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Urban_Monk
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« on: May 12, 2014, 03:27:39 PM »

So I converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism exactly one year ago, last May. Since then I have had constant doubts about several things in Catholicism, and am considering the Orthodox Church.
A couple of short questions...

1. Does the Orthodox accept the RCC sacrament of reconciliation, or would I be expected to confess yet again the litany of sins I have commited in my 38 years ?
2. Does the Orthodox have any belief in the 'treasury of merit' or indulgences ?
3. What is the Orthodox view on justification ?
4. How does the Orthodox go about evangelization ?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 03:38:44 PM »

So I converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism exactly one year ago, last May. Since then I have had constant doubts about several things in Catholicism, and am considering the Orthodox Church.
A couple of short questions...

1. Does the Orthodox accept the RCC sacrament of reconciliation, or would I be expected to confess yet again the litany of sins I have commited in my 38 years ?
2. Does the Orthodox have any belief in the 'treasury of merit' or indulgences ?
3. What is the Orthodox view on justification ?
4. How does the Orthodox go about evangelization ?

Thanks!

1. That would be something for you and your priest to discuss. Many (most) people do make a "life confession," upon reception into the Orthodox Church.
2. I would say no, since I haven't heard any mention of those terms, and I only have the vaguest idea of what you're talking about.
3. You're going to have to unpack this a little and explain what you mean. One of the potentially confusing things about Orthodoxy is that we use religious terms like salvation, justification etc. and often mean entirely different things by them.
4. In what sense? You may get a number of different opinions on this - in the usual Protestant sense of the word, not much. Orthodox try not to proselytize.
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 03:58:27 PM »

How do the Orthodox fulfill the great commission "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit", without  prosylitizing ?
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 04:06:34 PM »

So I converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism exactly one year ago, last May. Since then I have had constant doubts about several things in Catholicism, and am considering the Orthodox Church.
A couple of short questions...

1. Does the Orthodox accept the RCC sacrament of reconciliation, or would I be expected to confess yet again the litany of sins I have commited in my 38 years ?
2. Does the Orthodox have any belief in the 'treasury of merit' or indulgences ?
3. What is the Orthodox view on justification ?
4. How does the Orthodox go about evangelization ?

Thanks!

1. I don't know the specifics between the Orthodox Sacrament of Confession, and the Catholic one of reconciliation, so I don't really know.
2. No.
3. To understand justification in Orthodoxy, you'd need to understand the nature of grace in Orthodoxy as well, I think.

Quote
How do the Orthodox fulfill the great commission "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit", without  prosylitizing ?

By Baptizing. Christ says to Baptize in Matthew 28:19, not to proselytize. He also says: "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

It's by the above method, through serving God faithfully (as impossible as it seems) that the Church employs as her evangelization method.
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 04:09:44 PM »

How do the Orthodox fulfill the great commission "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit", without  prosylitizing ?

By doing just that.  Evangelism and proselytism are two different things, although the endgame is the same:  conversion.
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 08:58:28 PM »

So I converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism exactly one year ago, last May. Since then I have had constant doubts about several things in Catholicism, and am considering the Orthodox Church.
A couple of short questions...

1. Does the Orthodox accept the RCC sacrament of reconciliation, or would I be expected to confess yet again the litany of sins I have commited in my 38 years ?
2. Does the Orthodox have any belief in the 'treasury of merit' or indulgences ?
3. What is the Orthodox view on justification ?
4. How does the Orthodox go about evangelization ?

Thanks!

1. I've heard of some priests requiring converts to confess before they are received, however, I would also say that confession (to a priest) is an integral part of an Orthodox Christian's spiritual life.
2. No. The Orthodox Church does believe in created grace (which logically leads to merits/indulgences), a view the West did not adopt until after the schism.
3. Could you be more specific? Are we talking righteousness or salvation?
4. Living a pious and virtuous life.  Also, not being afraid to talk to people who ask about your faith.

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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 02:18:41 AM »

So, again... I'm stuck on this evangelism thing. I can live a good life and be mistaken for a Buddhist or whatever. So, there is no sense of needing to ACTIVELY share the orthodox faith ? To bring it up before others do... no going out and actively trying to speak to the lost for Christ ?
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 02:23:21 AM »

no going out and actively trying to speak to the lost for Christ ?

