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Author Topic: You've never heard of the Orthodox faith?  (Read 6886 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 26, 2005, 05:11:26 PM »

It is rather surprising every time I encounter a person who has never heard of the Orthodox faith. For example, today someone randomly approached me at the college in order to invite me to his Bible study group at his church. Then I retorted that the church I attend already has a Bible study on the same night and that I am a member of the Orthodox faith. For some reason, he seemed to have never heard of Orthodoxy. When I explained some historical details such as how ours is The Church as Christ founded it, he claimed his own church to have that distinction. I asked him what his church was and it turned out to be a non-denominational Evangelical Church. I responded that it isn't Orthodoxy and his reply was that Orthodoxy is nothing but a name, as if it is only a man-made institution and that his church is the true church.
In our country, Protestants can casually approach people in order to invite them to their church but if you mention Orthodoxy, it's as if you are speaking of some obscure religious cult.
Has anyone else ever encountered the same situation?

Peace.


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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2005, 06:03:36 PM »

I'm in a different setting (small town USA) and not a university.  Still, I find that not many people have heard of Orthodoxy.  I ascribe that to two reasons: (1) There aren't many Orthodox in the U.S. (about 2% of the population) and (2) the Orthodox haven't entered into the popular culture like other small religions (like Jews or Buddhists, for example).

Personally, I think there is a real opportunity here for Orthodox to enter the American national consciousness.  Orthodoxy supplies a need for mature, mystical Christian religion: a need which just hasn't been otherwise met by other Christian groups.  It's interesting to see how Orthodoxy seems to be growing so much by conversion in this country, yet awareness of it seems to be mostly by word-of-mouth and the internet. 
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2005, 06:16:13 PM »

Matt

Where I am originally from, Pittsburgh, there are many Orthodox Christians and it is common for non-Orthodox to be familiar with the church; However, where, I kow  live it is the opposite. Many Americans are narrow minded when it comes to something out side of the norm. I am not suprised at the reaction you get.
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 03:49:33 AM »

Oh, I get the same thing in Britain. Usually when I explain they say 'that sounds like Catholicism' or 'can you explain how it differs from X' (supply name of church, but usually it's Anglican). I don't tend to find any overt opposition and sometimes some genuine interest but then I don't think our Protestants are so devout as the American variety. The worst reactions, in my experience, usually come from Roman Catholics, especially when I refuse to attend Mass at the local church - they seem to view me as an extremist who doesn't want to accept how close to reconcilliation we really are. Personally, I think they're all dreaming.

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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 08:31:55 AM »

  I've been ask a few times if the Orthodox Church was a Jewish group.  (I'm in Texas.)  I guess the word "Church" doesn't give any clues.
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 10:22:33 AM »

Matt
 Many Americans are narrow minded when it comes to something out side of the norm. 

"Narrow minded" or they just don't know about something so that it is, by definition, "unknown" /strange/outside of their experience? And I don't think that this is limited to "Americans". Why expect people to accept something new to them without reserve?

I think that it is a Human trait in general to be puzzled or wonder or be unsure about things that are out of one's ordinary experience.  It could be a matter of just not knowing anything about something.

I don't mean to be difficult, but "narrow minded" can have negative connotations that perhaps don't necessarily always apply here.



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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2005, 10:26:21 AM »

Ebor

Americans are extremely ethnocentric and know little about the larger world.  If my or your experience doesn't fit into their limited mindset they are skeptical, true, but why is the mindset limited?  Is the US School system's fault?. I grew up in a time when I could name all 50 states and was very aware of people around me of other ethnic and religious groups.  There is something that makes the mindset limited. A kind of chauvinism that exists in this country to our discredit.
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2005, 10:41:02 AM »

Aserb,

I mean no disrespect, but I think that it is still an over-generalization to say that "Americans" are extremely ethnocentric.ÂÂ  But then when I think of all of the different 'eths" in this country, the point could get complicated.ÂÂ  SmileyÂÂ  What *is* the American eth?ÂÂ  In my neighborhood we have people from Cameroon, Australia, Roumania, Central America (not sure where) Korea, Canada and (I think) Pakistan who are American.ÂÂ  Our children go to the same school.

