orthodox mission



  • edited July 2014
    Does that preclude that the rites and hymns should be sung in vernacular? or that people will understand the theology if it's in Coptic (even if they don't understand it)? What communicates this theology? Do the notes communicate it? Or do the mimetic movements in the Liturgy? Does the Coptic style? or is it the explanation of the hymns and rites?

    The mission churches keep the Coptic hymns and are obedient to the rites in the Liturgy and in Tasbe7a, they just sing them in the vernacular. So if the hymn tunes are done accurately, do Arabic or Spanish speakers learn the theology even if they don't understand English?
  • edited July 2014

    Mina Soliman wrote:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    Proponents of "anti-deification" have two problems and roots of the problems of their theological fight.  One is an Islamic concept of divinity.  The other is the Western-Protestant concept that agrees with this Islamic concept.  This Protestant concept is also a Nestorian concept, also a forerunner of Islam.  To deny deification is to be a Nestorian.


    This phrase deserves special attention and Mina has to be applauded. Only few people are able to identify that both religions, Protestantism and Islam, have a common source, namely Nestorianism. It is a historical fact.  

    It also explains the common traits of both religions, which their followers fanatically display in various degrees, like the disrespect to the relics, the churches, the saints and icons. Most importantly, the complete separation from God as a result of denying theosis.     

  • mina,

    If the BOC "lost communication" with the Syrian Orthodox Church, I assume that means they separated from communion with the Syrian Orthodox. Would that not mean they lost Apostolic succession also? In this sense, they were no different than schismatic group that came under the umbrella of an Apostolic church. For this reason I don't agree that the COC parishes should be placed under the BOC since Apostolic succession came from the COC Church.

    In addition, If we are to go by historical chronology, then all the Oriental Orthodox Churches in Britain should become Syrian Orthodox. This includes Coptic, Eriterian, Armenian, Ethiopian and Indian. There is too much cultural, liturgical and ethnical diversity for all of these churches to change their customs to the Syriac tradition. While the faith is all the same, the social, political, and psychological nuances of ethnicity are too powerful to be suppressed in a pan-Oriental Orthodox Church. This is also why the EO have multiple jurisdictions in America, even though the purpose of OCA was to have one unified (EO) Church. History tells us it doesn't work.  

    Now that doesn't mean we should take it to the extreme polar opposite as it occurs nowadays. Take for example, the Eritrean Orthodox. In the USA, there is a Shenouda, Bishop of USA, and there is Makarios, Coptic Exarch of Eritreans in the USA. In Britain, there is Markos, Bishop of UK and Shenouda, Bishop of Europe.  I assume this has to do with the issues of 2 Eritrean patriarchs. This illustrates the social, political and psychological nuances of ethnicity. It not only occurs between different ethnicities, but within similar ethnicities also. Not to mention, Eritreans also attend Coptic Churches so they would fall under the plethora of Coptic bishops in Britain. 

    So while mission churches may make sense in theory. Practically, they seem to only bring division because they suffer from the 4 points I mentioned above.
  • There apparently was a model of a unified Orthodox Church back when St Tikhon was metropolitan of America. Something along the lines of each ethic group having auxiliary bishops to manage pastoral issues but they would report to Metropolitan Tikhon. St Tikhon went back to Russia was made metropolitan and was later martyred in the Bolshevik revolution. Some suggest that national interests also worked to undermine a unified Orthodox identity in America during that era. Greeks wanted their own hierarch, then the Antoichians followed suit. I'm not well versed in EO history in America but I don't think the pursuits failed because it was flawed ecclesiology but rather that the communities wanted to setup their ethnic enclaves...and of course nationalism (especially of the spiritual kind) doesn't help either.

