Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Speaker didn't reflect the church's views
4 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2010 - 8:39PM #1
Kerygma
Posts: 798

by: GEORGE C. MICHALOPULOS Saturday, July 24, 2010
7/24/2010 7:31:53 AM


Recently, the Tulsa Interfaith Council sponsored an appearance by Frank
Schaeffer. I had the pleasure of attending one of Frank's lectures. As
a fellow Orthodox Christian it's always good to see Frank. Whether you
agree with him or not, you know you're in for a good and lively debate.


Personally, I've always considered him a friend and still do. (Regina
Orthodox Press, which is owned by Frank, published a book I wrote.)
Having said that, I was disheartened by much of what I heard. I fear
that some of his statements may have been injurious to many people; at
the very least some might think that because of his fame, as an author,
lecturer, and television commentator, he represents the views of the
Orthodox Church.


Like many prominent speakers and authors, Frank's journey has taken him
to some interesting places. Formerly a stalwart of the religious right,
Frank has now become a pillar of the secularist left. That is certainly
his right. Every man is entitled to his own opinions but not his own
facts.


Much of what he asserted was, to put it mildly, arguable. Possibly the
most egregious thing I heard Frank say was "that Evangelical Christians
were more sinister than the Taliban."


Quite simply, this is a gratuitous assertion, one having no basis in
reality. It was sheer bigotry, pure and simple. If anybody on the right
said that about a minority group, he'd be condemned, and rightly so. (I
for one have yet to find one instance of Evangelicals stoning
homosexuals or forcing women into burqas.)


In addition, Frank equivocated as to whether he was pro-life and
justified his ambivalence by questioning the bona fides of many
pro-life leaders.


Finally, he questioned the political acumen of those who are
traditional and culturally conservative.


My purpose here is to state clearly and without equivocation that Frank
does not speak for the Orthodox Church. Neither do I — only bishops
sitting in council can do that.


Nevertheless, in the interest of clearing up any misconceptions, it can
be stated that there are a few givens about Orthodoxy.


First of all, the Orthodox Church is evangelical. We are called to
fulfill the Great Commission. In addition, many of our bishops and
clergy have come to us from the Evangelical tradition. Our parishes
have been enriched with the presence of Evangelicals and their deep
commitment to the Gospel.


Secondly, the Orthodox Church is committed to the pro-life cause. It is
a pro-life church, period. Thirdly, Orthodox Christians are, broadly
speaking, culturally conservative. All are welcomed, regardless of
their condition or their past.


We are taught as part of our penitential journey to judge nobody but
ourselves. Our fidelity to the Gospel however prevents us from
conforming to the spirit of the age. While we cannot be pigeonholed
into any one political party, our concerns regarding cultural (not
political) issues are informed by the Christian tradition that has been
consistent to the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the very founding of the
Christian church itself.


In a free society we should welcome open and honest debate. I mean no
disrespect to Frank or those Christians who agree with him. But I just
wanted to set the record straight.


______________
George C. Michalopulos is a layman in the Orthodox Church and serves as
the Orthodox liaison to the annual Tulsa MarchforLife. He is a
contributing editor to the American Orthodox Institute
(www.aoiusa.org), the largest on-line Orthodox forum of matters
relating to Christianity and Culture. He is a member of Holy Apostles
Orthodox Christian Church in Bixby.


www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/article.aspx?...
100724_65_A21_Recent320461

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jul 26, 2010 - 4:07PM #2
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689

Poor Frankie. I don't know what's got into him. Do you think he craves celebrity or notoriety at any cost?

“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2010 - 12:53AM #3
Kerygma
Posts: 798



I honestly don't know. I've read many of his books and watched his videos. When I read Crazy for God, particularly the last chapter, I became concerned that he was leaving the tracks as it were. He appears to need a cause... something about which to be passionate.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jul 27, 2010 - 4:41PM #4
Prajna
Posts: 1,705

I have never heard of this person before.  So if I don't know him he can't be all that famous Tongue out

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jul 30, 2010 - 2:51PM #5
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689

Jul 27, 2010 -- 4:41PM, Prajna wrote:


I have never heard of this person before.  So if I don't know him he can't be all that famous Tongue out





I never did either, before I became Orthodox. But apparently his father, Francis, was a rock star in Evangelical circles.

“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Jul 30, 2010 - 4:32PM #6
Kerygma
Posts: 798

Google is your friend. Wink

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2010 - 10:48AM #7
Kerygma
Posts: 798

Great analysis. I agree and hope as well that Frank can find his way back.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 10:13AM #8
Xapisma
Posts: 155

Frances Shaeffer wrote a rebuttal to Spong's The Silence of God back in the 70s. The title, IIRC was He is Here, and He is not Silent.


BTW, I am Campbellite, re-incarnated. B'Net messed up my password access and the PTBs were stumped trying to fix it.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2010 - 11:25PM #9
SeraphimR
Posts: 9,539

Sep 10, 2010 -- 10:13AM, Xapisma wrote:


Frances Shaeffer wrote a rebuttal to Spong's The Silence of God back in the 70s. The title, IIRC was He is Here, and He is not Silent .


BTW, I am Campbellite, re-incarnated. B'Net messed up my password access and the PTBs were stumped trying to fix it.




Welcome back!  Its good to see you again.


And you seem to have grown younger.


 

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2011 - 6:36AM #10
mephodie
Posts: 11

I did not hear Frank's talk so can only comment on George's interpretation of it.  I wonder what Frank would have said if George had asked him to elaborate on any comment that may have referred to evangelicals as sinister?  Believe we all know that Frank is well aware that the Orthodox Catholic Church is evangelical.  Believe it is obvious that he must have been referring to ultra right Protestant Evangelicals of which we can all name a lot of examples.  Pat Robertson and his ilk have come close to calling for the death of homosexuals.  Laws to kill homosexuals [prompted by ultra right American Protestant Evangelicals] have been been proposed in Kenya and several other African nations.  Frank's comments about some of these far right Protestant Evangelicals were probably "right on".


George's comment on Frank's pro-life views did not clarify exactly what Frank said.  I have heard Frank talk previously at an Orthodox Catholic parish in Virginia and his comments there were strongly pro-life, from conception to natural death.  Some right wing Publicans I know say they are "pro-life" but they storngly most support executing people, even for non-murder type crimes.  That is really not being fully "pro-life".


  As far as any comment Frank made about the political acuity of traditional and culturally conservative Orthodox Catholics I fully agree with him.  Such comments, of course, were purely political.  We all know that Frank is fully aware that Christ's body, the Orthodox Catholic Church, does not exclude anyone based on political party affiliation, or on how politically knowledgeable or aware they are.


I doubt that Frank intended to speak for the Orthodox Catholic Church, or thought that his comments would have to be limited to the Orthodox faith and he would not be allowed to make any political comments.  His views may have represented many in the left of Orthodox Catholic faith but they were certainly grounded in his faith.  Many Orthodox would say the term "secular" would be more appropriately used to describe some of the ultra right wing views of adherents of the faith.  Frank probably speaks [politically] for a significant portion of our faith if not a majority.


html_removed
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook