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Author Topic: Russian/Greek Orthodoxy  (Read 5194 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2011, 06:22:25 PM »

augustin717, i made mamaliga this fast! ('polenta' to west europeans) it goes very well with beans and cabbage.
and i laughed at the 'stick soup'; did they stir it with the mamaliga stick? (which is a bit like a spoon) that would definately give it a strange taste! i have found a large wooden salad fork is the best alternative for stirring mamaliga as i can't find a mamaliga stick in my country.

as for oil, somehow we copts are lax about oil as well, as we only exclude olive oil.
but i can't imagine eating fish in lent! a few people do that, but generally we try to avoid it.
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« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2011, 06:31:52 AM »

One of you - I forget who - recommended The Mountain of Silence by Markides. Thank you: I now have a copy, and look forward to reading it.
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« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2011, 07:04:27 AM »

One of you - I forget who - recommended The Mountain of Silence by Markides. Thank you: I now have a copy, and look forward to reading it.
It was me! I'm so glad to hear it! Do pm me your thoughts on the book when you are through. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!
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« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2011, 08:26:09 AM »

As of the topic, I've heard a claim that Russian Orthodoxy tends to be more skeptical on various religious experiences and miracles than Greek Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2011, 11:05:30 AM »

Quote
I know a hieromonk who attended Jordanville seminary, and he tells me they even served fish(!) on Wednesdays and Fridays (maybe not in Lent). So I'm not at all convinced by your claims that the extremely strict practice you advocate is universally observed, even by "traditionalists".

Neither am I, both from personal experience and from historical experience.
I agree with the above quote and have observed it both at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordonville, USA and also in monasteries in Ukraine.

 Fish is not served in Lent on Fridays & Wednesdays but is eaten during Lent and always has been.  I believe it is even mentioned in the first Sobor proceedings we have on record: the Synod of Vladimir.

Plus, my family is and always has been Orthodox.  The eating of fish except on Fridays & Wednesdays has always been a part of Lent for the laity.

That makes no sense to me.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's better to not fast than to fast legalistically.  But why does every official Orthodox fasting calendar I've ever seen prohibit fish during Lent if it's so common?

What about the stattement from the MP which says the Russian tradition IS to eat fish during Lent?
Also as for calendars it depends which ones you are looking at and in which languages.  Every calendar I have seen has a Fish outlined in red for all days of Lent except Wednesdays and Fridays and for every Wednesday and Friday for non Lenten periods which means you eat fish on those days and not meat.
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« Reply #50 on: December 31, 2011, 12:40:34 PM »

There have always been diversity in fasting customs.  It varies from the monasteries of Syria to the monasteries of the Russian forests.  It varies from town to town, and individual to individual.   There is an overarching pattern but it is variable to some extent.   

As well it should be.  If God was that interested in the particulars of New Testament fasting, he would have had Paul or one of the other Apostles write "The Second Book of Leviticus". 
It's called "the Pedalion."
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« Reply #51 on: December 31, 2011, 12:43:23 PM »

augustin717, i made mamaliga this fast! ('polenta' to west europeans) it goes very well with beans and cabbage.
and i laughed at the 'stick soup'; did they stir it with the mamaliga stick? (which is a bit like a spoon) that would definately give it a strange taste! i have found a large wooden salad fork is the best alternative for stirring mamaliga as i can't find a mamaliga stick in my country.

as for oil, somehow we copts are lax about oil as well, as we only exclude olive oil.
but i can't imagine eating fish in lent! a few people do that, but generally we try to avoid it.
I used to horrify my outlaw relatives by eating soupy mamaliga sweetened with sugar.  Never could get into the lumpy stuff with cheese.
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« Reply #52 on: December 31, 2011, 01:00:30 PM »

Quote
I know a hieromonk who attended Jordanville seminary, and he tells me they even served fish(!) on Wednesdays and Fridays (maybe not in Lent). So I'm not at all convinced by your claims that the extremely strict practice you advocate is universally observed, even by "traditionalists".

Neither am I, both from personal experience and from historical experience.
I agree with the above quote and have observed it both at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordonville, USA and also in monasteries in Ukraine.

 Fish is not served in Lent on Fridays & Wednesdays but is eaten during Lent and always has been.  I believe it is even mentioned in the first Sobor proceedings we have on record: the Synod of Vladimir.

Plus, my family is and always has been Orthodox.  The eating of fish except on Fridays & Wednesdays has always been a part of Lent for the laity.

