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Author Topic: So I have been reading some Rob Bell recently.  (Read 2058 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 29, 2013, 07:48:00 AM »

My knowledge with many of the big pastors/preachers in America I have only done some cursory reading on. I would imagine many of them are in the small gamut of preaching more Americanism with some spiritual trappings and moralizing of issues.

But I came across this Rob Bell fellow and read up on some things. I actually agree with some of what he says. Just a point of reference, I have only read his critics because I like to see the arguments against. I haven't seen the guy do any sermons or heard him talk.

What I really like is how he dismisses this fetishizing of heaven many American evangelicals have, or what he calls "evacuation theology". Too much focus on heaven instead of renewing yourself in this life in God's love and transforming this world. He goes on to say that even if His Kingdom is to come what is stopping us from "restoring" (if we were to do so, not to be reactionary) the world we live in? He says God's plan was not about getting individuals to heaven. Good for him.

I like that he sees Christianity as a way of life and not using legalism as a basis for it. One must have a sort of "loving" experience with God and not one of discipline.

His stuff on Hell is pretty good too. He has criticized many evangelicals for making Hell such a centerpiece of the Christian faith and that in essence it is a rejection of the love Christ has. This belief, he says, is toxic and misguided and subverts what we should be doing as Christians to one another. He also says Christians should long for a universal reconciliation. That doesn't make him a universalist as many of his detractors like to thing. He likes to leave it up to mystery and there should be room for uncertainty on this.

He says if any religious worldview has truth in it, we should affirm it and not be fundamentalists. Not really surprising since God has given all of us knowledge of Him in our hearts, but I wouldn't say all of them dovetail with Christianity.

I like that he challenges the mold and makes people think a little bit. Speaking of mold, I liked his talk about the hardening of hearts in that popular book he wrote.

Feel free to dismiss any of this, but I haven't seen anything I find out of wack here.

If he gets more people to break our ticket to heaven, as the first step, maybe we can start seeing some real changes (for the good) in our world.
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 08:52:59 PM »

Maybe you need to take a nap?
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 09:01:35 PM »

I am not familiar with Mr. Bell and therefore cannot respond, other than to say that I cannot respond. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 02:17:44 PM »

My knowledge with many of the big pastors/preachers in America I have only done some cursory reading on. I would imagine many of them are in the small gamut of preaching more Americanism with some spiritual trappings and moralizing of issues.

But I came across this Rob Bell fellow and read up on some things. I actually agree with some of what he says. Just a point of reference, I have only read his critics because I like to see the arguments against. I haven't seen the guy do any sermons or heard him talk.

What I really like is how he dismisses this fetishizing of heaven many American evangelicals have, or what he calls "evacuation theology". Too much focus on heaven instead of renewing yourself in this life in God's love and transforming this world. He goes on to say that even if His Kingdom is to come what is stopping us from "restoring" (if we were to do so, not to be reactionary) the world we live in? He says God's plan was not about getting individuals to heaven. Good for him.

I like that he sees Christianity as a way of life and not using legalism as a basis for it. One must have a sort of "loving" experience with God and not one of discipline.

His stuff on Hell is pretty good too. He has criticized many evangelicals for making Hell such a centerpiece of the Christian faith and that in essence it is a rejection of the love Christ has. This belief, he says, is toxic and misguided and subverts what we should be doing as Christians to one another. He also says Christians should long for a universal reconciliation. That doesn't make him a universalist as many of his detractors like to thing. He likes to leave it up to mystery and there should be room for uncertainty on this.

He says if any religious worldview has truth in it, we should affirm it and not be fundamentalists. Not really surprising since God has given all of us knowledge of Him in our hearts, but I wouldn't say all of them dovetail with Christianity.

I like that he challenges the mold and makes people think a little bit. Speaking of mold, I liked his talk about the hardening of hearts in that popular book he wrote.

Feel free to dismiss any of this, but I haven't seen anything I find out of wack here.

If he gets more people to break our ticket to heaven, as the first step, maybe we can start seeing some real changes (for the good) in our world.

A broken clock is correct twice a day.

Actually, reading Rob Bell led me to Orthodoxy. His desire to "repaint the faith" made me realise that much of Evangelicalism and especially the Emerging Church is thinly veiled subjectivism and relativism. Bell says some good things, but his arriving at those things is based on his particular Sola Scriptura epistemology. He has little appreciation for the Fathers or the Church, which is why he feels free to embrace heresy, such as support for Church-sanctioned homosexual marriage.
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2013, 04:44:15 PM »

Rob Bell's trademark "whinegasm" voice and schoolgirl-gossip manner of theologizing has become extremely popular in the evangelical/emergent world in the past few years.

