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« on: January 30, 2006, 02:12:58 AM »

http://www.usatoday.com/life/2005-11-27-hip-hop-church_x.htm

Your views?

Can Orthodoxy allow "Hip-Hop Liturgies" for Hip-Hop cultured peoples?  To what extent are we to communicate in the "language of the culture" you're evangelizing to?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2006, 03:36:23 AM »

A few thoughts...  Orthodoxy is suppose to transform cultures, but trying to transform or deal with each sub-culture would be an overwhelming, and ultimately futile, effort. What music you listen to or jeans you wear or parties you go to are not things that need to come into the Church; but the language you speak is. Even if we were to focus on Hip-Hop in particular, though, I think what is being suggested is unrealistic. You can't attract people from a sub-culture, weeding out all the stuff you consider "bad," and then expect everyone to play by your rules; if you attract them by being more laid back, accomodating, and open, then you better be prepared to get walked all over by some people. That is not meant as a knock against people into hip-hop, but it's human nature; if you give people an inch, they will take a foot, unless you have rigid guidelines and a system in place to prevent that (whether active stigmatization, authoritarian elders, or whatever). Also, regaring hip-hop in the EO Church, Orthodox worship requires a good bit of sobriety and formality; while people can bring up exceptions to this rule, it still remains the rule, and I think there'd have to be a very good reason to go against it. Just some thoughts..
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2006, 06:31:39 AM »

I would also have to wonder how much the moral values associated with the hip-hop subculture are intertwined into the fabric of the mindset; it seems fairly ingrained into the way of thinking (as it stands right now) to be quite abusive to women, with rampant sex the rule, and violence a daily expectation of life (and while it is claimed that the core audience lives within the culture of violence, there is quite a bit of violence that is inherent to the system, not coming from the outside as apologists claim).
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 09:53:46 AM »

NO WAY NO HOW!
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2006, 10:34:13 AM »

http://www.usatoday.com/life/2005-11-27-hip-hop-church_x.htm

Your views?

Can Orthodoxy allow "Hip-Hop Liturgies" for Hip-Hop cultured peoples?  To what extent are we to communicate in the "language of the culture" you're evangelizing to?

God bless.

Mina

IMHO, this is no different than "Christian Rock". I don't see where jumping up and down and shouting while a band or DJ spins something that can be called "Worship".  Things that fall under the realm of "popular secular music" cause certain feelings to happen within people.  I don't think these feelings belong in church and quite frankly I think there are thousands upon thousands of people who are attending these McChurch's are being "rocked out" and very mislead.

FWIW.
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2006, 12:04:11 PM »

Ya, I also felt a little weirded out by this so-called "Hip-Hop" Church.  I have the similar views as many of you.  One of the big reasons why I feel strangely about it is because of hip-hop's association mostly with evil themes of today, not to mention that most of them find it hard to rap without cursing.

But some argue that many of the music used in liturgies of Apostolic churches came from pagan music (Coptic, Byzantine, Roman, etc.).

So, I don't know.  While I agree on many of your views, sometimes I wonder if hip-hop in the future may improve to the point where it may lead to spiritual use.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 02:46:08 AM »

IMHO, this is no different than "Christian Rock". I don't see where jumping up and down and shouting while a band or DJ spins something that can be called "Worship".  Things that fall under the realm of "popular secular music" cause certain feelings to happen within people.  I don't think these feelings belong in church and quite frankly I think there are thousands upon thousands of people who are attending these McChurch's are being "rocked out" and very mislead.

FWIW.

Yeah, but they're filling the place up, preaching the word and bringing people to God that we Orthodox would have a hard time reaching.  Most young people, I don't think, could get used to the ancient, though beautiful, ways of our Church.  Those who know what they are looking for, the original true Church will find us.

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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2006, 02:58:04 AM »

Yeah, but they're filling the place up, preaching the word and bringing people to God that we Orthodox would have a hard time reaching.

I'd say they are not preaching the same word. They don't even use the same Bible, much less teach the same God. They teach about a being so vengeful and hateful he had to kill part of himself just to be satisfied, a being who'd rather see us all punished eternally.
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 03:05:37 AM »

I'd say they are not preaching the same word. They don't even use the same Bible, much less teach the same God. They teach about a being so vengeful and hateful he had to kill part of himself just to be satisfied, a being who'd rather see us all punished eternally.

