Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Post Reply
Page 1 of 4  •  1 2 3 4 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Hello and Blessings.
8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 11:33PM #1
Deeproots
Posts: 26

Hello friends.


I hope to really dig in here to learn more about Orthodoxy.  I'll get more into where I stand in future posts.  But i have a question that, in fact, was the primary reason I signed up for an account. 


My transition from typical American Evangelicalism (NOT something I identify with anymore) has taken me through Christian Anarchist thought--in commonality with Tolstoy, Kierkegaard, Dorothy Day, Quakerism, and anabaptist social thought.  For a while there, I really thought God was leading my toward the mennonite or quaker traditions.  I should stop here and emphasize the fact that I'm not looking for a tradition to "suit me."  I want truth, and found American Evangelicalism to be lacking in every single way--except perhaps in zeal.  God has taken me on this journey.


I have been drawn to the Orthodox Church (and to be fair, also the Roman Catholic Church...yeah I'm trying to work it out...) in the last year and a half.  Seriously and profoundly drawn.  I'm not gonna get into all of that right now, because it's not the point of my question.


 


Here's the point.  Has there been any writing done--any theological synthesis made-- between true Orthodox practice and belief and the political and social philosophy of anabaptist traditions or anarchism?


 


Am I making sense?  Thank you.


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 8:58AM #2
anyuta64
Posts: 1,536

Welcome!


 


I don't know of any such theological analysis. Obviously there are some very fundemental differences between the anabaptist faiths and Orthodoxy.  However, I did read about an Old Order Amish man who with great thrught and study, did convert to Orthodoxy, while retaining a large part of his Anabaptis lifestyle (although not all of it, obviously).  I realise that's not exactly what you are asking, but it seems to me that he presumably was able to, at least to his own satisfaction, make this analysis. 


also, some of the "old believers" lifestyle is very similar in many ways to that of the Amish. While these old believers are clearly not "orthodox" Orthodox (they separated from the Chruch centuries ago), many of their beliefs and practices are still Orthodox, and others clealry stem from their orthodox roots. They have been influenced by the reformation, to varying degrees (some Old believers have been recognises as fully Orthodox, others really not at all). Still, something for you to perhaps look at in your search (not recommending you become Old believer.. rather that some of the issus you are looking at may be addressed one way or another.


in the end, though, I think you run into the fundemental difference.. the anabaptist would reject absolutely much of what we ORthodox (and Catholics as well) hold to be the core of our faith.

Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.

NOTE: This post is a natural product. The sleight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual charicter and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.
Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 10:13AM #3
Kerygma
Posts: 798

Jan 13, 2010 -- 11:33PM, Deeproots wrote:


 


Here's the point.  Has there been any writing done--any theological synthesis made-- between true Orthodox practice and belief and the political and social philosophy of anabaptist traditions or anarchism?


 


Am I making sense?  Thank you.


 




 


Welcome to this dead forum. Sorry for so few answers but most of our Orthodox members have long since left this forum. Anyway... I'd guess that most of us don't have much knowledge of anabaptists and their beliefs so why not outline for us what the anabaptists believe in terms of political and social philosophy and perhaps we can give an answer to your question.

Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 10:22AM #4
Prajna
Posts: 1,705

Deeproots,


I wish that I knew more of the areas of which you were identifying and trying to compare but alas I do not.  


But I have a suggestion for a website that you could look over and see if that helps you any:


orthodoxyinamerica.org/about_orthodoxy.h...


I'd also suggest maybe browsing over these two sites:


www.antiochian.org/discoverorthodoxchris...


www.oca.org/OCIndex.asp?SID=2


I am returning to the Orthodox Church after far to long an absence which lead me to nothing but disaster (in the Roman Church).


There is a site that is where most of Orthodox people gather and it's OrthodoxCircle.com  Maybe you could try it out.  It's a weird process to get into.  If  you have question feel free to post them on here.  


