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Author Topic: Exhausting Evangelicals  (Read 8595 times) Average Rating: 0
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Rosehip
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« on: April 16, 2010, 01:43:35 PM »

It's now been some time since I've really associated with evangelicals on a personal level, but I recently connected with a friend who is of that persuasion. It seems the longer I'm absent from that world, the more perplexed I am by their whole worldview/mentality. I realize I now only associate with Orthodox or non-believers.

I noticed they like to talk a lot about Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. They say very little about the Trinity. I find I get so tired of listening to them talking about their relationship with Jesus. It makes me feel tired and impatient. Maybe something is wrong with me. I've joined the camp where I think this stuff is very private. I actually trust them that they are religious without having to discuss it or have them reassure me over and over again that they are, but they seem to think they have to repeat and reinforce everything verbally and constantly. It actually comes across a bit as an insecurity.

And, once again, I was told how unchristian the Orthodox are in the Old Country. How I am being rather stupid to become Orthodox here-naive and stupid-because maybe it's wonderful and glorious here thanks to the salvific influence of Protestantism, but over there-it's dark and hopeless. I was reminded brilliantly of Augustin's remark about the Romanian Baptists accusing the Orthodox of being such great sinners-Augustin-if you are reading this right now-we had this identical conversation.

I am just so tired of evangelicals misunderstanding Orthodoxy and thinking they are the only true spiritual people in the world.

End of rant.
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 02:17:52 PM »

Most Protestants in my neck of the woods don't know Orthodoxy exists, or if they do they assume it's some weird branch of the Roman Catholic church.  I've kind of given up trying to explain the difference because most people I've encountered get that glazed-over look in their eyes and end the conversation with, "So, you're Catholic."

I agree with you on the feeling I get from some people who feel like they have to validate their faith by endlessly referencing Jesus, though it seems people are uncomfortable with Him on a first-name basis and go for "The Lord" instead.  When I was in my old church's youth group there was a lot of encouragement toward demonstrating your faith even to the point of ingratiating others.  In fact, it was almost a badge of accomplishment if you happened to irritate someone while "witnessing" because it meant you were being persecuted for your faith.  Maybe that was just my local church, but I've seen it in other churches too. 

I'm with you when you say I prefer keeping my faith on a more personal, private level.  If I'm doing what I should be, it should be obvious anyway and there's no need to talk it up then.  If it shows, people will ask. 
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 02:24:47 PM »

This is not a rant, Rosehip!

Working at a small and predominantly female college in the Deep South of the USA, I encounter Evangelical Protestants pretty much every day. Very many of my students wear T-shirts with New Testament quotes; there are very many ads or flyers across campus announcing about this or that activity in the First Baptist or Central Methodist of Umpty-Fifth Pentecostal Church, etc. Probably about a hundred or so of my current and past students are friends with me on Facebook, and I always see their posts about being saved and "personal relationship with Jesus," and so on and so forth.

I am not really bothered or disturbed by them, but it is just sad to me that they - and their pastors! - do not even want to think for one minute that there really exists this thing called the Orthodox Church. Virtually all of them are absolutely incorrigible "congregationalists" who think that "church" is something *I* go to and there are many, many, many different OTHER churche*S*, and that's OK as long as they are "Bible-believing." The notion that the CHURCH is ONE and they are not in Her is incomprehensible to them. In whatever form I offer this notion to them, they turn off their ears and brains in a flash, in a split second. Interestingly, they are not offended and they keep in touch with me, but they are just absolutely deaf to the words about the Church being One and them not being in Her.

I am curious, is this the same in Western Europe or in Australia? Or is this merely a North American phenomenon?
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 02:30:19 PM »

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there really exists this thing called the Orthodox Church. Virtually all of them are absolutely incorrigible "congregationalists" who think that "church" is something *I* go to and there are many, many, many different OTHER churche*S*, and that's OK as long as they are "Bible-believing." The notion that the CHURCH is ONE and they are not in Her is incomprehensible to them. In whatever form I offer this notion to them, they turn off their ears and brains in a flash, in a split second. Interestingly, they are not offended and they keep in touch with me, but they are just absolutely deaf to the words about the Church being One and them not being in Her.


