Author Topic: Methodists split over gay issues  (Read 10753 times)

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Offline TomS

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Methodists split over gay issues
« on: May 07, 2004, 08:19:06 AM »
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Conservatives in the United Methodist Church proposed splitting the denomination Thursday at a national policy meeting, the latest sign that a decades-long disagreement over homosexuality is worsening.

The Rev. William Hinson, president of the Confessing Movement for conservative Methodists, said evangelicals were just beginning to explore the idea and that no break was imminent in the 8.3 million-member church.

But he said he and others were convinced that no compromise could be found after yet another bitter General Conference debate over what the Bible says about gay sex.

"We can't bridge that divide," said Hinson, former pastor of First United Methodist Church of Houston

Rest of article -- http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Northeast/05/06/methodists.gays.ap/index.html

----

Here's my prediction for the next 25 years: Satan will continue to infect the churches (both Prostestant, Roman Catholic, and even some Orthodox) and eventually those True and Traditional Churches that preach against this, and other similar obominations, will be condemned as hate groups and be outlawed.

Unless we are taken over by Islam -- then we will just be slaughtered as the Quran teaches.

"The end is closer than you think."

P.S. Then again, maybe I am just an alarmist.


« Last Edit: May 07, 2004, 09:10:26 AM by Tom+ú »

Offline Linus7

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2004, 08:34:48 AM »
I think you are absolutely right, Tom.

Much of what appears to be the Orthodox Church will likewise succumb, IMHO.

It will become extremely difficult to find a real Christian.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2004, 09:10:58 AM »
It will become extremely difficult to find a real Christian.

It is extremely difficult to find one now, and has been for quite some time.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline Linus7

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2004, 10:34:19 AM »
It is extremely difficult to find one now, and has been for quite some time.

Hmmm . . . I think I've known some, but God alone will judge.
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Offline jac109

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2004, 12:27:40 AM »
I think you are absolutely right, Tom.

Much of what appears to be the Orthodox Church will likewise succumb, IMHO.

It will become extremely difficult to find a real Christian.

I only hope that hard times will weed out the cowardly compromisers and nervous nellies who seem to be constantly wringing their hands worried that enforcing Christian teaching might offend some group. We need men who will stand for principle instead of always trying to accomodate.

You can't compromise with evil without eventually becoming evil yourself.
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Offline Father Peter

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2004, 05:02:50 AM »
I've not noticed the Coptic Orthodox failing to stand up for principle.

My prediction, in 25 years the Coptic Orthodox will continue to be suffering persecution and will continue to resist all attempts to introduce liberalism and modernism into the Church.

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Offline Linus7

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2004, 10:25:24 AM »
I've not noticed the Coptic Orthodox failing to stand up for principle.

My prediction, in 25 years the Coptic Orthodox will continue to be suffering persecution and will continue to resist all attempts to introduce liberalism and modernism into the Church.

Peter Theodore

Maybe.

But the Coptic Church is a member of the WCC (see the heading "Middle East" at the bottom of the page at this web site) and seems to be pretty involved in ecumenism.

My prediction is that in the not-too-distant future many churches will have all their ecumenical dreams fulfilled in a super union.

That will be part of the way in which the prediction Tom made in his original post comes true.
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Offline Nacho

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2004, 01:31:29 AM »
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You can't compromise with evil without eventually becoming evil yourself.

LOL,I like that. Makes sense to me.....

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I only hope that hard times will weed out the cowardly compromisers and nervous nellies who seem to be constantly wringing their hands worried that enforcing Christian teaching might offend some group. We need men who will stand for principle instead of always trying to accomodate.

The crux of the problem in the west is that we are suffering from political overcorrectness. Too bad it has too find it's way into some christian churches, if that's what you want to call them.

 
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It is extremely difficult to find one now, and has been for quite some time.

Now isn't that a sad fact. I can count on one hand the amount of "true" christians I would put my trust in.