I find it intolerable. See the following:

(Rob Bell BREATHE (Respirar)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j5Ubd-kmNw

Grey Boyd has more coherent stuff in the same vein that is listenable, and he avoids the whinegasm. Plus he went to school with Ehrman, so that's always good for a few laughs.
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2013, 05:50:56 PM »

Rob Bell's trademark "whinegasm" voice and schoolgirl-gossip manner of theologizing has become extremely popular in the evangelical/emergent world in the past few years.

I find it intolerable. See the following:

(Rob Bell BREATHE (Respirar)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j5Ubd-kmNw

Grey Boyd has more coherent stuff in the same vein that is listenable, and he avoids the whinegasm. Plus he went to school with Ehrman, so that's always good for a few laughs.

Bell is characteristic of the "hip" Evangelicals, except for his more liberal beliefs about a few things. Of course, many Evangelicals are OK with that.

So really, there is nothing remarkable about him.
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2013, 07:50:03 PM »

Rob Bell's trademark "whinegasm" voice and schoolgirl-gossip manner of theologizing has become extremely popular in the evangelical/emergent world in the past few years.

I find it intolerable. See the following:

(Rob Bell BREATHE (Respirar)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j5Ubd-kmNw

Grey Boyd has more coherent stuff in the same vein that is listenable, and he avoids the whinegasm. Plus he went to school with Ehrman, so that's always good for a few laughs.

What part of that video is an example of the "whinegasm?"
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2013, 07:51:31 PM »

Bell is characteristic of the "hip" Evangelicals, except for his more liberal beliefs about a few things. Of course, many Evangelicals are OK with that.

So really, there is nothing remarkable about him.

Apart from the liberal beliefs, there's a local Reformed Evangelical (formerly emergent) church that's filled with folks that are just like him in terms of speech, mannerisms, and dress.
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2013, 07:26:28 PM »


What part of that video is an example of the "whinegasm?"
"Anoooooooooother Scripture says... *practically giggling*"
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 07:59:26 PM »

Rob Bell's trademark "whinegasm" voice and schoolgirl-gossip manner of theologizing has become extremely popular in the evangelical/emergent world in the past few years.

I find it intolerable. See the following:

(Rob Bell BREATHE (Respirar)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j5Ubd-kmNw

Grey Boyd has more coherent stuff in the same vein that is listenable, and he avoids the whinegasm. Plus he went to school with Ehrman, so that's always good for a few laughs.
Hey I gotta try this stomach breathing thing sometime.
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 02:12:46 PM »

Interestingly, my investigation into Orthodoxy began with another evangelical celebrity preacher, Tim Keller. He preaches a gospel based in love, and describes the Trinity as a "dance" of love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This really resonated with me, and got me spurred to dig deeper into my faith. Imagine my surprise when I found these fresh, "new" teachings described the core of Orthodox gospel.

(FWIW, I'm not comparing Keller to Bell in any way, other than they're both popular at the moment.)
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 02:20:05 PM »

I haven't seen the guy do any sermons or heard him talk.

He's super annoying, especially his voice.
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2013, 02:48:07 PM »

Rob Bell's trademark "whinegasm" voice and schoolgirl-gossip manner of theologizing has become extremely popular in the evangelical/emergent world in the past few years.

I find it intolerable. See the following:

(Rob Bell BREATHE (Respirar)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j5Ubd-kmNw

Grey Boyd has more coherent stuff in the same vein that is listenable, and he avoids the whinegasm. Plus he went to school with Ehrman, so that's always good for a few laughs.

I have watched a lot of Boyd sermons on his website and found his repeated and strident critique of "court room" thinking regarding salvation, redemption, etc very encouraging.  From what I can tell, Boyd and Ehrman are not at all in the same camp even if they went to school together so I don't know what the laughing is about.
I suppose from an Orthodox POV Boyd, Bell, etc all seem to blend together.

I read Love is Hell and have to agree with a lot of what Achronos wrote.

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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2013, 03:39:11 PM »

   I know some mainline Protestants that think the future of the liberal Protestant project will be in the hands of people like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and not more Marcus Borg's and John Spong's.   "Emergents" have alot more enthusiasm, energy, and zeal for their project.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »

Interestingly, my investigation into Orthodoxy began with another evangelical celebrity preacher, Tim Keller. He preaches a gospel based in love, and describes the Trinity as a "dance" of love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This really resonated with me, and got me spurred to dig deeper into my faith. Imagine my surprise when I found these fresh, "new" teachings described the core of Orthodox gospel.

(FWIW, I'm not comparing Keller to Bell in any way, other than they're both popular at the moment.)

I like a lot about Tim Keller, such as his commitment to NYC and his desire to reach those who are not culturally Christian. I have heard him preach and have a number of friends at his church.

