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Author Topic: The Orthodox Church as "The Lazy Servant"  (Read 2174 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2012, 03:54:31 PM »

To everyone else: I would like to see us put an end to these defensive, sometimes hostile, replies. I think they're only doing more harm than good.
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« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2012, 04:01:03 PM »

What new, constructive ideas would you like to see? In what areas would you like to see these new ideas?

I think it's more a matter of principle.

I think maybe PeterTheAleut wants you to be specific about the context of your complaint--to move it out of your head and into the realm of discussion. Right now, it's difficult to discuss your concern or "prove you wrong" without specifics to deal with.
Yes, that's what I'm trying to elicit. Unless you, Big Chris, can articulate for us how specifically we have refused to change and what kinds of new ideas you would like to see us introduce, I'm not really sure we can help you. A matter of principle needs specific examples to move from the abstract to the concrete.

Nicely put. Thank you.
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« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2012, 04:06:08 PM »

All that we have said about the great Christian Mysteries is not an opinion of our own (if it were an opinion of our own it would be worth nothing), but it is the repeated experience of the Apostles in the ancient days and of the saints up to our own days. For the Church of God lives not on opinion, but on the experience of the saints, as in the beginning, so in our days. The opinions of intellectual persons may be wonderfully clever and yet be false, whereas the experience of the saints is always true. It is God the Lord who is true to Himself in his saints.

- St Nicholas of Zhica


Chris, in your message you equate the bearing of fruit with the development of new ideas, thus betraying a very post-Schism scholastic and rationalistic approach to the Faith that is not shared by the apostolic Church.  What the Church so diligently safeguards is the “faith once and for all delivered to the saints”, and this faith is nothing other than the path of theosis, the method by which man becomes a sanctified dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and the means by which man attains to eternal salvation.  When doctrines are corrupted, when false teachings are introduced, the way of theosis also become obstructed and man is cut off from the very means by which he was to become a vessel of divine grace.

In the pre-Schism Church (outside of St. Augustine), theology was understood a fruit of hesychia, ceaseless prayer, ascesis, the union of the mind with the heart, and the experience of the grace of the Holy Spirit.  In the West, following the Schism, this genuine experience of the Holy Spirit, and the way to theosis, was abandoned in favor of a rationalistic approach to the faith which exalted reason and philosophy above divine revelation and the experience of the grace of God.  When the faith is made subservient to philosophy, and the mind theologizes outside of the Holy Spirit, this results in the development of new teachings which are contrary to the faith “once and for all delivered to the saints”, and which obstruct the way to theosis.  The way to theosis is always a way of foolishness to the Greeks (to those who seek intellectual stimulation from new ideas and spiritually barren philosophies), but is wisdom to those who are being saved (who seek salvation through the purification of the heart and the acquisition of the Holy Spirit through continual prayer). 

The bishops, saints, and Fathers of the Church have spurned Roman Catholic heresies precisely because they are the fruit of man’s barren reasoning operating outside of the experience of sanctification by the Holy Spirit.    Such “new ideas” obstruct and hinder man’s theosis, and thereby prevent man from bearing spiritual fruit.  True fruit is produced by those faithful servants who practice the commandments of Christ, who purify their hearts, and who become temples of the Holy Spirit and vessels of divine grace.  What draws many to the Orthodox Church is precisely the fact that saints in our own times continue to experience the grace of the Holy Spirit and exhibit the same power of the Holy Spirit as was seen in the lives of the Apostles and the earliest saints. 

The faith “once and for all delivered to the saints” is intellectually dry to those who have traded the gospel for philosophy; but is life and truth for those seeking to acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit. 

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Big Chris
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« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2012, 04:09:56 PM »

To everyone else: I would like to see us put an end to these defensive, sometimes hostile, replies. I think they're only doing more harm than good.

Thank you, Peter.  I wanted this to be a civil discussion, and I for my part apologize for my own rough language but from the outset this thread has been regarded with hostility and aversion when I have made repeated attempts to make it known that I am not trying to attack the Orthodox Church.  In fact, much of what I said in my OP could be applied to any church - Catholic and Protestant both.