I also was taught as you (I'm 49) and we're teaching our children about the world as my parents taught me.ÂÂ  Even growing up in Montana, we were taught about the rest of the world and I have news bookmarks on my computer from around the world.ÂÂ  Maybe that is the difference, as opposed to situations in large cities or now.ÂÂ  I don't know.  Out of sheer curiosity, if I may ask, did you grow up in a large city?

But out in Montana there are plenty of other ethnicities 9there was a Philipiines festival a bit over a year ago in my home town of Great Falls).ÂÂ  Granted in the whole state there are (iirc) 6 EO parishes/missions.ÂÂ  So I wouldn't expect someone from up on the Hi-line or eastern Montana to know much about them (it's a big place).ÂÂ  But that doesn't mean that they would be "narrow-minded" if they went to Great Falls or Butte and saw an EO church.ÂÂ  They just might not know any thing about it.

I would also suggest that 'chauvinism' is not only an American trait.ÂÂ  There is plenty to be seen in many other countries.ÂÂ  

Ebor
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2005, 11:25:26 AM »

Oh, I get the same thing in Britain. Usually when I explain they say 'that sounds like Catholicism' or 'can you explain how it differs from X' (supply name of church, but usually it's Anglican).

I've heard the "sounds too Catholic" explanation of Orthodoxy before. I'm expected to believe that only Billy Bob non-denom preacher has the one true faith.

Peace.
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005, 11:34:01 AM »

Ebor:

Thank you. I grew up in a large city (Urban area) but now live in a "leafy white suburb."  The American Dream.  Yes, maybe I did overgeneralize, but I get frustrated sometimes and maybe a bit cocky. I can converse with a muslim about his/her faith (although its been in the news alot) But, I get tired of people asking (after they find out if I'm Orthodox) if I am Jewish or saying Oh that's lke Catholic or simply "what's that."  I once had a women tell me, no lie, that all Russians are Jewish so how could you eb a Christian.

Go figure
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2005, 11:40:18 AM »

Aserb,

I mean no disrespect, but I think that it is still an over-generalization to say that "Americans" are extremely ethnocentric.ÂÂÂ  But then when I think of all of the different 'eths" in this country, the point could get complicated.ÂÂÂ  SmileyÂÂÂ  What *is* the American eth?ÂÂÂ  In my neighborhood we have people from Cameroon, Australia, Roumania, Central America (not sure where) Korea, Canada and (I think) Pakistan who are American.ÂÂÂ  Our children go to the same school.

I also was taught as you (I'm 49) and we're teaching our children about the world as my parents taught me.ÂÂÂ  Even growing up in Montana, we were taught about the rest of the world and I have news bookmarks on my computer from around the world.ÂÂÂ  Maybe that is the difference, as opposed to situations in large cities or now.ÂÂÂ  I don't know.ÂÂÂ  Out of sheer curiosity, if I may ask, did you grow up in a large city?

But out in Montana there are plenty of other ethnicities 9there was a Philipiines festival a bit over a year ago in my home town of Great Falls).ÂÂÂ  Granted in the whole state there are (iirc) 6 EO parishes/missions.ÂÂÂ  So I wouldn't expect someone from up on the Hi-line or eastern Montana to know much about them (it's a big place).ÂÂÂ  But that doesn't mean that they would be "narrow-minded" if they went to Great Falls or Butte and saw an EO church.ÂÂÂ  They just might not know any thing about it.

I would also suggest that 'chauvinism' is not only an American trait.ÂÂÂ  There is plenty to be seen in many other countries.ÂÂÂ  

Ebor

Ebor,

I think the point aserb is trying to make, begs for a broad generalization, and I don't think for a second he thinks (or stated) that "all" Americans ascribe to his general proposition.

 Having said that, I had the opportunity to study in Canada and the USA and I saw major differences. ÂÂ There is no doubt in my mind the American education is much more introverted. ÂÂ To me, it is something that permeates through a large segment of the population (see mixing bowl vs. melting pot as an extension of this policy).

 ÃƒÆ’‚ While I was in lawschool (in the USA), I most definitely met brilliant students who were extremely "worldly" (on all issues).  Moreover, I've met students in Canada that didn't know who their own Prime Minister was (although they always seem to know the name of the U.S. Pres. - lol).  However, overall, I think my experience seems to support the broad statements made by aserb.  I fully recognize one persons experience is far from conclusive, but I think you might find, outside the borders of the USA, people would tend to agree with aserbs conclusions.
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2005, 11:41:17 AM »

Ebor:

Thank you. I grew up in a large city (Urban area) but now live in a "leafy white suburb."ÂÂ  The American Dream.ÂÂ  Yes, maybe I did overgeneralize, but I get frustrated sometimes and maybe a bit cocky. I can converse with a muslim about his/her faith (although its been in the news alot) But, I get tired of people asking (after they find out if I'm Orthodox) if I am Jewish or saying Oh that's lke Catholic or simply "what's that."ÂÂ  I once had a women tell me, no lie, that all Russians are Jewish so how could you eb a Christian.

