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Author Topic: What hinder Orthodox Church to preach gosepl to all nations?  (Read 5810 times) Average Rating: 0
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walter1234
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« on: October 20, 2012, 01:14:32 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 01:15:57 PM by walter1234 » Logged
WeldeMikael
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 01:18:15 PM »

There are missions in Africa : Kenya, Uganda, etc...
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 01:36:42 PM »

Actually, in the last 50 years, missionry activities have grown around the World. There are missions in many african nations as WeldeMikael mentioned. The russian Church is doing great in Asia, together with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. There are also reports about mass conversions in South America.
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 01:37:34 PM »

Why are there more Protestants than Orthodox Christians in Japan? That one really irks me.
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 01:39:52 PM »

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC0PyFjexsE
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 02:04:46 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?


We have to understand that Orthodox isn't Billy Graham, and having mega-churches isn't exactly a powerful spiritual conversion.  It took the Orthodox Church 500 years to convert the Roman Empire away from hedonism towards Christianity.  We did it in slow motion, as a gradual process, across many generations.  We don't necessarily do it in huge evangelical crusades, by leaps and strides.  We like in biological terms, steadily creep in growing in our communities.  Orthodox can't superficially take people into the Church.  We can easily be hospitable and invite any and every visitor with a warm welcome.  However, considering how much Protestantism has been exposed to most people, and how fretful others are about structured institutional religion, its a losing battle.  So we have to let our personality, our example, and our love in the community speak on our behalf.  The Orthodox Church in the past has thrived as the conquerors religion, the Faith from the Crown.  So the Church has been able to let the Crown boss folks around, and the Church fill in the gap.  Well, we are past that era.  The Church is back to how we were before we became an Imperial Church in the late Roman period, we are more underground, we are creeping up, but we are succeeding.  For example, while we are not "strong" in Hong Kong, to be sure, even to have a few Orthodox parishes and missions conducting a few Divine Liturgies and Baptisms will radically change that community even if in a few hundred years Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 02:14:51 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?

The Orthodox seem to wrap themselves up in their ethnicity and nationality a little too much. Why is there a ¨Russian,¨ ¨Greek,¨ ¨Serbian,¨ etc. Church and not just a ¨Orthodox Church¨ anyways? That rings of nationalism and ethnocentrism.

But Think about it. If someone comes to convert you to the ¨Greek¨ Orthodox church and you are not Greek, well they already have a strike against them. I have read more than a few people saying they left the ¨Blank¨ Orthodox Church because they did not feel welcome because they were a convert and did not match the churches ethnicity or nation.

That is my thinking on why they have a hard time getting established in new areas.
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 02:19:31 PM »

One word: Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 02:27:24 PM »

Please consider this map. Thank you.
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 02:32:52 PM »

That's three or four words, Cyrillic. Tongue

Umbrella: The Orthodox are big on history, and the so-called "ethnic" designations of the churches reflect the history of their founding in a particular place and time. Time was that the Protestant churches were this way as well (think about what "mainline" means), and the Catholics as well. In some places, the Catholics still are. In my hometown, there were even separate masses and separate priests for the Anglos and the Latinos, which were treated to entirely different sermons, different music, etc. And the historical relation of the Poles, Irish, Croats, etc. to Catholicism (to say nothing of the individual Eastern Catholic Churches which generally serve one ethnicity/cultural background, e.g., Maronites are Lebanese, Chaldeans are Iraqi, etc) is well-known. So I don't think this is an exclusively Orthodox phenomenon.
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 02:37:12 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.  

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?

the Orthodox Church is the most catholic church in the world (Catholic is a Greek word which means universal). The Orthodox Church was born in the middle east and its still thr in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt (Orthodox countries). The church went to South & east Europe flourishing in Rome, Greece, the Balkans, eastern Slavic lands, and the pre-schism west. The church went to Africa and flourished/flourishes around Egypt and Ethiopia. The church came to Asia through the Apostle Thomas. He established Orthodoxy in India, Persia, and China (there still is Orthodox presence in these countries).

