In order to even have this discussion we really need to clarify our terms.
I’ve already defined the term Charismatic as I’ve been using it in this discourse in in reply # 43: the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals. Fundamental to the movement is the use of "spiritual gifts" such as "speaking in tongues", et cetera. This movement began in the 1960s, but its origins lie in the Pentecostalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is American in origin but later was exported to other parts of the globe. The spirit motivating it is not
the Holy Spirit. The “gifts” it manifests are not those spoken of in the New Testament or the Early Church, though the names of the authentic gifts have been appropriated.
It seems that you are using the term in a different sense, which I think I have the gist of, but which I will leave for you to define.
Sometimes being a moderate gets better results than dictator-like conservatism. One can be ultraconservative in their beliefs but moderate in their language and dealings with opponents to get fruitful results (which I would define as "moderation"). I think that is what shennj was alluding to. Being moderate is not synonymous with passivity or compromise.
What you’ve described is what I endeavor to do. I would add only that I endeavor to do so with a clarity that some might mistake for bluntness or rudeness. I find clarity to be necessary, because the proponents of inundating our Church with heterodox practices and materials like to look for any wiggle room they can in any statements on the matter that will allow them to continue in the inappropriate activities they’ve come to hold so dear. We must allow them none.
Her paper isn't published yet. It takes years for presentations of a symposium to be published.
I’m referring to the paper I referenced before entitled Coptic Charismatic Renewal in Egypt: Historical Roots and Recent Developments
and already published in the International Association of Coptic Studies quadrennial Congress
, Rome, Italy, September 15-22, 2012, which I have ordered from my campus library. Don’t worry. I’ll post it and discuss it once it arrives.
I don't think everything foreign that has been introduced in the Coptic Church are "things introduced by the global Charismatic movement" (at least not historically).
One can argue that the influence of the global Charismatic movement is like the influence of pre-Christian paganism. Some things were eradicated for theological reasons, some things were "baptized" into Christianity. Even praise and worship were baptized. Now before anyone jumps down my throat, I know modern global protestantism influence is not the same as Roman and Pre-Christian adopted practices. But there is a social aspect to acknowledge, which Dr Armanios alluded to. Every multicultural society continues to borrow and adopt certain cultural aspects with new interpretation which were perceived as heretical or sacrilegious at one point. The Coptic Church is notorious for this. This is called cultural contact phenomenon. It is not part of a hidden global demonic plot.
I disagree. The global Charismatic movement is a Christian heresy not a pagan or secular philosophical movement. At is core is a misunderstanding of who the Holy Spirit is and how He works. It is dangerous to accept anything originating in this misunderstanding into the life of the Church. Cultural traditions, et cetera, should not be conflated with practices rooted in heterodox theology, which includes the Charismatic approach to and definition of praise and worship. The Charismatic movement is undoubtedly authored by a spirit other than the Holy Spirit of God, and as such, its poison fruit should be out of bounds for the Orthodox Christian.
I don't think Dr Armanios was speaking of or including Protestant-style songs and choirs in her discussion. Nonetheless, they are only one part of the numerous layers of charismatic revival. I think we can acknowledge that our traditional acts of "Orthodox revival" is in itself another layer of charismatic revival. I don't think we need to remove every layer of charismatic revival.
Again, it depends upon what you mean by the term “charismatic”. I think we do
need to remove every tainted layer of “revival” rooted in the Charismatic movement as I’ve defined it above, and of course that would include Protestant songs and choirs. If, however, you mean authentic Orthodox revival as defined by Fr. Seraphim, I have no problem with that.
I don't know much about Abouna Makari Younan either. But I do know that when people disapprove of a priest's style, he is automatically labelled Protestant or promoting Protestant theology. Keep that in mind.
It’s not his style I’ve heard critiqued, but the content of his writings and sermons. Again, I haven’t studied him enough to have formed an opinion, but I will say that among his critics are posters on these boards and tasbeha.org who both you and I respect. One final time for the record though, I don’t know enough about him to have an opinion on him myself. Maybe one day I’ll get around to reading or watching his stuff for myself.