Go figure

My best one was telling someone I was "Serbian", to which she responded... "I didn't know Siberia was a country". LOLÂÂ  Grin

And now back to the topic...
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2005, 12:29:20 PM »

I live in an area that has had a fair amount of exposure to Orthodoxy (I live about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh), so normally people either understand what I am a part of, or at least have a good sense/association about it even if they can't remember exactly why. I have had a couple times where this didn't happen though, like when we tried to register for the hospital one time and we said Orthodox as our religion and she said "Ok, well we don't have that as an option, how about Catholic?" and we said "Well, we're not really Catholic" and the lady just looked at us with a blank stare. Her priest probably told her differently! Smiley Generally it doesn't come up that much though, I'm too shy to strike up many conversations in real life.

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I once had a women tell me, no lie, that all Russians are Jewish so how could you eb a Christian.

Lol, just last week on another forum someone posted an article that said that according to a poll Russia was the most pro-Christian nation, and one person (who's actually a bright person) said "I had no idea Russia was supportive of Christians". I let her know that, yeah, there's a couple-few over there Grin
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2005, 04:36:36 PM »

Ebor:

Thank you. I grew up in a large city (Urban area) but now live in a "leafy white suburb."ÂÂ  The American Dream.ÂÂ  Yes, maybe I did overgeneralize, but I get frustrated sometimes and maybe a bit cocky. I can converse with a muslim about his/her faith (although its been in the news alot) But, I get tired of people asking (after they find out if I'm Orthodox) if I am Jewish or saying Oh that's lke Catholic or simply "what's that."ÂÂ  I once had a women tell me, no lie, that all Russians are Jewish so how could you eb a Christian.

Go figure

Well, how's this for an idea?ÂÂ  From your angle it's the same old questions and not knowing anything about your Church over and over. So for you it is wearisome.

For *each of the people* you meet that doesn't know about it, it's new information, not that you're having to explain yourself to the same person over and over again, though you are repeating things you've said before.

That can be very frustrating.  I wonder though of people in other countries having stereotyped or erroneous ideas about Americans and our culture.  I've read a good number of books by Americans and British men and women who lived or still live in Japan.  The Japanese person on the street who has never left that country but only goes by news/books/magazines/movies etc can have some...umm.. less then accurate ideas of how Americans live and (of course) vice versa.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Could there be Russian people who have ideas about Americans that are just as off as the woman you wrote about?

I can understand some of what you write, btw.  I have had people/posters tossing off erroneous ideas about me and my Church based on what they have heard or read about Episcopalians/Anglicans.  They have assumed that because of something that they read that *I* must be like that.  Or that I am rich or a snob or a Conservative or a Liberal etc etc. 

Ebor
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2005, 04:43:07 PM »

I'm expected to believe that only Billy Bob non-denom preacher has the one true faith.

And he is expected to believe on first meeting the same about you?

Sounds like more communication is a good thing

Ebor
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2005, 04:49:33 PM »

Moreover, I've met students in Canada that didn't know who their own Prime Minister was (although they always seem to know the name of the U.S. Pres. - lol).

Depends maybe on how they get their information.  Who's on the TV more or on the front of a paper or magazine?

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 However, overall, I think my experience seems to support the broad statements made by aserb.  I fully recognize one persons experience is far from conclusive, but I think you might find, outside the borders of the USA, people would tend to agree with aserbs conclusions.

But would the people outside the USA know more about this country beyond their popular press, I wonder.  "Who tells the stories" and "Why they tell them?" are a couple of important questions, I think.

With respect,

Ebor

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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2005, 05:45:53 PM »

And he is expected to believe on first meeting the same about you?

Sounds like more communication is a good thing

Ebor

What I would expect is that an American citizen would at least know enough of Orthodoxy from what one would learn from an encyclopedia or European history class.

