OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 26, 2014, 01:51:40 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Why Do Orthodox Not Actively Seek Converts?  (Read 1800 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,449



« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2013, 11:31:00 AM »

if Orthodoxy feels foreign to them, it might be their own nationalisms getting in the way.   

In the US, Orthodoxy has followed the normal pattern of an immigrant church. Since I was raised Lutheran, I can tell you that it wasn't that long ago (two generations, maybe more?) that Lutherans in America still identified themselves as German, Norwegian, Finnish or Swedish-Lutheran. (Think Garrison Keillor and Lake Wobegone.)

According to my husband, it was much the same for Roman Catholics: he was raised in an Irish Catholic neighborhood, went to an Irish Catholic parish and parochial school, etc. (He and his brothers used to go for confession to the local Polish church).

I'm sure many Protestant churches at the time, looked down on both the Lutherans and Catholics as being "foreign," and "too ethnic."
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Antonious Nikolas
Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite, Anagnostis
Archon
********
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 2,390


Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra


WWW
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2013, 11:39:09 AM »


The kind of street evangelism and big tent revival preaching you have in mind is, I think, more of an historical aberration.   The mass field meetings such as Wesley conducted and which were perfected by the likes of Charles Finney & co. In the late 19th century had their roots in religious practices along the Scottish-British border going back to the 16th century or so.  They worked in a certain time and place and with a certain kind of theology.  Billy Graham was probably one of the last to successfully use that method.  Look around, no one can quite do things the way he did them.  He was welcomed as a revival preacher in a Protestant culture.  Those days are largely past. 

Now some will challenge this and say, what about Paul on Mars Hill?  What about Pentecost and Peters preaching?   But if you look closely They weren't just on some street corner yelling around or handing out tracts.  Paul came to a philosophic forum and engaged them in debate.  He grappled with their existing ideas and showed Christ as the end of their searching.  This is the tack that we should take today, in my opinion.  Peter was preaching in the midst of an established religious festival in the midst of a miracle. 

After the apostolic and Before the modern era most evangelizing seemed to be directed at rulers.  If they accepted Christianity their realm would follow.  Not so much anymore and probably for the best.   Orthodoxy existed for centuries in lands that needed little evangelization, ie Russia, or in lands where effective evangelization was impossible, ie the Ottoman Empire.  When the Orthodox started to immigrate to the west, except for a few visionaries, they were foreigners in diaspora and their churches were more diplomatic chapels than anything else, in a strange land for a foreign people.  Thank God this is no longer.   

If we are to do evangelization I don't think the dying or dead practice of field preaching or it's cousins is the answer.  We have to be like Paul and engage the people where they are, and open their eyes to the fact that what their heart longs for can be found in Christ and His Church.   One person who did this very very effectively was Saint Innocent of Alaska.  He lived among the natives, taught them, learned their language, and showed them the light of Christ.  And note that he didn't have to revise the Liturgy or make it more appealing to do so.  We need to follow his example and be visible lights in our culture and not be afraid to engage it like Paul.  And after all that's what Christ said, Ye are the light of the world.  We shouldn't hide it under a bushel, as it were. 

QFT, especially the bit about big tent revivalism and street evangelism being the aberrations relative to the history of Christianity and definitely foreign to what Orthodox Christians understand to be the Church.

Admittedly, we could be doing a better job, but I don't think it's fair to say that the Orthodox are not actively engaged in evangelism.  I also don't think it's fair to dismiss the flourishing Orthodox missions in non-Western nations as if they somehow count for less and that what we see here in the West is what really counts.  In some respects, I think this might be a problem of vocabulary.  What many folks - especially Americans - have in mind when they hear "evangelism" is "evangelicalism" - the televangelist/megachurch model with its roots in the Second Great Awakening.

I think this vid does a great job of discussing what form Orthodox evangelism should take:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1sVNtrfhbY
Logged

My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.
recent convert
Orthodox Chrisitan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian (N.A.)
Posts: 1,923


« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2013, 11:46:48 AM »

In America,there is no approach; cradles are left to "tryin' to keep the church afloat" via basket raffles & food festivals as churches languish into mausoleums as diaspora descendents drift away from the 6 million (or is it 6 hundred thousdand?, who knows?) faithful in America. Thankfully, astute priests & laity fill part of the void with oranizations like; FOCUS N.A.: http://www.focusnorthamerica.org/     , the IOCC: http://www.iocc.org/  etc. & with in faith in action, supported by our prayer & contribution, some good results.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 11:48:10 AM by recent convert » Logged

Antiochian OC N.A.
orthodox4life
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 156



WWW
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2013, 12:18:20 PM »

Quote
That's the other thing I don't get. Why is converting Protestants some sort of super top priority. Is converting other people somehow less important.

If you were protestant and converted to Orthodoxy, wouldn't you be thinking about ministering to your family and friends who were still protestants? It's not that other faith conversions are less important, its that you want those you love to learn the same Truth you did.
Logged

The true Orthodox way of thought has always been historical, has always included the past, but has never been enslaved by it. . . for the strength of the Church is not in the past, present, or future, but in Christ.

-Fr. Alexander Schmemann
hecma925
Non-clairvoyant
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 6,890


Pray for me, a sinner.


WWW
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2013, 12:24:48 PM »

Quote
That's the other thing I don't get. Why is converting Protestants some sort of super top priority. Is converting other people somehow less important.

If you were protestant and converted to Orthodoxy, wouldn't you be thinking about ministering to your family and friends who were still protestants? It's not that other faith conversions are less important, its that you want those you love to learn the same Truth you did.

Besides praying, what other type of ministering can be done? 
Logged

Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 18,354


"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee..."


WWW
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2013, 12:46:16 PM »

In the US, Orthodoxy has followed the normal pattern of an immigrant church...

Agreed!
Logged

The Mor has spoken. Let his word endure unto the ages of ages.
orthodox4life
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 156



WWW
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2013, 01:09:13 PM »

Quote
Besides praying, what other type of ministering can be done?

Letting others see you living a holy life, helping those in need, and much much more. People watch us and in some cases even put us under a microscope if they know we're Christians and especially those from other faiths.
Logged

The true Orthodox way of thought has always been historical, has always included the past, but has never been enslaved by it. . . for the strength of the Church is not in the past, present, or future, but in Christ.

-Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Hinterlander
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 516


« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2013, 01:56:42 PM »

if Orthodoxy feels foreign to them, it might be their own nationalisms getting in the way.   

In the US, Orthodoxy has followed the normal pattern of an immigrant church. Since I was raised Lutheran, I can tell you that it wasn't that long ago (two generations, maybe more?) that Lutherans in America still identified themselves as German, Norwegian, Finnish or Swedish-Lutheran. (Think Garrison Keillor and Lake Wobegone.)

According to my husband, it was much the same for Roman Catholics: he was raised in an Irish Catholic neighborhood, went to an Irish Catholic parish and parochial school, etc. (He and his brothers used to go for confession to the local Polish church).

I'm sure many Protestant churches at the time, looked down on both the Lutherans and Catholics as being "foreign," and "too ethnic."

The experience of migrants in the 20th century is a bit different than the experience of migrants of the 19th.  My own Protestant group was started by Dutch immigrants of the mid-19th century then received a jolt of new Dutch migrants post-WWII.  To this day, my denomination remains predominately composed of descendants of these groups. This process is not smooth or even inevitable.  Why would it be assumed that the Orthodox will follow a similar pattern of the Protestant?  Especially when the outcome isn't even close to an ideal.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 01:59:29 PM by Hinterlander » Logged
Nektarios_In_E.S.
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Buenos Aires, Central and South America
Posts: 117


« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2013, 02:11:14 PM »

Quote
Something I have wondered about is why the Orthodox Church does not actively seek converts. On the streets I have mostly seen Evangelicals or Protestants but rarely do I see Catholics or Orthodox people. I know that the church does do missionary work but it seems to mostly be in non-Western countries. Why therefore do the Orthodox not seem so active in converting people?