Let me clarify . . . I was speaking of the mega churches, not specifically of the Hip Hop Churches.  Although I know first hand about the violent side of the Hip Hop world, I haven't heard any of the mega church preachers preaching vengence or violence.  have you heard Joel Osteen?  I never heard him preach anything bad yet his church bought the Compaq Center in Houston and fills the place up twice each weekend.  We can't get 50m people in ours on Sunday, even a feast day.
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2006, 04:20:58 AM »

Let me clarify . . . I was speaking of the mega churches, not specifically of the Hip Hop Churches.  Although I know first hand about the violent side of the Hip Hop world, I haven't heard any of the mega church preachers preaching vengence or violence.  have you heard Joel Osteen?  I never heard him preach anything bad yet his church bought the Compaq Center in Houston and fills the place up twice each weekend.  We can't get 50m people in ours on Sunday, even a feast day.

I was speaking of most all non-Orthodox churches, actually. The statement about vengeance and hate was not meant to describe what they tell their members to do, but describe who they say God is.
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2006, 02:09:37 PM »

Psalti

Is it quality or quantity that you want. Besides, they do not preach the same gospel. There God is angry and wants in fact needs revenge, by law. And many of them have the nerve to call us legalistic. Aside from that in the mega churches you don't hear about this vengeful God in the main meetings, it's all sweetness and light and God loves you. They're all an outgrowth of the 60's boomers who "in their wisdom" threw off the shacles of traditional mores. These churches aren't about reverencing the Lord, they;re about happiness and good times and entertainment and in the end they hit you with the vengeful God. I'm rambling at this point  Embarrassed
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2006, 02:17:42 PM »

I'm rambling at this point  Embarrassed

It's a good ramble, though.  After 10+ years experience in exactly what you describe, I believe you're 100% right.  Many of those in attendance at these churches would seek out more if they only know it existed.
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2006, 10:29:00 PM »

Psalti

Is it quality or quantity that you want. Besides, they do not preach the same gospel. There God is angry and wants in fact needs revenge, by law. And many of them have the nerve to call us legalistic. Aside from that in the mega churches you don't hear about this vengeful God in the main meetings, it's all sweetness and light and God loves you. They're all an outgrowth of the 60's boomers who "in their wisdom" threw off the shacles of traditional mores. These churches aren't about reverencing the Lord, they;re about happiness and good times and entertainment and in the end they hit you with the vengeful God. I'm rambling at this point  Embarrassed

It is quality, but the point that I was trying to make is that at least they are filling the pews, as compared to my parish, because of all the infighting and I'm The Boss attitudes and My Family Built This Church attitudes and This Is My Church attitudes, we can't get 50 people on Sunday.  It's nice to see some churches filling the pews.  But I'm sure they all have their own problems.  I just get tired of it after a while, to the point that I don't want to be there.  If you have read my postings on other threads you might understand my frustrations.  I know that we are the true church.  I'm just tired of the fighting.
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2006, 12:30:43 AM »

Psalti,

i am sorry that your experience has been so bad.  In my  19 years in the church, I have seen parishes like you describe and I learned quickly to avoid them.  To a new convert they can be poison.  In many of those that are like that, I note they are extremely ethnic and  "interbred" that is to mean that they only marry within the parish to the point that is really is a parish owned by the family and outside3rs are really not welcome unless they intermarry and convert at that time.  (The old Big Fat Greek Weeding story---now I am baptised and I am now Greek)

The Antiochian Archdiocese addresses this somewhat with their annual Parish Life Conferences in which the young people make acquaintances across the diocese that opens the members to more contact with others.  They have a good mixture of converts and cradle or ethnic orthodox and it seems to help them in growing and broadening their view. They then strengthen these relationships by going on mission trips, Camp, and SOYA retreats where they again see those acquaintances and many do end up marrying outside their parish but with in the church.  It is a very different  experience.