First things first: Become part of the Church and immerse yourself in the life of the Church. You can't run if you haven't learned to crawl.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 02:28:15 AM »

So, again... I'm stuck on this evangelism thing. I can live a good life and be mistaken for a Buddhist or whatever. So, there is no sense of needing to ACTIVELY share the orthodox faith ? To bring it up before others do... no going out and actively trying to speak to the lost for Christ ?

There's the saying - the blind leading the blind.  If you are lost, how can you help others who are lost?
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 03:54:18 AM »

Yes. But if when he asks the answer is 'join first and then and you will know'

For someone who keenly feels the Great Comission as a Protestant, even the notion of joining a Church that does not actively peruse reaching those around them, is a rough thing.

So. Dear poster, the truth is, how reaching others is done varies greatly. Many do not take any active role.
However there are Orthodox missionaries and charities, and many opportunities to volunteer.

This makes it just like Protestantism, with one small exception.
In Orthodoxy, people don't talk 'evangelism' like you will hear over in Proestant land. Mainly because there is an element of 'I am sinful and why would I crow about going to do God's will faraway, when I have not yet mastered my prayer life, etc.

Instead, people live their lives, trying to be a light for their neighbors, all while assuring everyone they are the most sinful person.

Contrast that with the arrogance that it takes to believe oneself qualified (and trust me, I thought this) at 19 to go help people be saved. 

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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 08:50:02 AM »

So, again... I'm stuck on this evangelism thing. I can live a good life and be mistaken for a Buddhist or whatever. So, there is no sense of needing to ACTIVELY share the orthodox faith ? To bring it up before others do... no going out and actively trying to speak to the lost for Christ ?

There is active evangelism.
http://www.ocmc.org/

 And each parish evangelizes by their presence in a real life community.  Some parishioners are better than others to share the Faith.  Others simply try to have Christ's light shine in their lives.  Some quotes:

Quote
While the Holy Spirit is the one who draws the world to Himself, it is you and I who keep the doors of the Church open and who welcome all who come.
Fr. David Moser - http://www.orthodox.net/articles/evangelism.html

Quote
Orthodox evangelism can’t be done effectively in the ways many Evangelicals do it: Often the method doesn’t produce the outcome we’re aiming for. You don’t become an Orthodox Christian by saying a prayer, by making a “decision for Christ”, or by kneeling at the altar at a revival after hearing Four Spiritual Laws. Citywide rallies or streetcorner witnessing or surprise visits to your house by trained teams don’t make disciples...Each of us as individual Orthodox Christians will have an evangelistic life to the extent that our life is transformed by Christ...Humble people, daily dying to self, daily being converted to Christ, and daily acquiring the Holy Spirit, bear a truthful witness to Christ...So instead of passing tracts or asking strangers if they know Jesus, among Orthodox Christians it’s much more likely for a word to be privately shared in season, with much prayer, and in a relationship where we’ve earned trust.
http://silouanthompson.net/faq/#10


I don't know of an Orthodox Billy Graham, but merely appealing to people's emotions  or though process is not the way to make disciples of nations.

And, we should consider the persecution that historically Orthodox lands faced.  There is a "re-evangelism" of sorts to bring people back to the fold of the Church and give them back their strong foundation.

To go back to your quote, there is no way that you would be mistaken for a Buddhist if you live a good and humble life in and for Christ.
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 12:22:49 PM »

Please don't think I am being argumentative...  But when I think of the Orthodox Church, I think of the ancient Faith of the Apostles. When we read of those apostles in the scriptures we see them openly preaching to the crowds of non believers... and people were added to their numbers daily.
When did the Church stop this ?

In my pinion, though what has been said here about being a light in the world through simply living for Christ has merit, this world is full of people that need to know the message of the gospel. Full of hurting people... And yes, we are not worthy to bear that message... then again we never will be.
I would think if anything living for our Lord would bring so much love and compassion in our hearts for these lost souls that we wouldn't be able to NOT actively reach out with the gospel message... Just as the apostles did.
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 12:33:42 PM »

No arguments, we're discussing. Smiley

1 Cor. 12:27-31
Quote
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?  But earnestly desire the higher gifts.  And I will show you a still more excellent way.


