This is again progress in the discussion. By worship, could we agree that we are talking about a tangible and direct relationship with God personally, not conceptually?
What do you mean "personally, not conceptually"? I take exception to the introduction of this idea of "concept worship" that has cropped up in this thread. I think it is wrong to say that The Trinity is a concept. I think trinitarianism
is a concept, but The Trinity is the uncreated and undivided unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are God, and thus worshiping them by the name "Holy Trinity" is not really worshiping a concept; it's in a sense talking in shorthand, as we have developed this terminology to denote God as He has revealed Himself to us. Not just any trinity will do, because not just any trinity of things or people is the Holy Trinity. (An aside: My mind was changed regarding this topic as a result of a conversation I once had with a Hindu
who insisted that his Hindu trinity, whatever that is, is God, and that ours is a cheap imitation of it; that is obviously wrong, and thus we must be careful when we talk about the Holy Trinity to be strict that we are not talking about the concept of "a trinitarian god" as a thing, but rather about Father, Son, and Spirit, who are about as far from being mere "concepts" as I can think of.)
The Gospel of John chapter 6 didn't say that the concepts of God, or the noble truths of the Church theology brought people to Christ
And neither has anyone in this thread, unless I have missed it. In Orthodoxy especially, it is not a matter of passing on some argument or piece of information to which we assent and then can say we believe. As I've already referenced (from 1 Corinthians), no one can say Christ is Lord but by the Holy Spirit. A person who is merely curious about theology and philosophy can satisfy himself without ever actually encountering God. But then I don't think anyone here has said anything to the contrary.
So we are drawn by God first, and then come to understand the logistics of this calling through learning the rules and explanations. So could we all agree that in worshiping (i.e., directly knowing God in a personal way through the Spirit) God folks outside the Church are brought in?
I think I said more or less that exact thing, reflecting upon my own experiences in converting from Catholicism to Orthodoxy.
Agreed, but I'm not sure that what we are talking about is exactly the same as popular monotheism. This philosophy is essentially a kind of universalism which teaches similar to the Brahman understanding that everything is really God so anyway to worship God is the correct way or an acceptable way to worship God.
Perhaps we have different things in mind when we use that term. I mean this tendency, bolstered in some churches by its official sanction in their writings (e.g., CCC 841), to believe that all who intend or claim to worship God are actually doing so, by virtue of there only being one God in the first place. A sort of intellectually lazy semi-affirmation of their religious systems that amounts to squishy, indifferent ideas like "eh, where else could their prayers go?", despite the fact that the Holy Bible contains many passages warning against the worship of false gods, showing us that it is possible that some who pray are not in fact worshiping God, despite their protestations to the contrary. Not everything that someone says is God or from God actually is. We must test all things, and hold fast to what is good.
Rather, that by worship I am referring to a direct relationship with God, even outside of a covenant or saving relationship, but a relationship nonetheless. Its not that Judaism or Islam as a methodology is correct worship which should be emulated, rather just to say that God has His own right to talk with and know whomever He pleases, and it is this relationship precisely which brings those from outside the Church to come inside, again according to the Gospel of John chapter 6.
God may call who He wishes. Their response will determine much of how that plays out, hence all my earlier points about what people affirm and reject about God being very important. It's not that you "believe" your way into salvation, if we take belief to be a kind of rational epistemological certainty, but that what you believe determines how you will act and live, including your response to God. Not everyone who calls upon Him "Lord! Lord!" will see the kingdom. We would do well to remember that first for ourselves instead of condemning others, but I still believe it applies to others as well, and no one will be saved by any other God but the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Agreed, its not a loophole at all, rather its just to say that God can know and befriend whomever He pleases, and this is separate from Salvation, which is exclusively in the Church, in fact this is what brings people from outside towards this Salvation in the first place, hence the "calling" and also being "chosen"
I believe we are in agreement today, my friend. You may, if you wish, mark your calendar.