Apart from the apostolic missions, the church has a long history of missionary work. There very large Orthodox missions in many countries: Many places of Africa, Guatemala and many other places in Latin America, the U.S., Finland, Japan and South Korea and many places in Asia, Albania and former Communist countries also have had a great reviving of the faith.
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 02:39:59 PM »

Please consider this map. Thank you.


That map is not completely correct.
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2012, 02:40:29 PM »

That's three or four words, Cyrillic. Tongue

Umbrella: The Orthodox are big on history, and the so-called "ethnic" designations of the churches reflect the history of their founding in a particular place and time. Time was that the Protestant churches were this way as well (think about what "mainline" means), and the Catholics as well. In some places, the Catholics still are. In my hometown, there were even separate masses and separate priests for the Anglos and the Latinos, which were treated to entirely different sermons, different music, etc. And the historical relation of the Poles, Irish, Croats, etc. to Catholicism (to say nothing of the individual Eastern Catholic Churches which generally serve one ethnicity/cultural background, e.g., Maronites are Lebanese, Chaldeans are Iraqi, etc) is well-known. So I don't think this is an exclusively Orthodox phenomenon.

I do not think God cares about a persons nationality or ethnicity. I think those designations should be dropped regardless who has them or why. Someone just posted in another thread on why people leave the Orthodox church and they listed....

 ¨Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.¨

So there you have it. I have read a lot of these comments. Not on this forum of course.
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2012, 02:50:56 PM »

I think you've missed my point. The churches are as they are not because God cares about people's ethnicity, but because the history of the churches is such that they've primarily existed in certain particular places, which are the homelands of particular people. It's a matter of history, not theology (note how Arabs, Greeks, Slavs, and Romanians are all part of the same EO church, just as Egyptians, Armenians, and Indians are all part of the same OO church; these cultures and peoples are all quite distinct from each other). As for ridding ourselves of ethnic connections or pretensions, you can get rid of the name on the sign, but you can't actually make it be so Americans, Swedes, Igbo, and Japanese (to pick a few random people) are actually the same. So the Church will naturally reflect the makeup of its congregation, but it won't really be any less "ethnic" as a result, as everyone comes from somewhere. Often times we see other people as being ethnic and weird, but even the most diluted, bland W.A.S.P. usually doesn't have to go back too far in their own family tree to find an uncle, grandparent, or great grandparent speaking a different language, eating strange food, praying in what now seems like an odd way, etc.
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2012, 02:52:27 PM »


That map is not completely correct.

True. It is close enough though to illustrate some points...
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2012, 02:54:15 PM »

I think you've missed my point. The churches are as they are not because God cares about people's ethnicity, but because the history of the churches is such that they've primarily existed in certain particular places, which are the homelands of particular people. It's a matter of history, not theology (note how Arabs, Greeks, Slavs, and Romanians are all part of the same EO church, just as Egyptians, Armenians, and Indians are all part of the same OO church; these cultures and peoples are all quite distinct from each other). As far as ridding ourselves of ethnic connections or pretensions, you can get rid of the name on the sign, but you can't actually make it be so Americans, Swedes, Igbo, and Japanese (to pick a few random people) are actually the same. So the Church will naturally reflect the makeup of its congregation, but it won't really be any less "ethnic" as a result, as everyone comes from somewhere. Often times we see other people as being ethnic and weird, but even the most diluted, bland W.A.S.P. usually doesn't have to go back too far in their own family tree to find an uncle, grandparent, or great grandparent speaking a different language, eating strange food, praying in what now seems like an odd way, etc.



