Author Topic: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions  (Read 1622 times)

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Offline Alpha60

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Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« on: August 07, 2018, 12:57:24 PM »
When launching a new mission for people who are unfamiliar with Orthodox Christianity, what are the best strategies for explaining what Orthodoxy is, and avoiding confusion with Orthodox Judaism and with Roman Catholicism?

What do you think?
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

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Offline WPM

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2018, 03:03:25 PM »
The Truth.
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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2018, 05:52:31 PM »
Give them a history book allong with the bible. Maybe we should hijack snapple facts and distribute those.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 05:54:37 PM by Tzimis »

Offline Dominika

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 06:00:42 PM »
This famous quotation:


"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman (papal). It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago"


Edit: and then, in points, explain each statement.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 06:01:05 PM by Dominika »
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2018, 06:40:05 PM »
Introduce them to Jesus.  Chances are they only know a caricature.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2018, 08:04:49 PM »
Introduce them to Jesus.  Chances are they only know a caricature.

This.

Forget the idea of Protestant God versus Orthodox God. Most of the 'nones' who had any kind of religious background don't understand what they were rejecting. I can't count the conversations I've had with someone who insisted that Christianity believes 'x' when no form of Christianity believes what they think it does.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2018, 09:15:26 PM »
Introduce them to Jesus.  Chances are they only know a caricature.

I agree with you and Agabus on this point entirely.  I have, however, what embarasses me to ask, a stupid question, but one which I have to ask, and please forgive me for this, but, how do we introduce them to Jesus as we experience Him in Holy Orthodoxy?  How do we defeat specific caricatures of Jesus?

It seems to me that a different approach is needed for different people depending on which counterfeit Christ the devil has sold them on.  Do they believe in the Prosperity Gospel?  The Unitarian Jesus-Philosopher?  The iconoclastic Nestorian Calvinist Jesus?  The blonde-haired subordinate Jesus of Mormonism?  For example, someone indoctrinated into Calvinism may initially react adversely to icons.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Luke

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 09:36:45 PM »
Invite them to Liturgy.  If the Church cannot give them a history book along with Scripture, perhaps even an historical outline on a couple pages.

Offline Rubricnigel

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 11:14:47 PM »
When launching a new mission for people who are unfamiliar with Orthodox Christianity, what are the best strategies for explaining what Orthodoxy is, and avoiding confusion with Orthodox Judaism and with Roman Catholicism?

What do you think?

As a convert who stumbled across orthodoxy, id say it would be best to start with, This is the ORIGINAL church, the one that the apostles started, lived in, built up, and practised for 1900+ years. Its been the same in scripture, liturgy, and traditions, then as it is now, as "The church doesnt bend to men, men bend to it".

Its a hidden gem thats almost impossible to find in the usa u less your looking. 20,000+ demoninations of various kinds here.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2018, 09:17:21 AM »
Introduce them to Jesus.  Chances are they only know a caricature.

I agree with you and Agabus on this point entirely.  I have, however, what embarasses me to ask, a stupid question, but one which I have to ask, and please forgive me for this, but, how do we introduce them to Jesus as we experience Him in Holy Orthodoxy?  How do we defeat specific caricatures of Jesus?
Start with the Gospel book. Discuss the readings within the consensus of the church.

Quote
It seems to me that a different approach is needed for different people depending on which counterfeit Christ the devil has sold them on.  Do they believe in the Prosperity Gospel?  The Unitarian Jesus-Philosopher?  The iconoclastic Nestorian Calvinist Jesus?  The blonde-haired subordinate Jesus of Mormonism?  For example, someone indoctrinated into Calvinism may initially react adversely to icons.
Start with showing the original rather than trying to answer every opposition in your opening salvo. Think of it as counterfeit training by virtue of getting people familiar enough with the real thing that they recognize a fake. Specific pastoral applications may be needed for an individual, but trying to anticipate every need before it arises is the way of self-implosion.

I don't mean to be dismissive of dogmatic theology, but most converts people don't need a detailed blow by blow of each ecumenical council.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 09:18:29 AM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline WPM

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2018, 09:25:16 AM »
I would introduce the icon of St. Andrew of Crete and explain how Orthodoxy descended from that
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Offline juliogb

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 12:08:53 PM »
This famous quotation:


"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman (papal). It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago"


Edit: and then, in points, explain each statement.

