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Church/Seminaries & Exclusion of Minority: Why are Blacks/3rd World insights ignored?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Gxg (G²), Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    The aspect with "Holy Fools" is intriguing - seeing how they often didn't fit the norm in either dress or vernacular and yet were designed by God as tests to those around them of accepting spiritual realities. John the Baptist being one of them as well as others who didn't quite fit in...and others having the spirit of Holy Fools in the way they are mistreated for being who they are rather than accepted..
    Thankfully you were welcomed where you were at - and in other places seeing others taken care of...

    Of course, from experience, it is interesting when others note the parishes they are in were radically different from negative experiences they had at others they left after feeling ostracized for things in their background or for not having the same ethnic/cultural understandings - be it migrants in non-migrant communities or those who were born in the U.S and looking for a parish and yet having other migrant communities they wanted to be a part of in their area and yet got shunned because of suspicions migrants had of them......or having those who are minorities bring in their own stereotypes into things (like having Indian Orthodox have stereotypical views of blacks which are low and yet also dealing with feeling isolated/stereotyped as a community and thus keeping to themselves - even though they may have views of blacks that are racially insensitive...even forbidding Indians in their community to marry outside of Indian ethnicity).

    And of course, even with saying the Gospel is being preached and others are welcomed, the body language may be radically different. Had one brother I discussed with who grew up Indian Orthodox (Indian himself, of course) and yet noted his being tired of where he was at when seeing how judgmental others were in his parish of anything outside of them/their culture - leading to him leaving eventually due to how they made claims of him and others he became friends with that were based in fear rather than facts.

    It takes a lot to make others feel welcomed as much as possible




    Indeed..

    Having friends/family who are Coptic, I was very thankful for this presentation in showing what life is like for believers from this background in Diaspora...and how often they're present/in need of help and yet not many know of them or how to help them due to not understanding life in their world:

    The presentation meant a lot to me, in light of the fact that I'm a Youth Worker and one that has often had to deal with intergenerational ministry - connecting worlds and making bridges. ​

    For many, the only way they are able to connect with outsiders is through new generations in their children who grew up in the cultures they are still foreign to..

    I always found it interesting to see the ways that people who're young adults have often left the Church in droves over issues related to generational differences and not being understood - regardless of whether it's in Eastern Christianity or Protestant Christianity and others. There was actually another thread elsewhere that focused on the issue of how a lot of people have been in extensive debate on what is..or isn't "religion" that God doesn't like - and many noting that so many end up starving because Christ gets lost in the mix. The thread where discussion occurred was entitled "Why I Hate Religion, But I Love Jesus" video + Orthodox rebuttal

    And on the same token, there are many staying faithful and quite engaged. They're being salt/light where they're at and involved in their communities - seeing the relevance of what others in history went through in representing Christ during their time (from the Desert Fathers/Monastics to the Early CHurch Fathers ..to communities of believers suffering persecution). A lot of it often seems to be a matter of others staying because they have been trained to not look for entertainment as the basis for learning - and others finding ways to take what they learn/apply it in practical ways to everyday life. It's not as if you have to get rid of Divine Liturgy in order to connect with young adults since a lot of the battles seem to be an issue of translation......taking from what's Ancient and bringing it into the Modern World in a way others can understand/appreciate.


    It seems to shock a lot of people when they find someone who's Orthodox and yet into rap, hiphop, poetry, spoken word and other elements found commonly in young adult culture - yet those same individuals who others find to be oddities are strengthened in some ways more than others because they have found ways to contexualize their faith in ways that can reach the people of their day.... The folks at "Ancient Christian Defense" are one example that has been encouraging (IMHO).

    There are many who stay where they are at and yet it is not noted as often as the people who leave. One of the most inspiring examples I've always been blessed by - in light of others within Oriental Orthodoxy who have a visible presence within the community and strong young adults - ae those with HG Bishop Angaelos and the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre UK. They're actively involved in community endeavors such as helping the homeless, community service and a host of other things. I was glad for Bishop Angaelos in what he did with youth and the ways he imparts to so many young adults when it comes to passionately serving the Lord , as seen in the work he did with establishing the ‘Coptic City Mission', a group of youth who visit the homeless on the streets of London every week, distributing food, clothes and a comforting word. And yet they still do things young adults can connect with like sports.

    Their YouTube page called Coptic Youth Channel has had some really excellent study material/videos on what goes on with their youth and how they're reaching others.
    "A Church without Youth is a Church without a future." -- H.H. Pope Shenouda III.

