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« on: June 27, 2010, 03:59:26 PM »

My Sunday School teacher at our Southern Baptist Church asked us to take over teaching duties while he left for Air Force training (He is ordained and plans to become a chaplain once he finishes seminary.) He wrote out a list of topics on the board, and I was assigned "ordinances". (That's Evagelicalese for "sacraments" for the uninformed). I agree with the Orthodox church in the matter, and I don't wish to teach the heterodox distortions held by Baptists. (I mean no offence to any Baptists who might be reading. It's the best wording I could think of.) On the other hand, actually stating my belief is likely to create a bit of a ruckus, and I want to keep peace with my current church family until my parents allow me to attend other churches regularly, which likely won't happen until I leave for college. Generally, when controversial topics come up, I simply keep my mouth shut. This, however, presents a much different situation. There really is no "Be as vague as possible and let the students interpret as the will." approach to sacramental theology, so what am I to do? (By the way, I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum for this.)
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 04:45:53 PM »

It's of no direct help to you, but if it's of any consequence, causing a ruckus in Sunday School was exactly how I ended up leaving the Southern Baptists and starting my quest that ended with Orthodoxy.

As far as your question goes, you could always try the time-proven method of saying little and encouraging your students to talk and discuss.  Offer a few verses of scripture that describe the ordinances observed by the early church.  Ask what early Christian worship must have seemed like.  Ask whether there seems to be any validity in the Orthodox claim to have preserved both the content and the context of original Chirstian worship.  Etc...

And welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 05:00:19 PM »

Just preface that "The Southern Baptist Church adheres to the belief that..." Then use that opportunity to teach about other views as well. If the students ask what you believe you can always decline to answer.

When I teach my kids about the dinosaurs, I teach them about the various theories as to why they died off (and the various theories about when people came into the mix). I don't just teach them which theory I ascribe to, I teach about all the angles that I possibly can. Our views as individuals don't matter a great deal when we are teaching. The entire goal of education is to educate, not indoctrinate. So it is healthy to teach about a subject as a whole without interjecting your own beliefs.
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 05:36:09 PM »

Have you ever considered just saying that you don't feel it is appropriate for you to teach the class without too much elaboration? I mean, if you're young enough that you haven't left for college, that — your age — in and of itself could be a legitimate concern.

I guess my biggest concern with the other suggestions in the thread are that they could result in implicit lies. It's dishonest to be teaching a Southern Baptist class if you don't upfront come clean with where you differ with their official doctrine...and frankly, if they knew you believe Eastern Orthodox sacramentology, they wouldn't be asking you to lead the study. Putting the shoe on the other foot, no Orthodox bishop would want someone who secretly believes the Baptist views of the sacraments teaching catechumens.
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 06:15:03 PM »

Have you ever considered just saying that you don't feel it is appropriate for you to teach the class without too much elaboration? I mean, if you're young enough that you haven't left for college, that — your age — in and of itself could be a legitimate concern.

I guess my biggest concern with the other suggestions in the thread are that they could result in implicit lies. It's dishonest to be teaching a Southern Baptist class if you don't upfront come clean with where you differ with their official doctrine...and frankly, if they knew you believe Eastern Orthodox sacramentology, they wouldn't be asking you to lead the study. Putting the shoe on the other foot, no Orthodox bishop would want someone who secretly believes the Baptist views of the sacraments teaching catechumens.
I did try that, jokingly saying that I wouldn't want to get myself excommunicated, but my youth minister insisted. I tend to dwell on the common ground between evangelical protestantism and Orthodoxy, so I don't think anybody in that class is aware of my leanings. I think part of this is my attempt to convince my parents that my interest in Orthodoxy is not my own particular variety of teenage rebellion, in hopes that they will let me explore it sooner. (I seem to recall a look of disgust when I challenged the idea of penal substitution, so I've decided not to travel such roads.) They do support me insofar as helping me to follow weekly fasts, but things become rather nasty when it comes to discussing the actual theology. I feel somewhat trapped at this point as a result. A "teach the controversy" could be beneficial, but it would still seem to lean towards implicit lying, unless I made my biases abundantly clear.
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 06:45:58 PM »

There is a good chance that you were chosen to teach this subject as a means to "bring you back into the fold." Use this opportunity to compare and contrast views on the sacraments. As I said before; our personal views are of little importance. You would be serving where you are currently if you do as you are asked. You are not required to believe what you teach. And if you teach the subjects globally, you are not implying a personal belief. What you are being asked to do is not disobeying God. It is better to be in obedience as you are until you are no longer under your parent's authority. Your personal faith is not something they can control. But teaching a subject (and you should teach it as a SUBJECT no different than teaching history or math, not a personal belief) does not violate your faith. If you go about it from the right angle this will only strengthen your belief in Orthodox theology. The Church has stood for a very long time, teaching the subject of S. Baptist sacraments is of little threat to her.