I believe the Christian Orthodox "evangelical model" is much more connected to its ancient Christian -an even jewish roots.  Have you ever seen jews proselytizing in the streets?  I digress, if you read ancient accounts of the Early Church you will read that Christians simply were who they were, "The Church."  They were all of one accord and they showed love towards one another.  They "proselytized" indirectly, for example, when the pagans saw how they lived so well as a community.  This attracted those looking from the outside. In the book of Acts it says: ""The congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them. . . . For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales, and lay them at the apostles’ feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need" (4:32,34-35). They exposed themselves by simply being who they were.  One of the most profound comments made regarding the early christians came from Aristides, a spy sent by the Emperor Hadrian to report on the christians who said: " Behold! How they love one another" AND NOT: "Behold how they want me to accept Jesus Christ as my only, sole, unique, reserved, exclusive, isolated, unaccompanied, solitary, individual, personal Lord and Savior."

So in early Christianity there was never a soliciting, go knocking on your door model to ask people if they have received Jesus Christ into their hearts -when the pagans/gentiles did not even know who Jesus Christ was!! How could they "accept" someone whom they do not even know?!  A lot of this talk about why we Orthodox aren't "evangelizing" comes from the influence of living in an the aggressive street preacher proselytizing protestant christian culture.  One of my friends who was a former baptist tells me that they were given some sort of call list to call people to ask them to come to their church -and they would be insistent.  They would look at this as "bringing souls" to Christ.  Having been in telemarketing, it follows that model.  On a side note, though somewhat related.  One of the things that really ticks me off that I hear so often related to "evangelizing" is when christians, in particular: protestants look at "fulfilling the great commission" as something necessary in christian life -though, of course, based on their way of interpreting that passage, not realizing that Our Lord Jesus Christ does not say that to the masses.  He says that to the twelve!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In other words, He did not intend for every John and Mary (what is done today) to go out and take the Gospel "to the nations."

I think the best method of "evangelizing" -at least for me- is simply, to be Orthodox.  By this model, we should attract those who are hungry for the Christian Truth.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 02:16:24 PM by Nektarios_In_E.S. » Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,449



« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2013, 02:42:28 PM »

The experience of migrants in the 20th century is a bit different than the experience of migrants of the 19th.

Quote
My own Protestant group was started by Dutch immigrants of the mid-19th century then received a jolt of new Dutch migrants post-WWII.  To this day, my denomination remains predominately composed of descendants of these groups.
Which is pretty much what happened to the Greeks, and Russians too.

Quote
This process is not smooth or even inevitable.  Why would it be assumed that the Orthodox will follow a similar pattern of the Protestant?  Especially when the outcome isn't even close to an ideal.
Of course, it's not smooth. Change is never easy. I remember the fights and hurt feelings when the decision was made to change the Lutheran hymnal!
But assimilation is pretty much inevitable. It follows a pattern (fairly broad, I'll grant you): first generation (off the boat) worship in their native language, generally speaking, laypeople are the impetus to forming the church and want it to be a little piece of the "old country," somewhere that they can relax and be themselves. Second generation, more "American" (whatever that means), not so much fluent in their parents' language or customs, pretty much want to be American and not (fill in ethnic group). Each succeeding generation, for good or ill, becomes more "American" and less hyphenated-American. This is just a brief description, of course.
Not sure what you mean by "outcome close to an ideal"?
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Nicene
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek
Posts: 615


« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2013, 02:49:15 PM »

Its not like orthodox missions don't exist, they are simply in places where they are most effective (i think of a fairly recent church established in Fiji) and the way it is done is primarily through establishing a church community it seems.

Do the pro-active door knockers or street preachers convince anyone these days? Some I'm sure, but in an increasingly secularized enviroment how will knocking door to door persuade generally skeptical people who distrust or don't care about any sort of religion? The best way to convince people of religion in the west is through popular culture.
Logged

Thank you.
hecma925
Non-clairvoyant
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 6,890


Pray for me, a sinner.


WWW
« Reply #56 on: November 08, 2013, 02:56:10 PM »

Door-knocking is not effective.  When I was in my teens, I was working in the front yard with my dad on Sautrday.  Jehovah Witnesses came to talk to us.  My dad politely told them we weren't interested.  Somehow knowing that we are Hispanic, the next Saturday they sent a Hispanic JW speaking Spanish to us.  Again we said no.  Then the following Saturday, they sent Hispanic JW ladies to talk with my mom.  She said no.  Then the last Saturday they sent a young man and two young ladies to talk to me and my sister (also in her teens).  The girls were very pretty, but I said no.  My sister said no, too (the guy stuttered, I distinctly remember that).  The local Kingdom Hall was very persistent.  After that final "no" with the pretty girls, they never bothered us again.

