What Orthodoxy Is Not

 

HT to Christ the Truth

43 Responses to What Orthodoxy Is Not

  1. freshfirecoal says:

    This “poet” is both asking the question and giving a post-modern “answer,” which in itself is also a question. She both questions the efficacy of faith and desires it. She asks for it in a sound-bite form, while at the same time mocking that structure. The post is of value because it points out that even though metaphysical questions are still being posited, the people who ask them have such limited understanding that they don’t even know how to frame the questions. This is where we are. We can’t even ask the questions in a meaningful manner.

  2. RiverC says:

    Two things should be a clue (coming from a poet amateur) that this is satire coming from a Christian of sorts.

    1. ‘Pint Size God’
    2. The way she says Jesus.

    Sadly, they (reJesus) are too ecumenical to have any kind of potency beyond works like this.

    However, I think that overall she has done a great job at satirizing the modern approach to religion in general, and Christianity specifically. It reminds me of a quote:

    “Some people think that prayer is like a vending machine; you put in your coin, and you get your soda. But it’s quite the opposite: You’re the vending machine, and God is going to put in his coin…”

    Often, the non-religious are able, if talented, to make points we should be mindful of. I’m reminded of ‘The Big Kahuna’.

  3. Visibilium says:

    “Jesus vs. religion”–duh, never heard that one before.

    I especially like “Jesus’ barefoot authenticity vs. golden vestments and Gospels”. Maybe that’ll be her next rant.

  4. Eric John says:

    Charlie Ray:

    You claim this poet is an atheist. She may be many things — I don’t know. But would your assessment change because she also has this poem?

  5. Charlie,

    You take the poetry far too personally. It wasn’t aimed at the Reformed, unless you think her attitude is indicative of some way of Reformed theology.

    I posted it as expressing the attitude of many moderns and that is all.

    And Charlie, a Christianity voidof dotrine? Orthodoxy? Really? Be serious and be fair. Orthodoxy has plenty of doctrine, its just not yours.

    And we certainly aren’t Pelagian, as it was an Eastern ecumenical council that condemned Pelagianism universally. Besides, I’ve showed numerous times here how we are not Pelagian and how Reformed anthropology is much closer to Pelagianism than that of Orthodoxy.

    And advocating progressive sanctification is hardly a gospel of works. Besides, Augustine includes human activity born of grace in our justification. I don’t think Augustine was advocating a gospel of works.

    If you can’t at least attempt to make a dispassionate argument rather than throw out fallacious complex questions and bald assertions, please find another venue where such behavior is welcome, because it is not welcome here.

  6. Karen says:

    Rather a Christianity void of “doctrine” (a.k.a. the rationalistic traditions of “Reformed” men?), than one devoid of the Spirit of Christ–and yet I failed to follow His lead in my first response to Charlie. Lord, have mercy! God bless you, Charlie. Please forgive the rather casual and cavalier tone of my challenge to your initial comment that seems to have provoked so useless a mud-slinging thread. This is not glorifying to the Lord Jesus, whom I love. I’m genuinely sorry to have in any way offended you. No point in being “right” and losing any chance of truly mutually enlightening conversation and the possibility of genuine and edifying relationship. I ask forgiveness of you all.

  7. ioannis says:

    Charlie,

    you are the apostle, you must come to me. But I do not think I live very near to you. Are you willing to compass sea and land to make me proselyte?

  8. “Basil already did the marketing make-over for the masses, and it really is easy to understand and follow Him. It only get “difficult” again when add a new “fence around the Gospel.” Instead, just stick to His works: the Golden Rule, the Good Book, and the Liturgy; and otherwise ignore the high walls of the Philokalia, Pendalion, and Typicon — which when applied to the laity are means of cultic exclusion really have naught to do with Faith of our Fathers. Indeed, His yoke is light.” Death Bredon…

    Another gospel of works. No thanks.

  9. Kim says:

    “John, come with me and I will explain the Bible to you:)”

    Where and when, Charlie?

