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Author Topic: Which River do Former Lutherans Swim Most Often?  (Read 2644 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dr. DeVille
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« on: March 30, 2012, 01:49:31 PM »

Two Lutheran scholars: one becomes Catholic, the other Orthodox. Both discuss their new book and how they ended up where they did here: http://easternchristianbooks.blogspot.com/2012/03/does-rhine-flow-into-tiber-bosphorus-or.html
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 02:51:58 PM »

Two Lutheran scholars: one becomes Catholic, the other Orthodox. Both discuss their new book and how they ended up where they did here: http://easternchristianbooks.blogspot.com/2012/03/does-rhine-flow-into-tiber-bosphorus-or.html

Interesting, thank you Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 02:53:17 PM »

I was surprised by the number of former Lutherans I met in the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 07:42:20 PM »

It's interesting that there seems to be no one "preferred" river for former Lutherans.  One might think that the more conservative Lutherans from the LCMS would find themselves in Rome where the more liberal Lutherans from the ELCA would find themselves in Constantinople.  I myself am a former LCMSer now in the Orthodox church though I contemplated for many years becoming Roman Catholic (I didn't know that Greek Orthodoxy was even an option for me; thank the Lord that such was not the case). The other Lutherans I know who fled to Constantinople were from the ELCA. Even a few WELS have found themselves in the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 07:56:04 PM »

It's interesting that there seems to be no one "preferred" river for former Lutherans.  One might think that the more conservative Lutherans from the LCMS would find themselves in Rome where the more liberal Lutherans from the ELCA would find themselves in Constantinople.  I myself am a former LCMSer now in the Orthodox church though I contemplated for many years becoming Roman Catholic (I didn't know that Greek Orthodoxy was even an option for me; thank the Lord that such was not the case). The other Lutherans I know who fled to Constantinople were from the ELCA. Even a few WELS have found themselves in the Orthodox Church.
ALC, and I swam the Potomac (the Hudson at the time).
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 08:18:09 PM »

btw, the river for the Lutherans should be the Elbe.
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 09:00:42 PM »

What's with the river thing? Why to link a religious conversion to some river?
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 09:10:19 PM »

What's with the river thing? Why to link a religious conversion to some river?

Ah, the literary imagination of a fence post.
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 09:39:58 PM »

Well, I guess that I swam down the Main since that is where I originated.  My path was LCMS - WELS - Antioch - ROCOR - Serbia. 

I was born in Franfurt a/M, which formally accepted the Lutheran Confessions in 1535 and remained a majority Lutheran city since then, in spite of being defeated in the Smalkaldic Wars.  My mother was born in Rostock which was Lutheran since the 1530's.  I probably ended up Orthodox rather than Roman due to this.  There were no Roman Catholics in my family, and even the Irish strain was Protestant.  Rome was quite simply the seat of the Antichrist, and that was all that was to it.  My studies of Luther's works and the writings of the Lutheran theologians showed that Luther had a very high regard for the "Eastern" Church, and believed that it most closely held the teachings of early Christianity.  Another influence in my life were a couple of Roman Catholic priests that had converted to the Lutheran Church.  My parents became more at peace with my conversion when one of these former priests, now a Lutheran pastor, told them that if I could not be Lutheran, the Russian Orthodox Church was the most magnificent Church that I could belong to.  He had been friends with a Russian Metropolitan and proudly wore a pectoral cross that had been given to him by that Metropolitan (it was the custom in the LCMS for pastors to wear pectoral crosses).  My father had always called me a "crypto-Catholic" because of my love of Liturgical matters and my study of early Church writings.  I already knew at a young age that I did not completely agree with the Lutheran confessions (based on my readings of the Fathers), and spurred on by the friendly words of the Lutheran writings regarding the Eastern Church, I began to read more about them.  This eventually ended up with me attending an Orthodox Church.  When people ask me when I actually converted, I tell them that it was the first time that I heard "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit".  I was hooked then, and the rest was just a process of reeling me in. 
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 09:57:09 PM »

What's with the river thing? Why to link a religious conversion to some river?
I don't know how many people you have in Finland submitting to the Vatican, but there's enough here in the US to be called a mass movement (many of them are high-placed).  We're catching up.  "Swim the Tiber" refers to the river of Rome, and I think it became popularized in the Anglo-Catholic movement, where many (such as Newman) swam the Tiber, i.e. submitted to the Vatican.

