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Author Topic: Since the charismatic movement leaked into RC, has it leaked into Orthodoxy too?  (Read 3196 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 19, 2010, 10:36:20 PM »

I dont know why but I am constantly invited to go to a charismatic prayer service at the Catholic church nearby. I personally know the director of the group, he is a very kind man and all but simply, I just dont like the charismatic movement. My mother and I are kindly insisted to go (I also find the same kind of behaviour among charismatic Evangelicals). I have been to this charismatic service once. It was OKAY, but I did not like it. I rather prefer the solemnity of mass as I find clapping, dancing, and shouting to not be so reverent. How did the charismatic movement come into the RCC in the first place (darn Vatican II if it had anything to do with it). I have once been to a Pentecostal church with friends who invitied me

Has the charismatic movement ever invaded come to Orthodoxy? (To be quite honest, I sure hope it didnt).

Im not disgusted with the Roman Catholic church but if I could, I would so convert to Orthodoxy in a heart beat. Call me biased but I dislike anything from [Evangelical]Protestantism (though I love and dont judge my Protestant friends).
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 10:43:12 PM »

I dont know why but I am constantly invited to go to a charismatic prayer service at the Catholic church nearby. I personally know the director of the group, he is a very kind man and all but simply, I just dont like the charismatic movement. My mother and I are kindly insisted to go (I also find the same kind of behaviour among charismatic Evangelicals). I have been to this charismatic service once. It was OKAY, but I did not like it. I rather prefer the solemnity of mass as I find clapping, dancing, and shouting to not be so reverent. How did the charismatic movement come into the RCC in the first place (darn Vatican II if it had anything to do with it). I have once been to a Pentecostal church with friends who invitied me

Has the charismatic movement ever invaded come to Orthodoxy? (To be quite honest, I sure hope it didnt).

Im not disgusted with the Roman Catholic church but if I could, I would so convert to Orthodoxy in a heart beat. Call me biased but I dislike anything from [Evangelical]Protestantism (though I love and dont judge my Protestant friends).

We are already mystical, it is my personal view that the rationalism of Rome creates a void that allows the charismatic movement to be so strong there. I was told that it was huge in Brazil.

We do have alot of converts from the charismatic movement.......especially from the Charismatic Episcopal Church (I.C.C.E.C.)

The Charismatics here(EO) might be drawn by the desert Fathers and to Hesychasm and such other practices like that.......like my friend Ben:
http://hesychasticlayman.blogspot.com/











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« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 10:49:37 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 10:48:44 PM »

I often wonder if the charisma is tied with emotion as is the bedrock of Protestant worship.

I personally find the charismatic movement scary. Im not an outward person, so all that noise just scares me  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 10:48:53 PM »

The short answer to your question is no.

The closest thing to clapping and dancing are the Ethiopian Orthodox who use drums, but that is indigenous to Ethiopian Orthodoxy and they've been doing it for centuries/millennia.
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 10:53:26 PM »

I often wonder if the charisma is tied with emotion as is the bedrock of Protestant worship.

I personally find the charismatic movement scary. Im not an outward person, so all that noise just scares me  Cheesy

Our form of mysticism/Charismaticism is not emotional. That is probably one of the main differences between us and Pentecostal/Charismatic protestants.

Alot of Buddhist converts to EO seem to be drawn by the samething.......our Hesychasm and desert fathers.
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 10:58:19 PM »

There was a GOA priest, I believe located in Florida, who was apparently trying to blend the charismatic movement with Orthodoxy. Fr. Seraphim Rose mentioned him in one of his books. I haven't heard of much other than that, though.
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 11:02:48 PM »

There was a GOA priest, I believe located in Florida, who was apparently trying to blend the charismatic movement with Orthodoxy.

Oh no!  Angry I hope it doesnt happen. All I have ever seen in Pentecostal Christian worship is people tensing up, swinging their heads up and down like crazy, and running up and down the isle as well. I seen that they let children preach as well.

