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Why I Left/Am Leaving The Salvation Army and Protestantism

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Kajiki, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 auto-correct iPhone survivor

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    Not in these here parts. I still cringe at the massive ignorance of my fellow parishioners with regard to Scripture; the Old Testament is particularly something they know next to nothing about. I know a matushka who doesn’t know who Abraham or Moses was?! We have a parishioner who graduated from seminary who admitted to me that he gets Moses, David, and Noah confused in a timeline....at coffee hour we talk Bible and they admit to me they have no idea what I’m talking about. Frustrating. I hear clergy complain all the time that the parents don’t reinforce Sunday school learning because they don’t know it themselves!!?

     
  2. Kajiki

    Kajiki Member Supporter

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    Well that's concerning...History is one of the aspects that's drawing me in. Why isn't scripture known very well?
     
  3. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Wow.

    Well, I don't know what to say. We have a good turnout for Bible study. It was only started a few years ago by our priest when he arrived, but the people are already pretty well-versed. They don't always know where to find things, but they know what the Scriptures say and who the major people are. And not from this study - we cover only one book a year. Most are from this area (many born in Greece) but many have been in this same parish for decades. I am not sure what else to say. The other Greek parishes closest, and the Antiochian here, all have Bible studies.
     
  4. ~Anastasia~

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

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    And actually since I just started teaching Sunday school ... they teach OT to the younger children and so they've already got that down pretty well by the time I'm getting them in 1st-2nd grade. I have maybe the harder task of getting them acquainted with Church teachings specifically - feasts, Sacraments, Liturgy, etc. Which those things are known by the adults through participation as well. Sorry, but I'm still pretty floored at the thought of someone not knowing who Abraham and Moses are.
     
  5. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    I think that this is a problem that many different (Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic) groups struggle with. The OT is largely not as well understood by many.

    At my parish there is an additional reading from the OT every week in addition to the epistle and gospel lessons, but I have noticed that at other parishes, only the epistle and gospel lessons are read each week. Part of that probably lies in the fact that many people (myself included) don't have the greatest attention spans. ^_^

    There is a church about an hour away from where I live and everybody there is super into theology, they are at a level that is way higher than my comprehension. I have also been to parishes where people don't seem very in-tune to the scriptures or theology at all. Every parish is different, just as I would imagine that some Salvation Army Corps are different from others in terms of membership and theological grounding.
     
  6. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 auto-correct iPhone survivor

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    Well what should floor you is a matushka (widowed) not knowing those things. And on top of that, at our table at coffee hour almost all of them have no idea about the Old Testament. I was talking about Jacob the other day. They had no idea what I was talking about. I talked about David and Jonathan, etc. and it didn't register. Standing in line talking to people about Scripture, they don't get it. The only folks at my parish who are adept at Scripture, especially the OT, are Protestant converts. Like I said, a graduate of Holy Trinity Seminary with a Masters in Divinity didn't know Moses, Abraham, and David in a timeline. He actually asked me at the dessert table.

    The kids are clueless also. I teach Sunday school. They seem like blank slates and don't know anything. It's disheartening.

     
  7. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    The Orthodox Church has a number of "official" roles outside of just the priesthood and the diaconate. As others have said, it is best to pray on this and seek pastoral care before attempting to be ordained into any of this positions. Some roles within the church only women can fill (like being a deaconess or a Presbytera), and others only men can fill...so there is that as well.

    The "minor orders" are as follows:
    *Alter Server
    *Cantor
    *Reader
    *Subdeacon

    The "major orders" are:
    *Deacon
    *Priest
    *Bishop

    There are also various monastic roles, that I will not cover. Of course, simply being a parishioner is an important role within the church as welll!

    The minor orders are a good place to start if you want to take a "official" role within the church, while you pray over whether or not you want to go to seminary in order to take on a major order.

    An alter server assists the priest during the liturgy, generally with minor tasks like preparing the censor or lighting candles etc.

    A cantor is charged with leading hymns during the service, at a large parish the cantor might mean that you will be put "in charge" of a choir. At a small parish, you might be the only one chanting/singing in certain parts.

    The reader is in charge of reading Old Testament and Epistle readings, somebody in this role might also be asked to help assist the cantor in singing, especially when it comes to the propers.

    The subdeacon is the highest ranked of the minor orders and is in essence treated as "the head alter server". The duties of this position are generally related to to the ones of the alter server, but you will likely also be requested to take on additional responsibilities at the discretion of the priest. You might also have to fill in as a reader if there is not one.

    Keep in mind that once you are ordained a subdeacon, in most Orthodox jurisdictions you will not be allowed to marry afterwards. If you want to be a married subdeacon, and eventually a married deacon or priest, you need to be married before your ordination as a subdeacon.

    Many of these roles (especially the alter server and cantor) are also granted on an informal basis, depending on the parish.
     