In different places that I have lived, local independent or fundamentalist Baptists love using the same tactics.  Even when I was a pentecostal, I never remember us going out on mass witnessing trips.
Logged

Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,083



« Reply #57 on: November 08, 2013, 03:54:19 PM »

I think due to our history since the middle of the 15th century, Orthodoxy has been preoccupied with introspection, establishment of its churches or reestablishment of what it once had.

I am curious . . .

Was this "establishment/reestablishment" process also, in many cases, influenced by nationalism? Does this relate to the problem of phyletism? Doesn't this help explain the remoteness of Orthodoxy to many Westerners?

I'm interested in hearing Basil's answer to this, but I would propose that while it could be said to be influenced by nationalism, it's not in the way you think.  If the dominant power is trying in any number of ways to wipe you off the face of the earth, freedoms are curtailed, evangelism is prohibited, etc., what can you do to ensure the protection and continued existence of Christianity-as-you-know-it other than focusing on "the nation" (itself partly a construct of your overlords)?  Maintain your language and customs, continue in your faith, marry within the community and have lots of babies, etc.  Over time, yes, this contributes to the formation of a mentality that, in our day and age, may not be ideal, but it comes from a different time and place (please God, let it not happen here), and it needs to be understood in order to work with it and move beyond it.  Unfortunately, many Americans don't relate well to "foreign", so they struggle to see why "nationalism" seems to play a role in "faith".  Europeans, feel free to correct me, but I think they understand "foreign" better: if Orthodoxy feels foreign to them, it might be their own nationalisms getting in the way.    

Yes, I agree with the foregoing in connection with what I wrote in Reply No. 39.

Fr. John Meyendorff has written in regard to the ethnic connection of the Eastern Orthodox Churches that were under the Ottoman Turks, the epithets, Greek, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, used today, have their origin in the 18th and 19th century national revolutionary movements, whose activities were secretly conducted largely within the churches, to rid themselves of the Moslem Ottoman yoke. Typically, in the language of these nationalities, if someone responds to the question, to which religion do you adhere, the answer is "I am Orthodox," not I'm Greek Orthodox etc., validating Fr. John's explanation that the epithets are of later day origin.

In America, especially for churches established in the first half of the 20th century, most were founded within the context of ethnic fraternal societies, perpetuation of the faith being but one of the missions of these groups.  The second parish community of the Greeks initiated in America, today's Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan, was founded in 1892 by the "Athena Society." This is the church that refused to admit St. Tikhon upon his attempt to pay an archpastoral visit to the community on a Great Friday. Being of the older generation, I can recall in my youth, hearing within church circles, of the "dual mission" of the church, "dual" meaning both religious and cultural.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 03:55:13 PM by Basil 320 » Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
Hinterlander
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 516


« Reply #58 on: November 08, 2013, 04:20:33 PM »

The experience of migrants in the 20th century is a bit different than the experience of migrants of the 19th.

Quote
My own Protestant group was started by Dutch immigrants of the mid-19th century then received a jolt of new Dutch migrants post-WWII.  To this day, my denomination remains predominately composed of descendants of these groups.
Which is pretty much what happened to the Greeks, and Russians too.

Quote
This process is not smooth or even inevitable.  Why would it be assumed that the Orthodox will follow a similar pattern of the Protestant?  Especially when the outcome isn't even close to an ideal.
Of course, it's not smooth. Change is never easy. I remember the fights and hurt feelings when the decision was made to change the Lutheran hymnal!
But assimilation is pretty much inevitable. It follows a pattern (fairly broad, I'll grant you): first generation (off the boat) worship in their native language, generally speaking, laypeople are the impetus to forming the church and want it to be a little piece of the "old country," somewhere that they can relax and be themselves. Second generation, more "American" (whatever that means), not so much fluent in their parents' language or customs, pretty much want to be American and not (fill in ethnic group). Each succeeding generation, for good or ill, becomes more "American" and less hyphenated-American. This is just a brief description, of course.
Not sure what you mean by "outcome close to an ideal"?