We as Orthodox Christians don't "bring" people to Christ. To use a common quote; "Preach the gospel always, when necessary use words."
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 06:53:31 PM »

Before stating anything else, i would like to point out that you tried to talk them out of it and they insisted and your parents (I'm assuming part of the congregation and could witness to your differences) know that your personal beliefs are significantly different from what that church teaches. At this point, your Baptist church should know better than to have you teach anything at all without causing controversy.

On the positive side you could focus more on the practical aspects than on the theological aspects of Communion and Baptism (I don't expect them to require any more than those two to be taught). One example for communion could be that you teach them to follow the biblical teaching of self examination and preparation before receiving communion because it can be taken to condemnation. The flip side to that example is that someone could ask "why?" and the only prooper response would be "not discerning the Lord's Body".

Baptism would be a little trickier, simply because just about every passage in Scripture that mentions the word "baptism" (baptism actually does something) goes against most traditional Baptist beliefs concerning baptism (an outward display of an already existing inward faith).

Maybe you should sit down with someone in private and explain what you believe, how it differs from what they believe, and to simply state that you cannot teach anything that goes against your conscience (or Scripture for that matter). If they continue to insist, then just simply use Scripture as your only reference to teach. It does belong to the Orthodox as well and can be used to teach Orthodox doctrine.

Please don't take this as any kind of personal advice but simply as practical issues to take into consideration.
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 07:56:39 PM »

I'm assuming part of the congregation
Not quite. My father is the lead pastor. My personal theological views aren't generally discussed in church. A possible plan at this point would be to talk about the history of the Sacraments/ Holy Mysteries/ Ordinances and how different concepts developed, showing the different arguments used for each one, letting the rest of the youth group decide for themselves.
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 08:16:15 PM »

A possible plan at this point would be to talk about the history of the Sacraments/ Holy Mysteries/ Ordinances and how different concepts developed, showing the different arguments used for each one, letting the rest of the youth group decide for themselves.

This sounds like a good plan. Just outline what the church you are currently in believes and then springboard from there and discuss the various other views as well.
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 09:48:29 PM »

On a related note, could anyone direct me to good summaries of Orthodox views of Baptism and the Eucharist? I'm pretty sure I have a general idea of both, but most of my information comes from the internet, and that's quite a bit to sort through.
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 10:28:38 PM »

My Sunday School teacher at our Southern Baptist Church asked us to take over teaching duties while he left for Air Force training (He is ordained and plans to become a chaplain once he finishes seminary.) He wrote out a list of topics on the board, and I was assigned "ordinances". (That's Evagelicalese for "sacraments" for the uninformed). I agree with the Orthodox church in the matter, and I don't wish to teach the heterodox distortions held by Baptists. (I mean no offence to any Baptists who might be reading. It's the best wording I could think of.) On the other hand, actually stating my belief is likely to create a bit of a ruckus, and I want to keep peace with my current church family until my parents allow me to attend other churches regularly, which likely won't happen until I leave for college. Generally, when controversial topics come up, I simply keep my mouth shut. This, however, presents a much different situation. There really is no "Be as vague as possible and let the students interpret as the will." approach to sacramental theology, so what am I to do? (By the way, I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum for this.)

I would exercise your right not to teach.  Refusing to teach such a subject and explaining why you refuse not only demonstrates your commitment to a sacramental theology, but also demonstrates respect for those around you.  Do your best not to make a problem for your dad.  Be respectful of others, but have integrity with your convictions regarding the sacraments.
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2010, 10:35:33 PM »

I'm assuming part of the congregation
Not quite. My father is the lead pastor. My personal theological views aren't generally discussed in church. A possible plan at this point would be to talk about the history of the Sacraments/ Holy Mysteries/ Ordinances and how different concepts developed, showing the different arguments used for each one, letting the rest of the youth group decide for themselves.

Of course, when you are presenting the Orthodox view, present it with plenty of references to Scripture: since we wrote the Book on it, there is lots there.
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2010, 11:01:57 PM »

On a related note, could anyone direct me to good summaries of Orthodox views of Baptism and the Eucharist? I'm pretty sure I have a general idea of both, but most of my information comes from the internet, and that's quite a bit to sort through.

Do you have access to a good library? Or do you plan to buy the books? I can give you some titles, but if you are needing something more readily titles won't help much.

If there is a nearby Orthodox church, you may be able to pick up the little Councilar booklets on the various subjects you are covering. These little booklets are a nice overview of a concept rather then a meaty work on the various subjects.

On the other hand, if you need some of those booklets, you can message me offline and I will ship you some of the booklets from my parish.
http://www.conciliarpress.com/booklets-brochures

I am fairly sure we have all the booklets listed on the site above, and I would be more then happy to send them to you. I could even throw in a copy of our priest's book "Surprised by Christ." Wink
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2010, 11:03:50 PM »

On a related note, could anyone direct me to good summaries of Orthodox views of Baptism and the Eucharist? I'm pretty sure I have a general idea of both, but most of my information comes from the internet, and that's quite a bit to sort through.

Concerning Communion:

The Liturgy (look at the prayers in the Anaphora and Epiclesis) http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/liturgy_hchc

Scripture references you might find useful for Communion:

John 6:30-58
If you go to http://www.htmlbible.com/sacrednamebiblecom/kjvstrongs/index2.htm, look up John 6, and click on the english word "eat" as it appearsthroughout the passage, you will find that the greek word for "eat" changes.
1Cor. 10:16-17
1Cor. 11:23-30

Some patristic quotes concerning communion:

Ignatius of Antioch +107 AD

Epistle to the Smyrnaeans – Chapter 7
Quote
They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.

Justin Martyr +165 AD

1st Apology LXVI.—Of the Eucharist.
Quote
And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone.

Iranaeus of Lyons 202 AD

Against Heresies: Book IV Chapter XVIII.—Concerning sacrifices and oblations, and those who truly offer them.
Quote
But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.

Against Heresies: Book V Chapter II.—When Christ visited us in His grace, He did not come to what did not belong to Him: also, by shedding His true blood for us, and exhibiting to us His true flesh in the Eucharist, He conferred upon our flesh the capacity of salvation.
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But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made. By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins.” And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.
When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?—even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that “we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” He does not speak these words of some spiritual and invisible man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones,—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body. And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a corn of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption, because the strength of God is made perfect in weakness, in order that we may never become puffed up, as if we had life from ourselves, and exalted against God, our minds becoming ungrateful; but learning by experience that we possess eternal duration from the excelling power of this Being, not from our own nature, we may neither undervalue that glory which surrounds God as He is, nor be ignorant of our own nature, but that we may know what God can effect, and what benefits man receives, and thus never wander from the true comprehension of things as they are, that is, both with regard to God and with regard to man.

Cyril of Jerusalem +350 AD

On the Mysteries. IV:  On the Body and Blood of Christ.
Quote
For you have just heard him say distinctly, That our Lord Jesus Christ in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He brake it, and gave to His disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is My Body:  and having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood .  Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer?  And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?
He once in Cana of Galilee, turned the water into wine, akin to blood , and is it incredible that He should have turned wine into blood?

Consider therefore the Bread and the Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord’s declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for even though sense suggests this to thee, yet let faith establish thee.  Judge not the matter from the taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that the Body and Blood of Christ have been vouchsafed to thee.

Having learnt these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man’s heart, to make his face to shine with oil, “strengthen thou thine heart,” by partaking thereof as spiritual, and “make the face of thy soul to shine.”


On the Mysteries. V:  On the Sacred Liturgy and Communion.
Quote
Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed.

Hilary of Potiers +368 AD

On the Trinity – Book 8
Quote
For He says Himself, My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us.

Ambrose of Milan +397 AD

On The Faith – Book 4 - Chapter 10
Quote
Then He added: “For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink [indeed].” Thou hearest Him speak of His Flesh and of His Blood, thou perceivest the sacred pledges, [conveying to us the merits and power] of the Lord’s death, and thou dishonourest His Godhead. Hear His own words: “A spirit hath not flesh and bones.” Now we, as often as we receive the Sacramental Elements, which by the mysterious efficacy of holy prayer are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood, “do show the Lord’s Death.”

On the Mysteries – Chapter 9
Quote
But why make use of arguments? Let us use the examples He gives, and by the example of the Incarnation prove the truth of the mystery. Did the course of nature proceed as usual when the Lord Jesus was born of Mary? If we look to the usual course, a woman ordinarily conceives after connection with a man. And this body which we make is that which was born of the Virgin. Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body.