This is quite nice actually.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2018, 10:08:56 PM »
...how do we introduce them to Jesus as we experience Him in Holy Orthodoxy?  How do we defeat specific caricatures of Jesus?

What Agabus said.

Quote
It seems to me that a different approach is needed for different people depending on which counterfeit Christ the devil has sold them on.  Do they believe in the Prosperity Gospel?  The Unitarian Jesus-Philosopher?  The iconoclastic Nestorian Calvinist Jesus?  The blonde-haired subordinate Jesus of Mormonism?  For example, someone indoctrinated into Calvinism may initially react adversely to icons.

One of the problems I have with popular Orthodoxy (popodoxy?) is its tendency to be defensive.  Why do we have to take ^these pseudo-Christianities and lend them legitimacy by responding to them on their own terms?  Introduce them to Jesus, the true Jesus, on his terms, and people will sort through the fakes quite easily.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2018, 10:36:24 PM »
...how do we introduce them to Jesus as we experience Him in Holy Orthodoxy?  How do we defeat specific caricatures of Jesus?

What Agabus said.

Quote
It seems to me that a different approach is needed for different people depending on which counterfeit Christ the devil has sold them on.  Do they believe in the Prosperity Gospel?  The Unitarian Jesus-Philosopher?  The iconoclastic Nestorian Calvinist Jesus?  The blonde-haired subordinate Jesus of Mormonism?  For example, someone indoctrinated into Calvinism may initially react adversely to icons.

One of the problems I have with popular Orthodoxy (popodoxy?) is its tendency to be defensive.  Why do we have to take ^these pseudo-Christianities and lend them legitimacy by responding to them on their own terms?  Introduce them to Jesus, the true Jesus, on his terms, and people will sort through the fakes quite easily.

This makes a lot of sense.

I have to confess I also like the idea WPM shared; it tave me the thought of showing someone an icon such as The Ladder of Divine Ascent, or Extreme Humility, and using that as the starting point for a conversation.  With the iconoclasts it would require asking them to momentarily set aside their preconceived ideology and look at the icon as a depiction of the Lord in the same manner that I am sure many of them watched Mel Gibson (by the way, iconoclastic Presbyterians who love that film and accuse Orthodox of idolatry are almost funny by virtue of the extreme of their unconscious irony; I am not a huge fan of dark comedies however, hence, “almost.”)
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline juliogb

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2018, 07:54:27 AM »
https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/obstacles-and-encouragements-for-inquirers/

I found this article quite useful and interesting regarding evangelization efforts.

Offline Luke

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2018, 10:13:08 AM »
^ good article.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2018, 10:26:54 AM »
...how do we introduce them to Jesus as we experience Him in Holy Orthodoxy?  How do we defeat specific caricatures of Jesus?

What Agabus said.

Quote
It seems to me that a different approach is needed for different people depending on which counterfeit Christ the devil has sold them on.  Do they believe in the Prosperity Gospel?  The Unitarian Jesus-Philosopher?  The iconoclastic Nestorian Calvinist Jesus?  The blonde-haired subordinate Jesus of Mormonism?  For example, someone indoctrinated into Calvinism may initially react adversely to icons.

One of the problems I have with popular Orthodoxy (popodoxy?) is its tendency to be defensive.  Why do we have to take ^these pseudo-Christianities and lend them legitimacy by responding to them on their own terms?  Introduce them to Jesus, the true Jesus, on his terms, and people will sort through the fakes quite easily.

Popodox apologetics really turn me off because they're not so much about the truth and beauty of what's found in the apostolic churches as they are about how everyone else is wrong. They also use bad-faith examples; e.g. one video I saw articulated the Orthodox idea of  communion with God, and decided to contrast it with the worst caricature of Calvinism I've ever heard (think someone who half heard beebert muttering during a fever dream). Of course you can defeat that boogeyman, but it does you no favors to make people who are — in theory — mistaken but making a good faith effort look like monsters. The truth is on your side anyway.

Assume that if you have an audience, they're open to hearing what you have to say rather than trying to tear their world apart piece by piece. When St. Photini asked Jesus to engage about where to worship, he didn't get into Jerusalem-versus-Samaria polemics. He talked about the eschaton. First things first.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 10:27:34 AM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2018, 12:26:09 PM »
Assume that if you have an audience, they're open to hearing what you have to say rather than trying to tear their world apart piece by piece.
Very, very important words.  Crucial.  And just because you are in a verbal exchange about faith does not automatically mean you have an audience.