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Much of what appears to be the Orthodox Church will likewise succumb, IMHO

Man, I sure hope not. There does seem to be a strain of "defeatism" by some in Orthodoxy. I guess what your saying is true if those that don't want to commit themselves to the so called "culture war" to fight for the truth. Maybe we deserve to have our churches overun by the pagans & those who have a hatred for authority that are like a pack of hungry wolves.  

Quote
Here's my prediction for the next 25 years: Satan will continue to infect the churches (both Prostestant, Roman Catholic, and even some Orthodox) and eventually those True and Traditional Churches that preach against this, and other similar obominations, will be condemned as hate groups and be outlawed.

Wow, that soon huh??? I was thinking more like 75 - 100 years down the road. I think you may be right though. I never thought that I would see gay marriage in my lifetime & it happened without much opposition, even though those on the left were breaking laws initially to do it. Hey, but what's new these days. They have no respect for laws & I'm afraid that they may just start going after christian churches next with a little help from thier friends who are the enemy within.

The enemies of christianity used to be outside the church & we could easily identify who they were, but these days the enemy has pentrated our ranks and they are not as easily identifiable because they wear the same mask we do & talk   the same talk as we do. They are being used by Satan who's favorite place happens to be within the church itself to cause mass confusion & destruction.  

Here's a favorite quote of mine that sums up our current state of affairs:

"A nation can survive it's fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the Traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears thier face and arguements, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear....

---Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Orator & Statesman 42 B.C.


Just apply this analogy to what's happening to some christian churches & you get the point.  

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."--Mere Christianity

Offline Frobie

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2004, 02:02:01 AM »
Why is everyone so down all of a sudden? The Methodists were heretics all along anyway. As Chesterton would say, history does not move in a straight line unless we allow it to. If I asked you where someone like anastasios or Mor Ephrem (to use examples on this site) will be in 40 years and whether they will be more holy or less holy, you would not be able to respond other than with, "I suppose that would depend on anastasios or Mor Ephrem." Moreover, if St. Michael can cast Satan into hell, then I think he can take care of the WCC or whoever the "indomitable" enemy is. "Take heart, I have overcome the world."

Matt

« Last Edit: May 21, 2004, 02:03:50 AM by Frobie »

Offline Linus7

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2004, 03:24:53 PM »
Why is everyone so down all of a sudden? The Methodists were heretics all along anyway. As Chesterton would say, history does not move in a straight line unless we allow it to. If I asked you where someone like anastasios or Mor Ephrem (to use examples on this site) will be in 40 years and whether they will be more holy or less holy, you would not be able to respond other than with, "I suppose that would depend on anastasios or Mor Ephrem." Moreover, if St. Michael can cast Satan into hell, then I think he can take care of the WCC or whoever the "indomitable" enemy is. "Take heart, I have overcome the world."

Matt

I don't think we're down so much as we are facing facts and looking at what's going on.

It is important to do this so that we will be on the alert and be prepared to "stand in the breach" against the modernists and ecumenists and feminists when they try to destroy the Church. We must also be prepared to persevere and to pray unceasingly for grace to withstand this present darkness.

You could be right. Perhaps, if we pray and work hard enough, we can turn the tide for a time. That is a hopeful thought.

Just the same, I think we are saying nothing else but what the Fathers and saints of the Church have said: things will go from bad to worse, and the true Church will become hard to find. There will be "churches" everywhere, but practically none of them will be fit places in which to worship.

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Offline Keble

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2004, 03:37:17 PM »
My prediction is that in the not-too-distant future many churches will have all their ecumenical dreams fulfilled in a super union.

Including which churches?

I think that pipe dream is dead. The fate of the UCC has been sufficiently instructive; the mainline denominations are wary of losing their character, and the baptist polity groups are, well, baptist in polity and don't believe in union anyway. It was a herculean effort just to establish a concordat between the Episcopalians and ELCA.

