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Author Topic: Orthodoxy & the "Evangelical Protestant" subculture?  (Read 1680 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheodoraElizabeth3
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« on: September 15, 2011, 02:02:40 PM »

Now, I was raised Catholic and was never really Protestant in the Evangelical sense, although I was Episcopalian for five years. Ironically, I didn't have much exposure to Evangelical Protestantism until I started attending an Orthodox parish with a majority of folks from Evangelicalism.

From everything I've been told by former Evangelicals and read online, there's a certain "flavor" to the very conservative Evangelical subculture - marry young, large families, homeschooling (or else), wives don't work, members of the same congregation doing *everything* together, friends outside the faith tradition being subtlely discouraged, marriage/family almost being made an idol, older singles marginalized. I could go on and on.

Now, it seems like in some Orthodox parishes with a large number of former Evangelicals that the Evangelical subculture has been transplanted in an Orthodox context. I've some first-hand experience with this and have been in contact with others who've been in such parishes. I've talked with mothers who simply did not feel up to homeschooling or whose children were extremely unhappy being homeschooled - these mothers were denigrated by both clergy and fellow parishioners. I've seen woman castigated for working, and in some cases, it wasn't a choice - they had to work in order to provide the family with health insurance.

Now, all of these things are what I consider good for children - mom home, homeschooling, etc., but what disturbs me is people who do not follow this lifestyle being publicly taken down in their parishes for making different choices (or having no choice in the matter, if not married, for example). The exclusion is something I've personally experienced (I'm an older single). I know infertile couples who've left these large-family strongly encouraged parishes because it was very painful for them to be constantly hammered at to have a large family, even when they could NOT.

Anyone else with thoughts on this?
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 02:10:26 PM »

I visited a parish once with a very high percentage of folks with this background. I spent a lot of time talking to one guy who married young, had grandchildren already (I don't think he was older than 50), had been through some weird Evangelical circles. Anyway, at some point I mentioned that my fiancee (now my wife) was not Orthodox and he immediately, "Well, that's not good- you're unequally yoked!", as if I should either convert her or find someone else, which somehow struck me as kind of rude but I didn't know what to say.

Is "unequally yoked" a phrase commonly heard for couples where one person is not Orthodox (or x denomination)?
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 02:16:34 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Now, I was raised Catholic and was never really Protestant in the Evangelical sense, although I was Episcopalian for five years. Ironically, I didn't have much exposure to Evangelical Protestantism until I started attending an Orthodox parish with a majority of folks from Evangelicalism.

From everything I've been told by former Evangelicals and read online, there's a certain "flavor" to the very conservative Evangelical subculture - marry young, large families, homeschooling (or else), wives don't work, members of the same congregation doing *everything* together, friends outside the faith tradition being subtlely discouraged, marriage/family almost being made an idol, older singles marginalized. I could go on and on.

Now, it seems like in some Orthodox parishes with a large number of former Evangelicals that the Evangelical subculture has been transplanted in an Orthodox context. I've some first-hand experience with this and have been in contact with others who've been in such parishes. I've talked with mothers who simply did not feel up to homeschooling or whose children were extremely unhappy being homeschooled - these mothers were denigrated by both clergy and fellow parishioners. I've seen woman castigated for working, and in some cases, it wasn't a choice - they had to work in order to provide the family with health insurance.

Now, all of these things are what I consider good for children - mom home, homeschooling, etc., but what disturbs me is people who do not follow this lifestyle being publicly taken down in their parishes for making different choices (or having no choice in the matter, if not married, for example). The exclusion is something I've personally experienced (I'm an older single). I know infertile couples who've left these large-family strongly encouraged parishes because it was very painful for them to be constantly hammered at to have a large family, even when they could NOT.

Anyone else with thoughts on this?

