A Little Administrative Reminder

Just a few comments about comments: I have changed internet mail servers and now sometimes comments take several days to reach my inbox. Sometimes the WordPress programme that Ancient Faith has set up for my blog sends a legitimate comment into the spam folder, and I do not see it at all unless I go rooting through the collected spam and retrieve it. Given that I have a real job in running a parish, the unpaid work of blogging and rooting through spam folders of necessity must sometimes wait in line until I have time to do it.

My policy is to post all comments, provided that they are 1) concise; 2) on topic, and 3) civil.

If a comment is not concise to the point where its length rivals that of the original post, it will not be posted. The comment may be wonderful and valuable, but its proper place is on your own blog, not the comments section of mine. It is not possible to adequately respond to comments of that length, and such response is whole point of the comments section.

If a comment is off topic because my post triggered something in you and you feel compelled to express yourself, that is fine, but once again, the proper place for it is your own blog. The comment section of any blog is set up to allow for clarification, debate, and elaboration of the original post. Hobby horses must be ridden elsewhere.

If a comment is rude or uncivil it will not be posted. Logging on to a blog’s comments section is a bit like entering someone’s home, and no sane person would allow a stranger to enter their home for the sole purpose of abusing, denouncing, or insulting them. If my blog post leads you to conclude that I am evil, dangerous, heretical, or generally terrible, please feel free to say so on your own blog.

Like other clergy blogging on Ancient Faith, my blog posts are a part of my preaching ministry. We do not blog out of a desire to pontificate or as a form of therapy, but because we are clergy and clergy are required by their office to teach. Comments on the blog are therefore like comments in the church hall over coffee after Liturgy: I am happy to hear feedback from my sermon, and happy to receive comments on my blog post. Both allow me the opportunity to interact with thoughtful people I care about and to correct misunderstandings in what I meant to say.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for caring about everyone as much as you do! For years I have been so thankful for the many Orthodox Priests such as you who do everything you can to help us “not to achieve salvation, but to bring heart, soul, mind and body into harmony with the ineffable gift of salvation that Christ has already offered to us.”
    https://www.oca.org/reflections/fr.-john-breck/salvation-is-indeed-by-grace

    Please continue to correct us in any of OUR mis-understandings.

    1. Alas, it seems to be a technical problem. I am now routinely checking my spam folder to catch things which have gone astray.

  2. Fr. Farley,

    I understand. I send my Priest quite lengthy thoughts on various things and I know he doesn’t have the time to respond – and I fully understand. The Orthodox Priest’s schedule is not like it is many Protestant churches – not that they don’t put in many unappreciated hours. But, while I might like to have my own blog, my real intent is to interact with clergy to check my thoughts – hopefully to have them corrected when necessary – and to also, I can’t help it, to add what I see is a missing part of our apologetic.

    I forget your personal background but mine in Calvinism, in Reformed Protestantism, laid the ground for understanding the stark differences between Reformed/Evangelical thought and Orthodox Tradition. And since AFR speaks to so many converts who do not understand these differences, or who have demonized Protestantism, or who see Orthodoxy and Protestantism as basically compatible – this issue of right anthropology – which they don’t come to the table with – and I can’t help it but they are likely going to be the communicators of Orthodoxy to their families/co-workers/etc. more so than the ethnically Orthodox (for several reasons both understandable and not), it’s something I care very much that people see for the sake of evangelism, growth in holiness, embracing suffering, on and on. I see it and I can’t un-see it, and I am zealous that this be pointed out regularly. The source of so many errors is rooted in their false anthropology and Christology – whenever I see a post that doesn’t mention but wants to fix something related to this I can’t help but want to add something – but honestly I would rather not, I would rather that the Orthodox priests bring it up themselves – and this is why I interact. I want for the Orthodox Priests to get at the root of our thinking, to uproot false anthropology, and to lead us to theosis. I don’t believe it’s enough to lay out what Orthodox believe without also telling people that beliefs in conflict with Orthodox soteriology/anthropology are the source of confusion, error, heresy.

    But, in my experience, the Orthodox interaction with these issues is sort of to state where we come from and move on. Just check all popular introductions to Orthodoxy, they will mention we don’t believe in Original Sin and move on – like a sneeze or a blink. But this is the source of almost every difference in anthropology and soteriological error – and, since the audiences being addressed are Western mostly – and have been shaped by these same heresies – whether they reject them or not – they are part of our cultural conditioning – and whenever speaking to both those who reject this cultural/spiritual consciousness and those who embrace in full or in part – if they do not question this presupposition they will never fully understand Orthodoxy, never fully embrace our Holy Mother or the Saints, never fully embrace Holy Communion or Holy Baptism, never fully appreciate our Theology – because their underlying presupposition has confused them – and they either ignore this contradiction and keep acting Orthodox, see the two as mutually compatible, demonize the opposition without understanding the root, the secular attack Orthodox with the same reasoning they would attack Western theology, you can keep going – and what happens: our apologetic never gets going and there is every reason to believe it would lead many into the Church or deeper into the life of the Church.

    That’s my heart in all my comments across AFR, other than several donations of 2 unneeded cents.

    Thank you for all you do leading several of us along with our parish Priests,
    Matthew Lyon

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