Author Topic: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?  (Read 11377 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2014, 09:37:29 PM »
I remember listening to what I believe a Fr. Thomas Hopko podcast as well as one of the other AFR podcasts that interviewed a man who converted from Pentecostalism.  He mentions that he does in fact practice "glossolalia", and Fr. Thomas Hopko seems to give credence to it, but that they are all private practices, not the public charismatic practices that go on.

That's disturbing.

Or is it all a bunch of strange cultic practice by the Charismatic movement?

This.  If any Orthodox jurisdiction ever officially gave credence to what the Charismatic movement was doing, I'd say that jurisdiction had fallen away into error and heresy and would stay as far away from it as possible.  It's clear that what the Charismatic Movement does is not the same thing seen in the New Testament and never existed in the historic Church.  I really recommend you read Fr. Alexis Trader's book.  It makes a clear distinction between glossolalia in the New Testament and the historic church and what the Charismatic movement calls "tongues" on a case by case basis.  He wrote the book lovingly, for family members of his still involved in Charismatism who had questions for him.  I believe he's presently a monk on Athos now.  I can attest that my loved ones who were former Pentecostals (now Orthodox) also found it helpful.

Your definition of glossolalia, Mina, is the same as St. Gregory of Nyssa, by the way.

Funny story.  A dialogue between me and a Pentecostal Indian girl back in undergrad:

"You guys have a Pope?!"
"Ya, of course we do.  But he's not the Pope of the whole Church, just the Egyptian one.  And we don't believe in the primacy of the Roman Pope, so that's why we're not the same Church as them."
"Do you guys speak in tongues?"
"Well, we can speak English, Arabic, and we do have Coptic and some Greek."
"No, no, I mean, speaking in tongues."
"Ya, we have four tongues."
"No, I'm talking about what happened in the Bible."
"Ya, well, I'm talking about what happened in the Bible too."

I never knew what in the world she meant until I attended a "non-denominational" prayer meeting.  Boy was that scary.  And the guy was Jamaican, so stereotypes filled my ignorant brain and made me think I must have been in the wrong room.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 09:37:48 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2014, 09:40:52 PM »
I am not sure who holds the copyright of the work. I think it is held by Holy Cross or the Greek Orthodox Theological Review. I wrote it over 30 years ago first as a paper for the completion of my MTS degree at Holy Cross for Fr. Stanley Harakas. He asked if the Greek Orthodox Theological Review could publish it as an article. They did. Then without  informing me they published it as a book. If anyone made any money from it, it was not me.


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Offline Shlomlokh

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #47 on: May 22, 2014, 10:14:05 PM »
I don't know why the Catholic hierarchy is OK with it  ??? Maybe they are thinking the Gamaliel protocol is good enough: "if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." Of course that leaves out the 3rd option in which case it would need to be vigorously opposed by the Church.

In any case there are 2 problems with the movement I see: 1. You can read all the Lives of the Saints in the East and West alike and not find anyone acting like those in the Charismatic movement. 2. From the bits I've read about it there is more emphasis about the gifts (which can easily be faked by the evil one) than the Giver.

There are three other serious problems with the Charismatic Movement. Inevitable the Charismatic Movement leads some Charismatics to spiritual pride and judging others as unspiritual who are not Charismatics. This leads to serious division within the local parish between Charismatics and non-Charismatics. Finally, some people confuse their personal thoughts with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and believe that they have a special revelation of God that is superior to the Holy Tradition of the Church.

Fr. John W. Morris.

Fr., spiritual pride leading to division and disobediance seem to be also problems that could infect anyone in any movement or none at all. I get what you're saying that maybe they are especially pernicious in the Charismatic movement though.


That is very true. I also wrote a book about similar problems caused by Orthodox Fundamentalists who are very judgmental of anyone they suspect of modernism or ecumenism. The first sign of spiritual pride is judging others.

Fr. John W. Morris.
Does the same also ring true of those labeling people as "Orthodox Fundamentalists"?

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Offline frjohnmorris

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2014, 10:22:29 PM »
I don't know why the Catholic hierarchy is OK with it  ??? Maybe they are thinking the Gamaliel protocol is good enough: "if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." Of course that leaves out the 3rd option in which case it would need to be vigorously opposed by the Church.

In any case there are 2 problems with the movement I see: 1. You can read all the Lives of the Saints in the East and West alike and not find anyone acting like those in the Charismatic movement. 2. From the bits I've read about it there is more emphasis about the gifts (which can easily be faked by the evil one) than the Giver.

There are three other serious problems with the Charismatic Movement. Inevitable the Charismatic Movement leads some Charismatics to spiritual pride and judging others as unspiritual who are not Charismatics. This leads to serious division within the local parish between Charismatics and non-Charismatics. Finally, some people confuse their personal thoughts with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and believe that they have a special revelation of God that is superior to the Holy Tradition of the Church.

Fr. John W. Morris.

Fr., spiritual pride leading to division and disobediance seem to be also problems that could infect anyone in any movement or none at all. I get what you're saying that maybe they are especially pernicious in the Charismatic movement though.


That is very true. I also wrote a book about similar problems caused by Orthodox Fundamentalists who are very judgmental of anyone they suspect of modernism or ecumenism. The first sign of spiritual pride is judging others.

Fr. John W. Morris.
Does the same also ring true of those labeling people as "Orthodox Fundamentalists"?

In Christ,
Andrew

You know as well as I do that there are some people who become so obsessed with externals that they judge other Orthodox who do not share their devotion to this or that custom. What should these people be called? I refuse to call them Traditionalists, because I believe that they do not really understand the difference between the Holy Tradition that does not change and customs or traditions with small t that have changed.


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Offline Salpy

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2014, 10:33:59 PM »
Does anyone want to research how Fr. John could go about publishing his work?  Maybe he can take his original paper and self-publish it? 

Fr. John, would it bother you if anyone looked into how to go about doing it?  

Does anyone have connections with the people who published it originally?  Would there be trouble with them if Fr. John self-published it on his own?  Or perhaps the original publishers could republish it?

I really would like to see it back in print.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 10:37:56 PM by Salpy »

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2015, 06:32:10 AM »
This looks like a good discussion thread.

Antonius, you wrote:
Interesting. This was the same time women stopped covering their heads....

Context considered, it's not too much of a stretch to see a correlation between guitar masses and what you're describing; said masses featuring the Charismatic Movement's anthem, They Will Know We Are Christians (aka "We Are One") - a prayer for the spirit of the charismatic movement to sweep over the various Christian bodies of the world and unite them without anyone having to adjust their doctrine.  Unfortunately, this same "hymn" has been adopted in some unofficial Oriental Orthodox youth circles without an investigation of its origins or meaning.  Hearing it played over youtube vids featuring Orthodox bishops who I know would be opposed to it if they knew what was going on is just creepy.

Antonius,

It's not Russian or Byzantine chant, so I am not recommending we use it in services.
Is there something particular in the lyrics you disagree with? It sounds like a nice song with positive lyrics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQyLHi_X83s
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2015, 06:37:36 AM »
I would not call it a polemic, at least I hope not. But Holy Cross Press published my "The Charismatic Movement an Orthodox Evaluation." You can buy it at Amazon, although I think that it is over priced. You can down load a pdf version at http://pdf379.euppdf.org/the-charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation-P-407680.pdf

Fr. John W. Morris
I read elsewhere that it was this book and Fr. Seraphim's book that played a crucial role in dissuading Orthodox from joining Charismaticism in the US years ago.

It's neat then that Fr. John is on the forum.

This is "the" book.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 06:47:09 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2015, 07:00:28 AM »
Funny story.  A dialogue between me and a Pentecostal Indian girl back in undergrad:

"You guys have a Pope?!"
"Ya, of course we do.  But he's not the Pope of the whole Church, just the Egyptian one.  And we don't believe in the primacy of the Roman Pope, so that's why we're not the same Church as them."
"Do you guys speak in tongues?"
"Well, we can speak English, Arabic, and we do have Coptic and some Greek."
"No, no, I mean, speaking in tongues."
"Ya, we have four tongues."
"No, I'm talking about what happened in the Bible."
"Ya, well, I'm talking about what happened in the Bible too."