Still, his message seems, to me, incomplete, since it is not rooted in the ancient faith, as understood by the Fathers. He can be insightful, but like all Evangelicals, his authority is circumscribed by being outside of the Church. So he is sort of recreating the wheel, just like Bell does. I don't doubt the Spirit can speak through him or Bell, but I would rather listen to good preaching on Ancient Faith Radio.

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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2013, 10:48:38 PM »

Still, his message seems, to me, incomplete, since it is not rooted in the ancient faith, as understood by the Fathers. He can be insightful, but like all Evangelicals, his authority is circumscribed by being outside of the Church. So he is sort of recreating the wheel, just like Bell does. I don't doubt the Spirit can speak through him or Bell, but I would rather listen to good preaching on Ancient Faith Radio.

  This is why I no longer identify as Orthodox, because genuine spirituality is replaced with appeals to authority and tradition.   I judge trees by their fruits, not by claims to authority.   In this respect, Tim Keller is more of a spiritual authority in my book than Orthodox who quote the Fathers incessantly to proof-text their lack of insight.  I do not need a succession of bishops and church councils to tell me when someone has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and speaks authoritatively.

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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2013, 11:01:04 PM »

Still, his message seems, to me, incomplete, since it is not rooted in the ancient faith, as understood by the Fathers. He can be insightful, but like all Evangelicals, his authority is circumscribed by being outside of the Church. So he is sort of recreating the wheel, just like Bell does. I don't doubt the Spirit can speak through him or Bell, but I would rather listen to good preaching on Ancient Faith Radio.

  This is why I no longer identify as Orthodox, because genuine spirituality is replaced with appeals to authority and tradition.   I judge trees by their fruits, not by claims to authority.   In this respect, Tim Keller is more of a spiritual authority in my book than Orthodox who quote the Fathers incessantly to proof-text their lack of insight.  I do not need a succession of bishops and church councils to tell me when someone has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and speaks authoritatively.


I'm sorry you didn't find good fruit within the Orthodox Church. Yes I do agree with your criticism on the Church Father proof-texting and appealing to tradition in order to dodge a valid critique.

Your last point I'll leave to Isa to refute with brevity.
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2013, 11:28:55 PM »

Still, his message seems, to me, incomplete, since it is not rooted in the ancient faith, as understood by the Fathers. He can be insightful, but like all Evangelicals, his authority is circumscribed by being outside of the Church. So he is sort of recreating the wheel, just like Bell does. I don't doubt the Spirit can speak through him or Bell, but I would rather listen to good preaching on Ancient Faith Radio.

  This is why I no longer identify as Orthodox, because genuine spirituality is replaced with appeals to authority and tradition.   I judge trees by their fruits, not by claims to authority.   In this respect, Tim Keller is more of a spiritual authority in my book than Orthodox who quote the Fathers incessantly to proof-text their lack of insight.  I do not need a succession of bishops and church councils to tell me when someone has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and speaks authoritatively.

Y'know, reworded slightly this sounds an awful lot like what I've seen elsewhere:

"This is why I no longer identify as [Christian], because genuine spirituality is replaced with appeals to authority and tradition.   I judge trees by their fruits, not by claims to authority [or being part of any church].   In this respect, [insert name here] is more of a spiritual authority in my book than Christians who quote the [Bible and] Fathers incessantly to proof-text their lack of insight.  I do not need a [book or] succession of bishops and church councils to tell me when someone has been regenerated by [God] and speaks authoritatively."
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2013, 11:46:34 PM »

"This is why I no longer identify as [Christian], because genuine spirituality is replaced with appeals to authority and tradition.   I judge trees by their fruits, not by claims to authority [or being part of any church].   In this respect, [insert name here] is more of a spiritual authority in my book than Christians who quote the [Bible and] Fathers incessantly to proof-text their lack of insight.  I do not need a [book or] succession of bishops and church councils to tell me when someone has been regenerated by [God] and speaks authoritatively."

   I'm OK with that too.   Somebody with that mindset at least is trying to be an honest truthseeker, even if their path is different from mine.
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« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2013, 11:48:04 PM »

"This is why I no longer identify as [Christian], because genuine spirituality is replaced with appeals to authority and tradition.   I judge trees by their fruits, not by claims to authority [or being part of any church].   In this respect, [insert name here] is more of a spiritual authority in my book than Christians who quote the [Bible and] Fathers incessantly to proof-text their lack of insight.  I do not need a [book or] succession of bishops and church councils to tell me when someone has been regenerated by [God] and speaks authoritatively."

   I'm OK with that too.   Somebody with that mindset at least is trying to be an honest truthseeker, even if their path is different from mine.