-----
As for the HipHop Church.  The Orthodox Church is supposed to teach in the language of the people, however Hip Hop is not an actual culture with long held traditions, language, etc but rather a subcultural among many subcultures in the US. Orthodoxy in that case must present the sacred and the sublime through their exhibition of love, charity, and truth versus the violence, abusiveness of the hip hop subculture,

----
As for the mega churches---why wouldn't some one like Pop religion packaged with a great show, a simple "You are OK" message that helps them avoid their own sin and need to repent?  Mega Churches are great for those who want the show without the work. The feel-good without the mystery and the struggle of repentance.

In Christ,
Thomas

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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2006, 01:51:17 AM »

Quote
As for the HipHop Church.  The Orthodox Church is supposed to teach in the language of the people, however Hip Hop is not an actual culture with long held traditions, language, etc but rather a subcultural among many subcultures in the US. Orthodoxy in that case must present the sacred and the sublime through their exhibition of love, charity, and truth versus the violence, abusiveness of the hip hop subculture

Brother, you make sense.

I've also thought of another thing.  Where do we cross the line with this whole "speak their language" evangelism?  I'm afraid that these type of churches allow worship of music more than worship of God.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2006, 02:17:16 AM »

Psalti,

i am sorry that your experience has been so bad.  In my  19 years in the church, I have seen parishes like you describe and I learned quickly to avoid them.  To a new convert they can be poison.  In many of those that are like that, I note they are extremely ethnic and  "interbred" that is to mean that they only marry within the parish to the point that is really is a parish owned by the family and outside3rs are really not welcome unless they intermarry and convert at that time.  (The old Big Fat Greek Weeding story---now I am baptised and I am now Greek)

The Antiochian Archdiocese addresses this somewhat with their annual Parish Life Conferences in which the young people make acquaintances across the diocese that opens the members to more contact with others.  They have a good mixture of converts and cradle or ethnic orthodox and it seems to help them in growing and broadening their view. They then strengthen these relationships by going on mission trips, Camp, and SOYA retreats where they again see those acquaintances and many do end up marrying outside their parish but with in the church.  It is a very different  experience.

-----
As for the HipHop Church.  The Orthodox Church is supposed to teach in the language of the people, however Hip Hop is not an actual culture with long held traditions, language, etc but rather a subcultural among many subcultures in the US. Orthodoxy in that case must present the sacred and the sublime through their exhibition of love, charity, and truth versus the violence, abusiveness of the hip hop subculture,

----
As for the mega churches---why wouldn't some one like Pop religion packaged with a great show, a simple "You are OK" message that helps them avoid their own sin and need to repent?  Mega Churches are great for those who want the show without the work. The feel-good without the mystery and the struggle of repentance.

In Christ,
Thomas




My wife said the same thing today.  It's like they enclose themselves in a box and don't want to let anyone from the outside in.  I am Greek and my wife is a faithful convert.  The Greek church we were going to when we moved here 16 years ago is 1 hr 15 min away, one way.  Why did we go there; because it was a Greek Church, my logic.  My wife kept asking why not go to the Antiochian church 10 min away?  It's not a Greek church.  Finally after not being able to get up early enough to make the trip every Sunday for a few years, I gave in.  We went to the Antiochians about 4 years ago.  We tried desperately to fiy in but with all the history in that parish of people leaving in groups and not coming back.  They change priests about every 2 years except for one who stayed about 10 years, but they made him so miserable he left a couple of years ago, and because they didn't like his replacement, the made him come back.  They have the mentality you described as it's their church.  We left and came back a couple of times but I think this time is it.  I won't travel 150 miles roundtrip every week. So we are looking at our options.  The priest also has his own agendas and favorites.  He can't keep too much in confidence.  He tries to get me and another Greek to talk other Greeks in the area to come and join in our misery.  They left the church many years ago because of the same problems that still exist.  And the Archdiocese seems to have written them off.    So that's why I feel the way I do.
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2006, 05:34:47 AM »

We tried desperately to fiy in but with all the history in that parish of people leaving in groups and not coming back.  They change priests about every 2 years except for one who stayed about 10 years, but they made him so miserable he left a couple of years ago, and because they didn't like his replacement, the made him come back.  They have the mentality you described as it's their church.

