Why I am NOT Catholic

edited December 1969 in Non-Orthodox Inquiries
Although I was raised in the RC, and having lived in France where there the RC is very well known and active, I find myself more attached even more to my orthodox faith.

I'd like to give a few reasons why:

a) All the RC dogmas that differ from us are generally redundant. They have no bearing, and in fact, in most cases, reduce the importance of the sacraments.
b) There is no discipleship between priests and bishops. A priest can do as he pleases, and a bishop will not do anything about it.
c) There are communities that are excommunicated from the main Catholic Church. These are mainly latin rites, or those from Monsignor Lefbevre. (that traditionalists).
d) There is a huge lack of orthodoxy in the RC. They seem to do things that are popular rather than those that are right.

FINALLy, the MOST IMPORTANT reason why I cannot be part of the RC is because of this:

I was there when it happened, and now its here to stay. Do not worry if you do not understand French, trust me, you will understand this video 100%

Its a disgrace!! And it gets worse! This the Cathedral of Notre Dame FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!!!



  • You know Zoxsasi, you are very insightful.
  • iLoveSaintMark,

    Its gone completely charismatic. After they dance around the alter , they go and speak in tongues and start pushing people over (something called "Slain in Spirit").

    There are many Catholics who are dead against this, and many who are for. But what worries me is that what kind of Church has Bishops that promote charismatic prayer and Bishops who are against it? Where is the authority of the Pope in this? Is he agreeing with this!?? Does he think dancing around the alter is good???

    How does dancing around the alter edify the Church? How does it edify you?

    What a load of nonsense!!

    This is the lack of Orthodoxy I'm talking about. Its a HUGE shame. Its a disaster. If there was any sort of unity possible between us and the RC, this has blown it right away.
  • Wow, are they doing this in the church(dancing around and jumping everywhere)?

    If they are, i can clearly see why you are growing more attached to the true church(Coptic Orthodoxy)?
  • [quote author=geomike link=topic=9363.msg115559#msg115559 date=1276620235]
    Wow, are they doing this in the church(dancing around and jumping everywhere)?

    If they are, i can clearly see why you are growing more attached to the true church(Coptic Orthodoxy)?

    Dude, this is the tip of the iceberg. This hurts as I love the RC. I think we all do. We are both apostolic Churches. This is a disaster for the traditionalists catholics and for the Orthodox Christians looking to unite.

    This whole Charismatic movement began in the WORST way possible.

    There were a 1 or 2 Charismatic movements that were light. They just spoke in tongues and that's it. Now there are many many more. with the most notorious being:

    a) Emmanuel Community
    b) Beatitude (Verging on black magic)
    c) Saint John

    Habibi, no Church is perfect. Certainly not ours, but I cannot be united with stuff like this. The Catholic Church is on a road to self destruction. It has tried so hard to reach out to charismatic protestant groups that it has lost its own identity.

    Just keep on looking on youtube.. it gets worse.
  • I would rather not look up more of these videos because the one you posted really disturbed me and i am afraid that when i see these kind of people on the street i will look at them differently.
  • Hello my brothers and sisters in Christ,

    I hope that this message finds you all well. It is my personal opinion that we do not try to intentionally point out the shortcomings of others; these people are, after all, made in the image of God, and though they are misguided in their ways, it is important and necessary that we pray and do so fervently for their souls, that God may lead them back into the proper path of their salvation. We are all afflicted with our own shortcomings, and it would certainly be comforting for me to know that others were praying for me, that my ways be corrected and that I come closer to God.

    Rather than concerning myself with why I am not a Catholic, perhaps I should consider how Orthodox I truly am in my actions, words, thoughts, feelings, and disposition towards God and towards others.

    Forgive me and pray for my own weakness,
  • Ok let me rephrase it. The reason why myself and many others have chosen to be orthodox apostolic rather than roman catholic IS for the reasons given below. The catholic church is now charismatic.
  • Zoxsasi,

    You mean the perpetual fireside sing-a-long of Kumbayya.
  • [quote author=ilovesaintmark link=topic=9363.msg115583#msg115583 date=1276635090]

    You mean the perpetual fireside sing-a-long of Kumbayya.