Offline David

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2004, 03:46:50 PM »
I wonder that if the UMC does split, if part of it would want to join the ELCA and the Episcopalian Church.
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2004, 05:22:19 PM »
Including which churches?

I think that pipe dream is dead. The fate of the UCC has been sufficiently instructive; the mainline denominations are wary of losing their character, and the baptist polity groups are, well, baptist in polity and don't believe in union anyway. It was a herculean effort just to establish a concordat between the Episcopalians and ELCA.


Virtually all of them, I think.

I don't know how it will happen. It could be that it will simply be a loose union with intercommunion, exchange of ministers, etc., while each church/denomination preserves its political autonomy and governing bodies.

That would be a realization of the "unity in diversity" theme.

The unifying factor would be the sort of comprehensive liberalism that tolerates everything but what it sees as "intolerance."
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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2004, 05:47:29 PM »
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Just the same, I think we are saying nothing else but what the Fathers and saints of the Church have said: things will go from bad to worse, and the true Church will become hard to find. There will be "churches" everywhere, but practically none of them will be fit places in which to worship.

I agree, maybe Orthodoxy will be the last bastion of true christianity before this happens. This is so hard to understand sometimes seing the church go to hell so fast when looking at the analogy of the mustard seed in the gospels. We are supposed to dominate all sphere's of society according to that passage & others in the bible, but it seems the opposite is happening.

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The unifying factor would be the sort of comprehensive liberalism that tolerates everything but what it sees as "intolerance."

Liberals have a tendancy to mock everything that is sane & normal. It seems in some of these churches they have an all women/gay clergy. I'm wondering if this is just yet another mockery of Orthodoxy/Roman Catholcism who stand for "true" christianity.  
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2004, 06:40:36 PM »
I agree, maybe Orthodoxy will be the last bastion of true christianity before this happens. This is so hard to understand sometimes seing the church go to hell so fast when looking at the analogy of the mustard seed in the gospels. We are supposed to dominate all sphere's of society according to that passage & others in the bible, but it seems the opposite is happening. Liberals have a tendancy to mock everything that is sane & normal. It seems in some of these churches they have an all women/gay clergy. I'm wondering if this is just yet another mockery of Orthodoxy/Roman Catholcism who stand for "true" christianity.  


I don't think Christians are supposed to "dominate all spheres of society." I think the Parable of the Mustard Seed merely means that the Church will grow and spread throughout the world.

I think a lot of what looks like Orthodoxy on the outside will be part of what Tom predicted.

The real Church will be underground.
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Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2004, 09:39:07 PM »
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I agree, maybe Orthodoxy will be the last bastion of true christianity before this happens.

In Orthodoxy (not to be confused with the Antiochians) we already believe we are the last bastion of True Christianity.

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2004, 03:27:07 AM »
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In Orthodoxy (not to be confused with the Antiochians) we already believe we are the last bastion of True Christianity.

Why are the Antiochians the only Orthodox living up to the mustard seed parable????  We are leaving everyone else in the dust appearantly because of this kind of attitude by many others in other Orthodox jurisdictions which is a very big turn off.  Hmmm, do you really think Christ cares about your hair splitting complaints that you have against the Antiochians??? Is that what you will be judged on before you face him??? I think the Antiochains are doing just fine and Christ is truely shown through them in all that they have done here. Have a nice day....... ::)
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."--Mere Christianity

Offline TomS

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2004, 09:55:41 AM »
Hmmm, do you really think Christ cares about your hair splitting complaints that you have against the Antiochians??? Is that what you will be judged on before you face him??? I think the Antiochains are doing just fine and Christ is truely shown through them in all that they have done here. Have a nice day....... ::)

I agree with this. Why must "traditionalists" paint Christ as a Pharisee?

Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2004, 10:11:28 PM »
Ironic that this is the Sunday of the Holy Fathers....

