No, brother Cinizec, I am reffering to all those families that have kept the Orthodoxy, with the help of God and the blessing of the Commynity of Saints, through 1100 years of attempts of Rome to rape us, and 500 years of attempts of Turks to converts us and 90 years of attempts of Communists to eradicate us and so on and on.
And glory to God for such fidelity. But let's also not forget that this survival was not somehow inevitable
- lest we fail to consider just how many "ethnic Orthodox" (sic) ended up becoming Mohammedans or lost their faith to the social pressures and persecution created by the Communists or the "Unia".
OLD BELIEVERS... the cradle Orthodox, Orthdodox not just by faith but by nation.
Well if you're living in the west, with American, Canadian, British, etc. citizenship, you're not in fact "Orthodox by nation"...and as the generations pass, affection and attachment to the motherland will
diminish. Hence, the danger of believing the continuation of Orthodox faith within families that began in "Orthodox lands" is somehow inevitable
. It is not, unfortunately.
New converts that think that Orthodoxy is just another protestant sect that should be 'givean a go, 'coz it looks cool'.
I've had the opportunity to meet many people who have personally chosen to become Orthodox at various stages of their lives. Some are flakes, granted. Some are among the best people I've met. It's a mix, like in almost anything. What I think is unfair though, is to reduce these conversions to an infatuation with externals. Though even that's not a bad start
, if we are to believe the traditional story of St.Vladimir's conversion (where his emissaries return from Constantinople speaking radiantly of how beautiful Hagia Sophia was and the glory of the Orthodox liturgy celebrated there - they said they did not know if they were "on earth or in heaven".)
New converts that ridicule babushkas and traditions of the East and in doing so ridicule Tradition.
True, there are some folks like this, and that is very sad. On the other hand though, I've encountered far more "ethnic Orthodox who do precisely this
, both numerically and proportionately. There is no end in the various juristictions here in the west, to those so called "born" Orthodox who are ashamed of the Church, and wish to see it become "modernized" and more like the various mainstream heterodox denominations of the west. In fact all of the big pushes for this are distinctly
"ethnic" in their origin (meaning those pushing for such things come from Orthodox families, and are not so called "converts".)
Some say that it is good that Church is growing in the West. People count the numbers of people who are being babtised. And in doing so trying to revive their own dead faith. I (and many others, fundamentalists or blind latin haters, as we are commonly known) disagree. God is not God of quantity, but God of quality.
Yes, , God I thank thee that I am not like other men (St.Luke 18:9-14
) I'm assuming of course, you're
among the "quality", right?
West is rotten. West is dead. And all of those who, by the mercy of the Lord, became Orthodox and who still have that scholastic mind of the west, mind that will leave nothing unquestioned, that will try to explain everything and learn nothing, mind that is poisoning the Church in the west and in doing so pushing the poison of wrong ideas and culture of relativism into the Church at Home, all of them, new and smart people who know better that to do what we have done for two thousand years, all of them are not always welcome.
"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" as the saying goes. Yes, there are lots of problems here. But so there are "back home" as well.
Contrary to the teachings of our Lord Christ Jesus, no! And no because it is a way of love and not of hatred. I love you. What is wrong? To say that somebody has kept the faith for 2000 years? That someone has been Orthodox Christian in face of everything that devil can throw at him?
This is the conceit here though - it wasn't you, or your contemporaries, who survived all of that - that was the virtue and struggle of others. Whether you keep the faith, or your children do, is another matter. This is the danger of believing any of this is somehow "inevitable." Keep in mind that alot of those Arab Muslims and Turks too have Orthodox Christian ancestors
. In other words, there is nothing inevitable in any of this - it's a struggle, one which each person must individually enter into.
And why is the conviction that, we, of the old world, will do so, heterodox?
I wouldn't say it's heterodox, just silly and unfounded. Those who keep the faith, will be those who keep the faith - whatever their earthly citizenship or ancestory may be. Sadly, you'll find defectors in every corner. The East-Roman Empire is now mostly Muslim held - what happened to all of those Orthodox Christians? Simple - most of them eventually became Muslims. Those who didn't, did so at a great personal price - and that was a decision they had to make. It will be the same in the future.
And why is the oppinion of the new world is rotten, heterodox?
Again, not heterodox, but just silly. Greece isn't great shakes anymore, I hate to say. You'll find strongholds of wonderful, faithful and zealous Orthodox there to be sure - but you'll find a disappointing number of secularized, godless people there too. This goes without saying about Slavic countries as well, like Russia. So there are problems there too. There are problems everywhere. The times are very evil. It's dangerous to believe one need not be vigilant anywhere
I am not "clinging to dangerous ideas that keep us divided". Church can not be divided. Never! One God, One Body and One faith. I am stating that people who come and question everything using the scholastic methodology of the west and who are bringing novel ideas of the west, who are attacking traditions and by them Tradition are not well-wishers and on the benefit of the Church, never were.
Of course there are "converts" who have not really shed their heterodox past. I'll grant that this happens, and too often. But consider this my friend - that the greatest offenders in this regard, of bringing heterodoxy into the sanctuary of Orthodoxy, have not been so called "converts", but so called "born" Orthodox themselves! This is true both here in the west, and back in the "mother lands". Was it "converts" who have involved (and still involve) Orthodoxy in ecumenism (ex. World Council of Churches, and it's various national branches)? Was it some "convert" who introduced the "new" calendar into Orthodoxy? Was it "converts" who comprimised Orthopraxis, by introducing organs and pews into Orthodox Churches?
The last example is particularly telling, since it's been my (admittedly personal, so take it for what it's worth) observation that it's often the "converts" who don't want the pews in the Churches, and who tend towards being "integralists", particularly in matters of praxis. I'm not saying there are not also luke warm people and bad apples, but I think it's really unfair to dump all of this on "converts", when the reality is that these are problems that trancend any one little group of Orthodox - rather this is a problem in the Orthodox world, period - including so called "born" Orthodox (and even in "Orthodox lands".)