George, all my friends from my former religion think EXACTLY like this. in fact, they literally think i am evil and a dangerous heretic (!) for saying there is one, true Church!?! They believe that to say so is sinful, and that the only "true" church was a trickle of believers here and there down throughout the ages who were super spiritual and who protested by their holy lives against the degenerate, evil, State Church which was Always In Bed With the Satanic Government.
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 02:33:01 PM »

EofK, I know what you are talking about. Many of my friends are immigrants from Orthodox countries though, so they are all acutely aware of the Orthodox church, even if they are evangelical protestants. I know very few run-of-the-mill Protestants born in North America.
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 03:23:00 PM »

It's now been some time since I've really associated with evangelicals on a personal level, but I recently connected with a friend who is of that persuasion. It seems the longer I'm absent from that world, the more perplexed I am by their whole worldview/mentality. I realize I now only associate with Orthodox or non-believers.

I noticed they like to talk a lot about Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. They say very little about the Trinity. I find I get so tired of listening to them talking about their relationship with Jesus. It makes me feel tired and impatient. Maybe something is wrong with me. I've joined the camp where I think this stuff is very private. I actually trust them that they are religious without having to discuss it or have them reassure me over and over again that they are, but they seem to think they have to repeat and reinforce everything verbally and constantly. It actually comes across a bit as an insecurity.

And, once again, I was told how unchristian the Orthodox are in the Old Country. How I am being rather stupid to become Orthodox here-naive and stupid-because maybe it's wonderful and glorious here thanks to the salvific influence of Protestantism, but over there-it's dark and hopeless. I was reminded brilliantly of Augustin's remark about the Romanian Baptists accusing the Orthodox of being such great sinners-Augustin-if you are reading this right now-we had this identical conversation.

I am just so tired of evangelicals misunderstanding Orthodoxy and thinking they are the only true spiritual people in the world.

End of rant.


I think it was Lenny Bruce who said:

"Asking people about how they pray is like asking about how they....have sex ( terminology cleaned up to suit G rated site)
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 06:17:57 PM »

Quote
there really exists this thing called the Orthodox Church. Virtually all of them are absolutely incorrigible "congregationalists" who think that "church" is something *I* go to and there are many, many, many different OTHER churche*S*, and that's OK as long as they are "Bible-believing." The notion that the CHURCH is ONE and they are not in Her is incomprehensible to them. In whatever form I offer this notion to them, they turn off their ears and brains in a flash, in a split second. Interestingly, they are not offended and they keep in touch with me, but they are just absolutely deaf to the words about the Church being One and them not being in Her.


George, all my friends from my former religion think EXACTLY like this. in fact, they literally think i am evil and a dangerous heretic (!) for saying there is one, true Church!?! They believe that to say so is sinful, and that the only "true" church was a trickle of believers here and there down throughout the ages who were super spiritual and who protested by their holy lives against the degenerate, evil, State Church which was Always In Bed With the Satanic Government.
From "From First Baptist to the First Century" by Clark Carlton (http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_carltonfirstbaptist.aspx):
Quote
As Christos Yannaras puts it, The fall arises out of man's free decision to reject personal communion with God and restrict himself to the autonomy and self-sufficiency of his own nature.13 In other words, sin is the free choice of individual autonomy. Irony of ironies: that which I had been touting all of these years as the basis of true religion-the absolute autonomy of the individual-turned out to be the Original Sin!...I began to realize that the freedom I had defended so vehemently was not freedom at all, but slavery to my own individual whims, to my context, to the necessities of my fragmented nature, and ultimately to death.

They believe that...the only "true" church was a trickle of believers here and there down throughout the ages who were super spiritual and who protested by their holy lives against the degenerate, evil, State Church which was Always In Bed With the Satanic Government.

That's because they don't actually understand the meaning of the Incarnation. Ask a Protestant, 'why was Jesus baptized?' and you'll see what I mean.
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 06:24:42 PM »

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That's because they don't actually understand the meaning of the Incarnation. Ask a Protestant, 'why was Jesus baptized?' and you'll see what I mean.

Sigh. I've repeatedly been down that route too. They simply don't get it. You explain the incarnation to them over and over again and then five minutes later they prove to you they either weren't listening, or they simply didn't get it...Jesus got baptized to be an example for us, to show that we too, as mature, adult believers, should get baptized. Infant baptism is a heresy because baptism is an outward sign of an inner change, which can only occur in an adult.
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 09:40:04 PM »

I feel the same way... I especially relate to George's & EofK's experiences.  I'm still fairly mixed into both worlds and I'm so sad sometimes that my Protestant friends just don't even care.  Many ARE unhappy where they are but like EofK they get a glazed look whenever I mention the fullness of Orthodoxy.  It is SO exasperating and heartbreaking, actually. 