    Oh you mean the song of "Kumbayya me Lord , Kumbayya.. Kumbayya me Lord... " LOL.. that was funny Saint Mark.

    I didnt know Catholics sang that.

    Anyway, let me speak to you as to WHY I am Orthodox and not Roman catholic:

    I complained to a catholic priest and clergy as well as deacons etc about the charismatic movement in the Church. They said that they did not agree with it either. So far, so good; but they said that if I don't like it, I should go to another Catholic Church where they do not pray in this way.


    Let's examine that statement closely:

    "If you don't like it, go to another Catholic Church where they do not pray in tongues, nor dance around the alter".

    If His Holiness Pope Shenouda said only congregations who are from Alexandria can get divorced, but those from Cairo must remain married under all circumstances; do you think I would remain Coptic Orthodox?? No. Even if divorce does not concern me, what bothers me is that within the same church, you have different values. That cannot be right!!!

    I cannot respect that!! I cannot fathom a Church where the Bishops disagree with people dancing around a Church, and some bishops think its "cool", and the only solution is to avoid them if u do not like that type of prayer. What then IS the point of having a spiritual leader or hierarchy? That renders the Catholic Pope useless. That means that if stuff like this goes on in the open, what concessions do they do in the closed???

    What kind of hierarchy is that?? That was the BIGGEST Cathedral in France!! It was Notre Dame. The Bishops of Paris and the Cardinal of Paris were 110% aware of it.
    The Traditional rites are totally against it. What is that!? How can you have bishops opposing bishops???

    Regardless, because I personally believe that dancing, speaking garbage or gibberish, falling over in spirit Is NOT from the Holy Spirit, I cannot help but feel that if they have gone THIS far to deceive people about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, what else then will they do?? What other things are being hidden!?

    It was said that when you speak in tongues, it edifies the Church; and if you speak and  do not have an interpretor, it is best to shut up. But they boast in these gifts. These gifts only seem to edify their egos, and furthermore, who is believing because of them???

    The Orthodox Church is not lacking in miracles nor Graces from God to need to swoop down to petty trivial spooky African Black Magic in order to edify itself. It is not lacking in these things. And I choose my words carefully! These charismatic characteristics came from anglican african priests who entered the catholic Church. The Catholic Church literally told them to "NOT COME AGAIN".

    The video I posted is from a group called the Beatitidues. Their spiritual father is a priest called Silouane who taught them all this nonsense. He was a protestant priest that came from Africa and entered into the Catholic Church proclaiming the Catholic faith. However, he never let go of his charismatic habbits. Instead , he combined them, and made the Catholic Church - Charismatic!!!

    So what happened next? Well, as you can see, it became HUGELY popular. Youth were so inspired by that. The result was the biggest prayer groups and communities in France. The RC was quite happy to see a big youth turnout in their diocese, and all this was largely thanks to Silouane.

    When the Archbishop of Versailles saw what was going on, he told Siloane: "Listen, do not come here again. We dont want you. We do not approve of your methods". They could not stop the youth from still adopting these charismatic methods. I've seen with my own eyes the followers of Silouane take young girls, and boys and make them "slain in spirit" - making them fall over, claiming that this is from the Holy Spirit! That is RIDICULOUS and against the fundamental basis of our relationship with Graces we receive from the Holy Spirit.

    Whenever I read the Bible, I can see that this is leading people away from repentance and confession. It leads them away thinking that they can abide in the Holy Spirit by a few hand movements over their head, and without repenting, without confessing, without ANYTHING, all of sudden, the Holy Spirit has descended upon them, and made them fall over. Yeah, right! Whatever!

    That makes a mockery of "I am the Vine, and you are the branches in the vine" - for the Holy Spirit to work in you, you keep MY COMMANDMENTS. So, where is the pursuing of keeping God's commandments in ANY OF THIS CRAZY CHARISMATIC SPIRITUALITY!!???

    There is also a danger that this nonsense is close to coming in our Church. Many protestants have become Coptic, and have not left their charismatic ways. This is a worry.

