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Author Topic: To Be Free or Not To Be: Welsh Christianity at the Crossroads  (Read 391 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: April 22, 2012, 11:34:49 PM »

Hieromonk Deiniol, the sole native Welsh Orthodox priest, the founder of the Wales Orthodox Mission, and pastor of the Church of All Saints in the North Wales mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, traveled with Road to Emmaus magazine in 2009 to ancient and little-known pre-schism shrines of the Welsh countryside. Along the way we talked of early Welsh Christianity, the effects of post-Reformation Calvinism, and the state of the Welsh Church today.
....
RTE: In that case, you couldn’t possibly love Him yourself.


Fr. Deiniol: Yes—love is voluntary, not compulsory. We can only love God if we have free will. We might be frightened of Him, perhaps, or feel duty towards Him, but without free will we cannot love Him. Without free will our relationship with Him is not reciprocal. This attitude has created antipathy, and although people now don’t go to church, they know something—not theology, but the feel of Calvinism that permeates their culture. They keep their distance because they think they know what Christianity is, but it’s often a negative impression. For this reason, it would be easier to undertake a mission in Tibet than in a Calvinistic culture.

I imagine it will take a generation or two for people not only to consciously reject specific Calvinistic perspectives and teachings, but to rid themselves of its influence on their mentality. It has left behind a certain fatalism. These chapels have died very quickly. They are closing at the rate of one a week in Wales, which is a small country, and it’s as if people are glad to shake off the whole thing.


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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 11:38:58 PM »

He did a lecture on British saints, available from the Orthodox Christian Tapes website. It was very good.
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 04:59:13 PM »

As a fellow Orthodox priest living in Wales I too can testify that these wonderful people are still suffering the effects of the generations of Calvinism. But God has reached into the hearts far further away from him than this.
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