffering of the latter type and an underlying assumption that the latter type of response is at tension with the former. A spiritually philosophical response to suffering may indeed involve discerning the way in which God wishes to abuse tragedy against itself by allowing it to promote the salvation of others; yet you seem to be suggesting that we should just see tragedy as mere tragedy and grieve as such.

Sorry. If that is what it seems, I have failed to express myself thoroughly. My objection to has nothing to do with what God does with a tragedy, but what we as humans do with it. The issue that concerns me here is the ignoring of the tragedy and the relegation of suffering and death to a stage for proselytization. You are rightly advocating balance and what I am actually complaining of is the lack of balance in such a view. That the acknowledgement of human suffering in grief should be placed on hold, so to speak, while creating a platform for evangelism out of the death or approaching death of one beloved in the hope that the unsaved beloved is distorting the experience of the tragedy. Ignoring the suffering of death of one loved one because of the hope of evangelising another denies an outlet to express grief naturally, because natural human expression is cut off to focus on the “main event”.   

Quote
a young woman's death was brushed off in such a callous manner, preferring to see it as a prosletysing opportunity than the tragedy it is.

In light of my above clarifications (at least I hope they serve as such), can this young woman's death not be regarded as both a tragedy and an opportunity for others' redemption

Yes! But that is not my issue. The very fact that it was not regarded as both is the very crux of my consternation! That one is told that there should be no sadness; one shouldn’t weep for the loss of the beloved is not allowing it to be both! It's distancing oneself from the reality of our human condition.

Quote
Could it be that what you interpret to be "callous brushing off" is possibly simply undivided confidence and trust that God's Love and Goodness is at hand even in the midst of apparent tragedy, and a faithful determination to co-operate with that Love and Goodness at work?

No, I don’t believe so. Undivided confidence and trust that God’s Love and Goodness is at hand doesn’t set about to eliminate human grief; it accommodates it; encourages it as a healthy outlet. The death of a beloved isn’t some side plot to be disregarded in favour of the “main event”. Bishop Kallistos, in his book The Inner Kingdom says that death is unnatural.

“Death is not part of God’s primary purpose for His creation. He created us, not in order that we should die, but in order that we should live. What is more, He created us as an undivided unity. In the Jewish and Christian view, the human person is to be seen in thoroughly holistic terms: we are each of us, not a soul temporarily imprisioned in a body and longing to escape, but an integrated totality that embraces soul and body together… As the separation of body and soul, death is therefore a violent affront against the wholeness of our human nature. Death may be something that awaits us all, but it at the same time profoundly abnormal. It is monstrous and tragic. Confronted by the death of those close to us and by our own death, despite all our realism we are justified in feeling also a sense of desolation, of horror and even indignation…Jesus Himself wept beside the grave of His friend, Lazarus (Jn11:35) and in Gethsemane He was filled with anguish at the prospect of His own death (Mt26:38). St Paul regards death as an “enemy to be destroyed:” (1Cor 15:26). The fact that we are all going to die is a reflection of the fact that we are all living in a fallen world – in a world that is distorted and out of joint; crazy, ecrase.

Quote
Speaking in particular of an Orthodox approach to tragedy, consider our response to the death of the Martyrs. Would you not consider someone being murdered, and so brutally at that, for doing nothing more than upholding their faith more tragic than someone dying of illness? But we know that the tragedy of the Martyrs *was* the foundation of the conversion of many, and we continue to commemorate and celebrate their heroism, even with evangelistic intent.

But weren't the martyrs mourned in a natural and healthy way? It seems to me, from my reading, that they were.

