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The problem of Orthodox zealotry on CF

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by ☦Marius☦, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. ☦Marius☦

    ☦Marius☦ Orthodox Hillbilly Supporter

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    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I have noticed a growing trend in posts attempting to stir animosity against CF members of other faiths. While I believe it is fine to defend Orthodoxy when it is attacked in other posts, I do not see the point of constantly trying to create controversial threads that oftentimes are backed up with little argument or sources. We are surrounded by those who see little authority in Church councils or Holy Tradition. Therefore if you wish to start an actual discussion- I recommend actually having sources prepared to back up what you are trying to convince others of.

    I would also recommend doing so less aggressively. I understand the temptation as a convert myself to blast others with the truth we have come to believe. But our humility and love should be the first thing other denominations recognize us by, not our debate skills.

    Also remember that as mostly laypeople, it is not even really our place to teach or debate, and especially not to condemn others. State your opinion but do so with an air of understanding and try to avoid pride and hot debate. I myself am guilty of all these things, and I understand how destructive they can be.

    Let us make TAW a place of family and a place to bring others into that family. Not a seat from which to try to loom above everyone else and judge. How many of us believed things contrary to the faith at some point? Remember the beatitudes.

    I ask the forgiveness of everyone on the form for any such pride I or my brothers have shown.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  2. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men can dream of truth, but then cant live with it

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    Convertitis
     
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  3. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Agreed on this. If we all showed God’s love as our primary character, our witness would be much better and we would share God’s love instead of our own judgment. I also have done that - and with God’s help, will try to avoid it.

    Only point I’d make differently is the teaching part. There are teachers who aren’t clergy in Orthodoxy (though that isn’t a gift everyone has). It isn’t our place to condemn someone though and certainly not to declare someone to be a heretic. It also isn’t our place to teach beliefs outside of the beliefs held by Orthodoxy. All should be, as you said, done with an air of understanding, humility and love.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  4. A. Sinner

    A. Sinner New Member

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    Pride is the biggest of all sins and also the one most often committed by Christians. I struggle with it myself more than any other sin. That’s where all of this intertribal warfare comes from too, satan loves Pride.
     
  5. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

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    At the risk of butting in on something that has nothing to do with me, if you're referring to the threads I think you're referring to, I have to say that the Orthodox were not the instigators of those issues.

    I feel confident in saying that since, if I'm being honest, I probably instigated at least one of those things. I was blowing off some steam and a handful of Orthodox in that thread took the brunt of it, I'm sorry to say. So I don't think it's their fault that things went sideways in that thread.

    Then again, you could be referring to entirely different threads. If so, just forget I said anything.
     
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  6. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    I haven't observed the issue the OP is referring to, but then, I don't post outside of TAW, either.
     
  7. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    agreed, it's another reason I don't venture outside of TAW.
     
  8. Willie T

    Willie T St. Petersburg Vineyard

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    Great OP!
     
  9. A. Sinner

    A. Sinner New Member

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    More than once has this popped up on my screen while I was in the middle of doling out advice as if I know anything haha

    “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” James 3
     
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  10. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    There were some threads talking about Ecumenical Councils but the problem is that heterodox don't view them as authority so nothing good comes out of it.
     
  11. David Neos

    David Neos Catechumen

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    I understand what Marius is saying. Some might be zealots because of their youth and love for the truth (not sure if any Evangelical background might also be an influence), even I have had that attitude. Nevertheless, I don't want to blame the user from the other threads because he had good intentions but not the right audience.

    I don't think zealotry is necessarily bad, (especially when there are people who don't care about their faith) but it could be redirected toward a more effective way instead of "giving pearls to the pigs".
     
  12. Chris V++

    Chris V++ In Orbit Supporter

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  13. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Can't say I've seen much of this here on TAW from the regulars, but it's a good reminder, I guess. :) I'm sure I've exhibited something like it more than I can realize (Lord have mercy), but I just try to remember a few things before every post: even if this were the place to argue, my arguing days are basically over, in the sense that I'm perfectly happy where I am, and, given that, I should really only post when I can say "Yeah, me too" to something an actual EO person has said, or if there's some useful point of comparison to be made somewhere in a way that does not come across as arguing. I hope I hit the mark more often than I miss it.
     
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  14. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I don't think the issue is TAW, but other forums. One of your colleagues is slowly convincing me (contrary to his obvious intent) that the 7 councils are non-Christian, at least those beyond the 4th.
     