It it possible for the priest to excommunicate some of them for a period of time for stirring up dissension and trying to take control of the parish?
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2006, 10:07:14 AM »

Quote
It is quality, but the point that I was trying to make is that at least they are filling the pews, as compared to my parish, because of all the infighting and I'm The Boss attitudes and My Family Built This Church attitudes and This Is My Church attitudes, we can't get 50 people on Sunday.  It's nice to see some churches filling the pews.  But I'm sure they all have their own problems.  I just get tired of it after a while, to the point that I don't want to be there.  If you have read my postings on other threads you might understand my frustrations.  I know that we are the true church.  I'm just tired of the fighting.
Psalti, I love you but every church has its problems some more blatant than others. If you can get a copy of "Alive in Christ" published by the OCA (most recent issue). In there is an article by Father Nasr of an Antiochian Parish in Oklahoma City. He talks about effectively combating the inbred issues while pursuing evangelism an outreach.   There are ways to fill the pews in an Orthodox manner, without stooping to the degrading pop culture of 21st. century America.
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2006, 02:22:44 PM »

Psalti, I love you but every church has its problems some more blatant than others. If you can get a copy of "Alive in Christ" published by the OCA (most recent issue). In there is an article by Father Nasr of an Antiochian Parish in Oklahoma City. He talks about effectively combating the inbred issues while pursuing evangelism an outreach.   There are ways to fill the pews in an Orthodox manner, without stooping to the degrading pop culture of 21st. century America.

Thanks!  I'll have to read it.  Do you know if it is available online at the OCA site?
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2006, 04:42:37 PM »

Quote
There are ways to fill the pews in an Orthodox manner, without stooping to the degrading pop culture of 21st. century America.

There is no way to fill pews in an Orthodox manner.  Pews are an evil western inovation.  Because you can't truly worship God unless you have shooting pains in your legs and back...
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« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2006, 04:57:55 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8077.msg106398#msg106398 date=1139258557]
Because you can't truly worship God unless you have shooting pains in your legs and back...
[/quote]

hahaha   Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2006, 06:25:26 PM »

Quote
There is no way to fill pews in an Orthodox manner.  Pews are an evil western inovation.  Because you can't truly worship God unless you have shooting pains in your legs and back...

Rofl, now that made me literally laugh out loud!
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« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2006, 06:30:10 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8077.msg106398#msg106398 date=1139258557]
There is no way to fill pews in an Orthodox manner.  Pews are an evil western inovation.  Because you can't truly worship God unless you have shooting pains in your legs and back...
[/quote]

LOL!!!!!!

Come to think of it, ancient churches never did have chairs or pews...hmmmmm
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« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2006, 07:23:18 PM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8077.msg106398#msg106398 date=1139258557]
There is no way to fill pews in an Orthodox manner.  Pews are an evil western inovation.  Because you can't truly worship God unless you have shooting pains in your legs and back...
[/quote]

Uh Ohhh!  What do we do with the new Pew Cushions when they come in???
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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2006, 07:53:58 PM »

Actually, they did have stone benches along the walls or between columns, however their purpose was to provide sitting for the elderly and the infrim or people who were contemplating when the services were not going on. Their position indicates that they were not used for sitting during the service as there were wide open spaces for the congregation to stand and they do not normally face the Altar.
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2006, 08:36:50 PM »

Uh Ohhh!  What do we do with the new Pew Cushions when they come in???

My parents' Lutheran church had a "fund raiser" for pew cushions.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2006, 10:49:13 PM »

this is in response to the posts on page 1

BTW the "shooting pains up your legs and back" made me laugh  too!

The vengeful God who needed a blood sacrifice of his son is from one particular stream of protestantism. You cannot paint all protestants with such a broad brush. And the article said little or nothing about believing in a vengeful god requiring a sacrifice - it was about music and outreach. (I came out of a contemporary worship church before I converted; most of those people have had it with the politics of the protestant church, both liberal and conservative evangelical - they are very open to some of the dogmas we beleive)

Most of these people would describe themselves as "emergent" Christians (as in the church that is emerging from the rubble of post-modernism; now their understanding of the Church is the branch theory and that's another subject; I am being descriptive here). The old liberal/conservative dichotomies were a part of moderninsm, which no longer flies, in thier view.

They don't hold our understanding of Church, Holy Tradition or liturgy. But because they are open to so much that is new, among non-Orthodox Chrisitians, these people I believe are the most fertile field to convert to Orthodoxy. The should not be judged but invited to "come and see."