I would disagree with this kind of brow beating, and further, I would say that perhaps it is not merely that American Evangelical ethos is entering Orthodox so much as there is a mutual coinciding of similar values, and within the same sociocultural and economic/political environments these manifest the same.  Both Orthodox and Evangelicals chose home school for similar reasons, perhaps even inspired by each other, however, we should be careful not to assume Orthodox do this because the Evangelicals introduced it.  Many Orthodox have been using Catholic schools to avoid public schools for years, home-schooling is just an alternative to siding with the Catholics.

The cultural conservatism is not foreign to Orthodox, if anything the American experience has loosened morals within Orthodox society coming here from the more confining "Old World" atmosphere.  Orthodox have always married young, remained most active within the Parish community, maintained large and extended families, and encouraged certain gender roles.  That Evangelicals also do this in America is really a kind of moral coincidence, and since some Orthodox families are new to navigating the surreality of the American suburbanism, perhaps they do emulate a bit of what they see in American Evangelical culture, but I would say this is more inspiration than mimicry. Some Orthodox may also see the way Evangelicals live as a kind of blueprint for American conservative religious culture in their search to understand American identity.

I would also add that I disagree with homeschooling for reasons of sociocultural development and maturation that kids develop through their experiences in public education, but my bias is that I am a public school teacher, and yes, I full acknowledge that I work for the devil, however some folks still got to be commissioned by God to jump into the fiery furnace with Shedrach, Meshrach, and Abed-Nego Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 03:10:53 PM »

Oh, NM. :-)
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 04:20:33 PM »

Well Iconodule, I'd say the evangelical was rude and should have been politely told to butt out. Im not surprised as even before I started my conversion to Orthodoxy evangelicals seem to give their opinion even when it's not warranted. Case in point: I was at my old church and I mentioned about going out at a restaurant that had a good wine selection. I was told in pretty firm talk that my drinking a glass of wine is a sin and I shouldn't do that. Actually, that it was a "bad testimony" to even mention that kind of thing. I didnt even bother with a response and just walked away.

I'm not saying to rip the guy's head off, but folks need to know their boundaries (wow, I sound like my wife chastizing me for being too nice).

I do think that folks tend to bring their old habits into the church. I'd talk to your priest about it. Seriously, being hyper-judgemental of others can seriously damage someone's spiritual walk (being the recipient or the giver of such judgements).


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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 04:36:23 PM »

c'mon primuspilus, orthodox don't even talk about "one's spiritual walk" much less about damaging it.
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 04:38:02 PM »

c'mon primuspilus, orthodox don't even talk about "one's spiritual walk" much less about damaging it.
Hey augustin717, who am I to judge that? *snicker*

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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 04:47:37 PM »

Well Iconodule, I'd say the evangelical was rude and should have been politely told to butt out. Im not surprised as even before I started my conversion to Orthodoxy evangelicals seem to give their opinion even when it's not warranted. Case in point: I was at my old church and I mentioned about going out at a restaurant that had a good wine selection. I was told in pretty firm talk that my drinking a glass of wine is a sin and I shouldn't do that. Actually, that it was a "bad testimony" to even mention that kind of thing. I didnt even bother with a response and just walked away.

I'm not saying to rip the guy's head off, but folks need to know their boundaries (wow, I sound like my wife chastizing me for being too nice).

I do think that folks tend to bring their old habits into the church. I'd talk to your priest about it. Seriously, being hyper-judgemental of others can seriously damage someone's spiritual walk (being the recipient or the giver of such judgements).

Thanks primus. It's not a problem as that's not my parish and I haven't been back there since. My actual parish is very strange because it has a fair number of converts but they don't act like weirdos.   
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 04:51:11 PM »

habteSelassie,
i agree with u about home schooling.
i went to a public school (state school), had very few friends and was bullied a lot (i had problems socialising due to the way i developed).
and i am very very glad i went through that experience as it left me very close to God (my only true friend through all the trials of life).
also if i had stayed home, my social problems would have been much much worse and i would not have coped at all with going to university.
as it was, i finished my degree well, and had a good career (until now, i am not yet retired!)

so if u r home schooling to 'protect' yr kid, then don't!
we all (kids and adults) need to learn to deal with trouble in life and to call on God. the most famous saints went through loads of persecutions and have amazing rewards from God as a result.
are u trying to take away yr kids' reward in heaven?