I haven't been able to tell if the OP is about a specific mission program, or more of a mission mindset.  One's approach will change depending on which it is.  The former is dealing with people who are already interested and willing to learn.  The latter you are simply living your life, and making the most of random opportunity.  You'll find the gamut of attitudes and have to be prayerful and discerning about whether to speak, and if so, what to say and how much.  My norm is to end up in exchanges with people who are not interested in learning more beyond the "what's that?" so they can find grounds on which to dismiss it.  There's not a lot of conversation left after that; whatever mission I accomplish at that point has to be nonverbal.  Being Christ to others, in other words.  And prayer.  Or attempts at both, anyway.  I know that's not the logistical help you were looking for, Alpha, but both are really crucially important.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Mission
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2018, 01:34:45 PM »
...how do we introduce them to Jesus as we experience Him in Holy Orthodoxy?  How do we defeat specific caricatures of Jesus?

What Agabus said.

Quote
It seems to me that a different approach is needed for different people depending on which counterfeit Christ the devil has sold them on.  Do they believe in the Prosperity Gospel?  The Unitarian Jesus-Philosopher?  The iconoclastic Nestorian Calvinist Jesus?  The blonde-haired subordinate Jesus of Mormonism?  For example, someone indoctrinated into Calvinism may initially react adversely to icons.

One of the problems I have with popular Orthodoxy (popodoxy?) is its tendency to be defensive.  Why do we have to take ^these pseudo-Christianities and lend them legitimacy by responding to them on their own terms?  Introduce them to Jesus, the true Jesus, on his terms, and people will sort through the fakes quite easily.

Popodox apologetics really turn me off because they're not so much about the truth and beauty of what's found in the apostolic churches as they are about how everyone else is wrong. They also use bad-faith examples; e.g. one video I saw articulated the Orthodox idea of  communion with God, and decided to contrast it with the worst caricature of Calvinism I've ever heard (think someone who half heard beebert muttering during a fever dream). Of course you can defeat that boogeyman, but it does you no favors to make people who are — in theory — mistaken but making a good faith effort look like monsters. The truth is on your side anyway.

Assume that if you have an audience, they're open to hearing what you have to say rather than trying to tear their world apart piece by piece. When St. Photini asked Jesus to engage about where to worship, he didn't get into Jerusalem-versus-Samaria polemics. He talked about the eschaton. First things first.

I agree with this to a large extent; broadly speaking, I dislike polemics against Catholics and the greater portion of Protestants (most of what I have written about those churches of a polemical nature has been in response to changes which I consider to be profoundly misguided and pray will not happen in Orthodoxy both due to our ecclesiology and our resistance to change).

One also has to avoid the temptation of responding in-kind to megachurch pastor-preneur who uploads videos to YouTube triumphantly gloating about how Hank Haanegraaf, who is battling with cancer, is a reprobate and therefore inextricably denied salvation because he had the audacity to join a church, our Eastern Orthodox church.  They did write that about the Orthodox.  Recently, John MacArthur referred to Haanegraaf’s conversion in a highly demeaning manor and then went on to say that Orthodox soteriology is to be cursed, and Mr. Haanegraaf’s response to the statement was extremely gracious, loving, educational and devoid of even the slightest whiff of anger or indignation.  I myself am not, it should be evident, as disciplined at resisting troll-bait as I should be, but watching that video last night, and hearing such a gracious and eloquent response to such abusive words about a sacrament I have received, directed towards a man who has cancer, was a profoundly edifying experience.  There are polemics, and then there is abuse which approaches the realm of hate speech.

I actually happen to like most churches.  I actually love the Episcopal Church; I bitterly lament the problems they are having, and the way some corrupt bishops have treated traditionalists, in one case it was revealed with a pecuniary conflict of interest; the Anglican Communion as a whole has probably generated the largest number of converts to Orthodoxy and probably has the people most interested in our church in it, of any denomination (I can’t think of another denomination where a parish as a special occasion attempted to celebrate, using our rubrics, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, or of anyone other Protestants who buy as many of our icons).  The other mainstream churches in the US have historically made a great contribution to the situation in this country and are a more agreeable part of the religious landscape than the varioue cults which have, like mushrooms, appeared since religious liberty spread across the US.   I grew up in a mainline Protestant church, and to the limited extent that such churches still survive in the traditional form I experienced, and to the extent that Catholicism remains at least approximately Catholic, I am not primarily interested in railing against these churches.