    Anyway, I hope this clears things up. Orthodoxy has been faithful to the apostolic teachings. It is the shortest distance between 2 points: Earth and Heaven.
    It has kept faithful and sincere to itself all the teachings and doctrines of the Church from the time of the Apostles. When St Paul commanded us in Titus: "Keep hold of the teachings we have given you by WORD OF MOUTH and by LETTER" , the Orthodox Church has done so, and at a cost to being popular. The Coptic Orthodox Church has done what is right, and not what is popular in the hope of maintaining, passing on, and continuing what it has received from the Apostles.

  • all other churches might fall but it will take alot of power to bring down the coptic Church
  • Nevermind the inquisition, the crusades and all the other horrible things. How about John Paul being blessed by a pagan priestess? Placing an idol of buddha on the altar in Assisi? Worshipping with jews AND kissing the koran. We kiss the Gospel in willing submission to Gods word, so why would he kiss the koran?

    This video is wonderful Zoxa Si, and reinforces my point. The Latin church is more about image than anything, which has led to its liberalization. Which even Latin priests tried to warn the pope about and were silenced. ( Fr Paul Hanley Furfey who wrote The Mystery of Iniquity and Fr Felix who wrote Liberalism is a Sin) There are several instances in which charismatic and other protestant mumbo jumbo has influenced the church, much to my suprise this behavior is accepted.

    Even in the 2nd vatican council they discussed that several people had paid their way to "Sit on the throne of St Peter" and nobody seemed to have a problem with that, or the fact that the bishops were unbelievably wealthy, and stingy on top of it, when they didnt even have to pay any taxes! its sad to see something like this, thanks for the video.
  • After first reading this thread, I couldn't agree more, for I am too not so fond of charismatic worship.  But to be completely fair and not close-minded, I would like to point out that as Orthodox Christians we accept some sort of 'charismatic' worship.  The Ethiopian church's method of worship is quite festive, people dance, people sing, people drum, yet it does not affect their orthodoxy, does it? 

    Likewise, many of the new converts to Orthodoxy in Africa[specifically Coptic,] follow a similar style of worship, that incorporates their native ways of worship, with the more concentrated Orthodox way.  Many of the spiritual songs played at Youth Retreats are usually Protestant in-origin, but does that make them wrong to sing?
  • gregorythesinner,

    It is completely unfair and incorrect to put the Ethiopian and African expression in worship in the same realm as the charismatic "mumbo jumbo" [to quote Ioannes].
  • As someone who was a Protestant, and has a great deal of sympathy for many Protestants, I would have to say that I am not happy with the fact that so many Protestant songs are sung by Copts, so many Protestant books are read by Copts, and even so many Protestant churches are attended by Copts.

    It is true that Protestant and Catholic hymns and songs can be Orthodox in content, but it does not seem to me that all, or many, of the songs which are sung have been subject to approval by priests and bishops. It is also the case that tunes also communicate a message, and an attitude in worship, and this is also not always Orthodox, though it can be.

    We should be very careful that while we are outgoing and generous in our evangelistic activity towards Protestants we do not allow Protestantism to take root in our Churches and in our hearts.

    The hymns of St Severus have not been set to English tunes or made into songs or hymns. They could be. That would be a more worthwhile exercise for some Copts who have musical gifts than accepting wholesale the various collections of Protestant hymns. Setting the psalms to simple tunes in English would be a worthwhile activity. We need to be vigilant. We should not allow ourselves to become Protestant by the back door.

    Father Peter
  • Amen. Amen. Amen. Fr. Peter.  My sentiments exactly.
  • St Theophan the Recluse said..

    You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever.

    Let us all be watchful so that we do not allow anything outside of Orthodoxy to enter our hearts so that it might lead us away from life and truth. It is possible to enter a different faith even while still being notionally Orthodox. It is possible to betray Orthodoxy even while knowing all the hymns and attending all the services.

    Let us all be careful. What we allow into our hearts and minds will affect the nature and direction of our faith. The fathers of the Church suffered exile, persecution and death to preserve our Faith. The choir of martyrs gave their lives rather than compromise the Orthodox Faith. Let us all be very careful that we do not allow error into the Church, into our hearts and homes. It has the appearance of being reasonable, of being modern and contemporary, of being exciting. This is how it begins, but error leads us away from truth and life. Let us all be careful.