In contrast to a dishonest one?
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« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2013, 03:24:04 AM »

Still, his message seems, to me, incomplete, since it is not rooted in the ancient faith, as understood by the Fathers. He can be insightful, but like all Evangelicals, his authority is circumscribed by being outside of the Church. So he is sort of recreating the wheel, just like Bell does. I don't doubt the Spirit can speak through him or Bell, but I would rather listen to good preaching on Ancient Faith Radio.
I do not need a succession of bishops and church councils to tell me when someone has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and speaks authoritatively.
This sounds good as a sort of sound bite. But this is not how the Church has operated. Christians have always judged orthodoxy by that which was believed "everywhere, always, by everyone". The alternative is to make each one of us into "little popes".

Mormons often display wonderful "fruits". Rob Bell seems like a genuinely loving person. Do these speak authoritatively? How do you know? Does orthodoxy even matter to you? It mattered a lot to Jesus and the disciples.

Maybe you feel comfortable judging authority without the Church. After many years of trying, I do not.

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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2013, 05:07:08 AM »

This sounds good as a sort of sound bite. But this is not how the Church has operated. Christians have always judged orthodoxy by that which was believed "everywhere, always, by everyone".


I don't know how that "sound bite" sounded, but yours sounds terrible.

And I even did you a favor and got rid of the gratuitous "little popes" part.
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 05:20:08 AM »

.
Mormons often display wonderful "fruits".  

   So?  You want me to argue that Mormons won't go to heaven?  I won't.  I'm not a conservative evangelical yokel that finds that idea frightening.

Quote
Rob Bell seems like a genuinely loving person. Do these speak authoritatively? How do you know? Does orthodoxy even matter to you? It mattered a lot to Jesus and the disciples.  

  The whole idea that Jesus would endorse a pharisaical religious ideology that judges a persons soul by being "in" or "out" of a religious clique is ridiculous and goes against everything he preached.  It's narrow attitudes like this that convinced me to look elsewhere.

  The "little popes" stuff is ridiculous.   People should think for themselves and take responsibility for their choices- it's called having a conscience.  Again, people that fall for this rhetoric haven't come to grips with real spiritual maturity.
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2013, 05:26:54 AM »

.
Mormons often display wonderful "fruits".  

   So?  You want me to argue that Mormons won't go to heaven?  I won't.  I'm not a conservative evangelical yokel that finds that idea frightening.

Quote
Rob Bell seems like a genuinely loving person. Do these speak authoritatively? How do you know? Does orthodoxy even matter to you? It mattered a lot to Jesus and the disciples.  

  The whole idea that Jesus would endorse a pharisaical religious ideology that judges a persons soul by being "in" or "out" of a religious clique is ridiculous and goes against everything he preached.  It's narrow attitudes like this that convinced me to look elsewhere.

Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments.

Then again, they are more likely to break them as well.

And you are right, about that stuff being ridiculous.
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« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2013, 05:47:11 AM »

Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments.  

  I used to go to a parish that had alot of converts.  While the people seemed sincere, I found the same issues I did interacting with evangelical Christians.   The zeal and self-conscious attempts to be Orthodox got on my nerves.

  Currently I'm attending Holy Angels Independent Catholic parish.  Many of the people are "cradle Catholics", the Bishop/Pastor is ex-Roman Catholic.  The liturgy isn't good by Eastern Orthodox standards, its more like a Protestant church but liturgical fetishism is something I've become allergic to.  I may join, but there's also the Episcopalians but down here in Florida they are more conservative and evangelical in focus (not all that "high church" theologically, and a bit too focused on the "culture war").   I've got another allergy to evangelical religion right now as well.

  Rob Bell is doing alot of good.  Years ago when I was leaving agnosticism and Buddhist meditation behind and seeking out things, he's what I read.  Yes, it did detour me into Eastern Orthodoxy for a while.    I'm unapologetically liberal and my conversion to Christ years ago never really changed that- I don't think God had a problem with my politics. So that was another issue.


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« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2013, 10:03:09 AM »

Mormons often display wonderful "fruits".  

   So?  You want me to argue that Mormons won't go to heaven?  I won't.  I'm not a conservative evangelical yokel that finds that idea frightening.

I didn't say anything about who is going to heaven. Is that the only thing that orthodox faith is good for? I asked how you can know what is authoritative. By what standard do you judge what is authentic Christianity? Mormons seem quite Christian (at least to me), so is their teaching authentic Christianity?

Quote
The whole idea that Jesus would endorse a pharisaical religious ideology that judges a persons soul by being "in" or "out" of a religious clique is ridiculous and goes against everything he preached.  It's narrow attitudes like this that convinced me to look elsewhere.


Well, I am not quite sure what you mean here. If you mean that Jesus didn't care about doctrine and that his disciples preached doctrinal pluralism, the sort of pluralism that would equate Mormonism with Rob Bell with Orthodoxy, than I think your understanding of Christ's teaching differs from that taught by the disciples. St. Luke does not seem to teach doctrinal pluralism (eg Acts 20:28-30), nor does St. John (eg 2 John 1:10), nor does St. Paul (eg 2nd Thessalonians 3:6), so if you think Jesus taught this, I would like to understand why.