    Bishop Moussa talk to Coptic Youth about media
    Guys Talk Season 2 Eps 1 -Coptic Youth

    [​IMG]

    That said, indeed it's difficult for many to connect because of how the secular world has been PUSHED onto them when they come to the U.S - and thus, they have a hard time learning how to navigate it or appreciate those who can help them to survive with it.

    Intriguing to hear :)
     
  2. Thekla

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    Come to think of it, perhaps one reason folks might not feel welcome at "ethnic parishes" is actually mistranslation, ie the body etc. language of culture. For example, in some it is considered respectful to not approach a newcomer - but to let them have their freedom to focus on worship and approach others when ready. In US culture, it is respectful to do the opposite.
     
  3. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Never considered that before - but indeed, that's something that can make a difference. Had someone Russian note the same to me with how he was offended coming to the U.S for college and seeing how easy people struck up conversation.

    For in his hometown (near Siberia), it was not the case that you simply talked to others for conversation since it was assumed that conversation given meant that you were going to be close/intimate as friends - not getting personal conversation and then walking away as if you have no obligation to that person or responsibility to look out for them - and thus, he said that Russians saw it as rude with how friendly Americans are to others on buses and in public since it seemed to make things so trivial.

    Of course, in other places, it can vary....
     
  4. Well, I think this thread has effectively demonstrated why black/third world insights get ignored: because eventually, it becomes a lengthy diatribe against capitalism. And while that's interesting in it's place, and is a discussion that needs to be had, it really isn't a theological insight.
     
  5. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus PESKY DEVIL! GIT! l SAID GIT! Supporter

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    What are the chanches of a black Pope ever being elected?



    .
     
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    What you note is something I've also witnessed in many cultures highly based in Honor/Shame paradigms and from places where EVERY action has meaning and value and how the community saw you was of paramount importance. I'm reminded of what another missionary said elsewhere on the matter when it came to Japanese culture and why others who are trying to reach out to them often do not connect as easily. Others such as Roland Muller have spoken in-depth on this in very insightful manners... - more discussed in Summary of Honor & Shame by Roland Muller Three world views ... and Saving God's Face: A Chinese Contextualization of Salvation through Honor and Shame
     
  7. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Respectfully, no diatrabes were made against capitalism - as commentary was made by yourself on why you felt anything dealing with Liberation Theology was wrong (bringing up Marx in the process/views on success from that) - and places such as #35 addressed disagreement and thoughts on the history of the economic system as well as what other Capitalists have said on the issue. The same thing occurred for #37 where the history of Liberation Theology in what it actually has said (in disagreement with the claim you made) was discussed. None of that has anything REMOTELY to do with being against Capitalism ...

    In fact, Capitalism wasn't even the main topic discussed anyhow WITHIN the thread on black/third world insights - seeing how missionary activities were covered as well (from #43 WITH LANGUAGE barriers making an issue to #58 with discussing Christian literature/the ways it stereotypes other minority groups ...to #61 on the work of St. Francis of Xavier to #73 with how Asian-Americans have spoken on the issue with misrepresentations of their culture in Christian bookstores). ...and thus, one trying to summarize EVERYTHING into a matter of Capitalism would be Reductio ad Absurdum. What occurred was discussion on the issue - and within that comes disagreement.

    IMHO, one would be arguing based on appeal to emotion claiming "diatrabes against capitalism" seeing where capitalism was already promoted multiple times (as there are differing forms of capitalism and capitalistic practice) - Marcus Garvey being discussed earlier as one who promoted it when it came to addressing issues via using Capitalism to help others..

    Of course, claiming "diatrabe against capitalism" is often said the moment others disagree with critiques against anything deemed "Marxist" or "Socialism" when it comes to seeing what's said across the board.

    Happened, as Sister Thekla pointed out earlier, with others labeling others not supporting certain systems (when they harm others ) as being "communists" in a derisive sense the moment they said all systems have flaws. It's done to try summing up/reducing a view before really addressing it. One could easily have said the same with "lengthy diatrabes" when it came to making commentary against what others in their view envision Liberation Theology to say (the variation they focus on) - but that'd be pointless. For it does nothing.

