I think that Orthodox Church is facing a problem in the new world where we have a mixed population of "cradle" and converts; where "cradle" Orthodox, in a lot of cases do not wish to do anything "churchy" in english. I think that compromize should be found one way or another, because this situation should be solved soon. Orthodox problems are more of technical problems (so to speak). Calendar issue, Parallel Hiearchy and of course - how to treat the question of ecumenism. Also we have issues with some of the hiearchs doing bad things-simonial things.
Truth is, all religious bodies have problems because they are run by human beings.
In all of these I have my view but, I am not opposed to other views (this is, in my case a very recent developement).
We all need to learn more about each other. The more we learn the more we can be accepting of the position of another.
Now, what I wanted to say is that I am sort of an eclusivist - Orthodoxy containts all of the truth and no one else can be and should be even compared.
I used to feel the same way about the Roman Catholic Church. Now, I feel that the fullness of the truth is somewhere locked between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Combined, though it is unlikely, the two could be a force to truly change the world.
(Many of my views were developed from reading. I was not able - due to work - to go to the Church for most of the year, every year for the last 4 years. I lived in Saudi Arabia so... That is to say that since I turned towards Orthodoxy I went to the Church (obviously) only when I was on leave. So I have aquired many Zealot like characteristics, that now in the real world have to be purged and refined. I am saying this, so that what I am going to say next does not seem too strange. Also, I am only a cathecumen, who lacks Church experience and love towards anything non-Orthodox. But, that is all being refined now, and who knows, I might one day actually admit that there are good people outside OC )
I hope so! <smile>
So, I tend to safeguard the exclusivity of the Orthodox Church.
That the way it should be. If you are Orthodox then you should safeguard the exclusivity of the Orthodox Church. However, you should also respect those who are Roman Catholic because they also believe the Roman Catholic Church is the fullness of the truth. You see, when I became Roman Catholic 12 years ago I had no idea that the Orthodox Church even existed. I was not raised in any faith as a child and spent brief period of time in the Episcopal Church. For obvious reason I left the Episcopal Church. I read a book about denomination in the United States written by Huston Smith. In the book he wrote that the Roman Catholic Church was the original Christian church. After my experience in the Episcopal Church I wanted to be in the original Christian Church. So, I became Roman Catholic. Prior to my conversion I read a lot of vintage and historical books about the Roman Catholic Church. I loved what I read and assumed that the modern Roman Catholic Church was like the historic Church. It didn't take long for me to realize that it simply wasn't so.
Of late, listening to many members of the others communities I started to think that, well, satan is doing everything that will hurt everybody, just the way he always did. The target remains the same, only weapon and tactics have changed.
Satan is at the root of all evil, including breaking up the Church.
So, it is not enough that he has succed to divide the Christendom into this rather "pathetic" picture of "free for all" "comedy" of basic doctrines of our faith, but he has to do even more. It does not matter what satan does, God will always find the way to get the people towards Himself. This is why satan now attacks all, the way he does. If you notice, all of us have been attacked by means of introduction of new things. Now new things are not necessarily bad, but new things that are so wrong are. I mean RCC is being attacked one way, Anglicans the other, Lutherans third... and so on. In all of the "traditional" western communities the attack is against that tradition. In all evangelical communities, the attack is making them look like... I don't even know what they resemble anymore. Now Orthodoxy, well we have our own little issues, but I tend to think that they are nothing like the rest.
True. Orthodoy's issues revolve around trying to maintain the truth not in adopting innovative ideas. Yet, the Orthodox Church does struggle with certain modern notions like artificial contraception.
One thing that brought me to Orthodoxy was the fact that, even for all those attacks of the last 2000 years, and especially last 600, Orthdoxy did not change. We were hit and hit hard. We do suffer some consequences of that hit but as a whole Orthodox Church did not change. No new doctrines to make turks or communists happy was introduced, even both of those did try to force the Church to do so.
Again, this is true. However, things like artificial contraception and allowing up to three marriages is not in keeping with historic Christianity. Don't get me wrong, annulments in the Roman Catholic Church are out of control and many Catholics use artificial contraception but the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church condemns these things
I guess, my point is that the separation from Orthodoxy is manifested in all non-Orthodox communities the same way. It is just the degree of separation that influences how big the manifestation will be. This manifestation being introduction of "let make the world happy" (you can use TV instead of the word World).
No doubt. Yet, the Roman Catholic Church is as old as the Orthodox Church and was never exactly like the Orthodox Church. Therefore, there was always "some" degree of separation between the two bodies.
In the end, I think that all this was going to happen. All this has to happen. Satan is making an parody of values and morality in the world. Nothing is sacred anymore, everything is open for our deliberation. We are gods. We can do anything we want. Just yesterday one of the friends friends friend commented that she does not believe in God because that is "so not cool". I just crossed myself, and told her that she is a moron. I know I should have not done it, but the other option was me smashing her head in.. and that just is "so not cool"
She is a moron but you still need to pray for her. I'm sure she'll turn around some day, especially when confronted with a crisis.
The fact that we have "instant information- just add buttons" of this information age, is making all this rotting just more visible. The civilization is killing herself.
At the same time the internet has been very instrumental in leading people to the truthy of Orthodoxy. Really, it's all in how you use the information age.
One of my great friends, who is enviromental scientist for Australian Government said to me ages ago:"We do not need God to destroy this planet, we will do so in 50 years, if this rape continues-even without increase of tempo or population". This world is empty, always was. To use the words of Brad Pitt in the movie fight club:"All these people that work the jobs that they do not like, so they can buy the things that they do not need".
I am an environmental scientist myself (a geologist) and I could disagree with your friend more. God created the earth and I think it takes a real lack of humility to think that we can destroy what God has created. The earth is very resiliant. Still, we have to be good stewards of what God has given us.
So, I do not think that what you feel is nothing new. It was felt by many and is and will be.
True. The early Christians were certain that they were living in the end times.
The question remains, what are we to do?
I say, pray and fast and do more of this that we ever did.
Absolutely! We need to pray and fast - like never before.Fixed quotes. John