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Poll
Question: Do you agree with Ecumenism between the EO, RC & OO traditions?
Yes to all - 35 (48.6%)
No to all - 19 (26.4%)
EO & OO only - 17 (23.6%)
EO & RC only - 1 (1.4%)
OO & RC only - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 72

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Author Topic: Ecumenism vs anti-Ecumenism  (Read 11789 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheTrisagion
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« on: August 01, 2013, 01:32:26 PM »

So I am curious given all the raging debates currently going on here about ecumenism.  How do you approach to topic?  I purposefully did not give a definition of ecumenism in the poll because if you vote, I would like you to explain what ecumenism means to you.  What situations do you feel it is appropriate and which situations are unappropriate?  Where are areas for dialogue and what issues cannot be reinterpreted?  If it is not listed in your faith/jurisdiction tag, please put down what tradition you worship with as well.  Thanks?
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 01:39:04 PM »

Oh boy....
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 01:51:35 PM »

Hey, if we are gonna have a know down, drag out fight, it may as well all be in one thread.  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 01:53:56 PM »

Hey, if we are gonna have a know down, drag out fight, it may as well all be in one thread.  Cheesy

I am soooooooooooooooooooooo weary of fighting.  Can't we just post stupid pictures and make bad puns?  It seems far better for the soul.
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 02:00:03 PM »

Hey, if we are gonna have a know down, drag out fight, it may as well all be in one thread.  Cheesy

I am soooooooooooooooooooooo weary of fighting.  Can't we just post stupid pictures and make bad puns?  It seems far better for the soul.
Get thee to one of my other hundred threads for that.  This thread is for the condemnation of ecumenists and non-ecumenists.  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 02:02:50 PM »

I tend to divide Ecumenism between Ecumenism and ecumenism. Ecumenism, to me, is a heresy, it's seeking unity despite differences. Seeking inter-communion despite a difference in beliefs, even with a common confession of Jesus Christ & the Holy Trinity. This also includes "two lungs" theories, but not "sister churches" speech. It also inherently denies that there is only one truth, and that one truth only exists within the Orthodox Church.

ecumenism, on the other hand, is not a heresy, and it includes seeking better relations between Christians & world religions. It doesn't seek reunification as such, but can include bringing heterodox towards and into Orthodoxy. This includes getting to know one another better and why we each believe what we do. But the end goal should be to end violence and hatred, and to seek to reunify all to Christ's one, true church, reaching a perfect unity in beliefs.

The end goal of "ecumenism" may not be to necessarily bring someone to Orthodoxy, it may not be evangelism, but it may be to create a better understand of one another, which can help prevent future conflict and war. Yet, we should also hope that we can bring them to Orthodoxy through understanding them better and how best to approach our evangelism.
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 02:07:23 PM »

I made an attempt at a description of ecumenism, from a traditionalist perspective, a few years ago. While I might change some things, I think it was probably somewhat close to what I would still say if I were a traditionalist:

Define ecumenism.

Cozying up to hairytics?

I think the answer depends on what perspective you're approaching ecumenism from. Just like people argue over whether Orthodox (or atheism for that matter) is by definition a religion, so to with ecumenism. However, if I was a traditionalist, I would answer along these lines*:

I don’t think you can define ecumenism precisely, but I think, based on it’s fruits (cf Matt. 7:16-20), we can come up with a description of it. With that in mind, I would describe ecumenism as a sort of religious pluralism, with the effects on Orthodoxy having been that she was driven towards the cliffs of compromise and equivocation, and indeed in some instances over the cliff into heresy and schism.

In what sense is ecumenism a pan-heresy? It is a pan-heresy because it seeks to unite a multitude of heresies in communion, and then blasphemously call the result the body of Christ. Ecumenism is a pan-heresy because it rejects the Truth, the Theanthropos Jesus Christ, and in His place offers heresy and schism in the guise of love and unity.


* Note that I am not saying that this is what I believe, it is merely what I would probably say if I were a traditionalist.

If this is what is meant by ecumenism then obviously I would not be ok with it. But then that's sort of stating the obvious, as the description is constructed in such a negative way that you'd have to be crazy to think ecumenism was a good thing, if that truly was what ecumenism was. However, I think at best this only describes a very few people, and even then only at probably their worst moments. I think a description of the other extreme could be formulated, at least so far as I see it, but instead I'll try to give something more along the lines of how I actually view it (though, as in the quote above, I do think it is something better described than defined).