I believe in....one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church...

Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2004, 10:15:31 PM »
Does the Antiochian Archdiocese have any monasteries in the USA??
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Offline Bono Vox

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2004, 11:37:15 PM »
Quote
Why are the Antiochians the only Orthodox living up to the mustard seed parable????  We are leaving everyone else in the dust appearantly because of this kind of attitude by many others in other Orthodox jurisdictions which is a very big turn off.  Hmmm, do you really think Christ cares about your hair splitting complaints that you have against the Antiochians??? Is that what you will be judged on before you face him??? I think the Antiochains are doing just fine and Christ is truely shown through them in all that they have done here. Have a nice day.......


Excellent point Nacho. Much of the bickering within orthodoxy is pointless and accomplishes nothing. I think that the Antiochians have risen up above much of this legalsim and have done a great job spreading Orthodoxy to America.

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In Orthodoxy (not to be confused with the Antiochians) we already believe we are the last bastion of True Christianity.

Sounds petty. Although it is true that the Orthodox church is the true church, we can't say that our protestant and roman catholic brothers are damned and on their way to hell. It is unfortunate that some of the legalists treat the RC's and protestants as though they are as bad as mormons and jw's.

I know that Christ changed my life before I became Orthodox. I still worship the same God that I did as an evangelical; I just dropped the baggage of bad theology and found the historic church.

Quote
Does the Antiochian Archdiocese have any monasteries in the USA??

I have noticed that this happens to be another one of the petty arguments against the AOC, quite often insinuating that the Antiochians don't like or support monasticism. Antiochians, like the rest of the orthodox, believe in monasticism; moreover, I believe that one day there will be an Antiochian monistary in America.

Quote
I agree, maybe Orthodoxy will be the last bastion of true christianity before this happens. This is so hard to understand sometimes seing the church go to hell so fast when looking at the analogy of the mustard seed in the gospels. We are supposed to dominate all sphere's of society according to that passage & others in the bible, but it seems the opposite is happening.

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that has started off small and shall grow into the largest of all trees; however, it takes time. Look how far the church has come over the past 2000 years! I have an optimistic view of the future.

I agree with you that there is a streak in many orthodox circles of a "defeatest" mentality (much like the dispensationalists), but there have always been people who have been defeatists in the church, and that never changed anything. The kingdom of God will continue to grow until our Lord Jesus returns.

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Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2004, 11:58:56 PM »
Monasticism is the backbone of Orthodoxy, why in the world doesnt the Antiochain Archdiocese have least one monastery?!

This is truly surprising, from my study and expirence, I have monasticism is a huge part of Orthodoxy, and my God Orthodoxy without monasticism is not something I want to think about!

It just seems to me with all the resources available, the Antiochian Archdiocese wouldn't have a problem founding at least one monastery in the US.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2004, 11:32:59 AM by Ben »
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Offline Brendan03

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2004, 11:10:37 AM »
"I still worship the same God that I did as an evangelical; I just dropped the baggage of bad theology and found the historic church."

I know that you and Nacho have both said this, but it is honestly very disturbing to see it expressed this way.  When you entered the Church you put on Christ in a completely different way.  You became a member of His Body in a way that yo9u were categorically *not* before.  You received the Holy Spirit in a way that you categorically did *not* have before.  Entering the Orthodox Church (or the Catholic Church for that matter) is not simply a matter of switching theologies or finding the historical church.  It is a fundamental change from being a follower of Christ, on the one hand, to being a person who lives in Christ, in His Body, in sacramental communion with the Holy Trinity.  It is this aspect, the transformational one, the change in your person as a result, that is what entering the Church is all about.  It is not about switching theologies, or ditching those elements of evangelical protestantism that are inconsistent with Orthodoxy and keeping everything else intact.  It is about putting on Christ, plain and simple, in a way that is not available outside the Church.  If you want to understand the profound significance of this, a great resource is Fr. Alexander Schmemann's "Of Water and the Spirit".

