OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 10, 2014, 10:18:17 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Evangelize  (Read 2248 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« on: August 08, 2005, 03:15:38 AM »

I think we all agree that the Holy Spirit works in us to clean us and make us a vessel Holy enough for Him to inhabit and use us to spread the gospel without fearing anything leading us to martyrdom and glorification.

How much are you dedicated to evangelizing?

any experiences you'd like to share?

are there any modern day martyrs you know of?
Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2005, 04:49:58 AM »

Good topic.

As a convert from Evangelical Protestantism who used to be a short-term missionary, I still have a desire to share my faith with others and am fortunate enough to be in an Orthodox parish that "gets" that.

Read here for a recent experience I had in sharing the faith.

Modern-day martyrs?  None that I know of personally, sadly.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2005, 05:11:44 AM »

Good topic.

As a convert from Evangelical Protestantism who used to be a short-term missionary, I still have a desire to share my faith with others and am fortunate enough to be in an Orthodox parish that "gets" that.

Read here for a recent experience I had in sharing the faith.

Modern-day martyrs?ÂÂ  None that I know of personally, sadly.
Pedro, great Blog (love the icon).
you sure are fortunate! Very fortunate! I sometimes feel like God took from Orthodox and gave it to protestants cos orthodox became cold and selfish (not all of course) and protestants being the lost crazy ppl they just didnt know what to do with that fire and started "evangelizing" left and right like there's no tommorrow. I guess the biggest thing they stole from the orthodox faith is their name (evangelical) and the sad part is that orthodox accepted it (as if protestants are evangelical and orthodox arent supposed to beÂÂ  Undecided)

The Holy Spirit is Fire that only finds real rest in its Church and does so for a purpose and that purpose is not only our salvation or satisfaction but Evangilizing the entire world, that's what the Apostles did and that's what all the Saints did. It's our turn now, don't you think?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2005, 05:13:16 AM by djrak » Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 05:24:45 AM »

Pedro, great Blog (love the icon).

Thanks!

you sure are fortunate! Very fortunate!

Don't I know it.

I sometimes feel like God took from Orthodox and gave it to protestants cos orthodox became cold and selfish (not all of course) and protestants being the lost crazy ppl they are just didnt know what to do with that fire and started "evangelizing" left and right like there's no tommorrow. I guess the biggest thing they stole from the orthodox faith is their name (evangelical) and the sad part is that orthodox accepted it (as if protestants are evangelical and orthodox arent supposed to be  Undecided)

This could be an example of God provoking His Church to jealousy through the works of other groups (and not just the trinitarian Protestants but also through the very mission-minded Mormon and JW groups).  I think, though, that one of the things that really makes it easier for many Evangelicals to evangelize is the idea that one can be completely assured of one's total salvation in this life.  Really, if you think about it, if I'm "all done" in terms of everything I need to get to heaven, then might as well get this good news out to everyone else, since (#1) it's easy to "seal the deal" with God and (#2) who wouldn't want to know, for absolute sure, that they're going to spend eternity in total bliss in communion with God?

It's a very attractive idea.  For us to then come along and say, "Yes, come, be baptized, partake of the Eucharist, fast, pray, give alms, feed the hungry...you still might fall away, though, so there's no guarantee that any of that will ultimately do you any good on the last Day" (not that we're this openly pessimistic in reality, but this is how it's seen by many who've heard the Evangelical shpiel) is not only often less attractive to those who are unchurched (they'd have to actually want to put forth effort for their salvation), but it can even be discouraging to us, as we sometimes get so bogged down in "what I have to do to be saved" that we forget that, when it's all said and done, it's all sealed by God's grace anyway (hence the title and subtitle of my blog) and we get so "weary of doing good" that we forget to invite others to walk the (often long) road to salvation with us.

The Holy Spirit is Fire that only finds real rest in its Church and does so for a purpose and that purpose is not only our salvation or satisfaction but Evangilizing the entire world, that's what the Apostles did and that's what all the Saints did. It's our turn now, don't you think?