I don't really want to become exclusionary and not have any Protestant friends, but sometimes it would be just so much easier just to walk away and ignore. 
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2010, 11:03:27 PM »

It's now been some time since I've really associated with evangelicals on a personal level, but I recently connected with a friend who is of that persuasion. It seems the longer I'm absent from that world, the more perplexed I am by their whole worldview/mentality. I realize I now only associate with Orthodox or non-believers.

I noticed they like to talk a lot about Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. They say very little about the Trinity. I find I get so tired of listening to them talking about their relationship with Jesus. It makes me feel tired and impatient. Maybe something is wrong with me. I've joined the camp where I think this stuff is very private. I actually trust them that they are religious without having to discuss it or have them reassure me over and over again that they are, but they seem to think they have to repeat and reinforce everything verbally and constantly. It actually comes across a bit as an insecurity.

And, once again, I was told how unchristian the Orthodox are in the Old Country. How I am being rather stupid to become Orthodox here-naive and stupid-because maybe it's wonderful and glorious here thanks to the salvific influence of Protestantism, but over there-it's dark and hopeless. I was reminded brilliantly of Augustin's remark about the Romanian Baptists accusing the Orthodox of being such great sinners-Augustin-if you are reading this right now-we had this identical conversation.

I am just so tired of evangelicals misunderstanding Orthodoxy and thinking they are the only true spiritual people in the world.

End of rant.

Don't lose heart, I have a very good friend who is an evangelical,and seems very open and intrigued by Orthodoxy,He is beginning to come around,I pray for him,and I also pray for mine own heart. He still has a way to go,but has an open mind.
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 10:04:44 AM »

And, once again, I was told how unchristian the Orthodox are in the Old Country. How I am being rather stupid to become Orthodox here-naive and stupid-because maybe it's wonderful and glorious here thanks to the salvific influence of Protestantism, but over there-it's dark and hopeless.

Their blanket judgments are totally uncalled for, but so are some of the ones in this thread.

I just wanted to throw my "fairness" hat in the ring and say that many of these things here, like liturgy in a modern tongue, are of Protestant import, and are for the better. So are modern translations of the Holy Scriptures. Those two influences have made a big difference in the way Orthodoxy functions in North America.

I just want to give credit where it's due, that's all.

For the record, Evangelical culture annoys me too.
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 10:18:46 AM »

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I just wanted to throw my "fairness" hat in the ring and say that many of these things here, like liturgy in a modern tongue, are of Protestant import, and are for the better. So are modern translations of the Holy Scriptures. Those two influences have made a big difference in the way Orthodoxy functions in North America.

Yes, it's interesting that nearly all my Protestant friends who are acquainted with Orthodoxy in Europe tell me right away, without having experienced Orthodoxy here, that Orthodoxy is better, more spiritual, in North America than it is in say, Russia, because of the Protestant influences...

As for the modern translations, I'm no KJV only fanatic, but I did grow up with that version, and never had any problems understanding it. Same applies to the BCP-our family always preferred the 1549 (?) version to the modern versions. It was more beautiful.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 10:21:01 AM by Rosehip » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2010, 10:20:18 AM »

Muslim culture annoys me more.
But then so does the effete, materialistic, politically correct, pseudo-intellectual, anti-Christ, hypocritical culture of the San Francisco bay area.
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2010, 10:23:00 AM »

Curiously though, I have almost more in common with my Uzbekhistani Muslim neighbours than I do with my evangelical friends.
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2010, 10:24:23 AM »

Quote
I just wanted to throw my "fairness" hat in the ring and say that many of these things here, like liturgy in a modern tongue, are of Protestant import, and are for the better. So are modern translations of the Holy Scriptures. Those two influences have made a big difference in the way Orthodoxy functions in North America.

Yes, it's interesting that nearly all my Protestant friends who are acquainted with Orthodoxy in Europe tell me right away, without having experienced Orthodoxy here, that Orthodoxy is better, more spiritual, in North America than it is in say, Russia, because of the Protestant influences...

As for the modern translations, I'm no KJV only fanatic, but I did grow up with that version, and never had any problems understanding it. Same applies to the BCP-our family always preferred the 1549 (?) version to the modern versions. It was more beautiful.

Hi Rosehip,

We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2010, 10:27:57 AM »

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We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy.