All of this only serves to highlight to me the problems associated with the way that the AA has gone about its evangelization program.  There are many who are entering the Church who do not really understand what it is they are doing, who are in many ways still Protestant.  This is troubling.  It creates a group of people who have a different understanding of what it means to be an Orthodox Christian (or a Roman Catholic for that matter) than the Church has historically understood.
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Offline Fr. David

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2004, 11:31:38 AM »
Brendan03,

I agree with you; when we entered Orthodoxy from Protestantism, we were to change religions, not just ideologies...though I must admit, I sometimes have problems articulating exactly what those differences are.

One might say that there's a much more inward focus, a much slower approach to change than in Protestantism; there's not so much the ability to just "drop the bad theology," as it's affected us internally in a very real way...its an effect that slowly needs to be put into reverse as we purposefully work with the Holy Spirit through the life of the Church to slowly disentangle ourselves from our former errors.

So maybe I DON'T have a problem articulating one idea, huh?

Any other thoughts on this?

And...might we need to start a new thread for this, as we've strayed from Methodists AND gay marriages?  ;)
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Offline Fotina02

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2004, 11:45:19 AM »
There are many who are entering the Church who do not really understand what it is they are doing, who are in many ways still Protestant.  This is troubling.


We come as we are and find purification, illumination, and theosis IN the Church.


Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2004, 12:03:57 PM »
We come as we are and find purification, illumination, and theosis IN the Church.



So very very true.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Nacho

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2004, 12:57:58 PM »
Quote
Monasticism is the backbone of Orthodoxy, why in the world doesnt the Antiochain Archdiocese have least one monastery?!

Back in the Old Country, there are many. The reason why we also don't have many in this country are for a few valid reasons. First, all other Orthodox jurisdictions don't have that many monastaries in America also, as compared to the abundance in traditional Orthodox lands. You could say the same thing that this is very unhealthy, but I think thier are valid reasons for this because Orthodoxy is still very new here and very much is the "evangelism" phase, especially the AA's who have seen the most growth. I beleive down the road that there will be many established once all these new converts & thier families become more acquianted with the Traditions of Orthodoxy.

I would also say that the few monasteries that are here are not filled with any "american" converts. They are filled with Orthodox monatics that have migrated here, or 2nd generation Orthodox that have been here & thier families have been Orthodox for genrations. These people are much more familiar with Orthodoxy, especially monasticism. The Antiochians ethnically speaking have not had as nearly much old time Orthodox migrating to America as those in other Jurisdictions. Wer are speaking numbers in the millions between "ethnic" Antiochains and those such as the Slavic peoples & Greek, which have a much larger "pool" of people to draw from who would want to become monatics.

I would say though the main reason why the Antiochians don't have any monasteries is because we were basically the last on the scene to achieve Jurisdictional Administrative Authority/Unity in America, which occurred in 1976 I beleive. Because of this, we didn't have the power really to set up some of the first monasteries here, which were mostly done by the Russians & Greeks. Most of the Antiochians for this reason who express interest in being monastics, prefer to go to the long standing monasteries (ussually greek) that are already established.  

Quote
know that you and Nacho have both said this, but it is honestly very disturbing to see it expressed this way.  When you entered the Church you put on Christ in a completely different way.  You became a member of His Body in a way that yo9u were categorically *not* before.  You received the Holy Spirit in a way that you categorically did *not* have before.  Entering the Orthodox Church (or the Catholic Church for that matter) is not simply a matter of switching theologies or finding the historical church.  It is a fundamental change from being a follower of Christ, on the one hand, to being a person who lives in Christ, in His Body, in sacramental communion with the Holy Trinity.  It is this aspect, the transformational one, the change in your person as a result, that is what entering the Church is all about.  It is not about switching theologies, or ditching those elements of evangelical protestantism that are inconsistent with Orthodoxy and keeping everything else intact.  It is about putting on Christ, plain and simple, in a way that is not available outside the Church.  If you want to understand the profound significance of this, a great resource is Fr. Alexander Schmemann's "Of Water and the Spirit".