Rather, of greater concern for me are people who have been, or are at risk of being, deceived, by the demonically inspired blasphemous caricatures of our Lord that Mor Ephrem refers to, either to the extent that they are losing or have lost their Christian faith, or are at risk of, or have joined, one of the cults which is particularly active at propagating these caricatures, for example, Joel Osteen, or the Mormons.  This is not to say that the Roman Catholics and the mainstream Protestants are innocent of having propagated such distortions, but rather, the situation is a bit different, in that, for example, growing up in a traditional Methodist parish, which had stained glass windows which resembled our icons of the Lord, and which had a liturgy which was Christocentric and featured the Eucharist, and the reading of the same sacred scriptures we read, it facilitated my recognizing the clearer picture of our Lord that people who first look into the Orthodox Church from the outside see, which in turn leads towards meeting our Lord in the liturgy and the sacramental life of the Church, a literal life in Christ which cannot be explained verbally, which people outside the church are unlikely to believe if you tell them about it.

In this beautiful thread I have been greatly inspired by ideas put forward by members on how to show people that clear image of our Lord that ultimately attracts inquirers into Orthodoxy who decide to join us, that glimpse of the love of Jesus.  I am very thankful also to NicholasMyra for having campaigned for this forum and for the administrators and moderators in implementing it.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2018, 05:36:57 PM »
think someone who half heard beebert muttering during a fever dream
Jonathan Edwards still sounds worse than that.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2018, 05:41:24 PM »
I agree comparativeness can be a turn-off. Tell people about Christ, the Divine Liturgy, how our faith has endured so much from this day, how the Holy Spirit acts in our lives, etc. Be open to questions, and they'll certainly come up if these people are willing to dig into Orthodoxy.

One book I found amazingly introductory (and which I regret not having read before, even though it was still during my first year in Church) was Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life. It's very didactical and shows Orthodoxy much more as a way of life than as some abstract idea (which is something few books can do).
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May the Blessed Light shine Forth

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2018, 11:33:03 AM »
Love people, welcome them to your parish.

The rest takes care of itself, without resorting to internet basement dweller level theology.  Leave that for the priest of your mission.


Love people.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2018, 06:36:18 PM »
Love people, welcome them to your parish.

The rest takes care of itself, without resorting to internet basement dweller level theology.  Leave that for the priest of your mission.


Love people.

This is very good advice for all laity.   Btw, I am not a member of a mission parish, but if I were a lay member of a mission parish, I would do this.  In fact, I will do this even though I am a member of a cathedral church.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 06:36:57 PM by Alpha60 »
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Subdeacon Michael

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2018, 03:12:09 PM »
This famous quotation:


"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman (papal). It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago"


Edit: and then, in points, explain each statement.

I've seen this in a few places and my impression is always the same: it's a cute text for people who are already Orthodox and possibly for others who are steeped in a Christian tradition.  However, to the unchurched masses it is filled with too much jargon to keep their attention.  It is an explanation that requires explanation.

I suppose, therefore, that its usefulness depends on the target audience.  Certainly in the UK, where our culture is such that even highly intelligent and educated people would struggle to identify the names of major Christian feasts or be able to state the basics of what Christians believe, hearing the above would be like hearing a foreign language.

The best introduction that I have found for complete beginners is Fr Andrew Stephen Damick's An Introduction to God, which explores, in basic and honest terms, Who God is, what faith in God means, and why any of it matters.

There's a very generous sample available here.

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2018, 06:01:58 PM »
This famous quotation:


"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman (papal). It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago"


Edit: and then, in points, explain each statement.

I've seen this in a few places and my impression is always the same: it's a cute text for people who are already Orthodox and possibly for others who are steeped in a Christian tradition.  However, to the unchurched masses it is filled with too much jargon to keep their attention.  It is an explanation that requires explanation.