That makes no sense to me.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's better to not fast than to fast legalistically.  But why does every official Orthodox fasting calendar I've ever seen prohibit fish during Lent if it's so common?

What about the stattement from the MP which says the Russian tradition IS to eat fish during Lent?
Also as for calendars it depends which ones you are looking at and in which languages.  Every calendar I have seen has a Fish outlined in red for all days of Lent except Wednesdays and Fridays and for every Wednesday and Friday for non Lenten periods which means you eat fish on those days and not meat.
IIRC the Russian tradition is to treat fresh-water fish as being equal to shell-fish in the level of fasting restrictions. The reason I've heard is that more landlocked Russians (especially peasants) had access to fresh-water fish while shell-fish and salt water fish were a rarity and expensive, where the Greeks could easily obtain either fresh or salt-water and had an abundance of shell-fish for fasting purposes.

I remember this coming up at the OCA parish I was attending last Lent (our interim priest recommended not distinguishing between salt and freshwater and just going with fish in general). The person asking about it was an old baba who had grown up with the fresh-water is ok rule.
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« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2012, 10:49:51 AM »

Thought you good people might like this picture I came across.
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« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2012, 11:11:38 AM »

You summed it up rather well.  Russians are much different people than Greeks,...  it's only sunny 65 days of the year

Your posts are helpful, folk. It seems to me that Greeks inhabit a land of warm sun, turquoise sea, abundant wine, honey, olive oil, and women whose beauty was renowned before the Greeks even arrived in Greece; whereas Russians (quite apart from Stalin, the KGB etc) live in a land of vast tundra, snow, cold and dark forests. Presumably history and geography, whilst not effecting doctrine, have affected the ethos, the "feel", of their Orthodoxy.



to be fair, the Russian's have their fair share of beautiful women... Wink
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« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2012, 11:18:11 AM »

to be fair, the Russian's have their fair share of beautiful women... Wink

I do not think I have ever seen a Russian woman - but at a pavement table outside a taverna in Greece, one has to remind oneself that the creatures walking past are human, and not goddesses. (Er... but we're getting off the point  Wink.)
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« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2012, 11:58:10 AM »

You summed it up rather well.  Russians are much different people than Greeks,...  it's only sunny 65 days of the year

Your posts are helpful, folk. It seems to me that Greeks inhabit a land of warm sun, turquoise sea, abundant wine, honey, olive oil, and women whose beauty was renowned before the Greeks even arrived in Greece; whereas Russians (quite apart from Stalin, the KGB etc) live in a land of vast tundra, snow, cold and dark forests. Presumably history and geography, whilst not effecting doctrine, have affected the ethos, the "feel", of their Orthodoxy.



to be fair, the Russian's have their fair share of beautiful women... Wink

Good thing I'm in ROCOR where the mandatory headscarf and dresscode is still followed or those long legs and hair would be quite the stumbling block for me!  Grin

I think the Orthodox world in general has by far the most beautiful women out of any other countries and who are not afraid to actually be women.






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« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2012, 12:56:06 PM »

the mandatory headscarf and dresscode is still followed or those long legs and hair would be quite the stumbling block for me! 

There is such a dress code also in the stricter Baptist churches here in Britain, but girls are still well able to combine looking coy with coquettish in most alluring ways. Also, I have had the absurb experience of speaking in a rather stern Baptist church, where a group of Dutch teenagers, who did not understand English, were visiting. Having discussed in some disquiet whether it would be all right for a woman to interpret me into Dutch, that is, that it would not be a woman preaching, and having after some hesitation said it would be acceptable, the minister allowed the proceedings to get started, and in trooped the teenage girls, heads piously covered as by the rule, but wearing - I ought not to say 'delightfully', but certainly very - short skirts.

What daft rules people dream up in church! (Not including head-covering of course, which can be argued from Corinthians.) And how easy it is to follow the letter of a rule, and yet do violence to its spirit! (Methodist preachers used to be forbidden to wear white hats: where did they get that from in the Bible?)

But I suspect we have wandered into a different theme from (or 'than' as you Americans say) the contrast between Russian and Greek Orthodoxy!  Wink
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« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2012, 12:02:12 AM »

Thought you good people might like this picture I came across.