I never knew what in the world she meant until I attended a "non-denominational" prayer meeting.  Boy was that scary.  And the guy was Jamaican, so stereotypes filled my ignorant brain and made me think I must have been in the wrong room.

You made me laugh. This is very funny, especially because you didn't know what she was talking about until you found out firsthand. I can imagine it would be scary. i don't think I've seen it in person ever. Only when I was little a relative started talking goobledegook and blinking her eyes for half a minute to mess with me, and it bothered me.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2015, 07:07:40 AM »
Does anyone want to research how Fr. John could go about publishing his work?  Maybe he can take his original paper and self-publish it? 

Fr. John, would it bother you if anyone looked into how to go about doing it? 

Does anyone have connections with the people who published it originally?  Would there be trouble with them if Fr. John self-published it on his own?  Or perhaps the original publishers could republish it?

I really would like to see it back in print.

I know what you mean. It would be very interesting to see what arguments he makes, and what facts he brings up. It's only a 30 page book, so it should be something that could be in online form.

Fr. John writes in his book (which I only have found a quote from): That Orthodox superficially involved in the movement should "grow beyond Neo-Pentecostalism and…cast aside those aspects of the movement that conflict with traditional Orthodox spirituality".

This is very interesting that he uses the term Neo-Pentecostalism. I didn't even realize what this was. It is a real term that describes Charismatics who belong to other churches:

http://www.religionfacts.com/neo-pentecostalism

The link explains that originally in the early 20th centuries people left to join Pentecostal churches, but then in the 1960's, some people, the "Neo-Pentecostals" stayed in their own churches that weren't Pentecostal. Or in other words, the Pentecostal movement (named after Pentecost when the apostles spoke in tongues) started in the early 20th century and then grew and moved to the other churches.

A big criticism you can make of this movement is that they call it "Pentecostal", but it doesn't match what Christians actually imagine the Pentecost to be. We imagine that the Pentecost was an event where the apostles were inspired to shout in different languages (maybe they knew familiar words in those languages, or maybe it was a miracle). But the Pentecostals' practice is gibberish, at best of the possible Corinthian kind. That's a big difference, isn't it?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 07:19:55 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2015, 07:42:28 AM »
This looks like a good discussion thread.

Antonius, you wrote:
Context considered, it's not too much of a stretch to see a correlation between guitar masses and what you're describing; said masses featuring the Charismatic Movement's anthem, They Will Know We Are Christians (aka "We Are One")
Is there something particular in the lyrics you disagree with? It sounds like a nice song with positive lyrics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQyLHi_X83s
Here is a Catholic video in which the lyrics are indisputably fine, but the video feels much more charismatic somehow than the Protestant song "They Will Know We Are Christians", doesn't it:

Sister Mead. Lord's Prayer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j__6Eyt8uYM
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 07:42:58 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2015, 08:34:54 AM »
Dear Salpy and Fr. John,

I don't know if my new essay rises to the level of Polemics, but in it I laid out the four key differences between Orthodoxy and Charismaticism that the Charismatics associate with the early Church and then provide the Orthodox viewpoint on those differences.

The essay is here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,67025.new.html#new
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2015, 10:27:03 AM »
This looks like a good discussion thread.

Antonius, you wrote:
Interesting. This was the same time women stopped covering their heads....

Context considered, it's not too much of a stretch to see a correlation between guitar masses and what you're describing; said masses featuring the Charismatic Movement's anthem, They Will Know We Are Christians (aka "We Are One") - a prayer for the spirit of the charismatic movement to sweep over the various Christian bodies of the world and unite them without anyone having to adjust their doctrine.  Unfortunately, this same "hymn" has been adopted in some unofficial Oriental Orthodox youth circles without an investigation of its origins or meaning.  Hearing it played over youtube vids featuring Orthodox bishops who I know would be opposed to it if they knew what was going on is just creepy.

Antonius,

It's not Russian or Byzantine chant, so I am not recommending we use it in services.
Is there something particular in the lyrics you disagree with? It sounds like a nice song with positive lyrics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQyLHi_X83s

As I said, the song was authored by a Charismatic Catholic priest who penned it as a prayer that the spirit motivating the Charismatic Movement (which is certainly not the Holy Spirit) sweep over "the churches" and unite them regardless of their dogmatic differences.  This man later left the Catholic priesthood and became a flat out Charismatic Protestant.  That being the case, a point-by-point dissection and refutation of the lyrics here is hardly necessary, although it can be done.  The origin of spirit of the song is enough.

That said, this is an entirely inappropriate song for Orthodox youth events because it stands in defiance of Orthodox ecclesiology.  The songs states:

Quote
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

Which implies that the Church is divided (it is not) and that there is a unity "in the spirit" which trumps unity of dogma and unity at the Chalice (there is not, as H.G. Anba Youssef has stated).

Further, the lyrics state:

Quote
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
 We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
 And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

Guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride?  Is this congruent with Orthodox spirituality?  It seems more like the Charismatic Liberation Theology to which the author subscribed.

And finally...

Quote
All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
 And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only Son,
 And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.

This sounds innocuous on the surface, but considered within context, it is another deadly entreaty to the spirit of the Charismatic Movement (misidentified as the Holy Spirit).  It claims that this spirit "makes us one" despite the fact that we are in truth divided, because the spirit of the Charismatic movement sweeps across all "denominations" regardless of their theology or praxis, or the fact that they are actually not in communion with one another.
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Offline Orest

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2015, 01:30:11 PM »
The website of the Brotherhood of St Symeon the New Theologian.  Maybe not a polemic but  a viewing in the proper light.
http://www.stsymeon.org

Are they still being funded by the Greek Pentecostal Church?
I read in their Position Statement:
Quote
There cannot be spiritual renewal until Jesus is glorified!
http://www.stsymeon.org/about-st-symeon/mission-statement-2

The Orthodox Church glorifies the Trinity (not just Jesus) at every liturgy and has throughout the ages.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2015, 06:29:42 PM »
Salpy,

Matushka Morris old me that Fr. John doesn't have an electronic copy of the book because it's from the 1970's.

You can likely find one in a library near you here:
http://worldcat.org

Many Greek church libraries she said have it because it was published in large volumes by the GOA to address this problem. She said rightly what a major impact the book had.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2015, 11:18:49 PM »
The songs states:
Quote
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.
OK, I see, Antonius, how this is an ecumenical song.
Theoretically, it seems like if Orthodox recognize other Christians' Trinitarian baptisms, and baptism is in the Spirit, then it seems like other Christians would be in the Spirit. And if faith connects one to God, then they are united in the Lord. Even the Eucharist is not necessary absolutely for communion with God, since there were saints who died as catechumens.

Still, this song is kind of a simplification that overlooks the church's traditional idea of communion, which doesn't include those outside of its institutional communion.

Quote
Which implies that the Church is divided (it is not) and that there is a unity "in the spirit" which trumps unity of dogma and unity at the Chalice (there is not, as H.G. Anba Youssef has stated).
Further, the lyrics state:

Quote
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
 We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
 And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

Guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride?  Is this congruent with Orthodox spirituality?  It seems more like the Charismatic Liberation Theology to which the author subscribed.
I suppose it's OK, except the word "pride" here contradicts Orthodox ideas about it. It's true that you shouldn't be 'ashamed' of your faith, and maybe there are things in the Bible it approves of being proud of. In this verse, the term "pride" seems to be meant in the sense of basic dignity and self-worth as a person, but anyway, yes, "pride" can be at least badly misunderstood here.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #60 on: November 16, 2015, 11:39:29 PM »
I read in their Position Statement:
Quote
There cannot be spiritual renewal until Jesus is glorified!
http://www.stsymeon.org/about-st-symeon/mission-statement-2

The Orthodox Church glorifies the Trinity (not just Jesus) at every liturgy and has throughout the ages.
This is one of the ways in which the Renewal center is Neo-Pentecostal. The Pentecostal movement criticized mainstream churches (even Protestant ones) who regularly glorified God as if the mainstream Churches were not glorifying him enough, or with enough emotion and intensity, or were not showing the "gifts" of the spirit of Renewal enough.