  10. I’m shooting from hip as this blog is doing:) Not one of the arguments made here are legitimate. Posting the video above as if that proves something about Reformed Evangelicalism is one big non sequitur.

    Eastern Orthodox followers are enamored with grandeur instead of truth. What is this secret knowledge I can’t find in the Bible alone????

  11. John, come with me and I will explain the Bible to you:) I know the Orthodox have no understanding of Scripture but I’m willing to teach you.

  12. T says:

    Death Bredon,

    How exactly is St. Mark the Ascetic’s letter to Nicolas the Solitary a cause of “cultic exclusion” that is not the “faith of our Fathers”? As far as I can tell, he told Nicolas to remember the good things of God in order to help keep from sin, much like some of the authors in the NT have told us.

    It’s interesting (but not in the least surprising) that you fail to come out of your Protestant bounds when making your little rules as to what’s legalistic or not. You really do not grasp the concept of (T)radition, do you? That’s okay, we’ll wait for you to come around. 😉

  13. ioannis says:

    Charlie,

    There is no Biblical Christianity. There is a Christian Bible.

    That passage from the epistle to Timothy is not about reading Scripture but about, as Paul writes, knowing it. As Philip asked the eunuch, “do you understand what you read?” If you were in the eunuch’s shoes you would have responded to Philip “Of course I understand, it is so easy, come with me and I will explain to you” and, with your power to convert, I ‘m sure you would have turned Philip into a Jewgyptian and you would have baptised him in your personal religion instead of him baptising you.

  14. John says:

    “Well, you seem to have a Christianity void of doctrine.”

    I thought you claimed we have all sorts of secret doctrines, now we are accused of having a void of doctrine?

    “Therefore you have more in common with Pelagius than with Christ.”

    I guess are are not opposed to Pelagius’ doctrines then, since he didn’t have any?

    You’re just shooting from the hip. Suggest you come back when you have something insightful to say.

  15. God always retains a remnant who believe the truth. Numbers only prove heresy is popular. I guess that makes the Pentecostals the most successful since they are growing the fastest?

    Good to see you’re still alive, Perry. I remember you from the mirc chatrooms. Seems you still love to laud human abilities and synergisms. But what else could one expect from natural religion?

  16. Yes, the irony is obvious. The “Orthodox” have more in common with atheists than with Scriptural Christianity. How ironic is that? Natural religion is like that.

  17. Well, you know, I’m just ignorant. I just read the Bible and it said that only God can save a sinner. Where does it say that it’s half Orthdoxy and half God??

  18. Well, you seem to have a Christianity void of doctrine. Therefore you have more in common with Pelagius than with Christ. 🙂

  19. John says:

    “God himself regenerates the lost prior to their having any faith at all.”
    “You can no more convert an atheist than I can convert you to the true faith.”

    You said you can’t convert Perry to the true faith, which seems to imply he lacks monergistic regeneration (as opposed to merely needing conversion to your doctrinal platform). But then Perry clearly has faith. So your position seems deeply conflicted.

    “I have been reading Scripture since I was 8 and I have been doing quite well without any orthodox or catholic priest to help.”

    How do you know you have been doing well? Arius thought he was doing well. So did Charles Russell.

  20. Karen says:

    Charlie, I suggest your prejudice (and lack of thoughtful reflection and research?) is showing here. Your comments have about as much credibility for me, given the true teaching and history of Orthodox Christianity, as the preacher who wrote a Bible publisher I worked for years ago to castigate them for daring to publish a modern English translation of the Scriptures. He concluded his letter saying, “If the KJV was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it’s good enough for me!” LOL! Now, if you reply and ask me what was wrong wrong with the good preacher’s letter. . . I’m not sure I’ll know whether to laugh or cry.

  21. ioannis says:

    Excellent video! Thank you Perry Robinson.

    I think the irony is obvious.

  22. Charlie,

    It hardly goes without saying. If they had so much in common one wonders why the atheists in russia tried to exterminate it.

    No one claims some secret gnostic insight. We only claim that propositional knowledge is insufficient for union with God.

    And I don’t believe in regeneration preceds faith on the same grounds that I reject the Catholic dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary.