Peace. 
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2005, 06:08:25 PM »

The fault of the average American not knowing a great deal of Orthodoxy rest primarily upon US and our failure at evangilization and missionary work. 
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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2005, 06:10:45 PM »

The fault of the average American not knowing a great deal of Orthodoxy rest primarily upon US and our failure at evangilization and missionary work.

I've generally thought that Orthodoxy in America is based on attraction rather than promotion.

Peace.
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2005, 06:12:01 PM »

Why?  If they have never encountered it before, how would they know to look it up?  How would say, a Blackfoot Indian in Montana  or a dirt farmer in Appalachia who has had no encounter with anything about EO/OO and is busy with his/her own life come across this information?

*Every American Citizen* must know about EO/OO?  May other people expect that every citizen, including you, know about something that is a particular part of their life and that they know about?  Comets?  Fossils?  French cooking?  BBQ?  (now *that* would lead to strong opinions, just *which* BBQ?)  Anglo-Saxon History and literature? (one of my study points)

EO/OO is still a very small part of the population.  I think it is a mistake to expect other people to do or know a great number of things.  It may be tiring for the person doing the explaining, but if they know more about something and they run into many people who do not, it may just be the way of things to have to keep at it.  And in the telling you are at least giving them some knowledge they didn't have before as long as it's done with respect for the other Human Being.



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« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2005, 06:17:21 PM »

Siluoan,  exactly!

See, we can agree on some things.  Smiley 

Matthew,

"Attraction"?  like iron filings to a magnet?  How will it be "attractive" if it is not known?  "Build it and they will come?" 

"Go out into the world making disciples" is promotion? 

I'm sorry, I don't understand that idea.

Ebor
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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2005, 06:34:07 PM »

*Every American Citizen* must know about EO/OO?

At least every American who is a member of the Christian faith. The fact that Orthodoxy exists is something one should at least know from a history class.

Peace.
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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2005, 06:47:17 PM »

The fault of the average American not knowing a great deal of Orthodoxy rest primarily upon US and our failure at evangilization and missionary work.ÂÂ  

I think there is a lot of truth to this.
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2005, 07:04:40 PM »

The fact that Orthodoxy exists is something one should at least know from a history class.

Peace.

I agree, but I think you have too much faith in what gets taught in Western Civ history classes in all levels of public school.  Anything about Orthodoxy or the Byzantines is usually marginalized or given a scant footnote as if they are trivial.
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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2005, 07:36:54 PM »

Modern European History classes in high schools often start with the Rennaissance.  There may be an brief overview of the Crusades for background purposes, and the Orthodox get an offhand mention.  Afterwards, there might be a mention or two when Russia is involved.  But really, the references, in my experience have been easy to miss.  The only real time that information about the Orthodox in my high school history classes was provided was when I wouldn't let my history teacher give an offhand mention about something without asking questions.  Since I started learning and seeking about the Orthodox faith I have found a lot of what I was taught was wrong.  In school I was taught that the "Byzantine" Emperor was the head of the Orthodox church after it "broke away" from the Catholic Church, and that after Constantinople fell, the Church broke into various completely seperate national churches.

I don't fault my teacher.  He was a very good history teacher, and one of my favorite teachers from high school.  He inspired me to study history in college.  But I think that this anecdote illustrates something.  Even otherwise well-educated people have little to no knowledge of this subject.  I have no idea how I personally became interested in Orthodox Christianity, but I am gald I have.  Of course I am still learning a lot, and don't know if I will convert.
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« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2005, 07:42:08 PM »

I've generally thought that Orthodoxy in America is based on attraction rather than promotion.

Peace.

Yeah, that's the problem.  The Church is missionary, not "the best kept secret."

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« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2005, 04:12:38 AM »

It is rather surprising every time I encounter a person who has never heard of the Orthodox faith. For example, today someone randomly approached me at the college in order to invite me to his Bible study group at his church. Then I retorted that the church I attend already has a Bible study on the same night and that I am a member of the Orthodox faith. For some reason, he seemed to have never heard of Orthodoxy. When I explained some historical details such as how ours is The Church as Christ founded it, he claimed his own church to have that distinction. I asked him what his church was and it turned out to be a non-denominational Evangelical Church. I responded that it isn't Orthodoxy and his reply was that Orthodoxy is nothing but a name, as if it is only a man-made institution and that his church is the true church.
In our country, Protestants can casually approach people in order to invite them to their church but if you mention Orthodoxy, it's as if you are speaking of some obscure religious cult.
Has anyone else ever encountered the same situation?