Quote
Fr. Pishoy Kamel, a recently departed priest of our Church who is unanimously considered to have been a living Saint, died of cancer; in his final days he came to regard his cancer as the "sickness of heaven". In the manner of the Saints, he praised and glorified God amidst his suffering till his last breath; he regarded his illness a final token from God--a final opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ and receive greater glory in the Heavenly Kingdom. His example was appealed to by a certain deacon's spiritual adviser when I accompanied the latter on one of his hospital visits to the deacon. This deacon is and has always been a very holy and dedicated servant of the church and his spiritual adviser, whilst saddened by the sight of his spiritual son having lost his hair and looking weaker than ever due to the chemo, nevertheless saw it fit to raise this deacon’s focus in relation to his condition beyond the level of mere tragedy towards a higher, spiritual level--to acknowledge it as an opportunity for him to earn greater glory in heaven. The deacon didn't merely *suffer* from cancer; he *earned* the sickness of heaven.

Such an attitude in the face of death is equisite Gracefilled bravery. I hope and pray that when my time comes I might do the event some justice.  Still, I hope that my loved ones feel free to mourn while taking in the spiritual backdrop. 

Quote
I realise how difficult, emotionally and psychologically, it is to adopt this higher level of thinking amidst tragedy—

I’m not sure that it is all that difficult given God’s grace. A balanced approach to life and death is surely the correct course for the Christian? But again it misses my point; that emotionally and psychologically there should be a balanced approach to tragedy; not the massacre of human grief. Such glib responses regarding tragedy as I have heard do more harm than good, I believe. In the hope to save one; they can create stumbling blocks for others. Perhaps our only response at times like this should be a heart-felt “Lord, have mercy!”

Quote
I hope my intent has been made clear and that I have not offended or hurt you.

No, not at all! I thank you for commenting on my posts! You have given me more food for thought and I’m grateful that you took the time to share your opinion. That is what this forum is for.

Quote
Glory to God for the wonderful outcome of your son's situation. I entreat the Saints to pray that God be with your nephew and all those who suffer with him; that He heal him for the glory of His Name, and that He make His power and glory known amidst such circumstances, for the peace, comfort, strength and salvation of all.

Amen and Amen. It’s a hard time for us all; I'm not going to pretend that it is otherwise.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2009, 08:02:00 PM »

I ended up finding the Psalter and the many prayers for the dead it in, all on my own.

This is very sound advice, and most importantly I think its common ground which all branches of Christianity can agree on. Reading the Psalms is very comforting, in all different times of trouble.
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,834


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2009, 05:29:35 AM »

The discussion seems to have forked into three different threads:

1) Why are Evangelicals unfeeling?
2) What is a healthy Christian attitude to suffering?
3) Why do Evangelicals attempt to proselytise at times of suffering?

1) You Orthodox may be angered, saddened, grieved or just plain mystified by the unreal response to others’ suffering which you sometimes encounter from Evangelicals – a denial of the human side of the tragedy. We Evangelicals have to live with it when we encounter it! You are right – it is a strand of Evangelical piety. But why?

First let me say that not all Evangelicals are like that, and there are pastors and Christians who are deep, sensitive, warm, strong and compassionate at times when others suffer.

Secondly, let me say that I believe this lack of appropriate response to suffering is a fairly recent development, not an essential integral part of Evangelical spirituality. I do not think I have found it in the writings, biographical or otherwise, of the 17th and 18th centuries, but it seems to me to begin to creep in in the second half of the 19th century, and you get choruses asserting things like, “And now I am happy all the day.” (The original hymn was by Isaac Watts, but the chorus was, I believe, added many years later in the Moody and Sankey era). I never choose it when preaching, and I refuse to sing it when someone else does: it is unreal.

It seems that the idea has spread that a Christian should always be joyful, and that if he is not it somehow reflects badly on God or on Evangelicalism. Now of course “the joy of the Lord is your strength” and during my three years of worst personal suffering, 2002-5, it is true that I never lost “the joy of the Lord” like a sort of underground stream. That was graciously permanent, but the suffering was not lessened. People wrongly equate “joy” (a spiritual fruit) with “happiness” (a natural emotion deriving from good circumstances), and they think they should be happy all the time, otherwise it discredits God. So they deny suffering and pretend to themselves and others that they are permanently happy.