    Father Peter
  • I have watched carefully many Ethiopian spiritual songs, the women/men spiritual singers were always humble with deep spirituality in words and attitude, and in the case of more festive ones I found they were always highly organized with many similarly well-dressed deacons, etc.

    I assure you this cannot be classified with such chaotic charismatic dancing around the Altar.


    EDIT: sorry Father Peter I was just posting.
  • Dear John,

    I think that if anyone watches the video from the Oriental Orthodox Festival they will see entirely what you describe.

    Indeed when I was in Senegal for a while many years ago the music and singing of the local people was not the same as modern Western charismatic and pentecostal worship either.

    We do know that many of the fathers set theological lyrics to their contemporary tunes, so I am not absolutely against contemporary music. But these ancient examples did not intrude into the congregational worship of the Church. I also note that in my own lifetime the nature of contemporary Protestant music has changed greatly. When I was young the music would be acoustic, based on simple folk tunes, but now it is often either a rock band or a jazz band. The songs have become emotionally charged and full of natural energy rather spiritual energy.

    I preached a couple of weeks ago about how our Orthodox worship was ideal for broken and struggling people such as we are, since we had already repeatedly asked God for his mercy, and for the forgiveness of our sins. I preached that it was my experience that if you were struggling it was hard to attend a charismatic or pentecostal worship service since it was geared almost entirely for people who were excited, up for plenty of noise and dance, and who tended to view things in a triumphalistic manner.

    If we are going to set Orthodox lyrics to simple acoustic folk tunes then we need to ensure that the lyrics are entirely and completely Orthodox, and that the music supports the words rather than adding some additional element which detracts from the lyrics.

    Father Peter
  • [quote author=peterfarrington link=topic=9363.msg115656#msg115656 date=1276724179]
    Setting the psalms to simple tunes in English would be a worthwhile activity.

    Father Peter

    The psalms in the Coptic church do in fact have tunes that are fairly simple. Just not many have heard them or are aware of them. They aren't always recorded and there are variations in the tunes. The tradition actually came from the monasteries as the monks always chant the psalms.
  • Not everything in Protestantism is bad by any means. There are old Protestant groups in parts of the UK who only sing Psalms. That is their hymn book, and they use simple tunes which they have used for centuries.

    We cannot read and learn the Psalms too much. I wish I knew the Psalms by heart. These were the songs of the Church.

    Father Peter
  • [quote author=peterfarrington link=topic=9363.msg115673#msg115673 date=1276730319]
    Not everything in Protestantism is bad by any means. There are old Protestant groups in parts of the UK who only sing Psalms. That is their hymn book, and they use simple tunes which they have used for centuries.

    We cannot read and learn the Psalms too much. I wish I knew the Psalms by heart. These were the songs of the Church.

    Father Peter

    Fr. Peter, do you think that when discussing protestantism that we should make distinctions between older protestant groups and the newer ones? Many of the older ones from the reformation era still held the belief that the eucharist is a sacrament, with the exception of some like Zwingli. But it seems to be the more recent of the denominations that is really out there. I dont know just a thought, but what do you think? Wont that help so its not so broad when we say "protestantism"?
  • Dear Ioannes,

    Yes, I think you are right. There is a difference between the older Protestant groups and the very modern ones. But this is not to say that the older groups are more sound than the newer ones when we think of Orthodox being attracted to Protestant books and churches. In my own mind it just helps me understand where a person is coming from and respects the fact that a Lutheran does not have the same faith as a Pentecostal and so lumping them all together is not always helpful. It would be like saying that all 'traditional' churches are the same and ignoring the differences between Catholics, Orthodox, Byzantines and Assyrians.

    The oldest groups are the Lutherans, Anglicans and Reformed. All of these suffer from liberalism more than pentecostalism. This is not to say that there are not groups within each of these groups who are trying to bring their community back to a more 'orthodox' theology and spirituality. But to be honest I think they are facing an impossible task.

    Out of these groups, in the UK at least, came the Methodists, Plymouth Brethren, Baptists, Salvation Army etc, who were important especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were all serious attempts by serious people to live more Biblical and spiritual lives. But the Methodists are now almost entirely liberal, and the other groups have tended to become affected by the pentecostalist spirit of the age and have abandoned the theology of their own founders.