    "The American denomination is frequently the “religious” residue of the disappearing ethnic church."
  • Cyril,
    The hymns are said in the vernacular. The problem is not the use of Coptic per se. It is the incessant cry to have 100% in English even though no one actually wants it. In reality, 99%+ of Copts don't want 100% English. They want somewhere around 90% English in liturgy. This is the real problem. When I pray the liturgy 100% in English, no one sings along. I got my head torn off by Abouna who stopped the Pauline censer procession and came to tell me to stop saying Hiten nipresvia and the Trisagion in English. The same thing happened when we sang Rejoice O Mary. Everyone (even American born Copts) wants it sung only in Arabic. So who are we benefitting by claiming hymns must be in the vernacular? The 100% English apparently doesn't work. The 90/10 split doesn't make sense because it no longer has anything to do with "singing in the vernacular" or "understanding theology" or "understanding what is being said". After all, the 10% Coptic the people advocate is not (usually) understood. Either some Coptic communicates theology (even if you don't fully understand it), or it doesn't. If it doesn't than no one should advocate 10% Coptic nor complain of 100% English. But they always do. If that is the case, then anything from 100% Coptic to 100% English should be just as valid as 50/50, 90/10, 10/90 or anything in between. 
  • Rem on point number 4, the mission churches follow Coptic hymns and Coptic rites very faithfully. If they were to use or draw from other sources they don't do so in the liturgy. Also if Abouna approved these methods should be ok and they're also just ways to introduce people to the Coptic Orthodox Church. Why are we insulting the Abounas?

    Of course with the discussion about deification and grace I'm not sure how that might impact mission.... Cause if its not about getting people to heaven then everything needs to be understood in light of partaking in the divine life of the Holy Trinity...
  • Rem that's a good point. I agree if it happens it should be gradual and with love. Just to be clear, Are you pointing out the issue when English or any other language is enforced ideologically?
  • Even if I were to concede that the EO missions in America failed because of communism or that the communities wanted their own ethnic enclaves, it would necessarily mean that missionology and ecclesiology have not pastorally answered or addressed the issues of suppressing social, political and psychological phenomena (which is the definition of nationalism), 

    The thing with nationalism, is that it is a two way street. We can say that missions failed because the ethnic mother churches insisted on exerting ethnocentric nationalism or influence. But it will also apply to indigenous ethnicities who resist (even partially) the ethnic order of the mother churches. To say all people or ethnicities must have their own church somehow separate from the mother church also exerts a nationalism or ethnocentrism against the mother church/country. An American Coptic Orthodox Church is different than a Coptic Orthodox Church in America. Those who insist on the first want something in America different than what the Coptic Orthodox Church has to offer. This implies the America Coptic Orthodox Church is more appropriate than a Coptic Orthodox Church in America. This illustrates the nationalism against the Coptic Orthodox Church. This is not to say that nationalism is always inappropriate. It just illustrates that nationalism occurs bilaterally. 
  • One would hope that there's the Orthodox Church in America. What that means about the rites maybe only time will tell...

    The jurisdictional issue is so messy :s we can pray and find ways to at least work together across jurisdictional lines maybe...
  • No. Regarding point #4, no Charismatic or anti-Orthodox custom should ever be introduced in the Coptic Church. Period. Even if a priest approves it, it should be vehemently opposed and reported to the Pope. In fact, there is a Synodal decree banning charismatic worship and the use of musical instruments. We are not insulting the priests. We are safeguarding the faith because Charismatic praise intrinsically introduces Protestant theology and anti-Orthodox polemics. 

    The introduction of charismatic praise that is irrevocably attached to anti-Orthodox theology includes Nestorianism (as Mina described) which in turn is the source of anti-deification polemics. They go hand in hand. It is about getting people into heaven but only through True Orthodox theology. Anything else will not get people into heaven. Introducing their tactics in hopes of bringing people to True Orthodoxy is by definition self-contradictory. 