 Huh

so train them well in the way they should go (i mean a good few years at home, don't pack them off to nursery at 1 1/2 years!) and fill them with confidence that they are important and respect themselves and other people and then work through all the problems of life with them then they will cope well with whatever happens at school.

but if u r home schooling for another reason, maybe it's a good thing. i just think it's bad for society as a whole, and the people out there who don't know God need to meet us at school (if we're kids or teachers), at the school gate, at the school fete etc.

like if u really have to home school, maybe invite over the kids of your neighbour who is not Christian, so they can benefit too.
don't keep all the good stuff to yourself!
 Wink

oh, and about the original topic (so i don't get told off...)
if any church is marginalising people, they all need a good slap.
but don't think for a second that's a 'protestant' thing, its a universal human trait that God wants us to resist!
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 04:51:56 PM »

Well Iconodule, I'd say the evangelical was rude and should have been politely told to butt out. Im not surprised as even before I started my conversion to Orthodoxy evangelicals seem to give their opinion even when it's not warranted. Case in point: I was at my old church and I mentioned about going out at a restaurant that had a good wine selection. I was told in pretty firm talk that my drinking a glass of wine is a sin and I shouldn't do that. Actually, that it was a "bad testimony" to even mention that kind of thing. I didnt even bother with a response and just walked away.

I'm not saying to rip the guy's head off, but folks need to know their boundaries (wow, I sound like my wife chastizing me for being too nice).

I do think that folks tend to bring their old habits into the church. I'd talk to your priest about it. Seriously, being hyper-judgemental of others can seriously damage someone's spiritual walk (being the recipient or the giver of such judgements).

Thanks primus. It's not a problem as that's not my parish and I haven't been back there since. My actual parish is very strange because it has a fair number of converts but they don't act like weirdos.   

I wouldn't go back either. I gotta say the folks in my parish have been quite warm and welcoming to me. Some are a little dry, but they're very well-meaning.


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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 05:02:03 PM »

seems like in some Orthodox parishes with a large number of former Evangelicals that the Evangelical subculture has been transplanted in an Orthodox context. I've some first-hand experience with this and have been in contact with others who've been in such parishes. I've talked with mothers who simply did not feel up to homeschooling or whose children were extremely unhappy being homeschooled - these mothers were denigrated by both clergy and fellow parishioners. I've seen woman castigated for working, and in some cases, it wasn't a choice - they had to work in order to provide the family with health insurance.

The CLERGY denigrate mothers who do not homeschool?

Maybe it's time to change your parish? I can't imagine an Orthodox priest denigrating a mother. Is he really Orthodox?
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2011, 05:14:18 PM »

Yes, and it's a previous parish.

My point about the whole thing is that it seems to be not terribly uncommon - this denigration of folks who don't subscribe, by choice or circumstance (such as having not met the right person to marry) to the evangelical subculture transplanted to Orthodoxy.

All the folks who do this are former evangelicals. Some have said to me they wouldn't have homeschooled the kids if they hadn't been introduced to it in their Protestant days. They were already homeschooling when they became Orthodox.

My favorite is how I was told I wasn't a stable parishioner because I was single (gainfully employed, very active in parish) and I also had a ministry taken away from me because I wasn't a stay at home mom (it was coordination of something, being home days not required).
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 06:20:21 PM »

Now, I was raised Catholic and was never really Protestant in the Evangelical sense, although I was Episcopalian for five years. Ironically, I didn't have much exposure to Evangelical Protestantism until I started attending an Orthodox parish with a majority of folks from Evangelicalism.

