Sunday, May 24, 2015

Outside observations on the front

I watched a number of EO guys go at it on whether or not we should "Americanize" the liturgy.  I won't link to the discussion or even copy/paste the conversations (I did that some years ago with bad backlash).

EDIT: The guy took the discussion down from Facebook. Part of it is relevant to the recent Pew findings on American religion. Also involved are the triumphalistic claims that Protestants are abandoning Protestantism by the droves to enter the Orthodox Church.  A certain website is notorious for that.

Person 1: Here is the truth. If you try to have adult education or serious young adult education in an average parish you are going to piss off the blue law crowd by trampling on some of society's sacred cows-moral relativism, agnosticism, abortion and homosexuality. Parents will complain and you will get judged by secret trial with no chance to explain yourself or face your accusers. Or you'll run into all sorts of kookaboo quackadox stuff, usually of the Dan Brown variety among the adults. If they breath, then they think they are experts in theology and philosophy. The average fundy knows more about Christianity than the average Greek. Zeus would be proud. From my limited experience, the Arab aren't better. Cypriots tho in my experience rock either in devotion or theological interest at least, almost to a fault. They are like the Greek version of Irish Catholics. But such is my experience.

  • Frankly, I have given up even trying. I am content to let people learn the hard way and educate my own children. People, clergy and laity are often more concerned with conveying moralism to their children rather than the Gospel, not to mention doing what is necessary for them to intellectually survive the onslaught that awaits them in college. How these parents think that such moralism can prepare their kids to survive as Christians in the face of David Hume, Kant, Russell and a host of other thinkers across practically every discipline is beyond me. If you object to the conveyance of such moralism or do anything that transgresses it, you are liable to find yourself excommunicated or at least removed from parish education. People do not understand that the task is to get their kids to see it for themselves and to inoculate them before they have a doxastic crisis. No one can see it for them. And because of this pervasive moralism, people think that everything will by and large stay as it is. Children will return to church after “sowing their oats” in college when they get married and have kids, and the culture will by and large stay as it is. Such is not the case and the unpaid bills of the church are coming due soon. But no one listens. So I continue to eat locusts and honey and wear a hair shirt.

  •  Person 1: , oh not yet, but there will be. Give it another 5-10 yrs. I suspect then they will be in panic mode complete with all sorts of stupid gimmicks, everything, except offering Christianity as true, to get people to come back. You see the same panic currently in the UMC with their losses of 270k a year. pass the popcorn.
  •  Person 1, every time I hear some Greek say that we need to try and get the Greek people to come back to the church I throw up a little bit in my mouth. Its beyond absurd. They are utterly clueless.

    The point about english language is not to Americanize the church, but to make it MORE Orthodox

1 comment:

  1. I figure part of the problem is the disconnect between the high-minded and then the real situation. I very much enjoy David Bentley Hart, but I have no idea what actual congregation he belongs to. EO theologians wax eloquently, but then you see their parishes as ethnic enclaves and moralistic carbon-copies of the Mainline.

    Thanks for linking this up. It was intriguing to read.