IC XC


NI KA

Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 12:02PM #5
Kerygma
Posts: 798

Good to hear you're coming home, Prajna. Smile

Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 3:25PM #6
Deeproots
Posts: 26

I do not wish to become a part of the Church without fully committing to it.  I don't want to bend or compromise the teachings of the Orthodox Church in order to fashion it to my will.  This is why I ask these questions.


As I'm working, I can't really get too detailed, but here are some scattershot things I'm talking about:


 


-I am a dedicated pacifist.  This comes from my reading of the Gospels, as well as the teaching of the Early Church Fathers and others in the Patristic age...  Though I recognize the importance of St. Augustine and regard him as the Church does as a saint, I am inherently suspicious of his teachings on War.  His teachings have been the groundwork in many ways for what I might call and unholy alliance between the Church and the Empire.


-I'm drawn to Tolstoyan anarchism, which is basically modeled on the Sermon on the Mount.  This means living at peace with the Empires of the World, while not pledging allegiance to them or acknowledging their power over the believer beyond that which constitutes "give to Caesar what is Caesars."  This means not pledging allegiance to the US, refusing to hold the flag in honor, refusing military conscription and value, etc...


-My primary issue with the Orthodox Church (I love Ancient Faith radio and listen to it constantly) as I've heard it taught it is the borderline "comfortable" relationship with certain social and political philosophies.  The thing that initially caused me to have a wandering eye where I was (Evangelicalism) was this same thing:  I got tired of the American Church being a political arm of the Republican party (patriotic, pro-war, conservative on social issues, pro-death penalty...).  This was the beginning of my journey of faith.  But the more I listen to Orthodox teachers, the more I realize that many Orthodox contain the same philosophies, but wrapped up in a different (if more theologically astute) package.  This has been disconcerting.


-I'm aware that, as in any faith tradition, there are different views within.  The difference is, at least in Evangelicalism, dissent is not met with as harshly as in the Orthodox (or Catholic) tradition.

Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 3:30PM #7
Deeproots
Posts: 26

Jan 14, 2010 -- 8:58AM, anyuta64 wrote:


in the end, though, I think you run into the fundemental difference.. the anabaptist would reject absolutely much of what we ORthodox (and Catholics as well) hold to be the core of our faith.




agreed.  My THEOLOGY is not so much anabaptist.  They place very little emphasis on history and tradition.  I see this as a major problem, and the cause of many faulty and errant doctrines.


 


Where I see them as wise, is in their suspicion of the direction of the Church post-Edict of Milan, meaning the marriage of Church and State.  The Church got a taste of political power and, instead of turning hearts and minds to Christ, began forcing conversion.  This "force" has changed from the sword to legislation and political influence.  I'm uncomfortable with this marriage.

Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 6:37PM #8
anyuta64
Posts: 1,536

Jan 14, 2010 -- 3:25PM, Deeproots wrote:


I do not wish to become a part of the Church without fully committing to it.  I don't want to bend or compromise the teachings of the Orthodox Church in order to fashion it to my will.  This is why I ask these questions.


I can certainly respect that! However, if you are looking for the Chruch to have specific pronouncmments/ rules about every aspect of llife, then no, Orthodoxy will not do that for you.  While there is a great deal that Orthdoxy does present as dogma (i.e. non negotiable), there is a great deal where the Chrurch is willing to say "we dont' know, there are opinions which are all equally good".  What's more, we tend to take an approach where some standards is set extremely high.. but is a goal rather than an absolute criterion (I'm not explaing that well).  What I mean is that rather than saying "here is the rule. Meet it or else" the Church tends to say "if you want to be perfect, here is the goal. strive for it. never give up striving for it... even though chances are you will never reach that perfection".


That makes some poele uncomfortable. they prefer to have a specific REACHABLE standard, beyond which they don't have to keep striving.   like a grading system of sorts. get an A and there is nothing higher. much of Orthodoxy is more like the horizon.. the closer you get to it, the farther away it gets (you have to keep moving towards it).