From everything I've been told by former Evangelicals and read online, there's a certain "flavor" to the very conservative Evangelical subculture - marry young, large families, homeschooling (or else), wives don't work, members of the same congregation doing *everything* together, friends outside the faith tradition being subtlely discouraged, marriage/family almost being made an idol, older singles marginalized. I could go on and on.

Now, it seems like in some Orthodox parishes with a large number of former Evangelicals that the Evangelical subculture has been transplanted in an Orthodox context. I've some first-hand experience with this and have been in contact with others who've been in such parishes. I've talked with mothers who simply did not feel up to homeschooling or whose children were extremely unhappy being homeschooled - these mothers were denigrated by both clergy and fellow parishioners. I've seen woman castigated for working, and in some cases, it wasn't a choice - they had to work in order to provide the family with health insurance.

Now, all of these things are what I consider good for children - mom home, homeschooling, etc., but what disturbs me is people who do not follow this lifestyle being publicly taken down in their parishes for making different choices (or having no choice in the matter, if not married, for example). The exclusion is something I've personally experienced (I'm an older single). I know infertile couples who've left these large-family strongly encouraged parishes because it was very painful for them to be constantly hammered at to have a large family, even when they could NOT.

Anyone else with thoughts on this?

Some posters here make me think something like that.
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2011, 06:51:27 PM »

Quote
From everything I've been told by former Evangelicals and read online, there's a certain "flavor" to the very conservative Evangelical subculture - marry young, large families, homeschooling (or else), wives don't work, members of the same congregation doing *everything* together, friends outside the faith tradition being subtlely discouraged, marriage/family almost being made an idol, older singles marginalized. I could go on and on.

I just have one comment.  Be careful not to over-generalize Evangelicals.  I have an aunt and uncle who I would label Evangelical, and who would likely agree.  My uncle married my aunt when he was about 37, and she was 28.  This was a first marriage for both.  They did have a family larger than most (five boys), but not overwhelmingly large as some families are.  They have never homeschooled, and in fact those of their children not yet in college attend public schools (as the two in college did before college), and those in college attend a public university.  My aunt also does work, she works as a nurse at a Catholic hospital.  While their church is quite active, and they have many friends there, they don't do *everything* together, and those they do things not directly related to church with, they do with them because those are their friends, who they happen to have met at church.  I think that they would probably be a tad concerned if their children tried to marry someone who wasn't a Protestant, but I'm not sure that they would be too terribly concerned by it.  I believe that all of their kids have friends who aren't Protestants, in fact one of my cousins has a good friend who is Mormon.  I don't know exactly what you mean by marriage or family being an idol, but it is certainly important to them - as it should be to everyone.  I also don't have any examples of them treating older singles in a second-class sort of way, granted that most of the older singles at their church are probably widows/widowers (my own 82 year old grandmother is herself a widow, since 1974 or so).
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2011, 06:53:53 PM »

c'mon primuspilus, orthodox don't even talk about "one's spiritual walk" much less about damaging it.

I've often wondered about your spiritual path in this earthly sojourn, and how in your journey you arrived at your current spiritual condition.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2011, 07:10:35 PM »

I tend to agree with Habte, it's kind of conservatism in general. Which is weird considering how left of center most Orthodox seem to be politically, but maybe that's just an online phenomena.

It's a real shame to be sure... I'm so sorry that mother was denigrated  Sad
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2011, 07:35:15 PM »

I tend to agree with Habte, it's kind of conservatism in general. Which is weird considering how left of center most Orthodox seem to be politically, but maybe that's just an online phenomena.

It's a real shame to be sure... I'm so sorry that mother was denigrated  Sad

The immigrants not uncommonly were in some sort of industrial or manual labor jobs (construction, etc). That brings in the unions. The Dems took care of the unions and the immigrant folk. Back 40-50 years ago, you didn't have the massive split between the parties due to social issues (abortion, homosexuality-related issues) you do now. Fast forward to 2011, lots of folks are still voting for the Dems, as their parents and grandparents did. That's how you get the Orthodox seeming to be left of center.