    Yes I was describing any language used ideologically. I think people fail to see that one can use 100% Coptic liturgically out of love and gradually they will communicate with God in prayer. 
  • Thanks Rem
  • Does anyone know any of the Abounas or servants from the mission churches? Like maybe they could be invited to share the perspectives and a discussion could occur in love and truth? If anyone has direct experience maybe that would help clear up the misunderstanding? Instead of reporting would it not be better if things were resolved in private and without scandal? The Abounas are doing their best with what they have... Plus in the past people have been like exiled from the Church without trials and just based on accusations...shouldn't such things be avoided if they can be?
  • Of course any infarctions should be addressed in private with love. However, we can't excuse or condone any person, priest or bishop, who justifies the introduction of charismatic praise. It is not doing the best with what they have. They have Coptic hymns that are free from offense. They will do the best when they use traditional praise. There is plenty of it and we don't need to introduce heretical music under any circumstances. 

    There is plenty of evidence from mission priests and servants on Youtube and the internet that consistently use charismatic praise. There is no point in discussing it. It is and will always be wrong. And out of love, we say that anyone who is using it for liturgical use should understand the gravity of the error. 
  • edited July 2014
    Rem but even if they do they don't do in the liturgy right? And they do sing all the Coptic hymns and they make hammel and all the things that every other Coptic Orthodox Church does. Like one of the websites says about hymns: "All hymns will be adjusted to the original Coptic hymnology/melody as much as possible". So they're learning Coptic Hymn Theology with the tunes right?

    Maybe they are using these other methods to speak to those who only know those methods (ie evangelicals) so that they can know more about the Church? Or maybe they are trying to communicate our Church teachings gradually to the evangelicals? 

     EsmoEpchois asked something earlier in the thread, what if the Abounas didn't know? That's possible no? I think our Abounas have probably reviewed these things and again they are allowing it so there must be some wisdom and reason and synod approves (and HH Pope Shenouda III was also overseeing the mission Churches and there was no issue). 

    Maybe the mission churches are seeing something that many are missing? Or maybe they're doing enough correcting so that even if the other sources and methods are used, the Coptic hymns are protecting and teaching theology to them. 

     If only someone could comment on what actually goes on at ground level at the mission churches...
  • edited July 2014
    Here are some videos that one of the Mission Churches have put online about what they do:

  • edited July 2014
    Dear Rem,

    I just purchased "Flesh of Our Brethren" by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim.  I'll look through to see what it says, but my impression was not a schism, but simply that, a loss of communication, that is, they forgot that other existed.  Now, to be quite honest, one can guess that with the Ottoman turks in the area at that time, and WWI just around the corner, there was a lot of problems that seemed to have lead to this loss of communication.  But that's my educated guess.  The point is there was no deliberate schism between the two.  It seemed also that HH Pope Shenouda took active interest, and the Syrian Orthodox Church did not seem to mind as well. 

    The other issue I wanted to point out is Apostolic succession.  While we can talk about different Apostles in succession between the Syrian and Coptic Churches, I think one can argue theologically, wherever the succession comes from, it's the same grace, whether it be Peter, or Mark, or Thaddeus, or Thomas, etc.  The point is not so much "who has rights" over Britain, but to pray that the future of Britain is in good Orthodox hands, with good pastoral spirit (and judging by the works done, I believe HE Metropolitan Seraphim deserves commendation).  It seems to me the first Orthodox Church established in the land.  Furthermore, we also as Copts are not just successors of St. Mark, but in some ways also successors of St. Jacob Baradaeus, who was given authority by St. Theodosius to consecrate bishops, even though he was technically under authority of the Syrian patriarch.  It's as if HG Bishop Raphael went all over Iraq to consecrate bishops for the Syrian Church.  That doesn't mean they're no longer successors of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

    Let's say for instance, with all the problems going on in Syria, a huge Syrian Orthodox community moves in Egypt.  And now perhaps a majority of Syrian Christians live in certain villages overlapping with a Coptic diocese.  The Coptic bishop has been very accommodating, encouraging the group to pray Syrian liturgies in their churches, and some have been built successfully.  But now, they want their own bishop in that same diocese, a Syrian bishop.  What would be feasible?  To have a Syrian bishop under the auspices of the Coptic Church, or to have a Syrian bishop under the Syrian Church?  What about the present Coptic bishop, who has been nothing but accommodating for their cultural needs?  I think the situation is a little strange given that we could never imagine any part of Egypt becoming a new Syrian Orthodox diocese.  It would feel somewhat intrusive for some.  After all, it caused a temporary schism with the Syrian Church when the Coptic Church installed a bishop in Jerusalem.