No, I did not miss your point at all. I am just not accepting the cop-out. It is nationalism and ethnocentrism and nothing else. They should be removed.
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2012, 03:08:36 PM »

History is a cop-out?  Huh

Even the missionary churches that exist now and can be considered in some measures a success, such as the OCA, are built around the ancient model of one church per geographical location. You don't think "Orthodox Church in America" is identified with a particular people? The whole point of it is to reach out to Americans with an indigenous Orthodoxy. Ditto the British Orthodox Church, which exists because of the need to evangelize native Brits and not make them have to follow the Coptic mode of worship just because they're within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. This goes back to my point of what "nativizing" a church does. It's paradoxical perhaps, but if you establish any church along the cultural lines present in a particular location, then you've established a church that will seem "ethnic" or "national" to someone. And yet, this is how it has always been done because when a missionary such as St. Mark or one of our modern missionaries arrives in a new place, they adapt the timeless Orthodox faith to the culture that surrounds them, so as to baptize what is able to be baptized and bring the people to the truth in ways that they can understand. So you essentially exchange one culture or ethnicity for another, because what works in Greece won't work in Botswana, and what works in Botswana won't work in Fiji, or what have you.

Surely preaching the gospel to people in a way that they can understand and helping them to build a native church that resonates with the souls of their people is about as far away from being ethnocentric as possible, isn't it?
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2012, 03:25:46 PM »

History is a cop-out?  Huh

Even the missionary churches that exist now and can be considered in some measures a success, such as the OCA, are built around the ancient model of one church per geographical location. You don't think "Orthodox Church in America" is identified with a particular people? The whole point of it is to reach out to Americans with an indigenous Orthodoxy. Ditto the British Orthodox Church, which exists because of the need to evangelize native Brits and not make them have to follow the Coptic mode of worship just because they're within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. This goes back to my point of what "nativizing" a church does. It's paradoxical perhaps, but if you establish any church along the cultural lines present in a particular location, then you've established a church that will seem "ethnic" or "national" to someone. And yet, this is how it has always been done because when a missionary such as St. Mark or one of our modern missionaries arrives in a new place, they adapt the timeless Orthodox faith to the culture that surrounds them, so as to baptize what is able to be baptized and bring the people to the truth in ways that they can understand. So you essentially exchange one culture or ethnicity for another, because what works in Greece won't work in Botswana, and what works in Botswana won't work in Fiji, or what have you.

Surely preaching the gospel to people in a way that they can understand and helping them to build a native church that resonates with the souls of their people is about as far away from being ethnocentric as possible, isn't it?

There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Quote
I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 

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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2012, 03:34:46 PM »

My point is that what a person experiences in a particular church is not dependent upon what the sign outside of the church building says, but on the people inside of it and their attitudes. Phyletism as been condemned as a heresy by the Church. If any particular congregation has fallen into it, it is a major problem, but that does not make the history of the Church or its evangelical principles other than what they are.
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2012, 03:57:33 PM »

What's interesting about that map is there is a section in Utah of irreligious people.
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2012, 04:21:13 PM »

What's interesting about that map is there is a section in Utah of irreligious people.

It may be the Great Salt Lake. It is about the right location. Alternatively, it could be the Ute Indian Reservation. If I recall correctly the Utes are mostly Protestants and Roman Catholics, not Mormon.
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2012, 07:56:23 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Quote
I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 




But that is entirely the problem.  Isn't there an Orthodox Church in America? Is it really the Coptic or Byzantine Church's issue to convert Americans when there is supposed to be a a growing American Orthodoxy?



If Americans stumble into an ethnic parish because of their natural curiosity for the quixotic and then suddenly get turned off because ethnic folks in their own congregations duh, are ethnic, well what can they honestly expect? If these visitors had been sincerely interested in Orthodox they either would (a)  have purposefully sought out an Orthodox parish that spoke their language or was filled with themselves as a congregation or (b) wouldn't have got so caught up on one ethnic thing or another. 

Go to ethnic parishes and you find plenty of folks from all races who have married in or otherwise converted.  Again, Orthodox isn't about quick conversions, we aren't ever going to have mega-churches.  What we can expect is to slowly and gradually fill in the gap and become the Church in many communities.  We didn't do this in the past through mass conversions, and we shouldn't expect such for the future.  The Great Commission is not as literal as I think most Protestants take it.  We need to be hospitable and loving in our own individual lives with our co-workers and compatriots so that we convert them by our kindness, not our theology and linguistics Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2012, 07:58:28 PM »

Nothing - see the following for what is going on at the OCMC.

http://www.ocmc.org/
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2012, 08:35:22 PM »

Nowaways, Orthodox Church is still limited and focus on Eastern Europe. There are really seldom Orthodox Christian in other areas in the world.