You get this influx of very socially conservative former Protestants into Orthodoxy. They bring their voting habits with them, voila - that's where you get the AOI, etc. folks.

No more political talk - that will get this thread locked or moved!

I'm rather conservative myself, but what raises my ire is a particular cookie-cutter lifestyle being promoted by some clergy and laity as the ONLY way to be properly Orthodox and those who don't follow the cookie-cutter plan are thrown to the curb.

And JamesR, just because you've never experienced it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Sounds like someone I know who attended a GOA parish an area with few Greeks and who absolutely denied that Greeks give the cold shoulder to non-Greeks in parishes - just because she had never experienced it, didn't mean it didn't exist.

There are parishes where the family - especially those with young parents and many children - are held up as an idol. Constant mention of you must have as many kids as possible from the clergy, marriage at a young age pushed *hard*, women told over and over that their *only* goal in life should involve being a stay-at-home-mom, singles being told they're not living a fully Christian life unless they're married and having lots of kids. *Everything* revolves around family. It's hard to relate the "flavor" of such a parish, but when a sermon or announcements at the end of liturgy rarely omit comments on such things...

Another favorite - young college-age women being told to get their degrees, because they're going to need them to homeschool their children.
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2011, 07:51:47 PM »

I'm rather conservative myself, but what raises my ire is a particular cookie-cutter lifestyle being promoted by some clergy and laity as the ONLY way to be properly Orthodox and those who don't follow the cookie-cutter plan are thrown to the curb.

I will add this to my list of items to be discussed in my takeover-of-Christianity-by-straightlacedness thread.

Needless to say, I empathise.

And JamesR, just because you've never experienced it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Sounds like someone I know who attended a GOA parish an area with few Greeks and who absolutely denied that Greeks give the cold shoulder to non-Greeks in parishes - just because she had never experienced it, didn't mean it didn't exist.

Hahaha, I literally lol'd at that. I am Greek and the Greeks even give me the cold shoulder because I (thankfully) don't look Greek and they can't tell that I am at first glance.

There are parishes where the family - especially those with young parents and many children - are held up as an idol.

This is why I am wary of Christians who talk about so-called "family values", which is often simply code for a certain manner and style of living. What was that thing the Lord said about him dividing families three against two?

*Everything* revolves around family.

I feel ya.

----------------------------------

Notwithstanding the above, sometimes I envy you Americans and your convert parishes. I don't even understand my priest's sermon, so who knows if what he's preaching is as objectionable as the things you've highlighted.
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2011, 07:54:53 PM »

Greeks over here in the US always assume I'm Greek. Yesterday I stopped by the cathedral just to kiss the Cross at the very end of the service and a lady asked me in Greek if my name was "Stavros".
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2011, 07:57:28 PM »

Greeks over here in the US always assume I'm Greek. Yesterday I stopped by the cathedral just to kiss the Cross at the very end of the service and a lady asked me in Greek if my name was "Stavros".

I don't think you look that Greek. You have one too many eyebrows.
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« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2011, 07:58:40 PM »

Greeks over here in the US always assume I'm Greek. Yesterday I stopped by the cathedral just to kiss the Cross at the very end of the service and a lady asked me in Greek if my name was "Stavros".

I don't think you look that Greek. You have one too many eyebrows.
Well, I can easily be mistaken for one, as experience has confirmed it.
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2011, 08:29:27 PM »

Is "unequally yoked" a phrase commonly heard for couples where one person is not Orthodox (or x denomination)?

It's fairly common in a certain type of Evangelical circles, yes. It's a direct quote of St. Paul advising against the marriage of a believer and a non-believer.