Thank you.  I like that quite a lot. 
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« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2012, 04:16:36 PM »

i've just now noticed ialmisry's polenta with sugar!
 Shocked
though i did once try leftover maize starch with sugar and it was great, so i suppose it's the same, just don't tell any romanians u did it. lumpy with cheese is equivalent to the scots 'only' eating porridge made with water and salt, not sugar.
 Wink
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« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2012, 06:45:24 PM »

Good thing that I spend all of my time on the altar side of the Iconostasis.  I, too, have found that women from the Orthodox world have been endowed with a natural beauty, and they know full well how to present it.  Interestingly, even the women I have seen in the ROCOR that stop just short of wearing burquas seem to still look beautiful.

You summed it up rather well.  Russians are much different people than Greeks,...  it's only sunny 65 days of the year

Your posts are helpful, folk. It seems to me that Greeks inhabit a land of warm sun, turquoise sea, abundant wine, honey, olive oil, and women whose beauty was renowned before the Greeks even arrived in Greece; whereas Russians (quite apart from Stalin, the KGB etc) live in a land of vast tundra, snow, cold and dark forests. Presumably history and geography, whilst not effecting doctrine, have affected the ethos, the "feel", of their Orthodoxy.



to be fair, the Russian's have their fair share of beautiful women... Wink

Good thing I'm in ROCOR where the mandatory headscarf and dresscode is still followed or those long legs and hair would be quite the stumbling block for me!  Grin

I think the Orthodox world in general has by far the most beautiful women out of any other countries and who are not afraid to actually be women.







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« Reply #61 on: March 08, 2012, 06:28:52 PM »

Considering I do not attend an ethnic Church from either side nor have I ever visited their native countries, everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt because it is simply based on what I have observed from the few individuals who are Greek and Russian in my OCA parish. Anyway, now that the theological differences have been answered, judging from externals I would say that the Russian people I have observed in my Church seem very concerned with piety and being humble, they'll usually talk to anyone who is willing to talk to them. On the other hand, I've noticed that the Greeks may be a bit more weary to outsiders, but once you break the ice they'll accept you as practically a part of their family and treat you like so, both in good ways and bad ways! For example, many of them will hug and greet you nicely, offer you foods and invite you to gatherings, but at other times they will scold you if you forget to tuck your shirt in, or make you get them a cup of coffee etc. More among the older Greek women, I still respect them though and I know that their intentions are good. They aren't doing this to take advantage of me, but they are doing it because they consider me to be a son or grandson, and they are treating me like one. I don't have as much experience with Greek men though as I do with Russian men; most of the Greeks in my Church are elderly women, while most of the Russians are middle-aged men and their wives.
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« Reply #62 on: March 08, 2012, 06:34:51 PM »

I think the Orthodox world in general has by far the most beautiful women out of any other countries and who are not afraid to actually be women.

I would have to agree with this man; at least in terms of the Russian immigrant women I've seen in America since I've never actually been to any slavic country. Anyhow, turning women into a commodity may be a bit harsh. Each of those beautiful Greek and Russian women you all see all have an individual personality and are unique in their own way, some rotten and some amazing; just as in every women or man for that matter of any cultural background. Generalizing each of them because of their looks is a bit immature, and indeed, if I condemn you guys for it I also condemn myself because I too am prone to doing this.
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« Reply #63 on: March 08, 2012, 08:39:52 PM »

to be fair, the Russian's have their fair share of beautiful women... Wink

I do not think I have ever seen a Russian woman - but at a pavement table outside a taverna in Greece, one has to remind oneself that the creatures walking past are human, and not goddesses. (Er... but we're getting off the point  Wink.)

now you have...

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« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2012, 04:16:47 AM »

now you have...

Wow! Thank you. Changing "out of" to "along with" I'd agree with the quotation below:

Quote
I think the Orthodox world in general has by far the most beautiful women out of any other countries and who are not afraid to actually be women.

Most young missionaries to Albania fairly soon marry an Albanian woman. One Kosovan pastor I know well, whose father was an imam, was genuinely made to think seriously about Christianity when he was fairly young, because his Moslem mother went covered, whilst the beauty of the women of the Catholic minority (4%) was visible, and it began to seem wrong to him that his mother's beauty, created by God, should be hidden away. Later of course much more serious religious questioning arose before he turned to Christ, but this was part of its genesis. But the heart of the matter - again from the above quotation - is "women... who are not afraid to actually be women", for I believe that Western men in Japan are similarly smitten.


