Poll

What is the general opinion among the Orthodox you know when the topic is ecumenical dialogue with Protestants or Catholics?

It is analogous to theological assimilation and compromise.
It provides an opportunity to fully appreciate Orthodox sacred Tradition.

Author Topic: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation  (Read 780 times)

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Offline Sirach

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Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« on: April 24, 2014, 01:37:10 PM »
Background:

1.  "... (There) are some individuals who fear that the ecumenical component of our work will eventually lead us down the road of theological concessions. According to them, engaging the other is not necessarily a bad thing. What is problematic, however, is when the other is a Roman Catholic or a Protestant. For these individuals, the other poses a serious threat to our identity as Orthodox Christians, and therefore, any dialogue with them is analogous to theological assimilation and compromise."

2.  "When… Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians engage each other in a dialogue of truth and love they not only explore differences between their communities—those teachings and practices that keep us from entering into full communion with each other—but they also discover common elements that connect the two communities. Moreover, this labor of love provides us with a unique perspective by which we can fully appreciate our own sacred Tradition. If we are sure of our Orthodox Christian identity, then we must be confident that engaging the other could never lead to assimilation; we will not lose our 'Orthodoxy' by dialoguing with the Roman Catholic Church, as they will not lose their 'Catholicity' by dialoguing with the Orthodox Church."

Source. Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 01:44:14 PM »
Oh no...
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

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Offline Sirach

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 02:10:35 PM »
I'll take that as a vote for #1.   :)

Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 03:33:16 PM »
The Poll

Quote
What is the general opinion among the Orthodox you know when the topic is ecumenical dialogue with Protestants or Catholics?
#1  It is analogous to theological assimilation and compromise.
#2 It provides an opportunity to fully appreciate Orthodox sacred Tradition.
   

There needs to be another option as the first option is the reactionary response expected by modernists, ecumenists, and those skilled in dialectic materialism, so this reactionary position is presented as a straw man, which they can and do attack.

The second option is the alleged position that modernists, ecumenists, and those skilled in dialectic materialism present to disguise their true position. If ecumenists can draw educated and respected members of the clergy into their circle of friendship, then they can achieve compromise as a way of unifying all Christians by finding common elements that connect us as Christians. These common elements are the bare bones of Christianity minus our own sacred Traditions. Is outrage!

I did attend ecumenical events when I was at the university between 2003 to 2008 with the recommendation of my confessor in the OCA. These ecumenical events included meetings with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists. Even among Christians due to feminism, the only common prayers that could be expressed excluded any reference to the Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. I stopped going and realized how sinful these events were when there was an event hosted by the Muslim and Jewish student associations. The Jewish students pulled out of the event at the last minute but provided some food while the Muslim students took advantage of the situation by inviting imans who separated us one on one and tried to convert us to Islam. How many Christians lost their faith that day, I have no idea, but that was the tipping point for me as I made a hasty retreat from that event and from the ecumenical movement.
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Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 04:11:12 PM »
From Fr. Nathanael Symeonides' blog:

Quote
However, there are some individuals who fear that the ecumenical component of our work will eventually lead us down the road of theological concessions. According to them, engaging the other is not necessarily a bad thing. What is problematic, however, is when the other is a Roman Catholic or a Protestant. For these individuals, the other poses a serious threat to our identity as Orthodox Christians, and therefore, any dialogue with them is analogous to theological assimilation and compromise. To my surprise, some folks have even asked me if I was thinking about becoming Catholic or if I was being forced to accept the pope as my spiritual leader! Fortunately, even though the average person may not fully understand every dimension of the ecumenical dialogue, the majority of our people perceive dialogue as an exercise in cooperation rather than compromise.

http://blogs.goarch.org/blog/-/blogs/ecumenical-dialogue-assimilation-or-affirmation?p_p_auth=nRKxE9lt&_33_redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.goarch.org%2Fhome%3Fp_p_id%3D101_INSTANCE_Z7aQ1f5bQmL4%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-1%26p_p_col_pos%3D1%26p_p_col_count%3D2

When I attended and sang in the choir at two Ecumenical Vespers' services at St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles, I witnessed first hand the alteration of Orthodox Christian prayers so that feminist priests in the Episcopal, Lutheran, and Methodist Churches, would not be offended. These men and women Protestant clergy refused to mention "Father" and "Son" in their prayers as they stood on the Cathedral Solea in their western clerical garbs.

« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 04:14:03 PM by Maria »
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 04:17:56 PM »
Background:

1.  "... (There) are some individuals who fear that the ecumenical component of our work will eventually lead us down the road of theological concessions. According to them, engaging the other is not necessarily a bad thing. What is problematic, however, is when the other is a Roman Catholic or a Protestant. For these individuals, the other poses a serious threat to our identity as Orthodox Christians, and therefore, any dialogue with them is analogous to theological assimilation and compromise."


According to them, engaging the other is not necessarily a bad thing. What is problematic, however, is when the other is a Roman Catholic or a Protestant.....


What else besides these is there????

Unless we are talking about dialoging with Muslims,Jews,  Hindus, Sikhs and every other non Christ-professing religion....


Thus, for me, regardless of the actual implications...this quote is rather ridiculous.

Offline Yurysprudentsiya

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2014, 05:29:56 PM »
What about a 3.  It helps us understand what is similar and good in their tradition about which we can rejoice together, and enables us to witness to them about what holy Orthodoxy has to offer to complete their faith.  I thought that was our goal in terms if membership in the WCC etc.  

I picture it as glass half full evangelism. 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 05:30:43 PM by Yurysprudentsiya »

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2014, 06:06:43 PM »
When I recently showed the Jordanville Prayer Book to my therapist she commented along the lines that she now knew of a religion with more guilt stuff in it than her family's Catholicism. Would this be an example of good ecumenism or bad? On the one hand she doesn't have mushy touchy-feely ideas about Orthodoxy; on the other hand she probably thinks it is a bit insane. All my work in inter-religious dialogue with her, destroyed by reading a few prayers!

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2014, 06:26:39 PM »
All my work in inter-religious dialogue with her, destroyed by reading a few prayers!

Wheat and chaff, man.  Wheat and chaff.  :P
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2014, 10:18:31 PM »
What about a 3.  It helps us understand what is similar and good in their tradition about which we can rejoice together, and enables us to witness to them about what holy Orthodoxy has to offer to complete their faith.  I thought that was our goal in terms if membership in the WCC etc.  

I picture it as glass half full evangelism. 
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Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 02:59:25 PM »

"If we are sure of our Orthodox Christian identity, then we must be confident that engaging the other could never lead to assimilation; we will not lose our 'Orthodoxy' by dialoguing with the Roman Catholic Church, as they will not lose their 'Catholicity' by dialoguing with the Orthodox Church."

Source. Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation


Notice how the Archimandrite writes that if you are sure of your Orthodoxy you will have nothing to fear. Is this a good analogy? If a recovering alcoholic doesn't want to go to a party where alcohol will be served, or buy liquor for his friends, is it right and honorable for his "friends" to tempt him, "If you are sure that alcoholism is so bad, then you should have no fear of joining us at a party! You are just being a party pooper."

Screwtape must be glowing with glee!

In his GOARCH blog, the Archimandrite is saying that Orthodox Christians shouldn't be afraid to dialogue with evil, learn from evil, explore evil, and pray with those who teach evil heretical ideas.
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Offline Sirach

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2014, 03:12:10 PM »
Evil?

Is this the generally held Orthodox view, that non-Orthodox Christians are evil?


Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2014, 03:16:34 PM »
Is this the generally held Orthodox view, that non-Orthodox Christians are evil?

No, if you can believe it.
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2014, 03:19:10 PM »
Notice how the Archimandrite writes that if you are sure of your Orthodoxy you will have nothing to fear. Is this a good analogy? If a recovering alcoholic doesn't want to go to a party where alcohol will be served, or buy liquor for his friends, is it right and honorable for his "friends" to tempt him, "If you are sure that alcoholism is so bad, then you should have no fear of joining us at a party! You are just being a party pooper."