Ecumenism, for me, is about reaching out to those you disagree with and attempting to understand them, and then deciding how far apart you are and whether some sort of reconciliation is possible, and how it might be possible in a way that is most pastorally viable and stable and long-lasting. However, there is also the tendency for people in such talks to allow their views to be distorted, and to perceive the theology and practices of the people across the table in a distorted way, because everyone is trying hard, or sometimes a little too hard, to be friendly and not to rock the boat. Most everyone wants things to get resolved, and a loving and humble attitude to prevail, so there is pressure not to be "that guy" who contradicts and disagrees and such. I am not saying there are not disagreements, but simply speaking of a tendency to downplay the significance of differences or problems.

Perhaps I am overstating this, but I do think that problem is there to some extent. Perhaps a better method for ecumenism would be the written exchange of views in texts*, which would afford more distance, both physical and otherwise, providing people the freedom (psychologically) to disagree more forcefully when necessary. Regardless, I'm not sure what will come of ecumenism. There have been ecumenical meetings and agreements and whatnot for decades, yet there has been little to no movement at the official level in response to these. Waiting for the forthcoming Council in 2056 perhaps?  angel


*EDIT--by texts I mean books published years apart.
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 02:11:07 PM »

Hey, if we are gonna have a know down, drag out fight, it may as well all be in one thread.  Cheesy

I am soooooooooooooooooooooo weary of fighting.  Can't we just post stupid pictures and make bad puns?  It seems far better for the soul.
Get thee to one of my other hundred threads for that.  This thread is for the condemnation of ecumenists and non-ecumenists.  Grin

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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 02:18:25 PM »

I support ecumenical relations among all three bodies.  

Even in the "good old days" when we were excommunicating one other to hell and beyond, we still had more in common with each other than we did separating us.  I don't see anything wrong now with approaching one other as friends rather than enemies.  

I don't see anything wrong with acknowledging that we are estranged relatives who used to belong to one big family, even if each party has reasons why it believes itself "correct" and the others "wrong" about who left whom and who's still part of the family.  

I don't see anything wrong in sitting down together and re-assessing where we stand on what issues in a non-polemical, irenic atmosphere, even if all it accomplishes is to get us to disagree on certain issues without being assh___s to each other.  

I don't see anything wrong in deciding that we can be friends if we can't re-establish our family relationships, and work together on issues of common interest, help each other out in times and circumstances of need, stand together against common opponents, and so on.  

In other words, I don't see anything wrong in being like Jesus:

Quote
Mark 9

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.
 

None of this requires mixing water and diesel, but it does require combining humility with grace.  
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 02:21:16 PM »

By ecumenism, I advocate having the EO, RC and OO sit down and discuss the divisions between them and seek solutions that would allow a more unified belief system.  Note that I do not mean we "explain away" our differences or unify with contradictory positions, but if the sides were able to formulate an agreed upon Christology that does not compromise that which that Church has always taught.  Obviously on issues like papal dogma, I don't know how that would work because I don't see either side giving in on that. I disagree with those groups that oppose conversation between the groups out of fear that Orthodoxy will somehow go heretical.  If it is the Body of Christ and will never fail, I don't think it has to worry about getting pulled under by another group of Christians that you may have some points of disagreement on, but could possibly work through those and reunite.
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2013, 02:23:05 PM »

I support ecumenical relations among all three bodies.  

Even in the "good old days" when we were excommunicating one other to hell and beyond, we still had more in common with each other than we did separating us.  I don't see anything wrong now with approaching one other as friends rather than enemies.  

I don't see anything wrong with acknowledging that we are estranged relatives who used to belong to one big family, even if each party has reasons why it believes itself "correct" and the others "wrong" about who left whom and who's still part of the family.  

I don't see anything wrong in sitting down together and re-assessing where we stand on what issues in a non-polemical, irenic atmosphere, even if all it accomplishes is to get us to disagree on certain issues without being assh___s to each other.  

I don't see anything wrong in deciding that we can be friends if we can't re-establish our family relationships, and work together on issues of common interest, help each other out in times and circumstances of need, stand together against common opponents, and so on.  

In other words, I don't see anything wrong in being like Jesus:

Quote
Mark 9

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.
 

None of this requires mixing water and diesel, but it does require combining humility with grace.  