Orthodoxy on the other hand seems to have more of a "fuller" sense (I dont know if Im making sense here as well).
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 11:18:07 PM »

After a search I found out that Fr. Eusebius A. Stephanou was the priest I was thinking of. Some more info can be found on the fount of all knowledge.
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 12:09:13 AM »

Quote
Has the charismatic movement ever invaded come to Orthodoxy? (To be quite honest, I sure hope it didnt).

Ai, rest assured, this hasn't happened, apart from, perhaps, the odd renegade priest who might think it's cool. Not that he'd get very far with it.  laugh

In my close to 50 years' experience of Orthodoxy, Orthodox priests have been pulled up for far lesser misdemeanors than this. The Divine Liturgy simply doesn't have room for any charismatic, happy-clappy schlock. And there's even less chance of any similar nonsense infecting Orthodox vespers and Matins.  laugh The first time it happens, I would bet my house that the priest would be hauled before his bishop before he could blink. And the audience with the bishop wouldn't be much fun for the errant priest.  Shocked
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 12:58:39 AM »

According to Wikipedia, there's a group called the Charismatic Orthodox Church.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Orthodox_Church
It is non-canonical.
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 01:18:15 AM »

Quote from: LBK
The Divine Liturgy simply doesn't have room for any charismatic, happy-clappy schlock. And there's even less chance of any similar nonsense infecting Orthodox vespers and Matins.  laugh

LOL!

But yeah, old, traditional, and ancient..just how I love it!  Grin

Quote from: LBK
The first time it happens, I would bet my house that the priest would be hauled before his bishop before he could blink. And the audience with the bishop wouldn't be much fun for the errant priest.  Shocked

Im almost tempted to think that Orthodoxy is very hardcore  Cheesy

I really cannot imagine someone jumping up and down, clapping their hands, and shouting at the top of their lungs "PRAISE THE LORD" right in the middle of divine liturgy.
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 04:22:46 AM »

Being a cradle Pentecostal this is a pretty interesting topic. I'd love to read more about the subject so if anyone could point out any literature on relations with Orthodoxy and Charismatic phenomenons I'd be grateful. At this point everything I know is father Seraphim Rose and his article and Petro Vassiliadis. Latter is or was a professor of New Testament and Missiology in the University of Thessaloniki who  has claimed that Orthodoxy has a special emphasis on Pneumatology which unites us with Pentecostals and separates us from the other Western denominations.

Fr. Euesebius' idea that Chrismation is an equivalent to "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" is pretty interesting since I recall reading that there used to be some Charismatic phenomenons connected to Chrismation in the Early Church. For some reason they've died out in the subsequent centuries. Or has anyone heard speaking in tongues after a Chrismation. Grin
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 04:42:55 AM »

This certainly seems relevant...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy_and_the_Charismatic_Movement
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 10:59:45 AM »

I'm only speaking my opinion of course, but I think that the charismatic movement is a scourge on Christianity. As a former Protestant, I was exposed to a lot of charismatic activity and it was nothing but unrestricted emotionalism. I hope for the day that it is formally denounced as heresy in the Roman Church. Hopefully it never takes hold in Orthodoxy, or if it does hopefully it's quickly dealt with.
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 11:31:48 AM »

I'm only speaking my opinion of course, but I think that the charismatic movement is a scourge on Christianity. As a former Protestant, I was exposed to a lot of charismatic activity and it was nothing but unrestricted emotionalism. I hope for the day that it is formally denounced as heresy in the Roman Church. Hopefully it never takes hold in Orthodoxy, or if it does hopefully it's quickly dealt with.
Agreed.
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2010, 11:37:56 AM »

I'm only speaking my opinion of course, but I think that the charismatic movement is a scourge on Christianity. As a former Protestant, I was exposed to a lot of charismatic activity and it was nothing but unrestricted emotionalism. I hope for the day that it is formally denounced as heresy in the Roman Church. Hopefully it never takes hold in Orthodoxy, or if it does hopefully it's quickly dealt with.

I don't think Rome will do that. EWTN, Mother Angelica, and Saint Franciscan University http://franciscan.edu/ has been a good thing to Roman Catholic America.