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« Reply #65 on: March 10, 2012, 01:14:13 AM »

the most beautiful women [...] who are not afraid to actually be women.

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« Reply #66 on: March 10, 2012, 03:30:12 AM »

Most Greek women in America are not among the most beautiful in the world.  For instance, virtually every one of them that I have seen feels the need to have the same disturbing hair style, wear excessive amounts of makeup, and wear clothing that is not exactly becoming of a woman.  I can think of one counter-example though.
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« Reply #67 on: March 10, 2012, 04:55:15 AM »

Most Greek women in America are not among the most beautiful in the world.  For instance, virtually every one of them that I have seen feels the need to have the same disturbing hair style, wear excessive amounts of makeup, and wear clothing that is not exactly becoming of a woman.  I can think of one counter-example though.

Well beauty is subjective and it is only natural for the people of a certain area to adopt the cultural standards and trends of beauty of wherever they are living, so maybe you simply prefer Greek women who live by the cultural standard and trend of beauty in their native country of Greece, whereas the immigrants over here are adopting the standards of America.
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« Reply #68 on: March 10, 2012, 11:28:25 AM »

Greek women in America ... virtually every one of them that I have seen ... disturbing hair style, ... excessive amounts of makeup... clothing that is not exactly becoming of a woman. 

Horrible! But less temptation for us blokes.

Didn't we ought to be discussing religion?  Wink Well, Luther said, "...und doch war die Frau die Krone der Schôpfung", so perhaps we might tell ourselves we are.
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« Reply #69 on: March 10, 2012, 11:33:32 AM »

it is only natural for the people ... to adopt the cultural standards and trends of beauty of wherever they are living,

Your phrase only natural may be saying more than you realise, for nature is fallen, and western society is in disintegration and decay and a strong slide away from God. If what they are doing in pursuing strange trends of beauty is taking them further from what God made in creation, does this not say something about them spiritually? (Not that we blokes are any better of course.)
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« Reply #70 on: March 10, 2012, 04:58:02 PM »

Your phrase only natural may be saying more than you realise, for nature is fallen, and western society is in disintegration and decay and a strong slide away from God. If what they are doing in pursuing strange trends of beauty is taking them further from what God made in creation, does this not say something about them spiritually? (Not that we blokes are any better of course.)

You may be right, Mr. Young. I never looked at it that way; now I've got some food for thought. As a westerner I'd have to agree with you about the deterioration of western society, however, I would also ask, is eastern society really any better? Maybe in certain ways, but I have no doubt that societies in the east are just as bad as the west, albeit in different ways perhaps. Maybe the issue comes in following any standard or trend that is not from God.
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« Reply #71 on: March 10, 2012, 06:03:46 PM »

is eastern society really any better?

I have never been out of Europe, though I have looked across the bridge that takes you to Turkey. I think the difference is this, that we in the West have known God's blessing over many centuries and have deliberately turned away from Him and proudly or carelessly contemned and dismantled our Christian heritage. I have a personal theory that those whom God has raised high in gracious blessing, when they fall they fall lower than others. In my view, one aspect of the disintegration of society is that women turn away from the femininity God bestowed upon them; at the same time men turn away from manliness - each resisting the God-given nature and rôle. The things we have discussed in recent posts on this thread, albeit somewhat humorously, are in fact just one symptom among many of a broad and deep problem, as men, women, youngsters, families, churches and governments lose their bearings and press on further and further into godlessness.
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« Reply #72 on: March 10, 2012, 11:15:51 PM »

now you have...

Wow! Thank you. Changing "out of" to "along with" I'd agree with the quotation below:

Quote
I think the Orthodox world in general has by far the most beautiful women out of any other countries and who are not afraid to actually be women.

Most young missionaries to Albania fairly soon marry an Albanian woman. One Kosovan pastor I know well, whose father was an imam, was genuinely made to think seriously about Christianity when he was fairly young, because his Moslem mother went covered, whilst the beauty of the women of the Catholic minority (4%) was visible, and it began to seem wrong to him that his mother's beauty, created by God, should be hidden away. Later of course much more serious religious questioning arose before he turned to Christ, but this was part of its genesis. But the heart of the matter - again from the above quotation - is "women... who are not afraid to actually be women", for I believe that Western men in Japan are similarly smitten.

