Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Orthodox Church As Original Protestants?

If Roman Catholic attacks on the Church, coupled with a long polemical thread starring the usual anti-Orthodox suspects (one in particular) is your cup of tea then go here.  You will be in paradise.  Otherwise you can join me in just saying "no."

Time was when I used to enjoy these sorts of debates-arguments.  I even made a few (fairly weak) contributions of my own if you go back a few years on this blog's archives.  But to be honest, this sort of c--- bores me now.  Maybe it's a lack of charity.  Or maybe I have just grown up enough to realize that all of these endless "we are the Church and you are just a bunch of heretics/schismatics" online flame fests  have less relevance than the ongoing Anglican-Catholic dialogues.  Which is to say none at all.

If you're Catholic and want to be in communion with the Orthodox Church you can get there the same way I did.  If not, that's fine too.  God still loves you and we don't think you need to plan on being buried in an asbestos suit.

As for the usual suspects, I have gotten to where I no longer care if they like us or not.  Moving on.

HT: Owen White


Matushka Anna said...

*snort*..."asbestos suit"...love it.

I don't have the energy for this sort of thing anymore. Why go somewhere that destroys your peace?

Ingemar said...

Why the "Romanian Orthodox Church" tag?

You know what else bores me? These overly dramatic con/reversions. I'm beginning to suspect that, when you scratch the surface, these people are just egomaniacs and self-worshipers who use God as their chore boy.

A lot of people who convert over and over again over agonies about ecclesial minutiae end up turning into atheists.

If these people paid even a modicum of attention to the prayers they recite (assuming they pray at all)they would learn a thing or two about how to behave Christianly. I'm not singling anyone out.

CScoobus said...

I laughed when I saw this:

"The fact that so many Internet Orthodox resort to personal insult pretty much right off the bat–almost invariably–is SUCH a turn-off"

And when I saw who said it, I laughed again.

A lot of these "usual suspects" are loud, but they aren't where most of the Catholic Church is today concerning relations with the Orthodox. These folks should listen more to Benedict XVI.

James the Thickheaded said...

Well... I was just surprised to see us "lucky" enough to be listed as original anything. Gee... didn't know they loved us THAT much.

On the other hand, I gotta admit that watching a convert who seems to hate converts and then converts... again...and writes about lame converts has something in it (as a convert myself) that's not unlike watching killer bees, sharks, or polar bears from a safe vantage point: Like, I know these folks just want a piece of me... and it's not in the least personal... just animal instinct... or seen on their part more as some sort of perverse public service in stamping out the vermin. Hard to pull yourself away ... and yet you must.

In all fairness, we gotta wish them well. Reading here is sort of like hearing the "Bad Vicar" Youtube... where he's telling what they say about you in the in the sacristy. "Yes it's all true... they're gone, they're all gone, child and we're back....the horrible and terribly aristocratic people who inexplicably remain Vicars..."

Visibilium said...

God still loves you and we don't think you need to plan on being buried in an asbestos suit.

Who's we--you and your tapeworm?

Criticism of Orthodoxy is much more interesting when delivered by Orthodox. Further, it's hard to believe that anyone takes de Maistre sufficiently seriously to spend any time dealing with him. His political theory is just plain awful, but it's weirdly appropriate for a slavish papal lapdog.

Teena Blackburn said...

Well, as I've always said, people are required to follow their consciences. If you believe the RC Church is the church Christ founded, you must join it-the same if you are convinced of Orthodoxy. Many of us have been on both "sides." I was RC for about 20 years. I think members of both churches can make decent arguments to support their claims. Likewise, both communions have enough skeletons, scandals and weak points to make anyone wonder on a given day how such a mess could call itself the true Church. What gets on my nerves is a lack of mutual respect, even when it is acceptable to defend ones beliefs with fervor. Also, I am sick of the whole anti-convert thing, whether by converts or "cradles." Every baptized person is a convert. Further, the Church is for everyone-everyone, which means it is going to be messy. The only reason to belong to any church is because you are convinced it is the truth. Put yourself where you think the truth is, respect those who disagree with you, and then get on with living your faith. Don't act as if anyone in their right mind would just HAVE to see it your way, and don't impugn other people's motives- since you cannot possibly know them. Look to your own sins. I have to remind myself of that a lot. Thanks, John, for this post. I'm grateful for it.

Teena Blackburn said...