Let me rephrase:

Assimilation does not mean that the churches are going to be healthier.  The outcome of populations assimilating is not that the churches are growing or attracting significant numbers of converts, at least in the Protestant experience I've witnessed.  This is what I mean by the outcome of assimilation.  I think this pattern may also be true of Mexican and Irish Catholics?

It may be wrong to think that as Orthodox parishes in America become less identified with cultures/ethnicities that they will attract considerable numbers of converts. 
Logged
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #59 on: November 08, 2013, 04:23:36 PM »

I think due to our history since the middle of the 15th century, Orthodoxy has been preoccupied with introspection, establishment of its churches or reestablishment of what it once had.

I am curious . . .

Was this "establishment/reestablishment" process also, in many cases, influenced by nationalism? Does this relate to the problem of phyletism? Doesn't this help explain the remoteness of Orthodoxy to many Westerners?

I'm interested in hearing Basil's answer to this, but I would propose that while it could be said to be influenced by nationalism, it's not in the way you think.  If the dominant power is trying in any number of ways to wipe you off the face of the earth, freedoms are curtailed, evangelism is prohibited, etc., what can you do to ensure the protection and continued existence of Christianity-as-you-know-it other than focusing on "the nation" (itself partly a construct of your overlords)?  Maintain your language and customs, continue in your faith, marry within the community and have lots of babies, etc.  Over time, yes, this contributes to the formation of a mentality that, in our day and age, may not be ideal, but it comes from a different time and place (please God, let it not happen here), and it needs to be understood in order to work with it and move beyond it.  Unfortunately, many Americans don't relate well to "foreign", so they struggle to see why "nationalism" seems to play a role in "faith".  Europeans, feel free to correct me, but I think they understand "foreign" better: if Orthodoxy feels foreign to them, it might be their own nationalisms getting in the way.    

Yes, I agree with the foregoing in connection with what I wrote in Reply No. 39.

Fr. John Meyendorff has written in regard to the ethnic connection of the Eastern Orthodox Churches that were under the Ottoman Turks, the epithets, Greek, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, used today, have their origin in the 18th and 19th century national revolutionary movements, whose activities were secretly conducted largely within the churches, to rid themselves of the Moslem Ottoman yoke. Typically, in the language of these nationalities, if someone responds to the question, to which religion do you adhere, the answer is "I am Orthodox," not I'm Greek Orthodox etc., validating Fr. John's explanation that the epithets are of later day origin.

In America, especially for churches established in the first half of the 20th century, most were founded within the context of ethnic fraternal societies, perpetuation of the faith being but one of the missions of these groups.  The second parish community of the Greeks initiated in America, today's Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan, was founded in 1892 by the "Athena Society." This is the church that refused to admit St. Tikhon upon his attempt to pay an archpastoral visit to the community on a Great Friday. Being of the older generation, I can recall in my youth, hearing within church circles, of the "dual mission" of the church, "dual" meaning both religious and cultural.

Take an old religion, make up a new nationality to go with it, and voila! You are stuck in cement!
Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,449



« Reply #60 on: November 08, 2013, 04:31:47 PM »

It may be wrong to think that as Orthodox parishes in America become less identified with cultures/ethnicities that they will attract considerable numbers of converts. 

I agree it is wrong to think that. Simply becoming less ethnically-identified will probably not attract visitors or converts. My point was that ethnic religious communities and consequent assimilation are not a uniquely Orthodox "problem" or situation, but rather the common experience of immigrant churches in the US (as you have pointed out, with your post about your Dutch church.)
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
IXOYE
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 735



« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2013, 09:46:16 PM »

Look at it like door-to-door selling vs. setting up a shop. Which one do you think sells more? The one who accosts people unsolicited, or the one who lets them come in willingly?

Great answer!
Logged
Gunnarr
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,801



« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2013, 03:36:50 AM »

I think due to our history since the middle of the 15th century, Orthodoxy has been preoccupied with introspection, establishment of its churches or reestablishment of what it once had.

