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Be Prepared, The Coming Years will be Filled With Strife

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by GoingByzantine, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    When I read back on the various points in history where the Orthodox Church was threatened with tumult - The Advent of Communism, The Ottoman Invasion of Europe, The Rise of Islam, The Iconoclast Movement etc. I never dreamed that I would live through one of these periods myself. Yet, while I pray that my premonitions are wrong, I suspect that we are on the verge of another period of great strife.

    Battle lines are being drawn in the sand, and the devil is yet again taking aim at Christ's Church on Earth. For those of us in the West, the pain will be greatest. I suspect that the following events will take place in the next few years:

    1. The Orthodox Church will Fracture along Greek and Slavic lines. This event has already begun. The Greek Church and Alexandrian Patriarchate will likely be excommunicated by the Russian Church this Friday, and the Church of Cyprus has all but announced that it too will recognize the EP. Antioch is wavering on the fence, and will too likely join the EP in time, and with the Russian Church encroaching on Georgian lands it seems possible that the Georgian Church will also back the EP. Meanwhile, the EP has encroached into the jurisdiction of the Czech Church and more schismatic churches are calling for recognition by the EP. Sadly, anyway that you look at these events, it is plain to see that there is a growing rift between the two main cultural groups of Orthodoxy.
    2. The Jurisdictional Issues in the West will only Get Worse. As we all know, the jurisdictional issues of the Orthodox Church outside of its traditional hearth have always been contentious, but these issues are likely to only get worse in light of the Orthodox fracture. Some groups will change jurisdictions, others will disintegrate and fracture, but the biggest issue will be with the rifts that come from the aforementioned Greek and Slavic split. As things stand, members of the Russian Church abroad are not allowed to attend Greek Churches, but as more mother churches take sides this problem will only grow. Soon, some jurisdictions will be completely isolated from one another, and parishioners will be left confused about where to go and who they can commune with. This would not be a problem if all the Orthodox parishes in say the United States were under a single jurisdiction, but alas, they are not.
    3. The Greeks Will be Tempted to Join Rome. Just as the Council of Florence almost reunited the two churches a millennia ago, with the EP getting close to Pope Francis and even participating in Roman Liturgics it seems possible that Bartholomew will begin a reproachment process with the Roman Church. This should come as no surprise to anyone, given the friendship of the two leaders and their past statements. For the EP, who is alone and isolated in Turkey, and who has seen his office's power wane over the years, this would be an amazing accomplishment to carry out. History would remember him as a great unifier, rather than a forgettable Wikipedia stub. Perhaps the Romans would also put pressure on the Turkish Government to restore the EPs power and institutions. It would be a win-win for Bartholomew.
    4. Converts Will be Disenfranchised. Lured to Orthodoxy by its unity, but its lack of a Pope. Many converts will become disenfranchised by the Church as it fractures. They will see it as being rife with politicking, power struggles, and insincerity. Already, people in the West are confused and scared by the events abroad, and in their weakened state the lure of false religion could become tempting.
    5. The Culture War will Continue. As all this is going on, the culture war will continue. The war on the unborn, on people of faith, and on moral values has been ongoing for some time and it will not stop anytime soon. While the church fights internally, the devil will continue to chip away at our young.

    While I pray that none of this will happen, and while you will likely see it as alarmism, I am writing this so that we can focus on preparing. We must be prepared for this worst-case scenario, and our parishes and people must begin to talk about how we will preserve our unity even in the face of what is happening in the world. Now is the time to do this, let us not wait until it is too late.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  2. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    This is so depressing but it is true. Some people see the Orthodox Church as a utopia where nothing can go wrong and thank you for reminding us that good times in the Church can end.
     
  3. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There will be no reunion with Rome or even attempt under HAH Patriarch Bartholomew, if you ask me.
     
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  4. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    just pray. the Church has been in more dire times before this one. she prevailed then, she'll prevail now.
     
  5. James4Christ 777

    James4Christ 777 New Member

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    I don't like how this is being made into a Greek-slavic split , very disheartening, He church as a whole shouldn't tolerate this ethnic squabbling. The heterodox like Protestant Evangelicals uses it as a weapons against converts, and our alienated youth saying "look the Orthodox are nothing but racist ethnic clubs, where are the Orthodox the living the Gospel, and going into the world making desciples of all nations, people's, etc In Orthodoxy". The Latins uses the Greek- Slavic split in Orthodoxy as a weapon too saying "without a single head you Byzantines all fracture , and going into many schisms, we are glad for Rome, despite it errors" Lord have mercy, recent converts and our children in the parishes are very prone to these arguments.

    I see the coming years tough too:

    - the young no longer speaking the mother tounge of their parents and grandparents nations, don't understand the liturgy, and have Caucusian, Mexican , British, Asian, and black friends more than Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Arab friends, and are increasingly marrying native Americans, Brits, Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, etc. they aren't marrying Greeks, Ukrainian, Bulgarians too often anymore. The youth are also going to colleges and learning things like Scholasticism, Post-Modernism, Rationalism, Higher Criticism, Comparative Religion, Social Justice Warriorism , Secularism, Social Darwinism, etc. both these scenarios the world brainwashing our children and the church still stuck in the ethnic club will cause a great falling away of our children, and it could be the children used as the people who try to tear our churches apart when they grow up, after all Stalin was Orthodox as a child, Revolutionary Atheist Communist as a adult.

