I would say that Orthodoxy just magnifies what people really are. That's why the spiritually lazy continue to be spiritually lazy, only more so. The prideful become even more prideful. The intelligent and thoughtful even more so. The religious more religious. And so on. Please don't join the Orthodox Church, Keble, I don't think I can take a magnified version of you... . .
I don't know that's it's Orthodoxy or even conversion per se
, and I don't think it's magnification either.
your "I'll take the moral and intellectual high ground and condescendingly shout pointers to you youngin's" approach quite honestly is more than I can take even now.
Which is kind of funny, because it has seemed to me that your posts of late have been a lot more, um, mature. And ordinarily I wouldn't even bring such a thing up; it would ordinarily be the stuff of PMs passed back and forth behind the scene. But those facts, they are hard things. I am over twice Silouan's age, and my close exposure to Orthodoxy goes back over a decade. I've been studying religion closely since I was in 9th grade-- I didn't have any choice at the time, because I went to a religious school and they not only made me take sacred studies, when I skipped a grade they made me take it twice in one year. I've been arguing religion on the internet since before Silouan was born.
It's all well and good to say "maturity is as maturity does." It's a funny thing about those old exchanges with Juvenaly (whom I continue to worry about and pray for, and to whom I feel a certain responsibility): he took up my challenges and made them real. I still have regrets about that, an old man's regrets about bad advice heeded and good advice defied. But at least his enthusiasms and such were those of the young man he actually was (and still is). Now all I can do is pray that in spite of his tribulations, his faith remains bright.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š You're like the guy who used to be friends with someone who was friends with someone who was a movie star, and now you go around saying things like "Yeah, I knew so-and-so the movie star really well, but I never really wanted to get close to them anyway. I never liked them much. Not as sophisticated as me."
Orthodoxy is a movie star?
Perhaps part of what you miss in this is that I've tended, when talking about Orthodoxy itself, to point at things which superficial investigation could show to be incorrect. I can do real research (see the dreaded Varangian thread), but an awful lot of what is nonsense around here is stuff that a quick Google gives anyone the means to refute. I don't know any movie stars (though I do know two movie actors) but I do know how to look up info about them and the movies they've made on IMDB
. Yes, the continuing demand I make to "Verify!" does give me that parent/teacher tone. And you know what? Real adults do
verify, or when they are caught in failures, they own up to them-- as I have tried to do here. Resisting such demands is
And this isn't bitterness. It's anger at seeing you knock any younger person with your high-falutin rhetoric, and the funny thing is that many times it is even contradictory!
OK, first, on rhetoric. For better or worse, my discourse is at a level which betrays my education and breadth of reading. It is what it is, and imputing condescension on it is your sin, not mine.
Second: I don't knock "any younger person". But the extremely common tone in this forum of assuming the voice of learned, aged theologians and scholars of ecclesiology is phony when it is adopted by someone who isn't even out of college yet. There are some younger people here who do at least have the education, if not the age and experience, to back up doing this, and funny thing: I don't think, at least, that they get the treatment you decry. But in the present instance: the person in question presumes. Even beyond making statements about Orthodoxy, the statements about ecumenism (and they are repeated over and over and over as a kind of ecu-baiting in every Orthodox venue with a traditionalist presence) cannot be backed up with any real experience. The relationships between the churches are huge, subtle, and frankly not something that I expect an Athonite monk to really have any clue about, much less a recent high school graduate and convert.
You're not as smart as you think you are, Charles. You might be middle-aged, but you still have a lot of growing up to do.
As do we all, until we die.
You're stillÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š like the high school bully who sees the people younger than him as the immature prey that he can feast on (intellectually in this case, not physically).
You've practically dared my to psychoanalyze this, so here goes: you've cast religious discussion as a playground
! And that's exactly the opposite of where I'm coming from on this. In fact, my biggest nagging issue with talking about religion-- particularly on-line-- is the feeling that it's a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. I have three kids, each with issues you as yet can only imagine dealing with; I have twenty-five years of experience in two parishes under five rectors and three interims; I've been through a church building program, a rector sacking, and all the trials of being an Episcopalian. I am absolutely sure that I step out of line. But this is NOT a playground, and there ARE going to be times when the difference in life experience manifests itself. You are welcome to dismiss me as a cranky old fart (at your peril of course
) but there are going to be times when the differences of age and experience manifest themselves.
Back in my earlier internet days, I presumed to dispute with an actual theologian at the University of Chicago. I've disputed with Louie Crew who is now on the Executive Council of ECUSA. You have hardly begun
to taste what real, adult theological argument with me is like. Second raters say, "you're not as smart as you think you are." Real first raters don't have to say it: they demonstrate it in their arguments. I'm not a first rater, for sure; but I can see who is.