BTW, I find the tone of a lot of this stuff really distressing. We're not called to be naive, and there's a lot to be said for having a BS detector-but a lot of the material I'm reading is heavy on personal insults and making fun of people-or indulging in pop psychological analyzing of the state of people's souls, along with their motives. Perhaps I'm just overly pious and passive aggressive, but I've always been taught that making fun of people is a risky thing. Not that it can never be done, but loving your enemies requires true charity towards them. I'm reading stuff that sounds like Voices from Russia-"No one gives a s--t about your blog," "this person is a buffoon", etc....When did ostensibly Christian people start talking to one another like this?

Owen White said...

"When did ostensibly Christian people start talking to one another like this?"

Presumably before St. Paul told people who angered him to go castrate themselves.

Reading this post and this thread I can't really think of much in Gabriel's post or thread which is applicable to the condemnations. Diane going at it with Perry was a repeat of old arguments, sure. I'm not sure what to make of the whole Gabriel and de Maistre bit, as he was just using a quote he found in de Maistre to start off a stream of thoughts. He doesn't argue on the basis of a de Maistre argument. Long ago he once chided me for trying to present French counter-revolutionaries as providing coherent and applicable political positions.

If you don't want to read these sorts of things, don't read them. Or write about not reading them while still reading them, or write about how immature these sorts of posts & threads are and why you no longer go for that sort of thing, while making it clear you just did go for it.

It's a pretty funny cast of characters, as least that can be said by all, I should hope.

Fr. Andrew said...

I propose a new categorization scheme:

If you move from there to here, you are a convert.

If you move back here after some time over there, you are a revert.

(And here's my new suggestion:) If you move back over there after some time here, you are a divert.

Teena Blackburn said...

Look, Owen, I count you among my friends, so I am not going to get into it with you. Yes, St. Paul had some harsh words for Judaizers and the like. I think I said clearly that I would NOT say harsh language is never called for. It is something entirely different, however, when people who claim to follow Christ get on blogs and the like and then proceed to be frankly rude and uncharitable with one another. That is a different thing from honestly disagreeing. Ad hominem attacks are bad form for anyone, as is claiming to know the hearts of others. I'm not terribly thin-skinned or easily offended, but the callous disregard for the dignity of others and the egoistic blasting of people one disagrees with that is found on sites both Catholic and Orthodox makes us all look like asses. That same St. Paul, perhaps talking to himself, said a Christian should be gentle when correcting others and strive to live in peace. Rudeness is hardly a world-shattering sin, but it's not a good thing. I didn't read the whole thing-it was incredibly long, but I've seen enough mutual pissing matches to grow tired of them-which is I suspect what John might be saying here (not to speak for him). They accomplish nothing. If someone wants to argue for their faith, or their reasons for converting, good for them. However, one doesn't have to slam the "opposition."

Owen White said...


Aside from a few very predictable repeats, I didn't really see much in the way of slamming.

Also, the "No one gives a s--t about your blog" was directed by someone who says such things of his own blog, to someone who is perhaps the most flamboyant and ubiquitous troll in Orthoblogdom, a blogger who seems to love getting such comments directed at him, as is apparent, yet again, in his response to that comment. You may be making some mountains out of mousehills here.

Anonymous said...

Teena, you are correct, I support all your comments.
Forgive me, but I am a former Protestant convert to Orthodoxy.
My Faith is greater than ever (Thank God), but my patience with religion and the church and the heirarchy has been shaken by many actions and events.
FACT: I have found a new tactic by Orthodox believers (and clergy) to denounce those who have the audacity to ask questions. This tactic is to stop the questions and the questioner by saying: "that sounds like a Protestant", or "you sound like a Protestant", or "that is Protestant teaching".
This cheap and mentally frail tactic is obvious and sad.
This tactic is simply another method to silence anyone who disagrees or seeks debate or answers or clarification.
This tactic is also a direct put-down of anyone who dares ask questions.
Where is the love from our "Christian" brothers and sisters?
Where is the kindness?

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

...and just what you said is how I'm beginning to feel about political issues, too. Can't do anything to help the situation and hearing how bad things are, over and over again, becomes worse than boring; it's downright depressing.

Anonymous said...

The sorts of discussions at the link only prove to me that some people have far too much time on their hands. And that online, blogged, facebook'd conversions, reversions, diversions, whatever you want to call them, may have a short half life. That probably has more to do with the individual in question than their new change of address.

Owen White said...

Perhaps the only thing more banal than openly discussing one's religious postures and prejudices online is the online armchair psychoanalysis of people who do so.

CScoobus said...

Owen White, don't you have any peace in your heart? All you do is complain.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Please refrain from Ad Hominem comments. Address issues not personalities.

John said...

Moving on here, as well.

Owen White said...


I traded my inner stillness for a pack of non-filter camels.

Thanks for asking.