Just a thought. Was not the Virgin Mary feast nahada (revival vigil) a "new grassroots movement of worship and praise" at one point in time. Just as some Coptic churches erroneously interpret "worship and praise" in an evangelical way, one can also correctly understand a classical charismatic phrase like "new grassroots movements of praise and worship" in an Orthodox way like the Virgin Mary's nahada. They would both fall under charismatic revival. No?
As I’ve said before, it all depends on how we’re utilizing the terms. If we’re talking about authentic Orthodox revival – independent and completely detached from the Pentecostal-rooted “global Charismatic revival” as I’ve defined it above – the one sweeping over the heterodox of the Global South that is not offered by the Holy Spirit – then we have no beef.
Hence why we should take a step back and humble ourselves and ask if maybe there is more to the story than we know or understand. While some would like to take this issue as some sort of monumental "like Athanasius and Cyril" fight, I think wisdom calls for us to keep our hearts open instead of calling everything we disagree with "wrong" or "heresy". That doesn't mean we actual condone evil or wrong things. But even evil and wrong things are used for God's glory. It took God 20+ years to correct the problems of Jacob's house through Joseph and many more years to fix the problems of David's house.
And I’m sure that all of us are in this for the long haul, however long it takes, because we love our Church and don’t want to see it abandoned to the wolves or our youth corrupted and led astray by heterodox materials and practices. I for one am very selective and pick my battles carefully. I don’t label everything I don’t like as “wrong”, “heresy”, or “Protestant”. I keep my mouth shut on a lot of things that might not be to my liking but have nothing to do with deviations from Orthodox Faith and practice. This issue though certainly does, and so far as I can tell not
addressing it has done much more harm than good.
Yes any of these activities should not be included in our prayers. However, people in general call such activities a Charismatic and evangelical influenced activity. when it is actually an ancient Orthodox rite. Therein lies the problem. That is why wisdom and humility is necessary to resolve this problem.
Agreed. Caution, love, and humility must be exercised at all times. Simultaneously, we must not allow those interested in preserving that which they’ve acquired from the heterodox and now hold to be dear to use this as a smokescreen to continue in their ways, calling things rooted in Evangelicalism or Charismatism “newly revitalized Orthodox practices” or “old practices in a modern form”. Clarity, accuracy, precision and discernment are called for.
No arguing there. But there is a fine line in between the two. And we are arguing on how wide that line should be, to the extent that sometimes in all the argument we end up blurring the line even more. I'm not saying anyone should condone or allow such "new age" un-Orthodox practices. But the approach is the issue here.
Agreed. And our approach must be tempered with love. It is, after all, because we love our people and our Church that we want to halt this harmful activity.
You don't think the Charismatic movement is rooted globally? You don't think Protestantism is also rooted in countries outside of America? Or are you speaking of a progression of the American missionary (re)interpretation?
Yes, I am speaking of a progression. The global Charismatic movement of today has its origins in American Pentecostalism. What the Pentecostals consider to be charismata
is not the authentic phenomena as they occurred in the New Testament and that has always
been present in the Orthodox Church. It is something else. The global Charismatic movement is, unfortunately, rooted in American Pentecostalism and displays the same shallowness and false fruits.
Was not St Paul charismatic to the point where he would give sermons lasting the whole night? Did not all Judea come to hear, be baptized and repent because of John the Baptist? Are these not examples of charismatic Christianity? Dr Armanios gave the example of St Shenouda (and believe me when I say there was no one more charismatic than him in our Coptic Church).
Again, all this is different than what the modern Charismatics – as I’ve defined them above – are and do.
I'm not trying to be argumentative. But I think you conflating all layers of charismatism into the Pentecostal or contemporary Protestantism, which it's not.