The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: “This is My Body.” Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks.

John Chrysostom +407 AD

Homilies on 1 Cor. – Homily 24
Quote
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the Blood of Christ?” Very persuasively spake he, and awfully. For what he says is this: “This which is in the cup is that which flowed from His side, and of that do we partake.”

“The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the Body of Christ?” Wherefore said he not, the participation? Because he intended to express something more and to point out how close was the union: in that we communicate not only by participating and partaking, but also by being united. For as that body is united to Christ, so also are we united to him by this bread.

But do thou, I pray, consider, how with regard to the Jews he said not, “they are par-takers with God,” but, “they have communion with the altar;” for what was placed thereon was burnt: but in respect to the Body of Christ, not so. But how? It is “a Communion of the Lord’s Body.” For not with the altar, but with Christ Himself, do we have communion.

Homilies on John – Homily 46
Quote
We become one Body, and “members of His flesh and of His bones.” Let the initiated follow what I say. In order then that we may become this not by love only, but in very deed, let us be blended into that flesh. This is effected by the food which He hath freely given us, desiring to show the love which He hath for us. On this account He hath mixed up Himself with us; He hath kneaded up His body with ours, that we might be a certain One Thing, like a body joined to a head.

Homilies on John – Homily 47
 
Quote
“For My flesh is true meat, and My blood is true drink.”
What is that He saith? He either desireth to declare that this is the true meat which saveth the soul, or to assure them concerning what had been said, that they might not suppose the words to be a mere enigma or parable, but might know that it is by all means needful to eat the Body. Then He saith,
“He that eateth My flesh, dwelleth in Me.”
This He said, showing that such an one is blended with Him.

John  of Damascus AD +749

An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. Book 4 – Chapter 13
Quote
If then the Word of God is quick and energizing, and the Lord did all that He willed; if He said, Let there be light and there was light, let there be a firmament and there was a firmament; if the heavens were established by the Word of the Lord and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth; if the heaven and the earth, water and fire and air and the whole glory of these, and, in sooth, this most noble creature, man, were perfected by the Word of the Lord; if God the Word of His own will became man and the pure and undefiled blood of the holy and ever-virginal One made His flesh without the aid of seed, can He not then make the bread His body and the wine and water His blood? He said in the beginning, Let the earth bring forth grass, and even until this present day, when the rain comes it brings forth its proper fruits, urged on and strengthened by the divine command. God said, This is My body, and This is My blood, and this do ye in remembrance of Me. And so it is at His omnipotent command until He come: for it was in this sense that He said until He come: and the overshadowing power of the Holy Spirit becomes through the invocation the rain to this new tillage. For just as God made all that He made by the energy of the Holy Spirit, so also now the energy of the 83bSpirit performs those things that are supernatural and which it is not possible to comprehend unless by faith alone. How shall this be, said the holy Virgin, seeing I know not a man? And the archangel Gabriel answered her: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. And now you ask, how the bread became Christ’s body and the wine and water Christ’s blood. And I say unto thee, “The Holy Spirit is present and does those things which surpass reason and thought.”
Further, bread and wine are employed: for God knoweth man’s infirmity: for in general man turns away discontentedly from what is not well-worn by custom: and so with His usual indulgence He performs His supernatural works through familiar objects: and just as, in the case of baptism, since it is man’s custom to wash himself with water and anoint himself with oil, He connected the grace of the Spirit with the oil and the water and made it the water of regeneration, in like manner since it is man’s custom to eat and to drink water and wine , He connected His divinity with these and made them His body and blood in order that we may rise to what is supernatural through what is familiar and natural.
The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God’s body and blood. But if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit. And we know nothing further save that the Word of God is true and energises and is omnipotent, but the manner of this cannot be searched out. But one can put it well thus, that just as in nature the bread by the eating and the wine and the water by the drinking are changed into the body and blood of the eater and drinker, and do not become a different body from the former one, so the bread of the table and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same.

The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, “This is My body,” not, this is a figure of My body: and “My blood,” not, a figure of My blood. And on a previous occasion He had said to the Jews, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. And again, He that eateth Me, shall live.

I hope this helps.
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 01:36:17 AM »

This link might help.

http://www.oca.org/OCorthfaith.asp?SID=2
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2010, 02:28:09 AM »

Just preface that "The Southern Baptist Church[??] adheres to the belief that..." Then use that opportunity to teach about other views as well. If the students ask what you believe you can always decline to answer.