    Indeed the great issue as I see it is that modern Protestantism in the UK has tended to become a-theological, believing nothing very much, or believing anything, while it has also become more emotional. While the church services I might have attended 30 years ago might have been rather dull but fairly serious, now they would attempt to create, unwittingly generally, some sense of excitement and emotion, while having the form of a business seminar. In many places the worship of the church has indeed become like a multi-level marketing recruitment meeting.

    And yet, there are still those who are serious about their faith, who know the Bible, and are seeking to serve God. So I find it very hard to dismiss all Protestants as if they were the same. I know that they are not. There are many people who are in various groups, feeling rather lost, feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. They are where they are because that is as far as they have been able to walk with Christ - they were not evangelised by Copts or Orthodox. We cannot and should not criticise them for attending a pentecostal church or a liberal church if the only person to talk to them about Christ came from such a group.

    But whether liberal or emotional, whether committed to a social gospel or a political one, whether old-fashioned and serious, Protestantism of all varieties is gravely deficient in comparison to Orthodoxy. We can see how a person can make connections from Protestantism and become Orthodox - which is why I keep stressing these connections. But I cannot see how a faithful Orthodox whose spiritual life is sound could turn from Orthodoxy to Protestantism.

    I was on a train the other day and as we were stopped at a station I saw that there was a siding. It was quite short and i could see that it led to some buffers. It made me think that the siding was connected to the same track that I was on but that what mattered was the direction a train was going. If the train was on the siding and heading away from London then it was heading to a dead-end that would lead nowhere. But if it was heading towards London then that siding could and would join up with the mainline and the train would reach the same destination as I was going to. It was the same track, and it was still connected to the mainline, but what mattered was the direction of travel. If a Protestant is drawn towards the mainline then he/she will find life and truth, but if an Orthodox chooses to head down the siding he/she will pretty soon hit the buffers.

    Father Peter
  • wow, that's an awesome thought.
    i am praying for our brothers on the sidings.
    and i will pray for you all as u continue this very important discussion,
    i have to get back to my books and study.
  • May I say that I've already addressed this issue Fr. Peter to our Priests and Bishops. I explained to them that we should NOT have protestant "emotional songs" in our Church, and they said "But the words are not in contradiction to our faith, so we allow it, because the youth enjoy singing them".

    They do not realise that by allowing them, they are causing a huge problem:

    The Coptic Orthodox Youth who sing these songs in our Church will say to themselves: "Well, if we sing these songs in the Coptic Church, why not sing them with Protestants?". This will lead them to say "What then is wrong with going to protestant temples and worshipping there with them if we've already accepted that we have things in common?". Many of them , although they are trying to be open minded, cannot distinguish between Orthodox Spirituality and Protestant Spirituality, and what's more, they tend to import their spirituality into our Church.

    I have been in MANY arguments with youth that already go to Protestant Temples that singing in tongues (GIBBERISH) is NOT from the Holy Spirit. They refuse to acknowledge this. Whenever there is a youth meeting, I am always surprised to see protestant songs being sung. I am thinking to myself "Where did they learn this? How comes I never learnt this at Sunday School?"

    It turns out that they ALL go to the protestant temples in London and elsewhere.

    Our youth are not good amabassadors to our Church: rather than having the high spiritual capacity to export Orthodoxy, they foolishly have imported protestantism in our Church, and our own priests and bishops seem very oblivious to all this.

    I spoke to one Bishop about this issue, and he said to me: "It was worse before, at least now they accept some Orthodox hymns, so we allow a mix of Protestant and Orthodox hymns".

    We are already rich in hymnology, songs of praise and vespers - why aren't they singing from what our Church gives them? Why are we now acting like a Proxy for the Protestant Church??

    I was in the Catholic Church for many years because there was NO orthodox church around, and believe it or not, I taught them all 2nd and 3rd Hoss and Golgotha (Good Friday Hymn). I didnt lose my Coptic Identity when I'm surrounded by Catholics!! On the contrary, many have liked very much the Orthodox Church. But I don't all of a sudden become "Catholic" because its popular!!