    But we seem to have lost the sense of geographical integrity, especially written in our canon laws.  Now we have dioceses by race and theoretical dioceses by vocation or service.  I believe this is what leads people to create the false dichotomy of mission church and cultural church.  On the one hand, culture becomes part of the faith for some, and thus to be not tampered with.  On the other hand, evangelism or service seems to be desired to those of another culture.

    At the same time, I also recognize the fact that we have a very new situation in the 19th to 21st centuries, the issue of immigration to lands of the West, where no Orthodox Church is established.  And so, perhaps, we could live out temporarily a racial divide of dioceses, in hopes that generations later we unite into one group.  St. Paul recognized this divide between Jewish and Gentile Christians, but he also fought so hard to have both groups united as much as possible, and in many ways undermined the strictness (or Kosherness) of Jewish Christian culture in many of his writings, such as the epistle to the Galatians or the Hebrews, and had to rebuke St. Peter for his fear to offend his Jewish compatriots.  I suppose one has to ask, when is culture something permitted to occur as a concession to serve those in need, and when it is used as a source of division to stay away from the others of the same faith while in the same geographical area?  While this may not be a problem in many minds of OOs today, I feel eventually it will slowly creep up.  Many people already grow up with this idea, that among all the OO churches, the "Coptic way" is the most Apostolic and "most Orthodox" way.  I find that very insulting, and it is perhaps this attitude that lead many to build some of these mission churches, where some of the priests, who while having good intentions, end up practicing things within the liturgy as well as teach certain things that are unacceptable.
  • Also to #4, what if the mission churches that sometimes use other sources and methods outside the liturgy, also only use source material or methods that don't contradict Church teaching?

    Like what if they sing praise songs that are perfectly biblical and quote the psalms? Don't all praise and worship songs essentially talk about our Lord Christ, or the Holy Spirit or the Holy Trinity? They don't say Coptic Orthodox Church is bad or become Protestant. They also don't use any theological words or like say anything about Theotokos being Mother of Christ instead of Mother of God, so they cant be Nestorian.

    If these songs are so so bad then where is the proof that they make people protestant or that they teach bad things? They don't say sacraments are bad in those songs. They're just a way that people in North America worship in the culture right?

    Maybe the abounas have reviewed these songs and found them compatible with Church teaching, just like the sermons that are borrowed from other sources. Again if the abounas are using them, they are probably safe stuff cause the Abounas have been blessed to understand and teach. All the mission churches also have bible studies so they're encouraging people to know the Church teaching from all angles.

    Also our Bishops visit the churches and they seem to have no issues.
  • Those are good points minasoliman
  • cyril,
    i was also assuming the hymns are sung in a language people understand (most of the time).

    as for the situation with bishops and overlapping jurisdictions in the uk, baba tawadros has got it in hand and will (probably soon) reorganise the bishops, as happened recently in france.
    please pray for us, as no one wants 'my' bishop moved, but it may have to happen, it seems to make logical sense.

    i have been blessed to meet all 4 bishops several times, and 2 of them many times, so i can assure you they are all working hard to spread God's love.
    all of them are keen to spread the Christian orthodox faith with those outside the church.
    all of them are really lovely people.
    metropolitan seraphim was reordained 20 years ago by baba shenouda, so there is not a problem with succession.

    about non orthodox songs, yes, some of them are fine, but you really have to carefully check the theology before using them. we don't want to sing about 'my mate' Jesus, or to imply that 'God is on my side' instead of 'we are on God's side'.
    may God guide all of you, it is good to see so much zeal for reaching those outside the church
  • HG Bishop Angelos is more than welcome to be bishop of NJ.  I hope no one in NJ objects ;)
  • edited September 2014