Swim the Bosphoros has been adopted by the growing numbers of Orthodox converts, based in part on the erroneous idea of the EP as an Eastern Supreme Pontiff.  Sort of how "Vatican roulette" was formed off of "Russian rouletter" (there is a technical term for this process of coining, but I don't recall the name).

It's now a running gag. Didn't you swim the Ladoga?
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 10:02:36 PM »

What's with the river thing? Why to link a religious conversion to some river?
I don't know how many people you have in Finland submitting to the Vatican, but there's enough here in the US to be called a mass movement (many of them are high-placed).  We're catching up.  "Swim the Tiber" refers to the river of Rome, and I think it became popularized in the Anglo-Catholic movement, where many (such as Newman) swam the Tiber, i.e. submitted to the Vatican.

Swim the Bosphoros has been adopted by the growing numbers of Orthodox converts, based in part on the erroneous idea of the EP as an Eastern Supreme Pontiff. 

Huh. So that's how that works. I guess this means I'm swimming the Nile?
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 10:14:49 PM »

I knew a Lutheran who swam the Ganges.
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 10:24:00 PM »

Malankara, Malabar, or Hindu? Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 10:52:40 PM »

Malankara, Malabar, or Hindu? Smiley
Actually, she remained Lutheran, but she married a Hindu.
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2012, 11:13:19 PM »

What's with the river thing? Why to link a religious conversion to some river?
I don't know how many people you have in Finland submitting to the Vatican, but there's enough here in the US to be called a mass movement (many of them are high-placed).  We're catching up.  "Swim the Tiber" refers to the river of Rome, and I think it became popularized in the Anglo-Catholic movement, where many (such as Newman) swam the Tiber, i.e. submitted to the Vatican.

Swim the Bosphoros has been adopted by the growing numbers of Orthodox converts, based in part on the erroneous idea of the EP as an Eastern Supreme Pontiff. 

Huh. So that's how that works. I guess this means I'm swimming the Nile?

Now you got it!

So everyone is on board and wet:
Bosphoros
Nile
Orontes
Jordan
Volga
Kura
Danube
Dâmbovița
Aegean
Pedieos
Adriatic
Vistula
Vltava (the Elbe geographically flows into this)
Potomac/Hudson

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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2012, 12:21:45 AM »

Let's not kid ourselves, most probably wind up swimming the Atlantic into agnostic deism or atheism.
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2012, 03:43:13 AM »

Let's not kid ourselves, most probably wind up swimming the Atlantic into agnostic deism or atheism.

I was wondering earlier which body of water agnosticism would be. I'm not sure about the Atlantic though. Maybe the Thames...
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« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2012, 04:22:29 AM »

What's with the river thing? Why to link a religious conversion to some river?
I don't know how many people you have in Finland submitting to the Vatican, but there's enough here in the US to be called a mass movement (many of them are high-placed).  We're catching up.  "Swim the Tiber" refers to the river of Rome, and I think it became popularized in the Anglo-Catholic movement, where many (such as Newman) swam the Tiber, i.e. submitted to the Vatican.

Swim the Bosphoros has been adopted by the growing numbers of Orthodox converts, based in part on the erroneous idea of the EP as an Eastern Supreme Pontiff.

Huh. So that's how that works. I guess this means I'm swimming the Nile?

Now you got it!