Even in Apostolic times, Paul thought it necessary to write about it.  If an Orthodox Christian is called to speak to openly preach, he/she will do so.  The Apostles preached, not of their own accord, but with the blessing and aid of the Holy Spirit.  I'm no gifted speaker, but I feel I made a big impact when teaching Sunday school, when I was a protestant.  I personally consider those that visit prisoners to share Christ with them braver than I am.  Again, God has blessed those people to do that kind of ministry.  We can look at the priesthood.  Are all priests excellent counselors?  Preachers?  Teachers?  No, no, no.  Are some priests better at getting involved with the community? Helping the poor?  Writing excellent scholarly articles?  Yes, yes, yes.  All this applies to laity, too.

What's the goal in all this?  To get closer to Christ in our lives.
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2014, 12:38:47 PM »

Please don't think I am being argumentative...  But when I think of the Orthodox Church, I think of the ancient Faith of the Apostles. When we read of those apostles in the scriptures we see them openly preaching to the crowds of non believers... and people were added to their numbers daily.
When did the Church stop this ?

In my pinion, though what has been said here about being a light in the world through simply living for Christ has merit, this world is full of people that need to know the message of the gospel. Full of hurting people... And yes, we are not worthy to bear that message... then again we never will be.
I would think if anything living for our Lord would bring so much love and compassion in our hearts for these lost souls that we wouldn't be able to NOT actively reach out with the gospel message... Just as the apostles did.
I think it is beneficial to remember that methods that were used for sharing the Good News at that time were done so because they were ways that related well to the culture. At that time in history, it was not unusual for the men of the city to head down to the forum and discuss religion, politics, etc. In doing so, the early Christians were using an established cultural norm for the propagation of the Gospel.  That is not really the case any longer.  If I went downtown and stood arguing with passersby about religion, that would do more damage to the faith than help. During periods of persecution, the Christians were not walking about proselytizing. They were living out a quiet faith.  Can our current Church improve on its methods of sharing the Gospel?  Absolutely, but I think we are in a transition period which requires much thought and introspection about how best to reach others without diluting what has been handed down to us through the ages.  Orthodoxy is not something that can be put in a index card sized tract and left in bathroom stalls as I see done by some protestant denominations. It is also not something you can come up with a good slogan and throw up on a billboard.  It is much more complex and deeper than that and the methods of outreach have to work with that.
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2014, 12:50:33 PM »

Please don't think I am being argumentative...  But when I think of the Orthodox Church, I think of the ancient Faith of the Apostles. When we read of those apostles in the scriptures we see them openly preaching to the crowds of non believers... and people were added to their numbers daily.
When did the Church stop this ?

In my pinion, though what has been said here about being a light in the world through simply living for Christ has merit, this world is full of people that need to know the message of the gospel. Full of hurting people... And yes, we are not worthy to bear that message... then again we never will be.
I would think if anything living for our Lord would bring so much love and compassion in our hearts for these lost souls that we wouldn't be able to NOT actively reach out with the gospel message... Just as the apostles did.
I think it is beneficial to remember that methods that were used for sharing the Good News at that time were done so because they were ways that related well to the culture. At that time in history, it was not unusual for the men of the city to head down to the forum and discuss religion, politics, etc. In doing so, the early Christians were using an established cultural norm for the propagation of the Gospel.  That is not really the case any longer.  If I went downtown and stood arguing with passersby about religion, that would do more damage to the faith than help. During periods of persecution, the Christians were not walking about proselytizing. They were living out a quiet faith.  Can our current Church improve on its methods of sharing the Gospel?  Absolutely, but I think we are in a transition period which requires much thought and introspection about how best to reach others without diluting what has been handed down to us through the ages.  Orthodoxy is not something that can be put in a index card sized tract and left in bathroom stalls as I see done by some protestant denominations. It is also not something you can come up with a good slogan and throw up on a billboard.  It is much more complex and deeper than that and the methods of outreach have to work with that.

One of those tract groups came to my College preaching Sola Fide and all that garbage.
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2014, 01:00:51 PM »


[/quote]One of those tract groups came to my College preaching Sola Fide and all that garbage.[/quote]

Even more reason to look for every opportunity to share the Orthodox faith at your college Wink
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2014, 01:09:31 PM »

Urban_Monk,

If I understand where you're coming from, I can definitely sympathize with what you are asking about as it relates to evangelism. It does bug me sometimes that Orthodox Christians don't seem to be very proactive about missions work. There are some shining lights of evangelism, like St. Innocent of Alaska, or Sts. Cyril and Methodius. Or St. John Chrysostom, who encouraged and supported missions to the 'barbarians,' and translating the Scripture into various languages. But in general the Orthodox approach does seem rather passive, and I have commented on my frustration in this regard, as it seems like we need to do more.