The statement you quoted would be an example of that way of thinking, because as you said, the Church glorifies the Trinity regularly, and yet the Renewal center makes a special point of saying that the renewal that it aims at won't happen until the glorification occurs. If the statement only was talking about normal glorification, there would be no need to emphasize it as a prerequisite, since the glorification itself is already being fulfilled in Orthodoxy and indeed other Churches at a basic level at least.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2015, 10:29:03 AM »
OK, I see, Antonius, how this is an ecumenical song.

It's more than an "ecumenical" song.  It's a song calling for unity through "Charismatic Renewal".

Theoretically, it seems like if Orthodox recognize other Christians' Trinitarian baptisms, and baptism is in the Spirit, then it seems like other Christians would be in the Spirit. And if faith connects one to God, then they are united in the Lord.

You're free to postulate as you like, but the issue is whether or not the spirit which motivates the Charismatic Movement is indeed the Holy Spirit.  It is not.  We cannot be united with anyone in that...thing.

Even the Eucharist is not necessary absolutely for communion with God, since there were saints who died as catechumens.

This doesn't mean that entire heterodox ecclesial bodies are in some way mystically united with the Orthodox Church.

Still, this song is kind of a simplification that overlooks the church's traditional idea of communion, which doesn't include those outside of its institutional communion.

No, it's more than that.  I've already told you what it is based on what its author intended it to be.  It's not a poem that you can interpret as you like.  Any Orthodox Christian praying in agreement with this song is praying to something dangerous.

I suppose it's OK, except the word "pride" here contradicts Orthodox ideas about it. It's true that you shouldn't be 'ashamed' of your faith, and maybe there are things in the Bible it approves of being proud of. In this verse, the term "pride" seems to be meant in the sense of basic dignity and self-worth as a person, but anyway, yes, "pride" can be at least badly misunderstood here.

The idea of saving each one's pride runs contrary to Orthodox spirituality.  The lyric is not misunderstood.  At any rate, this is peripheral to the discussion.  The Charismatic Movement is ultimately demonic.  Its corpus of songs cannot be incorporated into the life of the Orthodox Church.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 10:30:27 AM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2015, 04:37:56 PM »
No, it's more than that.  I've already told you what it is based on what its author intended it to be. It's not a poem that you can interpret as you like.  Any Orthodox Christian praying in agreement with this song is praying to something dangerous.

Its corpus of songs cannot be incorporated into the life of the Orthodox Church.

Antonius,

I didn't realize that this was a song of the Charismatic movement until you told me. I always thought it was a nice song, like "Kumbaya, my Lord" or "We are climbing Jacob's Ladder".

Sure, I can see that the author thinks that it is about people being united in the Spirit, which is good, but that in his mindset, the "Spirit" is creating various dubious "gifts", especially like incomprehensible mass speaking in tongues. The Orthodox Church believes that this "gift", if it existed ever, has by now practically ceased.

Personally, I share Fr. Seraphim Rose in his opinion that it is a psychological phenomenon wherein the mind hypnotizes itself to lose control of its speech. It can be auto-induced unintentionally. I watched a stage performer hypnotise people in the audience to speak in "Martian". They were under hypnosis and didn't realize they were even doing it. Glossolalia I believe becomes reflexive where the person says whatever sounds come into his or her mind, without stopping to control themselves. So since as you said, this is the author's and song's intended perception of the Spirit, yes, it is safer to avoid using it, because we wouldn't want to give the audience the wrong impression.

If we weren't to look at its intent or origin, I would probably just say what I said before about its good and bad sides.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 04:38:38 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2015, 04:40:52 PM »
This looks like a good discussion thread.

Antonius, you wrote:
Interesting. This was the same time women stopped covering their heads....

Context considered, it's not too much of a stretch to see a correlation between guitar masses and what you're describing; said masses featuring the Charismatic Movement's anthem, They Will Know We Are Christians (aka "We Are One") - a prayer for the spirit of the charismatic movement to sweep over the various Christian bodies of the world and unite them without anyone having to adjust their doctrine.  Unfortunately, this same "hymn" has been adopted in some unofficial Oriental Orthodox youth circles without an investigation of its origins or meaning.  Hearing it played over youtube vids featuring Orthodox bishops who I know would be opposed to it if they knew what was going on is just creepy.

Antonius,

It's not Russian or Byzantine chant, so I am not recommending we use it in services.
Is there something particular in the lyrics you disagree with? It sounds like a nice song with positive lyrics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQyLHi_X83s

As I said, the song was authored by a Charismatic Catholic priest who penned it as a prayer that the spirit motivating the Charismatic Movement (which is certainly not the Holy Spirit) sweep over "the churches" and unite them regardless of their dogmatic differences.  This man later left the Catholic priesthood and became a flat out Charismatic Protestant.  That being the case, a point-by-point dissection and refutation of the lyrics here is hardly necessary, although it can be done.  The origin of spirit of the song is enough.

That said, this is an entirely inappropriate song for Orthodox youth events because it stands in defiance of Orthodox ecclesiology.  The songs states:

Quote
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

Which implies that the Church is divided (it is not) and that there is a unity "in the spirit" which trumps unity of dogma and unity at the Chalice (there is not, as H.G. Anba Youssef has stated).

Further, the lyrics state:

Quote
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
 We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
 And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

Guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride?  Is this congruent with Orthodox spirituality?  It seems more like the Charismatic Liberation Theology to which the author subscribed.

And finally...

Quote
All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
 And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only Son,
 And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.

This sounds innocuous on the surface, but considered within context, it is another deadly entreaty to the spirit of the Charismatic Movement (misidentified as the Holy Spirit).  It claims that this spirit "makes us one" despite the fact that we are in truth divided, because the spirit of the Charismatic movement sweeps across all "denominations" regardless of their theology or praxis, or the fact that they are actually not in communion with one another.
I would be ok with that song it is was an Orthodox song just about Orthodox. Certainly, there should be greater unity within Orthodoxy. I suspect that is not the origin of it though.  ;)
God bless!

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2015, 05:39:10 PM »
I would be ok with that song it is was an Orthodox song just about Orthodox. Certainly, there should be greater unity within Orthodoxy. I suspect that is not the origin of it though.  ;)
Yes, but even for an Orthodox song it would be questionable because of the ambiguous (at best) meaning of protecting others' "pride" (eg. being kind to stop their minimal "self-esteem" from being destroyed by the Enemy vs. "arrogance")

What percent off Evangelicals do you think are Charismatics, Trisagion?
Only about 1/3 of Evangelicals say they believe they will see the Second Coming in their lifetimes. I thought it would be much higher among Charismatics. The whole Adventist movement was built on the idea of the Second Advent coming in 1843.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 05:42:15 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2015, 06:00:56 PM »
I would be ok with that song it is was an Orthodox song just about Orthodox. Certainly, there should be greater unity within Orthodoxy. I suspect that is not the origin of it though.  ;)
Yes, but even for an Orthodox song it would be questionable because of the ambiguous (at best) meaning of protecting others' "pride" (eg. being kind to stop their minimal "self-esteem" from being destroyed by the Enemy vs. "arrogance")
Yeah, I don't really know what that is supposed to mean.

Quote
What percent off Evangelicals do you think are Charismatics, Trisagion?
Only about 1/3 of Evangelicals say they believe they will see the Second Coming in their lifetimes. I thought it would be much higher among Charismatics. The whole Adventist movement was built on the idea of the Second Advent coming in 1843.
According to Wikipedia, Charismatic and Pentacostals make up a quarter of Christendom. I think it is kind of hard to quantify as a percentage of Evanglicalism, because some Evangelicals do not recognize Charismatics as being Evangelical, whereas some do, and many Charismatics are definitely outside Evangelicalism. Pentacostals may or may not be considered Evangelical (or in some cases, even Trinitarian at all).
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2015, 11:47:49 AM »
I didn't realize that this was a song of the Charismatic movement until you told me. I always thought it was a nice song, like "Kumbaya, my Lord" or "We are climbing Jacob's Ladder".