Quote
The "little popes" stuff is ridiculous.   People should think for themselves and take responsibility for their choices- it's called having a conscience.  Again, people that fall for this rhetoric haven't come to grips with real spiritual maturity.


It seems rather ironic that you advance doctrinal pluralism on one hand, yet denounce those who disagree with you as lacking "real spiritual maturity". Couldn't spiritual maturity actually consist in coming to grips with what historic Christianity really is and taught--even if at times we find that teaching unpalatable--rather than embracing something else?
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« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2013, 10:18:07 AM »

Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments.  
Rob Bell is doing alot of good.  Years ago when I was leaving agnosticism and Buddhist meditation behind and seeking out things, he's what I read.  Yes, it did detour me into Eastern Orthodoxy for a while.    I'm unapologetically liberal and my conversion to Christ years ago never really changed that- I don't think God had a problem with my politics. So that was another issue.

I like a lot of what Rob Bell has written. Unlike some here, I think he is a good, innovative communicator. He helped me to detour to Orthodoxy as well, though hopefully for a longer while than you. I agree with some of his criticism of how Evangelicalism has become too active in politics, though my own libertarian views would differ is some ways from his.

I am sorry that the political views of your parishioners seems to have turned you off from Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2013, 10:35:14 AM »

This sounds good as a sort of sound bite. But this is not how the Church has operated. Christians have always judged orthodoxy by that which was believed "everywhere, always, by everyone".


I don't know how that "sound bite" sounded, but yours sounds terrible.

And I even did you a favor and got rid of the gratuitous "little popes" part.

Once again blessing us with condescension.
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« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2013, 10:48:42 AM »

Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments.  

  I used to go to a parish that had alot of converts.  While the people seemed sincere, I found the same issues I did interacting with evangelical Christians.   The zeal and self-conscious attempts to be Orthodox got on my nerves.

  Currently I'm attending Holy Angels Independent Catholic parish.  Many of the people are "cradle Catholics", the Bishop/Pastor is ex-Roman Catholic.  The liturgy isn't good by Eastern Orthodox standards, its more like a Protestant church but liturgical fetishism is something I've become allergic to.  I may join, but there's also the Episcopalians but down here in Florida they are more conservative and evangelical in focus (not all that "high church" theologically, and a bit too focused on the "culture war").   I've got another allergy to evangelical religion right now as well.

  Rob Bell is doing alot of good.  Years ago when I was leaving agnosticism and Buddhist meditation behind and seeking out things, he's what I read.  Yes, it did detour me into Eastern Orthodoxy for a while.    I'm unapologetically liberal and my conversion to Christ years ago never really changed that- I don't think God had a problem with my politics. So that was another issue.



If I was a liberal living in Florida, I would be turned off by Floridians in general.
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« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2013, 12:04:45 PM »

This sounds good as a sort of sound bite. But this is not how the Church has operated. Christians have always judged orthodoxy by that which was believed "everywhere, always, by everyone".


I don't know how that "sound bite" sounded, but yours sounds terrible.

And I even did you a favor and got rid of the gratuitous "little popes" part.

Once again blessing us with condescension.

It literally the Christian thing to do.

Your welcome.
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« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2013, 01:33:18 PM »

Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments.  

  I used to go to a parish that had alot of converts.  While the people seemed sincere, I found the same issues I did interacting with evangelical Christians.   The zeal and self-conscious attempts to be Orthodox got on my nerves.

  Currently I'm attending Holy Angels Independent Catholic parish.  Many of the people are "cradle Catholics", the Bishop/Pastor is ex-Roman Catholic.  The liturgy isn't good by Eastern Orthodox standards, its more like a Protestant church but liturgical fetishism is something I've become allergic to.  I may join, but there's also the Episcopalians but down here in Florida they are more conservative and evangelical in focus (not all that "high church" theologically, and a bit too focused on the "culture war").   I've got another allergy to evangelical religion right now as well.

  Rob Bell is doing alot of good.  Years ago when I was leaving agnosticism and Buddhist meditation behind and seeking out things, he's what I read.  Yes, it did detour me into Eastern Orthodoxy for a while.    I'm unapologetically liberal and my conversion to Christ years ago never really changed that- I don't think God had a problem with my politics. So that was another issue.



If I was a liberal living in Florida, I would be turned off by Floridians in general.

I used to live in Florida.  I was turned off by Floridians anyway, even as a conservative.
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« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2013, 08:50:20 PM »

Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments. 