Having said that, there's something else that I'd put forward to consider. Between the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholics and many Protestant groups there has been a ton of evangelism over the centuries. And yet less than 1/3 of the world is Christian. It seems to me that, if evangelism and conversion was as simple as sending out missionaries to preach the gospel, that the entire world would have been Christian a long time ago. It's not simply a matter of preaching the Gospel, though, but rather people have to be convinced of it, see people transformed by it, and see its superiority and truth. I often feel that Orthodoxy falls short on the numbers part of evangelism (both in terms of evangelists and resources), but I think they have something lacking elsewhere, and that is a depth in evangelism.

Really the problem, it seems to me, is finding the balance. Multitudes of missionaries preaching something that won't stick or isn't deep enough won't work long term in converting people and cultures. And having incredible depth and breadth in theology and practice, but not being active about sharing it, also won't work long term as far as evangelism. I agree that Orthodox Christians need to support missions more, and not simply settle for a passive 'come and see' or 'best kept secret' thing. Having said that, I also think Orthodoxy is in a great place to do that, having the foundation and resources, if only we would push a bit more. When we point to places like OCMC and say "Go and give to them and support them," rather than pointing to them and saying "Look, we already do evangelism," then I think you will see Orthodoxy grow consistently, one person at a time, and hopefully (I hope I'm not delusional here) one culture at a time.
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2014, 01:10:15 PM »

Please don't think I am being argumentative...  But when I think of the Orthodox Church, I think of the ancient Faith of the Apostles. When we read of those apostles in the scriptures we see them openly preaching to the crowds of non believers... and people were added to their numbers daily.
When did the Church stop this ?

In my pinion, though what has been said here about being a light in the world through simply living for Christ has merit, this world is full of people that need to know the message of the gospel. Full of hurting people... And yes, we are not worthy to bear that message... then again we never will be.
I would think if anything living for our Lord would bring so much love and compassion in our hearts for these lost souls that we wouldn't be able to NOT actively reach out with the gospel message... Just as the apostles did.
I think it is beneficial to remember that methods that were used for sharing the Good News at that time were done so because they were ways that related well to the culture. At that time in history, it was not unusual for the men of the city to head down to the forum and discuss religion, politics, etc. In doing so, the early Christians were using an established cultural norm for the propagation of the Gospel.  That is not really the case any longer.  If I went downtown and stood arguing with passersby about religion, that would do more damage to the faith than help. During periods of persecution, the Christians were not walking about proselytizing. They were living out a quiet faith.  Can our current Church improve on its methods of sharing the Gospel?  Absolutely, but I think we are in a transition period which requires much thought and introspection about how best to reach others without diluting what has been handed down to us through the ages.  Orthodoxy is not something that can be put in a index card sized tract and left in bathroom stalls as I see done by some protestant denominations. It is also not something you can come up with a good slogan and throw up on a billboard.  It is much more complex and deeper than that and the methods of outreach have to work with that.

As a humorous aside, it would be fun to contemplate how Orthodoxy could be squeezed onto a billboard.

I'm sure this group could come up with some clever phrases.  
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2014, 01:10:26 PM »

Please don't think I am being argumentative...  But when I think of the Orthodox Church, I think of the ancient Faith of the Apostles. When we read of those apostles in the scriptures we see them openly preaching to the crowds of non believers... and people were added to their numbers daily.
When did the Church stop this ?

What we see in the Scriptures is only a portion of the missionary activity undertaken by the apostles.  And, for the most part, it is their preaching to Jews first and then to Gentiles.  I don't know that I would call this "crowds of non-believers": they are Jews addressing Jews before moving on to Gentiles, and this outward movement did not happen automatically or without controversy.  

When we consider what's not in Scripture, the picture becomes even more complex.  For instance, when we read the accounts of St Thomas' missionary activity in the East and in India, we really don't have any record of his preaching, but we know he went to certain places, settled there, lived and worked (he was a carpenter) among the people, and it was the witness of his life, his good works, and the performing of a miracle here and there which won over the people.  It wasn't like he just got off a boat, stepped onto shore, opened a Bible, and began preaching to a bunch of dark savages until they were caught up on everything that happened from Adam to Jesus.  It was a more "quiet" evangelism punctuated now and then by an extraordinary manifestation of grace.  We can see this model even in the NT writings, though the authors skip over it quickly enough that we miss it: there are passages in Acts where we learn the apostles stayed in a certain place for several months or even a year or so, but we only know one or two things about that entire period...the rest of it was likely rather humdrum.  I'm not sure there was ever "one" way of evangelising in the Church.  The target population is everyone, but not everyone can be reached in the same way, and reaching them once is not going to be enough, so the priority is to keep doing it.