I do indeed.  Let's do it.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2005, 05:35:33 AM »

This could be an example of God provoking His Church to jealousy through the works of other groups (and not just the trinitarian Protestants but also through the very mission-minded Mormon and JW groups).ÂÂ
what was that parable Jesus told about the King's feast and the people invited who didnt go so they got all the criminals in there who later were kicked out cos they werent dressed properly? THAT'S IT RIGHT THERE!!!!
Quote
I think, though, that one of the things that really makes it easier for many Evangelicals to evangelize is the idea that one can be completely assured of one's total salvation in this life.ÂÂ  Really, if you think about it, if I'm "all done" in terms of everything I need to get to heaven, then might as well get this good news out to everyone else, since (#1) it's easy to "seal the deal" with God and (#2) who wouldn't want to know, for absolute sure, that they're going to spend eternity in total bliss in communion with God?
well it is true for some, remember the thief on the cross. But for the rest of us with time in our hands we need to keep it alive and walk the narrow path (the parable of the workers in the field) we should enjoy the work and suffering (reward is great in heaven)
Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2005, 05:41:23 AM »

It's a very attractive idea.ÂÂ  For us to then come along and say, "Yes, come, be baptized, partake of the Eucharist, fast, pray, give alms, feed the hungry...you still might fall away, though, so there's no guarantee that any of that will ultimately do you any good on the last Day" (not that we're this openly pessimistic in reality, but this is how it's seen by many who've heard the Evangelical shpiel) is not only often less attractive to those who are unchurched (they'd have to actually want to put forth effort for their salvation), but it can even be discouraging to us, as we sometimes get so bogged down in "what I have to do to be saved" that we forget that, when it's all said and done, it's all sealed by God's grace anyway (hence the title and subtitle of my blog) and we get so "weary of doing good" that we forget to invite others to walk the (often long) road to salvation with us.

I do indeed.ÂÂ  Let's do it.
only God can reveal what is really attractive we shouldnt make people do things but pray for them and ask them to pray that God brings them closer to Him and leave it in His hands, HE  is the one who sparked the attraction i have towards orthodoxy it was right there in front odf me all my life and i never found it attractive before.
and Amen to "let's do it"!
Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
Silouan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 818

Bogurodzica dziewica zbaw nas


« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2005, 06:18:32 AM »

Quote
I still have a desire to share my faith with others and am fortunate enough to be in an Orthodox parish that "gets" that.

As a little aside at what I percieve to be a jab at more "ethnic" jurisdictions...   Of course English services and active missionary work are an auxilary to Orthodox missions, they are not the sine qua non of Orthodox missionary work.  Grace is what draws the heart to Christ, and grace acts independant of external circumstances such as language or culture.  So there are more converts than you'd expect baptized into an "ethnic" church that is supposedly devoid of missionary outreach.
Logged
FrChris
The Rodney Dangerfield of OC.net
Site Supporter
Taxiarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 7,252


Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!


« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2005, 09:47:42 AM »

Not that it matters, but I agree wholeheartedly with Silouan's statement.

If services partially conducted in a non-native language were the absolute bar to conversion that some insist that they are, then I (and many others) would not be in the GOA. Believe me, I do not speak Greek well, neither does anyone of my convert friends, but we are the heart of our local parish.

The fact is that the Holy Spirit is the one who will convert others. I have a friend who was lamenting the fact that his zealous efforts to convert his parents and brothers had no result besides getting his relatives angry with him. "How can I convert them?" he lamented.

I let him know that *he* does not convert them, but the Spirit does. My friend should busy himself in ministering to others by loving them as well as he can, and in time the Spirit will prompt his family to open their hearts.

At least that's what works for me, but perhaps that's what works for me since I'm not much of a argumentative type.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2005, 10:37:53 AM by chris » Logged

"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2005, 10:04:24 AM »

I agree with chris and Silouan.

When it comes to evangelizing: less talk, more praxis.
We should leave the talking to those whom the Church has appointed to teach. The best evangelizing we can do is to show what a true Orthodox Christian is by being one oursleves.

People are sick and tired of "talk" when it comes to matters of Faith- and who can blame them?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2005, 11:16:23 AM »

I let him know that *he* does not convert them, but the Spirit does. My friend should busy himself in ministering to others by loving them as well as he can, and in time the Spirit will prompt his family to open their hearts.
i agree with you loving comes first but that doesnt exclude talking. How can you stay quiet when you have the medicine and your brother is ill and in need of it?
they should go together both work and talk, work first talk later.
Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2005, 11:21:48 AM »


When it comes to evangelizing: less talk, more praxis.

i agree but you realize that it's all relative, with much work comes much talk
you cant keep quiet, just like St. Andrew (read signature)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2005, 11:23:20 AM by djrak » Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
FrChris
The Rodney Dangerfield of OC.net
Site Supporter
Taxiarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 7,252


Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!


« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2005, 11:35:05 AM »

Quote
Not that it matters, but I agree wholeheartedly with Silouan's statement.

If services partially conducted in a non-native language were the absolute bar to conversion that some insist that they are, then I (and many others) would not be in the GOA. Believe me, I do not speak Greek well, neither does anyone of my convert friends, but we are the heart of our local parish.

The fact is that the Holy Spirit is the one who will convert others. I have a friend who was lamenting the fact that his zealous efforts to convert his parents and brothers had no result besides getting his relatives angry with him. "How can I convert them?" he lamented.

I let him know that *he* does not convert them, but the Spirit does. My friend should busy himself in ministering to others by loving them as well as he can, and in time the Spirit will prompt his family to open their hearts.

At least that's what works for me, but perhaps that's what works for me since I'm not much of a argumentative type.

Quote
i agree with you loving comes first but that doesnt exclude talking. How can you stay quiet when you have the medicine and your brother is ill and in need of it?
they should go together both work and talk, work first talk later.


Where do you read into my post that I am stating we should not speak? What I am saying is what ozgeorge points out---- we live a life loving others first. Then, when we are invited to share our faith, we do so.

Logged

"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,391


« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2005, 02:32:16 PM »

i agree but you realize that it's all relative, with much work comes much talk
you cant keep quiet, just like St. Andrew (read signature)

Maybe the only "talk" we should be doing is just to say "Come and See!" as the scripture says?  Maybe that should be the primary bait by the "untrained" laity?

Back to the language and evangelization, on the reverse lanugage side, I've gotten the vibe from some converts (that I've known all my life - been Orthodox just as long) that almost feel offended if a parish would use ANY non-English Roll Eyes!  As if they couldn't understand Kyrie e eleison or Go spo di po mi liu.  As if potential converts would be offended as well.  As if it's too much trouble to at least learn a few words in another lanuage.
Logged
Silouan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 818

Bogurodzica dziewica zbaw nas


« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2005, 03:04:41 PM »

Quote
As if potential converts would be offended as well.  As if it's too much trouble to at least learn a few words in another lanuage.

I think that is one of the frustrating parts of American culture and left over from the days of manifest destiny.  Since Americans in general tend to not need nor use second language as much as people from other continents (and seemed to get irked at times that Spanish is spoken on their continent!) they have little tolerance for them.  Whereas in Europe hearing several languages in close quaters is quite common.   

Even though I usually attend a GOA parish, when my parents once inquired about attending liturgy I took them to the local Russian church that is 95% English - the whole way home they complained they had no idea what was going on since it was "all in Russian."  With the amount of repitition in Orthodox worship, there is a lot of room to work with in terms of using other languages and having all the "new" material still in English!
Logged
Addai
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2005, 03:40:41 PM »

The fact is that the Holy Spirit is the one who will convert others. I have a friend who was lamenting the fact that his zealous efforts to convert his parents and brothers had no result besides getting his relatives angry with him. "How can I convert them?" he lamented.

I let him know that *he* does not convert them, but the Spirit does. My friend should busy himself in ministering to others by loving them as well as he can, and in time the Spirit will prompt his family to open their hearts.

At least that's what works for me, but perhaps that's what works for me since I'm not much of a argumentative type.

Well whats that saying of st. Seraphim of sarov.   Find the peace of God and a thousand people around you will find their salvation.
Logged

Addai
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2005, 03:52:23 PM »

I think we all agree that the Holy Spirit works in us to clean us and make us a vessel Holy enough for Him to inhabit and use us to spread the gospel without fearing anything leading us to martyrdom and glorification.

How much are you dedicated to evangelizing?

any experiences you'd like to share?

are there any modern day martyrs you know of?

Actually I agree a lot with pedro.   and have a similar background being a former Protestant that has brought some of that zeal forward.


I am lucky in that the Coptic church is similar now to the Antiochian and OCA church.   In that we have that as one of our official goals and we are programmed to do some of the basics.   So people in the church are very active when it comes to greeting people.   And answering their questions and expressing a lot of hospitatlity towards visitors of all kinds.


And we do have an official program for evangelism.   here is the web site for that.

http://www.suscopts.org/evangelism/


It's been a few years since my church has done this (had an evangelism seminar and official outreach).  I think the last time was 4 years ago.   About 1-2 years before I showed up there.    Much of the people at my parish are nervous about this kind of thing.    I can think of only a few who I think would participate in this if they do it again.   I persoanlly haven't done anything offically in this area.   Other than the usual talking to protestants and unchurched folks on the ooze and in real life.    I do however tend to make this a kind of niche ministry in the future.   The fact that people of my church are nervous about it is ok.   It sort of gives me an area where I feel that I can serve, belong and am needed in.
Logged

djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2005, 04:20:37 PM »

we are called to be Holy and to win souls for Christ. I know that: how, when and where can be critical but i think that's what God EXPECTS of us. In fact it's hard not to do it when the Holy Spirit is in you.
Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2005, 04:42:31 PM »

"to win souls for Christ."


ew! ew! ew! no, we don't win souls, and if someone we know comes to the Church, we praise the Holy Spirit for using us as a tool, hopefully as conduit, not a pry-bar.

Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2005, 04:44:38 PM »

"to win souls for Christ."


ew! ew! ew! no, we don't win souls, and if someone we know comes to the Church, we praise the Holy Spirit for using us as a tool, hopefully as conduit, not a pry-bar.


what's the difference, you're using different words meaning the same thing. unless i misunderstood something
Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2005, 05:06:13 PM »

There's a connotation with one and a different meaning with the other...I think wording is important. Pedro can tell tales of "winning souls for Christ," and it's not really how Orthodoxy evangelizes. I bet there's some good info on evangelizing in the lives of the North American saints.
Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
Addai
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2005, 07:51:27 PM »

we are called to be Holy and to win souls for Christ. I know that: how, when and where can be critical but i think that's what God EXPECTS of us. In fact it's hard not to do it when the Holy Spirit is in you.

I agree.


It kind of made me sad a few months back.   In spite of the different measures taken for evangelism.   There was this time where our church was meeting to get approval for a building expansion.    And as I told you before, we had problems because of being too noisy and neighbors filing disturbing the peace complaints to the police.


Anyway when it came to expanding.   the neighbors complained and protested that too.    Besides noise, it would also mean more parking congestion and traffic on the street.   Anyway a church elder said that the expansion wouldn't mean that (We are exapanding our facilities by over X 3.5 .   Anyway the elder in front of the town meeting said, that no the church wouldnot be growing that much inspite of its increased floor space.   It an Orthodox church, really only Egyptians go there, and a few english speaking american spouses.  The only real growht he foresaw was biolgical growth from having kids.


Anyway I saw that kind of as a set back.    That mentality actually has been what the church has been fighting since early 90s, where they decided now that they are away from Egypt (With its terrible persecution laws especially against prosletization) they can get back into the evangelism business.   After almost none for the centuries due to the Sharia laws.
Logged

Addai
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2005, 07:55:43 PM »

There's a connotation with one and a different meaning with the other...I think wording is important. Pedro can tell tales of "winning souls for Christ," and it's not really how Orthodoxy evangelizes. I bet there's some good info on evangelizing in the lives of the North American saints.

There is St. Herman of Alaska to be exact.


"Father Herman was a monk at Valaam Monastery in Russia, and came to Alaska as part of a mission in 1793. The mission was sent to evangelize the native inhabitants of Alaska. He lived on Spruce Island, near Kodiak Island, in his hermitage for nearly forty years, outliving all other members of the mission team.

In Alaska, Father Herman's work on behalf of the orphans and poor of the Native community, and his extreme asceticism, won the admiration and love of this community. Largely because of his work and example, many converted to Orthodox Christianity. To this day the majority of the Aleut people (aboriginal inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands), and many of the Alaskan Indian and Inuit (the larger group of Alaskan Eskimos) peoples remain Orthodox Christians."
« Last Edit: August 08, 2005, 07:56:18 PM by Addai » Logged

Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2005, 09:36:46 PM »

Y'all are hilarious:

As a little aside at what I percieve to be a jab at more "ethnic" jurisdictions...

If services partially conducted in a non-native language were the absolute bar to conversion that some insist that they are, then I (and many others) would not be in the GOA.