As I'm working, I can't really get too detailed, but here are some scattershot things I'm talking about:


 


-I am a dedicated pacifist.  This comes from my reading of the Gospels, as well as the teaching of the Early Church Fathers and others in the Patristic age...  Though I recognize the importance of St. Augustine and regard him as the Church does as a saint, I am inherently suspicious of his teachings on War.  His teachings have been the groundwork in many ways for what I might call and unholy alliance between the Church and the Empire.


I agree with you, and much of Orthodoxy does as well. However, Orthdooxy is not an absolute pacifist Chruch. it doesn't present the concept of "just war", but it does not forbid all war either. this is an example of what I tried to describe above: pure pacifics is perfection. we are not perfect. therefore.. wars happen.  some saints of the Chruch were wariors. 


-I'm drawn to Tolstoyan anarchism, which is basically modeled on the Sermon on the Mount.  This means living at peace with the Empires of the World, while not pledging allegiance to them or acknowledging their power over the believer beyond that which constitutes "give to Caesar what is Caesars."  This means not pledging allegiance to the US, refusing to hold the flag in honor, refusing military conscription and value, etc...


Orthodoxy generally would not fulfill your desires here. while this is probably not incompatable with Orthodoxy , it's certainly not the norm, and Orthodoxy has been comfortable working hand in hand with "Ceasar".  I'm not the best person to address this, as it has no particular relevance to me personally.


-My primary issue with the Orthodox Church (I love Ancient Faith radio and listen to it constantly) as I've heard it taught it is the borderline "comfortable" relationship with certain social and political philosophies.  The thing that initially caused me to have a wandering eye where I was (Evangelicalism) was this same thing:  I got tired of the American Church being a political arm of the Republican party (patriotic, pro-war, conservative on social issues, pro-death penalty...).  This was the beginning of my journey of faith.  But the more I listen to Orthodox teachers, the more I realize that many Orthodox contain the same philosophies, but wrapped up in a different (if more theologically astute) package.  This has been disconcerting.


That has not been my experience (although i'd say that it is true of SOME Orhtodox individuals and even teachers).  I think this is something which would have to be parsed out a bit more.  as a "liberal" (socially, politically etc) who is Orthdox, I imagine we may have many of the same concerns, and I have found a place in Orthodoxy (well.. I was here all along, but the same sorts of issues did nearly drive me away utnill I found that there were not universally representative of Orthdooxy). 


-I'm aware that, as in any faith tradition, there are different views within.  The difference is, at least in Evangelicalism, dissent is not met with as harshly as in the Orthodox (or Catholic) tradition.


I would disagree with this.  in my experience, dissent is met with very harshly within Evangeliccalism, and only rarely so in Orthodoxy (taken as a whole, and of course, depending on the issue, and with variation). 

Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.

NOTE: This post is a natural product. The sleight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual charicter and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.
Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 6:54PM #9
SeraphimR
Posts: 12,687

You should take your time getting aquainted with the Church.  Attend some (many) services in different parishes.  You shouldn't, in fact wouldn't be allowed to, commit without a long aquaintance.


You may find yourself maturing spiritually and changing your mind about certain things.

“So long as there is squalor in the world, those obsessed with social justice feel obliged not only to live in it themselves but also to spread it evenly.”

http://takimag.com/article/the_ugly_truth_theodore_dalrymple
Quick Reply
Cancel
8 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2010 - 8:51PM #10
Deeproots
Posts: 26

Anyuta--


 


Thank you for your response.  It was extremely helpful.  I realize my attempts at explaining myself were falling short in some respects, as they are bound to.  Your comments on politics and flexibility are encouraging.  You've given me much to chew on and I will.


For the record, I'm not looking for an A-to-Z faith.  Another thing that pushed me away from Evangelicalism was the "self-help" trend in that tradition.  No mystery.  No striving.  I'm perfectly comfortable (read: comfortably uncomfortable) with the process of theosis you describe.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 4  •  1 2 3 4 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook