I have read VOTM website in the past, and yes there is some of what you say. However I have also seen statements admitting to the suffering by us 'Idolatrous' Orthodox Christians.
Regarding my mention of wealth, I did not mean it was OK to "buy" converts, but to use the money they have to send people abroad to live among the peasantry and yes feed them (God Forbid an American dare feed a starving child!). Would you rather they spend the money on a food court or weight room?
Here and there, the so-called "Voice of the Martyrs" mentions the suffering of the Orthodox, perhaps to maintain the illusion that the magazine is "neutral Christian" instead of indulging in the false "Christian vs. Catholic" dichotomy employed by so many Evangelicals, but by far the lion's share of the articles concerning the Orthodox cast us as Mary worshippers and (in the case of Ethiopia) "witch doctors" "fighting the spirit" (whatever spirit is motivating them to entice souls out of Orthodoxy into heresy is not the Holy Spirit) and oppressing those who have turned heterodox.
As far as them "feeding starving children", if they're interested in doing this in lands that have already been Christian for centuries, they should do so in cooperation with the local Orthodox Church instead of using their wealth to aid in proselytism and endangering souls."You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever.”
Archimandite (Metropolitan) Philaret, of blessed memory (+1985)http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx
They are not doing anything beneficial to the Church.
They are working against it, in fact.
I've seen and heard them in Romania calling us "idolatrous" and telling us we were so poor compared to the well to do Protestant nations because we were "baptized as infants, and worshiping idols".
I wanted to beat the s**t out of that Southern Baptist pastor. They have lost all respect with me.
Amen. They indeed do nothing to help the Church, but rather undermine it at every turn.
Don't assume that people who make such comments are indicative of the SBC.
We in the West definitely worship idols, so his comments are weak at best
It's not unreasonable to assume in this case that by "idols" he meant the Blessed Virgin, the saints, icons, and kissing the hands of priests, which really seems to get their goat.
If I can make a defense of the missionaries in Egypt (both Protestant & Catholic), they created many excellent schools to help all Egyptians, Copts and Moslems. And they forced the Coptic Church to awaken from its slumber and reform itself. We are fortunate to be living through a Coptic renaissance of sorts currently and I think the end result was good thing overall.
OK, now back to my shisha...I kid, I kid
If you mean reform as in the way the Coptic Church began to revitalize itself and educate the faithful as to our own theology so that they won’t succumb to imported Western heresies, great, but if you mean incorporating any Protestant dogmas, or even elements of what they consider to be “Christian morality” apart from the established traditions of the Church (such as abstention from alcohol) than I must disagree with this being anything of value at all.
My concern, having read the correspondence of those Protestant missionaries who established schools in Egypt, was that their aim was entirely and explicitly to subvert the Coptic Orthodox tradition and Protestantise the Church through the education of the youth. The correspondence has been published and this was the plan.
I think that there are many who see that there have been and continue to be negative effects on the Coptic Church through these Protestant and Catholic influences.
This is 100% correct, Father. It is worse in the case of the Ethiopian Church, in which they established a fifth-column group called the Tahadisso, with the objective of “reforming” (read: Protestantizing) the Ethiopian Church from the inside out, through Sunday Schools, having men with Protestant leanings ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, et cetera. Such sneaky subversion is characteristic of Satan, not of Christ, and it has caused great havoc in the EOTC.
I'm hopeful the Church will come out strong from these influences...with the dawn of availability of Church fathers for all to read and understand, I believe one can't truly in good conscience remain a Protestant (even if it be creating a counterfeit Orthodoxesk church) unless he/she continues to live in denial.
Amen and amen. We need to educate our faithful so that they can avoid the snares of the wolf of souls and his acolytes.
Indeed, Fr. Peter. That was their intention and it was very successful at first. And as AN posted earlier they also would bribe people with various gifts for converting.
But, overall, I do think God used them for good and all this eventually helped the Coptic Church.
An anectoctal story for you. There was a time where there was no Coptic Sunday School program and parents who wanted thier children to learn the Holy Bible would send them to the Protestant Sunday Schools after the Liturgy. Fast forward a few generations and you have my mother who although raised Protestant would after thier church service go the nearby Coptic Church for Sunday School because it was "much better".
Our Lord often uses for good what the wolf of souls intends for evil, but this doesn’t justify their attempts to proselytize among the Orthodox.