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Author Topic: Ask an Orthodox Christian...(Response)  (Read 850 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: October 17, 2011, 08:23:49 AM »

From Karl: As someone who submitted as an adult to an ancient branch of the Christian faith, what do you make of the "emerging church" movement within (primarily) American evangelical and post-evangelical protestantism?
 
Mathewes-Green: I haven’t kept up much with the emerging church. I think it has an inherent structural weakness, that it is defined more by what it is not than what it is.
 
I have known many emerging-church leaders who have been interested in taking aspects of Orthodox spirituality into their churches, and I have encouraged that, of course. But I think the drawback will always be that their people are not experiencing the faith of the early church itself, intact, but rather the selections from the early church that fit the taste of this particular contemporary leader. It’s being filtered through that person. There is still some benefit in that, of course, but it is like flowers in a vase. You can go to the garden of the ancient church and cut some flowers, and bring them into the worship space in a vase, and they will do much good, providing beauty and fresh life. But they are going to die. They have been cut off from their roots.
 
For me, when I realized that there was a spirituality that was developed by the early church—by the same community that wrote the New Testament and would naturally understand it best—and that this spirituality had been practiced unchanged by believers in every culture and time, I had to be there. I wanted to take it on its own terms, because I can’t trust my enculturated taste and preferences to know what’s actually best for me. It was, “If this still exists, why am I not there?” But not everybody feels that way.
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 08:26:45 AM »

I largely agree with her response Smiley Admittedly, I think we all pick and choose, even Orthodox (who just pick and choose from among the Orthodox options), but generally I think her point an important and good one.
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 09:14:49 AM »

There was also this article:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2011/10/15/frederica-mathewes-green-doesnt-quite-bash-the-emerging-church/

Quote
But, contrary to her opinion, my experience has not been of death but of life.  I have been practicing the Jesus Prayer for many years now, and it continues to be the heart of my personal practice of prayer.  

I just thought his was such a flawed argument.  Really??? How does he *know* he's got the real thing?   I *thought* I had it when I became a Lutheran.  It's got the liturgy, vestments, prayer books, and the Eucharist.  It wasn't until I became Orthodox did I realize I had been settling for 2nd best.

I'm glad for him that is he trying to enrich his faith, but to me it's like traveling the ocean in a life raft rather than the Arc of Salvation.
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 04:19:50 PM »

The Emergent Church is really nothing special. It really is another attempt at buffet Christianity. Its nothing more than what other protestant Churches have been doing from the beginning. Take what they like, discard what they dont, and grab a group of folks and make a church.

The only difference is that emergents arent one to really say "you're wrong, we're right".

PP
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 04:39:52 PM »

The Emergent Church is really nothing special. It really is another attempt at buffet Christianity. Its nothing more than what other protestant Churches have been doing from the beginning. Take what they like, discard what they dont, and grab a group of folks and make a church.

The only difference is that emergents arent one to really say "you're wrong, we're right".

PP

I have several friends who consider themselves a part of this movement.  I guess the positive thing that I can see is that they seem to take their faith much more seriously.  In the discussions Ive had with these people, they seem to be more educated than other protestant friends of mine.  Im not sure why that is, and it may not be the same for everyone, but I guess its not ALL bad.  I havent heard any one of my friends say anything major that I completely disagreed with. 

At the end of the day, if they have found something that is genuinely helping their relationship with God, then I guess we shouldnt try to discourage it.  I mean, sure, they would be even more complete in the Orthodox church, but Im not so sure that converting other Christians should be our primary motivation. 

(I realize I sound funny saying "we" and "our" as I know im not a member of the Church.  But you know what I mean...)
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 07:28:43 PM »

"For me, when I realized that there was a spirituality that was developed by the early church—by the same community that wrote the New Testament and would naturally understand it best—and that this spirituality had been practiced unchanged by believers in every culture and time, I had to be there. I wanted to take it on its own terms, because I can’t trust my enculturated taste and preferences to know what’s actually best for me. It was, “If this still exists, why am I not there?” "


....best short version of why i converted....thanks

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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 07:32:31 PM »

"In this life, God is veiled by the material world he created; in the next life, the veil is taken away and there is no separation. We will participate in God’s life, his 'energies' in theological language, as distinct from his 'essence' which is something beyond human capacity to know."