I have read Father Schmemann's book. I think that you are making much more out of this than meets they eye. Protestants and Catholics who do convert to Orthodoxy ussually are very educated on the issues at hand and they know why they are converting. It's very rare to see someone "ignorant" of the Orthodox Church converting. From my experience, those that do come over have spent many years researching and learning the theology of the Church. All the people I have talked with have not jumped into Orthodoxy, but have taken one issue at a time theologically/historically speaking when examining Orthodoxy. When they do decide, they basically have already aquired an Orthodox world view/mindset when becoming catuchumens. FOr example, it took the Evangelical Orthodox more than 10 years of a very slow journey into aquiring an Orthodox worldview before they even thought of petitioning the AA Jurisdiction about entering into the fullness of the faith.
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Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2004, 01:51:14 PM »
Nacho....

In America there are many monasteries, not tons, but there is a good number. Colorado, a state with a samll number of Orthodox compared to other states has three monasteries. From my expirence with the local GOA monastery, the lay men and women are very close with the monks, and the services at the monastery are always packed, even with a good number of converts.

I just find it truly odd that with all the resources the AA has,some type of monastery hasn't been formed. I understand that we're not going to have as many Monasteries as the traditional Orthodox lands do, but come on the AA could at least have one! OCA, ROCOR, GOA, have no problems setting up monasteries in the US, why should the AA?

Monasticism is such a huge part of Orthodoxy, it is truly unforunate that the AA doesn't have any monastic communities. I feel for all if the converts to the AA from protestantism and Catholicism who won't be able to expirence the monastic traditon of Orthodoxy, without having to go to a different jurisdiction.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2004, 02:34:26 PM »
Monasticism requires monks, and there can only be monks if there are men dedicated enough to following God in a life of repentence AND if those men have families who are generous/faithful enough to "let them go" (here I'm only speaking of people with families, not the occasional person with no attachements).  I don't know the situation with the AA, but I doubt they have a monopoly on families that are not like this.  And that's just one problem.    

You don't just start monasteries for the sake of having them; a lot of stuff (even stuff most internet Orthodox don't think of) factors into this issue, and if everyone knew all that was involved, I'm not sure how many monasteries there would be in this country at all.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2004, 06:59:56 PM »
I realize that there are many factors involved, but I think the AA is missing a huge part of Orthodoxy.

It just seems odd that the AA isn't producing men and women who want to dedicate their entire lives to God through the Monastic life, and who want to bring Orthodox Monasticism to the AA, rather than just joining a Monastic community of another Jurisdisdiction.

I, personally, due to my great love of Orthodox Monasticism, wouldn't convert to Orthodoxy through a jurisdiction that has no monastic communities in my country.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline TomS

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2004, 07:01:44 PM »
Maybe we should strive to learn not to JUDGE our Orthodox brothers and sisters.

Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2004, 07:05:29 PM »
Tom...

I'm not judging, in anyway. You don't see me saying that the AA is gracless, or heretics, or anything like that. I just think it is truly unforunate that the AA has no Monastic Communities.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline TomS

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2004, 07:35:41 PM »
Ben,

Forgive me. I was not speaking to YOU in particular. Just to this whole concept of Orthodox judging other Orthodox.

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2004, 08:15:41 PM »
In what way is monasticism essential to being Orthodox? Does visiting a monastery necessarily make you more Orthodox than someone who hasn't been? How do people in the world not give their whole lives to Christ?

Matt

Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2004, 08:19:57 PM »
Does visiting a monastery necessarily make you more Orthodox than someone who hasn't been? How do people in the world not give their whole lives to Christ?

Not at all!!