People here seem to think of me as some sort of enemy when they forget that I am nearing to a stage when we will hopefully be in communion together.  Then again, after the reaction I've received in this thread, I'm having second thoughts.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 04:11:29 PM by Big Chris » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2012, 04:17:43 PM »

Do keep in mind that this form of communication is limited and flawed. We only have what you write to consider. Without actually knowing you, speaking with you face to face, we have nothing else to go on. There are thousands of posts on this forum and few will remember everything you write. So, you should base nothing on what you read here. Rather, if you really want to understand, you need to seek out real people and relationships, go to a real parish, ask a real priest--form relationships. Online relationships are fragments of the real thing.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2012, 04:42:13 PM »

To everyone else: I would like to see us put an end to these defensive, sometimes hostile, replies. I think they're only doing more harm than good.

Thank you, Peter.  I wanted this to be a civil discussion, and I for my part apologize for my own rough language but from the outset this thread has been regarded with hostility and aversion when I have made repeated attempts to make it known that I am not trying to attack the Orthodox Church.  In fact, much of what I said in my OP could be applied to any church - Catholic and Protestant both.

People here seem to think of me as some sort of enemy when they forget that I am nearing to a stage when we will hopefully be in communion together.  Then again, after the reaction I've received in this thread, I'm having second thoughts.
One thing to remember when visiting this forum: Never take the general tone of any thread as representative of the whole of Orthodox Christianity. We Netodox are merely that minuscule percentage who choose to post on this forum, and we tend to be rather opinionated. There's really no substitute for learning an Orthodox culture from a living parish community.

I don't believe that you're attacking our Orthodox faith, and even if you were, our God is big enough that He can take some punching. If He chooses to defend Himself, He can, but He doesn't need us to defend Him.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 04:45:06 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2012, 05:00:01 PM »

As for the rest of what you say in your post, I can only take that to mean that you have no direct, adequate response to my thesis concerning the Orthodox Church as a glass house.
And do you have no direct, adequate response to just what you refer to when you say that in keeping one original and true faith, the Orthodox church does not multiply Christ's wealth? In what things do you mean?
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« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2012, 05:12:33 PM »

What's there to prove wrong? Your post was just a pontification with two short, out of context snippets.

If you cannot directly prove that the ecclesiology which I have "pontificated" above is wrong then I can only assume that you have no clue what you're talking about and you just want to sound like a big shot so you don't have to conscientiously deal with the ramifications of me being possibily right.


The very fact that you did not substantiate a thing you said proves that you are wrong.
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« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2012, 05:56:26 PM »

I have to agree with everyone here Chris that your post is not clear as you only stated half a thought. This would be like me walking by you on the street and just saying boy chris your lazy and just keep walking on. Chris you would be thinking wow what made this person think such things of me as he never stated why or how come. So what are the examples that would give you such an opinion on this Church or any other Church.
Is it the fact that the liturgy is not in english, is it the fact that there not out in front with the mega churches putting on big shows, is it the fact that there there isn't one Orthodox church of America, these would be examples to finish your half thought.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2012, 06:57:48 PM »

What's there to prove wrong? Your post was just a pontification with two short, out of context snippets.

If you cannot directly prove that the ecclesiology which I have "pontificated" above is wrong then I can only assume that you have no clue what you're talking about and you just want to sound like a big shot so you don't have to conscientiously deal with the ramifications of me being possibily right.


The very fact that you did not substantiate a thing you said proves that you are wrong.
No it doesn't. Now please let Big Chris speak his mind without attacking him. I, for one, would like to understand his complaints and learn how we can address them in truth.
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« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2012, 07:07:27 PM »

What's there to prove wrong? Your post was just a pontification with two short, out of context snippets.

If you cannot directly prove that the ecclesiology which I have "pontificated" above is wrong then I can only assume that you have no clue what you're talking about and you just want to sound like a big shot so you don't have to conscientiously deal with the ramifications of me being possibily right.


The very fact that you did not substantiate a thing you said proves that you are wrong.
No it doesn't. Now please let Big Chris speak his mind without attacking him. I, for one, would like to understand his complaints and learn how we can address them in truth.

Yes, it does. And pointing out that he's not substantiating anything is not attacking him.
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« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2012, 07:25:26 PM »

What new, constructive ideas would you like to see? In what areas would you like to see these new ideas?

I think it's more a matter of principle.

