[I have been asked if I am Greek or even where in Greece I am from, but even when I answer that I am not Greek no one has ever been rude to me, even if a few have been disappointed. So you will forgive me if I am prone to dismiss these malicious stories about the GOA, since in my visiting of many diverse parishes I have never experienced anything even close to what you seem to imply occurs.]
Oh, so we have a Greek wannabe.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š That explains a lot of things!
What?...How do you come to that conclustion from what you have bolded?
Re: Saint John Maximovitch
The OCA and other (unquestionably) Orthodox jurisdictions have churches named in his honor and baptize people after his name. The fact that every single GOA priest I've met considers him one of the greatest modern saints shows they are mature enough to put politics aside and rejoice in a saint of the Church.
Really when all is said and done with the ROCOR and by this time next year they are concelebrating again with Moscow you'll just again look like a sack of hot air. If you look at the documents between ROCOR and Moscow you'll notice they view this as a union of two churches that had an administrative seperation. The ROCOR is returning because its reason for existence alone is ending, not because the path she walked was wrong. The sad part is the anti-ROCOR spirit is really an American thing. The German version of SCOBA already has ROCOR as vital and active member.
I can, in theory at least, entertain the possibility that one who died outside the Church posessed a saintly grace, but I will refrain from making such a declaration on my own and will await the proclimation of the Synod of the Great Church of Christ. I fervently pray that ROCOR and the MP return to full communion, but even if they do that does not excuse the schism of the past, those who broke communion with their Patriarch, against the expressly stated posistion of Constantinople, the ultimate See of appeal, must still answer for their offences.
You may call me a liar on this, GiC to assuage your own guilty conscience but here are the facts from my experience. Both of my parents, my sister and three friends that attended the GOA were treated poorly for their lack of Greekness (in two cases by a priest even). The ultimate feeling though they walked away with was that Orthodoxy is fine for Greeks, but it is just their ethnic expression of Christianity - it is not the universal church. These are real people whose perception of Orthodoxy has been deeply worsened by it appearing merely as an ethnic thing.
I have had experiences with very ethnic parishes where people would refuse to speak english, even if they knew it, I have encountered people who did not even know that non-greeks could be priests, but never have I experienced what you claim happens. In the very ethnic parishes the people may be cold to non-greeks, but rarely have I heard of, and never have I seen, them go out of their way to be rude...and honest inquisitiveness should most certainly not be mistaken for rudeness.
The most ridiculous thing though I've heard is when a GOA priest claimed to me that Greeks are a people of supior intelligence. At least when the Nazi's made their racial claims they were based on the fact that many of the worlds leading scientists were German, many great athletes were German and Germany was a powerful nation. Greece can't even make a plumbing system that flushes toilet paper.
...Stylistic advice for debating in the modern world: try not to glorify National Socialism in your polemics, this isn't the 1930's and it tends not to work (there some big disagreement in 1939, maybe you've heard about it?).
So bask away in your Hellenism while the VAST majority of the Orthodox Church is non Greek in practice and language. While Orthodox missionaries struggle and die in China and Africa laboring to bring people the True Faith in a form they associate with and understand, keep up your ascesis of Hellenism at Holy Cross. While priests in the ROCOR, OCA, AOA and other missionary jurisdictions struggle (working long hours at a secular job and being a priest) to reach out to ordinary Americans AND their immigrant communities, please make sure you keep boasting in your hellenism. I'm sure one judgement day when Christ seperates the Hellenes from the Barbarians you'll do well (oh wait I don't think that is how the parable went...)
Quite to the contrary, slavic culture was Hellenized, which is why it is a Christian Culture, Hellenistic Thought and Philosophy were infused into the Culture inorder to make it consonant with the Christian Faith. We didn't change our theology and altered very little of our praxis when Christianity was spread to the slavs, rather they learned to understand the world and especially the faith in a very Hellenistic way, an example of a true baptism of a culture.
Your opinion. Should the Mod's just close any thread now for which anyone requests? Sickened? Whatever. Get a thicker skin. As the saying goes, you should be slower to anger and quick to forgive.
Please, let's try to make our points without resorting to ad hominem
attacks or you are going to get the thread locked, SouthSerb99 has already posted one warning on this subject.
Uhhh...yes you are. You are redefining the term 'Hellenism' to fit your own Hellenophile tastes. At any rate shouldn't you just be a Romanophile anyways since that is what the "Byzantine" Empire was - the Roman Empire? Maybe it should be called Romanism...Romanity!