There are great missionary endeavors in the history of the Orthodox Church; the conversion of the Slavs by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople beginning in the 9th century; and the Church of Russia's Far East Missions in Japan and Korea, and of course its holy missionary work in Alaska.

But the scourge of captivity under the Moslem Ottoman Turks forced the church to be introspective, focused on preservation.  The Ottoman Empire oppressed all the Ancient Patriarchates, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and the Churches of Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Albania and Greece--which were part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; likewise, administratively, essentially for the others too.  This oppression existed largely from the middle of the 15th century until the early 20th century.

Without elaborating herein, the Ecumenical Patriarchate remains subjugated today in the Republic of Turkey.

Around the time the church was riding itself of the oppression of the Ottoman's, beginning in 1917 Russia and in Georgia, and after WWII, spreading throughout the Eastern European Patriarchates of Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, and the Church of Albania, these of the largest of the Orthodox Christian populous, were suppressed by the evil of Communism; again, rendering us focused on preservation. And since the fall of Communism (1990 more or less), these churches are focused on rebuilding.

Other than the missionary support provided by the Church of Russia before 1917, thereafter, the administration of the Archdiocese of the Aleutians and North America essentially fell apart. Since the early 1920's, the churches in the Western Hemisphere have been concerned with establishing churches and institutions for themselves.

Although controversial, since the Orthodox Churches involvement in the ecumenical movement in the middle of the 20th century, the church consciously decided not to preach to Trinitarian Christians.  It was under this principle that caused the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC) to criticize the Evangelical Christian Churches that were proselytizing in Eastern Europe, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation after the fall of Communism, upon reports of its investigatory commissions, which had included Orthodox representatives.

I recently heard Fr. Thomas Hopko comment that the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America's acceptance of the Evangelical Orthodox Churches in 1988 was the spark that awakened the Churches of North America to our missionary calling.  Only in recent times do we have national offices for church missions.

But, let's remember too, we do have the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) doing exemplary work, largely in Africa, but elsewhere too, if I'm not mistaken.

Again, much of our history kept us introspective, but our theology calls us to mission.  And that may become more of a prominent aspect of our church as time goes by.

This makes sense I agree

also another thing in my mind at least, perhaps traditional ways of conversion is not as effective anymore since the way people are educated. it used to be, a vast majority of the worlds population were uneducated peasent farmers. and to be honest, those peasants were not educated, nor did they have as high of values of original thinking and criticism of what they are told by authorities as we do today. they would listen to what they are told

Today, most young people are taught to think for themselves, to question EVERYTHING. living in a completely different world. for many young people, they might ask, what is the use for religion? Why do I need it? I am fine right now without it, i am having fun. I already have my answers to death and life, through scientific approaches. How do you convert someone like that? All I know is knocking on their door is defiantly never going to work for this generation, nor I don't think is street evangelism.  you will just be laughed at, and they will take pictures of you with their phone. they will quote whatever they want in an instant just by googling facts about the earth about history ectect or just quote richard dawkins and the like, to counter any argument you have if you are a street evangelist. at least my opinion..

this reminds me, who was that greek saint that went around Greece reviving Orthodoxy? I remember, this saint would have a very large cross and speak next to it. I think it was during the 19th century, or 18th century
Logged

I am a demonic servant! Beware!
LBK
No Reporting Allowed
Moderated
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 11,444


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2013, 04:54:03 AM »

Quote
this reminds me, who was that greek saint that went around Greece reviving Orthodoxy? I remember, this saint would have a very large cross and speak next to it. I think it was during the 19th century, or 18th century

That would be St Kosmas Aitolos (of Aetolia). He traveled all over northern Greece in the mid-to-late 1700s.
Logged
Math lover
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Shia Muslim
Jurisdiction: Twelver
Posts: 238


« Reply #64 on: November 13, 2013, 04:32:46 PM »

One of the worst type of proselytizing is knocking on doors, I dislike it. And as far as I remember, I have seen only JWs knocking on my door.
Logged
Dominika
Serbian/Polish
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of Poland
Posts: 1,056


St. Luke, pray for us!