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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2010, 11:45:21 AM »

Fr. Euesebius' idea that Chrismation is an equivalent to "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" is pretty interesting since I recall reading that there used to be some Charismatic phenomenons connected to Chrismation in the Early Church. For some reason they've died out in the subsequent centuries. Or has anyone heard speaking in tongues after a Chrismation. Grin

The form of protestantism that the Pentecostal movement came from (the Holiness movement) dissociated Regeneration and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from the Sacraments/Mysteries, and so the early protestant Pentecostals didn't know what they were talking about in regards to their terminology.

Both Biblically and Historically speaking, Regeneration = water Baptism while Holy Spirit Baptism = Chrismation/Confirmation.

Also the wild screaming, dancing hollering, emotionalism you see from Pentecostals and Charismatics is cultural. It's a mixture of African Culture with frontier American 1st, 2nd, and 3rd great awakening revivalism culture.









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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2010, 05:40:01 PM »

Orthodoxy on the other hand seems to have more of a "fuller" sense (I dont know if Im making sense here as well).

I agree.  Also I think the Charismatic movement was an attempt to fill a gap in spirituality that had been badly damaged in the RC church when it first started.  Remember that for a while in the late '60's and early '70s, everything was "modern" and "up to date" and the "social gospel" - not much room for depth in prayer.  As flawed as the Charismatic theology may have been, they had an emphasis on prayer and the supernatural that many people felt a need for.

That doesn't seem to have happened in Orthodoxy (or in the Eastern rites of the RC churches), so perhaps that's why it hasn't really "meshed" too well with Eastern spirituality.
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2010, 07:51:50 PM »

Orthodox worship and devotion is (or strives to be) dispassionate, with stillness, dignity, gravitas and humility, not grand displays of emotion and histrionics. This can be best observed in the traditional chant styles, and in iconography. There simply is no place for "charismatic" styles of worship in Orthodoxy. It would be as incongruous as a priest wearing Day-Glo.
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2010, 09:24:54 PM »

Orthodox worship and devotion is (or strives to be) dispassionate, with stillness, dignity, gravitas and humility, not grand displays of emotion and histrionics. This can be best observed in the traditional chant styles, and in iconography. There simply is no place for "charismatic" styles of worship in Orthodoxy. It would be as incongruous as a priest wearing Day-Glo.

But the "Jesus Prayer" IMHO has a very similar feel to the "private prayer language" of the Pentecostals - i.e. speaking in tongues but in private prayer.  What I mean is that it has the same intimacy, not that it's the same in style.
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2010, 10:29:55 PM »

Orthodox worship and devotion is (or strives to be) dispassionate, with stillness, dignity, gravitas and humility, not grand displays of emotion and histrionics. This can be best observed in the traditional chant styles, and in iconography. There simply is no place for "charismatic" styles of worship in Orthodoxy. It would be as incongruous as a priest wearing Day-Glo.

But the "Jesus Prayer" IMHO has a very similar feel to the "private prayer language" of the Pentecostals - i.e. speaking in tongues but in private prayer.  What I mean is that it has the same intimacy, not that it's the same in style.

OK, they are both intimate, and the style is different. But so is the substance. According to St Basil, orthodox don't think of the prophecies in the OT as being written in such a way as a "medium" where the person is controlled like a robot. I assume that extends to prayer life. The Jesus prayer is not the same event like being overcome and going into a trance where God's spirit supposedly or in fact speaks through the person like tongues of fire.

Also, I think the Pentecostal thing is probably self-induced, where the person puts themself in a certain mindset and allows their mind to express their subconscious. Such blind expressions can be beautiful, and I suppose holy, but I think there's the possibility that without any discernment or thought, where YOU decide when the holy spirit is going to come onto you... this might not always be very healthy for mind or soul, since demons have appeared as angels even during people's prayer time.

The Pentecost of the apostles had a definite utilitarian purpose of spreading the message and was unexpected. The charismatic movement makes it as a form of singing or praising God and expect it. I am also skeptical of any prophecies they have like Nostradamus or Marian apparitions, whether or not it is in a prayer session, because we must test the spirits.