But as with an earlier poster, I would caution against generalizing most of the described behavior to 'Evangelicals' as a whole. It's a big movement with a lot of variation. The EOC generally came from that particular strain of Evangelicalism, so in some areas of the Church it's more common, but it certainly doesn't describe every Evangelical convert (as I can personally attest).
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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2011, 09:50:49 PM »

Case in point: I was at my old church and I mentioned about going out at a restaurant that had a good wine selection. I was told in pretty firm talk that my drinking a glass of wine is a sin and I shouldn't do that. Actually, that it was a "bad testimony" to even mention that kind of thing. I didnt even bother with a response and just walked away.
That sort of gnostic garbage is really annoying.
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2011, 10:12:24 PM »

I'm getting pretty sick of everyone having a bug up their butt about Evangelicals around here, like it's the worst thing to ever plague the earth. Many of my friends are Evangelicals and they are perfectly normal, not weirdos or projecting a feigned piety or whatever. You can find strange people in any camp, and Orthodox are no exception.

Most people I know would associate large families with Traditional Catholicism or Islam, not Evangelicals.

Anyway, sorry you had a bad experience, and I hope that this thread is making you feel better about it.
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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2011, 02:20:25 AM »

Theodora, I wasn't alleging it doesn't happen.  On the contrary, I have experienced such people.  In fact, I have on many occasions.  My point in commenting was simply to remind everyone not to over-generalize.
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« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2011, 03:57:56 AM »

I have visited four Orthodox "old world" countries this year: Ukraine, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. And I have seen neither homeschooling nor stay at home mothers nor a negative attitude towards wine.

So I think that it is really problematic to attempt to make such things obligatory for Orthodox Christians. It is definitely possible to be a good Orthodox Christian working full time and having your kids in public school.

As for American Evangelicals, I don't know them enough to estimate how big their influence on Orthodox Americans is. But it does seem clear to me that many Orthodox Americans have an unrealistic idea about the "old world".
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« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2011, 04:58:26 AM »

I'm getting pretty sick of everyone having a bug up their butt about Evangelicals around here, like it's the worst thing to ever plague the earth. Many of my friends are Evangelicals and they are perfectly normal, not weirdos or projecting a feigned piety or whatever. You can find strange people in any camp, and Orthodox are no exception.

Most people I know would associate large families with Traditional Catholicism or Islam, not Evangelicals.

Anyway, sorry you had a bad experience, and I hope that this thread is making you feel better about it.



Yep, a good check for us all. I can be guilty of Evangelical-bashing myself. Yet had it not been for Evangelicals, I would not be a Christian today.

I personally think that the problem is not with the worldview, but rather with how the worldview is expressed. Does any Orthodox Christian here really believe that it would not be best to marry another Orthodox Christian? This is far different from judging our brethren who may have become Orthodox after marriage while their spouse remains outside of the Orthodox fold.

And there is also the issue of tact. It's fine - and perhaps even necessary - to caution others about not being unequally yoked, about the potential problems of public education, about the value of fruitfulness within marriage, etc. But such advice and counsel should always be proffered without judgment and self-righteous condemnation.

One of the things that I love about Orthodoxy is the unwavering moral clarity without the Pharisaic condemnation. I know that not all Orthodox parishes exude this spirit, but I think such a spirit is uniquely and beautifully Orthodox. Let us strive to hold firm to this balance.


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« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2011, 10:05:20 AM »

Case in point: I was at my old church and I mentioned about going out at a restaurant that had a good wine selection. I was told in pretty firm talk that my drinking a glass of wine is a sin and I shouldn't do that. Actually, that it was a "bad testimony" to even mention that kind of thing. I didnt even bother with a response and just walked away.
That sort of gnostic garbage is really annoying.

Hmm, can we have a moratorium on the use of the word "gnostic" on stuff that isn't really gnostic?
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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2011, 10:47:34 AM »

I'm getting pretty sick of everyone having a bug up their butt about Evangelicals around here, like it's the worst thing to ever plague the earth. Many of my friends are Evangelicals and they are perfectly normal, not weirdos or projecting a feigned piety or whatever. You can find strange people in any camp, and Orthodox are no exception.