I live in Hong Kong.Orthodox Church is very weak in Hong Kong and Asia. Jesus taught us that we need to teach and preach to the nations.But Orthodox Church seems quite difficult to finish this mission from Christ.What hinder Orthodox Church to teach and preach the gosepl to all nations?

You.

Your evangelical preachers tell everybody Orthodoxy and other liturgical churches are from the devil. Also, Asian societies aren't the most welcoming to those who are not of their heritage.
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2012, 08:55:12 PM »

What's interesting about that map is there is a section in Utah of irreligious people.

LOL, didn't notice that  Grin


But to expand on why I posted it: obviously no religion dominates all over the world. And no Christian denomination is widespread everywhere. This doesn't excuse Orthodoxy from continuing it's missionary work, but it does put things in perspective. A number of Christian groups have areas of the world where they have a huge chunk of the population, but no one group has widespread numbers everwhere. This is true even of Catholicism, by far the largest Church. Even if you add all of Christianity together in some ecumenicized glob, much of the world still hasn't been reached, or certainly converted. So what does this mean? First, there's still a lot of work to do. Second, it's not fair to dismiss a group just because they aren't strong in your area. All groups have areas where they are absent. I would also add a third thought, that given the human element involved, it's also not fair to dismiss an entire religion just because it is not strong in a particular area of the world.
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« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2012, 09:45:25 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Quote
I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 




But that is entirely the problem.  Isn't there an Orthodox Church in America? Is it really the Coptic or Byzantine Church's issue to convert Americans when there is supposed to be a a growing American Orthodoxy?



If Americans stumble into an ethnic parish because of their natural curiosity for the quixotic and then suddenly get turned off because ethnic folks in their own congregations duh, are ethnic, well what can they honestly expect? If these visitors had been sincerely interested in Orthodox they either would (a)  have purposefully sought out an Orthodox parish that spoke their language or was filled with themselves as a congregation or (b) wouldn't have got so caught up on one ethnic thing or another. 

Go to ethnic parishes and you find plenty of folks from all races who have married in or otherwise converted.  Again, Orthodox isn't about quick conversions, we aren't ever going to have mega-churches.  What we can expect is to slowly and gradually fill in the gap and become the Church in many communities.  We didn't do this in the past through mass conversions, and we shouldn't expect such for the future.  The Great Commission is not as literal as I think most Protestants take it.  We need to be hospitable and loving in our own individual lives with our co-workers and compatriots so that we convert them by our kindness, not our theology and linguistics Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

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« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2012, 10:06:01 PM »

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Wiki can be good for some things, but in this case, you could really do better. Case in point, there is no ethnicity called "Antiochian". Antiochians are mainly Arabs (some say Arabized Syriacs) and Syriacs from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, though the modern city (Antakya) is in Turkey and mainly filled with ethnic Turks.

Quote
Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

Who are you to tell us, actual Orthodox Christians, what reality is in our own churches? Frankly, your depiction is an insult to me and every other convert who is not from the traditional background connected with the particular church. In some places (e.g., Bolivia) that is 100% of the church, and the church uses the local language exclusively. Even here in Albuquerque, where I am the only non-Egyptian convert who attends regularly, 80% of our liturgy is in English. Your version of "reality" doesn't look very realistic.
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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2012, 10:12:25 PM »

Seems green_ umbrella Is just being a troll, not worth trading responses!
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« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2012, 10:16:40 PM »

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Wiki can be good for some things, but in this case, you could really do better. Case in point, there is no ethnicity called "Antiochian". Antiochians are mainly Arabs (some say Arabized Syriacs) and Syriacs from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, though the modern city (Antakya) is in Turkey and mainly filled with ethnic Turks.