Peace.




Well, I haven't encountered the same exact situation, but I do remember getting strange looks when I was in a Catholic mostly girls college for a year.... I had just converted to Orthodoxy and my roommate was a southern baptist, she couldn't understand what in the world I was doing just 'standing there staring at pictures of people' and 'reading a prayer book'.  She wouldn't interrupt me, but she would 'stare' at me intently, trying to figure out if I had gone 'mad' or something.  Then she would ask me a lot of questions like, why do pray to Mary and other people when we should just pray to God for things we need, stuff like that (I can't think of the exact words).  I think she liked trying to start arguments with me, I got to the point where I actually dreaded being there in the room praying or reading when she was in there too. 

I actually never heard of Orthodoxy either until I talked to a friend of mine online about it....he had decided to convert to Orthodoxy from Catholicism (the SSPX to be exact...) and I had thought he was converting to a cult and told him that too...I thought it was some form of muslim or mormon stuff, or something 'bad' and 'dangerous'. I didn't even know the Orthodox Church existed until that moment.  I'm glad that I found out that the Orthodox Church actually does exist today yet.  I think that if I would never have went from the 'Novus Ordo' Roman Catholic church to the SSPX I probably would not have even considered leaving and converting to Orthodoxy, it would have taken a lot more convincing on my friend's part to get me to be Orthodox than it had at that point.  I guess it's true that things do happen for a reason and that God indeed does work in mysterious ways.  Smiley

(sorry for rambling!) 

Mary
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« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2005, 04:15:35 AM »

At least every American who is a member of the Christian faith. The fact that Orthodoxy exists is something one should at least know from a history class.

Peace.
  to be quite honest with you, even if I would have been taught about different religions and stuff in history in school, I would not remember any of it, because sadly I did not pay attention very well during history class, Social Studies, World Cultures, whatever you want to call it... I had always thought that class to be very boring and I would always fall asleep during it, or do other homework during that class.  I'm not proud of that though at all.

Mary
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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2005, 08:55:45 AM »

It is rather surprising every time I encounter a person who has never heard of the Orthodox faith. For example, today someone randomly approached me at the college in order to invite me to his Bible study group at his church. Then I retorted that the church I attend already has a Bible study on the same night and that I am a member of the Orthodox faith. For some reason, he seemed to have never heard of Orthodoxy. When I explained some historical details such as how ours is The Church as Christ founded it, he claimed his own church to have that distinction. I asked him what his church was and it turned out to be a non-denominational Evangelical Church. I responded that it isn't Orthodoxy and his reply was that Orthodoxy is nothing but a name, as if it is only a man-made institution and that his church is the true church.
In our country, Protestants can casually approach people in order to invite them to their church but if you mention Orthodoxy, it's as if you are speaking of some obscure religious cult.
Has anyone else ever encountered the same situation?

Peace.




Sounds to me that the only reason for folks not recognizing Orthodoxy is the fault of the Orthodox.  We dont really evangelize per se. We seem to be quite satisfied with our status quo i.e. we tend to stay in our own enclaves and feel save there.  Orthodox are not comfortable evangelizing I guess.  I had to stumble upon it before I even knew that Orthodoxy existed.  But when I did,  nothing could stop me from learning about this great faith.  However, if we want to get the word out we must be willing to stand on corners handing out leaflets, going on TV, media advertizing, and do all those things we see other faiths doing in order to get our word out.   Otherwise we will continue to be pretty much what we are now and that is: content with our present rate of growth or non growth.

JoeS

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« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2005, 09:15:26 AM »

Sounds to me that the only reason for folks not recognizing Orthodoxy is the fault of the Orthodox.  We dont really evangelize per se. We seem to be quite satisfied with our status quo i.e. we tend to stay in our own enclaves and feel save there.  Orthodox are not comfortable evangelizing I guess.  I had to stumble upon it before I even knew that Orthodoxy existed.  But when I did,  nothing could stop me from learning about this great faith.  However, if we want to get the word out we must be willing to stand on corners handing out leaflets, going on TV, media advertizing, and do all those things we see other faiths doing in order to get our word out.  ÃƒÆ’ƒâ€šÃ‚ Otherwise we will continue to be pretty much what we are now and that is: content with our present rate of growth or non growth.