  Besides the spiritual and intellectual immaturity of alot of the converts I met, the general tone just doesn't fit me at times.  I don't think Novus Ordo guitar masses are the herald of Antichrist and I'm OK with modernism in church, in fact I think its necessary to come to terms with modernity, the 60's, and liberal democracy.   Many, many Orthodox Christians don't see it that way, at least here in the US.

  The straw that broke the camels back for me was the Antiochians in the US pulling out of the ecumenical movement and my priest telling me the OCA is barely hanging in there, only staying due to a filibuster at the Synod.  I see no point in remaining in that kind of religion.  It was a difficult decision but in the end I felt I had people in my life that needed me sane and stress-free, so I left.  It's just not worth the fight.      As much as I loved the divine liturgy, lighting candles, the icons, the Jesus Prayer and the prayer ropes... I just couldn't justify putting up with the Dobsonistas that never wanted "t3h gh3y" messing up their spiritual disneyland.   I'm an unabashed support of gay rights, you see, even after mulling over the issues for several years, and I believe in ecumenism alot, the point that I question whether the Holy Spirit is really in the life of someone who is against it.


I didn't say anything about who is going to heaven. Is that the only thing that orthodox faith is good for? I asked how you can know what is authoritative. By what standard do you judge what is authentic Christianity? Mormons seem quite Christian (at least to me), so is their teaching authentic Christianity?   

  Authentic Christianity is whatever it takes to get us from where we are, to loving God and loving our neighbor.  Jesus says on these two laws hangs all the rest.  He meant it, too.   I can't see what bishop you pray for making enough difference to trump those two commandments.

Quote
It seems rather ironic that you advance doctrinal pluralism on one hand, yet denounce those who disagree with you as lacking "real spiritual maturity". Couldn't spiritual maturity actually consist in coming to grips with what historic Christianity really is and taught--even if at times we find that teaching unpalatable--rather than embracing something else?


 "Historic Christianity"- like what would that be?  Blessing the enslavement of natives, beating wives with sticks if they displease you?  Historic Christianity has endorsed some morally dubious practices.  I think I'll take my chances without those irrational appeals to authority and tradition.   I have a conscience, after all.
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« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2013, 09:27:36 PM »


What part of that video is an example of the "whinegasm?"
"Anoooooooooother Scripture says... *practically giggling*"

Why can't this be turned into a video-sound meme? Really, I expected more from the Internet.
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« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2013, 10:15:46 PM »

Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments. 

  Besides the spiritual and intellectual immaturity of alot of the converts I met, the general tone just doesn't fit me at times.  I don't think Novus Ordo guitar masses are the herald of Antichrist and I'm OK with modernism in church, in fact I think its necessary to come to terms with modernity, the 60's, and liberal democracy.   Many, many Orthodox Christians don't see it that way, at least here in the US.

  The straw that broke the camels back for me was the Antiochians in the US pulling out of the ecumenical movement and my priest telling me the OCA is barely hanging in there, only staying due to a filibuster at the Synod.  I see no point in remaining in that kind of religion.  It was a difficult decision but in the end I felt I had people in my life that needed me sane and stress-free, so I left.  It's just not worth the fight.      As much as I loved the divine liturgy, lighting candles, the icons, the Jesus Prayer and the prayer ropes... I just couldn't justify putting up with the Dobsonistas that never wanted "t3h gh3y" messing up their spiritual disneyland.   I'm an unabashed support of gay rights, you see, even after mulling over the issues for several years, and I believe in ecumenism alot, the point that I question whether the Holy Spirit is really in the life of someone who is against it.


I didn't say anything about who is going to heaven. Is that the only thing that orthodox faith is good for? I asked how you can know what is authoritative. By what standard do you judge what is authentic Christianity? Mormons seem quite Christian (at least to me), so is their teaching authentic Christianity?   

  Authentic Christianity is whatever it takes to get us from where we are, to loving God and loving our neighbor.  Jesus says on these two laws hangs all the rest.  He meant it, too.   I can't see what bishop you pray for making enough difference to trump those two commandments.

Quote
It seems rather ironic that you advance doctrinal pluralism on one hand, yet denounce those who disagree with you as lacking "real spiritual maturity". Couldn't spiritual maturity actually consist in coming to grips with what historic Christianity really is and taught--even if at times we find that teaching unpalatable--rather than embracing something else?


 "Historic Christianity"- like what would that be?  Blessing the enslavement of natives, beating wives with sticks if they displease you?  Historic Christianity has endorsed some morally dubious practices.  I think I'll take my chances without those irrational appeals to authority and tradition.   I have a conscience, after all.

I find your better-than-thou attitude to be repulsive and I grieve to find that your objections boil down to the fact that Orthodoxy does not agree with your extra-Biblical and extra-Traditional positions regarding tangential issues like homosexuality and ecumenism.
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« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2013, 04:37:44 AM »

I find your better-than-thou attitude to be repulsive and I grieve to find that your objections boil down to the fact that Orthodoxy does not agree with your extra-Biblical and extra-Traditional positions regarding tangential issues like homosexuality and ecumenism.