They also believe they should live permanently in a high state of faith, standing on the belief (quite right) that God works for good in all things. But the “faith” whereby they attempt to espy the hoped-for happy outcome can make them recoil from the very deep and real sufferings through which people are going. Again, it is living in a sort of denial.

Living in denial concerning the presence, strength and reality of suffering renders them insensitive to the sufferings of others, and their clumsy attempts at counsel come over as unreal, detached from reality, and unhelpful. Their words lack insight and compassion.

Then there is the fact that many of them have probably never suffered. We live in a cosseted society – wealth, prosperity, good medical care, plentiful nutritious diet, long life. Many people, Christian or not, have never yet experienced real trouble, and are unfitted to handle it when they encounter it in others.

Lastly, we also live in a society which denies suffering, or at least denies death. Instead of grieving deeply and painfully over the death of loved ones, people hold funerals in which poems are read out asserting fatuous nonsense like death being nothing at all, only going into the next room. Then they hive off to the pub or someone’s home and start chatting, gossiping, flirting, drinking, and putting the starkness of death and indeed of their own mortality out of their minds.

Evangelicals live in this luxurious, death-denying society and are (or can be), alas, affected by its Zeitgeist.

2) Concerning a more wholesome response to suffering, I need add nothing to the excellent posts from our Coptic brother.

3) Why do Evangelicals cash in on others’ times of suffering in order to proselytise?

First, let me say we do not see it as proselytising, and a less pejorative word would be appropriate. We give not a fig for what church a man belongs to, when he is happy, or suffering, or dying; we only care that he should put his faith in Christ and, by repentance and faith, be able (if alive and suffering) to lay hold of the presence and help which comes from the Lord, and (if dying) be able to go in peace to meet his Maker. Whether a person is Orthodox, Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist or whatever, we desire to do our best to be sure he lives and dies in personal faith in God’s Son. We do not see it as proselytising.

Why do we do it at times of suffering and death? Despite the denial of unpleasantness and mortality which pervades society, many people will briefly turn their minds to the possibility of God, heaven, judgement, hell, eternal life and like matters when starkly brought into contact with it – either by their own suffering, or perhaps the reality of death when a loved one dies – and it can be the only time their minds and hearts allow any openness to such important questions and matters. A funeral, for example, is often more or less the only time many people will go into a church, or contact a minister. Of course any attempt at evangelism at such times should, nay must, be undertaken in a spirit of sensitivity and compassion.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 05:33:28 AM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2009, 05:47:28 AM »

The discussion seems to have forked into three different threads:

1) Why are Evangelicals unfeeling?
2) What is a healthy Christian attitude to suffering?
3) Why do Evangelicals attempt to proselytise at times of suffering?

1) You Orthodox may be angered, saddened, grieved or just plain mystified by the unreal response to others’ suffering which you sometimes encounter from Evangelicals – a denial of the human side of the tragedy. We Evangelicals have to live with it when we encounter it! You are right – it is a strand of Evangelical piety. But why?

First let me say that not all Evangelicals are like that, and there are pastors and Christians who are deep, sensitive, warm, strong and compassionate at times when others suffer.

Secondly, let me say that I believe this lack of appropriate response to suffering is a fairly recent development, not an essential integral part of Evangelical spirituality. I do not think I have found it in the writings, biographical or otherwise, of the 17th and 18th centuries, but it seems to me to begin to creep in in the second half of the 19th century, and you get choruses asserting things like, “And now I am happy all the day.” (The original hymn was by Isaac Watts, but the chorus was, I believe, added many years later in the Moody and Sankey era). I never choose it when preaching, and I refuse to sing it when someone else does: it is unreal.