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  8. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Minor question I've wondered out of curiosity that your post brought out.

    Are women ever tonsured as readers? We have a woman who often reads the Epistle in Greek at our parish. I had just wondered. I think we have a number of readers who are unofficial over time.
     
  9. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    My suspicion is that they cannot be officially tonsured as a reader, but I am not for sure. Hopefully someone else knows.
     
  10. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Yes ... it's all pretty shocking.

    The natural events of creation, fall, flood, Abraham, Moses, David ... dictate the order in which they happen. You can't have a king of Israel before you have the establishment of the people. Etc. I taught this to my preschoolers and up in a private school setting.

    I don't get it. Maybe he was somehow pulling your leg. How can you possibly get through seminary and not know that? And I've had theological discussions with visiting seminarians. They might not know the answer to every question on spiritual matters (who does?!) but they were overall very well informed.
     
  11. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    tonsured? no. blessed to read? yes.
     
  12. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    a lot of the old world folk who became clergy or prominent members of a parish, did so to keep their own community together. so many didn't know theology all that well because it was all the could do to stay afloat in this country. so thank God they did what they did so we could have the Church.
     
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  13. Kajiki

    Kajiki Member Supporter

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    Thank you so much for all this information! If you all don't mind I'd like to comment on the TSA positions for comparison and contrasting. TSA has of course several ranks with the main ones being for officers only (ordained ministers).
    Ordained ranks:
    Lieutenant (Fresh outta the training college)
    Captain (Five years as a Lieutenant)
    Major (Ten years as a Captain)
    Lieutenant-Colonel (Merit based rank)
    Colonel (Territorial or International leadership role)
    Commisioner (National Leaders)
    General (International Leader only 1 at a time)

    If you aren't married by the time you are ordained you can still be married but its very difficult and married couples both have to pass training college.

    Non-Ordained Roles:
    Junior Soldiers (Junior members of the church who take courses higher than regular sunday school)
    Soldiers (I am one of these, After taking soldiership classes, akin to catechism classes I believe, you are a member of the church or a soldier)
    Corps Cadets (Teenage to Young Adult members who take another set of classes, I was never one so I don't know what they do tbh my girlfriend is one and she does a ton of stuff)
    Local Officers (These folks are most like your "Minor Orders" they fulfill most of those roles and not too much else the subdeacon role sounds like our Corps Sergeant Major)

    There are many positions one can fill as an officer as well which from what I understand Priests can as well since one of the fathers I've been emailing is on a mission board for the diocese.
     
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  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    I just realized someone you might wanna talk to is Dr Edith Humphrey at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. she was active in TSA before becoming Orthodox
     
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  15. Kajiki

    Kajiki Member Supporter

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    Thank you so much I will be sure to shoot her an email!
     
  16. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    good, she is solid too. she teaches Scripture, is an author, and has a podcast on AFR.
     
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  17. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    That is a very interesting hierarchy.

    If you want to look at roles in the Orthodox Church from a comparative perspective, then I think that your comparisons are pretty fair overall. Generally the "orders" within the Orthodox church are largely liturgical in function, things like missionary work, icon writing, social work etc. can be carried out by any member of the church including parishioners.

    The major orders also have a number of "honorific" ranks that can be achieved.

    Deacons can become Archdeacons, Protodeacons or Hierodeacons depending upon whether they serve at a parish church, cathedral or monastery.

    Priests can become Archpriests, Archimandrites, or Protosyngellos at the discretion of the bishop.

    Bishops of course can be come Patriarchs, Archbishops, and Metropolitans.

    If you obtain an honorific rank then you technically rank higher than a person who has not received an honorific rank. For instance, a Protodeacon would rank higher than a normal Deacon, just as a Patriarch ranks higher than other bishops.

    These "rankings" are only honorific, however. In terms of actual ecclesiastical authority, all bishops, priests, and deacons are in theory on a level playing field with their other counterparts of the same order. This is one of the main reasons that the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churhces split from each other. The Pope, who we considered to be the highest ranked Patriarch, started to get power hungry and he claimed that he had the authority to basically do whatever he wanted to. As Orthodox, we know that in terms of authority all bishops are equal to one another (just as were the apostles), so we of course rejected the Pope's power play.
     
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  18. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    I should note that each order and honorific rank has special liturgical and non liturgical vestments as well, although within the minor orders some of the vestments have fallen into disuse.
     
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  19. Kajiki

    Kajiki Member Supporter

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    The Salvation Army actually has a military uniform and uses cords during some ceremonies and has colored loops and eppalettes to show rank.
     
  20. GoingByzantine

    GoingByzantine Seeking the Narrow Road Supporter

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    Here is a video about orthodox ranks and vestments. Maybe it will help you to draw comparisons between your own experience and ours:

     
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