    Ultimately, Economics is NEVER disconnected from theological outgrowths - just as one can't claim to speak on Christ and yet not talk on the ways that love of money/materialism was something Christ noted HAD to be discussed (Matthew 6) when it came to serving him (as that is something impacting how others around us are treated). And this is something people in 3rd World/Black or Minority culture have spoken on for centuries - and something not really understood by those not impacted by it.......in the same way others spoke on Christ and yet didn't see why colonialism or certain economic systems were not truly an issue since they already saw addressing those systems as being the worse thing ever - in the same way that people assume speaking on or critiquing capitalism or socialism (While noting good in both) is automatically off. People can stereotype based on fear or misunderstanding

    Of course, when it comes to the 3rd World/Black culture, avoiding the issue of how finances and capitalistic systems (as the Pope has already noted as well) have caused harm as well as other economic systems will never be disconnected from theology anymore than saying it's seperate from theology when dealing with segregation or regulating others to slums in the name of God. It was never a disconnected issue when addressing the dynamics of Capitalism/Slavery in the West Indies in how they went together (just as it is with human trafficking or the promotion of pornagraphic entertainment today and entertainment culture on the backs of others ) - nor disconnected when seeing the lack of value for others in certain communities being seen as a means for profit when it comes to criminal justice systems often based on profit more so than justice and others noting where scripture and the prophets spoke out against these realities....Jewish people noting the same when it came to what Judaism actually promoted and how they identified with the oppressed (and others noting similar dynamics even as it concerns how Christians upset the markets of their day like it was with Ephesus and Demetrius when changing values meant LESS money spent on idolatry/idols and sexual immorality for profit - and riots ensuing afterward).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EToM0tpL70

    Dismissing that doesn't equate to value of those in the 3rd World/Black culture or understanding the issues on what others have actually said.
    .
    Anytime there's tendency to use market places and finances to harm others, there's theological insight/application. That's a basic and something the theological world of Judaism often noted when it came to the prophets speaking on market-based evils that relied on others having their value based on how much profit could be made off of another (when it came to not having fair wages paid, being sold into slavery, kidnapping, exploiting others, etc.) - as the Prophet Amos and many others noted.

    One would have to ignore most of the prophets as well as go past what early Judaism discussed strongly on the matter (in addition to Christ in how he treated the poor) to say otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  8. Thekla

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    I don't think it must be, though. Every system is just that - a system. It is our "wielding of it' that is the part we control. Whether or not racism is a function of "capitalism" (and as before the rise of the Nation State as defining vs. the ethnoi/culture is also related re: timing), it needn't be any more than it need be a feature of the Nation State nor anything else.

    But unaware of the problems, we cannot address them.
     
  9. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Possibly the next one could be black - give a couple of decades...
     
  10. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Indeed - and thanks for noting that. Our wielding of whatever system we are in is based primarily on the theological worldview we advocate or come from - the reasons why there has been both GOOD and BAD in all systems known to man and why others note there's never a matter of no interconnection.

    This is something blacks/those in the '3rd world' have pointed out before whenever it comes to people trying to sum up not addressing them because they may have views that differ with an economic preference people in the West may have (typically anything based on being market-driven/capitalism solely) or may be advocates of systems the West have while not being concerned to glorify all aspects of the system or act as if anything outside of it is to be avoided. The same thing goes for others in reverse doing so while critiquing anything in capitalistic systems based on negatives they see and yet not addressing where theological ideologies shape the values we place on others (or those values we tend to zoom into scripturally) and there have been flaws in the systems they've promoted.

    We see this in how there were times in history when others allowed systems to thrive that often kept those who were poor in their states, as their condition was “spiritualized” and made to look bad if one tried to rise up from that…for the prevailing view was that God “ordained” each of us to remain in the state of life that we were born into—and so if you were born poor, you were not to fight against it.

    This is very similar to what’s happening in India right now with Hinduism and the Caste System, as it relates to the Dalits (i.e. “Untouchables”) who were born that way due to “bad karma”….and so to try addressing their physical plights should be avoided as many Christians have experienced when being unable to do a lot due to others being threatened by Christian missionaries helping others advance.

    Rev. Martin Luther King noted where emphasis in his day was often placed upon the spiritual—-yet the physical was of not importance…with those who were against blacks using the dynamics of “heaven” to convice others it was wrong to care about physical institutions such as Jim Crow or Slavery. As Martin said on the issue of poverty:


    Of course, ultimately, within this discussion Capitalism wasn't even the main focus - it was on insights from the 3rd world/Minorities ...