So everyone is on board and wet:
Bosphoros
Nile
Orontes
Jordan
Volga
Kura
Danube
Dâmbovița
Aegean
Pedieos
Adriatic
Vistula
Vltava (the Elbe geographically flows into this)
Potomac/Hudson



Don't swim in Vistula. It's sewage.
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2012, 05:57:32 AM »

I was born in Franfurt a/M, which formally accepted the Lutheran Confessions in 1535 and remained a majority Lutheran city since then

The mot current number I can find is 31.5% in 2005, which is hardly a majority.
Source: http://www.frankfurt.de/sixcms/media.php/678/Anlage3.pdf

Indeed, the city has so many immigrants nowadays that traditional categories hardly apply anymore. And btw, the new mayor is Jewish.
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2012, 06:22:54 AM »

Let's not kid ourselves, most probably wind up swimming the Atlantic into agnostic deism or atheism.

I was wondering earlier which body of water agnosticism would be. I'm not sure about the Atlantic though. Maybe the Thames...

Agnosticism doesn't normally come with such a high dosage of excrement. Tongue
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2012, 08:28:43 AM »

Let's not kid ourselves, most probably wind up swimming the Atlantic into agnostic deism or atheism.
you mean drown.
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2012, 08:30:45 AM »

Let's not kid ourselves, most probably wind up swimming the Atlantic into agnostic deism or atheism.

I was wondering earlier which body of water agnosticism would be. I'm not sure about the Atlantic though. Maybe the Thames...

Agnosticism doesn't normally come with such a high dosage of excrement. Tongue
"Swimming the Thames" is actually used for those leaving the Vatican for Anglicanism.  So maybe appropriate.
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2012, 08:34:28 AM »

Let's not kid ourselves, most probably wind up swimming the Atlantic into agnostic deism or atheism.

I was wondering earlier which body of water agnosticism would be. I'm not sure about the Atlantic though.
The Aral Sea.
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2012, 09:10:27 AM »

Would an atheist even jump into the water?
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2012, 05:51:21 PM »

I was surprised by the number of former Lutherans I met in the Orthodox Church.

Someone on the Catholic Answers Forum (I don't recall his name at the moment) recently told me that, to him, it doesn't make sense for Anglicans to become Eastern Orthodox because Anglicans are Western. I assume he would say the same about Lutherans becoming EO.

For me, though, I can't see why Easterness/Westerness should be an obstacle -- I don't see any reason why someone who starts out in a Western church shouldn't end up in an Eastern one. (Although that may be partly because I myself grew up in the LCC but have been attending Melkite parishes for the last 9 years.)
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« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2012, 06:10:55 PM »

Someone on the Catholic Answers Forum (I don't recall his name at the moment) recently told me that, to him, it doesn't make sense for Anglicans to become Eastern Orthodox because Anglicans are Western. I assume he would say the same about Lutherans becoming EO.

For me, though, I can't see why Easterness/Westerness should be an obstacle -- I don't see any reason why someone who starts out in a Western church shouldn't end up in an Eastern one. (Although that may be partly because I myself grew up in the LCC but have been attending Melkite parishes for the last 9 years.)

For me, it was theology.  The Lutheran Church we attended had some questionable Eucharistic practices, some odd (and, IMHO, non-Lutheran) views of the departed Saints, and other issues.  We began looking elsewhere.  We solved those issues in Orthodoxy, and the theological objections we came in the door with ended up not being the obstacles we thought they were.

Which is ironic, because the non-liturgical folks I knew when we were Lutherans loved to tell us how it's all about style and preference.  Byzantine liturgy is completely different from the Western Mass, so I suppose I put the lie to that argument right quick.
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« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2012, 06:23:04 PM »

I was born in Franfurt a/M, which formally accepted the Lutheran Confessions in 1535 and remained a majority Lutheran city since then

The mot current number I can find is 31.5% in 2005, which is hardly a majority.
Source: http://www.frankfurt.de/sixcms/media.php/678/Anlage3.pdf

Indeed, the city has so many immigrants nowadays that traditional categories hardly apply anymore. And btw, the new mayor is Jewish.

Well exxxxcccccuuuuuuuuuusssssssseeeee me, Mr. Precision.  Given that we are talking Lutheran, RC and Orthodox, I think your chart still shows the Lutherans have it.  I can't figure if you had a point, or were just being a d**k.
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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2012, 11:50:27 PM »

[...]When people ask me when I actually converted, I tell them that it was the first time that I heard "Blessed is the Kingdom [...]".