Practically speaking, the Orthodox haven't stopped evangelising, but historical circumstances have hampered or prevented their ability to do as much of it as the Western Christians.  Western missionary activity, historically speaking, was not just "openly preaching to the crowds of non-believers" but involved in many places colonialism, the sword, and other unsavoury activities (to be fair, in places where the Orthodox could pull off such things, they were not always against using such tactics).  

Anyway, I'm rambling now.  But I think we need to understand evangelism properly.  Most of us have our own ideas about what it should look like or what we think it looks like based on the history we know, but it's really more than what we think.        
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2014, 01:11:34 PM »


One of those tract groups came to my College preaching Sola Fide and all that garbage.[/quote]
Even more reason to look for every opportunity to share the Orthodox faith at your college Wink
[/quote]

Good point.  A college environment is different from, say, the office or city street corner.  In my college experience, I knew not one Orthodox Christian.  There were several Christian groups and none of them "shared the faith".  The groups existed as a "home away from home" for students who couldn't/wouldn't go to their home churches.  There were some debates, but of the many that I saw, none worked in the way a debate should; it didn't change anyone's mind.  Other than that, these groups were pretty much social outlets for like-minded people of the same denominational background.  

I'd be curious to know if "one of those tract groups" were successful.  Or did they just flood the campus with recyclable material?
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2014, 01:26:57 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2014, 01:33:30 PM »

Quote
Quote
Quote
Quote from: hecma925 link=topic=5[quote
8272.msg1120789#msg1120789 date=1400001094]

One of those tract groups came to my College preaching Sola Fide and all that garbage.
Even more reason to look for every opportunity to share the Orthodox faith at your college Wink

Good point.  A college environment is different from, say, the office or city street corner.  In my college experience, I knew not one Orthodox Christian.  There were several Christian groups and none of them "shared the faith".  The groups existed as a "home away from home" for students who couldn't/wouldn't go to their home churches.  There were some debates, but of the many that I saw, none worked in the way a debate should; it didn't change anyone's mind.  Other than that, these groups were pretty much social outlets for like-minded people of the same denominational background.  

I'd be curious to know if "one of those tract groups" were successful.  Or did they just flood the campus with recyclable material?
[/quote][/quote][/quote]

Well, lots of Muslims in my area, so they probably failed miserably in most cases.
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2014, 02:02:11 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.

In light of this I'll also add that the gospel message itself is very simple. Some have said it is impossible to fit Orthodoxy on a tract... But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about sharing the the simple gospel... then you invite them to your church and make disciples of them.

It seems when I search the web for "orthodox evangelism" the results vary from go out and share the faith, to ' no we don't do that'... one literally saying that God will bring them to the door, our act of evangelism is to simply make the building beautiful and attractive.'  what ?
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2014, 02:06:03 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.

In light of this I'll also add that the gospel message itself is very simple. Some have said it is impossible to fit Orthodoxy on a tract... But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about sharing the the simple gospel... then you invite them to your church and make disciples of them.

It seems when I search the web for "orthodox evangelism" the results vary from go out and share the faith, to ' no we don't do that'... one literally saying that God will bring them to the door, our act of evangelism is to simply make the building beautiful and attractive.'  what ?


Unfortunately, history doesn't favor the Orthodox Church in that regard. It's as Mor said. Orthodox don't seem to have the same experience of 'evangelism' that the West does, probably because of those historical circumstances.
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2014, 02:06:16 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.

In light of this I'll also add that the gospel message itself is very simple. Some have said it is impossible to fit Orthodoxy on a tract... But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about sharing the the simple gospel... then you invite them to your church and make disciples of them.

It seems when I search the web for "orthodox evangelism" the results vary from go out and share the faith, to ' no we don't do that'... one literally saying that God will bring them to the door, our act of evangelism is to simply make the building beautiful and attractive.'  what ?


What is evangelism to you?  Or what should it be?
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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2014, 02:13:35 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.