+1
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2018, 12:35:47 AM »
On this point, to what extent do you suppose we might try, or have already tried, a sort of Brutalist, Jack Webb type “just the facts” approach to the early Church?  Fr. Behr of St. Vladimir’s gave a talk along these lines entitled “The Shocking Truth of Orthodoxy,” albeit with a posh Oxbridge accent rather than the gravelly smokers’ voice of Webb, which, in pointing us to the identification of Christ being dependent on the Cross and the Eucharist, and the futility of “looking behind” the Cross to see the “historical Jesus”, which is of course pointless, because as Fr. Behr, the replacement for Fr. Hopko at SVS, points out, prior the the cruficixion, resurrection and ascension, particularly in the Synoptics, we see a prevailing scenario where the disciples did not know who or what Jesus was.   St. John of course diverges a bit, but not to the point where this false “historicism”  makes any sense.

Truth incarnate being on our side, in most cases it seems like the facts of the historical narrative of the Orthodox Church are in alignment to the point of refuting many misconceptions. 
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2018, 07:28:37 AM »
Fr. Behr, the replacement for Fr. Hopko at SVS...

Fr Hopko is irreplaceable.  So is Fr Behr.  They aren’t interchangeable.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2018, 09:18:05 AM »
This famous quotation:


"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman (papal). It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago"


Edit: and then, in points, explain each statement.

I've seen this in a few places and my impression is always the same: it's a cute text for people who are already Orthodox and possibly for others who are steeped in a Christian tradition.  However, to the unchurched masses it is filled with too much jargon to keep their attention.  It is an explanation that requires explanation.

+1

+2

I hate this slogan. It's super gimmicky and makes me cringe.
Quote
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2018, 09:39:26 AM »
This famous quotation:


"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman (papal). It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago"


Edit: and then, in points, explain each statement.

I've seen this in a few places and my impression is always the same: it's a cute text for people who are already Orthodox and possibly for others who are steeped in a Christian tradition.  However, to the unchurched masses it is filled with too much jargon to keep their attention.  It is an explanation that requires explanation.

+1

+2

I hate this slogan. It's super gimmicky and makes me cringe.

I once heard from the guy who supposedly created it that it wasn't supposed to take on the life it did.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2018, 10:05:20 AM »
I mean, there are weirder things. We could go around with the Romanides pitch- "Religion is a neurobiological sickness short-circuiting spinal fluid between the heart and brain! Orthodoxy is its cure!"
Quote
When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
- Berdyaev

If you would like a private forum for non-polemical topics, comment here.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2018, 10:26:15 AM »
This famous quotation:


"The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman (papal). It isn't non-denominational - it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago"


Edit: and then, in points, explain each statement.

I've seen this in a few places and my impression is always the same: it's a cute text for people who are already Orthodox and possibly for others who are steeped in a Christian tradition.  However, to the unchurched masses it is filled with too much jargon to keep their attention.  It is an explanation that requires explanation.

+1

+2

I hate this slogan. It's super gimmicky and makes me cringe.

I once heard from the guy who supposedly created it that it wasn't supposed to take on the life it did.

Makes sense. What did he mean by it?

I mean, there are weirder things. We could go around with the Romanides pitch- "Religion is a neurobiological sickness short-circuiting spinal fluid between the heart and brain! Orthodoxy is its cure!"

Seriously lol. I mean, the truncated version of it appealed to me a decade ago in my "relationship not a religion" phase. But if I'd know what Fr. Romanides actually MEANT by it, I probably would have thought that Orthodoxy was New Age nonsense.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2018, 11:28:53 AM »
Makes sense. What did he mean by it?

The impression I got was it was written out of half annoyance. He got tired of the "Orthodox? Isn't that, like, Jewish?", "So it's Catholic, right?" questions. He ran it in a newspaper ad for the mission he was affiliated with at the time (the late 1980s or early 90s), and it just took off from there.

I'm remembering this from a five minute aside at a church winter retreat about eight years ago, so take it for what it's worth.

I mean, there are weirder things. We could go around with the Romanides pitch- "Religion is a neurobiological sickness short-circuiting spinal fluid between the heart and brain! Orthodoxy is its cure!"

"Orthodoxy: Balancing the humors since 33 AD"
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2018, 11:41:22 AM »
Makes sense. What did he mean by it?

The impression I got was it was written out of half annoyance. He got tired of the "Orthodox? Isn't that, like, Jewish?", "So it's Catholic, right?" questions. He ran it in a newspaper ad for the mission he was affiliated with at the time (the late 1980s or early 90s), and it just took off from there.