    But these youths cannot see that they are replacing and promoting Protestantism in our Church because of their foolish ignorance of what their own Church has. They are not interested in knowing about their Church, but rather more enlightened with the feel-good fuzzy feeling they get when going to the Protestant Church.

    I'm sad, because we are throwing, by our own hands, our CHurch away and helping the adversaries of the Church. It was easy before for the Church to denounce heresies or heretical spirituality, but now, by foolishness we have allowed it in ourselves, and I fear the identity of our Church will be affected.

    If someone is Orthodox, and attends protestant temple worship, I would suggest that they decide whether they are orthodox or protestant and choose. But NOT both! That's it. They cannot have both.

    I met a guy in a Coptic Church who was protestant before. He is now coptic orthodox, and has invited MANY of our youth to his old Church. They all pray in tongues, and their prayers are very charismatic. Their minds are so open that if they open it any more, something will fall out.

    We are talking about Church servants in the Church!! Not small individuals who never come to Church.

    These people influence others. Its not right.
  • Zoxsasi,

    You are one fiery young lady.
    You said word for word what I think and say.
    I did not know I had a twin in Europe.
    I appreciate your words--well said.
  • For me I find it important to distinguish between the elder protestant and newer protestant. Alot of these newer denominations popping up are very liberal, in the true sense of the word, that everyone's truth is truth and we dont all have to agree on everything. I do notice in that red book from St Marks in DC that there are several "worship" songs from relatively new denominations, many from the charismatic sect "The Vineyard", who believe there must be one united church for Christ to return. I cant tell you how sick I felt that this was in my church, I left that for a reason.

    Needless to say Fr Anthony Messah of St Marks in DC is somewhat liberal, unfortunately the sermon I had of his from Orthodoxsermons.org is no longer posted, in which he made jokes about the Orthodox church. I dont think we should incorporate these songs because "the youth like to sing them", many of these songs have no real substance. Like our Psalmody, I remember literally crying when I heard it. There is so much theology in it that one could learn about our church from that itself! When I studied it and learned directly from our sub-deacon, that knows every single hymn in the church, english, coptic, and arabic, I gained much more respect for it.

    The thing that scares me about this is exactly what Fr Peter had said, we should not let any of this in, even through the back door. It may seem harmless but everything does at first. The reason I find many of these denominations more dangerous than say Islam, is because these ideas can lead someone astray from the true faith. I may be going overboard but our church has done just fine the last 2,000 years with the hymns we have, we dont need to add any more, especially those from sects that directly oppose ours. Of course I also believe that the church should seperate the men and women, and most youth dont agree with that.
  • I just want to say that at a time when many denominations (Catholic, Anglican, Baptists) etc are losing their identities, it is more important that we maintain ours and stick to our Apostolic heritage. This is our differentiator.

    Although I am extremely sad that the Catholics have been attacked by the Charismatic movement, and the Anglicans have been divided over whether or not to ordain gay priests, I can see that this will open doors for those who are searching for the fullness of the Christian faith, for the original apostolic traditions and spirituality.

    It is with this in mind that we cannot make concessions with hymns, spirituality or ideology in our Church that comes from elsewhere, outside the Orthodox faith. Their division, their perdition from Orthodoxy will only differentiate us more and show others our faith. A faith that we can be proud of.

    However, we need our bishops and priests to be steadfast in their faith and stop bend over back-wards to appease the youth.

    Furthermore, in SundaySchool, I do not see any mention of our patristics, but on many occassions, I HATE to hear opinion being preached as dogma, and worse still opinion emanating from either Catholic or Protestant thought.

    NOw, I am more partial towards the Catholic Church, more than any protestant Church, but still, I would not recommend it even in our Church as we do in fact have our own identity, and that should be respected.

    By all means, LEAVE the Orthodox Church if you love the Protestant; but do not bring protestantism to us. I feel this is what is happening. Just like Fr. Silouane, he didnt leave his Charismatic ways, and now this has exacerbated an already growing Charismatic movement, the same with our youth who are hell bent on attending Protestant worship and bringing it inside our Church.