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« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2006, 11:13:53 PM »

this is in response to the posts on page 1

BTW the "shooting pains up your legs and back" made me laugh  too!

The vengeful God who needed a blood sacrifice of his son is from one particular stream of protestantism. You cannot paint all protestants with such a broad brush. And the article said little or nothing about believing in a vengeful god requiring a sacrifice - it was about music and outreach.

Which groups do you consider to believe in a doctrine other than that of a vengeful blood sacrifice? This may be overshadowed by music and outreach, but is it really absent?
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« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2006, 11:51:35 PM »

non-Calvinist Protestants (Calvinists are very Augustinian) tend toward a more loving view of God. The are referred to as Arminians (after the theolgian James Arminius, who rejected predestination and total depravity of man stemming from original sin). The believe that Christ sacrificed himself for us out of love (not because a vengeful Father needed payment) and that God so loved the world that He sent His Son, not because He wanted to exact a payment for our sins but because we were lost and needed to be brought back.

The Methodist (before the onslaught of liberal theology) tradition founded by John and Charles Wesley is very much a part of this stream of protestanism. The Wesleyan understanding of sanctification/holiness come near ot our understanding of theosis
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« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2006, 12:17:12 AM »

non-Calvinist Protestants (Calvinists are very Augustinian) tend toward a more loving view of God. The are referred to as Arminians (after the theolgian James Arminius, who rejected predestination and total depravity of man stemming from original sin). The believe that Christ sacrificed himself for us out of love (not because a vengeful Father needed payment) and that God so loved the world that He sent His Son, not because He wanted to exact a payment for our sins but because we were lost and needed to be brought back.

The Methodist (before the onslaught of liberal theology) tradition founded by John and Charles Wesley is very much a part of this stream of protestanism. The Wesleyan understanding of sanctification/holiness come near ot our understanding of theosis

I have done extensive theological debate in years past. I would agree that Arminians tend toward a more loving view of God in word. But after talking with them, the underlying theology tends to be very much the same, the primary differences being the usage of free will in salvation and the role of God. In the end, Arminianism turns out to the be same story: we offended God, God punishes us, and we must come to Him for forgiveness or He'll send us to Hell. Your analogy of "payment vs. lost" doesn't work because it speaks of "how we fell vs. how we're saved," and does not provide a comparison between two doctrines of the same idea.

Granted, some denominations are not work-o-phobic, a notable example being the Methodists, as you point out, but I would hardly call it theosis. Such action  doesn't necessarily mean theosis in the same way cooking doesn't neccesarily involve feasting.
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« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2006, 12:38:30 AM »

not Methodist, early Wesleyan is what I was referring to
I studied under a modern Wesleyan, Timothy Smith and his understanding I thought to be pure heresy at the time as a staunch reformed Calvinist. After becoming Orthodox, I remembered him and it helped me begin to grasp theosis.
Biz
were you some sort of fundamentalist Baptist before becoming Orthodox?
Because your views of protestants are very either/or, black or white.

I experienced alot more diversity and subtlety among them. I mean no offens, I am just asking
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« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2006, 12:43:06 AM »

getting back to the original thread ...
What they (the hip hoppers or contemporary worship groups) are doing isn't worship in our understanding, but it may not be bad outreach or evangelism

also, if every thought can be taken captive to obey Christ, then every art form may also be captured, including hiphop (that is, if you want to call it an artform, a status I am only grudgingly willing to concede!)
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« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2006, 12:59:59 AM »

not Methodist, early Wesleyan is what I was referring to
I studied under a modern Wesleyan, Timothy Smith and his understanding I thought to be pure heresy at the time as a staunch reformed Calvinist. After becoming Orthodox, I remembered him and it helped me begin to grasp theosis.
Biz
were you some sort of fundamentalist Baptist before becoming Orthodox?
Because your views of protestants are very either/or, black or white.

I experienced alot more diversity and subtlety among them. I mean no offens, I am just asking


Yes, I know what you mean. Not all Methodists are the same. As a heads-up, I typically refer to the older Wesleyan set of beliefs ("old Methodism" so to speak Tongue) when I reference "Methodist," not the modern offshoots (unless I am referencing the actual church. Come to think of it, this is probably confusing to everyone but me so I'll try to use the term Wesleyan!). Anyways, looking back, Wesleyan beliefs helped me get pointed towards Orthodoxy more than others, but in retrospect I simply do not see it grasping concepts like theosis. While it may point in the general direction of theosis, or be some early precursor to the idea, it is hardly the thing itself.