No, I’m really not, Remnkemi. I’m just distinguishing what is true from what is false. I have no problem with the authentic charismatism that has always been a part of Orthodoxy and was never a part of Pentecostalism or its child the global Charismatic movement.
That's a loaded question. Modes of worship that were present in the early Church are not used today (including the Aramaic and Hebrew languages, Jewish temple customs, vestments, etc). Modes of worship used today were not present in the early Church (I specifically mean at the Apostolic age) such as Vespers and other services. Even the liturgy is diachronic and evolving.
It’s not really a loaded question at all. What you’re describing above – the use of certain languages or the particulars of certain vespers or rites – are not the equivalent of worship practices which are themselves manifestations of a theology and an approach to God which contradicts the understanding of the Church. Our Fathers the Apostles baptized certain customs, et cetera, into the life of the Church, but others they wisely eschewed. Among these were the ecstatic fits of the Delphic oracles and other pagans. I know you’re not suggesting that we make room for the ecstatic fits of the Charismatics or their worldly “praise & worship” teams because you’ve made that clear in other parts of your post, but be aware that others would endeavor to twist what you’ve written above to do just that: “The Church allows for evolving forms of worship, so make way for those ‘catching the holy ghost’”.
Additionally, I would refrain from claiming we have a monopolistic understanding on what the Holy Spirit does? I don't think it's fair to unequivocally say what was or wasn't present in the early Church or what the Holy Spirit does or can do.
We’re not limiting the Holy Spirit in any way by speaking the truth. We know what was present in the Early Church according to what was recorded in the New Testament and the Holy Tradition imparted to us by our Fathers. We know that it was not what the modern Charismatics and Pentecostals are doing. We know what the real gift of tongues is, and we know that what they do is not it. We know that the only time anyone in the New Testament fell on the ground and frothed at the mouth – as those “slain in the spirit” do – that it was not the Holy Spirit who possessed them. We know who the author of their movement is, and it is not the Holy Spirit of God. To say this in no way denigrates or limits the Holy Spirit. It just means we know the loving touch of our Father from the inappropriate touch of a stranger.
Again with what the Holy Spirit does or doesn't do? I understand what Fr Seraphim Rose was saying, but without clearly defining the "charismation" (maybe he did and I didn't see it), he is leaving a big hole in his argument.
Fr. Seraphim does define Charismatism. He defines it the same way I have above, distinguishing between the authentic charisma of the Church and the false pseudo-charisma of the so-called Charismatics. I know it’s long, but really, read his essay. It’s worth it. And yes, we can say to a certain extent, what the Holy Spirit does and doesn’t do. He doesn’t contradict Himself, for example. He doesn’t tell one group of people that the Holy Mysteries are necessary for their salvation and another group that they don’t need them at all. The spirit of the Charismatic movement teaches in contradiction to the Holy Spirit and the Church He fills. There’s nothing wrong with saying that.
After all, St Mary never had the laying of hands, and yet not only did the Holy Spirit descend on her but she is "kekharitomene" (the same root word as charismatic). I'm not arguing that this is biblical evidence of a "charismatic movement".
I’m glad, because it’s certainly not!
The Charismatic movement is not merely a revival of things that were already present in the Apostolic Church. It’s origins and practices originate outside of the Church. It is thoroughly heterodox, and if any Orthodox Church should fully and openly embrace it (God forbid!) it would be apostate.Good. Now we're getting into a precise definition.
I’m sincerely glad we agree!
Again, this is problematic. Renewing old rituals that have always been a part of Orthodoxy? Great! At the prompting of global Charismatic influence? No. Has the gift of tongues always been present in the Orthodox Church? Yes. Is it the same thing practiced in Charismatic churches? No. Is the Holy Spirit present in the Orthodox Church? Yes. Is He the motivating force behind the Charismatic movement? No. The small “c” charismatic thing is also misleading. It makes it seem as if those using it buy the hype and believe that the global Charismatic movement really isn’t rooted in American Pentecostalism and really is authored by the Holy Spirit. This is demonstrably false and contradicts the traditional historical narrative. Just read Fr. Seraphim’s article.Great. We are all in agreement. My only problem was the conflation of different layers or meanings of charismatic into one non-Orthordox meaning.