But Monasticism is the backbone of Orthodoxy, and it is a huge part of Orthodoxy. The AA is truly missing a link.
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Frobie

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2004, 08:26:31 PM »
Then how is monasticism the backbone of Orthodoxy? Is there agreement about this? Or is it just some quotes from monks saying so?

Offline Ben

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2004, 08:35:36 PM »
Frobie...

Let me quote what my local Mission Monastery has to say about Monasticism in their anual pocket calendar:

If it is true as Saint John of the Ladder says that angels are the light to monastics, and that monastics are light to the laity, then we realize how important monasticism is for the world today. Likewise, monasticism is called by St. Basil the Great, "the spinal column of the Church". And borrowing from military terminology, monks and nuns are referred to as the "infantry order" in the front lines of the Church, by our holy and ever - blessed spiritual grandfather Archimandrite Amphiliochios Markris of of Patmos (+1970). Futhermore, just as plants and flowers are nurtured in greenhouses, monasteries are known as "nurseries of holiness", the fortress walls

They put it way better than I can!
"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint

Offline Brendan03

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2004, 08:35:04 AM »
First, the monasteries here are not stocked mostly with old country Orthodox.  That's simply inaccurate.  Look at St. Tikhon's.  Look at New Skete.

Second, yes, monasticism is a critical component of Orthodoxy.  Why?  Because the monasteries have always been the source of our practical, ascetical spiritual practices (eg the Philokalia, the Jesus Prayer, etc.) that form the living heart of Orthodox spirituality.  In addition, the monasteries have traditionally provided great spiritual fathers, who can offer guidance to people either through their writings or through their spiritual counseling or both, or through the example they provide.  It always has been a critical part of Eastern Orthodoxy.  Hence the importance of the Holy Mountain to the Orthodox Church ... not everyone likes everything that comes out of the Holy Mountain, but nevertheless the voice of the Holy Mountain is respected in Orthodoxy.  Finally, historically it has been the monks who have saved our butts as a church numerous times either from being sold into heresy by the hierarchs or from disappearing by force of conquest.  The monks act as sort of the conscience of the Orthodox Church.  They play, as a result of all of this, a rather strikingly different role in the life of our Church than is the case in Western Catholicism.  The problem with trying to work out what it means to be Orthodox in North America without the assistance of monks living in our environment here is that it sets up a distorted model, and one that has never been used in Orthodoxy historically ... we have always relied heavily on monks to help us define what it is to be Orthodox, even for non-monastics, and to try to define that without the presence or benefit of active monastics in the church, as the AA is apparently doing, is very risky and dubious.

Third, I still maintain that you have to distingtuish between the study/reflection that takes placfe prior to deciding to join the Church and what actually happens when you join it.  Joining it is not simply saying publically "I agree with what you teach and assent to it", although that is a part of it, that is a *precondition* for it ... joining involves a sacramental transformation into a person markedly different from what you were previously.  Yes, you must accept Orthodox theology, but that is a precondition to conversion, not the essence of conversion.  The essence of conversion is the sacramental transformation, the grafting onto the body of Christ, the entry into communion.  While I don't doubt that some of you former Protestants are intellectually aware of these things, it troubles me that you refer to your conversions as being primarily about switching theologies.  I'm not quibbling here with the personal motivations for conversion, that is a private matter.  But what troubles me is the emphasis on theological switching, which is really not the essence of conversion to the Church.