It seems that the idea has spread that a Christian should always be joyful, and that if he is not it somehow reflects badly on God or on Evangelicalism. Now of course “the joy of the Lord is your strength” and during my three years of worst personal suffering, 2002-5, it is true that I never lost “the joy of the Lord” like a sort of underground stream. That was graciously permanent, but the suffering was not lessened. People wrongly equate “joy” (a spiritual fruit) with “happiness” (a natural emotion deriving from good circumstances), and they think they should be happy all the time, otherwise it discredits God. So they deny suffering and pretend to themselves and others that they are permanently happy.

They also believe they should live permanently in a high state of faith, standing on the belief (quite right) that God works for good in all things. But the “faith” whereby they attempt to espy the hoped-for happy outcome can make them recoil from the very deep and real sufferings through which people are going. Again, it is living in a sort of denial.

Living in denial concerning the presence, strength and reality of suffering renders them insensitive to the sufferings of others, and their clumsy attempts at counsel come over as unreal, detached from reality, and unhelpful. Their words lack insight and compassion.

Then there is the fact that many of them have probably never suffered. We live in a cosseted society – wealth, prosperity, good medical care, plentiful nutritious diet, long life. Many people, Christian or not, have never yet experienced real trouble, and are unfitted to handle it when they encounter it in others.

Lastly, we also live in a society which denies suffering, or at least denies death. Instead of grieving deeply and painfully over the death of loved ones, people hold funerals in which poems are read out asserting fatuous nonsense like death being nothing at all, only going into the next room. Then they hive off to the pub or someone’s home and start chatting, gossiping, flirting, drinking, and putting the starkness of death and indeed of their own mortality out of their minds.

Evangelicals live in this luxurious, death-denying society and are (or can be), alas, affected by its Zeitgeist.

2) Concerning a more wholesome response to suffering, I need add nothing to the excellent posts from our Coptic brother.

3) Why do Evangelicals cash in on others’ times of suffering in order to proselytise?

First, let me say we do not see it as proselytising, and a less pejorative word would be appropriate. We give not a fig for what church a man belongs to, when he is happy, or suffering, or dying; we only care that he should put his faith in Christ and, by repentance and faith, be able (if alive and suffering) to lay hold of the presence and help which comes from the Lord, and (if dying) be able to go in peace to meet his Maker. Whether a person is Orthodox, Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist or whatever, we desire to do our best to be sure he lives and dies in personal faith in God’s Son. We do not see it as proselytising.

Why do we do it at times of suffering and death? Despite the denial of unpleasantness and mortality which pervades society, many people will briefly turn their minds to the possibility of God, heaven, judgement, hell, eternal life and like matters when starkly brought into contact with it – either by their own suffering, or perhaps the reality of death when a loved one dies – and it can be the only time their minds and hearts allow any openness to such important questions and matters. A funeral, for example, is often more or less the only time many people will go into a church, or contact a minister. Of course any attempt at evangelism at such times should, nay must, be undertaken in a spirit of sensitivity and compassion.

David,

You make some points that I should have thought of myself and I would like to give a proper response, but it will have to wait until I get back from NZ, in a few days. (Lord, Willing!) I have to be up at 3 in the morning to catch an early flight and I'm just about to call it a night. 
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,268



« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2009, 10:43:56 AM »

3) Why do Evangelicals cash in on others’ times of suffering in order to proselytise?

First, let me say we do not see it as proselytising, and a less pejorative word would be appropriate. We give not a fig for what church a man belongs to, when he is happy, or suffering, or dying; we only care that he should put his faith in Christ and, by repentance and faith, be able (if alive and suffering) to lay hold of the presence and help which comes from the Lord, and (if dying) be able to go in peace to meet his Maker. Whether a person is Orthodox, Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist or whatever, we desire to do our best to be sure he lives and dies in personal faith in God’s Son. We do not see it as proselytising.

An excellent and thoughtful post, on the whole, but I must disagree with the above, if only anecdotally. Having lived in the majority Protestant Evangelical Southern US all my life, it is my experience that Evangelicals most certainly do care what church a man belongs to. Also the only authentic religious experience or authentic saving faith that they recognize or believe is valid is one that fulfills their particular requirements. (Case in point: in the third grade, Angela Morris told me that I was going to hell because I was baptized as an infant and thus wasn't "saved." Of course I cried all the way home from school. This, by the way, is not an uncommon experience in my neck of the woods. People seem to take a perverse delight in informing others that they are not saved.)