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Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

Who are you to tell us, actual Orthodox Christians, what reality is in our own churches? Frankly, your depiction is an insult to me and every other convert who is not from the traditional background connected with the particular church. In some places (e.g., Bolivia) that is 100% of the church, and the church uses the local language exclusively. Even here in Albuquerque, where I am the only non-Egyptian convert who attends regularly, 80% of our liturgy is in English. Your version of "reality" doesn't look very realistic.

And I find your whitewash of the obvious an insult.

¨I am the only non-Egyptian convert¨ Yeah well, this shows exactly what I am talking about does not it. Why are you the only ¨non-Egyptian?¨ If this is the ¨Catholic¨ (meaning universal) church. That is a bit odd really do not you think.

But that is your problem not mine. Go ahead and live in denial.

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dzheremi
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« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2012, 10:33:29 PM »

Because many people are uncomfortable with new things. Many people who have visited come from Protestant backgrounds and take us to be some kind of weird stepchild of the Roman church, and are not interested in our theology once they see us venerating icons, using loads of incense, chanting our liturgies instead of "testifyin'", etc. These are, of course, pan-Orthodox things, not terribly "Egyptian" or "Russian" or whatever in and of themselves.

Many people do not like Orthodoxy, and use the "ethnic" charge as an excuse to stay in their heterodox churches which, at their root, are just as ethnically/nationally bound as any particular Orthodox church (Anglicans in England, Lutherans in Germany and Scandinavia, Presbyterians in Scotland, etc).
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2012, 11:40:12 PM »

I think you've missed my point. The churches are as they are not because God cares about people's ethnicity, but because the history of the churches is such that they've primarily existed in certain particular places, which are the homelands of particular people. It's a matter of history, not theology (note how Arabs, Greeks, Slavs, and Romanians are all part of the same EO church, just as Egyptians, Armenians, and Indians are all part of the same OO church; these cultures and peoples are all quite distinct from each other). As far as ridding ourselves of ethnic connections or pretensions, you can get rid of the name on the sign, but you can't actually make it be so Americans, Swedes, Igbo, and Japanese (to pick a few random people) are actually the same. So the Church will naturally reflect the makeup of its congregation, but it won't really be any less "ethnic" as a result, as everyone comes from somewhere. Often times we see other people as being ethnic and weird, but even the most diluted, bland W.A.S.P. usually doesn't have to go back too far in their own family tree to find an uncle, grandparent, or great grandparent speaking a different language, eating strange food, praying in what now seems like an odd way, etc.



No, I did not miss your point at all. I am just not accepting the cop-out. It is nationalism and ethnocentrism and nothing else. They should be removed.

The view must be less obstructed from that high horse.
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2012, 11:42:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

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I have read that there are inquirers who come into Orthodoxy and silently leave through the back door after a while.  I was wondering what the main reasons were?  I joined a Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago.  The two negatives I had were:

1.  Learning the Divine Liturgy
2.  Feeling less acceptance since I was not Greek.

 




But that is entirely the problem.  Isn't there an Orthodox Church in America? Is it really the Coptic or Byzantine Church's issue to convert Americans when there is supposed to be a a growing American Orthodoxy?



If Americans stumble into an ethnic parish because of their natural curiosity for the quixotic and then suddenly get turned off because ethnic folks in their own congregations duh, are ethnic, well what can they honestly expect? If these visitors had been sincerely interested in Orthodox they either would (a)  have purposefully sought out an Orthodox parish that spoke their language or was filled with themselves as a congregation or (b) wouldn't have got so caught up on one ethnic thing or another. 

Go to ethnic parishes and you find plenty of folks from all races who have married in or otherwise converted.  Again, Orthodox isn't about quick conversions, we aren't ever going to have mega-churches.  What we can expect is to slowly and gradually fill in the gap and become the Church in many communities.  We didn't do this in the past through mass conversions, and we shouldn't expect such for the future.  The Great Commission is not as literal as I think most Protestants take it.  We need to be hospitable and loving in our own individual lives with our co-workers and compatriots so that we convert them by our kindness, not our theology and linguistics Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 



A lovely argument from ignorance assisted by Wikipedia. It must be true. Just look at all the anecdotal evidence combined with opinion.
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2012, 11:53:02 PM »

Why are there more Protestants than Orthodox Christians in Japan? That one really irks me.