    I don’t think the poet here is an atheist. According to her website she seems to be a professing Christian in the UK.

    If faith were monergistic, then Jesus didn’t have a human will unles you think Jesus didn’t have faith.

    Monoenergism isn’t doing “quite well” Charlie.

    The Spirit always works with the word in salvation and the word is int he church, the body of the Word.

  23. Well, of course Orthodoxy has more in common with the atheistic culture than with biblical Christianity. That goes without saying, particularly when you have to have some secret, gnostic insight to figure it all out. However, the perspicuity of Scripture is taught by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:15-17. Scripture is sufficient to lead anyone to saving faith, particularly since God himself regenerates the lost prior to their having any faith at all.

    I wonder if you could have any REAL effect on a determined atheist like the one in the video? Of course not. You can no more convert an atheist than I can convert you to the true faith. Only God can raise the spiritually dead. Faith is a monergistic miracle of God! 🙂

    I have been reading Scripture since I was 8 and I have been doing quite well without any orthodox or catholic priest to help. The Holy Spirit speaks through His written words in the Bible.

  24. Karen says:

    Evagrius, thank you for that clarification. It was clear to me also that this is intended to be completely ironic.

    Charlie, it seems that the purpose of satire is lost on you. It seems clear to me this video/rap is intended to be completely tongue in cheek to jar us out of our conformity to culture as Christians, not prescriptive of how moderns should approach God! I thought it was quite clever, funny even, and yes, the attitudes the rap articulates are quite counter to Orthodox Christianity. The fullness of true Orthodox Christian faith is Christ Himself. How does one reduce a way of life in communion with the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit to some simplistic doctrinal formula or practice (“Roman Road” or otherwise)?

    “What could be easier than the Bible?” I can think of a lot of things, actually, especially for the person who is not being informed by the Holy Spirit speaking clearly through His Church throughout the ages about what the point of the Scriptures really is (i.e., Christ in all His fullness). Even Christ’s own disciples didn’t properly understand the Scriptures and needed Christ to explain them to them (see Luke 24:13-32) and the Spirit’s leading (John 16:12-13) . Most people without some basic framework for understanding them cannot make proper sense out of a large portion of the Scriptures, and the plethora of sects and cults all claiming the authority of Scripture as the basis for their beliefs and yet disagreeing with each other is testimony of this fact. I don’t follow your thinking here, and Scriptures such as Acts 8:30-31 and 2 Peter 3:16 would seem to suggest the Scriptures themselves teach otherwise.

  25. The arrogance of atheism is truly amazing. What could be easier than the Bible? God has given everything you need to know in Scripture. The Roman road to salvation is easy. This lady is begging to be cut off in her sins and to spend an eternity in hell. Idolatry in its various forms expresses itself in rebellion pleading ignorance.

  26. JLB says:

    John (was he talking to you, then?),

    Right. It’s the Didache, though, that specifies Wednesday and Friday, as opposed to the Jews’ fasting on Monday and Thursday.

  27. John says:

    “The middle ages? The Orthodox fasting rule is right there in the Didache, my good man!”

    It’s also implicitly in the Gospel when Jesus mentions fasting twice a week.

  28. Subdeacon Julio Gurrea says:

    “…ignore the high walls of the Philokalia, Pendalion, and Typicon — which when applied to the laity are means of cultic exclusion really have naught to do with Faith of our Fathers.”

    I don’t know- I’ve never felt like these contradict or add anything to the former 3. They simply flesh out some things and give a context to them… a context that developed in the same Church that Christ founded. But then again, I’m probably one of those pharisees you speak of.

    The only “exclusion” I can see there is the exclusive nature of the Church (i.e. that it is Visible and One and therefore not something that you can belong to simply on your own by accepting certain doctrines in piecemeal Protestant fashion). I don’t see how that has to be distressing unless one has twisted oneself into an impossible and unsustainable position. A position, say, like trying to be Orthodox about certain things- picking in choosing- while remaining Anglican and having to deal with the guilt of one’s apostasy. That *could* be quite distressing.