WWW
« Reply #65 on: November 13, 2013, 04:57:25 PM »

One of the worst type of proselytizing is knocking on doors, I dislike it. And as far as I remember, I have seen only JWs knocking on my door.

Yes. It's just annoying people and making them laugh. Last Sunday I experienced it. I mean, Jehova's Witnesses knocked to my door. They were shocked my father and me are Orthodox and there was a nice, long discussion that shocked me, as usually after a few my quotations of the hymns they're giving up.


Basil 320 presented the issue very well. I can add that I think the best missionary work is, along with modern media such as Internet and this kind of personal experience that we're able to offer (as we can get to the people by all senses: sound - our sacred hymns; smell - the incense, the holy oil; vision - the icons, the vestments, the architecture, etc. taste - e.g the holy bread; touch - e.g. kissing icons, relics etc.) is just our attitude and everyday life, in truly Orthodox spirit
Logged

Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria
arnI
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Posts: 160



« Reply #66 on: November 13, 2013, 05:15:12 PM »

While festivals do help keep parishes afloat, these are also an opportunity to answer questions from those unfamiliar with Orthodoxy. Perhaps just a small percentage among those that attend a festival express interest, but there are a few that ask questions each year. How visitors to a Liturgy are welcomed and greeted are important obviously. So after the fruits of being an example everyday show up at the door, will they return again? I have read about efforts to welcome visitors and provide information to them on the Liturgy and such. Perhaps an area that could be improved.
Logged

Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother
Studying_Orthodoxy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 135


« Reply #67 on: November 20, 2013, 02:04:43 PM »

Once I heard that Metropolitan Kallistos Ware was not made to feel very welcome by the Greek Orthodox. In this case, if a person goes to the church and is interested but is discouraged or turned down, then what?

Also, why did the Russians in the course of their eastern expansion from the 15th century onwards conduct missionary activities among the native peoples of Siberia and the Russian Far East? Why was there active efforts to convert people in this case?



Hierarchical title added to bishop's name to enforce compliance with forum rules mandating how we are to respect our clergy  -PtA
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 02:24:26 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,083



« Reply #68 on: November 20, 2013, 02:15:53 PM »

Once I heard that Kallistos Ware was not made to feel very welcome by the Greek Orthodox. In this case, if a person goes to the church and is interested but is discouraged or turned down, then what?


No.  Metropolitan Kallistos, Titular Metropolitan of Diokleia, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyatira and Great Brittan, is very much respected throughout the "Greek Orthodox" circles of which I am acquainted.  For many years, his book "The Orthodox Church" was the standard given by GOAA priests to catechumens for study about Holy Orthodoxy.  His title is indicative of the respect his ruling Archbishop and His All Holiness have for His Excellency. During his various visits to the U.S. he is always well received in parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,209


that is not the teaching of...


« Reply #69 on: November 20, 2013, 02:20:13 PM »

No. 

"Less predictably, most of the Orthodox whose counsel I sought likewise offered me little encouragement. They were honest and realistic — and for this I remain grateful — in directing my attention to the historical shortcomings of the Orthodox Church, as well as to the particular difficulties it confronts in the Western world. There was much in Orthodoxy, so they warned me, that was very far from “heaven on earth”! When I approached the assistant bishop at the Greek Cathedral in London, Bishop James (Virvos) of Apamaea, he spoke to me kindly and at length, but urged me to remain a member of the Anglican Church in which I had been brought up. A Russian priest to whom I spoke in Paris gave me exactly the same advice..."

You can read more here...
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,209


that is not the teaching of...


« Reply #70 on: November 20, 2013, 02:24:27 PM »

if a person goes to the church and is interested but is discouraged or turned down, then what?

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matt. 11:12)

Keep trying until you get in. I'm assuming the violence here is spiritual warfare, of course  angel
Logged
Basil 320
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 3,083



« Reply #71 on: November 20, 2013, 02:27:50 PM »

Oh, Reply No. 67 was referring to Metropolitan Kallistos' encounters with the Greek Orthodox Church, prior to his conversion and ordination.  I didn't understand it that way.
Logged

"...Strengthen the Orthodox Community..."
Tags:
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.12 seconds with 55 queries.