Peace.
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2010, 10:34:25 PM »

I rather prefer the solemnity of mass as I find clapping, dancing, and shouting to not be so reverent.

Agreed.

Has the charismatic movement ever invaded come to Orthodoxy?

I have never heard of "Charismatic" churches within any canonical EO or OO jurisdiction.
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2010, 10:36:53 PM »

The closest thing to clapping and dancing are the Ethiopian Orthodox who use drums, but that is indigenous to Ethiopian Orthodoxy and they've been doing it for centuries/millennia.

I have been going to a congregation of the "Holy Synod in Exile" for a few Sundays in the past few months, and the drumming and "dancing" (comparitively it is a rather low key form of dancing not much more than swaying) only really occur in performances after the Liturgy proper.
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2010, 03:53:21 AM »

The closest thing to clapping and dancing are the Ethiopian Orthodox who use drums, but that is indigenous to Ethiopian Orthodoxy and they've been doing it for centuries/millennia.

I have been going to a congregation of the "Holy Synod in Exile" for a few Sundays in the past few months, and the drumming and "dancing" (comparitively it is a rather low key form of dancing not much more than swaying) only really occur in performances after the Liturgy proper.

Yes, you are right; I should have been more specific. I had read that such drumming was 'para-liturgical'.
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2010, 08:33:41 AM »

I don't know if it's charismatic or not, but here's a church that has a "prayer and praise healing" service on Wednesday nights!  http://www.emmanuelorthodox.org/  I know the "prayer and praise" aspect is common among all kinds of evangelicals, but the "healing" aspect sounds distinctly charismatic.

As unnerving as it is to me to see this parish (part of the Antiochian archdiocese!) acting as if the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Faith required their attempts to supplement it with protestantism...  at least they have now stopped doing this on Sunday mornings.
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« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2010, 09:51:16 AM »

I don't know if it's charismatic or not, but here's a church that has a "prayer and praise healing" service on Wednesday nights!  http://www.emmanuelorthodox.org/  I know the "prayer and praise" aspect is common among all kinds of evangelicals, but the "healing" aspect sounds distinctly charismatic.

As unnerving as it is to me to see this parish (part of the Antiochian archdiocese!) acting as if the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Faith required their attempts to supplement it with protestantism...  at least they have now stopped doing this on Sunday mornings.

This parish appears to be part of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese. As such, they are perfectly Orthodox, even though their practices are somewhat different. Let us not forget that the Orthodox Church used to have many forms of worship, even though their substance stayed the same.
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« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2010, 10:30:07 AM »

Orthodox worship and devotion is (or strives to be) dispassionate, with stillness, dignity, gravitas and humility, not grand displays of emotion and histrionics. This can be best observed in the traditional chant styles, and in iconography. There simply is no place for "charismatic" styles of worship in Orthodoxy. It would be as incongruous as a priest wearing Day-Glo.

But the "Jesus Prayer" IMHO has a very similar feel to the "private prayer language" of the Pentecostals - i.e. speaking in tongues but in private prayer.  What I mean is that it has the same intimacy, not that it's the same in style.

OK, they are both intimate, and the style is different. But so is the substance. According to St Basil, orthodox don't think of the prophecies in the OT as being written in such a way as a "medium" where the person is controlled like a robot. I assume that extends to prayer life. The Jesus prayer is not the same event like being overcome and going into a trance where God's spirit supposedly or in fact speaks through the person like tongues of fire.

Also, I think the Pentecostal thing is probably self-induced, where the person puts themself in a certain mindset and allows their mind to express their subconscious. Such blind expressions can be beautiful, and I suppose holy, but I think there's the possibility that without any discernment or thought, where YOU decide when the holy spirit is going to come onto you... this might not always be very healthy for mind or soul, since demons have appeared as angels even during people's prayer time.