JoeS

I think the reason for this (especially among cradle Orthodox - like myself) is that we lack the confidence to evangelize.  At this website, we have priests, seminarians and various well read individuals who feel confident enough in their ability to express why Orthodoxy is the Truth, however, I think that is the minority amongst Orthodox individuals.

When I was in highschool, I had a good friend who was the son of a "minister" in a Church he called Apostolic Pentecostal (one of the many flavors of evangelical Protestantism).  This kid, new the bible, back to front, front to back.  I can consciously remember thinking how deficient my religious background was compared to this kid, because I couldn't quote passage after passage from the Bible. 

Although my family went to Liturgy every Sunday, I never felt really connected to the faith as a youngster.  Certainly, I had absolutely NO confidence to evangelize.  My parents, whom I consider devout, would probably say the same thing.

Today, I feel more confident in "taking on" a Bible quoting Sola Scripturist or advocating why Orthodoxy is the Way, although I could still envision having problems with those Christians who are basically taught to evangelize from the day they walk into Church.

Maybe greater emphasis should be given to evangelizing others in our Churches.  Maybe better religious education for our young people is in order.  I think as a whole, we have to be better educated about "what we actually believe" before we can spread the Word.
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« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2005, 11:22:31 AM »

I think we have to broaden the definition of evangelism and not juts use the "in your face" model of present day evangelicals. This model I find rude an offensive and even confusing. Once I had someone tell me I needed to accept Jesus and get saved. The same day I had another street corner preached tell me that to be "saved" I had to be baptized in the Holy Ghost, in addition to accepting Jesus or I was not saved.  You get the picture. Orthodoxy preaches a consist message of truth.

Anyway, what I mean is that just by letting my friends and associates know I am Orthodox is a form of evangelism. Some question me further, some do not. I wear a three-bar Russian style cross. This also elicits questions and to me proclaims my Orthodoxy. I had a wonderful chance to "evangelize" recently when a Protestant friend of mine from college, whom I haven't seen for several years, questioned me at length about my faith. I found out that he and his wife had become disaffected with Evangelicalism and were seriously pursuing studying the Orthodox faith.

So there are other ways to share your faith apart from shoving it in someone's face.
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« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2005, 11:52:09 AM »

Quote
I think we have to broaden the definition of evangelism and not juts use the "in your face" model of present day evangelicals. This model I find rude an offensive and even confusing. Once I had someone tell me I needed to accept Jesus and get saved. The same day I had another street corner preached tell me that to be "saved" I had to be baptized in the Holy Ghost, in addition to accepting Jesus or I was not saved. You get the picture. Orthodoxy preaches a consist message of truth.

Anyway, what I mean is that just by letting my friends and associates know I am Orthodox is a form of evangelism. Some question me further, some do not. I wear a three-bar Russian style cross. This also elicits questions and to me proclaims my Orthodoxy. I had a wonderful chance to "evangelize" recently when a Protestant friend of mine from college, whom I haven't seen for several years, questioned me at length about my faith. I found out that he and his wife had become disaffected with Evangelicalism and were seriously pursuing studying the Orthodox faith.

So there are other ways to share your faith apart from shoving it in someone's face.

I could not agree more, and in fact I have been writing this in this board for some time now.

In my experience, the best way to evangelize is to actually live the Orthodox life; after all, have we not heard from St. Seraphim that if one person acquires the Hioly Spirit then many around that person will be saved as well? What is the goal of Orthopraxis other than acquiring the Spirit?

Now, before people write in to say in an absolutist way that I am way off track here, let me say that this is the best way for me and apparently aserb to evangelize. Some others God has given a gift to preach like St. Paul and evangelize in that way.  Let that part of the Body do what they are supposed to do...

but don't try to come here and say that their way is the only way to spread the Faith,

 or that only certain Church Fathers they found helpful are the good ones,

or that God may not comfort and encourage a grieving daughter through relaying a message in a dream (of course, any dream like this should be tested, but not every dream should be ignored).


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« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2005, 12:00:18 PM »

Thanks Chris.  I am still working out my salvation though and have a long way to go.
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« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2005, 12:10:53 PM »

Quote
Maybe greater emphasis should be given to evangelizing others in our Churches.  Maybe better religious education for our young people is in order.

