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Author Topic: The delusion of our times....  (Read 3455 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 19, 2004, 06:44:46 PM »

What does everyone make of this?  How are we to reach out to these people with the Truth of Orthodoxy?

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0718church18.html

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Jakub
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2004, 09:01:50 PM »



Traditional values and spirituality are quickly disappearing like the buffalo, remember in the west the notion was get rid of the buffalo, the Indians were'nt far behind.

I'll also say those churches were lacking the Holy Spirit.

james
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Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2004, 10:56:31 PM »

Interesting article Nectarios. The real shame is, many of these people are genuine searchers.  How many of them have even heard the Gospel presented within the unchanging Tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church? Maybe you or I would walk out of one of those kinds of churches as well. They want real answers, but their religious leaders often dont have the deep well of collective  experience to draw from.  


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Stavro
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2004, 11:14:19 PM »

IF their journey ends at this stage, then I do not believe that these people are genuine searchers. I believe genuine searchers are led by the Holy Spirit to the promised land of Orthodoxy. I believe that genuine searchers will make the effort to read the history of the church from fair resources and not make this jump from 325 a.d. to 1517 a.d. each and everytime they read it. They will dig deep into the Bible and Tradition and first of all, PRAY. I would be disappointed if these are the steps they took and still end up in a churchless or philosophical christianity type of spirituality.
Orthodoxy is tough. It does not allow a lot of stuff that would be suitable for the Western taste.
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2004, 11:50:32 PM »

The X-RC woman who is into Wicca & Voodoo, now that is a person needing a exorcism.

james
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2004, 11:52:38 PM »

Stavro,
I am afraid that some of them may not even know how to start such a search. Many people today have a very poor sense of history (most converts in America are intellectuals).
I hope prayer will lead  many of them to continue the search for fullness of Truth. We should also pray for them.

 
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Rustaveli
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2004, 12:01:55 AM »

A Quote from the Article:

<< "The questions were either too hard or too sensitive, because church leaders either didn't know the answers or wouldn't say.

"If religion was open and objective enough to discuss these questions, I might go to church.

"But they treat you like you are the worst person on the face of the Earth if you raise questions." >>

Maybe this contains some insight into what might be the answer to Nektarios's question ("How are we to reach out to these people with the Truth of Orthodoxy?
") -

The Orthodox Faith, as Bishop Kallistos Ware put it, not only has different answers from Western Christianity, but a different set of questions.

The ancient wholeness of the Faith allows it to speak through Music, Word, Image, all the senses, as well as in persons and literature (Dostoyevsky, for example...);

Perhaps individual Orthodox believers showing forth the True Light of love, and not bringing doctrine alone or didactic combativeness, will draw some who seek to know that which Passeth All Understanding.
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2004, 12:05:50 AM »

Quote
After years in the Episcopal church, Jane Wilcox of Scottsdale now focuses on angels, and even makes a living helping others connect with angels.

"I was introduced to God in the Episcopal Church and find that everyone should have some formal introduction to God," she said. "However, we should be allowed to evolve, grow, and gain new insights that will allow us to move on to a better spiritual fulfillment."

Joan Robinson-Blumit of Phoenix turned away from what she termed to be male-dominated churches and embraced Wicca, an earth-based, non-Christian belief system that emphasizes female elements of God and the significance of natural life.

"I come from a Christian background and I still believe in God," she said. "But leaving 'church' meant leaving the whole patriarchal scene for a kinder, gentler, more balanced faith expression. 'God' lost the 'he-only' status years ago."

Reverend Doctor Lady Bishop (her legal name) says she is a "pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic" who has studied the tenets of Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and practices voodoo. She said no particular church meets her needs.

Hmmmm, this pretty much sums it up here in the article. It sounds just like more rebelling being done by the 60's generation.  Of course I'm sure there are many honest people that have left thier church's for good legitmate reasons, but most don't turn around and betray God by doing some of the mumbo jumbo some of these folks have embraced.

I would say that the article does make a few good points about some people being fed up with the situations in some church denominations. I gave up going to church for awhile when I was a protestant due to slowly finding out some of the falsehoods about the protestant faith. It's a good thing though I was not a weak knee'd moron like some of these people in the article who went off the deep end with some of the things they are doing now. If they would have prayed & really searched out the truth, they would have come to the conclusion that Orthodoxy is the true christian faith.
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"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
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2004, 01:48:40 AM »

Quote
The X-RC woman who is into Wicca & Voodoo, now that is a person needing a exorcism.

Too bad the picture isn't on the website of her....since it came in my Sunday paper....well let's just say a pitcure is worth a thousand words.
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2004, 06:09:37 AM »

Too bad the picture isn't on the website of her....since it came in my Sunday paper....well let's just say a pitcure is worth a thousand words.

Look here!