  I just don't see them as tangential.  Not when I have to give an account to God one day about what I did with my life.


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« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2013, 10:55:37 AM »

I find your better-than-thou attitude to be repulsive and I grieve to find that your objections boil down to the fact that Orthodoxy does not agree with your extra-Biblical and extra-Traditional positions regarding tangential issues like homosexuality and ecumenism.

  I just don't see them as tangential.  Not when I have to give an account to God one day about what I did with my life.


You're right, you will have to give account.  I doubt God will entertain your deeply-held opinions.
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« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2013, 02:25:29 PM »

I find your better-than-thou attitude to be repulsive and I grieve to find that your objections boil down to the fact that Orthodoxy does not agree with your extra-Biblical and extra-Traditional positions regarding tangential issues like homosexuality and ecumenism.

  I just don't see them as tangential.  Not when I have to give an account to God one day about what I did with my life.




Within this statement, are you including the possibility that you are wrong, and historic Christianity is right (correct?)  You are right that these issues are not tangential, in the reality that professing Christians in all churches (the One True Church whichever it is, or disparate para-church denominations) will hate each other for the views held on these two, but many more I think, 'tangential' issues.  I believe the issues are important, but in the more traditional sense of not approving them while you want the room to do that (and it would seem, for it to be approved by the church/es for you, and not just pastorally tolerated.)

It is always interesting to me that among the staunchest proponents of same-sex affirmation are 'straights' (in your case, bisexual?)  Maybe in a few decades, the only ones who will still disapprove will be that small minority of same-sex attracted individuals who believe the traditional or scriptural teachings and embrace celibacy for themselves.  Among other things, the younger Christian generations' seeming hand-in-hand embracing of pro-LGBT arguments with a disbelief in the overall fear-inspiring teaching (or implied teachings) about Hell is very revealing of what people are willing to believe from the historic Church (or churches) - that is my opinion that I can't well explain, but because of it I'll probably never convert to either Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy in its mainstream (or "canonical" if I understand the meaning) form.

I guess I am simultaneously agreeing and disagreeing with both Second Chance and you (Daedelus) - no issues of belief are actually 'tangential' in my opinion, but because of that there must be a view that we hold strongly, and if they diverge from one person to another, it seems any fellowship seem impossible.
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« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2013, 07:18:35 PM »

I find your better-than-thou attitude to be repulsive and I grieve to find that your objections boil down to the fact that Orthodoxy does not agree with your extra-Biblical and extra-Traditional positions regarding tangential issues like homosexuality and ecumenism.

  I just don't see them as tangential.  Not when I have to give an account to God one day about what I did with my life.




Within this statement, are you including the possibility that you are wrong, and historic Christianity is right (correct?)  You are right that these issues are not tangential, in the reality that professing Christians in all churches (the One True Church whichever it is, or disparate para-church denominations) will hate each other for the views held on these two, but many more I think, 'tangential' issues.  I believe the issues are important, but in the more traditional sense of not approving them while you want the room to do that (and it would seem, for it to be approved by the church/es for you, and not just pastorally tolerated.)

It is always interesting to me that among the staunchest proponents of same-sex affirmation are 'straights' (in your case, bisexual?)  Maybe in a few decades, the only ones who will still disapprove will be that small minority of same-sex attracted individuals who believe the traditional or scriptural teachings and embrace celibacy for themselves.  Among other things, the younger Christian generations' seeming hand-in-hand embracing of pro-LGBT arguments with a disbelief in the overall fear-inspiring teaching (or implied teachings) about Hell is very revealing of what people are willing to believe from the historic Church (or churches) - that is my opinion that I can't well explain, but because of it I'll probably never convert to either Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy in its mainstream (or "canonical" if I understand the meaning) form.

I guess I am simultaneously agreeing and disagreeing with both Second Chance and you (Daedelus) - no issues of belief are actually 'tangential' in my opinion, but because of that there must be a view that we hold strongly, and if they diverge from one person to another, it seems any fellowship seem impossible.
Am I understanding you correctly that you are saying you won't convert to RC or Orthodoxy because you are afraid that they are becoming pro-LGBT?

I don't think there is any fear of that taking place...
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« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2013, 07:42:09 PM »

Within this statement, are you including the possibility that you are wrong, and historic Christianity is right (correct?)  

  Of course I could be wrong.

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  Among other things, the younger Christian generations' seeming hand-in-hand embracing of pro-LGBT arguments with a disbelief in the overall fear-inspiring teaching (or implied teachings) about Hell is very revealing of what people are willing to believe from the historic Church (or churches) - that is my opinion that I can't well explain, but because of it I'll probably never convert to either Roman Catholicism or Orthodoxy in its mainstream (or "canonical" if I understand the meaning) form.  