Give this man a standing ovation!! 

I really could NOT have said it better myself, so thanks, Mor, for your effort!!!
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 02:29:34 PM »

Fwiw, I voted "Yes to all"
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 02:29:40 PM »

I support ecumenical relations among all three bodies.  

Even in the "good old days" when we were excommunicating one other to hell and beyond, we still had more in common with each other than we did separating us.  I don't see anything wrong now with approaching one other as friends rather than enemies.  

I don't see anything wrong with acknowledging that we are estranged relatives who used to belong to one big family, even if each party has reasons why it believes itself "correct" and the others "wrong" about who left whom and who's still part of the family.  

I don't see anything wrong in sitting down together and re-assessing where we stand on what issues in a non-polemical, irenic atmosphere, even if all it accomplishes is to get us to disagree on certain issues without being assh___s to each other.  

I don't see anything wrong in deciding that we can be friends if we can't re-establish our family relationships, and work together on issues of common interest, help each other out in times and circumstances of need, stand together against common opponents, and so on.  

In other words, I don't see anything wrong in being like Jesus:

Quote
Mark 9

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.
 

None of this requires mixing water and diesel, but it does require combining humility with grace.  

Agreed 100%! Well said.
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 02:32:10 PM »

I agree with Mor even though he is a Nestorian heretic without grace.  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2013, 02:33:02 PM »

I agree with Mor even though he is a Nestorian heretic without grace.  Grin

Calling a Miaphysite a Nestorian? That's new to me  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 02:34:05 PM »

I agree with Mor even though he is a Nestorian heretic without grace.  Grin

Be careful, or I'll post more pics of drunken bears doing yoga!  Mor is my new hero!
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 02:34:37 PM »

I agree with Mor even though he is a Nestorian heretic without grace.  Grin

Calling a Miaphysite a Nestorian? That's new to me  Smiley

It's called ecumenism. Grin
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 02:35:19 PM »

I agree with Mor even though he is a Nestorian heretic without grace.  Grin

Thankfully, Carmen Electra (and Orthodoxy) disagrees with you. 
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2013, 02:36:41 PM »

I agree with Mor even though he is a Nestorian heretic without grace.  Grin

Thankfully, Carmen Electra (and Orthodoxy) disagrees with you. 

Wait, what? Are you an Assyrian?
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 02:37:20 PM »

Carmen Electra must be in a retirement home by now.
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 02:37:51 PM »

Nope, not an Assyrian at all.  And neither is Carmen.  
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 02:38:23 PM »

Not necessarily. I don't know about Electra, but I know that Jenny McCarthy is doing more to damage and warp young minds now than she did 20 years ago.
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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 02:39:30 PM »

Carmen Electra must be in a retirement home by now.

Bite your tongue. 
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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2013, 02:41:24 PM »

I agree with Mor even though he is a Nestorian heretic without grace.  Grin

Calling a Miaphysite a Nestorian? That's new to me  Smiley
He is also Arian, Nicolaitan, Marcionite and gnostic.  One you have fallen to one heresy, you have fallen to them all.  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 02:41:44 PM »

Carmen Electra must be in a retirement home by now.

Bite your tongue. 

OH.....NO!!!  This isn't going to result in yet another imminent death, is it? Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 02:43:04 PM »

Carmen Electra must be in a retirement home by now.

Bite your tongue. 

OH.....NO!!!  This isn't going to result in yet another imminent death, is it? Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Not Cyrillic too!!!  The good ones die young.  Cry
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2013, 02:43:32 PM »

Not necessarily. I don't know about Electra, but I know that Jenny McCarthy is doing more to damage and warp young minds now than she did 20 years ago.

Maybe, but at her age, she's [jenny] still pretty hot.  An airhead sure, but at least she's a hot one.
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2013, 02:45:54 PM »

Carmen Electra must be in a retirement home by now.

Bite your tongue. 