I believe that it is indeed proselytizing (and worse, arrogant, unfeeling and downright insensitive) to assume that we know the state of someone's soul and their relationship with Christ. Why not use the time with them to assure them of God's infinite love and mercy, His desire to welcome them home, rather than exhorting them to say the so-called sinner's prayer and fulfill the Evangelical requirements for salvation?
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,834


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2009, 11:20:42 AM »

Angela Morris told me that I was going to hell because I was baptized as an infant and thus wasn't "saved."

I've no idea who Angela Morris is, but if she was a fellow student with you at the time, maybe her understanding was somewhat inchoate itself and ought not to be taken as expressing a usual Baptist belief.

There is a group who are a distant offshoot of the Baptists, often called Campbellites over here, I believe, or "The Church of Christ" (a different group from one of the same name in the USA, I'm told), and they do hold that baptism is essential to salvation. They are usually regarded as heretics for that very reason, and certainly not Evangelicals.

Most Evangelical Baptists and Evangelical paedobaptists over here work happily together. Is it not so in the USA?

Quote
I believe that it is ... arrogant... to assume that we know the state of someone's soul and their relationship with Christ.

It depends. There are obviously people who fit Paul's descriptions of those who will not inherit eternal life, as listed thunderously in his epistles. They gladly and continuously live openly lives of godlessness and sin with no remorse or compunction. They must be exhorted to repent. I am sure our Catholic friends agree with that, for I am currently reading a biography of the Curé d'Ars produced by the Catholic Book Club: he was hot on repentance. There are others who are clearly filled with adoration and love towards Christ. I think in those categories we can presume to know their state of grace without arrogance.

But I concede readily that there are many in between, concerning whom we cannot know. I reckon that those who seek to ensure they do live and die in faith (or as you have it, who proselytise them) are not always presuming to know, but are seeking to ensure that they really are brought into the Lord's flock. They should of course do it sensitively, but I hope their motive is nonetheless good, being the safety in Christ of the person they are speaking with.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 11:23:28 AM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,268



« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2009, 11:32:59 AM »

...ought not to be taken as expressing a usual Baptist belief.
Nope. As I said before, it's a pretty common attitude (if you say so, a misunderstanding of usual Baptist belief) in these parts. That was only my first and most traumatic encounter with this attitude.  I have been told by various Evangelicals throughout my life that unless I follow their prescriptions and fulfill their particular requirements, I had better invest in some asbestos underwear.

Quote
Most Evangelical Baptists and Evangelical paedobaptists over here work happily together. Is it not so in the USA?
Absolutely not. As I pointed out before, the Evangelical (or as a friend of mine refers to them, "Baptifundigelicals") belief is that if you don't do things their way, and have their kind of religious experience, baptism, beliefs, relationship with Christ (as they define all this) or go to one of their churches, you are going to end up you-know-where (and serves you right for being a sinner and unbeliever.)

Quote
I believe that it is ... arrogant... to assume that we know the state of someone's soul and their relationship with Christ.

Quote
I think in those categories we can presume to know their state of grace without arrogance.

Really? You're that good? You are can with confidence, know the human heart and someone's eventual eternal destination?
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2009, 11:46:29 AM »

There is a group who are a distant offshoot of the Baptists, often called Campbellites over here, I believe, or "The Church of Christ" (a different group from one of the same name in the USA, I'm told), and they do hold that baptism is essential to salvation. They are usually regarded as heretics for that very reason, and certainly not Evangelicals.

Most Evangelical Baptists and Evangelical paedobaptists over here work happily together. Is it not so in the USA?

Unfortunately it is not. Based on your past posts, I feel like the Baptists over here are a completely different breed than the Baptists over there.

