What I Did This Week

This week, I assisted at the historic Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America, the first such meeting in more than two centuries of Orthodox Christian presence on this continent. To read my impressions of the event, see these two posts from the OrthodoxHistory.org website:

Comments

  1. Brad Ward says

    The resistance to this effort among some Orthodox is striking (from this non-Orthodox observer’s perspective). I’ve read a lot lately from folks who seem to take a more ‘Vatican’ approach to ecumenism: “Unity is what happens when you believe exactly what I do.” In the context of this specific meeting, it boils down to “This Archbishop good. This Metropolitan bad. This Metropolitan good. This Archbishop bad.”, a perspective that sort of reminds me of the same kind of judgment we as Americans feel empowered to pass down from the thrones of our La-Z-Boys.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with their general dislikes and arguments. I can understand and sympathize with wanting to preserve the ‘purity’ of the faith, but as an outsider it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that these folks are seemingly (or explicitly) against ecumenism and evangelization, yet they don’t seem to realize the Orthodox church will go Dodo-bird without new members.

    Anecdotally, I would know next-to-nothing about Orthodoxy if it weren’t for Ancient Faith Radio. I was looking for good music one day and did a Google search for ‘sacred music’. Before that, I felt intimidated by seemingly over-serious Orthodox clergy and was bogged down by Protestant misconceptions. Now I see the absolute beauty of God as expressed by Orthodoxy. I’d like to think that, if I joined an Orthodox congregation, I wouldn’t want it to become something we see on TBN and I’d hope others would give me the benefit of that doubt. Yet there are folks out there who seem absolutely convinced that AFR, OCN, and FOTF take the church to just this side of Benny Hinn or Joel Osteen.

    Is that sentiment common among Orthodox? Or is it just a very vocal minority?

    • Fr. Andrew says

      My experience is that it is a very small minority. Yes, there are some things that are off-track and need fixing, but that will work itself out in time. Most Orthodox Christians have never even heard of these cynics and thus pay them no heed.

      As for the purity of the faith, that is precisely what brings us together in unity and love. True purity is not about exclusiveness but about inviting all into unity with the one Christ. That involves true doctrine and true worship, but not used in such a way as to violate love. Anyway, true love always includes true doctrine and true worship (else is it delusion). Anyone who is authentically living the faith in its purity will always be evangelistic.

      As for the EA, ignore the partisan silliness on the Internet. Right now, at least, from what I actually saw, that sort of thing isn’t really under consideration there. They’re just working together, doing what has to be done. I’m quite optimistic.

  2. says

    Father Andrew!

    Many thanks for what you wrote to fill us in as best you could on what went on. It was encouraging to hear even for me, an un-crismated fellow!

    I also wanted to thank you for the latest installment of the Roads to Emmaus Podcast. It was beautifully done. May it bless the ears, hearts and minds of many.

    Bless you Father, and I ask also for your blessings!

    Yours in Christ,
    -g-

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