Now that is interesting, because it's EXACTLY what all my Eastern European friends are saying! Sounds like the Orthodox Church could be flourishing over there if they would only strive to develope more of a loving church community spirit. Very sad that this is not being worked on and people are being turned away by the lack of personal touch.
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2010, 10:28:20 AM »

It's now been some time since I've really associated with evangelicals on a personal level, but I recently connected with a friend who is of that persuasion. It seems the longer I'm absent from that world, the more perplexed I am by their whole worldview/mentality. I realize I now only associate with Orthodox or non-believers.

I noticed they like to talk a lot about Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. They say very little about the Trinity. I find I get so tired of listening to them talking about their relationship with Jesus. It makes me feel tired and impatient. Maybe something is wrong with me. I've joined the camp where I think this stuff is very private. I actually trust them that they are religious without having to discuss it or have them reassure me over and over again that they are, but they seem to think they have to repeat and reinforce everything verbally and constantly. It actually comes across a bit as an insecurity.

And, once again, I was told how unchristian the Orthodox are in the Old Country. How I am being rather stupid to become Orthodox here-naive and stupid-because maybe it's wonderful and glorious here thanks to the salvific influence of Protestantism, but over there-it's dark and hopeless. I was reminded brilliantly of Augustin's remark about the Romanian Baptists accusing the Orthodox of being such great sinners-Augustin-if you are reading this right now-we had this identical conversation.

I am just so tired of evangelicals misunderstanding Orthodoxy and thinking they are the only true spiritual people in the world.

End of rant.


I think it was Lenny Bruce who said:

"Asking people about how they pray is like asking about how they....have sex ( terminology cleaned up to suit G rated site)
LOL.  I like it.

On the other side, most people in America would love to know the most intimate details of your sex life and won't mind if you share, but don't want to hear you talk about religion (line from "Northern Exposure," an episode I happened to see when nothing else was on, in the vain hopes of some reference to Orthodoxy in Alaska).

Christ is risen!
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2010, 10:33:30 AM »

Quote
We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy.

Now that is interesting, because it's EXACTLY what all my Eastern European friends are saying! Sounds like the Orthodox Church could be flourishing over there if they would only strive to develope more of a loving church community spirit. Very sad that this is not being worked on and people are being turned away by the lack of personal touch.

Yes, the personal touch is what one gets when they come to my parish. What a great way to describe it.  Smiley
Also, the devotion to serving the poor and homeless takes center stage in my parish.
Evangelical culture has something to offer Orthodoxy in North America.
But then these two characteristics (charity and hospitality) are what made many become Christians 2000 thousand years ago.
Perhaps the evangelicals will help us reclaim our TRUE cultural heritage as Christians.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 10:36:09 AM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2010, 10:46:19 AM »

My friends would say it was the amalgamation with the state which helped the church lose touch with the true spirit of the early church...I can't help but feel that it did contribute to a wide-spread indifference...

Sometimes I am tempted to feel that being treated with love and as family is more important than dogma and making money off of services.
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2010, 11:01:43 AM »

My friends would say it was the amalgamation with the state which helped the church lose touch with the true spirit of the early church...I can't help but feel that it did contribute to a wide-spread indifference...

Sometimes I am tempted to feel that being treated with love and as family is more important than dogma and making money off of services.

I would agree, having a church that is subsidized by the state is never a good thing. If someone feels that being a member of the church makes them a loyal member of their nation and a true (insert ethnic identity) but have lost the sense of what it means to be a Christian then the only one being served is the devil.
Here, in North America, we don't have to worry about that. We can focus on what it means to be Orthodox Christians.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 11:04:54 AM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2010, 11:28:05 AM »

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We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy
.
Perhaps she meant:"If all churches in Russia had the fuzzy protestant/Evangelical feeling, then there'd be no need for actual evangelical churches."
This could be a good thing, in so far as it could attract some people to the church, butit could also repel others.
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2010, 11:31:54 AM »

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We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy
.
Perhaps she meant:"If all churches in Russia had the fuzzy protestant/Evangelical feeling, then there'd be no need for actual evangelical churches."
This could be a good thing, in so far as it could attract some people to the church, butit could also repel others.

Wow! Nice judgement there without ever having attended my parish. I grew up among the ethnics so, no, my parish is not a warm, fuzzy protestant-feeling parish. In many ways, the people in this parish hold on to Orthodox traditions like fasting and almsgiving to a greater extent than many cradle Orthodox people.