    Okay, typing in these new forums is frankly a pain, but I've decided that I can't remain silent on this thread.  Some things said here simply need to be addressed.  This is a very important topic.  Orthodox mission is something we must be engaged in.  It is a mandate from Our Lord.  That said, we must make sure that we are approaching mission from an Orthodox perspective.   Incorporating Protestant songs and tracts into the life of our Church is not mission, but rather working against the Church.  It is giving the youth poison to drink instead of milk.   As I have said, I do not like the new format here, so I won't be posting often, but some issues were raised in this thread that cannot be left unaddressed or left to stand as if they are possibly correct.  There can be no incorporation of Evangelical or Charismatic songs or materials into the life of our Church moving forward.  An "Evangelical-influenced Coptic Orthodox Church" is oxymoronic.  Once a church is Evangelical-influenced, it ceases to be Orthodox.

  • edited September 2014

    "The aim of mission can't be anything less than the deification, unification and reconciliation of all churches and the whole world into the unity of the measure and the stature of the fullness of Christ. It is not humanization or socialization but divinization, which is social transformation in the model of Holy Trinity, which may be called Trinification. The aim of mission is not only Theosis but along with it the establishment of the Kingdom of God.”

    With all respect to Sayedna, the “unification and reconciliation of all churches” can only mean universal conversion to Orthodoxy.  It cannot mean that Protestants remain Protestants and we are somehow still united  and reconciled with them despite a lack of real unity in faith and practice.  If Sayedna is suggesting that we can somehow achieve "unification" with other Christians without them rejecting and renouncing the errors that separate them from Orthodoxy, than Sayedna is wrong. 

    As Fr. Georges Florovsky said:

    "I believe that the church in which I was baptized and brought up ‘is’ in very truth ‘the Church’, i.e. ‘the true’ Church and the ‘only’ true Church . . . I am therefore compelled to regard all other Christian churches as deficient, and in many cases can identify these deficiencies accurately enough. Therefore, for me, Christian reunion is simply universal conversion to Orthodoxy. I have no confessional loyalty; my loyalty belongs solely to the ‘Una Sancta’."


    The Orthodox Church has always made the Faith incarnate in the culture they were serving, but adopting Protestant writings and modes of worship is not doing that.  Rather, it is accepting Protestant theology manifested in their worship practices.  Do-called “praise & worship” songs are actually nothing more than musical manifestations of Charismatic and Evangelical Protestant theology, contrary and alien to the Orthodox Tradition “once delivered for all the saints” (St. Jude 1:3).  These songs are foreign to Orthodoxy not merely in terms of lyrical content, but more importantly, in terms of their approach to worship.  They are the musical equivalent of wearing a tube-top and biker shorts to church.  They are not an appropriate way to approach God.  It is not merely the lyrics (since one might argue, “What about lyrics that come directly from the Bible?”) but the mode of worship itself.

    See here: http://returntoorthodoxy.com/orthodox-church-america-orthodox-worship-vs-contemporary-worship/


  • edited September 2014

    His Grace Bishop David speaks(/spoke at a retreat) very highly of Fr. Anthony, and I think that's enough confirmation for me that what he's doing is fine.

    The problem with Abouna Antony Messeh is that he is backed by some Bishops. While Anba Suriel took the great and diligent work of his office to heart and stood against his use of heterodox sources, Bishop David has been quoted as saying, "Those who have a problem with Abouna Antony are jealous because they cannot do what he does... He always takes my permission and advice."

