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Author Topic: Orthodox Evangilism  (Read 7230 times) Average Rating: 0
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the slave
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« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2003, 01:58:50 PM »

not really - it was the interpretation of persuasion I think that surprised me . So many folk see it as forceful
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« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2003, 03:35:42 PM »

To me it means to present information and example in such a way that some people see and believe. Not all will, most won't, but it is part of what we are about. We should be sensitive and see if we are being called to harvest at a particular time or just sow seed. Even on a smaller scale, I may want to persuade someone that fasting is no legalistic but is part of a spiritual fitness regime. If our discussion ends with them understanding that then I have persuaded them of something. If my aim is not to persuade them but just to talk about fasting then I'm not likely to actually say much worthwhile.

PT
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« Reply #47 on: December 25, 2003, 12:55:42 AM »

Interesting thing. I just got home a little while ago from the Christmas Eve liturgy at our Church. At the conclusion of the liturgy our priest told us to go out and share Christ with the world, to tell someone, "Christ is born!"

I like that guy!  Grin
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« Reply #48 on: December 26, 2003, 06:16:52 AM »

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If my aim is not to persuade them but just to talk about fasting then I'm not likely to actually say much worthwhile.

I think we could be moving into the realm of cultural and language differences. Are there Jehovah's Witnesses in Britain? Or are you in the States?

I don't think one must be aiming to persuade, to say something worthwhile. Why is that a necessary component of relevance? Then again, you could argue that I am trying to persuade you right now, and I am! But that's not the kind of persuasion I'm talking about. It doesn't bother me when people state their points of view persuasively. That's just good communication.

What bothers me with the word "persuade," is when it becomes "Project: Salvation," for somebody who is already a baptized Christian, with convictions and a conscience of their own. With other Christians, I find the examples enumerated above best...kind words, example, prayer for them, defending your beliefs when contradicted, but most of all....respect for their conscience.

Think of your convictions and how precious they are to you. Imagine someone contradicting them persuasively, whether or not their contraditions were true. Do you like to doubt your faith? "Do unto others..."
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the slave
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« Reply #49 on: December 26, 2003, 06:34:55 AM »

Oh - I'll answer for Peter here

We do indeed have JWs in the UK.

The original owner of the house next door to me was their local high heid yin . Eventually my Father-in-law came to a mutual understanding with him that neither would irritate the other by proselytisation [ F-in-Law an agnostic Wink] and we have been left alone for many years even after the guy actually died and his wife emigrated to Aussie land. It's wonderful but we still get the Mormons Sad

As to persuasion I'm begining to get the feeling that it can mean whatever you want it to - must be a linguistic thing
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« Reply #50 on: December 26, 2003, 06:46:35 AM »

Hi Caffeinator

In respect of the word 'persuade', yeah whatever. Smiley That wasn't the heart of my post, just a word I used. If we are getting into different types of persuasion then I guess the word needs to be dropped.

I don't think I have any problem with my Orthodox presuppositions being challenged. I happen to disagree with Linus7 in respect of how far he seems to go towards post-Schism Roman Catholicism, but I am entirely in agreement with him that it is necessary to go beyond easy polemics.

My convictions are not something to be cosily protected from challenge. Let's take the likely disagreements that exist between my convictions and yours. At the furthest extent you can have the conviction that I am a Eutychian heretic, and I can consider you a heretic Papist. These could be sincerely, but ignorantly, held convictions. But they'd both be wrong surely.

Or I can take various issues and allow my convictions to be challenged. Indeed I very often read or engage in discussion like this with a willingness to be convinced. Otherwise I am not listening at all. What about papal supremacy? Is it a complete heresy? So I don't need to think about it, just parrot my conviction - 'It's a complete heresy'. Or should I start to think about what I understand by the term, what you mean by the term, how far there is agreement, where we cease to agree and why.

It may well be that as a sincere Orthodox I have 80% convictions and 20% prejeudices I've picked up. Surely these need to be challenged. If not then I'm stuck with believing that you're a semi-Nestorian at least. As it is, I find that my bishops and the theologians of my communion lead me in thinking through what I believe, and what others believe and discovering how far the differences are not substantial.

Challenge and persuade away. I'm not afraid of the theological baggage I carry around being shaken. My faith is secure, the rest needs to be challenged. I don't believe that all Christian theology is the same, though I appreciate and honour all sincere Christian folk's pilgrimage. But people are sincerely wrong about Christian theology. It seems a sin to not wish that they be converted to the fulness of the Gospel. I'd expect a sincere Roman Catholic, or Lutheran, or Baptist to wish me to understand that there was error in my convictions for the good of my soul.

PT

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« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2003, 07:44:28 AM »

Good post, Peter.

I'm learning more and more from this forum the vast amount of stuff I don't know!

It seems to me that you are thinking of genteel discussion like what we're having now. Again, this doesn't bother me. I know there is a Catholic answer for any challenges to my faith this board presents me with, and if I care to research it...I can probably find a good one! (As a matter a fact, I've been thinking of what a wonderful master's thesis baptism by infusion would make Wink )

But your post assumes the intellectual honesty and Christian integrity of your friend in dialogue.

We are sacramental Christians, with denominations that have a shared history going all the way back to Jesus himself. Not only does that give us charity in dealing with people, but also it gives us an understanding of one another that non-sacramental Christians don't have as fully. Doesn't it bother you when somebody proselytizes (that's the word I've been looking for) among your brethren, your family etc., especially when it's just the Christian fad du jour?

What if somebody was out to persuade your child? (And believe me, this stuff does happen.)
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« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2003, 07:57:41 AM »

Hiya

Of course I understand where you're coming from. I have my own share of raving loony christians in the family. Not my immediate family thank goodness.

I guess the difference is between an honest conversation which is willing to leave people space and time to consider, ponder, put things on the back burner etc. And the conversation that is determined to see a particular result.

I suppose there is also the sense that we must all seek to influence/persuade our children of the truth and be constantly seeking to act against the atheistic materialistic culture which is constantly trying to persuade them in the negative sense.

When it comes to children then I think especial care is required so that we are not brainwashing, nor allowing them to be brainwashed. That doesn't mean that I don't think that Orthodox Christianity is the truth and must be taught as the truth.

Is the safe guard to the wrong type of activity having a real faith that we have a part to play in evangelism but that truly God has His own agenda and we need a certain reserve in respect of results. It matters that we present the faith spiritually, intelligently etc etc, but it doesn't matter if this is a time for sowing rather than reaping.

Better to win even neo-pagan, or buddhist or Roman Catholic friends  Smiley wiilling to have another conversation or remember us warmly than to have made a point and left someone hurt or confused or feeling violated in some way.

PT
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« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2003, 12:18:46 PM »

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Better to win even neo-pagan, or buddhist or Roman Catholic friends   wiilling to have another conversation or remember us warmly than to have made a point and left someone hurt or confused or feeling violated in some way.

I agree. Only substitute Orthodox for Roman Catholic. Grin
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the slave
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« Reply #54 on: December 26, 2003, 12:33:13 PM »

Hehe

Oh it's easy to see that for some of us [ Wink ] it's the season for goodwill to all men.

I think that this is actually the great bonus of OCNet - we can and do talk to everyone and so gain a deeper insight into their thoughts and beliefs. We may not always agree - but at least we listen and in the years to come this surely must have an effect on us all.
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"Never let anyone try to tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was fully Orthodox for a thousand years; and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."
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« Reply #55 on: December 26, 2003, 03:44:42 PM »

Absolutely. And it's a good place to learn how to conduct oneself so as to be able to promote and explain a position without causing offense.

Do forgive me, if I have caused offense to anyone, I have not meant to, and God willing I will learn more completely how to avoid such offense in this coming year.

PT
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The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
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