Other benefits to this parish are we don't have fist-fights or chairs being thrown at one another during parish council meetings, unlike the parish I grew up in. Also, we don't need to throw ethnic festivals to pay our bills and which drain the parish of time and energy to help the poor.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 11:36:06 AM by Tamara » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2010, 11:39:58 AM »

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We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy
.
Perhaps she meant:"If all churches in Russia had the fuzzy protestant/Evangelical feeling, then there'd be no need for actual evangelical churches."
This could be a good thing, in so far as it could attract some people to the church, butit could also repel others.

But isn't the entire New Testament full of admonitions to "administer to the needs of the saints", to be filled with love one to another, to help those in need, to treat the members of the faith community as brothers and sisters in the Lord, etc.? How can we ignore these biblical commands? Those aren't fuzzy feelings at all, but tangible results of our love for Christ pouring out in action and the Fruit of the Spirit as in the Epistle to the Galatians.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 11:41:36 AM by Rosehip » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2010, 11:40:33 AM »

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Other benefits to this parish are we don't have fist-fights or chairs being thrown at one another during parish council meetings, unlike the parish I grew up in.
I see that as a loss for your new parish, though.

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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2010, 11:43:12 AM »

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We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy
.
Perhaps she meant:"If all churches in Russia had the fuzzy protestant/Evangelical feeling, then there'd be no need for actual evangelical churches."
This could be a good thing, in so far as it could attract some people to the church, butit could also repel others.

But isn't the entire New Testament full of admonitions to "administer to the needs of the saints", to be filled with love one to another, to help those in need, to treat the members of the faith community as brothers and sisters in the Lord, etc.? How can we ignore these biblical commands?
The churches back home, didn't have the fuzziness of evangelical churches and yet, they didn't forget the poor, the sick, the needy. But the atmosphere would still be off-putting to some evangelicals.
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2010, 11:43:31 AM »

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Other benefits to this parish are we don't have fist-fights or chairs being thrown at one another during parish council meetings, unlike the parish I grew up in.
I see that as a loss for your new parish, though.



Then you have a distorted sense of what it means to be a community of Orthodox believers.
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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2010, 11:47:45 AM »

Quote
We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy
.
Perhaps she meant:"If all churches in Russia had the fuzzy protestant/Evangelical feeling, then there'd be no need for actual evangelical churches."
This could be a good thing, in so far as it could attract some people to the church, butit could also repel others.

But isn't the entire New Testament full of admonitions to "administer to the needs of the saints", to be filled with love one to another, to help those in need, to treat the members of the faith community as brothers and sisters in the Lord, etc.? How can we ignore these biblical commands? Those aren't fuzzy feelings at all, but tangible results of our love for Christ pouring out in action and the Fruit of the Spirit as in the Epistle to the Galatians.

Rosehip,

Yes it is. Don't let anyone ever convince you otherwise. We are to love one another and care for the poor.
St. Basil built the first hospitals and took care of those who lived in poverty. That is our TRUE Orthodox heritage.
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2010, 11:50:31 AM »

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Other benefits to this parish are we don't have fist-fights or chairs being thrown at one another during parish council meetings, unlike the parish I grew up in.
I see that as a loss for your new parish, though.



Then you have a distorted sense of what it means to be a community of Orthodox believers.
Well, the (upper) middle class don't throw chairs at each other, they "agree to disagree", that's the cause. I can tell you that much without having ever stepped into your church.
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2010, 11:53:07 AM »

Well, I'm not upper middle-class, nor even middle class, and I hope I don't throw chairs at people!!
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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2010, 11:56:20 AM »

Quote
We have a new Russian immigrant member of our mostly non-cradle parish. She was an evangelical in Russia and she said if all the parishes in Russia were as Orthodox and loving as our little parish, most of the evangelical Russians would return to Orthodoxy
.
Perhaps she meant:"If all churches in Russia had the fuzzy protestant/Evangelical feeling, then there'd be no need for actual evangelical churches."
This could be a good thing, in so far as it could attract some people to the church, butit could also repel others.

But isn't the entire New Testament full of admonitions to "administer to the needs of the saints", to be filled with love one to another, to help those in need, to treat the members of the faith community as brothers and sisters in the Lord, etc.? How can we ignore these biblical commands?
The churches back home, didn't have the fuzziness of evangelical churches and yet, they didn't forget the poor, the sick, the needy. But the atmosphere would still be off-putting to some evangelicals.