Again, wonderful. Glad we’re on the same page.
I don't think so. I think she is speaking of a different meaning of charismatic worship. She described her meaning before as finding new ways to praise using ancient rites so that are "empowered by the fruits of the Holy Spirit". The liturgical language is "bear fruits of the Holy Spirit". Globally, during the reigns of Pope Cyril VI and Pope Shenouda, both charismatic figures, the Coptic Church was empowered by the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This power trickled down from the hierarchy to local churches to individual parishioners and most if not all bore fruits of the Holy Spirit. This is how I understood Dr Armanios' words.
Respectfully, my beloved brother, now I’m afraid you’re the one who is conflating definitions, or at least, unintentionally muddying the waters and leaving room for confusion. I don’t have a problem with what you’ve written if the above in understood in an Orthodox context, but we must recognize that the above can also be twisted by those enamored of things Protestant to attempt to justify their activities. Just because H.H. Pope Kyrillos VI and H.H. Pope Shenouda III were indeed charismatic individuals in the true sense of the term – and because they operated globally and had a global impact – this does not
mean that they should at all be associated with the satanic global Charismatic movement as I’ve defined it above. I’d also like to be sure that the phrase “new ways to praise using ancient rites” doesn’t leave room for what we both agree are heterodox and inappropriate forms of worship for our Church.
I’m not having any parts of the relativism of this age which declares that the Holy Spirit might lead some to Orthodoxy, others to Pentecostalism, and still others to Hare Krishna as He works around the globe. Whether it’s politically correct or not, we must declare emphatically that Orthodoxy is the Way – as Christianity was once called – and not simply “one of many paths”.
These are not the only two possibilities.
What others would you suggest?
Fr Seraphim is conflating charismatic tolerance with ecumenism. Undoubtedly, he took the opportunity to attack ecumenism and his comments are wrong. But we need not discuss it here.
I disagree, but I think I see what you’re driving at. At any rate, so long as neither of us are advocating even the slightest degree of Charismatic tolerance (and you know how I’m defining Charismatic here) then there’s no need to delve into a tangential conversation on authentic ecumenical dialogue vs. fuzzy and fallacious declarations of “we’re all one in Jesus Christ!” when we’re really not.
I wanted to point out that what is happening is a different issue than what should happen. Nothing satanic should be introduced to the Church, but a type of charismatic revival that is global in nature was introduced and has been introduced and there is nothing un-Orthodox about it (see my examples above).
Again, the global Charismatic movement as I’ve defined it above – originating in Pentecostalism and then crossing over into various heterodox churches and even parts of the Orthodox Church – is satanic and should not be introduced into our Church. This is not to be confused with Orthodox ministries – such as those of our Popes – which are global in nature. Let us be very precise with our terminology as this dialogue continues. I know what most people – including, based on their writings, the folks at the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative – mean when they speak of the global Charismatic movement. They mean what I’ve defined above. They’re sympathetic to it. I’m not. Some seem to think that the Holy Spirit is behind it. I know He isn’t. He wouldn’t have people in a Roman Catholic Church in South Africa or Brazil acting like Pentecostals.
As I’ve said before, authentic Orthodox revivals would not in any way be connected to or inspired by activity authored by a spirit foreign to the Church.
Good. But don't fail to recognize that at some level the mechanisms of authentic Orthodox revival, which Dr Armanios was speaking of, occurs in all multicultural societies. It is normal social (at a cultural level) behavior, that is not foreign to the Church nor exclusive to the heterodox. In its most fundamental level, the Church is both a theological and a social society.
True, but none of this would necessitate or even explain the presence of heterodox inspired activities or materials in our Church. Since they have found their way in, they need to be addressed and helped to find their way out.
Again overall we agree on all points.
Glory to God.