    I would prefer our CHurch to be empty,rather than to attend ANOTHER protestant-style prayer meeting (like St Marks' London Friday Meetings) ever again. I HATE IT. The youth bring their guitars, girls sing solo in the Church, and if u say "Shall we do something from the tasbeha?" - they all arrogantly respond saying: " no no... let's stick with English." or "we do not know any doxologies from the tasbeha".

    What is this!!!!!!!?

  • Zoxasi, I think we should all remember Luke 18:8 "When the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth?" This relates to the apostasy, which is in full swing right now. Hopefully there will be many who will find their way here, but hopefully those IN the church find their way as well and stop treating church as a cultural thing as opposed to a mode of salvation.

    Our church also started doing these kind of liberal things too. They did not get anyone with a guitar to my knowledge, but encouraged people to do so. I staunchly objected, and I know people view it as stubborn and dont quite understand the implications of it. I think we should take the lessons of the early church fathers and adopt their stubboness and refusal to submit to foreign ideas. Needless to say I would not shut up, and it eventually just died out, simply because there is no substance to it. They were doing it more for fun as opposed to glorifying and worshipping God.

    An example of how things can get done. When I first started going to this church, I felt kind of out of place to begin with. Then the majority of the Liturgy was in arabic, so when they did the prayers it was almost if they were for the arabic speaking people only. Once baptized I wrote a letter to the head of the church, at that time we did not have our own priest, detailing why the liturgy should only be in english. It apparently worked because we use predominantly english, I still throw tantrums when we start backsliding, I love coptic, but I am thinking of people just walking in and what they would think.

    We all must be bold not just the priest or bishop, but voice our opinions in a bold yet respectful way. We are all in charge of keeping this church, not just a few. We have kept this  church for 2,000 years, longer than any single government, and in the face of constant persecution. It is our duty to stand up for what is right in our church, and to defend it. I do not want to end up like the Latins, or protestants.Mk 13:13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
  • From my experiences with friends who have turned to Protestantism, it's never been about our youth introducing themselves to Protestantism, but rather Protestantism introducing itself to them, mainly through the media.  As you all must know, 90% of Christian media is Protestant-related.  I find it real easy for anyone to be attracted to a fiery sermon, that is interrupted by a catchy musical number, where the whole congregation sings along.  Comparing that to the conservative Orthodox liturgy and the more intellectual/spiritually-based sermons [yet not as catchy] the youth usually opt to attend the former.  One must admit, that the protestant church does a much better job, than either the Catholic or the Orthodox churches, in attracting new members.

    As a result, the Orthodox church, agrees to compromise [as to not lose it's youth to the Protestant churches] by allowing/accepting the usage of popular Christian songs that do not contradict our beliefs, in youth meetings and other extra-liturgical gatherings.
  • Gregory, This is what I dont want, compromise. There can be NO compromise with any other religion, we should remain distinctly Orthodox. If we compromise on something little, then we may compromise on something else, then another, and another. As you correctly point out, protestantism, referring to the much more recent denominations that seem to dominate the airwaves, is much better at attracting new members. There is a very simple reason for this too, they are like used car salesmen. They tell you what you want to hear as opposed to the truth. For instance the flavor of the day in protestantism right now is Joel Osteen who preaches the "prosperity gospel". He seems to think that Christianity is opposite of suffering and that if you believe in God, He will give you anything you want, including a sports stadium for a church. I have watched his program several times and on several occasions have caught him completely massacring verses from the bible, changing them so much you could not even recognize them. On Larry King Live he is quoted as saying that Mormons are Christian, even tho they believe Jesus and Lucifer are brothers and Christ had several wives.

    Protestantism attracts people because they sell themselves to the weak. People who cannot face the truth of this world and instead opt for the path of least resistance. I hope nobody is offended, I am not trying to point fingers, as I said before my parents are both protestant, it pains me to say this, but it is true. We Orthodox should not get caught up in trying to "win souls to Christ". Christ says that Nobody comes to Him unless the Father wills it, so we cannot force it, but we can be good examples by practicing the Orthodox spiritual life and exposing people to Orthodoxy and letting them decide for themselves, I say this yet have a hard time following those very words. I constantly debate thinking it will help, although it has helped people watching the debate but not the person I am debating with.

    We have gotten off topic a bit.
Sign In or Register to comment.