    I have likewise heard this rumor, so I decided to call H.G. Anba David and ask him about it.  I was blessed to take an appointment with His Grace and ask him if he endorsed the use of Rick Warren books in our Church, the use of Protestant so-called “praise & worship” hymns, et cetera.  His Grace said “No.  Of course not.”  So, we looked at some videos I had of this sort of thing.  His Grace said, “These people need to be taught”.  His Grace does not endorse the incorporation of Protestantism into the life of our Church.  I think the problem is, the bishops can’t be present 100% of the time, and so they don’t get the whole picture.  Think about how far away H.G. Anba David is for example from the churches you are referencing in these posts.  Once H.H. Pope Tawadros enthrones regular bishops to oversee these areas, this sort of thing will have to stop.  I kindly direct your attention to the following videos in which H.G. Anba David makes it clear that he does not support the use of Protestant songs or materials in our Church.




    The poster enumerating the so-called “Modern Fathers of the Orthodox Church” (a bunch of Evangelicals) was a joke of course, but its implications made me sick.  The fact that any Coptic priest could be inspired by – or aspire for his congregation to be – like Saddleback Church or Hillsong – is disgusting and wrong.  It is rooted in a lack of appreciation for the depth of Orthodoxy and a misunderstanding of ecclesiology.  Protestantism is not part of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” spoken of in the creed.

  • edited September 2014

    It is sometimes tragic that we haven't been inspired by the missionary work of the other Orthodox (Eastern and Oriental) and Roman Catholics in the same way that we have with other sources.

     We shouldn’t be inspired by the “other sources” at all.  We shouldn’t be quoting Church Fathers contemporary Orthodox theologians alongside Max Lucado and Rick Warren – as if both are valid sources for our illumination – but rather the former to the exclusion of the latter.  We cannot subsist on a diet of good food AND poison, and Evangelicalism is poison.

    The ONE Conference? It's such a wonderful initiative. I hope it didn't scare the sister Churches.

    Actually, Mina is right.  It did, as did the “praise and worship” bands.  There are some Coptic and Indian servants who have taken on these practices, but they are universally condemned by our other sister churches.  Even their “theme song” is a song from the Charismatic Movement, and I don’t think they understand its origins or implications.  It is a call for the “spirit” which motivates the Charismatic Movement (which is not the Holy Spirit, but something else) to “sweep over” and unite all churches.  What is this spirit and what is its motive?


    Orthodox unity is a “wonderful initiative”, but Orthodox unity cannot be achieved in tandem with Protestant influence.  It is not only the Oriental Orthodox sister churches who were taken aback, as Mina has noted, but also the Eastern Orthodox from St. Vladimir’s seminary.  There were many interesting conversations about both the content of the sermon and the Protestant songs that were sung afterwards.  It is also noteworthy that the Protestant songs were sung before His Grace Anba David arrived and he was not aware that this had taken place.  It is also noteworthy that the Coptic youth were not 100% pleased with the Protestant influence either.  The idea that all of our youth love “praise & worship” and “Purpose Driven Life” is not true.  There are many who love Orthodoxy instead, and yes, the two are mutually exclusive.

    The bottom line is, this cannot be a part of our Church moving forward.  We are not Anglicanism, and there cannot and will not be “high church” Orthodoxy and “low church” Orthodoxy within the Coptic Church, where if you like “praise & worship” and Rick Warren books you can go to a “mission church” and if you like tasbeha and “traditional worship” you can go to a “traditional church”.  Contextualizing Orthodoxy in the West does not mean accepting Evangelical influence.

  • edited September 2014

    That makes sense but I feel like a lot of lectures I/we hear can appease any religion? If it can appease most religions, is that bad/non-orthodox?

    Yes.  Our job is not to appease people and make them comfortable where they are, but rather to lead them to the light and the fullness of the truth.  That is what missionary work is all about.  If we are simply to appease people, we are not winning them for Christ at all, but leaving them in their errors.  Such actions wear the mask of love, but are not truly representative of love. It is like smiling and waving at someone sitting on the train tracks because you don’t want to be mean and tell them they’d better move.

    What if the "Where then is Christ in all this? Where is the Eucharist?..." is supposed to be done on a personal level? What if he meant like here's how you know someone and it's up to you to apply that to Christ and so on?

    Why would it not be appropriate to make such declarations unequivocally?