You're not the only one.  Neither did the Copts or Indian Orthodox who incorporated this poison so thoroughly into their youth activities that it's pretty much become their theme song.  This is what happens when we're indiscriminate and think that anything with the label "Christian" on it is healthy for our consumption. 

It is worse when we try to retroactively create a rationale for why a Charismatic song can be accepted in the life of our Church when "properly interpreted" when challenged by those who know the origins of the song and have lived in the movement.

Sure, I can see that the author thinks that it is about people being united in the Spirit, which is good, but that in his mindset, the "Spirit" is creating various dubious "gifts", especially like incomprehensible mass speaking in tongues. The Orthodox Church believes that this "gift", if it existed ever, has by now practically ceased.

Personally, I share Fr. Seraphim Rose in his opinion that it is a psychological phenomenon wherein the mind hypnotizes itself to lose control of its speech. It can be auto-induced unintentionally. I watched a stage performer hypnotise people in the audience to speak in "Martian". They were under hypnosis and didn't realize they were even doing it. Glossolalia I believe becomes reflexive where the person says whatever sounds come into his or her mind, without stopping to control themselves. So since as you said, this is the author's and song's intended perception of the Spirit, yes, it is safer to avoid using it, because we wouldn't want to give the audience the wrong impression.

I share Fr. Seraphim's opinion that some of it is psychological, and that in other instances it is demonic. Fr. Seraphim asks the right question:

Quote
The question we shall attempt to answer in these pages is: what or who is this spirit? As Orthodox Christians we know that it is not only God Who works miracles; the devil has his own "miracles," and in fact he can and does imitate virtually every genuine miracle of God. We shall therefore attempt in these pages to be careful to "try the spirits, whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1). We shall begin with a brief historical background, since no one can deny that the "charismatic revival" has come to the Orthodox world from the Protestant and Catholic denominations, which in turn received it from the Pentecostal sects.

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/charismatic_revival_s_rose_e.htm

If we weren't to look at its intent or origin, I would probably just say what I said before about its good and bad sides.

Thank God you're at least willing to consider the origin and intent of a song before attempting to "baptize" it unilaterally.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 11:50:24 AM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2015, 02:46:18 PM »
Fr. John Morris sent me a nice summary of his book and I'll leave it to him if he wishes to post it, but he made one especially good point, similar to Fr. Seraphim's on the use of mental tools to induce glossolalia:
Quote
Charismatics also tend to confuse their personal thoughts with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I also believe that speaking in tongues is learned behavior. Charismatics seek the "gift" and mimic others who display it. The Charismatics that I knew could turn on and off their tongues, just like I can speak German when I want to.  It seems to me that if I were a true gift of the Holy Spirit, it would be spontaneous. The first person to speak in tongues, Agnes Ozman, in ca. 1900 at Bethel Bible College in Kansas, actively sought what she and her friends considered the gift of tongues with a preconceived idea of what it would be.

While it's true that Paul told Corinthians to seek or desire tongues (1 Cor 13-14), the initial event, Pentecost, is not presented as something the apostles sought intentionally. The Charismatics initially intentionally sought their gift.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2015, 04:02:16 PM »
Do you have Fr. John's permission to share this (full) summary with others?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 04:02:28 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2015, 04:45:18 PM »
Do you have Fr. John's permission to share this (full) summary with others?
I will suggest he post it. Did you get a chance to look at my essay, Antonius?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,67025.msg1354874.html#msg1354874
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2015, 06:22:24 PM »
I was unaware of it until now, but I will take a look as soon as time permits.  If you have Fr. John's permission, I'd appreciate it greatly if you could PM me his summary, even if you cannot share it in the open forum.
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2015, 07:02:06 PM »
I was unaware of it until now, but I will take a look as soon as time permits.  If you have Fr. John's permission, I'd appreciate it greatly if you could PM me his summary, even if you cannot share it in the open forum.
Antonious,

Sure, I understand you have time constraints.

Since you have been in the Charismatic movement and left it for the Coptic Church,  I value your insights on this topic and would like to discuss this with you, along with my essay and a certain challenge it raises, on the link I provided.

The two most influential works for the EOs in the Americas on the movement have been Morris' and Fr. Seraphim's. The relevant part of Fr. Seraphim's is insightful about the psychological aspect, and Fr. Morris said that he discusses this too as I cited. Fr. Seraphim also thinks that the movement is demonic, which is not an unexpected impression, since it involves the speaker surrendering conscious control of their words. He proposes that real gifts God wants us to have are now generally among saints and elders, and connected with special virtue and/or asceticism, and he warns against Prelest.

Fr. Morris' essay talks about the history of the Charismatic movement, which has a modern Protestant origin, asking how those unChrismated Protestants could have more "gifts" than Orthodox who take sacraments regularly. He disputes that early Christian worship was spontaneous.

In my essay on the four key surface similarities to the early Church I covered these issues, except for (1) The Charismatic movement's history, and (2) whether it is demonic. One extra thing I discussed was End Times predictions.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2015, 11:10:42 PM »
For those of you looking for Fr. John's book, you can type your zip code into this national catalog to see if a library near you happens to have it:
http://www.worldcat.org/title/charismatic-movement-an-orthodox-evaluation/oclc/13725320&referer=brief_results
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #73 on: November 18, 2015, 11:14:25 PM »

Since you have been in the Charismatic movement and left it for the Coptic Church, 
Wait, what? Antonious isn't cradle? How did I not know this?!?
God bless!

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #74 on: November 19, 2015, 12:06:05 AM »

Since you have been in the Charismatic movement and left it for the Coptic Church, 
Wait, what? Antonious isn't cradle? How did I not know this?!?
TheTrisagion,

I thought Antonious said that he had direct experience with the Charismatics, but I can't find a quote now saying this. I could have misremembered it, so don't consider that an assertion by me anymore. Maybe I was only thinking of his experience with Coptic youth groups playing the kind of songs that he mentioned. In any case, I am interested in his opinions on this topic.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 12:06:24 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #75 on: November 19, 2015, 11:43:41 AM »

Since you have been in the Charismatic movement and left it for the Coptic Church, 
Wait, what? Antonious isn't cradle? How did I not know this?!?

Antonious is cradle.  He just has loads of firsthand experience with Pentecostalism/Charismatism because of non-cradle family members.  Antonious will now stop talking about Antonious in the third person.
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #76 on: November 19, 2015, 11:55:06 AM »
Sure, I understand you have time constraints.

Thanks.  I'll get to it when I get a chance.  This week, I don't think I have time to read a 13 page essay on a topic I've already read thousands of pages about and (unfortunately) been exposed to firsthand for decades, but I promise I will give it a once over when time permits.  I appreciate your patience.

Since you have been in the Charismatic movement and left it for the Coptic Church

This isn't exactly accurate, but like I said, I've been up close and personal with the Movement for decades and have seen stuff that I am convinced was demonic.

I value your insights on this topic and would like to discuss this with you, along with my essay and a certain challenge it raises, on the link I provided.

Thanks.  And I'll take a look at it when I get a chance.

The two most influential works for the EOs in the Americas on the movement have been Morris' and Fr. Seraphim's. The relevant part of Fr. Seraphim's is insightful about the psychological aspect, and Fr. Morris said that he discusses this too as I cited. Fr. Seraphim also thinks that the movement is demonic, which is not an unexpected impression, since it involves the speaker surrendering conscious control of their words. He proposes that real gifts God wants us to have are now generally among saints and elders, and connected with special virtue and/or asceticism, and he warns against Prelest.

I don't think Fr. Seraphim is off base.  I also think that anyone seriously interested in studying this subject from an Orthodox perspective should read Fr. Alexis Trader's In Peace Let Us Pray to the Lord referenced in post # 5 by Velsigne and all of the sources I linked to in post # 7.

Fr. Morris' essay talks about the history of the Charismatic movement, which has a modern Protestant origin, asking how those unChrismated Protestants could have more "gifts" than Orthodox who take sacraments regularly. He disputes that early Christian worship was spontaneous.

I agree with him too.  The two positions (that it is demonic, and that it is self-delusional) are not mutually exclusive.  In my experience, and based on my research, I'd say that some is from column A and some is from column B.  I'd also say that it is anachronistic to read behavior akin to modern Pentecostalism and Charismatism onto any legitimate practice of the Early Church as described in the New Testament or anywhere else.