Over here Evangelicals are quite concerned with which church you attend. I recall one friend's mother who was Methodist being quite upset when her daughter started attending a Baptist Church. The daughter now prays for the salvation of the mother, and the mother for the daughter. Both of them desiring the other to be "saved."  Roll Eyes

Also, when I was attending the Baptist Church, my pastor gave many sermons on how infant baptism was invalid, and that if one had been baptised as an infant, they had to be re-baptized. (Being raised in the Dutch Reformed Church and "sprinkled" as an infant, the Pastor himself was re-baptized.)

So although katherineofdixie's post may have recalled a childhood experience, her friend's understanding of baptism was not a youth's mis-understanding, but a belief that is spread within the Evangelical community.

While you and I may not doubt each other's faith and love in Christ, for some (not all) in the Evangelical community, if you do not belong to their particular brand of Christianity (some will take it down to their particular church building/pastor's following) they believe you are within danger of experiencing the fires of hell.

I think that's why its important to find common ground that we can all come around during times of grief; Liz's suggestion of the Psalms being an excellent one.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 11:47:42 AM by HandmaidenofGod » Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
GreekChef
Prez
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: Metropolis of Atlanta
Posts: 884



« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2009, 01:05:15 PM »

Any Christian that is OK with death needs to pick up that Bible they are thumping.  Death came into this world because of sin, and it is unnatural.  Death is such a tragedy that Christ actually came and suffered death himself to free us from it.

This just made me remember something... I have an Orthodox friend who was confronted with an Evangelical who told him he shouldn't cry at his loved one's passing because it's all good with God.  At that point he looked the presumptuous Evangelical in the eye and said, "Christ cried at the death of his friend, Lazarus.  If He cried over death, why shouldn't I?"
Logged

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Matthew 18:5
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,834


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2009, 01:37:19 PM »

Based on your past posts, I feel like the Baptists over here are a completely different breed than the Baptists over there.

I get the same impression. It's interesting to observe what happens to some American Evangelicals when they serve long-term in England or Albania. They start doing things like drinking alcohol and working together with 'breeds' like us. Reading your posts, and meeting some American Baptists or Pentecostals, I sometimes think that if I were in your country I would feel distinctly out of place among many of my fellow Evangelicals, and would probably not be accepted among them.
 Sad

Quote
Also, when I was attending the Baptist Church, my pastor gave many sermons on how infant baptism was invalid, and that if one had been baptised as an infant, they had to be re-baptized.

Yes, that is normal (I mean the new baptism, not the giving of many sermons on the theme). I dare say you would do the same to one of us who transferred to Orthodoxy. I dare say I myself have baptised more than one who was baptised as an infant, and would do so again of course. That's in the nature of your and our beliefs regarding baptism: but it ought never to lead to animosity between different real Christians.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 01:38:22 PM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
genesisone
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 2,491



« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2009, 03:05:13 PM »

I must agree with those who have said that Evangelicals generally expect that in order to be "saved" (i.e. go to heaven if you happen to drop dead in the next ten seconds) you must have said the "sinner's prayer" and agree with the little tract "Four Spiritual Laws". They may agree on some sort of intellectual level that there may be some sort of other option, but it is always suspect. Evangelicals around here - certainly in my community - include Baptists, Methodist heritage, Pentecostals, and more. Unlike in some parts of the US as it appears from this thread, denominational lines are somewhat blurred - it's more a matter of slightly different flavours of the same thing. Any who are somewhat exclusive are seen as odd in some way.

Now, before I appear to be bashing any group, let it be known that I still maintain good relationships with friends in my former church. Even my wife has not chosen to become Orthodox, so I'm reasonably well-informed about those Christians who label themselves as Evangelical.

