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Sharing Our Faith: Evangelization and Outreach in US Orthodox Parishes

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by gurneyhalleck1, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    Is the freedom to disagree with the faith antithetical to the faith? Modern Catholics and many Protestants would tend to say "no". If I support my neighbors right to practice their religion, for instance, it is not antithetical to my Christian faith to do so, but it actually upholds their human dignity, which is part of my faith.
     
  2. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 auto-correct iPhone survivor

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    For a Christian there can be no tacit tolerance or acceptance of perversion. "Homosexuality" is a perversion and a serious spiritual attack. To say, "hey, I'm personally against this sin, but can turn the other cheek and accept others doing it," libertarian approach is dangerous. We cannot turn the other cheek to abortion/infanticide, cohabitation, same-sex "marriage," and other social evils. And the important thing to digest is the fact that the LGBT lobby will NOT STOP until everyone bows to their throne. They started off with the "hey, you live your life, I'll live mine," harmless claims. It took them a New York Minute to start lawsuits against bakers and other folks who don't acknowledge their sins as normalcy. And it will only continue. I am positively convinced that it is the LGBT toxic poison that Satan will use to bring his greatest attacks on Christendom. The European Union is obsessed with LGBT issues. They ram it down everyone's throats. Corporations now as well as sports franchises and businesses feel the intense push to be "tolerant" and avoid "hater" status by going out of their way to kiss up to this movement. Eventually LGBT hordes will sue churches that won't marry their 'membership.' It's becoming like a labor union. With time, it'll wield insane powers worse than it has now. You'll see churches close because of lawsuits wiping them out. Smears, labels, lawsuits, and pressure will do great damage, sadly.

    I've talked to people at church (thankfully not many!) who think being "gay" is a biological imperative that these folks cannot help or fight. The secular humanism steadily leeches into church life. People listen to social media, print media, online media, and radio/tv so much that it blurs the line of morality. Orthodoxy has ill-informed and poorly-catechized Christians as much as Protestants or Catholics, which is heart-breaking. But it's true.

    I'm blessed overall to live in Central California where things are conservative. It's not perfect and heaven knows there is plenty of sin and social ills, but the general political climate is very, very conservative. My priest has no time for socialism or liberalism.

    I submit that our politics can and should be affected by our faith. Priorities must be there. I can say that I detest conservative values about, say, drilling in ANWAR or tax cuts for the wealthy or deregulating Wall Street, but then I must support child murder, massive support for LGBT lobbies, race-baiting, disarming the populace, risking one-world government, taking tax money and helping fund foreign abortion, and being around people who are forcing a generally atheist agenda. Do I vote for a party with some great social and financial benefits if I'm in the right level of poverty or the right color and make sure I'm hooked-up but spiritually bereft in a sinful, lost culture devoid of morality, or do I vote for a very flawed group that at least doesn't fund mass murder and sodomy? I go for the latter, pinching my nose. Most Republicans make me sick. Democrats make me sicker. I was much more liberal before becoming a Christian in the 1990's. I was pro-choice, perfectly open to "gay rights" and pro-evolution in high school. In junior college, when the Holy Spirit found me, I was forced to change despite my own set of 'values.' Our faith makes us go in directions that aren't easy. But then again, Orthodoxy isn't easy.

    I'm not saying officially here something so dramatic that "anyone in TAW who votes Democrat is going to hell." But privately have a strong sentiment about how we participate in political matters.

     
  3. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Evangelical Catholic Supporter

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    Gurney, I'm probably one of the biggest gay rights supporter on this forum but I'd never be OK with suing churches who refuse to marry gays. It would not be very liberal at all to be intolerant of the religious rites of another human being. So you can relax, I am not going to throw the Enlightenment under the bus. I support gay rights but I also support liberalism and reason in general.

    Pastors always retain the right to refuse to marry whomever they wish, that is true even in my church.

    My idea of how Christians should treat others in society is very simple, "be civil". Don't be self-righteous or make it a point to make others feel shamed for not being a Christian, "if it be at all possible, live in peace with all men".

    Trying to make this world a godly society through compulsion sounds more like Islam's modus operandi. I think the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares is a better example, we had better be careful about tearing up the field and let God sort it out in the end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  4. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    Women serving in the altar is of course de rigueur in women's monasteries, so we must be careful about assigning theological implications.