With the merger of Greek and Roman cultures, there comes a point in history when you can use the terms 'Hellenism' and 'Romanity' interchangably, this is probably the case by the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and definately by the time of the reigin of St. Constantine. And no I'm not saying that Hellenism and Christianity are interchangable, Hellenism is a cultural, lingiustic, and philosophical context in which many different religions could, and did, exist from neo-Platonic Pagansim to Mithraism to Christianity. While Hellenism is essential to all these religions, it is not by itself sufficient to be the totality of any of them.
To make it simple: (A => B) !=> (B => A)
Again, nope. While "the original Christianized Hellenic Culture" of the Roman Empire was the original Christian Culture, it is a thing of the past. Maybe the new term should be Romaniaism or Russiaism, after all, these two countries are probably more Orthodox in culture than Greece or it's surrounding area. Christianity or an Orthodox Christian Culture is one that has been baptized and converted to The Way, to Christ and revolves around the life of the Church. This can be done from the Scriptures and Apostolic (as in PRE-Nicean) Fathers, which have nothing to do with this concept of Hellenism.
And what exactly does modern Greek culture have to do with the definition of Hellenism? Furthermore, if you try to separate the Christian faith from the Cultural and Dogmatic context of the Oecumenical Synods, you do not have Orthodoxy you have some heretical bastardization that does not even diserve to be associated with the Christian faith. However, if you wish to do this I'm sure there are many protestants sects that are more than willing to indulge you. Finally, even if you do begin this endeavour to separate the 'Christian Faith' from the Oecumenical Synods, remember that the Canon of Scripture is in the Greek and that the Pre-Nicene Fathers were culturally hellenistic from St. Paul the Apostle to St. Ignatios of Antioch to St. Clement of Alexandria (who, along with the rest of the Catechical School of Alexandria, was amongst the most hellenized elements of the early Church, even going so far as to say that before Christ both the Law and the Philosophy were equal paths to God).
Again, isn't this what defines a "Troll" on internet message boards? Shall I research your prior posts where you admit as such even more overtly?
I shall quote myself in response to your initial ad hominem
attack against me,
'Pray tell, what, other than not agreeing with you, have I done in my posts that so radically juxtaposes my methodology and that of others in this debate...like yourself, for example?'
Another point about the whole Hellenism/Roman thing: the church only took a small sliver of that culture. They borrowed the language simply because it was ubiquitous. They used philisophical terms from then because that was the academic speach of the time.
They only took the Hellenistic Language, Philosophy, Art, Music, and Mindset...what exactly other than the pagan religion did we leave behind (and it might be argued that even the religion was not entirely left behind, but that's a discussion for another day, and plus that's one of TomS' favourite topics so I'm sure we'll see more of it
But lest we forget ancient Rome was primarily hedonistic. Rampant homosexuality, prostitutes readily available (on the history chanel special recently aired it claimed that a session with a prostitute was the same price as a loaf of bread), rampant infanticide etc. Really modern America and Western Europe look puritanical compared to this (especially America - could you image the sexual images of Pompei on public display in America?). It is always convient to remember what we wish rather than seek a bigger picture. Obviously these peccadillos didn't go away overnight when the empire converted - even in you golden era with your "pure" Hellenism you have a level of debauchery a modern civilized nation would not accept.
You must have taken a different Roman Civ class than I did, but from what I can remember is that, despite the decadence of a few select emperors (and not all of them by any means), the Romans were actually very moral people, with a strong sense of agrarian family values, to the extend that their honour, and hence careers, were dependent on thier maintaining of these values.
Now for what I have been saying all along. In order to be missionary today the Church must put forth people who speak the languages important today, understand modern philosophy and can show people the path to Christ even 2000 years removed from the historical Christ-event. An example of this would be Metr. Amfilohije of Montenegro - he is fluent in German, having studied in Bern. He is very holy and being near him you can easily sense this. Despite his own shortcomings with the English language he has supported efforts to create and sustain misionary parishes in America under the Serbian Patriarchate.
Of course the faith was not developed in the context of the English language and Nietzschean Philosophy, rather it was developed in the context of the Greek language and neo-Platonic philosophy, which makes the latter two essential to the faith, not the former two. Can we translate things for evangelical purposes? Of course, but we cannot replace the significance of the Greek in our Church, it's still the language in which our dogmas and liturgy were developed. And if one wants to analyze the philosophical underlying of Christianity I would recommend they study neo-platonism, rather than rely on moder philosophical thought.