I think maybe PeterTheAleut wants you to be specific about the context of your complaint--to move it out of your head and into the realm of discussion. Right now, it's difficult to discuss your concern or "prove you wrong" without specifics to deal with.
Yes, that's what I'm trying to elicit. Unless you, Big Chris, can articulate for us how specifically we have refused to change and what kinds of new ideas you would like to see us introduce, I'm not really sure we can help you. A matter of principle needs specific examples to move from the abstract to the concrete.

I am typing this on my iPad so forgive any misspellings. 

Please forgive my reluctance to spell out what "new ideas" I had in mind as I thought my OP was clear and I didn't want this thread to be derailed into a discussion of other matters, but it seems, at this point, I am left with no other option if I am to make my point.

Ecumenism and modernity are two examples of "new ideas." Changes in liturgical matters and devotions.  I think vernacular liturgies are still generally frowned upon by many.  These are some examples.
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« Reply #57 on: June 19, 2012, 07:30:36 PM »

What aspects of modernity?
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« Reply #58 on: June 19, 2012, 08:22:23 PM »

Changes in liturgical matters and devotions.

Compare the profundity of the Litany of Peace with the banality of the Prayers of the Faithful at your local Roman Church and tell me that the liturgy would be well-served by by accommodating aspects of modernity

Compare the beautiful simplicity of "help us, save us, have mercy on us and keep us, o God, by your grace!" with the inanity of "Lord, help us to practice free trade and be passionate about social justice" as heard at my local Anglican church.

I know this doesn't directly address your central point, but it's some data to consider.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #59 on: June 19, 2012, 08:37:04 PM »

What new, constructive ideas would you like to see? In what areas would you like to see these new ideas?

I think it's more a matter of principle.

I think maybe PeterTheAleut wants you to be specific about the context of your complaint--to move it out of your head and into the realm of discussion. Right now, it's difficult to discuss your concern or "prove you wrong" without specifics to deal with.
Yes, that's what I'm trying to elicit. Unless you, Big Chris, can articulate for us how specifically we have refused to change and what kinds of new ideas you would like to see us introduce, I'm not really sure we can help you. A matter of principle needs specific examples to move from the abstract to the concrete.

I am typing this on my iPad so forgive any misspellings.  

Please forgive my reluctance to spell out what "new ideas" I had in mind as I thought my OP was clear and I didn't want this thread to be derailed into a discussion of other matters, but it seems, at this point, I am left with no other option if I am to make my point.

Ecumenism and modernity are two examples of "new ideas."
Ecumenism and modernity can both mean a lot of things, depending both on what you intend to communicate and how your audience define these words. Would you care to explain in greater detail what you mean by ecumenism and modernity and why you think we should embrace them?

Changes in liturgical matters and devotions.
How do you see our liturgics and devotions as having stagnated?

I think vernacular liturgies are still generally frowned upon by many.
I'm not sure they have, if by "vernacular liturgy" you mean worship in the language of the people. We've been worshiping in the language of the people since before Ss. Cyril and Methodius fought to preserve this tradition in their work among the Slavs. Yes, we even have a tradition of adapting.  Additionally, even one of our more traditionalist modern saints, Archbishop John of Shanghai and San Francisco, gave his episcopal blessing to the use of a liturgical rite that had become a local tradition in a region of France. We also have many Orthodox who worship according to the Western Rite, and with the blessing of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. I'm therefore somewhat confused by your assertion that we have resisted liturgical adaptation and the use of vernacular liturgies.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 08:37:43 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2012, 10:36:56 AM »

From the very beginning post this seemed like trolling, so I don't feel sorry for you there, Big Chris.  If you were sincere, I think you got some sincere answers but you blew them off.  Sorry, but when you point a finger, three are pointing back.

That being said, I don't see how multiplying talents equates to multiplying new doctrines and practices.  I would think multiplying the talent would mean spreading the gospel, which seems to have been happening from the first century up to our own times.   It'd be easier to just say what you want without confusing it with a parable and making judgments.

So now, are you saying the Orthodox Church is a lazy servant who has damned herself by not being ecumenist and modernist?  That sounds completely backwards to me.

How is changing liturgics and devotions being a faithful servant?

Vernacular languages frowned upon?  Here's a quote about St. Innocent of Alaska from Wikipedia: "He learned several native languages and was the author of many of the earliest scholarly works about the native peoples and their languages, as well as dictionaries and religious works in their languages. He also translated parts of the Bible into several native languages" (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innocent_of_Alaska).


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