    - The Orthodox Churches here in America seem not to be prepared to deal with the culture wars,and identity politics infiltration into our parishes, and seem to reaching the hearts of our parishioners, then the homily of the priest on a Sunday morning. I seen parishioners get divided on these issues or leave the Church all togther over it. Again I could see some of our parishoners will be the ones pushing to attack the church from inside pushing for Gay marriage, Women ordinations , LGBT originations, a "more modern, and rationalistic view of the faith", this would be like trying to make Orthodoxy like modern day Liberal Mainline Protestants.

    -Due to the fact that many who immigrated here came from countries , where the Church was funded by the state, many Churches are having financial and debt problems, due to a lack of stewardship, since it wasn't a concept for many back in the old countries.

    -Greek- Slavics split, if it happens along those lines will end Pan-Orthodoxy cooperation in disapora lands, and harm missionary efforts.

    I see hard times ahead, closed parishes, schisms, converts and youth falling away, actual attacks upon our parishes, the old dying out, modernism and Post-Modernism among many in the church.

    - yet we shouldn't despair, and recognize that Christ conquers all, and that the gates of hell shall not prevail, and say "Glory to God for all things possible"
     
  6. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    Protestant Churches are one of the most segregated churches in the US so it would be hypocritical for that to happen.

    While the Roman Church dominated through Latin supremacy most of its history with a few Unite Churches causing political and cultural problems. Plus, it is fake to believe there is no racial issue between White and Latino Catholics in the US.

    I believe there is a cultural issue in Orthodoxy which I would not be surprised because each group think its people are better or whatever but affecting the Church because of that is something that should not be acceptable.
     
  7. nicholas123

    nicholas123 New Member

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    I could never imagine a fate more terrible than being a bishop today, nothing less spiritual. These certainly are church inclined man, but the mess they've entangled themselves for politicking. What a fate.
     
  8. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If by "fracture" you mean a Greek-Slavic schism, I am starting to wonder if that will happen. I also kind of thought so a year ago.

    For that to happen, the ROC would really have to give up on Ukraine. If there's full schism, they'll have zero say in further developments.

    We'll see what happens this week.

    It's always possible the ROC will break with another few churches...who won't reciprocate. That could go on for decades.
     
  9. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    The Church will prevail but that does not mean everyone in the Church will :(
     
  10. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    While I think a worse case scenario is plausible. My worse case is even more worse. I dont see Antioch joining the Euro-Greek churches. And I dont think this euro-greek alliance even want Antioch. I'm convinced this is meant to lead to union with the unia. Antioch will have to be thrown under the bus so they can be replaced by the Melkites. This is the west vs the rest.
     
  11. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    Let's keep praying that none of the things discussed here come to fruition. :crosseo:

    The reason I bring these things up is that we need to prepare. Talk to your Orthodox friends and family and ask them to pray for the Church. As laity, we have a voice in this ongoing struggle. Let's use it to pray, and use it to defend the church from schism.
     
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  12. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    true, but folks even left Christ in John's Gospel. this has happened since the beginning, sad as it is.
     
  13. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    I still cannot understand how people can leave Christ (like Judas) when spending time with Him. I mean He is The Fricking Creator of the Universe!!!
     
  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    men prefer darkness to the Light.
     
  15. James4Christ 777

    James4Christ 777 New Member

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    How Ironic, wasn't Antioch in communion comm Both the East and Rome up until the Melkite schism, so it would be terrible for Antioch to be thrown under the bus for the Melkites by the EP.
     
  16. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    no. Antioch wasn't in communion with Rome and the East until the Melkites.
     
  17. JohnTh

    JohnTh Newbie

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    I hope you are wrong.
    ...but I don't believe.
    We will see what the time has to offer - mind you, both patriarchs have a certain age...
     
  18. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I think I see some truth in all this, NOT because I read about what far-away bishops do, but because of what I see on the ground, right around me, echoing it. The split extends into my very family, though it is multi-faceted and not a single fracture, but a complex one. Even I feel like Treebeard from LOTR: "I am not altogether on anyone's side, because no one is on my side." I don't mean that I am an isolationist by any means, but that I do perceive a "Russian/Greek (West)" split even in my own church. A priest who is a self-described liberal, and a number of parishioners who see Orthodoxy in a somewhat ecumenist/"all you need is 'love'" light, many of whom things like headcoverings and dress as outdated and unnecessary (as an example of one of the MANY issues raised), vs "conservatives", traditionalists, who reject those ideas and trends, and they do tend to be pro-Russian/nationalist, some imperialists, and even, sadly, Stalinists. The ones do (as far as I can tell) believe that Catholics and others don't really need to become Orthodox, and the others that there is no salvation outside the Russian Church. And I don't feel completely in tune with any of them. What can I do if my own wife thinks Pope Francis is the bee's knees and the Catholic Church as just an extension of the Orthodox Church, and some of my acquaintances* that claim to admire Chesterton also think Stalin wasn't so bad? I keep silent. I've stopped going to the banya meetings where some of the latter hang out, in part because the banya really isn't my thing, in part because I find the conversations in those directions distasteful.

    But Fr Matt is right, too. What can we do? Mainly pray, if we can, and keep crawling towards Christ as best we can. Stay with the Church, receive the Sacraments, and mostly let go of the rest.

    *(My hopes of making lots of friends among great Orthodox men has been generally dashed.)
     
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  19. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    This will continue until bishops abandon the false ecumenism and proclaim publicly that Grace and the Sacraments can only be found in the one Orthodox Church. That orthopraxy, coupled with apostolic succession and right belief in the Orthodox Church is the only guarantor of grace and mysteries.
     
  20. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    Aren't bishops monks? So how is it possible that people who devote their lives not being from the world allow these problems?
     
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