Members from my parish have gone to Romania to run programs for Romanian Orthodox with drug and alchohol addiction problems. One member started a ministry to take care of the Romanian orphans who have been forgotten by the Romanian Orthodox Church. At Christmas time we send shoe boxes to Romania filled with small toys and candy to be given to the children of priests in Romania. Another woman went last summer and was part of an OCMC program which ran retreats for Romanian Orthodox women.
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2010, 11:58:45 AM »

Quote
Other benefits to this parish are we don't have fist-fights or chairs being thrown at one another during parish council meetings, unlike the parish I grew up in.
I see that as a loss for your new parish, though.



Then you have a distorted sense of what it means to be a community of Orthodox believers.
Well, the (upper) middle class don't throw chairs at each other, they "agree to disagree", that's the cause. I can tell you that much without having ever stepped into your church.


We have folks in my parish who rent apartments, do not own cars, and devote their lives to the poor so you are wrong again.
The ethnic folks at my old parish are wealthier. Mercedes Benz and BMWs fill the parking lot. Many of them have built middle eastern palaces in the Bay area.
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2010, 12:27:53 PM »

Well  then, perhaps I should have said, "SWPL people" Wink
Any significant numbers in your new parish?
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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2010, 12:31:34 PM »

What does SWPL mean?
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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2010, 12:47:42 PM »

What does SWPL mean?
http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/
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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2010, 12:53:07 PM »


And the point is? The Bible tells us to "provoke one another to love and good works".  I refuse to believe these commands were solely directly at "white people", but rather, to ALL Christians.

What does this have to do with "white people"? To me, this has to do with the outpouring of Christian faith-it is NOT a racial issue.
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« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2010, 01:44:24 PM »

Well  then, perhaps I should have said, "SWPL people" Wink
Any significant numbers in your new parish?

Actually, among the so-called "white people," you seem to hold in passive-aggressive contempt, we have Asian-American, Syrian and Palestinian-American, Greek-American, Russian and Ukrainian-American, Central-American and Eritrean families.

We are a parish of about 100 families and growing. Over half of our parish is under the age of 30 with many new parishioners in utero.

I guess your categorized misconceptions about upper class Orthodox ethnic folks and middle class Orthodox white folks don't fit. You should get out more and see what is really happening in the Orthodox world instead of making up generalizations which are not true. Cool

There is another parish in southern California, that is made up of former tattooed punk rockers and grad students. An unlikely combination of two different social classes that mix well according to a Biola evangelical student who attends this parish as an inquirer. Orthodox Christianity is the glue that holds us all together, regardless of our backgrounds or ethnicity.


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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2010, 03:09:16 PM »

Quote
that is made up of former tattooed punk rockers and grad students.

Just out of curiosity, is that actually tattooed former punk rockers?  Cause tattoo removal gets expensive...
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« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2010, 03:19:12 PM »

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that is made up of former tattooed punk rockers and grad students.

Just out of curiosity, is that actually tattooed former punk rockers?  Cause tattoo removal gets expensive...

You have it right. My mistake.  Smiley
They may still be punk rockers too. I haven't been to the parish to visit.
Perhaps they are tattooed punk rockers who are now Orthodox Christians.
It just goes to show, that the Orthodox Church is relevant to anyone.
Christ speaks to all of us in many different ways.
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« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2010, 03:31:43 PM »




 
   
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Actually, among the so-called "white people," you seem to hold in passive-aggressive contempt
Actually is not about a whites in general, much less about a race. It is about a small, yet quite visible subculture, whose skin doesn't really have to be pink. Some tend to shop around Orthodox churches for some reason. Makes them feel more authentic, perhaps.
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« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2010, 04:57:48 PM »

Quote
Actually, among the so-called "white people," you seem to hold in passive-aggressive contempt
Actually is not about a whites in general, much less about a race. It is about a small, yet quite visible subculture, whose skin doesn't really have to be pink. Some tend to shop around Orthodox churches for some reason. Makes them feel more authentic, perhaps.

There are annoying people in any category. I have met ethnic Orthodox who can be just as tiring.
They whine and moan about American politics while they make a fortune off the opportunities and freedom they have here. Meanwhile, their relatives back in the muslim old country live under decaying dictatorships which offer their people nothing but misery and suffering.
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« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2010, 09:45:14 PM »

Well  then, perhaps I should have said, "SWPL people" Wink
Any significant numbers in your new parish?