  I have a traditional belief in Hell, actually.  I can say the Apostles Creed without having to doubt any of it.

  I just am in favor of gay marriage being recognized by society.  It doesn't mean I want to rethink everything about the Christian religion.  I just doubt that gays are going to Hell, for being gay and wanting to have love and romance in their life just like most other people.
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« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2013, 09:12:02 PM »

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Maybe in a few decades, the only ones who will still disapprove will be that small minority of same-sex attracted individuals who believe the traditional or scriptural teachings and embrace celibacy for themselves. 
gay marriage, in the context of american and western european politics, it's  a petty bourgeois project. that doesn't make 'scriptural/traditional teaching" true or right but puts things into some perspective.
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« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2013, 01:00:44 AM »

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Maybe in a few decades, the only ones who will still disapprove will be that small minority of same-sex attracted individuals who believe the traditional or scriptural teachings and embrace celibacy for themselves.  
gay marriage, in the context of american and western european politics, it's  a petty bourgeois project. that doesn't make 'scriptural/traditional teaching" true or right but puts things into some perspective.
Yep. Nobody seemed to notice that DOMA was struck down via a case where a surviving partner wanted to avoid paying 365,000$ in estate taxes on a 4.1 million dollar estate (IIRC).

"Human rights issue".
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« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2013, 01:43:19 AM »

  
  I know several people that lost everything because they spent decades with someone and when their partner died, the other family swooped in and took everything.  One of the survivors lives in poverty after having a very bad stroke of fortune in life, having no military veterans benefits, unlike some other lucky gay men I know, because it was difficult for him to hide his homosexuality.  

   The families did this without conscience because they didn't like the fact their children were gay.    I find it hard to believe this is only an issue that affects the "petit bourgeois".
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« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2013, 02:44:44 PM »

People fail to realize that homosexuals can have all the benefits heterosexuals have without getting married.  It just takes more legal work.  It takes time to add the other person as a beneficiary on all policies and an actual will and last testament.  The whole homosexual marriage thing is a farce.
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« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2013, 03:22:52 PM »

People fail to realize that homosexuals can have all the benefits heterosexuals have without getting married.  It just takes more legal work.  It takes time to add the other person as a beneficiary on all policies and an actual will and last testament.  The whole homosexual marriage thing is a farce.

  I don't think that's an accurate view of the situation.  It's true some of the benefits of marriage or civil unions can be reproduced by other means, but others cannot.  And marriage or civil unions puts all the benefits together into one legal arrangement.  One issue I can see is that there are no protections under the law for a gay partner to raise adopted children that belonged to their deceased partner, short of marriage or civil unions.   These situations are especially tragic because sometimes the children are taken away from their surviving parent and placed in foster care, which is very often psychologically damaging.

  It's true that alot of gay men are not interested in monogamy and raising families (having bought into the same general hedonistic trends of our culture that erode the family), but many others are, and if anything same-sex, lifelong relationships, in my recoking, helps to reinforce the sanctity of love and commitment in a culture that increasingly sees interpersonal relationships of an enduring character as risks of only instrumental value.  I don't think the fact that it is a small minority of people with these issues negates the concern Christians should have.  It is precisely because gays have been historically marginalized that I believe there is a Christian duty in this matter.

 
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« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2013, 03:28:16 PM »

People fail to realize that homosexuals can have all the benefits heterosexuals have without getting married.  It just takes more legal work.  It takes time to add the other person as a beneficiary on all policies and an actual will and last testament.  The whole homosexual marriage thing is a farce.

  I don't think that's an accurate view of the situation.  It's true some of the benefits of marriage or civil unions can be reproduced by other means, but others cannot.  And marriage or civil unions puts all the benefits together into one legal arrangement.  One issue I can see is that there are no protections under the law for a gay partner to raise adopted children that belonged to their deceased partner, short of marriage or civil unions.   These situations are especially tragic because sometimes the children are taken away from their surviving parent and placed in foster care, which is very often psychologically damaging.

  It's true that alot of gay men are not interested in monogamy and raising families (having bought into the same general hedonistic trends of our culture that erode the family), but many others are, and if anything same-sex, lifelong relationships, in my recoking, helps to reinforce the sanctity of love and commitment in a culture that increasingly sees interpersonal relationships of an enduring character as risks of only instrumental value.  I don't think the fact that it is a small minority of people with these issues negates the concern Christians should have.  It is precisely because gays have been historically marginalized that I believe there is a Christian duty in this matter.

 

And the Christian duty being what in this case?  Agreeing with homosexual marriage/civil unions?  Or helping and loving them as my neighbors?  I think the latter is Christian.
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