In light of this I'll also add that the gospel message itself is very simple. Some have said it is impossible to fit Orthodoxy on a tract... But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about sharing the the simple gospel... then you invite them to your church and make disciples of them.

It seems when I search the web for "orthodox evangelism" the results vary from go out and share the faith, to ' no we don't do that'... one literally saying that God will bring them to the door, our act of evangelism is to simply make the building beautiful and attractive.'  what ?

I can't speak to your personal experiences, but I will say that our church is made up of a large number of ex-Mennonites, primarily because one Mennonite pastor became interested in Orthodoxy and began sharing it with people in his congregation and with fellow pastors and they in turn spoke to their family and friends. I think that is a wonderful example of how evangelism should be done.  It doesn't have to be big programs that require funding and 12 step procedures. Rather, it is the quiet demonstration to others that we care about them.  Using your past that you shared, I suspect that the meaningfulness of that moment in your life was due to the fact that someone cared enough about you to stop and share something that he felt was important as opposed to something revolutionary that you read in the tract. Orthodoxy IS evangelism becaue Orthodoxy is love. I'm not saying things can't be done better, because they can, but don't get discouraged because what you perceive is an insular Church. My parish has baptismed and chrismated more people into the Church in the last year than the non-denominational church that I was apart of received in the 7 years that I attended there. That church had all kinds of membership drives, door to door witnessing, activities to draw people in and programs to attract the people. There was lots of motion and promotion, but not much progress.
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2014, 02:14:48 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.

In light of this I'll also add that the gospel message itself is very simple. Some have said it is impossible to fit Orthodoxy on a tract... But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about sharing the the simple gospel... then you invite them to your church and make disciples of them.

It seems when I search the web for "orthodox evangelism" the results vary from go out and share the faith, to ' no we don't do that'... one literally saying that God will bring them to the door, our act of evangelism is to simply make the building beautiful and attractive.'  what ?


What is evangelism to you?  Or what should it be?

Evangelism ( to me ) is Christians recognizing the love Christ has for the whole world, and having cultivated the same love for the world in our own hearts, we seek opportunity to share that love. In deed, yes... but just as much in words so that they can understand what God has done for them. And if the Holy Spirit moves in them, to invite them into a relationship with the church in which they can begin the path of discipleship.
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« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2014, 02:16:11 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.

In light of this I'll also add that the gospel message itself is very simple. Some have said it is impossible to fit Orthodoxy on a tract... But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about sharing the the simple gospel... then you invite them to your church and make disciples of them.
Every pentecostal, baptist, or non-denominational evangelist I met growing up shared the "simple gospel" very, very differently.
Quote
It seems when I search the web for "orthodox evangelism" the results vary from go out and share the faith, to ' no we don't do that'... one literally saying that God will bring them to the door, our act of evangelism is to simply make the building beautiful and attractive.'  what ?
Orthodox parishes are not the only ones guilty of that.  There are lots of protestant churches that have the same mindset.  
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« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2014, 02:28:02 PM »

I know at one point in my life I was in a very, very dark place... depressed, and having lost everything, standing at a pay phone in a bad part of town at night. A car full of guys pulls up and thinking I was about to get jumped, the driver gets out and simply hands me a tract and let me know that beyond anything going on in this life, God loved me... so much so that Christ died for me.
That was more than 20 years ago, but I'll never forget it... and whether the tract was theologically perfect or not, I don't know, but a seed was planted and the Holy Spirit made it grow. And now look... here I am inquiring about the Orthodox faith all this time later because of a simple seed someone cared enough to plant.

In light of this I'll also add that the gospel message itself is very simple. Some have said it is impossible to fit Orthodoxy on a tract... But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about sharing the the simple gospel... then you invite them to your church and make disciples of them.
Every pentecostal, baptist, or non-denominational evangelist I met growing up shared the "simple gospel" very, very differently.
Quote
It seems when I search the web for "orthodox evangelism" the results vary from go out and share the faith, to ' no we don't do that'... one literally saying that God will bring them to the door, our act of evangelism is to simply make the building beautiful and attractive.'  what ?
Orthodox parishes are not the only ones guilty of that.  There are lots of protestant churches that have the same mindset. 

I know... but that's protestants. lol  I'd expect more from the 'ancient faith'... and I suspect what I will find in the Orthodox Church is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm sure every 'parish' ( is that what you call them ? ) is different, as is each person.
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« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2014, 02:36:16 PM »

What is evangelism to you?  Or what should it be?