  15. charsan

    charsan Charismatic Episcopal Church

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    Yep all that comes of it is fighting and hatred
     
  16. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    Agreed in principle on most points. Not sure about the point that laypeople shouldn't "teach" though. While it is unwise for a layperson to make public statements that are unsourced or not actually in accord with church teaching, there is no reason that they can't if those conditons are met. It is the laity who in large part fought off iconoclasm and who resisted the Council of Florence, imagine what Orthodoxy would look like today if they had kept their mouths shut.

    @Yeshua HaDerekh I hear what you are saying about "convertitis", but I am not sure I care for that term. I hear it used alot, but it seems to imply that Othodox converts should shut their mouths because they are not cradle born. While I agree that new members to Orthodoxy should be mindful about their words and actions (hence my own three year semi-retirement from this site), it almost seems like unitentional phyletism to suggest that they are akin to a disease. There are plenty of cradle born Orthodox who seem apathetic to their faith or treat it as a secular ethnic/cultural engagement. We do not say that they have "cradleitis". I would hope that we all pray for eachother, and uplift eachother without the use of labels - even if they are used in jest.
     
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  17. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Re: "convertitis"

    I think of it like I am 7 years old in "Church years", since I was only received in 2012. So as much theology as a 7 year old can handle is probably what I should/can be trusted with. :) It's not nothing (there are plenty of child martyrs commemorated in my particular Church), but it helps keep things in perspective. Maybe ask the 60 year old who was raised in the faith before me or another new person, if that's possible. :D
     
  18. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    I hear you, and feel the same way. ^_^ By that logic I am 3, unless you all are willing to count my Byzantine Catholic days which would make me 6 or 7. Lol.

    My only problem is with the term. It starts out as a funny jest, an Orthodox inside joke if you will. Unfortunately like many other jokes, there are people who will take it beyond that. A term that once was funny is then used to squash the enthusiasm and legitimacy of new members, creating an Orthodox caste system of sorts. Slippery slope I know, but I have seen and heard things in-person and online that make this problem seem like it is more than a fallacy.
     
  19. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Well, I think I see the threads in question now. Yes, those are problematic....

    It seems like instead of answering questions or discussing something calmly, an “impact” is attempted...more of a polemical approach.

    Honestly, that approach has never worked well for me. It tends to alienate people, not convince them of anything. I gave my parents a book about Orthodoxy before reading it (lesson learned - always read before giving it to others, even if other people gave it a thumbs up), and saw the impact on my parents - losing trust for any respect they had of the Church and having even more concern for me in regards to joining. It took years to overcome that “impact”.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  20. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Late to the party lol - it's been and will continue to be a pretty intense couple of weeks for me. :)

    I don't know what threads are being talked about. I DO think we need to always be aware of how we come off to others. I know sometimes I post thinking I have an Orthodox audience (forgetting anyone can read) and I try to be extra-careful when I'm talking to others. But it's still hard. Sometimes (often) I have to dial back my enthusiasm for how much the Church has benefited me, because seeing it with outsider's eyes it probably comes off as nothing but triumphalism. And HOW can I be prideful about the Church? It's not like *I* started it, or wrote all those pieces full of deep wisdom, or am in any responsible for any good of it. The best I can say is that I finally found it, but even that took me almost 50 years so it hardly seems like something to brag about. More like it took God a long time to shave off my rough edges so I could fit and not mess everything up when I did come in, more likely. :D

    Anyway. Why am I even talking? I don't know what's been said in those threads, lol. I guess I've missed you all. :)

    I don't like the term "convertitis" used broadly. But there is a HUGE temptation, I suppose especially maybe among those who are formerly already taught to want to share their faith, to naturally want to share Orthodoxy when it has made such an impact on us and answered so many questions and improved our whole relationship with God.

    Maybe we should leave out the historic parts when talking with people who are already disinclined to trust that - and there are many. I was one once. But the evidence is overwhelming when you really dig into it, so that temptation is naturally there also. But that seems to be the source of more difficulties for me in sharing than not, unless the person is already asking what has Christianity done, why, and how, since the early days. Most probably already have a picture of that in their minds that isn't easily dislodged anyway. Again - I did.

    God be with us all. We certainly SHOULD care about how people perceive us. Especially since we could one day find out we might have been responsible for driving someone away - Lord have mercy!!!
     
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