Now that I'm out of that church, I'm seeing more and more how much Evangelicals seem to focus on death. The usual opener for any attempt at proselytizing is "If you were to die tonight, what would become of your soul?" Since I do attend Evangelical services on occasion (with my priest's blessing in order to maintain some degree of family stability) I've noticed that at least half the songs that are sung are all about Jesus on the cross. It's all about how He died for me. Since being Orthodox I've come to a greater appreciation of the Incarnation - that Jesus comes to me, that it's his life that opens up a relationship with him. Evangelicals generally do a good job of teaching the divinity of Christ, but fall short of teaching about His humanity, in spite of intellectual assent to that doctrine.

I guess the subject for this thread doesn't quite fit me. It probably should read "I don't understand the Evangelical mindset - guess I thought I used to, but never will again!"
Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,268



« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2009, 03:31:05 PM »

Quote from: David Young link=topic=24376.msg376357#msg376357
Yes, that is normal (I mean the new baptism, not the giving of many sermons on the theme). I dare say you would do the same to one of us who transferred to Orthodoxy.
Actually, not. Although people have different opinions, if you had received a Trinitarian baptism, no matter what your age, you would not be re-baptized in the Orthodox Church. You would be anointed and sealed with Holy Chrism, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Quote
I dare say I myself have baptised more than one who was baptised as an infant, and would do so again of course. That's in the nature of your and our beliefs regarding baptism: but it ought never to lead to animosity between different real Christians.

And therein lies the whole point. According to Evangelicals, anyone who was baptized as an infant, or who did not say the sinner's prayer or who did not have a particular kind of religious experience or hold Evangelical beliefs or go to a particular kind of church is not a Real Christian[tm].
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 03:31:37 PM by katherineofdixie » Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Liz
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2009, 03:31:25 PM »

Guys, this thread is beginning to remind me about the old joke about conjugating the verb 'to be resolute'. It starts, 'I am firm; you are obstinate; he/she is pig-headed'.

The same could be said about proselytising.

I share the love of God; you inflict your opinion upon others; he/she promulgates heresy.
Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,268



« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2009, 03:52:53 PM »

Guys, this thread is beginning to remind me about the old joke about conjugating the verb 'to be resolute'. It starts, 'I am firm; you are obstinate; he/she is pig-headed'.

The same could be said about proselytising.

I share the love of God; you inflict your opinion upon others; he/she promulgates heresy.

With respect, I think it may be difficult for you and David to realize how truly toxic (some) Evangelical attitudes, especially here in the good ole Southern US, can be, since the English Baptists appear to be a different kettle of fish altogether. I have actually attended funerals where the pastor preached a hellfire and damnation sermon, asking us if we died right now, would we go to heaven, with nary a word about the deceased or the mercy and love of God and the hope of the Resurrection.
I have been told to my face that (and remember I am a former Protestant - though not Baptist and/or Evangelical) on more occasions than I care to remember that I am not a Real Christian[tm] and that I was going to hell. It may be a regional thing but people hereabouts have no compunction about coming up to total strangers and asking if they are saved. God help you if you give the wrong answer!
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
simplygermain
beer-bellied tellitubby
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA - Northwest, Baby!
Posts: 771


Zechariah 11:7


WWW
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2009, 03:55:00 PM »

Just to put in some food for thought - I'll give you an example of what I would consider a very Orthodox approach to sickness, death, mourning, and the completion...
May it shed light to those who need it.