I'd also recommend that if you're truly interested in getting to the root of this practice, you investigate Donald Matthew's Religion in the Old South and Melville Herskovits Myth of the Negro Past among other related resources.

In my essay on the four key surface similarities to the early Church I covered these issues, except for (1) The Charismatic movement's history, and (2) whether it is demonic. One extra thing I discussed was End Times predictions.

I will read it as soon as I can.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 11:56:11 AM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #77 on: November 19, 2015, 12:20:58 PM »

Since you have been in the Charismatic movement and left it for the Coptic Church, 
Wait, what? Antonious isn't cradle? How did I not know this?!?

Antonious is cradle.  He just has loads of firsthand experience with Pentecostalism/Charismatism because of non-cradle family members.  Antonious will now stop talking about Antonious in the third person.
TheTrisagion is glad that Antonious clarified this point as TheTrisagion was greatly confused and his entire oc.net paradigm nearly came crashing down him.
God bless!

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #78 on: November 19, 2015, 01:48:30 PM »
RE: discussing the essay and reading it.
This is not to be hurried. It is a serious, but very sensitive discussion, critically analysing Christianity, the early Church, Charismaticism, etc. and considering the Orthodox view.

It's no requirement. I only want a patient talk, not the kind of thing we had on the
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #79 on: November 19, 2015, 02:13:11 PM »
RE: discussing the essay and reading it.
This is not to be hurried. It is a serious, but very sensitive discussion, critically analysing Christianity, the early Church, Charismaticism, etc. and considering the Orthodox view.

May I ask why this subject is of interest to you?  Do you have loved ones in the Charismatic Movement?  Have you spent time up close and personal with its adherents?  Is this merely an academic issue for you?  Are you interested in developing a comprehensive polemic against Charismatism yourself?  Or an apologia for certain aspects of it?

It's no requirement. I only want a patient talk, not the kind of thing we had on the

Kind of trailed off there, but you may fix that in editing.  I'm guessing your referring to our interaction in the thread about the Ethiopian Church and marijuana?  If that's the case, you needn't worry about our having a similar interaction here, unless you're going to contend that the Oriental Orthodox Church already accepts some form of Charismatism and that is as it should be.  I don't think that will be the case though.  :)
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #80 on: November 19, 2015, 02:25:19 PM »
I think Fr. Seraphim looks a bit prescient when one considers how fast-growing Charismaticism is.
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #81 on: April 26, 2017, 01:42:03 PM »
Quote
I'm curious as to the author's qualifications.  Is he a historian?  An anthropologist?  A theologian?  Just a hobbyist?  What qualifies him to publish an article on this subject?
May I ask why this subject is of interest to you?  Do you have loved ones in the Charismatic Movement?  Have you spent time up close and personal with its adherents?  Is this merely an academic issue for you?  Are you interested in developing a comprehensive polemic against Charismatism yourself?  Or an apologia for certain aspects of it?
Hello, Antonious,
I've been Orthodox for about 20 years, took about a hundred study classes in Orthodoxy at parishes, youth groups, St. Tikhon's, and retreats, given talks at Orthodox gatherings, and published articles on Orthodoxy in secular and Orthodox publications and websites, the most recent being a chapter in The Orthodox Dilemma.
However, I didn't attend Seminary. It's impressive for me that you did.


One major value that I see in the topic of Orthodoxy vs. Charismaticism is clarifying what Orthodoxy is and has been, and what Orthodoxy is not and has not been. A major feature of the Orthodox Church that attracts me and others to it is that it is a continuation of the early Church. People looking for the early Church can and should find their way to the Orthodox Church.

Charismaticism claims to be reviving early Church practices and sometimes outwardly resembles them. I remember Orthodox ex-Charismatic pastor writing that one of Charismaticism's unique features (in contrast to other Protestants) was that they were seeking deeper spirituality and experience of the Spirit and the mystical, which existed in the early Church. Bp. Ware took up the question of whether this feature of Charismatics stood out and resembled features of Orthodoxy:
Quote
can we discover other links, on a more specifically theological level, between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism?
How far is the Christian East sympathetic to a ‘charismatic’ understanding of the spiritual life?

SOURCE: Personal Experience Of The Holy Spirit According To The Greek Fathers:, http://silouanthompson.net/2008/08/personal-experience/

I think he is alluding to outward resemblances to the Charismatic movement when he describes Orthodoxy in his book The Orthodox Church, because the Charismatic movement uses the underlined terms:
Quote
But the Church is not only hierarchical, it is charismatic and Pentecostal. "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings" (1 Thes. 5:19-20). The Holy Spirit is poured out upon all God’s people. There is a special ordained ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons; yet at the same time the whole people of God are prophets and priests. In the Apostolic Church, besides the institutional ministry conferred by the laying on of hands, there were other charismata or gifts conferred directly by the Spirit: Paul mentions ‘gifts of healing,’ the working of miracles, "speaking with tongues," and the like (1 Cor. 12:28-30). In the Church of later days, these charismatic ministries have been less in evidence, but they have never been wholly extinguished. One thinks, for example, of the ministry of ‘eldership,’ so prominent in nineteenth-century Russia; this is not imparted by a special act of ordination, but can be exercised by the layman as well as by priest or bishop. Seraphim of Sarov and the startsi of Optino exercised an influence far greater than any hierarch.

This ‘spiritual,’ non-institutional aspect of the Church’s life has been particularly emphasized by certain recent theologians in the Russian emigration; but it is also stressed by Byzantine writers, most notably Symeon the New Theologian. More than once in Orthodox history the ‘charismatics’ have come into conflict with the hierarchy, but in the end there is no contradiction between the two elements in the Church’s life: it is the same Spirit who is active in both.
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/history_timothy_ware_2.htm

Since the "gifts" were a feature of the early Church, and my goal and those of others who come to Orthodoxy is to return to the ways of the Early Church, understanding, clarifying, and differentiating the phenomena in the early Church is appealing.


I occasionally cross paths with Charismatics. I had a girlfriend who was Pentecostal and I went to a Middle School-level "Bible school" with Charismatics and have a charismatic acquaintance who attends Orthodox church, but he is not a parishioner. Sometimes Charismatics appear interested in Orthodoxy. On another forum, I had a long discussion with a member of a "restorationist" church (trying to restore the early church) who was critical of Calvinism but not Orthodoxy. Robert Arakaki's goal on Orthodox-Reform Bridge on AFR is to dialogue with Charismatics and Protestants. He went to a Protestant seminary with Charismatics where seeing a Pentecostal's ikon was the start of him coming to Orthodoxy.

Where Charismaticism is mistaken, it's worth having a polemic available against it. If there were shared features between Charismatics and the early Church, I am inclined to think that it's worth recognizing them, but in those cases, qualifications or explanations should be made from the Orthodox POV.

To give an example of a clear mistake by Charismatics,
occasionally in their gatherings, groups of people simultaneously babble in unintelligible tongues. Even if those were the same kind of tongues as in the New Testament, their practice is definitely in violation of Paul's instructions to the Corinthians that tongues should only be spoken by at most one pair of persons at a time.

To give an example of a possible shared feature
between the Early Church and Charismaticism, one that I think about is the End Times mentality. Charismaticism generally has a mentality that the End Times and the Second Coming are coming very soon. They look for the "signs" predicted in the gospels' Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation. As a mainstream Protestant, I looked at the Charismatics' mentality as unrealistic, strange, or silly, like "The Sky is Falling". It's not that the earth is eternal or Jesus will never return, but rather that the earth has lasted a long time and I don't see the kinds of "signs" that the Charismatics claim. I don't see the moon turning red to an extent not expected by astronomers.

