Before I became Orthodox, I was part of a Wesleyan Holiness movement. That is probably about as "works" oriented as Protestants get (but don't use that word, of course!) Fasting, prayer, etc. was seen as something that indirectly helped regarding salvation, insomuch as it helped one have a "better relationship with Christ". It was seen as an effort of love. Protestants make a big distinction between justification and sanctification. Now, if you say that someone can be saved (justified) by works, that's where they have a problem. They do not think that one can be justified (ie. saved) by works. On the other hand, some Protestant groups do allow that works are a part of our sanctification. They don't see fasting, etc. then as a necessary part of our salvation, but rather as 1) something that we do just because we love God or are led to it through obedience, or 2) something which effects the quality of our salvation, so to speak (e.g., how "strong in the Lord" are we? are we "on fire"? etc.), but not the actual fact of whether we are "saved" or not.
Thanks for the productive response to my admittedly off topic question. All the Protestantisms I've had direct experience with (except Anglicanism...I don't know where they stand on this) have seemed to lump things like fasting with other works (almsgiving, repetitious prayer, etc.), and "works" seemed to be looked upon with suspicion without any qualification. Viewing fasting and prayer as efforts of love which help sanctify seems more in line with Orthodox teaching than what I'm used to. Is this a minority view in Protestantism?
By the way, if orthodox don't think much of the status and the privileges of this nation I wonder whether they go to vote? Since there are no orthodox candidates to vote for.
What status and what privileges are you talking about?
I think plenty of Orthodox go out and vote, whether or not there are any Orthodox candidates. Chances are they don't care if s/he's Orthodox as long as s/he'll fight for their respective ethnic groups.
At our parish we do not have any repentance times other than those at general confession which are to be a soul searching moment for the individual. But we have never had any corporate repentance for actual situations. So that would be possible?
I suppose it would be possible, but any time I've seen general confession in an EO church, it seems to have been a communal thing. If that is all you get in your local parish, I'd probably try fighting for regular private confession before some sort of repentance/revival meeting.
have you ever thought how this constant protestant bashing on this forum comes across? To me and maybe a few others who don't speak up much here, it is just as unwelcome. As for me calling it 'sick' - one of Webster's definitions of sick is "spiritually or morally unsound or corrupt". There is a steady hateful attitude displayed towards anything that just looks the least bit protestant on this forum. Really not appealing to anybody who might be on this forum looking for "the fullness of the faith". I have realized that anybody who approaches this forum as not-yet orthodox and does not talk the right talk usually gets walked all over, instead of being shown "love towards the enemy".
Some time ago we (as a board) were accused by a third party of being anti-Catholic, and when we asked our members publically if they would agree with that charge, the response was in the negative, with some possible room for improvement. If we asked the board if we were anti-Protestant, I suspect we'd get a similar answer.
Perhaps part of the problem in the alleged Protestant bashing you see is that there are people here who don't like Protestantism because they've seen the harm it can do, even in its seemingly harmless ways, and will speak out against it when necessary. When I was in undergrad, I was part of a "non-denominational" Bible study. What a joke: the majority of the students were Catholic or Orthodox (it was an Indian thing), but the leaders were Protestant, and taught Protestant teaching. The Catholics didn't know enough about their own faith to combat this, much less the Orthodox, and when I tried, I was basically told that I was wrong and that they taught "biblical truth". I've seen a young Catholic man with a lot of potential abandon his church and plan on going away to Bible college to learn the same stuff. I've seen Orthodox men and women believe this stuff as the truth, and then view Orthodoxy through those lenses and come to believe that the Orthodox are backwards, with their long, repetitious services that are not spontaneous. I've seen peers who think "worshipping in spirit and in truth" is the same as singing "Our God is an Awesome God" to the strumming of a guitar. I've listened as Pentecostals told my family that my father contracted lung cancer out of no where because we "didn't pray enough", and that if we joined their church, God would heal everything.
I could go on (and I'm sure others have their own stories), but I don't want people to think that I hate Protestants, or that Protestants have hurt me, or anything like that. I have no hatred for them--I have many in my own family, both ministers (Anglican and Evangelical) and laypeople. But while they may have some of the truth, we have it in its fulness; they see the shadows (and oftentimes distorted shadows) of the dogmatic and sacramental realities entrusted to us by our Lord. I don't hate Protestants, but I dislike Protestantism because it is an illusion, and illusions can be used by the evil one to draw people away from the truth. There is enough blame to be placed on our shoulders for not doing our part to prevent this sort of thing, but that doesn't prevent us from speaking out against it.
I don't think there is any Protestant bashing going on on this site. But if Protestant bashing means speaking out against their false teachings, then maybe there is some of that going on, and that is as well. I think what happened here is that you started a topic, expected all the answers to be of a certain type, and when you saw something that didn't directly fit in (although I thought it was a valid tangent since it had to do with one aspect of the topic), you automatically thought that out of my spiteful, bitter, hateful, rebellious, faithless, and blasphemous heart were coming words bashing Protestants, you, and your thread. I've got many, many spiritual problems, but I actively try not to let that affect my posting.