Evangelism ( to me ) is Christians recognizing the love Christ has for the whole world, and having cultivated the same love for the world in our own hearts, we seek opportunity to share that love. In deed, yes... but just as much in words so that they can understand what God has done for them. And if the Holy Spirit moves in them, to invite them into a relationship with the church in which they can begin the path of discipleship.
I know... but that's protestants. lol  I'd expect more from the 'ancient faith'... and I suspect what I will find in the Orthodox Church is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm sure every 'parish' ( is that what you call them ? ) is different, as is each person.
Referencing your answer to Mor, what is it exactly you are looking for, in regards to evangelism?  Are you approaching the Church because you feel called to evangelize?
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« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2014, 02:39:29 PM »

What is evangelism to you?  Or what should it be?

Evangelism ( to me ) is Christians recognizing the love Christ has for the whole world, and having cultivated the same love for the world in our own hearts, we seek opportunity to share that love. In deed, yes... but just as much in words so that they can understand what God has done for them. And if the Holy Spirit moves in them, to invite them into a relationship with the church in which they can begin the path of discipleship.
I know... but that's protestants. lol  I'd expect more from the 'ancient faith'... and I suspect what I will find in the Orthodox Church is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm sure every 'parish' ( is that what you call them ? ) is different, as is each person.
Referencing your answer to Mor, what is it exactly you are looking for, in regards to evangelism?  Are you approaching the Church because you feel called to evangelize?

No ( although I do feel called to evangelize ) I'm approaching the Church because I want to be in communion with the Church Christ instituted...
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« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2014, 02:41:40 PM »

Although I still don't know if that's the Roman Catholic or Orthodox one...  perhaps one can never 'know' for sure.
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« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2014, 02:46:05 PM »

What is evangelism to you?  Or what should it be?

Evangelism ( to me ) is Christians recognizing the love Christ has for the whole world, and having cultivated the same love for the world in our own hearts, we seek opportunity to share that love. In deed, yes... but just as much in words so that they can understand what God has done for them. And if the Holy Spirit moves in them, to invite them into a relationship with the church in which they can begin the path of discipleship.
I know... but that's protestants. lol  I'd expect more from the 'ancient faith'... and I suspect what I will find in the Orthodox Church is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm sure every 'parish' ( is that what you call them ? ) is different, as is each person.
Referencing your answer to Mor, what is it exactly you are looking for, in regards to evangelism?  Are you approaching the Church because you feel called to evangelize?

No ( although I do feel called to evangelize ) I'm approaching the Church because I want to be in communion with the Church Christ instituted...

Then keep that goal in mind.  The people in the Church are not perfect, but the Church is still the Bride of Christ.  Prayers for you as you continue inquiring! Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2014, 02:47:59 PM »

What is evangelism to you?  Or what should it be?

Evangelism ( to me ) is Christians recognizing the love Christ has for the whole world, and having cultivated the same love for the world in our own hearts, we seek opportunity to share that love. In deed, yes... but just as much in words so that they can understand what God has done for them. And if the Holy Spirit moves in them, to invite them into a relationship with the church in which they can begin the path of discipleship.
I know... but that's protestants. lol  I'd expect more from the 'ancient faith'... and I suspect what I will find in the Orthodox Church is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm sure every 'parish' ( is that what you call them ? ) is different, as is each person.
Referencing your answer to Mor, what is it exactly you are looking for, in regards to evangelism?  Are you approaching the Church because you feel called to evangelize?

No ( although I do feel called to evangelize ) I'm approaching the Church because I want to be in communion with the Church Christ instituted...



Then my advice to you, (as someone currently in the process of converting), would be

if you have not already done so, visit for Divine Liturgy, repeatedly.

I think trying to -standardize- how much evangelism the entire Orthodox Church does...is somewhat a deceptive task.....just like it would be to summarize how either RC's or Protestants -accomplish- evangelism, when each place is different...some fall shorter, but ALL of us fall short of what we could be doing...ALL of us.

Some Parishes do quite a bit, of what you would term evangelistic activities, and others less...its like asking someone to calculate the average of infinity, pretty hard to do. Smiley

Expecting the Ancient Church, which is still filled with sinful humans, to be different, is expecting Orthodoxy to be perfect, and trust me...no way is it perfect.

However it is The Church...

Come experience it, before you get too caught up in whether it is perfectly executing Christ's mandates, or rather like the rest of humanity, trying their sinful best.

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