  29. Death Bredon,
    You still have not answered my question. What do you mean by the term Pharisaical?

  30. evagrius says:

    It is satire or better, irony. Look it up on the reJesus site.

  31. Brad says:

    I’m still hoping it’s satire… It almost seems like it belongs on the onion.

  32. JLB says:

    Mr. Bredon,

    “John Henry Newman could not have said it better — welcome to Rome!”

    So, you would have me believe that the millennium of continuity between St. Basil and St. Gregory is comparable to the millennium of discontinuity between St. Basil and Aquinas?

    Time alone does not a schism (or heresy) make.

    “The distinction is implicit in the Scriptures and even articulated by St. Paul, though not in a highly systematic manner.”

    In other words, your adherence to the dogma has naught to do with St. Gregory Palamas?

    (Out of curiosity, where exactly does St. Paul articulate it? I don’t disagree with you here, but I’d like to know.)

    And, assuming you addressed me here (my name isn’t John):

    “Do you keep kosher? If not why not? And why would you replace divinely revealed dietary rules for those developed by men in the middle-ages?”

    The middle ages? The Orthodox fasting rule is right there in the Didache, my good man!

    I don’t keep kosher. The Apostles have said that it is not required (there was a council concerning that recorded in their Acts, you know), and the Church has used its own fasting rule(s). I will do what the Church does as best I can.

  33. It would be helpful if commentors would try to be a bit more charitable.

  34. Death Bredon says:

    John,

    Do you keep kosher? If not why not? And why would you replace divinely revealed dietary rules for those developed by men in the middle-ages?

  35. Death Bredon says:

    JLB,

    “I see not how a millennium makes a difference to the experience of God.”

    John Henry Newman could not have said it better — welcome to Rome!

    “the “Palamite” distinction between God’s essence and energies, most famously articulated a millennium after St. Basil as well.”

    The distinction is implicit in the Scriptures and even articulated by St. Paul, though not in a highly systematic manner.

  36. evagrius says:

    I ask you, what’s the answer, and you just ask me questions,
    and I’m like, “hello, I thought you were God?”
    Can’t I just download you, pay-as-I-go to decode you –
    a quick fix listen on my i-pod?

    I ask you, what’s the answer, and you say, “where does the wind blow?”
    Well, if Dylan couldn’t find it, then I won’t get too far.
    What’s with all this mystery? How can you say, “follow me”
    when I don’t even know where you are?

    Your religion needs a makeover, you’ve got to de-clutter.
    Make it softer, gooier and spreadable like butter.
    I need a faith I can talk about and not sound like a nutter.
    You ought to be easy to follow.

    Like, a hop-on-and-off open-top bus ride,
    a manual with A to Z tabs down the side,
    I want a sat-nav path to heaven, not a Lonely Planet guide.
    I wish you were easy to follow.

    I want a Roman road map to instant glory
    a happy-ending-ever-after chick lit story
    and you just tell me another foggy allegory
    featuring corn and sheep and wine and clay pots.
    What are you like? Do you want followers or not?
    Far be it from me to tell you what’s what,
    but if you did make it easier I’m sure you’d get a lot
    more believers, Jesus.

    Give me bite-sized thoughts in a faith shape sorter,
    No more spilt blood or living water,
    just a pint-sized god who’s a straight talker.
    Make it easy to follow.

    I want fruit-flavoured shots of the Holy Spirit,
    bite-sized, trite truths in Boyband lyrics
    “love” and “above” – yeah, that should fill it.
    Make it easy to follow.

    I want facts on a plate – don’t want to have to question any,
    artificial roses every 14th of February.
    I want simple faith – blind if necessary.
    Why aren’t you easy to follow?

    You say, “you are not my servant, now you are my friend”.
    You say, “I will be with you until the bitter end”.
    And I’m like, “why bitter? – I wanted happiness on prescription.
    Isn’t that the whole point of getting religion?
    And besides, friendship’s harder – can’t I just buy the subscription?”
    Can’t you be easy to follow?