There is another parish in southern California, that is made up of former tattooed punk rockers and grad students. An unlikely combination of two different social classes that mix well according to a Biola evangelical student who attends this parish as an inquirer. Orthodox Christianity is the glue that holds us all together, regardless of our backgrounds or ethnicity.


Yeah, I met Turbo once two years ago. I think that's his parish. A number of his punk/goth/rock friends followed him to Orthodoxy. Things seem to be working well in that Antiochian parish, but it didn't work for his other friends in a GOA parish.


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« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2010, 11:57:08 PM »

A long time friend of mine (over 3 decades) and his wife were recently baptized in a non-denominational, evangelical Christian Church.

He has no idea about Christianity and concludes that evangelicals and Orthodox agree on many items; yet, when I explain the differences, he's speechless and nearly offended.

To the OP, if the Evangelicals can't tolerate Orthodox practice, mindset and discipline, let them be.   Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2010, 01:47:17 AM »

Well  then, perhaps I should have said, "SWPL people" Wink
Any significant numbers in your new parish?

There is another parish in southern California, that is made up of former tattooed punk rockers and grad students. An unlikely combination of two different social classes that mix well according to a Biola evangelical student who attends this parish as an inquirer. Orthodox Christianity is the glue that holds us all together, regardless of our backgrounds or ethnicity.


Yeah, I met Turbo once two years ago. I think that's his parish. A number of his punk/goth/rock friends followed him to Orthodoxy. Things seem to be working well in that Antiochian parish, but it didn't work for his other friends in a GOA parish.

I don't think counter-culture folks would find open arms in most ethnic parishes. Many of the Greek and Antiochian ethnic parishes are the home for wealthy immigrants, their children and grandchildren.
Banquets, golf tournies, fashion shows, sweet sixteen balls, fancy ethnic dance parties are a part of the culture in these parishes because the ethnic folks want main stream America to know they have arrived into the upperclass.
The Antiochian parish with the punk rockers is not a part of that wealthy culture. The priest there sees himself as a servant to those God brings to his parish.

Full disclosure: I have been to many a banquet, I have been in the fashion shows, and have been to countless haflis (Arab dance parties) so I know that culture well. It has nothing to do with Orthodox Christianity.
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« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2010, 03:23:36 AM »

It's now been some time since I've really associated with evangelicals on a personal level, but I recently connected with a friend who is of that persuasion. It seems the longer I'm absent from that world, the more perplexed I am by their whole worldview/mentality. I realize I now only associate with Orthodox or non-believers.

I noticed they like to talk a lot about Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. They say very little about the Trinity. I find I get so tired of listening to them talking about their relationship with Jesus. It makes me feel tired and impatient. Maybe something is wrong with me. I've joined the camp where I think this stuff is very private. I actually trust them that they are religious without having to discuss it or have them reassure me over and over again that they are, but they seem to think they have to repeat and reinforce everything verbally and constantly. It actually comes across a bit as an insecurity.

And, once again, I was told how unchristian the Orthodox are in the Old Country. How I am being rather stupid to become Orthodox here-naive and stupid-because maybe it's wonderful and glorious here thanks to the salvific influence of Protestantism, but over there-it's dark and hopeless. I was reminded brilliantly of Augustin's remark about the Romanian Baptists accusing the Orthodox of being such great sinners-Augustin-if you are reading this right now-we had this identical conversation.

I am just so tired of evangelicals misunderstanding Orthodoxy and thinking they are the only true spiritual people in the world.

End of rant.

Every single sentence you wrote describes my experiences exactly.  In addition to these, I am quite calm and collective when I have discussions with non-believers, Orthodox, and Catholic (and in fact, the discussions become so great, I spend hours not realizing the time or my leg crampings).  I get very irritated and frustrated the deeper I converse with a Protestant about religion.  So I just stay away from religious discussions with them.

But when it comes to something I do in getting along with Evangelicals, sports and other activities and joint community service pretty much helps me to get along with them.
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« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2010, 01:49:29 PM »

I am friends with many Baptists, and they never give me trouble. But I still feel troubled when I see someone coming back from church with a pamphlet entitled "Religion Creates a Vaccuum." These anti-Catholic pamphlets, books, sermons, etc are not given for the spiritual edification of the reader or to help "witness" to Catholics, but rather to increase the mental security of evangelical congregations and give them reasons not to question their own tenuous beliefs and assumptions.
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