The Pentecost of the apostles had a definite utilitarian purpose of spreading the message and was unexpected. The charismatic movement makes it as a form of singing or praising God and expect it. I am also skeptical of any prophecies they have like Nostradamus or Marian apparitions, whether or not it is in a prayer session, because we must test the spirits.

Peace.

Speaking of the mind and the "nous," I highly recommend a wonderful little book by Archimandrite Meletios Webber, "Bread & Water, Wine & Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God."
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« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2010, 11:30:19 AM »

I don't know if it's charismatic or not, but here's a church that has a "prayer and praise healing" service on Wednesday nights!  http://www.emmanuelorthodox.org/  I know the "prayer and praise" aspect is common among all kinds of evangelicals, but the "healing" aspect sounds distinctly charismatic.

As unnerving as it is to me to see this parish (part of the Antiochian archdiocese!) acting as if the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Faith required their attempts to supplement it with protestantism...  at least they have now stopped doing this on Sunday mornings.

This parish appears to be part of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Yes, I noted that.

Quote
As such, they are perfectly Orthodox, even though their practices are somewhat different. Let us not forget that the Orthodox Church used to have many forms of worship, even though their substance stayed the same.

This is far deeper than merely using a different liturgical rite!  Protestant-style "prayer and praise" is not worship, it is a pale imitation of true worship.  To boil down the Orthodox faith to a specific set of ancient theological principles, while utterly ignoring (and sometimes even repudiating) the context in which they were handed down, is a disgrace.  And I don't think by "healing" they mean "unction" at all.

If I'm wrong, I hope they will let us all know when they dig up St John Chrysostom's guitar, drum machine, and manuscript of "Waves of Mercy".
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« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2010, 12:30:31 PM »

I don't know if it's charismatic or not, but here's a church that has a "prayer and praise healing" service on Wednesday nights!  http://www.emmanuelorthodox.org/  I know the "prayer and praise" aspect is common among all kinds of evangelicals, but the "healing" aspect sounds distinctly charismatic.

As unnerving as it is to me to see this parish (part of the Antiochian archdiocese!) acting as if the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Faith required their attempts to supplement it with protestantism...  at least they have now stopped doing this on Sunday mornings.

This parish appears to be part of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Yes, I noted that.

Quote
As such, they are perfectly Orthodox, even though their practices are somewhat different. Let us not forget that the Orthodox Church used to have many forms of worship, even though their substance stayed the same.

This is far deeper than merely using a different liturgical rite!  Protestant-style "prayer and praise" is not worship, it is a pale imitation of true worship.  To boil down the Orthodox faith to a specific set of ancient theological principles, while utterly ignoring (and sometimes even repudiating) the context in which they were handed down, is a disgrace.  And I don't think by "healing" they mean "unction" at all.

If I'm wrong, I hope they will let us all know when they dig up St John Chrysostom's guitar, drum machine, and manuscript of "Waves of Mercy".

Of course! However, based on the postings so far, none of us knows what sort of healing service that they have. For all we know, they may just be receiving anointing with Holy Oil at the end of Vespers.
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« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2010, 12:38:10 PM »

A key problem with Protestant worship--charismatic or otherwise--is the almost complete loss of any sense that the spiritual or noetic is real:  "It's all in your head."  Protestants are at sixes and sevens when noetic reality hits them square in the face.  And the practical outcome of this lack of a sense of the reality of the noetic is that worship goes flat and intellectual; as one Eastern theologian described the Western Christian's condition:  "Hypertrophic dianoia (rational mind) and a darkened nous."  The only alternative left for "lively" worship, under those conditions, is liturgitainment.
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2010, 03:33:35 PM »

I really cannot imagine someone jumping up and down, clapping their hands, and shouting at the top of their lungs "PRAISE THE LORD" right in the middle of divine liturgy.

Not unless they wanted to incur the wrath of an old Baba or Yia-Yia!  laugh  laugh  laugh
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« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2010, 03:36:07 PM »

I don't know if it's charismatic or not, but here's a church that has a "prayer and praise healing" service on Wednesday nights!  http://www.emmanuelorthodox.org/  I know the "prayer and praise" aspect is common among all kinds of evangelicals, but the "healing" aspect sounds distinctly charismatic.