Of course, the most beautiful Orthodox woman we know of to be:



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« Reply #73 on: March 11, 2012, 10:02:35 AM »

I suspect, if we went among Russian Baptists, that we would find a beauty similar to that among Russian Orthodox.
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« Reply #74 on: March 11, 2012, 10:51:00 AM »

I suspect, if we went among Russian Baptists, that we would find a beauty similar to that among Russian Orthodox.

A town not too far from me has 5,000 plus Slavic recent immigrants.  The Russian Baptist church brings people over, gives them jobs and housing, helps get them on their feet.  The Orthodox church is three miles and in town and a handful of Russians attend.  The Russian Baptist church has, as I have heard, over 1000 families as members.
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IreneOlinyk
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« Reply #75 on: March 11, 2012, 01:11:49 PM »

I suspect, if we went among Russian Baptists, that we would find a beauty similar to that among Russian Orthodox.

A town not too far from me has 5,000 plus Slavic recent immigrants.  The Russian Baptist church brings people over, gives them jobs and housing, helps get them on their feet.  The Orthodox church is three miles and in town and a handful of Russians attend.  The Russian Baptist church has, as I have heard, over 1000 families as members.
I have seen that happen with Ukrainian Pentecostals: with the help of Pentecostal funding they bring over working-class Pentecostals.  But the next generation goes to university, joins the local university Ukrainian Students Club at university and starts questioning their faith and starts knocking on our church doors.
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David Young
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« Reply #76 on: March 11, 2012, 01:41:35 PM »

the next generation ... starts questioning their faith and starts knocking on our church doors.

They are questioning their faith - as perhaps we all do at different stages of our development - but are they not also searching into their ethnic and cultural roots, the world of their grandparents?
« Last Edit: March 11, 2012, 01:42:52 PM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
IreneOlinyk
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« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2012, 05:47:37 PM »

the next generation ... starts questioning their faith and starts knocking on our church doors.

They are questioning their faith - as perhaps we all do at different stages of our development - but are they not also searching into their ethnic and cultural roots, the world of their grandparents?
Maybe: what I noticed was an intellectual questioning.  These are young people who came over sponsored with their parents as young children and then at university age started to question the simplicity of the faith in the Pentecostal Church they attend.  They find that we Orthodox can provide answers different from the stereotypes of Orthodox Christianity provided by their Pentecostal pastors.
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David Young
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« Reply #78 on: March 12, 2012, 08:27:01 AM »

we Orthodox can provide answers different from the stereotypes of Orthodox Christianity provided by their Pentecostal pastors.

I have been pondering this post for a couple of days, and it has produced a number of thoughts. Why would Pentecostal pastors give their protégés a distorted picture Orthodoxy?

One possible explanation is that they do it knowingly, deliberately and (one might even say in some cases) cynically, so as to divert their people from inquiring further into Orthodoxy. I cannot assert that this does not happen.

On the other hand, maybe some of them have known Orthodox individuals or churches which have earned the twisted stereotype of your Faith. Let me illustrate. Take us Baptists - American, British, and Russian. I do not doubt that on essentials we are in substantial or full agreement; but in ethos we can vary widely. Orthodox in the southern States who post here give a very different picture of Baptist ethos from what they would be likely to find in most churches in Britain, and I have no reason to doubt the portrayal. Indeed, my Bible Baptist friend from southern California who is over here pastoring a nearby church quite openly says that I would not be acceptable in a lot of churches in the States (though he has me preach at his church here). Further, I have heard it told that in Germany, Russian Baptists (no doubt Auslandsdeutsche) who have left the Soviet Union since 1991 and settled in Germany cannot settle in German churches and instead set up Russian Baptist churches. This does not even consider the Black churches.

Similarly, there must surely be a wide range of depth, understanding, practice, piety and ethos in various Orthodox churches. Even in Albania, in one town a previous (visiting) bishop cursed us publicly from the Orthodox pulpit, but a later, resident bishop welcomed me with coffee, cognac and friendliness, wished me blessing in (as he put it) "the Lord's vineyard", and gave me a book as a parting gift. Whether of the twain embodied the real Orthodoxy to which I should respond? And should I believe the deeply Christ-centred writings I enjoy from some Russian Orthodox writers, or should I believe the Albanian priest who could go no further than telling me that he hopes Jesus portrays the character of God?

It is possible - and we are bidden in scripture to hope and believe all things (1 Cor. 13) - that the Pentecostal pastors to whom you refer have only met the less noble forms of Orthodoxy and are sincerely warning their young people off for that reason.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 08:28:22 AM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
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