"I'm a devout Vatican One Traditional Latin Roman Catholic, but I go to the Mormon Church every Sunday. My Mormon books are just as worn as my Bibles. The Mormons don't take any foolishness, and they have the most positive and truest church. If I had my druthers, I'd be Mormon."
 Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: July 20, 2004, 06:13:58 AM by prodromos » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2004, 06:16:48 AM »

Oops, I think I got the two women confused. The woman above is named Reverend Doctor Lady Bishop and is a Voodoo priestess.

<edit>
Well I found a picture of the Wiccan woman but it is nothing special so it can't be what Nektarios is referring to.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2004, 06:23:30 AM by prodromos » Logged
spiros
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2004, 07:15:01 AM »

RE: the picture

YIKES!!, maybe Jakub is right about starting with exorcism!  Shocked
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2004, 10:02:46 AM »

A Quote from the Article:

Quote
"The questions were either too hard or too sensitive, because church leaders either didn't know the answers or wouldn't say.

"If religion was open and objective enough to discuss these questions, I might go to church.

"But they treat you like you are the worst person on the face of the Earth if you raise questions."

Maybe this contains some insight into what might be the answer to Nektarios's question ("How are we to reach out to these people with the Truth of Orthodoxy?
")

It seems to me that the biggest hint here is what not to do. Dogmatism is obviously not going to cut it anymore. Someone who is complaining about the refusal of Nazarene pastors to handle their questions is not going to be very happy about young Orthodox men repeating Orthodox dogma to them.

It also seems to me that there is a decidedly Lewisian flavor to the problem. People need to be convinced to give themselves permission to have faith.
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Jennifer
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2004, 10:50:51 AM »

Allright, I'm confused as to what is to offensive about this and why it's "worth a 1000 words."  I see an African American woman with beads in her hair.  

I could note that the reaction to this seemingly innocent picture indictes an answer to the original question.  

Speaking generally (and yes I know this will offend some) part of the problem is religious people themselves.  Religious people are certainly not my favorite people by any stretch of the imagination.  We tend to be maladjusted.  A significant minority of us is downright crazy.
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2004, 11:29:17 AM »

I agree with Jennifer and Keble.

The voudoun spirits might require exorcism, but I can't see that the hair-beading or whatever is shown in the picture does, or would hinder one from the True Light.

With regard to Lewis, the character of Emeth in "The Last Battle" (final volume of The Chronicles of Narnia) found his way to Aslan's country by seeking earnestly and truly, and living righteously, even though he thought that he was serving the dread Calormene deity Tash.

Applicable metaphor, much?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2004, 12:09:07 AM by Rustaveli » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2004, 12:07:10 PM »

All,
Forgive me for my previous post. A poor attempt at levity. She looked kind of grouchy in the picture.

Per Kebles post-
Yes! If we are to reach these people, it must be, as Father Thos. Hopko says, as "neither relativists or sectarians" Real Orthodox Dogma is important-but not as a stick to beat inquirerors or doubters with.
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2004, 03:54:49 PM »

Here attached is the picture that ran with the original article, not the best quality since I don't have a scanner and just took a picture with my digital camera.

Jennifer, in the attached picture look closely at the picture on the wall the upper left hand corner (from your perspective).....it appears we have found a friend for Nacho  Wink

[attachment deleted by admin]
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2004, 04:05:20 PM »

Quote
Jennifer, in the attached picture look closely at the picture on the wall the upper left hand corner (from your perspective).....it appears we have found a friend for Nacho  

HoooooooooowwwwwLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2004, 05:31:25 PM »

As it happens, I happened across an American Enterprise article about "Go Ahead-- Call Us Cowboys" which I think bears on this.

The basic model for all of us is the parish-- and parish tends to imply village. (A monastery is a village and parish combined into one, as far as this is concerned.) There's a connotation of a certain compactness, a certain concentration of community. Now, before all you guys who drive two hundred miles each way to get to church start grousing: this is really way out on the bell curve. Commuter churches are modern and American. The Orthodox ideal for all those little settlements spread across Siberia is that each has its own little church with its own priest.

Getting back to the original article: one obvious point was that these people aren't all that keen on submission to religious authority, because they aren't keen on authority in general. I could go on at length about how this is good or bad, but the point remains that organized religion needs to find a way to fuse unwillingness to compromise on central principles with a flexibility and deprecation of authority for authority's sake. Or to put it another way, it needs to be unpretentious.
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2004, 12:13:57 PM »


Quote
Getting back to the original article: one obvious point was that these people aren't all that keen on submission to religious authority, because they aren't keen on authority in general. I could go on at length about how this is good or bad, but the point remains that organized religion needs to find a way to fuse unwillingness to compromise on central principles with a flexibility and deprecation of authority for authority's sake. Or to put it another way, it needs to be unpretentious

Unpretentious authority= humility=real power. I have seen this in holy people, such as abbesses and some bishops. This can draw serious seekers.

Re individuality and disrespect for authority for its own sake:
I read the Ameriocan Enterprise Artilce a few weeks ago in hard copy-makes some interesting points. But, if Orthodoxy can convert cossacks, why can it not convert cowboys?