Screwtape must be glowing with glee!

I don't know much about recovering alcoholics, so forgive the question: are they required to go out and make disciples of other alcoholics in order to save them, or are they merely expected to take care of themselves and leave that sort of work to others healthier than themselves?

Quote
In his GOARCH blog, the Archimandrite is saying that Orthodox Christians shouldn't be afraid to dialogue with evil, learn from evil, explore evil, and pray with those who teach evil heretical ideas.

Oh?  Where?
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

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Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2014, 03:22:37 PM »
Is this the generally held Orthodox view, that non-Orthodox Christians are evil?

No, if you can believe it.

We are all sinners. None of us are sinless.

So, we are called to repent and to pray for the salvation of all.

However, praying with heretics is not allowed because then the Holy Faith can and will be compromised in a sincere attempt to avoid offending those who do not hold the Holy Orthodox Faith.

For example, this was seen at St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles, when at the Ecumenical Vespers, the prayers were edited so as not to offend the feminist priests (Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Methodist) who objected to the use of the words: Father, Son, Lord, King, and Master.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 03:26:30 PM by Maria »
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Offline Sirach

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2014, 03:52:43 PM »
Is this the generally held Orthodox view, that non-Orthodox Christians are evil?

No, if you can believe it.

I can believe it, but - at least since that is what was said - I thought I should at least ask. 

Offline methodius

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2014, 03:54:23 PM »
Notice how the Archimandrite writes that if you are sure of your Orthodoxy you will have nothing to fear. Is this a good analogy? If a recovering alcoholic doesn't want to go to a party where alcohol will be served, or buy liquor for his friends, is it right and honorable for his "friends" to tempt him, "If you are sure that alcoholism is so bad, then you should have no fear of joining us at a party! You are just being a party pooper."

Screwtape must be glowing with glee!

I don't know much about recovering alcoholics, so forgive the question: are they required to go out and make disciples of other alcoholics in order to save them, or are they merely expected to take care of themselves and leave that sort of work to others healthier than themselves?

Quote
In his GOARCH blog, the Archimandrite is saying that Orthodox Christians shouldn't be afraid to dialogue with evil, learn from evil, explore evil, and pray with those who teach evil heretical ideas.

Oh?  Where?

 Has he perhaps forgotten ... "but deliver us from the evil one."

Edited to fix quote tags.  Mor. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 04:19:36 PM by Mor Ephrem »
kyrie eleison

Offline Sirach

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2014, 04:06:03 PM »
There needs to be another option as the first option is the reactionary response expected by modernists, ecumenists, and those skilled in dialectic materialism, so this reactionary position is presented as a straw man, which they can and do attack.

I do think that the phrase "there are some individuals who fear" does create the opportunity for a straw man.  Perhaps a more dispassionate phrase would be "there are some individuals who express concern."  However, if in his travels Fr. Symeonides really did find that people were not just concerned, but were actually fearful - then the word, even if inflammatory, is correct.

Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2014, 04:07:24 PM »
Notice how the Archimandrite writes that if you are sure of your Orthodoxy you will have nothing to fear. Is this a good analogy? If a recovering alcoholic doesn't want to go to a party where alcohol will be served, or buy liquor for his friends, is it right and honorable for his "friends" to tempt him, "If you are sure that alcoholism is so bad, then you should have no fear of joining us at a party! You are just being a party pooper."

Screwtape must be glowing with glee!

I don't know much about recovering alcoholics, so forgive the question: are they required to go out and make disciples of other alcoholics in order to save them, or are they merely expected to take care of themselves and leave that sort of work to others healthier than themselves?

Quote
In his GOARCH blog, the Archimandrite is saying that Orthodox Christians shouldn't be afraid to dialogue with evil, learn from evil, explore evil, and pray with those who teach evil heretical ideas.

Oh?  Where?

 Has he perhaps forgotten ... "but deliver us from the evil one."

In the Lord's Prayer, there is a difference in translations:

1) But deliver us from the evil one.

2) But deliver us from evil.

Does the use of #2 deny the existence of the Devil?