Awesome.
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« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2012, 02:20:56 AM »

I've never heard a more lame excuse for not converting to Odoxy than "it's too Eastern".  Roll Eyes

Jesus was/is Eastern...deal with it!  Cool
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« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2012, 02:52:44 AM »

Would an atheist even jump into the water?

He/She would be too skeptical and Cynical about the purpose of getting wet!
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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2012, 07:11:33 AM »

Well exxxxcccccuuuuuuuuuusssssssseeeee me, Mr. Precision.  Given that we are talking Lutheran, RC and Orthodox, I think your chart still shows the Lutherans have it.  I can't figure if you had a point, or were just being a d**k.

I apologize for making you angry, but I do live in Frankfurt most of the time (even though I just spent a few months in Egypt), and the culture in the city is not Lutheran anymore, as it probably was some decades ago. The only real Lutheran church here is the SELK, which has its seminary in the suburb of Oberursel. The nominally Lutheran parishes of the EKHN (United Church) are attended by only a few elderly people, and do not have characteristics of Lutheranism anymore, rather of ultraliberal German protestantism.
And even nominal Lutherans are far from being a majority... about half of the city's inhabitants are immigrants (36% not German citizens), and they are shaping the city's culture now... Muslims, Eastern Europeans, Africans, Asians...

Oh, and btw, in order to get back to the topic of the thread, my Orthodox parish here has a former Lutheran pastor among its parishioners. The neighboring city of Mainz has an Orthodox priest, who was studying for Lutheran priesthood before. But I do not personally know anyone who was a practising Lutheran in Germany and became a Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2012, 07:55:54 AM »

I apologize for making you angry,

I won't tell you how many people I've made angry during my time on OCnet; let's just say that you kinda get used to it.  Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2012, 07:56:47 AM »

I've never heard a more lame excuse for not converting to Odoxy than "it's too Eastern".  Roll Eyes

Agreed -- but that's cuts the other way too.
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« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2012, 01:59:09 PM »

The only real Lutheran church here is the SELK, which has its seminary in the suburb of Oberursel.

The breviary that I use for my daily prayer is an English translation of one used by the SELK.  The German version is called "Breviarium Lipsiensae: Tagzeitengebete, Lutherische Gebetsbruderschaft".  The English version is called "The Brotherhood Prayer Book".  Yes, the SELK is about the only "real" Lutheran Church left in Germany.  They are in full communion with the LCMS here in the United States.
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« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2012, 02:13:15 PM »

The only real Lutheran church here is the SELK, which has its seminary in the suburb of Oberursel.

The breviary that I use for my daily prayer is an English translation of one used by the SELK.

You peaked my interest. Why are you using a Lutheran prayerbook instead of Orthodox one?
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« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2012, 02:32:53 PM »

It is well translated, has the psalms included along with the Gregorian notation for singing them, and uses a format that I prefer, am well used to, and actually use.  The hymns are Orthodox since none were written after the 900's.  As a fomer Lutheran, I have a long tradion of singing, and the Common and Short Meter of most of the hymns in this Breviary lend themselves to singing much more than most Orthodox translations, particularly the hideous Greek ones.  I have not really seen anything resembling a Breviary in the Orthodox Church, and I like being able to hold virtually a whole year's services at home with two books (the other being a Missal) rather than the dozen that I used before.  The Byzantine Rite is surely beautiful, and I love going to Liturgy on Sundays, but I have not really found an Orthodox Prayer Book that fully meets my needs in the way this one does. 

The only real Lutheran church here is the SELK, which has its seminary in the suburb of Oberursel.

The breviary that I use for my daily prayer is an English translation of one used by the SELK.

You peaked my interest. Why are you using a Lutheran prayerbook instead of Orthodox one?