I sometimes hear Orthodox people seem to imply an End Times mentality, but it doesn't feel that common. Fr. Hopko once suggested that the Second Coming could soon occur because "I don't know how much worse things can get." So I have on occasion heard references by Orthodox suggesting that the Second Coming will happen pretty soon (eg. in 10 to 20 years), but declarations and suggestions that we are in or very near the End Times still feel rare to me in Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 01:54:11 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #82 on: April 27, 2017, 09:00:02 AM »
Quote
I'm curious as to the author's qualifications.  Is he a historian?  An anthropologist?  A theologian?  Just a hobbyist?  What qualifies him to publish an article on this subject?
May I ask why this subject is of interest to you?  Do you have loved ones in the Charismatic Movement?  Have you spent time up close and personal with its adherents?  Is this merely an academic issue for you?  Are you interested in developing a comprehensive polemic against Charismatism yourself?  Or an apologia for certain aspects of it?
Hello, Antonious,
I've been Orthodox for about 20 years, took about a hundred study classes in Orthodoxy at parishes, youth groups, St. Tikhon's, and retreats, given talks at Orthodox gatherings, and published articles on Orthodoxy in secular and Orthodox publications and websites, the most recent being a chapter in The Orthodox Dilemma.
However, I didn't attend Seminary. It's impressive for me that you did.

So basically, you're just a guy with some informal training and an opinion who had an article published in another guy's self-published book.  No particular training that qualifies you to write the article in any sort of formal or academic sense.  Have I got that right?

One major value that I see in the topic of Orthodoxy vs. Charismaticism is clarifying what Orthodoxy is and has been, and what Orthodoxy is not and has not been. A major feature of the Orthodox Church that attracts me and others to it is that it is a continuation of the early Church. People looking for the early Church can and should find their way to the Orthodox Church.

Charismaticism claims to be reviving early Church practices and sometimes outwardly resembles them. I remember Orthodox ex-Charismatic pastor writing that one of Charismaticism's unique features (in contrast to other Protestants) was that they were seeking deeper spirituality and experience of the Spirit and the mystical, which existed in the early Church. Bp. Ware took up the question of whether this feature of Charismatics stood out and resembled features of Orthodoxy:
Quote
can we discover other links, on a more specifically theological level, between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism?
How far is the Christian East sympathetic to a ‘charismatic’ understanding of the spiritual life?

SOURCE: Personal Experience Of The Holy Spirit According To The Greek Fathers:, http://silouanthompson.net/2008/08/personal-experience/

I think he is alluding to outward resemblances to the Charismatic movement when he describes Orthodoxy in his book The Orthodox Church, because the Charismatic movement uses the underlined terms:
Quote
But the Church is not only hierarchical, it is charismatic and Pentecostal. "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings" (1 Thes. 5:19-20). The Holy Spirit is poured out upon all God’s people. There is a special ordained ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons; yet at the same time the whole people of God are prophets and priests. In the Apostolic Church, besides the institutional ministry conferred by the laying on of hands, there were other charismata or gifts conferred directly by the Spirit: Paul mentions ‘gifts of healing,’ the working of miracles, "speaking with tongues," and the like (1 Cor. 12:28-30). In the Church of later days, these charismatic ministries have been less in evidence, but they have never been wholly extinguished. One thinks, for example, of the ministry of ‘eldership,’ so prominent in nineteenth-century Russia; this is not imparted by a special act of ordination, but can be exercised by the layman as well as by priest or bishop. Seraphim of Sarov and the startsi of Optino exercised an influence far greater than any hierarch.

This ‘spiritual,’ non-institutional aspect of the Church’s life has been particularly emphasized by certain recent theologians in the Russian emigration; but it is also stressed by Byzantine writers, most notably Symeon the New Theologian. More than once in Orthodox history the ‘charismatics’ have come into conflict with the hierarchy, but in the end there is no contradiction between the two elements in the Church’s life: it is the same Spirit who is active in both.
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/history_timothy_ware_2.htm

Since the "gifts" were a feature of the early Church, and my goal and those of others who come to Orthodoxy is to return to the ways of the Early Church, understanding, clarifying, and differentiating the phenomena in the early Church is appealing.


I occasionally cross paths with Charismatics. I had a girlfriend who was Pentecostal and I went to a Middle School-level "Bible school" with Charismatics and have a charismatic acquaintance who attends Orthodox church, but he is not a parishioner. Sometimes Charismatics appear interested in Orthodoxy. On another forum, I had a long discussion with a member of a "restorationist" church (trying to restore the early church) who was critical of Calvinism but not Orthodoxy. Robert Arakaki's goal on Orthodox-Reform Bridge on AFR is to dialogue with Charismatics and Protestants. He went to a Protestant seminary with Charismatics where seeing a Pentecostal's ikon was the start of him coming to Orthodoxy.

Where Charismaticism is mistaken, it's worth having a polemic available against it. If there were shared features between Charismatics and the early Church, I am inclined to think that it's worth recognizing them, but in those cases, qualifications or explanations should be made from the Orthodox POV.

To give an example of a clear mistake by Charismatics,
occasionally in their gatherings, groups of people simultaneously babble in unintelligible tongues. Even if those were the same kind of tongues as in the New Testament, their practice is definitely in violation of Paul's instructions to the Corinthians that tongues should only be spoken by at most one pair of persons at a time.

To give an example of a possible shared feature
between the Early Church and Charismaticism, one that I think about is the End Times mentality. Charismaticism generally has a mentality that the End Times and the Second Coming are coming very soon. They look for the "signs" predicted in the gospels' Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation. As a mainstream Protestant, I looked at the Charismatics' mentality as unrealistic, strange, or silly, like "The Sky is Falling". It's not that the earth is eternal or Jesus will never return, but rather that the earth has lasted a long time and I don't see the kinds of "signs" that the Charismatics claim. I don't see the moon turning red to an extent not expected by astronomers.

I sometimes hear Orthodox people seem to imply an End Times mentality, but it doesn't feel that common. Fr. Hopko once suggested that the Second Coming could soon occur because "I don't know how much worse things can get." So I have on occasion heard references by Orthodox suggesting that the Second Coming will happen pretty soon (eg. in 10 to 20 years), but declarations and suggestions that we are in or very near the End Times still feel rare to me in Orthodoxy.

All attempts at trying to find some congruity between the Early Church and modern Charismatism/Pentecostalism rings hollow for me because I do not accept the premise that what modern Charismatics and Pentecostals do is in any way related to what we see in the Early Church or the authentic gifts of the Spirit as we know them in modern Orthodoxy.  The Early Church and Charismatism only seem to resemble one another if one reads the New Testament through a Charismatic lens and reads a modern Charismatic/Pentecostal meaning into what is described in the Book of Acts, Corinthians, and other places in the New Testament.
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #83 on: April 28, 2017, 12:19:53 PM »
Hello, Antonious,
I've been Orthodox for about 20 years, took about a hundred study classes in Orthodoxy at parishes, youth groups, St. Tikhon's, and retreats, given talks at Orthodox gatherings, and published articles on Orthodoxy in secular and Orthodox publications and websites, the most recent being a chapter in The Orthodox Dilemma.
However, I didn't attend Seminary. It's impressive for me that you did.

So basically, you're just a guy with some informal training and an opinion who had an article published in another guy's self-published book.  No particular training that qualifies you to write the article in any sort of formal or academic sense.  Have I got that right?
I went to highschool and college and took classes in literature, religion, and philosophy, and took catechism classes.
I imagine that a major portion of journalists and guest writers for Christian or Diocesan magazines worldwide got degrees in journalism or English/their native language and didn't go to seminary.
Antonious, I respect that you went to seminary and that you have learned about the Charismatics and how they differ from Orthodoxy for a long time. This is why I would like to get your ideas on some questions that the topic raises and explore the differences with you. Is this something you are OK with?

Quote
Quote
To give an example of a clear mistake by Charismatics, occasionally in their gatherings, groups of people simultaneously babble in unintelligible tongues. Even if those were the same kind of tongues as in the New Testament, their practice is definitely in violation of Paul's instructions to the Corinthians that tongues should only be spoken by at most one pair of persons at a time.

To give an example of a possible shared feature between the Early Church and Charismaticism, one that I think about is the End Times mentality. Charismaticism generally has a mentality that the End Times and the Second Coming are coming very soon. They look for the "signs" predicted in the gospels' Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation. As a mainstream Protestant, I looked at the Charismatics' mentality as unrealistic, strange, or silly, like "The Sky is Falling". It's not that the earth is eternal or Jesus will never return, but rather that the earth has lasted a long time and I don't see the kinds of "signs" that the Charismatics claim. I don't see the moon turning red to an extent not expected by astronomers.