OH.....NO!!!  This isn't going to result in yet another imminent death, is it? Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Not Cyrillic too!!!  The good ones die young.  Cry

That explains it.
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2013, 03:06:09 PM »

I am against Ecumenism, because it involves very craftily coming up with vague and new formulae that everybody can agree upon (like the Monothelites).
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« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2013, 03:21:49 PM »

I'm just going to judge and be politically incorrect based on what I observe. But, I don't like ecumenism because every ecumenist I've met is always some liberaldox convert who thinks that birth control is allowed and that catechumens are Orthodox and has this fantasy of having union with Rome and the OO Churches. On the other hand, every anti-ecumenist I've met is always some odd, borderline radical the-end-is-here weirdo who thinks demons are constantly watching them.
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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2013, 03:28:01 PM »

I'm just going to judge and be politically incorrect based on what I observe. But, I don't like ecumenism because every ecumenist I've met is always some liberaldox convert who thinks that birth control is allowed and that catechumens are Orthodox and has this fantasy of having union with Rome and the OO Churches. On the other hand, every anti-ecumenist I've met is always some odd, borderline radical the-end-is-here weirdo who thinks demons are constantly watching them.
I love JamesR.  Grin

So who are the normal Orthodox then?
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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2013, 03:32:00 PM »

I'm just going to judge and be politically incorrect based on what I observe. But, I don't like ecumenism because every ecumenist I've met is always some liberaldox convert who thinks that birth control is allowed and that catechumens are Orthodox and has this fantasy of having union with Rome and the OO Churches. On the other hand, every anti-ecumenist I've met is always some odd, borderline radical the-end-is-here weirdo who thinks demons are constantly watching them.
I love JamesR.  Grin

So who are the normal Orthodox then?

I've been asking myself the same question
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« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2013, 03:34:13 PM »

I'm just going to judge and be politically incorrect based on what I observe. But, I don't like ecumenism because every ecumenist I've met is always some liberaldox convert who thinks that birth control is allowed and that catechumens are Orthodox and has this fantasy of having union with Rome and the OO Churches. On the other hand, every anti-ecumenist I've met is always some odd, borderline radical the-end-is-here weirdo who thinks demons are constantly watching them.
I love JamesR.  Grin

So who are the normal Orthodox then?

I know...he's just so, well...cute and cuddly, isn't he  Grin?  What's not to love??

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« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2013, 03:34:57 PM »

I'm just going to judge and be politically incorrect based on what I observe. But, I don't like ecumenism because every ecumenist I've met is always some liberaldox convert who thinks that birth control is allowed and that catechumens are Orthodox and has this fantasy of having union with Rome and the OO Churches. On the other hand, every anti-ecumenist I've met is always some odd, borderline radical the-end-is-here weirdo who thinks demons are constantly watching them.
I love JamesR.  Grin

So who are the normal Orthodox then?

I've been asking myself the same question

If you've also answered yourself, you're probably not one of them  Grin.
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« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2013, 03:36:36 PM »

You need to find someone like this:

- Zealous. So zealous they preach the hard truth of real Christianity from the rooftops. Thus they will not be like the ecumenists you describe.
- Humble. So humble they escape the notice of everyone and just go about their lives like normal people. Thus they will not be like the anti-ecumenists you describe.

So basically you need to find the people who are simultaneously the most and least visible. Good luck!
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« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2013, 03:42:28 PM »

The poll really isn't nuanced. I'm completely against false ecumenism where we pretend our difference aren't that bad and with a little tweaking of the Truth we can all have a luv-in.

Now if by ecumenism you mean heterodox bodies forsaking their error and being reunited to the Church, I'm all for that.
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« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2013, 03:51:08 PM »

I'm just going to judge and be politically incorrect based on what I observe. But, I don't like ecumenism because every ecumenist I've met is always some liberaldox convert who thinks that birth control is allowed and that catechumens are Orthodox and has this fantasy of having union with Rome and the OO Churches. On the other hand, every anti-ecumenist I've met is always some odd, borderline radical the-end-is-here weirdo who thinks demons are constantly watching them.


You don't get out much, do you?  Grin
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« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2013, 03:58:25 PM »

I'm just going to judge and be politically incorrect based on what I observe. But, I don't like ecumenism because every ecumenist I've met is always some liberaldox convert who thinks that birth control is allowed and that catechumens are Orthodox and has this fantasy of having union with Rome and the OO Churches. On the other hand, every anti-ecumenist I've met is always some odd, borderline radical the-end-is-here weirdo who thinks demons are constantly watching them.