And as for the so-called EOC, or Evangelical Orthodox Church, if they really understood what they were doing when they entered the Church, Nacho, the largest parish in the group, Ben Lomond, would not have fallen off the rail the way that it did.  Clearly these guys understood Orthodox theology about the Trinity and so forth, but they had a poor understanding of what Orthodoxy teaches about the role of the Bishop.  It very much appears that several of them who were almost instantly ordained by the AA (without adequate training IMO) took with them a deep-seated Protestant mindset about church affairs, about the meaning of authority within the Church and so forth.  And before we start saying that Orthodoxy allows people to disagree with the Bishop over important matters, let's remember that in Ben Lomond the dispute was about the form of the liturgy and the use, by the Ben Lomond parish, of liturgical settings and music that the Bishop did not want to be used there.  All Orthodox know that the liturgy belongs to the Bishop, it is the Bishop's prerogative what to do there, what he says goes when it comes to the liturgy.  The folks in Ben Lomond clearly approached this dispute with a Protestant mindset towards Church authority.  And if this mindset was present in some of the people who were in Ben Lomond, who were clearly among the most educated minds in the EOC, I honestly have doubts about what kinds of ideas exist elsewhere among the others that came in with that group and subsequently in "large" groups of conversions.  In my opinion, this is the risk you run when you take the approach that the AA did.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2004, 08:42:31 AM by Brendan03 »
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Offline Fotina02

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2004, 01:12:52 PM »
Hi Brendan,

I agree, God takes a "risk" with every conversion. Pray that we all continue to grow in knowledge and grace.

As for AA and monasticism--don't the monasteries, regardless of jurisdiction, benefit the whole Orthodox Church, even the AANA?

 :)

Offline Keble

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2004, 01:39:11 PM »
And as for the so-called EOC, or Evangelical Orthodox Church, if they really understood what they were doing when they entered the Church, Nacho, the largest parish in the group, Ben Lomond, would not have fallen off the rail the way that it did.  Clearly these guys understood Orthodox theology about the Trinity and so forth, but they had a poor understanding of what Orthodoxy teaches about the role of the Bishop.

Well, I don't know exactly who made up the Ben Lomond group, but if they were ex-Episcopalians, they got to where they were by rebelling against balky bishops.

Offline Brendan03

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2004, 01:41:03 PM »
Well, I don't know exactly who made up the Ben Lomond group, but if they were ex-Episcopalians, they got to where they were by rebelling against balky bishops.


No, they were ex-Evangelicals who were acting as if they were Orthodox before they were received into the Orthodox Church.  More info used to be available on the net about this a few years ago, but I was still able to find this http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/encyclicals/antioch/philip_saliba/philip_directive_feb1998.htm
and this more recent collection
http://www.pokrov.org/controversial/aeom.html
« Last Edit: May 25, 2004, 01:48:01 PM by Brendan03 »
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Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2004, 03:35:47 PM »
Quote
First, the monasteries here are not stocked mostly with old country Orthodox.  That's simply inaccurate.  Look at St. Tikhon's.  Look at New Skete.

Even the VERY GREEK Saint Anthony's has a fair number of converts as monastics.  As a convert myself I have always felt "at home" when I'm there as well, even if the language is a little difficult at times.  

Then there is Saint Herman's and the group of monasteries surrounding them....they are almost 100% converts.

Offline David

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2004, 07:54:26 PM »
Of the two monasteries in my local area, one(Sts. Mary and Martha Monastery - Wagener SC) is entirely convert while the other (Glorious Ascencion - Resaca GA) is mostly (at least 75%) convert.  St. Michael's skete in Canones NM is entirely convert as well, but they only have two monks at present.
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Offline gregory2

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2004, 08:17:08 PM »
I know that Father Tom Hopko has repeatedly said that the strength of a church can be measured by its monastic presence.  Here out west, the ROCOR Monastery on Vashon Island in Puget Sound, though very small, is entirely made of monastics, as is I think the OCA Monastery of St John the Wonderworker of Shanghai/SF in Point Reyes STation, CA.  

We're well past the time of "fitting in" -- we don't need to avoid monasteries so people won't think we're weird.  Heck, that's good.  People need to know that Orthodox are different.  And God knows, America can benefit from more Orthodox presence, including monasticism.
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Offline David

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Re:Methodists split over gay issues
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2004, 08:43:55 PM »
Heh, interesting typo there Gregory... :)
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