I sometimes hear Orthodox people seem to imply an End Times mentality, but it doesn't feel that common. Fr. Hopko once suggested that the Second Coming could soon occur because "I don't know how much worse things can get." So I have on occasion heard references by Orthodox suggesting that the Second Coming will happen pretty soon (eg. in 10 to 20 years), but declarations and suggestions that we are in or very near the End Times still feel rare to me in Orthodoxy.

All attempts at trying to find some congruity between the Early Church and modern Charismatism/Pentecostalism rings hollow for me because I do not accept the premise that what modern Charismatics and Pentecostals do is in any way related to what we see in the Early Church or the authentic gifts of the Spirit as we know them in modern Orthodoxy.  The Early Church and Charismatism only seem to resemble one another if one reads the New Testament through a Charismatic lens and reads a modern Charismatic/Pentecostal meaning into what is described in the Book of Acts, Corinthians, and other places in the New Testament.
I agree that Charismaticism itself is different from the Early Church and the gifts in the Orthodox Church because it has major examples like what I put in blue above. Also, I would agree that if one uses a Charismatic lens, one can mistakenly miss these major differences and mistakenly think that they are the same. May I please ask you, Antonious, what you think about the potential shared feature I mentioned above? In the New Testament is there a mentality that the End Times are close by, that we are now in the "last days and hours", and if so, are the same mentality and type of expressions used in the Orthodox Church today, as with what Fr. Hopko said?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 12:24:38 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #84 on: April 28, 2017, 05:08:09 PM »
I went to highschool and college and took classes in literature, religion, and philosophy, and took catechism classes.

As respectfully as possible, rakovsky.  This is exactly what I said:

Quote
So basically, you're just a guy with some informal training and an opinion who had an article published in another guy's self-published book.  No particular training that qualifies you to write the article in any sort of formal or academic sense.  Have I got that right?

I'm not making a dig at you.  I'm simply observing that you are an layman (in the academic sense, since clerical rank doesn't matter here) with no special qualifications to write about this issue.  You are neither a theologian, a historian, an anthropologist, or anything else.  You are a Russian-English translator and a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy who has "rubbed elbows" with Pentecostals, taken catechism classes at his local church, and took the same classes virtually everyone else takes in high school and undergrad.

I'm sure you would agree that there is a difference between an article submitted to an academic or theological journal and the rigors of peer review and a piece that a layman managed to get published on a blog.  Right?

I imagine that a major portion of journalists and guest writers for Christian or Diocesan magazines worldwide got degrees in journalism or English/their native language and didn't go to seminary.

Are you a journalist?  Do you have any training in journalism?

Would you agree that there is a difference between a piece written by a journalist and an academic study of the same subject?

Is the piece you have written here intended as a journalistic expose or rather as an academic study of a given theological topic?

Antonious, I respect that you went to seminary and that you have learned about the Charismatics and how they differ from Orthodoxy for a long time. This is why I would like to get your ideas on some questions that the topic raises and explore the differences with you. Is this something you are OK with?

Sure, of course.  No problem.  It's just that since your piece seemed to be an academic study of this subject, I wanted to assess your qualifications to write about it with any authority.  Is that okay with you?

I agree that Charismaticism itself is different from the Early Church and the gifts in the Orthodox Church because it has major examples like what I put in blue above. Also, I would agree that if one uses a Charismatic lens, one can mistakenly miss these major differences and mistakenly think that they are the same.

I am glad. 

I must note that I disagree most strongly with the assertion that what St. Paul described in Corinthian Church, for example, was an instance of unintelligible babbling analogous to what the Azusa Street crew and their theological descendants engage in, and I disagree even more stridently with the assertion that the Holy Spirit of God - the author of the former phenomenon - is also the author of the latter.

May I please ask you, Antonious, what you think about the potential shared feature I mentioned above? In the New Testament is there a mentality that the End Times are close by, that we are now in the "last days and hours", and if so, are the same mentality and type of expressions used in the Orthodox Church today, as with what Fr. Hopko said?

I think the difference is that Orthodoxy emphasize that no one knows when the last days will occur and that we should live every day as if it might be judgment day for us because, you know, it actually might.  I think that Orthodoxy eschews the sort of games that Jack Van Impe and others of his ilk play, where they try to pinpoint things based on what they see occurring in the world around them and how they delude themselves that that syncs up with Biblical prophecy.
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #85 on: April 28, 2017, 06:35:42 PM »
Antonius,
It's just that since your piece seemed to be an academic study of this subject, I wanted to assess your qualifications to write about it with any authority.  Is that okay with you?
Yes. The other piece of information that I would add to this is that I first shared my article with 10-20 Orthodox, including priests and a bishop, who have either been Charismatics or dealt closely with Charismatics. I added their input to the article and made corrections. So this served as an informal "peer review" process, and maybe even better, since a bishop is not quite the peer of a lay journalist. I consulted many more people than usually are consulted in peer review.

The fact that Robert is an ex-Charismatic and considered my article worthy of his AFR page is a sign to me that it has value. He wrote to one of the Charismatics commenting on it:
Quote
Quote
I thoroughly enjoyed this essay. I’m currently attending an Antiochian Orthodox church but have not decided to become a catechumen yet. I was raised very “Fundamentalist” and after leaving that setting spent time first as a member of a non-denominational Messianic Judaism-influenced church, then a member of a non-denominational church of Reformed theology and Charismatic worship... As it stands, I’m finding myself treasuring the theology of the Orthodox Church. ...
...
~Philip
There was a time when I was quite involved with the charismatic renewal so I’m familiar with much that you wrote. Orthodoxy is very much a charismatic church in the sense that the presence of the Holy Spirit is found in the Liturgy. ~Robert Arakaki

One addition I made was examples of End Times deadline writers who are frequently respected in Charismatic circles. This was because some Charismatics don't think that setting deadlines is something that happens in the Charismatic movement. So then I gave examples to show this.

Another addition was Fr. Paisius' explanation:
Quote
If the gifts are no longer widespread, how does Orthodoxy explain the miracles that modern Charismatics claim to perform? Fr. Paisius of St. Herman’s Monastery in California considered the possibility that some of them may be real phenomena, but not necessarily done “in the spirit of our ‘Meek and Lowly’ Lord Jesus Christ.” As such, they may cause harm by increasing the “miracle worker’s” pride. He noted that in Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus considered some who claimed to perform miracles in His name to be working lawlessness. Fr. Paisius gave as an analogy the practice of illegally using an electric cable to steal power from a power line.

Source: Correspondence with Fr. Paisius of St. Herman’s monastery, October-November 2015.

I must note that I disagree most strongly with the assertion that what St. Paul described in Corinthian Church, for example, was an instance of unintelligible babbling analogous to what the Azusa Street crew and their theological descendants engage in
I am not sure if you are commenting on my article. I found two viewpoints common among Orthodox people and theologians: One that the Corinthians spoke national foreign languages and another that they spoke what would sound to bystanders like unintelligible babbling. For the first point of view, I wrote:
Quote
St. John Chrysostom, however, may have thought that the Corinthians spoke foreign human languages like the Apostles in Acts 2, since he commented that the Corinthians “considered it a great gift… because the Apostles received it first of all and with such ceremony.”
I later found another writer in the patristic era, maybe Theodoret, who considered them to be speaking national languages.

I believe that you correctly summarized an Orthodox POV here, and believe that you are correctly noticing the failed End Times deadlines bane of Charismaticism:
Quote
I think the difference is that Orthodoxy emphasize that no one knows when the last days will occur and that we should live every day as if it might be judgment day for us because, you know, it actually might.  I think that Orthodoxy eschews the sort of games that Jack Van Impe and others of his ilk play, where they try to pinpoint things based on what they see occurring in the world around them and how they delude themselves that that syncs up with Biblical prophecy.
Putting aside the major feature of Charismatics' End Times deadlines, do you think I asked my question in the last message clearly enough?
That is: When I was a liberal Protestant, I looked down on Charismatics' pronouncements that we are living in the End Times, and that the Second Coming is near because this seemed very unrealistic. Then when I joined Orthodoxy, I heard on rare occasion pronouncements like Fr. Hopko's lecture to our youth group mentioning that the end times are probably nearby because "I don't know how much worse things can get". And then turning to the Bible, I see numerous declarations that the apostles and their audience were in the "last days" and "last hours". So I am trying to see how one should come down on this "Last Days" and "The Second Coming is Probably Near" mentality.