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« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2012, 02:43:19 PM »

It is well translated, has the psalms included along with the Gregorian notation for singing them

Awesome. I didn't know there are still some Lutherans who have preserved Gregorian tradition.

Does it cause any problem to use different rite in home and different rite in church? I've occasionally considered switching to some WRO prayerbook but have always ended up thinking that it's better to stick with one rite. Especially since there aren't any WRO prayerbooks in Finnish and I don't know whether I'm comfortable with idea of praying in foreign language.

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« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2012, 03:03:32 PM »

I've never heard a more lame excuse for not converting to Odoxy than "it's too Eastern".  Roll Eyes

Agreed -- but that's cuts the other way too.

I think if the true church was western in origin/praxis then it would be likewise as silly to rule it out because of such...

or if you are referring to people converting to orthodoxy simply because of it's "eastern-ness" i would agree that is converting for the wrong reasons...
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« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2012, 03:03:55 PM »

It really does not mess things up too much.  I actually attended a WR church during the weekdays and a Byzantine one on weekends while I was a catechumen.  Obviously, I have to make some adjustments the Roman Missal that I am using for my Bible readings (like remembering which week it is), but what is most important is that I am reading the scriptures in a structured manner and praying.  There is no Typikon in the home, so this does not present a problem.  The lectionary for the Missal readings are different from those of the Byzantine Rite, but in the end you will still end up reading most of the scriptures during the course of a year.


It is well translated, has the psalms included along with the Gregorian notation for singing them

Awesome. I didn't know there are still some Lutherans who have preserved Gregorian tradition.

Does it cause any problem to use different rite in home and different rite in church? I've occasionally considered switching to some WRO prayerbook but have always ended up thinking that it's better to stick with one rite. Especially since there aren't any WRO prayerbooks in Finnish and I don't know whether I'm comfortable with idea of praying in foreign language.


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« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2012, 03:11:40 PM »

The True Church was Western both in origin and praxis, just as much as Eastern. The East just remained "true" longer.  As the West starts finding its Orthodox roots, which predate the largest "Orthodox" jurisdiction by several hundred years, it is only natural that they would want to find the Truth within the context of their own culture.

I've never heard a more lame excuse for not converting to Odoxy than "it's too Eastern".  Roll Eyes

Agreed -- but that's cuts the other way too.

I think if the true church was western in origin/praxis then it would be likewise as silly to rule it out because of such...
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« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2012, 04:05:20 PM »

I've never heard a more lame excuse for not converting to Odoxy than "it's too Eastern".  Roll Eyes

Agreed -- but that's cuts the other way too.

I think if the true church was western in origin/praxis then it would be likewise as silly to rule it out because of such...

or if you are referring to people converting to orthodoxy simply because of it's "eastern-ness" i would agree that is converting for the wrong reasons...

I was more thinking of someone using "it's too Western" as an excuse for not converting to, oh let's say, Catholicism. Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2012, 04:08:40 PM »

Yeah, that'd be silly. There are way better excuses not to convert to Roman Catholicism than that! Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2012, 04:09:30 PM »

Awesome. I didn't know there are still some Lutherans who have preserved Gregorian tradition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XydN7j83m54

(To avoid people complaining about how valuable their time is and how they hate to waste it, let me forewarn everyone that that clip won't contribute anything substantial to this discussion. Just for fun.)
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« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2012, 04:15:27 PM »

Awesome. I didn't know there are still some Lutherans who have preserved Gregorian tradition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XydN7j83m54

(To avoid people complaining about how valuable their time is and how they hate to waste it, let me forewarn everyone that that clip won't contribute anything substantial to this discussion. Just for fun.)

"I though you asian girls were supposed to be smart"
"booga booga booga!"

 Grin
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« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2012, 04:39:17 PM »

Awesome. I didn't know there are still some Lutherans who have preserved Gregorian tradition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XydN7j83m54

(To avoid people complaining about how valuable their time is and how they hate to waste it, let me forewarn everyone that that clip won't contribute anything substantial to this discussion. Just for fun.)

There's always room for some Kowalski. He should be canonized just for being awesome.
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