I'm remembering this from a five minute aside at a church winter retreat about eight years ago, so take it for what it's worth.

Ah, ok. Yeah, it makes sense in that context.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2018, 06:40:38 AM »
Fr. Behr, the replacement for Fr. Hopko at SVS...

Fr Hopko is irreplaceable.  So is Fr Behr.  They aren’t interchangeable.

Forgive me, that was obviously a terrible choice of word - I meant and should properly have said “successor.”  I deeply respect Fr. Hopko, memory eternal, and admire Fr. Behr immensely.  Indeed, the aforesaid lecture by Fr. Behr played a pivotal role in my decision to become Orthodox.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2018, 06:45:39 AM »
I mean, there are weirder things. We could go around with the Romanides pitch- "Religion is a neurobiological sickness short-circuiting spinal fluid between the heart and brain! Orthodoxy is its cure!"

Indeed.  It’s not entirely inaccurate, but surely a bizarre turn of phrase.  I have to admit a lot of what he wrote struck me as off-putting, clinical, or nationalistic, but I admired his blunt honesty; Fr. Romanides, memory eternal, did not pull any punches. 

One thing I love about Orthodoxy is that you can have the extremes represented by say, Fr. Romanides on the one hand and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware on the other, in the same communion.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2018, 07:56:12 AM »
Makes sense. What did he mean by it?

The impression I got was it was written out of half annoyance. He got tired of the "Orthodox? Isn't that, like, Jewish?", "So it's Catholic, right?" questions. He ran it in a newspaper ad for the mission he was affiliated with at the time (the late 1980s or early 90s), and it just took off from there.

I'm remembering this from a five minute aside at a church winter retreat about eight years ago, so take it for what it's worth.

Ah, ok. Yeah, it makes sense in that context.
I'm not sure about the annoyance part (obviously we should try not to be), but this may be a good short answer for areas like mine where it's largely not unchurched.  That population is growing, but most people either have a church, or have rejected church.  Most have just never heard of Orthodoxy so the conversation goes just like this man has experienced.  I actually preempt with the tiniest bit of history as neutrally as possible.  There's a very good chance that a conversation here will eventually lead to, "What church do you go to?"  So it's just part of the answer, and it's about two sentences.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2018, 11:08:01 AM »
Makes sense. What did he mean by it?

The impression I got was it was written out of half annoyance. He got tired of the "Orthodox? Isn't that, like, Jewish?", "So it's Catholic, right?" questions. He ran it in a newspaper ad for the mission he was affiliated with at the time (the late 1980s or early 90s), and it just took off from there.

I'm remembering this from a five minute aside at a church winter retreat about eight years ago, so take it for what it's worth.

I mean, there are weirder things. We could go around with the Romanides pitch- "Religion is a neurobiological sickness short-circuiting spinal fluid between the heart and brain! Orthodoxy is its cure!"

"Orthodoxy: Balancing the humors since 33 AD"
I can imagine the FDA-regulated TV ads now:
"Orthodoxy works differently from Atheism. While Atheism only targets the symptoms of religion, Orthodoxy destroys religion at its source by targeting the short-circuit between the heart and the brain.

Orthodoxy is right for everyone, but use Orthodoxy only as directed. Consult your spiritual father immediately if you hear or see visions of Christ, the Theotokos or the Saints, or have thoughts of being a saint and superior to others, as these may be signs of prelest, a life-threatening spiritual condition. Other side effects may include divestiture of posessions, tears, homelessness, isolation in the wilderness, nakedness in winter and other types of foolish behavior, and a martyric death at the hands of unbelievers.

Ask your local priest about Orthodoxy today. Orthodoxy: True freedom from religion!"
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2018, 03:03:04 PM »
Makes sense. What did he mean by it?

The impression I got was it was written out of half annoyance. He got tired of the "Orthodox? Isn't that, like, Jewish?", "So it's Catholic, right?" questions. He ran it in a newspaper ad for the mission he was affiliated with at the time (the late 1980s or early 90s), and it just took off from there.

I'm remembering this from a five minute aside at a church winter retreat about eight years ago, so take it for what it's worth.