    We have to be very careful about ossification of practices - Christianity has had greatly varying cultural expressions over the last 2000 years and whittling it down to the one typikon we've inherited is in large part an accident of history rather than design. I wouldn't take these questions as threatening.
     
  5. graphite412

    graphite412 Eastern Orthodox Neophyte

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    The Orthodox faithful are are also looking ahead to how far the LGBT lobby will go. They already push transsexualism and gender bending on toddlers. They already sue Christians personally and their business for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have already had people imprisoned in the USA! They already fire people from their career jobs or pressure them to resign. People who have refused to perform gay "weddings" have their lives and children threatened. It really doesn't matter what one thinks personally, what matters is what will really happen and has already happened. The LGBT community is one of the biggest persecutors of Christianity in the western world. They have already destroyed half of the groups claiming to be Christian in the west. Almost all of the Episcopalians are post-Christian and can't sell churches fast enough.

    Eventually the LGBT lobby will not tolerate heterosexuality at all and want everyone practicing their vice as homosexuals and bisexuals. I had bisexual women who were my friends in high school that tried to convince everyone that they had a little bit of "gay" in them. They tried to spread sodomy with religious like zeal, showing me pictures of transsexual men that looked like seductive women to try to confuse my sexuality. Most corporate HR departments are compliant to the LGBT agenda. And Christians who criticizes homosexuality can face termination. Also because of this all forms of Christianity that bow to this zeitgeist will devolve into occult like religions. The gay Catholics and Episcopalians already reinterpret their faith according to their sin, where their vice become sacramentalized. Virtue become wickedness, bigoted, and hateful and sin become sacred. Christianity in the polar opposite of all forms of sexual immorality and Christ even said that the end times would be like the times of Lot. Sodom was documented in the Bible as stuffed to the gills with homosexual rape gangs for crying out loud. Looked what happened to the Roman Catholic church in the US! Sodomite pedophiles started grooming altar servers and young boys and created a cycle of abuse that has gone from generation to generation. Even the scientific research papers prove that the violence the LGBT community has for its own members is off the charts, way more than the heterosexual community.


    ...anyway, I'll leave my posts to this so as not beat a dead horse.
     
  6. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    I think we need to be wary of going into conspiratorial thinking.
     
  7. graphite412

    graphite412 Eastern Orthodox Neophyte

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    Back to the original topic. It will be interesting to find out the details of the survey. The Assembly does some great work on compiling fascinating reports.

    some ideas
    1. Better multimedia presence. We have ancientfaith.com but there isn't really a robust Orthodox youtube presence.

    2. Monasteries- these bring Orthodoxy to places too small to support a parish church, as well as the benefit to the faithful.

    3. Parochial schools- we need a robust schooling for our children so they can grow up in the faith.

    God save us! we need God bearing elders and eldresses.
     
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  8. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    nowhere in Scripture does God give us that "right." and I am not talking about live and let live when it comes to those who are outside of the faith. I have more than a few friends who have same sex attraction. no proselytizing, but no compromise either.
     
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  9. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    #1: yeah, I mean, there's Be the Bee and some old Sr Vassa videos, after that there isn't *that* much besides some lectures (often with not great sound quality). For that you might as well just put it on a podcast and listen to it while running rather than have a video. On the other hand, I don't know how much people actually watch youtube - does it matter? In terms of religious presence, education, whatever? Any other religious groups that make good use of it?

    #2: Yeah, these are great, but more important is probably having robust parishes in the first place.

    #3: I've never been impressed by this idea. Even in parochial schools, it's 80% about what goes on at home. And sheltered environments don't work well to teach people how to thrive in a pluralistic world.
     
  10. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    When it comes to people outside the Church, sure, they can do whatever. We're not going to force other people to be Orthodox. There can be no compulsion in religion, people must choose for themselves to follow Christ.
     
  11. E.C.

    E.C. Well-Known Member

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    I think that some of these questions go back to the questions that they had back when St Tikhon was Archbishop of San Francisco: How do we [Orthodox] Americanize?

    The Greeks' solution was to add pews and organs, but keep the Liturgy in Greek.
    The Russians' solution was to translate the Liturgy into English, but only a relative few added pews.