You know, you're right.  I can't argue with your logic.  What was I thinking? 
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« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2013, 08:35:58 PM »

By ecumenism, I advocate having the EO, RC and OO sit down and discuss the divisions between them and seek solutions that would allow a more unified belief system.  Note that I do not mean we "explain away" our differences or unify with contradictory positions, but if the sides were able to formulate an agreed upon Christology that does not compromise that which that Church has always taught.  Obviously on issues like papal dogma, I don't know how that would work because I don't see either side giving in on that. I disagree with those groups that oppose conversation between the groups out of fear that Orthodoxy will somehow go heretical.  If it is the Body of Christ and will never fail, I don't think it has to worry about getting pulled under by another group of Christians that you may have some points of disagreement on, but could possibly work through those and reunite.

Christianity is not a belief system, however.
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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2013, 08:41:54 PM »

The poll really isn't nuanced. I'm completely against false ecumenism where we pretend our difference aren't that bad and with a little tweaking of the Truth we can all have a luv-in.

Now if by ecumenism you mean heterodox bodies forsaking their error and being reunited to the Church, I'm all for that.

I think ecumenism is more like long meetings with bad coffee followed by the optional prayer service which follows a churchy "I'll show you mine, you show me yours" format with bouts of particpation and/or looking on in amazement. Meanwhile, life goes on outside the meetings, which themselves are rather irrelevant.
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« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2013, 09:20:11 PM »

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« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2013, 09:22:13 PM »

I think ecumenism is more like long meetings with bad coffee followed by the optional prayer service which follows a churchy "I'll show you mine, you show me yours" format with bouts of particpation and/or looking on in amazement. Meanwhile, life goes on outside the meetings, which themselves are rather irrelevant.

If so, then I'd like to change my vote.  If ecumenism involves bad coffee, then it is truly a pan-heresy and needs to be stopped.  
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« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2013, 09:25:36 PM »

If so, then I'd like to change my vote.  If ecumenism involves bad coffee, then it is truly a pan-heresy and needs to be stopped.  

In my experience it involves wine, cheese and crackers (both the biscuit kind and the stereotypically stiff white people). The bad coffee is optional.
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« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2013, 09:35:51 PM »

Filthy ecumenist chiming in! Let's all get to together in a Jesus lovefest and cast down all the barriers that divide us. Okay, so many some of those pesky "traditional" doctrines like the Trinity will have to go, but it's all worth it for the glory of the New One World Order, ruled by Our Dark Lord the Antichrist Pope Francis!!!

In all seriousness, the "ecumenism" that I subscribe to is the same brand that others have mentioned: we never compromise the Faith for others, but we should be respectful to them. We don't disregard their differences or try to explain them away, but we don't go around condemning people as schismatics or spreading filth about them to bolster our cause. Like it or not, we do live in a pluralist society, and one of the positive aspects of that is that in most parts of the world you can go on a lunch date with someone outside your faith without being slandered as a heretic sympathizer, if not an outright heretic. Essentially, the ecumenism I support is being a decent human being and not calling people out every second for what they believe.

Now, when it comes to specific theological discussion, I don't see anything wrong with just explaining your beliefs to someone and letting them explain theirs to you. You're not devising a way to synthesize the two systems, you're just getting everything out on the table in a polite way. And it may be that over the course of many such discussions, something might happen. Maybe one side realizes they were wrong. Maybe neither one changes their stance but they reach a consensus that they both believed the same thing. Great. But none of that should be the purpose of an "ecumenical dialogue," which is simply an ongoing dialogue in which both parties feel comfortable speaking to one another.

I guess I don't really foresee much happening from my brand of "ecumenism," but that's not the point. I just would like to think that we can live in this world without tearing apart the people who are much closer to us than we probably realize. But that's just it. It's often those closest to us that we tear apart for not being the same.

EDIT: Also, who the heck would vote "OO & RC only." If you're an RC who doesn't want to talk with the EO, why try the "monophysites" who denied even more of the Pope's ecumenical councils? If you're an OO, come on, man, we're way closer to you than the RC. You can't just skip us by. Not cool.
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« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2013, 09:47:13 PM »

I think ecumenism is more like long meetings with bad coffee followed by the optional prayer service which follows a churchy "I'll show you mine, you show me yours" format with bouts of particpation and/or looking on in amazement. Meanwhile, life goes on outside the meetings, which themselves are rather irrelevant.

If so, then I'd like to change my vote.  If ecumenism involves bad coffee, then it is truly a pan-heresy and needs to be stopped.  

If it involves coffee at all, it needs to be stopped. police
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