Well, the Orthodox mission to Japan under St. Nikolai, which lasted until 1914 and then continued under his successor as bishop and many native Japanese priests had quite a bit of early success. The Orthodox Church, like the Roman Catholic Church population suffered a lot in World War II. (On the other side of the world, in Poland and Czechoslovakia, IIRC, the Western Rite parishes were wiped off the face of the earth.) The earthquake and tsunami affected the local church in Sendai and elsewhere in the region. I think the population may also be aging. Also, Japan is sort of like Western Europe--having a low birth rate and a low interest in spirituality.

An interesting side fact: Many Japanese became Christian after hearing Bach cantatas and passions and reading the translations.
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2012, 12:19:02 AM »

That is a whitewash. 

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language. 

This statement seemed so untrue that I decided to look up its source. Of course you did not make it easy because you did not provide the source at wikipedia for this statement. It sounded like it was from some kind of study and it was nothing of the sort. If you bothered to look at the citation for this statement (footnote 5) you would discover it was from the Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCIA) which exists at two locations, Roswell New Mexico and a mission in Hayward California. I know Hayward fairly well and I never heard of this mission.  They are an old calendarist church (according to them), I do not know who they are in communion with (Irish Melkite may know about this), and their motto is "Freedom From Phyletism". They also make sure that they have an overwhelming internet presence.

I think it is safe to assume that they did not commission some statistical study on the topic your are citing.

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« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2012, 12:19:43 AM »

Please consider this map. Thank you.


That map is not completely correct.

Not even close.  According to this, there  are no Orthodox in the Americas or western Europe.
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« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2012, 12:21:17 AM »



There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Except for that whole immigration thing that happened in the United States.


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« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2012, 12:24:57 AM »

Not even close.  According to this, there  are no Orthodox in the Americas or western Europe.

The map doesn't tell you every group that lives in an area, it tells you what the dominant/majority group is.
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« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2012, 01:59:36 AM »

One word: Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church

That's 3 if you consider the hyphenated part as one word  Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2012, 02:02:24 AM »

Because many people are uncomfortable with new things. Many people who have visited come from Protestant backgrounds and take us to be some kind of weird stepchild of the Roman church, and are not interested in our theology once they see us venerating icons, using loads of incense, chanting our liturgies instead of "testifyin'", etc. These are, of course, pan-Orthodox things, not terribly "Egyptian" or "Russian" or whatever in and of themselves.

Many people do not like Orthodoxy, and use the "ethnic" charge as an excuse to stay in their heterodox churches which, at their root, are just as ethnically/nationally bound as any particular Orthodox church (Anglicans in England, Lutherans in Germany and Scandinavia, Presbyterians in Scotland, etc).

I like Orthodoxy but ethnicity really is a problem.
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« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2012, 02:11:31 AM »

Where are you going to go to not be in an "ethnic" environment, Choy? Where in the world do people not have an ethnic/cultural background?
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« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2012, 02:14:26 AM »

Why are there more Protestants than Orthodox Christians in Japan? That one really irks me.

Well, the Orthodox mission to Japan under St. Nikolai, which lasted until 1914 and then continued under his successor as bishop and many native Japanese priests had quite a bit of early success. The Orthodox Church, like the Roman Catholic Church population suffered a lot in World War II. (On the other side of the world, in Poland and Czechoslovakia, IIRC, the Western Rite parishes were wiped off the face of the earth.) The earthquake and tsunami affected the local church in Sendai and elsewhere in the region. I think the population may also be aging. Also, Japan is sort of like Western Europe--having a low birth rate and a low interest in spirituality.

An interesting side fact: Many Japanese became Christian after hearing Bach cantatas and passions and reading the translations.

I see. So it is not a church who wants to identify its culture and nationality first and religion second who has the problem. It is all those millions and millions of Japanese and Europeans who have some sort of problem. Not to mention all of South America where Orthodoxy is almost non existant.