Quinault,
Probably prefacing a sentence with "The Southern Baptist Church" in a Southern Baptist Church could set off alarm bells. Often evangelicals make a dichotomy of "Are you Christian or are you Catholic?" They always talk as if their source of the authority is the Bible itself, whereas traditional protestants would be interested in having the kind of open-ended discussion you are talking about, Quinault.

Basically my advice to the fellow would have to be based on the situation. He knows the situation much better than me.

Crevbel made a great suggestion. Just say some vague things about what the early church taught. Try to get them interested in learning about the early church. Maybe talk about church leaders like Ignatius who wrote stuff at the same time the Bible was written.

Yeah, take Ignatius' writings.
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2010, 02:34:39 AM »

Have you ever considered just saying that you don't feel it is appropriate for you to teach the class without too much elaboration? I mean, if you're young enough that you haven't left for college, that — your age — in and of itself could be a legitimate concern.

FYI, as a very young teenager, despite the fact that I accepted the evangelicals' teachings and rejected Catholicism, I felt much more comfortable with the teaching style at the post-Vatican II Catholic school than the evangelical one. The Catholic one was much less, um, psychologically supressive. I know that might sound strange, but it's true.

Catholics accepted that I had different belief system. But at the "Christian" (it is really modern day Calvinism, often called evangelical) school, I had the same belief system, but there was not insignificant hostility against "bad ideas."

It is hard to explain.
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2010, 02:39:31 AM »

I doubt that saying that the beliefs of the church he is in are a), the beliefs of the orthodox church is b), the beliefs of the Methodists is c)....and so on and so forth (go over all the major Protestant views  and how they evolved as well as Orthodox/Catholic views) is going to set off any alarm bells unless he belittles the views of the church he is in. I will reiterate- this is a subject to be taught, not a theological debate. This is no different than a survey of religions class in college.
 
My husband was raised in a Baptist background. I was raised AG. Being vague will not work in this situation. If anything a deluge of information will work the best. Give them so much information from such a wide fora of sources that they are drowning in information. You can teach in this manner with a clean conscience. You will be teaching the kids to think for themselves without prejudicing them toward any single viewpoint. Treat this as a lesson on church tradition and the evolution of current practices.
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2010, 03:25:45 AM »

I doubt that saying that the beliefs of the church he is in are a), the beliefs of the orthodox church is b), the beliefs of the Methodists is c)....and so on and so forth (go over all the major Protestant views  and how they evolved as well as Orthodox/Catholic views) is going to set off any alarm bells unless he belittles the views of the church he is in. I will reiterate- this is a subject to be taught, not a theological debate. This is no different than a survey of religions class in college.
 
My husband was raised in a Baptist background. I was raised AG. Being vague will not work in this situation. If anything a deluge of information will work the best. Give them so much information from such a wide fora of sources that they are drowning in information. You can teach in this manner with a clean conscience. You will be teaching the kids to think for themselves without prejudicing them toward any single viewpoint. Treat this as a lesson on church tradition and the evolution of current practices.

That sounds clearer.

What you are proposing is a very enjoyable lesson. It is just my perception from experience that they can be insecure about this kind of open-discussion, especially if somehow they figure out you are not one of "them" anymore and are leading the discussion in another direction.
It can be a different atmosphere than regular protestants. They taught that evolutionists were very bad.

"Treat this as a lesson on church tradition[?] and the evolution of current practices[?]."
There is no "evolution!" There is no "tradition." There is creationism based on the "bahble," that what we do, we do Christian things as the bible says, not "tradition".

Actually, I think your suggestions are awesome, Quinault. Yes, flood them with info! I am just not sure that I personally would be able to pull it off without being "found out". Remember, what bothered me was not their ideas, it was that they were hostile to "other" ideas.

I like your idea alot though, and think it is a good one though, I am just hesistant about telling him how to act in his circumstance I don't know about. He should consider everyone's advice and apply based on the situation. Orthodoxy being the early church is why I became Orthodox, and evangelicals claim to do it the original way, so of course they should be interested in all the info you give them!

That is so cool you made it to Orthodoxy!

Peace.
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2010, 09:51:38 PM »

If you look up the words "baptism" and "baptize" in a concordance, see everywhere they are used, you will have a very good reference for teaching about baptism.

Maybe you could put a lesson plan together for your class using nothing but scripture references for what you intend to teach and submit that to your church. If they disagree with your lesson plan, then they should have no problem letting you not teach. If they decide to allow you to teach, then they should not hold it against you for following your lesson plan. Just an idea.
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