    It can easily be pointed out where Capitalism in certain forms has caused others in the 3rd world to thrive (more in Theology Network - World Religions - Prosperity Theology if discussing how many from the 3rd world have been advocates of Prosperity theology - especially Asia when knowing the history of theology there ..how the Prosperity Theology came in Malaysia during an economic boom in the 1980s/1990s and elsewhere like after the People Power Revolution in the Philippines that set the stage for it spreading because of government focus on advancing physical/material well-being and not wishing to promote "victim mentalities" above self-help after coming out of a dictatorship/not having freedom to advance.....and this can be seen easily in the El Shaddai movement in the Philippines (as El Shaddai's popularity among the Filipino urban poor and aspiring middle classes was stunning) - a movement which was a ROMAN Catholic Charismatic manifestation of the prosperity message - more discussed best in Global Pentecostalism in the 21st Century and Everyday Life in Southeast Asia or Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel .....

    And it's not hard to see it spreading especially in Africa when it comes to the physical issues they have to deal with and the neglect that has occurred for long times ..best discussed in In the Days of Caesar: Pentecostalism and Political Theology - they've also still retained cultural aspects like high belief in Spirit world, ancestor identification and the supernatural). One excellent teaching that addresses the ways many teachings were taken into the wrong directions and how to address it is entitled God's Economy: Redefining the Health & Wealth Gospel by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (discussed here). Seeing how culture often makes a difference in how certain concepts/teachings were applied in the faith movement---as others in lower economic communities alway have a focus on how the Lord is concerned with the physical and many churches actively went about addressing that by focusing on benevolence ministries as well as seeing how the Lord often spoke of kingdom of GOd impacting the physical (a teaching that's in line with what's known as Liberation Theology)--another excellent work to consider is "Righteous riches: the Word of faith movement in contemporary African American Religion.". There's also the ministry of Generous Giving---perhaps the most balanced ministry I've seen in a long time when it comes to Biblical Prosperity and how to go about it (seen in here, [/URL]here , here and here ).

    All of that said, again, as easy as it'd be to note the ways Capitalistic systems have been promoted in 3rd World/Minority communities when it comes to spiritual outlooks, that's just one form of an economic system that has been impacted by theology from minorities/3rd world and yet often avoided as if those in the 3rd world/minority culture have said NOTHING on it. Those from the 3rd world and Black culture often aren't even a part of conversations on issues because they are regulated to dealing with things on their own...


    True.

    And avoiding them cannot lead to real change if there is issue..
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  11. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    How to address problems is where there often seems to be battle - and in many cases, when problems aren't seen as thing others want to address the same as others, then it's a matter of acting as if others addressing the problems don't exist - or thinking the problems aren't being addressed.
     
  12. Thekla

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    There's the difficulty. Or maybe not ...

    as "giving grace", we might be able to first inspect ourselves to discover our reaction, and consider that what we "feel" as received may be a mistranslation of what was given from the other. This done on both ends can go far, and at least foment conversation ...

    There is also fear, and recognition to search one's self for; these are linked as we must admit ignorance, but also recognition of finding in the other what is in our self or what we have wrought on the other.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2013
  13. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus PESKY DEVIL! GIT! l SAID GIT! Supporter

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    How so?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    One would still wonder how to go about that process, as in the steps or knowing the time it'd take. With the OP issue, it's amazing how long it has taken for others in the world to actually address things people were speaking on even though they may've wanted to speak on it and others hearing them didn't hear it in the manner they were familiar with and thus assumed what was being recieved wasn't what they asked for.

    It has taken centuries for some things to get resolved and perhaps that's a part of why struggle occurs if others set time limits on it..be it in rushing out or in ignoring things thinking we have all the time in the world...
    Not certain as to what you meant fully, although if you want to expound, it's all good..
     
  15. Thekla

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    I think you make a good point - and one can hope it was miscommunication. And just ignorance (not noticing - as US seminaries in my dad's time just didn't "notice" eastern Church history, for example).

    It just always takes time; it took how long for the earth to be prepared for the incarnation of Christ. Which doesn't mean we should procrastinate, but that God knows how long it can take for us humans ...
    There is our old "fear of the other", and the fear of what has been done by us to "the other".
     
  16. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Very true - you can't really take to heart a language or culture you weren't really trained to look for or know what's there...as you identify with those you are trained to acknowledge - sometimes meaning that those outside of one's area of awareness get left behind and others don't even realize it.
    Indeed - although there's also the reality that assuming God will take care of it can lead to determinism in forgetting where we're to be active participants. It took people being consistent in noting the meaning of the arrival of Christ before he came on the scene - a message that had to be repeated and addressed in every age.....and the same with issues of culture in the Kingdom.

    That makes sense...
     
  17. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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  18. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Thank you all for those who contributed thus far...
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  19. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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