To list them:

Me as a liberal Protestant: End Times mentality is unrealistic, strange, and maybe silly
Charismatics: The End is Near (hence their "Latter Rain" claims)
The Bible: We are in the last days and hours (Rom 13:12; 1 Pet 1:20,4:7; Heb 1:2; Jam 5:3,5:8; 1 John 2:18,4:3). At the 2nd Coming, the dead rise first, then "we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds." (1 Thess 4:17)
Orthodox clergy today: References to us probably being near the End Times are rare.

Would you consider that a decent depiction of the different views and a decent understanding of the verses listed?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:55:40 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #86 on: April 28, 2017, 06:59:00 PM »
When is a realistic and unsilly time for the Parousia?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:59:19 PM by Porter ODoran »
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #87 on: April 28, 2017, 07:00:21 PM »
When is a realistic and unsilly time for the Parousia?

 :-*
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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #88 on: April 28, 2017, 07:32:50 PM »
Antonius,
It's just that since your piece seemed to be an academic study of this subject, I wanted to assess your qualifications to write about it with any authority.  Is that okay with you?
Yes. The other piece of information that I would add to this is that I first shared my article with 10-20 Orthodox, including priests and a bishop, who have either been Charismatics or dealt closely with Charismatics. I added their input to the article and made corrections. So this served as an informal "peer review" process, and maybe even better, since a bishop is not quite the peer of a lay journalist. I consulted many more people than usually are consulted in peer review.

The fact that Robert is an ex-Charismatic and considered my article worthy of his AFR page is a sign to me that it has value. He wrote to one of the Charismatics commenting on it:
Quote
Quote
I thoroughly enjoyed this essay. I’m currently attending an Antiochian Orthodox church but have not decided to become a catechumen yet. I was raised very “Fundamentalist” and after leaving that setting spent time first as a member of a non-denominational Messianic Judaism-influenced church, then a member of a non-denominational church of Reformed theology and Charismatic worship... As it stands, I’m finding myself treasuring the theology of the Orthodox Church. ...
...
~Philip
There was a time when I was quite involved with the charismatic renewal so I’m familiar with much that you wrote. Orthodoxy is very much a charismatic church in the sense that the presence of the Holy Spirit is found in the Liturgy. ~Robert Arakaki

This sounds like a rather lengthy way of saying, "I am not trained in any of the disciplines that would usually qualify me to write such a piece and have it regarded as a serious study of the subject matter by anyone other than me, my circle of acquaintances and friends, and some likeminded guys on the internet.  That said, in the absence of qualified academics, I did have the piece reviewed by that same circle of acquaintances, friends, and likeminded guys on the internet".  My question regarding your training and qualifications is answered though.  Thank you.

One addition I made was examples of End Times deadline writers who are frequently respected in Charismatic circles. This was because some Charismatics don't think that setting deadlines is something that happens in the Charismatic movement. So then I gave examples to show this.

Another addition was Fr. Paisius' explanation:
Quote
If the gifts are no longer widespread, how does Orthodoxy explain the miracles that modern Charismatics claim to perform? Fr. Paisius of St. Herman’s Monastery in California considered the possibility that some of them may be real phenomena, but not necessarily done “in the spirit of our ‘Meek and Lowly’ Lord Jesus Christ.” As such, they may cause harm by increasing the “miracle worker’s” pride. He noted that in Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus considered some who claimed to perform miracles in His name to be working lawlessness. Fr. Paisius gave as an analogy the practice of illegally using an electric cable to steal power from a power line.

Source: Correspondence with Fr. Paisius of St. Herman’s monastery, October-November 2015.

I must note that I disagree most strongly with the assertion that what St. Paul described in Corinthian Church, for example, was an instance of unintelligible babbling analogous to what the Azusa Street crew and their theological descendants engage in
I am not sure if you are commenting on my article. I found two viewpoints common among Orthodox people and theologians: One that the Corinthians spoke national foreign languages and another that they spoke what would sound to bystanders like unintelligible babbling. For the first point of view, I wrote:
Quote
St. John Chrysostom, however, may have thought that the Corinthians spoke foreign human languages like the Apostles in Acts 2, since he commented that the Corinthians “considered it a great gift… because the Apostles received it first of all and with such ceremony.”
I later found another writer in the patristic era, maybe Theodoret, who considered them to be speaking national languages.

I believe that you correctly summarized an Orthodox POV here, and believe that you are correctly noticing the failed End Times deadlines bane of Charismaticism:
Quote
I think the difference is that Orthodoxy emphasize that no one knows when the last days will occur and that we should live every day as if it might be judgment day for us because, you know, it actually might.  I think that Orthodoxy eschews the sort of games that Jack Van Impe and others of his ilk play, where they try to pinpoint things based on what they see occurring in the world around them and how they delude themselves that that syncs up with Biblical prophecy.
Putting aside the major feature of Charismatics' End Times deadlines, do you think I asked my question in the last message clearly enough?
That is: When I was a liberal Protestant, I looked down on Charismatics' pronouncements that we are living in the End Times, and that the Second Coming is near because this seemed very unrealistic. Then when I joined Orthodoxy, I heard on rare occasion pronouncements like Fr. Hopko's lecture to our youth group mentioning that the end times are probably nearby because "I don't know how much worse things can get". And then turning to the Bible, I see numerous declarations that the apostles and their audience were in the "last days" and "last hours". So I am trying to see how one should come down on this "Last Days" and "The Second Coming is Probably Near" mentality.

To list them:

Me as a liberal Protestant: End Times mentality is unrealistic, strange, and maybe silly
Charismatics: The End is Near (hence their "Latter Rain" claims)
The Bible: We are in the last days and hours (Rom 13:12; 1 Pet 1:20,4:7; Heb 1:2; Jam 5:3,5:8; 1 John 2:18,4:3). At the 2nd Coming, the dead rise first, then "we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds." (1 Thess 4:17)
Orthodox clergy today: References to us probably being near the End Times are rare.

Would you consider that a decent depiction of the different views and a decent understanding of the verses listed?

I think that the Bible passages you've cited can easily be distorted and misrepresented (e.g. "caught up in the clouds"...I don't think I have to tell you that anyone who believes in "the rapture" is a heretic) and that the Orthodox point of view regarding the "end times" is best summarized as "Don't worry about it.  It could be tonight for you.  Repent and live like it is".
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Polemic against Charismatic Movement?
« Reply #89 on: April 28, 2017, 08:00:35 PM »
Thanks for your answer, Antonious. I like that you gave this thought and fully agree with what you said below.
I think that the Bible passages you've cited can easily be distorted and misrepresented (e.g. "caught up in the clouds"...I don't think I have to tell you that anyone who believes in "the rapture" is a heretic) and that the Orthodox point of view regarding the "end times" is best summarized as "Don't worry about it.  It could be tonight for you.  Repent and live like it is".
That is, the Bible could be distorted into rapture doctrine, and that the Orthodox POV is to repent and live rightly, as one would in the end times.

I will quote the verses I pointed to so that you don't have to look them up.
Quote
Romans 13:12
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

1 Peter 1:20
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1 Peter 4:7
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Hebrews 1:2
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

James 5:3
Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

James 5:8
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

1 John 2:18
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 John 4:3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The issue I wanted to draw your attention to in Thessalonians was not the fake "rapture" doctrine, but rather that Paul seemed to speak as if he and his audience would remain alive by the Second Coming. That is, the verses appeared to repeatedly assert that the End Times indeed were very near. By comparison, the same kinds of expressions asserting openly that we are in the last hours seem pretty rare to me among Orthodox today. The idea I find generally asserted today just seems to be that we don't know the End Times' date and as you correctly said, "Repent and live like it is".
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 08:10:26 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20