    Give me a clear-cut structure, not a friendship’s fragilities,
    favourable rights with few responsibilities.
    I could follow that plan – yeah – religiously.
    That would be easy to follow.

    I want three steps to beauty from a teenage advice mag;
    Ben and Jerry’s Triple chocolate straight of the ice bag;
    ethically traded but with a Primark price-tag –
    I could say Amen to those.

    I want box-up beliefs wrapped in tissue-paper
    presented by Fearne Cotton, and voiced by Tom Baker,
    with a hands-free contract to contact the Maker
    available from Tesco’s.

    I want Quicktime cut-price broadband access.
    Simple principles, easily practiced.
    Directly transactional prayers – the fact is,
    my time is precious, so why should I work?
    Why should treasure always require a search?

    I want a message that’s acceptable without having to plead it,
    that’ll make people instantly realise they need it.
    Yeah, thanks for the Bible – but have you tried to read it?
    You need to be easy to follow.

    I want all the answers set out in a paperback
    of less than fifty pages, in the buy-now-read-it-later rack
    I’ll skim it on the train down to visit Auntie Kate and back –
    nice and easy to follow.

    Everyone will warm to its convenient slimness.
    It’ll be easily digestible and provoke a certain tingliness,
    and every answer will be one sentence long, universally applicable, and in English.
    That would be easy to follow.

    You see, I think you need to focus and refine your vision,
    if you want to market the brand they call “Christian”.
    I say, “give me clarity”, you say, “will you marry me?”
    With all due respect, Jesus, I don’t think you were cut out for religion.

    Download the audio file.

  37. Death Bredon,
    I have seen you make this comment on an Anglican blog. What is your definition of Pharisaical?

  38. JLB says:

    And what is it that is so very pharisaical about the latter three?

    I see not how a millennium makes a difference to the experience of God. As I understand it, you accept the “Palamite” distinction between God’s essence and energies, most famously articulated a millennium after St. Basil as well, without giving much thought to WHY it was being defended. St. Gregory Palamas was one of those “pharisaical” monks as well, around the time that you say the Philokalia, Pendalion and Typikon were compiled.

    I note also that it was Barlaam the Calabrian who was vocal in his disdain for these “ignorant” monks who were, if you recall, gifted with vision of the Uncreate Light.

    It seems to me you stretch yourself between Barlaam and St. Gregory…painfully, as well.

  39. Death Bredon says:

    JLB,

    St. Basil knew not the later three, which are works of pharisaical man compiled a millennia after Basil. The first three are revealed by God.

  40. JLB says:

    “Instead, just stick to His works: the Golden Rule, the Good Book, and the Liturgy; and otherwise ignore the high walls of the Philokalia, Pendalion, and Typicon — which when applied to the laity are means of cultic exclusion really have naught to do with Faith of our Fathers. Indeed, His yoke is light.”

    On what grounds do you accept the first three and not the last three, Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey?

    After all, was not St. Basil one of those monastic types you so frequently deplore?

  41. Cyril says:

    I think this person lectures at my university in the Theology dept. She’s only missing the icons of the pink, fuzzy kittens with John 3:16 as cited in the Not Really Sure Version.

  42. Robert says:

    I made it to about 2 minutes and then that was all I could take.

  43. Death Bredon says:

    If one read’s the anaphora of the Litrugy of St. Basil, which the faithful usually don’t know because the clergy only mutter it to themselves, then I believe that most people will learn where Jesus has been, where He is now, and where He and we are going to be. Sure, Christianity is ‘arational;’ a ‘mysterious,’ revealed faith, but it IS easily coherent — the crisis, the catharsis, and the course are simple enough for the Simpsons to grasp when disentangled from the confused Western accounts.

    Basil already did the marketing make-over for the masses, and it really is easy to understand and follow Him. It only get “difficult” again when add a new “fence around the Gospel.” Instead, just stick to His works: the Golden Rule, the Good Book, and the Liturgy; and otherwise ignore the high walls of the Philokalia, Pendalion, and Typicon — which when applied to the laity are means of cultic exclusion really have naught to do with Faith of our Fathers. Indeed, His yoke is light.

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