Most people I know would associate large families with Traditional Catholicism or Islam, not Evangelicals.

Anyway, sorry you had a bad experience, and I hope that this thread is making you feel better about it.
im not bashing them, Im giving an example based upon the subject of the text. I've said in other threads that lots of evangelicals love God and are utterly devoted to Christ. They're just wrong in their practice. I'm the only non-evangelical (and until my chrismation I technically still am) in my family. I would never bash them because of their belief. I am critical of my family for them not using their brains Smiley

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« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2011, 11:08:43 AM »

So I think that it is really problematic to attempt to make such things obligatory for Orthodox Christians. It is definitely possible to be a good Orthodox Christian working full time and having your kids in public school.

I am sure it is possible even to be... let's say, a genuine, sincere Orthodox Christian (I don't know what "good" Orthodox means!) being a homosexual homeless wagabond with no spouse or kids, unemployed for the last 20 years and struggling with a drug habit.
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« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2011, 01:40:01 PM »

I'm getting pretty sick of everyone having a bug up their butt about Evangelicals around here, like it's the worst thing to ever plague the earth. Many of my friends are Evangelicals and they are perfectly normal, not weirdos or projecting a feigned piety or whatever. You can find strange people in any camp, and Orthodox are no exception.

Most people I know would associate large families with Traditional Catholicism or Islam, not Evangelicals.

Anyway, sorry you had a bad experience, and I hope that this thread is making you feel better about it.

Perhaps a better description would have been "very conservative Protestants"? If you read my post carefully, I wasn't bashing all Evangelicals. I know many who are pretty mainstream. It was the "very conservative" ones. But maybe the folks I'm talking about wouldn't even call themselves "evangelical" just "very conservative Protestants."

In many ways these folks have more in common with the “Quiverfull” folks, as well as those who subscribe to the thinking of Douglas Wilson or Vision Forum (Doug Phillips). These two men have a very Reformed theology, as they describe it. Definitely nothing in common with Orthodox theology, but the thinking on the family reminds me much of a good number of the former very conservative Protestants I’ve encountered, both in person and online, who are now Orthodox.

The Duggars with their close to 20 children are a good example of this type of thinking.

But as a previous poster expressed, the problem as I see is not so much the worldview, but how it’s presented.  What I’ve witnessed it that it’s not uncommon for it to be presented with a great LACK of tact. Basically, people are beaten over the head with it, being demanded by clergy and laity that they change their views that exact instant.

How spiritually healthy is it for singles to be told they won’t live a complete Christian life until they’re married and parents? Or for parents to hear over and over that they MUST homeschool their children, or the children will be irreparably harmed, yet both parents must work, or homeschooling was tried, but it wasn’t good for the children?

You often hear about Orthodoxy being touted as being “very pastoral,” but yet what you encounter in such parishes is quite opposite. Being “pastoral” in my mind means taking into account each person’s / family’s situation. But if a priest is advocating a “one size fits all” way of life, not allowing for those singles who may never get married (or get married at a age which excludes childbearing), the children who do better in school, the family where the mother needs to work to provide health insurance for her family – well, that’s the farthest thing from “pastoral.” It’s “my way or the highway.”
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« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2011, 04:59:06 PM »

But as with an earlier poster, I would caution against generalizing most of the described behavior to 'Evangelicals' as a whole. It's a big movement with a lot of variation. The EOC generally came from that particular strain of Evangelicalism, so in some areas of the Church it's more common, but it certainly doesn't describe every Evangelical convert (as I can personally attest).

Agreed. Our parish has many (perhaps majority) former Evangelicals and I don't notice any of the above behavior. I wasn't one myself so I would probably notice the "subculture."

As far as homeschooling being desirable, a lot would depend on the schools in your area.

Again, only anecdotal, but the homeschooled kids I know don't have any socialization problems - quite the reverse. They tend to be polite, articulate and comfortable conversing with adults.
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« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2011, 07:19:11 PM »

Yes, and it's a previous parish.