As unnerving as it is to me to see this parish (part of the Antiochian archdiocese!) acting as if the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Faith required their attempts to supplement it with protestantism...  at least they have now stopped doing this on Sunday mornings.

This parish appears to be part of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Yes, I noted that.

Quote
As such, they are perfectly Orthodox, even though their practices are somewhat different. Let us not forget that the Orthodox Church used to have many forms of worship, even though their substance stayed the same.

This is far deeper than merely using a different liturgical rite!  Protestant-style "prayer and praise" is not worship, it is a pale imitation of true worship.  To boil down the Orthodox faith to a specific set of ancient theological principles, while utterly ignoring (and sometimes even repudiating) the context in which they were handed down, is a disgrace.  And I don't think by "healing" they mean "unction" at all.

If I'm wrong, I hope they will let us all know when they dig up St John Chrysostom's guitar, drum machine, and manuscript of "Waves of Mercy".

Of course! However, based on the postings so far, none of us knows what sort of healing service that they have. For all we know, they may just be receiving anointing with Holy Oil at the end of Vespers.

I agree. We don't even know what the content of this service is, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Actually, this church has been criticized on the Internet before, and their priest responded quite honorably to the criticism (for example, the section "why Jesus" on the website used to have a Protestant hippie Jesus picture on it, but it was taken down). I think he's trying his best, although perhaps he and his flock are still growing and learning... Oh wait...we all are lol.

That said, it's totally backwards IMO to think the Orthodox Tradition (Western or Eastern) needs any supplementing with Protestant 'worship' styles. We have services for every part if every day lol, so we don't really have time to add contemporvant services: http://vimeo.com/11501569
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« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2010, 04:27:11 PM »

A key problem with Protestant worship--charismatic or otherwise--is the almost complete loss of any sense that the spiritual or noetic is real:  "It's all in your head."  Protestants are at sixes and sevens when noetic reality hits them square in the face.  And the practical outcome of this lack of a sense of the reality of the noetic is that worship goes flat and intellectual; as one Eastern theologian described the Western Christian's condition:  "Hypertrophic dianoia (rational mind) and a darkened nous."  The only alternative left for "lively" worship, under those conditions, is liturgitainment.

Seems like you have read Archimandrite Meletios Webber's "Bread & Water, Wine & Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God."
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« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2010, 04:34:50 AM »






ICXC NIKA

Cool picture! Can you tell us about it?


Selam
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« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2010, 11:13:42 PM »






ICXC NIKA

Cool picture! Can you tell us about it?


Selam

You know, I never asked Ben what it meant:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/ben.marston1 (Ben)

I'll ask him and get back to you when he tells me. My guess is that it has something to do with Hesychasm. Especially since you see that glow around him. When I first saw it I thought about what a Serbian Monk said about prayer and being able to ....I forgot, but it had something to do with the Kosmos.






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« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2010, 03:41:37 AM »

That picture's too groovy and New Agey for my liking. And what's with the broken string of the prayer rope? And it's not a prayer rope, but strung with beads ....
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« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2010, 03:58:34 AM »

That picture's too groovy and New Agey for my liking. And what's with the broken string of the prayer rope? And it's not a prayer rope, but strung with beads ....

Yeah, it's not Iconic, but I still think it's cool. Not gonna place it in my icon corner, but I dig it still.


Selam
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« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2010, 09:56:00 AM »

That picture's too groovy and New Agey for my liking. And what's with the broken string of the prayer rope? And it's not a prayer rope, but strung with beads ....

Just thinking out loud, but perhaps it symbolizes the fact that the prayer rope/beads are merely a means to an end and, once a person reaches the state of union with God that is depicted, the physical tool of prayer (in this case, the prayer beads) are no longer needed, thus the string is broken.

And what's the point if its beads or just a knotted rope?  Hermitage of the Holy Cross Monastery (ROCOR) sells prayer ropes made with wooden beads. 
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