My wife recently experienced the loss of her 98 yr. old Grandmother ( a JW by religion ). She lived the last three years or so of her life invalid due to a faulty Hip surgery after her husband passed away unexpectedly due to a Heart Attack. Since her husband had passed her mind began to gradually slip away and even wished for the end to come. She developed nervous tics and some dimensia.
My wife saw all of this and although it was sad, she felt it was acceptably understandable ie: broken heart, ripe old age. When the Grandmother was in her final three days of death all of the family gathered and mourned, expressed their discontent with her suffering and hope that she had found the Lord ( most of them are Evangelical but some are still JW's).
Though my wife, in her grief, was their for the entire time at bedside. She took no breaks, brought an icon of the Mother of God, and prayed for her Grandmother to pass peacefully and unto God, and for her pain to be lessened. When the Grandmother finally reposed, my gentle wife thought to tell the nurses that she wanted to wash and dress her Grandmother instead. So she did.
Later that week, to everyone's astonishment, my wife expressed what she had done. While these people had only expressed in voice their concern for their relative's soul and suffering, my wife had done something (reminiscent of the Myrrh Bearing Women) to express her gratitude, love and grief for her Grandmother.
This was a witness to her family and a way to come to terms with death at the same time, for my wife. She had no intent of it being a witness to the family, only as an expression of Love for her grandmother.  
It is of my opinion that we should all care for each other without a "goal" or intention in mind to expect something from it. This is the greatest witness of God, for He is loving to us in this way (unconditionally).
When I have been close to someone who passes, I hear it alot from my family (evangelicals) that we should not weep for it is a happy moment.
I believe we, if we can not contain our happiness, should go somewhere and rejoice. Allow those who grieve, to grieve and be together to find comfort in mutual grief. Yet we should not assume eachother to react the same way nor to divulge everything to each other...what might be going on inside one's self might not be easy to express, for either party concerned.
In Christ - Germanus
Logged

I believe, help Thou my unbelief!! - St. John of Krondstadt

http://Http://hairshirtagenda.blogspot.com

 Witega: "Bishops and Metropolitans and even Patriarchs have been removed under decidedly questionable circumstances before but the Church moves on."
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek by desire; Antiochian by necessity
Posts: 5,990



« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2009, 04:09:23 PM »

What's there to understand about the evangelical mindset?  They don't have a mind (when it comes to theology) and is rooted only in feelings and personal biases.
Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2009, 04:45:30 PM »

oftentimes judgmental attitudes and presupposition.
Logged
Liz
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Church of England
Posts: 989



« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2009, 04:53:21 PM »

Guys, this thread is beginning to remind me about the old joke about conjugating the verb 'to be resolute'. It starts, 'I am firm; you are obstinate; he/she is pig-headed'.

The same could be said about proselytising.

I share the love of God; you inflict your opinion upon others; he/she promulgates heresy.

With respect, I think it may be difficult for you and David to realize how truly toxic (some) Evangelical attitudes, especially here in the good ole Southern US, can be, since the English Baptists appear to be a different kettle of fish altogether. I have actually attended funerals where the pastor preached a hellfire and damnation sermon, asking us if we died right now, would we go to heaven, with nary a word about the deceased or the mercy and love of God and the hope of the Resurrection.
I have been told to my face that (and remember I am a former Protestant - though not Baptist and/or Evangelical) on more occasions than I care to remember that I am not a Real Christian[tm] and that I was going to hell. It may be a regional thing but people hereabouts have no compunction about coming up to total strangers and asking if they are saved. God help you if you give the wrong answer!

I do sympathize, Katherine. We see a little of it here, but from what I've read it's much worse over there. Sorry if my levity sounded like unconcern.
Logged
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,834


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2009, 05:27:59 PM »

Evangelical attitudes, especially here in the good ole Southern US... English Baptists appear to be a different kettle of fish

Interestingly, the impression imposes itself in reverse as well. Reading some - not all - of the posts on many of these threads, I get a strong impression that many Orthodox people in America are "a different kettle of fish" from many Orthodox in Albania and Kosova/Old Serbia.
Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,268



« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2009, 05:37:43 PM »

[quote author=katherineofdixie link=topic=24376.msg376389#msg376389 many Orthodox people in America are "a different kettle of fish" from many Orthodox in Albania and Kosova/Old Serbia.

Just a guess, but perhaps the fact that we in the US have always been able to practice our religion freely, and have not suffered under a government that was actively trying to oppress and suppress believers and their religion "by any means necessary" might have something to do with a difference in attitude? Allowing for different cultures, too, of course.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.185 seconds with 72 queries.