    Final thought: What if he doesn't know he's preaching in a protestant manner? I am starting to see that most of the teachings I have heard are protestanty in a way and I'm just starting to differentiate between a protestant sermon and orthodox sermon. So what if most of what he was taught growing up was protestanty and he's just reteaching what he learned the wrong way?

    I agree.  He needs to be taught.  That is all.  This isn’t about condemning an individual, it is about correcting the teaching and the behavior.  We can’t have a generation of youth growing up thinking that they can draw inspiration from Joel Osteen and Rick Warren as well as from St. Cyril and St. Athanasius, or that the Orthodox Church is just another “denomination” within Christianity along with the Protestants, et cetera.

  • edited September 2014

    Hi everyone, since this thread is about mission, does it really matter what material what our Abounas use or base their sermons on?

    Yes, it absolutely does.  This is like saying, “Does it matter if I make my baby’s formula from milk or bleach?  After all, they are both liquids”.  We have to have a correct view of Evangelical Protestantism for what it is.  It is not “another branch of Christianity” that can be incorporated into the life of our Church.  It is heresy and contrary to our teaching.

    If the end goal is to bring people to Christ and show them that they can have a personal relationship with God does it matter what means we use?

    Yes, you cannot lead someone to Christ – who is Truth – through lies and falsehood.  Evangelicalism is falsehood and its teachings are lies.  Their anthropocentric “worship” is not an acceptable offering of worship to God.  It is not cultural, but rather rooted in heretical theology.

  • edited September 2014
    Our saintly Pope Demetrius II of Alexandria made this clear. 
    What about people who might feel Orthodox Church too heavy shouldn't we make it more accessible for them so that they can be in the Church then get deeper when they're ready?
     We’ll let Fr. Dawoud Lamie answer this question.

  • edited September 2014
    Doesn't all that extra teaching just get in the way of a personal relationship?

    Please, let’s not pretend that Evangelical Protestantism is merely “simple teaching”.  There is a difference between starting someone off with simple teaching rooted in Orthodoxy before moving them on to complex theology and between feeding them on Protestantism.  We can feed babies on milk before giving them steak, but not gasoline.  Evangelical Protestatism is not a gateway to Christ and Orthodoxy, but a gateway to Satan and Hell.  If we want to start the people with simple Orthodox teaching, fine, but that does not involve bringing Protestant tracts and songs into the life of our Church.  The Antiochians have some wonderful introductory materials we could utilize if we are too lazy or ignorant to create our own.  We don’t have to pick the poison berries from the Protestant’s bush.
  • edited September 2014

    Also these sermons are popular so isn't that expanding the influence of our Church?

    No, it is expanding the influence of the Protestants these priests are influenced by within our Church.

    Like our youth like this stuff and stay in the church and are more likely to suggest these sermons with their nonOrthodox friends.

    What good does it do to keep our youth in the Church or have them invite their friends if the Church is no longer teaching and feeding them with Orthodoxy?  And, if I am an Evangelical Protestant, why should I come to an Orthodox Church that is doing a poor imitation of what my church does well?  Why not just stay where I am?
  • edited September 2014

    Also do people really need to know all the terms and big orthodox words to be saved? Isn't it more important that the sermons be practical and personal rather than technical and theological?

    We shouldn’t draw a false dichotomy between the study of theology and a simple life of prayer and fasting.  We can teach those who need it in simple terms without brining heterodoxy into the equation.

    Like we're not a university so we don't really need all that high theology which just makes things complicated. We didnt have abounas in the past with theological phds and we survived so many years so we dont need to have theological abounas today.

    His Holiness Pope St. Kyrillos was a simple man, but he was thoroughly Orthodox.  The same with St. Abdelmessih al-Habashy.  A theologian is one who prays, and the way we approach God when we pray is a reflection of our theology.  Teaching the people in simple terms doesn’t mean bringing them the poison of Rick Warren, Max Lucado, Joel Osteen and company.

This discussion has been closed.