    Perhaps this is one of those times when the bishops are asking the same question 100 years later; even though, IMHO, we've already found the answer in the Russian solution ;)
    I see a lot of similarities between some Orthodox jurisdictions and the Roman Catholics in America during the years immediately before and after Vatican II. The Roman Catholic Church modernized then, but we see how well that worked out for them today. We're facing the same thing now that they did back then: a changing culture. American Orthodoxy is no longer limited to solely fresh off the boat immigrants from Eastern Europe. We not only have converts, but we also have cradle-Orthodox who's parents were converts twenty/thirty years ago.
     
  12. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    I think one issue for the American church - which hasn't been brought up in the survey or these comments - is the serious issue of either neo-Nazi/ethno-nationalist infiltration into the Church or of other radicalization occurring within the Church. The threat isn't just some loser from the TWP who got booted from the Church (and now all racism is over!). There isn't much of that far end around, but it doesn't take much to turn people away from the Church. It's like nuclear waste - a little bit and the entire city gets shut down. We need to ruthlessly expunge it.

    Here we have a great statement from the Assembly of Bishops:

    Response to Racist Violence in Charlottesville, VA

    Here's the rub! What are we doing to rise above? How are we bringing that healing to the country? How can we do it while we still have, for instance, neo-Confederates in our midst who glorify the slave-holding past? Or others spreading old anti-Semitic slanders? I've been acquainted with several people who've essentially shut off the idea of Orthodoxy because of this.
     
  13. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    You're right that any hint of this would need to be eradicated.

    Thankfully I've never heard so much as a whisper of any such sentiment, except for the one radical guy who converted and then seemed to think he could use Orthodoxy as a platform. He was put out of the Church, iirc? One of the very few times I've ever heard of that happening.

    But thankfully I have never seen it. How unfortunate that you know folks have actually been turned away because of this? It has nothing to do with the values we hold.
     
  14. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

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    Yes, that one guy was put out of the Church.

    You think and I think that it has nothing to do with the values we hold, and the Church probably agrees, but there's an undercurrent of the alt-right in some places. Like, people responding to the bishop's response that I quoted above by saying the bishops had sided with the spiritual descendants of the killers of the tsar. Um, yikes.
     
  15. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Probably agrees?


    I have to wonder where you find these people? Except I really don't want to know.

    I've met some mildly toxic thinkers, but they tended to be simply over-zealous converts that one hopes would be tempered in time. But that's the worst I've ever seen, and Orthodoxy tends to affect some folks that way. (I'm talking of being hyperdox, not any kind of racist leanings.)

    I just don't see it. And so have no idea what ought to be done. Perhaps their isolation is causing strange ideas - I don't know. But I do encounter a pretty broad swathe, and have never seen any such thing.
     
  16. ZaidaBoBaida

    ZaidaBoBaida When do I stop being a Newbie?

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    We cannot turn the other cheek to abortion/infanticide, cohabitation, same-sex "marriage," and other social evils. And the important thing to digest is the fact that the LGBT lobby will NOT STOP until everyone bows to their throne. They started off with the "hey, you live your life, I'll live mine," harmless claims. It took them a New York Minute to start lawsuits against bakers and other folks who don't acknowledge their sins as normalcy. And it will only continue. I am positively convinced that it is the LGBT toxic poison that Satan will use to bring his greatest attacks on Christendom. The European Union is obsessed with LGBT issues. They ram it down everyone's throats. Corporations now as well as sports franchises and businesses feel the intense push to be "tolerant" and avoid "hater" status by going out of their way to kiss up to this movement. Eventually LGBT hordes will sue churches that won't marry their 'membership.' It's becoming like a labor union. With time, it'll wield insane powers worse than it has now. You'll see churches close because of lawsuits wiping them out. Smears, labels, lawsuits, and pressure will do great damage, sadly."

    This! So much this! Evil is never content to be merely tolerated. It must make you complicit. Read the story of Sodom and Gommorah again - Lot was in his house minding his own business, and evil came pounding on his door. When he basically said, "Hey you do what you want - leave me (and my guests) out of it." They got all offended about it and accused him of judging them and said they'd do worse to him than they were planning on doing this the 3 visitors (the holy trinity).

    Mark my words - if the Lord continues to tarry - it WILL get that bad here. The LQBTQXYZ is determined to force their perversion on you - you can't put the tv on without having gay shoved in your face.
     
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