Ah, ok. Yeah, it makes sense in that context.
I'm not sure about the annoyance part (obviously we should try not to be), but this may be a good short answer for areas like mine where it's largely not unchurched.  That population is growing, but most people either have a church, or have rejected church.  Most have just never heard of Orthodoxy so the conversation goes just like this man has experienced.  I actually preempt with the tiniest bit of history as neutrally as possible.  There's a very good chance that a conversation here will eventually lead to, "What church do you go to?"  So it's just part of the answer, and it's about two sentences.

Maybe my problem comes from having become kind of cynical regarding "true Church" claims.

I guess (putting on my generic lost sheep hat for a moment) hearing something like "we're the Church that divided with the Roman Catholics in 1054, we're the national church of Russia, Greece, and a lot of other places" feels more honest and less spin doctored than variations on "since 33 AD" even if the latter happens to be true.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2018, 04:55:23 PM »
Maybe my problem comes from having become kind of cynical regarding "true Church" claims.

I guess (putting on my generic lost sheep hat for a moment) hearing something like "we're the Church that divided with the Roman Catholics in 1054, we're the national church of Russia, Greece, and a lot of other places" feels more honest and less spin doctored than variations on "since 33 AD" even if the latter happens to be true.

The juxtaposition of the quotes in the Modern Fathers and 8th-18th Century Fathers threads today is for you  :laugh: ;)

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2018, 05:02:37 PM »
Just read them both LOL.

Links for posterity.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2018, 09:18:32 PM »
Makes sense. What did he mean by it?

The impression I got was it was written out of half annoyance. He got tired of the "Orthodox? Isn't that, like, Jewish?", "So it's Catholic, right?" questions. He ran it in a newspaper ad for the mission he was affiliated with at the time (the late 1980s or early 90s), and it just took off from there.

I'm remembering this from a five minute aside at a church winter retreat about eight years ago, so take it for what it's worth.

Ah, ok. Yeah, it makes sense in that context.
I'm not sure about the annoyance part (obviously we should try not to be), but this may be a good short answer for areas like mine where it's largely not unchurched.  That population is growing, but most people either have a church, or have rejected church.  Most have just never heard of Orthodoxy so the conversation goes just like this man has experienced.  I actually preempt with the tiniest bit of history as neutrally as possible.  There's a very good chance that a conversation here will eventually lead to, "What church do you go to?"  So it's just part of the answer, and it's about two sentences.

Maybe my problem comes from having become kind of cynical regarding "true Church" claims.

I guess (putting on my generic lost sheep hat for a moment) hearing something like "we're the Church that divided with the Roman Catholics in 1054, we're the national church of Russia, Greece, and a lot of other places" feels more honest and less spin doctored than variations on "since 33 AD" even if the latter happens to be true.
That's how I put it; the latter is a given.  Except most people I'm likely to run into don't know there ever were any splits.  So I do back up to Acts, not just 1054.  I just take the "undivided Church" --> Chalcedon/non-Chalcedon --> Great Schism.  This enables me to point out that a) Christianity is not just the RCC vs. Protestants and b) there are and have been Christians in parts of the world many here consider to be unchurched/unsaved.  But yes, I put it that way not because I am pluralistic but because it is all that can be said to most people here without them shutting down.  And because once upon a time, I so vehemently rejected those who tried to evangelize me that it feels hypocritical for me to now be pushy.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2018, 09:30:35 PM »
No Assyrian Schism? No Old Believers or Old Calendarists?

Seems to me that keeping to Catholic v. Orthodox is the best tack unless you're specifically asked about other groups. Otherwise it seems like things could get confusing pretty fast. But, then again, you're the one with experience in this.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Online augustin717

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2018, 10:06:39 PM »
I would introduce the icon of St. Andrew of Crete and explain how Orthodoxy descended from that
I’ve long suspected WPM is the most st astute armchair theologian on this board. QED
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2018, 10:30:27 PM »
No Assyrian Schism? No Old Believers or Old Calendarists?

Seems to me that keeping to Catholic v. Orthodox is the best tack unless you're specifically asked about other groups. Otherwise it seems like things could get confusing pretty fast. But, then again, you're the one with experience in this.

By "here" I meant where I live, not the fora.  Sorry!  ;D  And I have very little experience, unfortunately.  With the above couple of posts, I'm specifically referring to random encounters in an area where 85% of the population is either Evangelical or none (which could be either ex-something or unchurched).
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Ideas for Explaining Orthodoxy in New Missions
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2018, 10:44:33 PM »
I was talking about offline, myself.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.