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Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2014, 04:15:46 PM »
There needs to be another option as the first option is the reactionary response expected by modernists, ecumenists, and those skilled in dialectic materialism, so this reactionary position is presented as a straw man, which they can and do attack.

I do think that the phrase "there are some individuals who fear" does create the opportunity for a straw man.  Perhaps a more dispassionate phrase would be "there are some individuals who express concern."  However, if in his travels Fr. Symeonides really did find that people were not just concerned, but were actually fearful - then the word, even if inflammatory, is correct.

Father employs unfortunate rhetorical choices in his essay. Since he is highly educated, this phrase bolded above must have been chosen to deliver a passionate impact. Yes, it is inflammatory, this is why I have made a claim that the derogatory phrase in question is a straw man.
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Offline methodius

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2014, 04:23:12 PM »
Thanks, Mor
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2014, 04:25:58 PM »
Thanks, Mor

"See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you."  ;)
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Offline Sirach

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2014, 04:27:15 PM »
There needs to be another option as the first option is the reactionary response expected by modernists, ecumenists, and those skilled in dialectic materialism, so this reactionary position is presented as a straw man, which they can and do attack.

I do think that the phrase "there are some individuals who fear" does create the opportunity for a straw man.  Perhaps a more dispassionate phrase would be "there are some individuals who express concern."  However, if in his travels Fr. Symeonides really did find that people were not just concerned, but were actually fearful - then the word, even if inflammatory, is correct.

Father employs unfortunate rhetorical choices in his essay. Since he is highly educated, this phrase bolded above must have been chosen to deliver a passionate impact. Yes, it is inflammatory, this is why I have made a claim that the derogatory phrase in question is a straw man.

But what if the people he encountered really were "fearful" and not just "concerned"?  

Offline Maria

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2014, 04:50:02 PM »
There needs to be another option as the first option is the reactionary response expected by modernists, ecumenists, and those skilled in dialectic materialism, so this reactionary position is presented as a straw man, which they can and do attack.

I do think that the phrase "there are some individuals who fear" does create the opportunity for a straw man.  Perhaps a more dispassionate phrase would be "there are some individuals who express concern."  However, if in his travels Fr. Symeonides really did find that people were not just concerned, but were actually fearful - then the word, even if inflammatory, is correct.

Father employs unfortunate rhetorical choices in his essay. Since he is highly educated, this phrase bolded above must have been chosen to deliver a passionate impact. Yes, it is inflammatory, this is why I have made a claim that the derogatory phrase in question is a straw man.

But what if the people he encountered really were "fearful" and not just "concerned"?  


What if scenarios are not logical.
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2014, 04:53:10 PM »


What if scenarios are not logical.


Neither is putting your own 'spin' on what he said.....but that doesn't seem to stop you.


In his GOARCH blog, the Archimandrite is saying that Orthodox Christians shouldn't be afraid to dialogue with evil, learn from evil, explore evil, and pray with those who teach evil heretical ideas.


Those are -your- words...not his.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 04:53:32 PM by DeniseDenise »

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation P
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2014, 10:53:17 PM »
I voted that it is the same as assimilation  & compromise when conversing with other Christian groups.  Pope Francis concerns me & it seems that most "mainline" Protestants do not really believe even the basic faith of the apostles'  creed. Just my low grade opinion.
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Offline Sirach

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Re: Ecumenical Dialogue: Assimilation or Affirmation
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2014, 06:20:39 PM »
"It is an indisputable fact that ecumenical dialogues have yielded moments of genuine and heartfelt contact, of mutual acquaintance and enrichment. The ensuing texts have only repeatedly confirmed our common Christian archetypes, our common root in the indivisible Church. If the main goal of the Ecumenical movement is the visible unity of the Church, ecclesiology owes to remain at the center of our dialogues. For, the attainment of this goal is not promoted by ecclesiological minimalism or by an ecumenism based on good intentions alone, but by an affirmation of the authentic content of unity and the Eucharistic aspect of the Church."

Address By His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew At The Old Catholic Cathedral (April 24, 2014)