Actually, I was never a Baptist. I considered them to be wrong as well Tongue I am very black and white when it comes to theology, true. However, this doesn't interfere with my reaching out to non-Orthodox or my loving of them. One of the things that concerns me most is the fact that fewer and fewer people understand that strong theology and true love work together; they try to emphasize one and vilify the other. Of course, I can't say that I am anywhere close to having either, but that it what I strive for. It's sort of along the lines of 1 Timothy 4:16, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
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« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2006, 01:05:38 AM »

getting back to the original thread ...
What they (the hip hoppers or contemporary worship groups) are doing isn't worship in our understanding, but it may not be bad outreach or evangelism

also, if every thought can be taken captive to obey Christ, then every art form may also be captured, including hiphop (that is, if you want to call it an artform, a status I am only grudgingly willing to concede!)

It may very well be good for evangelism, but with the shaky theology behind it, what are they bringing these converts into!? For example, using force to convert may be a very good tactic too (numerically), but what would that turn our theology into?

I am going to have to disagree that every artform can be captured. Art is less a thing than the presentation of a thing. As such, it can pervert what is good. Also, the scripture you posted doesn't seem to remotely relate to the point you tried to support with it.
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« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2006, 01:31:51 AM »

RE: Yes, the Wesleyan understanding and theosis -- yes more of a precursor to an understanding of it - their idea that one can be holy or perfect while still growing into greater sanctity or grace; and understanding perfection not in some Latin or Calvinistic way of absolute sinlessness but of being on the path of Christlikeness and being absolutely today, at this moment, all you can be in Christ with the light and grace that has been given to you
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« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2006, 01:44:05 AM »

RE - my scripture reference - it was meant more by way of analogy when  applied to artforms than seeing it as a direct tie in to artforms

here is what I meant: can the cubist form of painting somehow be used to God's glory?
can a fugue in music? Can a sonnet or haiku in poetry?
I think we could answer yes to all those (although I had some Reformed friends who thought that the cubist form presented inherently such a distorted view of man and human nature as to be un-adaptable for Christian purposes, so there is room for disagreement and that is perhaps what you were getting at with regard to artforms.)

I am an "always hopeful" type and I try to take a long view of things historically, where the artisitc innovations of one era become the status quo of another. At some point, three dimensional art was a radical departure form stick figures on cave walls!

But I also understand why it may be important to also take the long view historically in implementing certain forms - to make sure their former capital is exhausted so that the connotations and psycho-spiritual fuel driving them has been long spent before adapting them.

Also, do understand that I am talking about the arts in general, not about liturgical art or iconography, which are part of Holy Tradition.
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« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2006, 02:17:29 AM »

RE - my scripture reference - it was meant more by way of analogy when�  applied to artforms than seeing it as a direct tie in to artforms

here is what I meant: can the cubist form of painting somehow be used to God's glory?
can a fugue in music? Can a sonnet or haiku in poetry?
I think we could answer yes to all those (although I had some Reformed friends who thought that the cubist form presented inherently such a distorted view of man and human nature as to be un-adaptable for Christian purposes, so there is room for disagreement and that is perhaps what you were getting at with regard to artforms.)

I am an "always hopeful" type and I try to take a long view of things historically, where the artisitc innovations of one era become the status quo of another. At some point, three dimensional art was a radical departure form stick figures on cave walls!

But I also understand why it may be important to also take the long view historically in implementing certain forms - to make sure their former capital is exhausted so that the connotations and psycho-spiritual fuel driving them has been long spent before adapting them.

Also, do understand that I am talking about the arts in general, not about liturgical art or iconography, which are part of Holy Tradition.

I can definately agree that art, in general, can glorify God. It's only when we start to get into the specific types that the ambiguity increases. For example, when does music become too loud and chaotic? Can certain music ever be "of the people" (keeping in mind the Liturgy means "the work of the people" and necessitates participation)?

As for the theory of art, I would say this is generally the case. However, in what generation was Liturgical music an innovation, or better yet, morally ambiguous?
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