Author Topic: Believer's Eastern Church  (Read 4119 times)

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Offline Matthew79

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Believer's Eastern Church
« on: August 14, 2019, 11:08:35 AM »
Does anyone know anything about Believer's Eastern Church in India https://www.bec.org?

A friend of my dad's, who is Evangelical, sent this to me to see if I had any thoughts about it. They claim Apostolic succession from St. Thomas and claim to follow the Eastern Christian faith which was brought to them by the Syrian Orthodox, but they say they are not Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. Are they some kind of Orientals? Their leading heirarch is a Metropolitan who was raised Malankara, but apparently has drifted from that. I am not sure where Malankara fits in Orthodoxy...

It almost seems like some kind of Protestant invention that combines Reformed, Orthodox, and Catholic ideas together. Their Metropolitan is considered "first among equals", but they are like this closed-off synod of bishops who don't seem connected at all to the larger Christian world. Their statements of faith all seem to be clearly Orthodox, but I picked up on a hint of Reformed accent of their "Christianese". Their altar has a pre-Vatican look, but with a lighted cross... and no iconography. They believe the Eucharist is more than a memorial or symbolic, but not the Body and Blood of Christ... but at least they recognize it is a mystery and that one should not go beyond that.

It is quite the curiosity!

Offline Agabus

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Re: Believer's Eastern Church
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 02:14:25 PM »
It looks like a vagante sect. There's another one in the U.S. that started as a Pentecostal body, largely converted to creedal Orthodoxy but kept their leadership; they send envoys to India to meet with the hierarchy there.

EDIT: Looking at the front page, it says they're part of the Ancient-Future movement. So it's evangelicals who like liturgy and theology.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 02:16:25 PM 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 Mor Ephrem

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Re: Believer's Eastern Church
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 10:56:35 PM »
EDIT: Looking at the front page, it says they're part of the Ancient-Future movement. So it's evangelicals who like liturgy and theology.

Self-ordained charlatans.

Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Believer's Eastern Church
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 11:16:19 PM »
Yes. Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan was formerly K.P. Yohannan. He is Indian who was a Protestant Evangelical and was a Protestant Pastor I think of a Baptist Church in Texas for a very long time. After making a lot of money and feeling very convicted, he sold everything, went back to India where he started Gospel for Asia where in they brought in millions in missionary money. He claimed to have evangelized millions upon millions in India. His messages were quite convincing for a Protestant. However, over time, many people began to question the ministry and whether the missionaries they were supporting even existed or what was happening to their money. I believe a family from Arkansas, who invested thousands files a class action lawsuit. This lawsuit against Gospel for Asia is going forward in U.S. District Court and since that time, it appears K.P. Yohannan has remade himself as Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan and perhaps is getting closer to Eastern Orthodoxy or something of the sort.

Google K.P. Yohannan and Gospel for Asia and you were learn all you need to know on the back story of the now Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan and the "Believer's Eastern Church."
"While we fight about words, take advantage of ambiguities, criticize authors, fight on party questions, have difficulty in agreeing, and prepare to anathematize each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to Christ." - Hilary of Poitiers (367)

Offline Agabus

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Re: Believer's Eastern Church
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 09:36:43 AM »
... K.P. Yohannan....

OOoooOOOOOOoooooh. I have one of his books from a different stage of life long ago.

He argues heavily for investing in local clergy for each local culture and respecting culture when teaching right worship, i.e. don't try to turn Amazonian tribesmen into seventeenth-century Roman curates, both ideas I can get behind.

I'm not sure what this is, though.
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 noahzarc1

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Re: Believer's Eastern Church
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 10:18:53 AM »
... K.P. Yohannan....

OOoooOOOOOOoooooh. I have one of his books from a different stage of life long ago.

He argues heavily for investing in local clergy for each local culture and respecting culture when teaching right worship, i.e. don't try to turn Amazonian tribesmen into seventeenth-century Roman curates, both ideas I can get behind.

I'm not sure what this is, though.
Yes, I had the audio version of his book and it was very sobering. He made strong points about "western" missionaries and what they were doing to the people of India. He had good points about western missionaries coming in and then living in lavish houses with servants because of how poor the country was and what the western dollar could afford. I had no points of disagreement with his thoughts to raise up local missionaries who understood their own culture. I knew many people from India themselves who lamented how missionaries of all stripes come and promise people everything and it appears they draw large numbers because the poorest of the poor were after free anything. In the end though, I am afraid KP fell victim to his own advise. I am not sure what happened with Gospel for Asia, but it appears it did not manage the money too well. I am sure as long as the Believer's Eastern Church continues on they will eventually just being received into Orthodoxy. I hope the Bishop that allows it does a careful examination with KP first.
"While we fight about words, take advantage of ambiguities, criticize authors, fight on party questions, have difficulty in agreeing, and prepare to anathematize each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to Christ." - Hilary of Poitiers (367)

Offline CooperDog

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Re: Believer's Eastern Church
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 08:44:28 PM »
EDIT: Looking at the front page, it says they're part of the Ancient-Future movement. So it's evangelicals who like liturgy and theology.

Self-ordained charlatans.

I saw a website that certified people as Jedi knights, or Sith lords once, it that how they do it?

Offline Eamonomae

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Re: Believer's Eastern Church
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 02:28:52 AM »
"I haven't any right to criticise books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."
- Mark Twain, Letter to Joseph Twichell, 13 September 1898