My point about the whole thing is that it seems to be not terribly uncommon - this denigration of folks who don't subscribe, by choice or circumstance (such as having not met the right person to marry) to the evangelical subculture transplanted to Orthodoxy.

All the folks who do this are former evangelicals. Some have said to me they wouldn't have homeschooled the kids if they hadn't been introduced to it in their Protestant days. They were already homeschooling when they became Orthodox.

My favorite is how I was told I wasn't a stable parishioner because I was single (gainfully employed, very active in parish) and I also had a ministry taken away from me because I wasn't a stay at home mom (it was coordination of something, being home days not required).

Well, I hate to make sweeping assumptions, but was this parish in the South?  I wonder if its something localized to a more conservative part of the country.   It does seem very strange and I've never heard of a priest denigrating a woman for either not homeschooling or staying at home with the kids. 
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« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2011, 08:17:58 PM »

Yes, and it's a previous parish.

My point about the whole thing is that it seems to be not terribly uncommon - this denigration of folks who don't subscribe, by choice or circumstance (such as having not met the right person to marry) to the evangelical subculture transplanted to Orthodoxy.

All the folks who do this are former evangelicals. Some have said to me they wouldn't have homeschooled the kids if they hadn't been introduced to it in their Protestant days. They were already homeschooling when they became Orthodox.

My favorite is how I was told I wasn't a stable parishioner because I was single (gainfully employed, very active in parish) and I also had a ministry taken away from me because I wasn't a stay at home mom (it was coordination of something, being home days not required).

Well, I hate to make sweeping assumptions, but was this parish in the South?  I wonder if its something localized to a more conservative part of the country.   It does seem very strange and I've never heard of a priest denigrating a woman for either not homeschooling or staying at home with the kids. 

Nope.
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« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2011, 10:28:27 PM »

I would also just add that not all very conservative Evangelicals are like some of the very conservative Evangelicals that people in this thread have unfortunately experienced.  For example, again, I provide my aunt and uncle.  They are both very, conservative.  The type that would listen to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (I don't think either too often does, but they are willing to), and are very anti-abortion, and my uncle is an arch-Republican (the type that defends Bush by-and-large).  However, they also occasionally drink.
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« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2011, 02:27:21 PM »

Well, I hate to make sweeping assumptions, but was this parish in the South?  I wonder if its something localized to a more conservative part of the country.   It does seem very strange and I've never heard of a priest denigrating a woman for either not homeschooling or staying at home with the kids. 

I've never heard of it either and I live in the South. It seems to be a localized phenomenon.
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« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2011, 02:57:52 PM »

Well, I hate to make sweeping assumptions, but was this parish in the South?  I wonder if its something localized to a more conservative part of the country.   It does seem very strange and I've never heard of a priest denigrating a woman for either not homeschooling or staying at home with the kids. 

I've never heard of it either and I live in the South. It seems to be a localized phenomenon.
I've seen it somewhat here in the South but mostly it's just rude to inject your opinions without asking. I wouldn't worry about it so much. You did the right thing by not going back.

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« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2011, 04:29:47 PM »

Yes, and it's a previous parish.

My point about the whole thing is that it seems to be not terribly uncommon - this denigration of folks who don't subscribe, by choice or circumstance (such as having not met the right person to marry) to the evangelical subculture transplanted to Orthodoxy.

All the folks who do this are former evangelicals. Some have said to me they wouldn't have homeschooled the kids if they hadn't been introduced to it in their Protestant days. They were already homeschooling when they became Orthodox.

My favorite is how I was told I wasn't a stable parishioner because I was single (gainfully employed, very active in parish) and I also had a ministry taken away from me because I wasn't a stay at home mom (it was coordination of something, being home days not required).

I don't know how common it is, but it is not present in my own church (parish of Diocese of the South, OCA), which has an equal number of converts and cradles. Amongst the converts, about half are former evangelicals.
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