I've gotten the vibe from some converts (that I've known all my life - been Orthodox just as long) that almost feel offended if a parish would use ANY non-English Roll Eyes! As if they couldn't understand Kyrie e eleison or Go spo di po mi liu. As if potential converts would be offended as well. As if it's too much trouble to at least learn a few words in another lanuage.

I think that is one of the frustrating parts of American culture and left over from the days of manifest destiny. Since Americans in general tend to not need nor use second language as much as people from other continents (and seemed to get irked at times that Spanish is spoken on their continent!) they have little tolerance for them. Whereas in Europe hearing several languages in close quaters is quite common.

Pedro can tell tales of "winning souls for Christ," and it's not really how Orthodoxy evangelizes. I bet there's some good info on evangelizing in the lives of the North American saints.

Man...talk about putting words in somebody's mouth...your perceptions are off, y'all...I'm frickin' bilingual, y'all, and I teach English-speakers to speak Spanish, so I'm hardly a poster-child for monolingual anything.  Where in the WORLD did I mention "ethnic" anything?  Or none of the liturgy being in a language other than English?  Or hatred for any other language other than English in the US at any time?  And where--where?!--did I ever mention the phrase "win souls for Christ"?

I made two categories of parishes: those who are interested in getting the faith out where people can see it and know it's even there--as the North American saints did by living holy lives AND preaching the gospel to those who hadn't heard it--and those who don't.  There are parishes which fit into each category that are both predominately "ethnic" and "convert."  I do not appreciate being second guessed.

Quote
Of course English services and active missionary work are an auxilary to Orthodox missions, they are not the sine qua non of Orthodox missionary work.  Grace is what draws the heart to Christ, and grace acts independant of external circumstances such as language or culture.

Right...and grace can work through active missionary work just as much as contemplative prayer...and, really, the two need to be intertwined at all times!

Quote
So there are more converts than you'd expect baptized into an "ethnic" church that is supposedly devoid of missionary outreach.

Yeah, I know...I'm one of them.  Imagine, though, what could happen if these "ethnics" who aren't used to sharing their faith (though some are) got more of an "ethos" of sharing their faith...like, say, my Lebanese godfather, who's talked about his faith with pretty much everybody at the bank he works at.  Yes, wonder of wonders, I do think "ethnics" (what an awful term...) can share their faith...

Quote
Believe me, I do not speak Greek well, neither does anyone of my convert friends, but we are the heart of our local parish.

Neither did I (nor do I) speak Arabic.  But not everyone is as willing as we to put up with a liturgy that is half in a foreign language!  The story that was told of parents complaining about a pittance of foreign language prayer as being "all in Russian" is definitely extreme.  As I've said, certain prayers (that get reapeated in English) are all right in the old country languages, but we're in the States, where the lingua franca (npi) is English.  I don't think it's too much to ask to have services primarily in a language that the majority of people (regardless of ethnic background, anymore) in a parish can understand.

Quote
The fact is that the Holy Spirit is the one who will convert others. I have a friend who was lamenting the fact that his zealous efforts to convert his parents and brothers had no result besides getting his relatives angry with him. "How can I convert them?" he lamented.

I let him know that *he* does not convert them, but the Spirit does. My friend should busy himself in ministering to others by loving them as well as he can, and in time the Spirit will prompt his family to open their hearts.

And you would be correct, sir.  But there is a difference between haranguing close relatives (whom you see often) and total strangers (who get repelled at your affronting them) and going out into the highways and biways and merely offering the faith to those with whom you come into contact.  If God moves on their hearts to respond, great.  If not, we back off politely.  But to not say anything, to clam up completely and never bring up our faith in the first place, is denying folks a chance to find a faith they may not be looking for.

Should our lives reflect the work of the Holy Spirit while we do this?  Yes, of course!  It's a both/and situation here, not an either/or one.  We show AND tell, 'cause if we don't have both, neither works as well (I swear I did not mean for that to rhyme...)

Quote
At least that's what works for me, but perhaps that's what works for me since I'm not much of a argumentative type.

Again, no need to argue about it.  Offer, then gauge a reaction, and back off if need be.

When it comes to evangelizing: less talk, more praxis.

We could definitely use a swing in that direction.  My contention is that folks seem to use "more praxis" as a cop-out for "don't say anything 'cause it might wig someone out."  Be polite, use your sphere of influence to talk with people who might listen, then back off.  People really do respect that.