Exactly. We need to get out of the mode of thinking that "The Liturgy teaches us everything we need to know" or "We hear the Bible in services, isn't it Protestant-like to study it by yourself?"  Sometimes these thoughts are unspoken, but I get the feeling that they are often there beneath the surface in parishes. Of course the Scripture and Fathers say the opposite: St. John Chrysostom rebuked his flock many times for their being unknowledgable of the Scripture, and then having the nerve to turn around and call it boring and repetitive. Our problems are not new problems, they are just tougher, because previously you might live in a place that had almost all Christians, or maybe one competing religion; but now we live in a place with almost as many belief systems as their are families. We need to know our faith better if we are ever to survive.
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« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2005, 12:30:25 PM »

Sounds to me that the only reason for folks not recognizing Orthodoxy is the fault of the Orthodox. We dont really evangelize per se.
JoeS

Though I was baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church as an infant, I didn't have a serious interest in Orthodoxy until a friend from high school, whose father happens to be a deacon, invited me to her church.
We do spread Orthodoxy through word of mouth, from friend to friend, which I believe makes more sense than having a television campaign.

Peace.
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« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2005, 02:04:04 PM »

Matthew777

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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2005, 02:17:35 PM »

"We do spread Orthodoxy through word of mouth, from friend to friend, which I believe makes more sense than having a television campaign. "


That may be true, but I would still like to see an Orthodox TV network or, at least, some decent Orthodox programs on TV.
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« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2005, 03:09:20 PM »

  I really think it's the parents responsibility to teach their children the faith.  Ideally you would read Bible stories to them on a regular basis and answer their questions.  And of course, the God-parents should play a role in this.
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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2005, 03:15:22 PM »

That may be true, but I would still like to see an Orthodox TV network or, at least, some decent Orthodox programs on TV.

I agree. A Catholic-Orthodox show on EWTN would be nice, for example.

Peace.
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« Reply #39 on: June 23, 2006, 10:59:30 PM »

I agree. A Catholic-Orthodox show on EWTN would be nice, for example.

Peace.

That would be fine. But we all know that The RCC would tell it their own way. for intence in the RCC school thet are not tought Church history about the Seven Concils they are only tought ROCC church concils. See as narrow mind that Roman Catholics they see the church as the only true church. It would be better if the Orthodox Church had it's own TV program. This way Church History can me told from past to present.  Starting with the five orginal  Church Rome.Constantinope. Alexandria. Syria. and Jerusalem. to the Break up between west and East, to the Protestant reformation.
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« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2006, 09:45:52 PM »

I don't know if I'd trust others to teach about us... And I don't know if the Catholics would handle it well if it was an Orth and   a Cath on the show - I mean, how would they handle the division of the Church between the 11th and 17th centuries?  The Photian Schism, Great Schism, et al?  I mean, we have attempted to trust in the West to teach about us (the History class comment) and it doesn't happen!  I remember my history classes (I did quite well in them) and Orthodoxy wasn't mentioned; the Empire post 476 was a footnote, and nothing is said about our church after 1054.

As for teaching our families, the youth - half the battle is within the family.  The kids spend 1/56 of their week in the Church.... and 5/21 in school.... and the rest at home!  Only the family can help de-program the stuff from the world; the Church can help reinforce it, provide a loving and supportive worship environment, and most importantly (with respects to this) empower the parents with the tools to live the Christian life and teach...

Once the kids know, and the family knows, then they'll live it, and it will be 1 step closer to spreading Orthodoxy.  Orthopraxis with preaching with teaching, etc. will complete the package.
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« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2006, 01:35:26 AM »

Most of you who are American born in this country know that Church history is not taught in public Schools. which is a shame, and it should be taught and if it was taught then every one would know about the Orthodox Church and where it came from
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« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2006, 01:45:54 AM »

God help us if Church History were taught in Public schools - then it would be from the perspective of some Protestant and Evangelical Churches who think we're a) pagan, b) Catholic, c) both.
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« Reply #43 on: June 26, 2006, 01:52:26 AM »

It is my understanding that GOA, or maybe SCOBA, has some interest and/or influence in the Hallmark Channel.ÂÂ  Why couldn't we have a TV version of Come Receive The Light.ÂÂ  That would be a good start to let the world know about our faith.ÂÂ  What do y'all think??
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« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2006, 02:11:34 AM »

As long as we retain 100% creative control and editorial control...
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