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Author Topic: Church Slamming  (Read 957 times) Average Rating: 0
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Keble
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« on: June 27, 2004, 10:00:23 AM »

It doesn't take an expert to observe the Anglican communion over the past 40 years or so and see that anything and everything really does go!

And exactly how old are you? I see from your profile that you are still a raw convert as far as Catholicism is concerned, so perhaps you are still blissfully unaware of the Roman Catholic Church's numerous foibles and difficulties.

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Well I of course do not personally know Rev. Williams and I've never met him, but his actions speak for themselves:

To actual Anglicans they do not speak so clearly. Indeed, one of the great disappointments of the radical liberals has been that, having thought that they had installed one of their own on the throne of Canterbury, they now find that he is willing to back the conservatives in order to preserve the communion. He has (in an understated British mode) ridiculed Spong's works as being like the work "of an intelligent 6th former" (high school senior). So I think appointing him as a sign of all that is wrong with Anglicanism is an overstatement, at least.

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Quite a lot, maybe not as much as you, but I certainly know enough about the history of the Anglican Church, esp its formation, and its core doctrines or beliefs to never ever become a member of the Anglican Communion. Believe it or not I almost became an Anglican, thank God I did some research before making such a decision.

Well, maybe you did and maybe you didn't. After all, I can find enough book-learning denouncing the Orthodox and most especially the office of the papacy. Those Renaissance popes-- the same ones who turned down Henry's request for an annullment-- abused their office scandalously.

The thing is, the Episcopalians are an easy whipping-boy, and so are the Roman Catholics. There's always some scandal. And all the while, Episcopalians and Catholics keep going to church, and take communion, and hear sermons of greater or lesser spiritual value. The Episcopal Church has been falling apart for thirty years, but oddly enough, it's still there.

All this waxing wroth about other people's churches to me seems totally counterproductive. I have trouble understanding it as anything other than an opportunity for self-righteousness on the one hand and an manifestation of spiritual blindness on the other. Look at the form of the argument: "My church is perfect; yours is a Godless mess." Isn't it obvious what is dangerous about that sort of statement?

But it also trashes the possibility of real discourse, because it politicizes arguments. I've been challenged by a certain person several times over why I participate in Orthodox discussions when I "obviously have no intention of converting." In other words, my participation must be perceived through the political lens of fealty to an Orthodox church (and when it comes to it, a particular Orthodox church). But while I might in another time and place argue that people should prefer Anglican belief to Orthodox belief, as an Anglican I have a basic acknowledgement of Orthodoxy which leads me to want the Orthodox to at least do Orthodoxy correctly.

All this positioning and posturing with respect to other denominations ties the speaker's Orthodox faith to the other. If you constantly think of your Orthodox or Catholic faith in opposition to Anglicanism, then your faith is inevitably distorted. The tendency is always going to be to make the differences as large as possible, larger than they really are. You will commit to making untrue generalizations about Anglicans, and worse, you will tend to be pushed away from the heritage of faith that you and the Anglicans share.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2004, 10:01:04 AM by Keble » Logged
Fr. David
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2004, 05:27:02 PM »

All this positioning and posturing with respect to other denominations ties the speaker's Orthodox faith to the other. If you constantly think of your Orthodox or Catholic faith in opposition to Anglicanism, then your faith is inevitably distorted.

An excellent post, Keble.  From the point of view of an Orthodox Christian who was and is enthralled with the idea of apophatic theology, I really hate (a word I don't use often) what I call "apophatic ecclesiology," i.e., our Church is right because it is NOT this; it does NOT have that; our bishops do NOT support the heretic N./heresy of N.-ism.

I would love to try to live out a faith that proclaims itself by what it IS, instead of by what it ISN'T.
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2004, 07:25:22 PM »

Pedro,

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I would love to try to live out a faith that proclaims itself by what it IS, instead of by what it ISN'T.

While I agree that it is what the Church is about which is soul winning, it is important to know what She is not.  Evidence of this, is in the Ecumenical Councils themselves, which actually spend as much time saying what is anathema to the Orthodox Church, as much as what Her teaching actually is.

Without such a consciousness, what you end up with is the mish mash half Uniatism of men like Vladimir Soloviev, who while largely positively subscribing to the positive teachings of the Church, also subscribed to heretical ideas which were beyond the pale of Orthodox faith.
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Fr. David
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2004, 10:40:33 PM »

While I agree that it is what the Church is about which is soul winning, it is important to know what She is not.  Evidence of this, is in the Ecumenical Councils themselves, which actually spend as much time saying what is anathema to the Orthodox Church, as much as what Her teaching actually is.

Agreed; we definitely have to have a consciousness of where we differ from other faiths.  I guess what I was trying to get across is that, like Keble said, many very religious individuals spend too much time ranting about what other confessions are NOT.  My point was that we should live the majority of our lives -- yes, knowing where our boundaries are, but more than this -- living out our lives proclaiming what Orthodoxy is in an of itself, in a way that does not center on how we differ from others.

More of an emphasis on our part: Focusing on what God has given us and helped us preserve, and the glory of that, rather than focusing on "how far everyone else has strayed," and the shame of that.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2004, 10:42:35 PM by Pedro » Logged

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Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

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Keble
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2004, 08:17:31 AM »

Pedro,While I agree that it is what the Church is about which is soul winning, it is important to know what She is not.  Evidence of this, is in the Ecumenical Councils themselves, which actually spend as much time saying what is anathema to the Orthodox Church, as much as what Her teaching actually is.

The point I made was that, in the mad rush for differentiation, speakers-- especially laymen on religion forums-- put words in her mouth that she did not actually say. Or worse, they spread falsehoods about others in her behalf.
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