Quote
We should leave the talking to those whom the Church has appointed to teach. The best evangelizing we can do is to show what a true Orthodox Christian is by being one oursleves.

Hate to break it to you, but most folks aren't looking for the connection between "living a life of love" and "Orthodox life and faith."  St. Athanasius said that one of the reasons God became man was because He needed to "get down on our level" and get our attention, as we weren't naturally looking for the things of God.  God had to come down to man's level and point upward.  We do, too.  As for ozgeorge's next comment:

Quote
People are sick and tired of "talk" when it comes to matters of Faith- and who can blame them?

I definitely agree; there are far too many belligerent people out there who angrily or obtrusively come up to people and "spring Jesus" on folks, never taking the hint that the folks are resisting or that their manner might come across as offensive.  This is NOT a polite, humble approach which, when accompanying a message, can actually put folks in a better disposition to hear what you're saying.  Yes, it's ultimately the Holy Spirit who draws, but humans do naturally respond better if they feel they have space to breathe and room to disagree.

Quote
Maybe the only "talk" we should be doing is just to say "Come and See!" as the scripture says? Maybe that should be the primary bait by the "untrained" laity?

And when people ask us to explain what they "came and saw"?  How many folks (converts included, here!) could actually do that?  Moreover, how many of us are actually telling people to "come and see!"?

"to win souls for Christ."

ew! ew! ew! no, we don't win souls, and if someone we know comes to the Church, we praise the Holy Spirit for using us as a tool, hopefully as conduit, not a pry-bar.  There's a connotation with one and a different meaning with the other...I think wording is important.

I agree, "winning souls" is a poor choice of words, which is why I'd never use it myself...one man sows, another waters, but it's God who brings the increase.  We may not be called to do something as large-scale as the NA Saints, but we can leave a tract (along with a BIG tip) for a waitress, or leave literature at the food bank along with the canned foods your parish collects, or visit prisoners, or offer the hope of the Resurrection to a grieving friend, or make the statement that maybe the reason their lives are so out of whack is because they're resisting God....  All this can be done in love and humility.  Some folks, even then, will tell the humblest of people (which I am not) to buzz off.  And that's cool, too.

Yes, praxis.  But also talk.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2005, 09:42:09 PM by Pedro » Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2005, 10:37:08 PM »

Sorry, Pedro, wasn't that you talking about having conversations with non-Christians and how it was different now than it was before? That someone would always come back and say "I saved X people--err, I mean God saved-- X people tonight." That's what I meant by "winning souls for Christ." If that wasn't your story, I'm sorry, I thought it was. I am wrong most of the time!
Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2005, 11:33:46 PM »

It's cool...that blog entry I linked to at the beginning of this thread did talk about how I didn't do the obnoxious, "cold calls for Jesus" thing anymore, which is what most of the other posters on this thread, istm, seem to be reacting against (and for good reason).  What's different now (at least, I hope and pray it is) is that I now tend to be much less...I dunno...pushy?  I used to get right to the "if you died tonight, do you know for sure that you'd go to heaven?" question with people I barely even knew.  Now, there're fewer total conversations with others, but the ones I do have are more in-depth than the ones I made happen as a Protestant.

As for the "I saved X people--err, I mean God saved-- X people tonight" comment...you're on your own.  No clue. Wink
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2005, 11:51:00 PM »

Ah, sorry, then, I read that somewhere else and tied it in my mind to the blogpost you're referencing...
I would still assert that we don't "win souls for Christ," though, especially since we dont believe in eternal salvation...Harder to claim any soul as "won."
« Last Edit: August 08, 2005, 11:51:52 PM by choirfiend » Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
djrak
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 191

"Do not put out the Spirit's fire" - 1 Thess 5:19


WWW
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2005, 03:05:36 AM »

It is up to us to spread the gospel, that is the only reason why we are in 2005 and Judgement ay isnt here yet. God is patient and wants everyone to hear it so that at Judgement no one can have any excuse. We pray that our sufferings wont last long but we have to understand that the only reson why God is patient is because He loves us and wants everyone to hear the gospel.

you can call it whatever you want "win souls", "lead souls", "save souls" (the worst), "witness", "preach", "serve", "heal"...................bottomline you cant keep it for yourself or else you'd be like the servant who buried the talent.
Logged

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2005, 03:13:21 AM »

True dat!

Live your faith and people will want to know what it is that makes you different.
Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.131 seconds with 55 queries.