I have Mormans, Jehovahs Witness, Roman Catholic, Evangelicals of every flavor. uh...Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist, etc., from all ethnicity in easy 10-15 minutes.  One Orthodox Church at least 3 hours away and it is with the specific immigrants. The Catholic and Universal church? Does that sound like the Catholic and Universal church to you?

Maybe it is not all those Japanese, Europeans and South Americans who have some sort of spiritual problem. Maybe, just maybe it is you who have some sort of problem. Maybe like nationalism and ethnocentrism. Something that might be considered.


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« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2012, 02:15:43 AM »



There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Except for that whole immigration thing that happened in the United States.




How is that a good reason?
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« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2012, 02:18:21 AM »

That is a whitewash.  

From wiki...¨In the United States, most Eastern Orthodox parishes are, for the most part, ethnocentric, that is, focused on serving an ethnic community that has immigrated from overseas (eg. the Greeks, Russians, Romanians, Finns, Serbians, Antiochians etc.) Many Orthodox Christians must travel long distances to find a local Church that is familiar to their ethnic background.¨

Nation and ethnicity first. God second. That is the reality without the gloss. That is why the Orthodox church has such a hard time getting established in new areas that do not share their ethnicity or language.  

This statement seemed so untrue that I decided to look up its source. Of course you did not make it easy because you did not provide the source at wikipedia for this statement. It sounded like it was from some kind of study and it was nothing of the sort. If you bothered to look at the citation for this statement (footnote 5) you would discover it was from the Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCIA) which exists at two locations, Roswell New Mexico and a mission in Hayward California. I know Hayward fairly well and I never heard of this mission.  They are an old calendarist church (according to them), I do not know who they are in communion with (Irish Melkite may know about this), and their motto is "Freedom From Phyletism". They also make sure that they have an overwhelming internet presence.

I think it is safe to assume that they did not commission some statistical study on the topic your are citing.



I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian).


So there must be some problem at least.
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« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2012, 02:20:12 AM »



There is no good reason to identify a church with an ethnicity or a country. None. It is hubris. But if it is so important for you to keep ¨Greek¨ or ¨Russian¨ or whatever on the sign go ahead. Just know this cost you people hearing the message.

Except for that whole immigration thing that happened in the United States.




How is that a good reason?

 Shocked

Forget Orthodox people who have immigrated, rather just focus on people in general who have immigrated over the last 100-200 years and you will see why that is a good explanation.  Whether or not its existence is still a good thing is up for debate, but this at least explains things.
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« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2012, 02:28:33 AM »


I have no idea. But I do know I can take a look through religious forums and the blogosphers and find comments after comments sounding like this...

I love the Orthodox Church dearly in many ways, but endless fighting, the ethnocentric bigotry and the nonstop power struggles, plus the people's managing to drive away a very holy priest, has me fed up.
 

This is from a person’s particular view point of something that happened and how they saw things.  It is not indicative of how the overall Orthodox Church operates and clearly, not everyone will be happy with how things turn out, regardless of which church they belong.  I know of very little fighting and power struggles within Orthodoxy.  Without the entire and full context, this is little more than an underhanded attempt to discredit the Church.

I do not now belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church because I am not culturally Eastern, and I am unwilling and unable to live my life as a pretend Russian, or a pretend Greek.
I am not culturally Eastern, but I am Orthodox.  I do not pretend to be Greek because I go to a Greek Orthodox Church.  I do appreciate the historical value it brings and enjoy learning new things as I would at a Russian Church.  To say this reveals a person is not willing to put in what is needed to get out what they want from that specific Church.  Again, a personal view point, nothing more.

Once, when I inquired of an Eastern Orthodox friend of mine why he did not go to just any Orthodox church, he replied matter-of-factly that “We go where the Russians go” (for he is Russian). [/b]

So there must be some problem at least.
Personal preference.  I fail to see where the problem is in all of this.

Now, if you want to talk about Latin mass when no one speaks Latin, we can, but I don't see a problem with that either.
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