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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 08:49:59 PM »

"In this life, God is veiled by the material world he created; in the next life, the veil is taken away and there is no separation. We will participate in God’s life, his 'energies' in theological language, as distinct from his “essence” which is something beyond human capacity to know."

JUDEO-CHRISTIAN COSMOLOGY FAIL.

I find this quote rather bizarre if it came from an Orthodox Christian.  I have a hard time imagining that saints like St. Mark the Anchorite (who literally moved a mountain, according to the story of his life) weren't participating in the energies of God.  That is the purpose of our life, to participate in his energies.
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 08:20:17 AM »

The Emergent Church is really nothing special. It really is another attempt at buffet Christianity. Its nothing more than what other protestant Churches have been doing from the beginning. Take what they like, discard what they dont, and grab a group of folks and make a church.

The only difference is that emergents arent one to really say "you're wrong, we're right".

PP

yes, Martin Luther did something similar.

But my point is that this pastor thinks he's got the real thing (whatever that is?), just like FMG and all of Orthodoxy because he prays the Jesus Prayer and is enriched by reading Orthodox theology.  If it wasn't so sad you'd almost want to laugh at him.   I'll have to go back and see if anyone has challenged him in the comments section.

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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 08:22:17 AM »

The Emergent Church is really nothing special. It really is another attempt at buffet Christianity. Its nothing more than what other protestant Churches have been doing from the beginning. Take what they like, discard what they dont, and grab a group of folks and make a church.

The only difference is that emergents arent one to really say "you're wrong, we're right".

PP

I have several friends who consider themselves a part of this movement.  I guess the positive thing that I can see is that they seem to take their faith much more seriously.  In the discussions Ive had with these people, they seem to be more educated than other protestant friends of mine.  Im not sure why that is, and it may not be the same for everyone, but I guess its not ALL bad.  I havent heard any one of my friends say anything major that I completely disagreed with. 

At the end of the day, if they have found something that is genuinely helping their relationship with God, then I guess we shouldnt try to discourage it.  I mean, sure, they would be even more complete in the Orthodox church, but Im not so sure that converting other Christians should be our primary motivation. 

(I realize I sound funny saying "we" and "our" as I know im not a member of the Church.  But you know what I mean...)

It sounds like the Charismatics equivalent to Episcopalians.   Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 11:02:54 AM »

The Emergent Church is really nothing special. It really is another attempt at buffet Christianity. Its nothing more than what other protestant Churches have been doing from the beginning. Take what they like, discard what they dont, and grab a group of folks and make a church.

The only difference is that emergents arent one to really say "you're wrong, we're right".

PP



I have several friends who consider themselves a part of this movement.  I guess the positive thing that I can see is that they seem to take their faith much more seriously.  In the discussions Ive had with these people, they seem to be more educated than other protestant friends of mine.  Im not sure why that is, and it may not be the same for everyone, but I guess its not ALL bad.  I havent heard any one of my friends say anything major that I completely disagreed with. 

At the end of the day, if they have found something that is genuinely helping their relationship with God, then I guess we shouldnt try to discourage it.  I mean, sure, they would be even more complete in the Orthodox church, but Im not so sure that converting other Christians should be our primary motivation. 

(I realize I sound funny saying "we" and "our" as I know im not a member of the Church.  But you know what I mean...)

It sounds like the Charismatics equivalent to Episcopalians.   Tongue

Haha. Yup!  I recently discussed Orthodoxy with an Episcopal buddy.  He didnt want me to convert.  He almost converted to the RC church a while back before he settle in the Episcopal church.  Hes a very bright kid and knew his stuff.  Our discussion really didnt go anywhere though... ha.
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Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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