Spiros
(Now thinking about declaring himself Hetman of the Allegheny River band of Cossacks, let Mor Ephrem take over the EP, give me the open steppes of Pennsylvania!  Grin)
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2004, 03:58:05 PM »

"Stavro,
I am afraid that some of them may not even know how to start such a search. Many people today have a very poor sense of history (most converts in America are intellectuals).
I hope prayer will lead  many of them to continue the search for fullness of Truth. We should also pray for them"

I appreciate that you think most converts are "intellectuals" but I certainly don't consider myself an intellectual.  I arrived at Orthodoxy after many years of frutration, seeking and earnest prayer.

God is good and will mercifuly answer anyone who sincerely seeks Him.
Those, like many in this article want a God created in their own image and want Him to conform to their conception of what God should be.  I know, I went through that stage until I learned a little humility. All we can do is pray that we are saved from the ideas of this secular world.  And pray daily for those who seek God with a sincere heart.
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2004, 04:25:20 PM »

Quote
I appreciate that you think most converts are "intellectuals" but I certainly don't consider myself an intellectual.  I arrived at Orthodoxy after many years of frutration, seeking and earnest prayer.

I think you are smarter than you give yourself credit for. God is certainly good and will mercifully answer all who sincerely seek him.  
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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2004, 04:47:55 PM »

Unpretentious authority= humility=real power. I have seen this in holy people, such as abbesses and some bishops. This can draw serious seekers.

Good point.  The dilemna is to demonstrate this (I don't know if evangelize is the right word) to America without making the holy person (bishop/abbot/abbes/geronda/elder/whatever) appear as some cheezy guru.
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2004, 10:40:50 PM »

You are Right Elisha. I have been thinking about this, and it is a dilemna. Evangelize is as good a word as any, BTW.  Some of the qualities I was mentioning do come out in books, but that is back to the fact that I think most conversions (barring marriage to an Orthodox ) are by intellectuals.

Sadly again, reading is a dying art. Protestant style TV seems to me to be the antithesis of Orthodox Spirituality, and a generation raised on visual overstimulation is not going to watch 2 hours of liturgy on TV
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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2004, 02:55:41 AM »

Good point.  The dilemna is to demonstrate this (I don't know if evangelize is the right word) to America without making the holy person (bishop/abbot/abbes/geronda/elder/whatever) appear as some cheezy guru.  

Actually, I think that is easier than you think. Cheezy gurus tend to be somewhat aloof from their followers. They do little more than dispense their wisdom while their faithfull followers do all their running around for them.

Orthodox saints will touch the hearts of Americans by getting their hands dirty, working alongside them.
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« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2004, 02:11:36 AM »

Good call, prodomos.

I lament the fact that you almost have to be an egghead of sorts to go about what is now the normal conversion process from non-Orthodox to Orthodox.

I would love to see people coming into the Church who hold only a GED or less, who don't approach deification with a desire to know how or why they're deified, only with a desire to be deified.

The simple faith of a child, carried out in (and carried within) the arms of Mother Church.
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« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2004, 09:33:54 PM »

These seem very difficult times to witness for Truth. A significant trend appears to be people want religion rather like they want to shop, when it is convenient, going along with whatever fad or fantasies they carry, and looking for something that offers a 'pick and mix' approach. Last week's brand so completely followed is out, because this week brand X better has caught our ........? Truth must be relative and NOT absolute. Spirituality is MORE important than religion, per se. Our reality and our experience is equal to anyone else's. Large numbers appear to have no measure against which to judge any experience, i.e. if it feels good, it must be good. Perhaps because it is not God that is worshipped but Man, the new God.

Ask the question how might you detect whether a powerful experience was demonically inspired rather than divinely inspired, you either get 'well you would know, of course!'. (Sub-text what a silly question). Aternatively, you get a look of confusion and emptiness.

A clear, unambiguous and consistent witness across all Christian Orthodox groups would cause some shock, disbelief and alarm but if quietly we got down and on with it others might after a time become 'intrigued' and follow.

As for intellectuals I am reminded of a story told to me years ago. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople two acquaintances were walking, one Latin and one a Greek. Suddenly rounding a corner they came across a gathering of well to do folk. The Latin man excitedly pointed out a finely dressed fellow in the centre of the group and exclaimed, "Do you know who he is?" His companion shook his head and said, "No". "He is one of our most important theologians", replied the Latin.

The Greek said nothing and taking his acquaitance arm began to walk him further and further away into the city, each street seemingly poorer than the one before it. At last they turned into one of the City's meanest streets and walking along came across a poor old woman in black sweeping her doorway. The Greek paused and turning to his Latin companion spoke for the first time, "And this is one of our greatest theologians".

Maybe we need not just the intellect and ability God has given us, but people like that old woman, whose knowledge of God stems from a life of Christian ascetic struggle, of prayer accompanied by bows and prostrations, of fasting and prayer, and of humility before the awesome face of God, Our Saviour.

Some of the best missionaries I have met are those who quietly worship, who belief is so deep yet seemingly unstated.
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