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To: kosta50
American Orthodoxy, especially Greek, Antiochan and to some extent OCA Churches have been heavily "westernized" in some of their practices due to a large number of Protestant converts who make up their congregations.

Well, there you have it, for both of us! As you have observed for a while, and commented on in your previous post, the Catholic Church can be seen going out of its way to be accommodating and not "intolerant" of other groups, even groups that hate the Church. To some extent, so have the Orthodox. I think a lot of this over-accomodation stems from the Sacramental nature of our two Church structures, our basic take on grace and the Sacraments, and, by derivation, our "apparently" exclusivist outlook on salvation. We do not believe in salvation via altar calls, nor do we subscribe to "sola Scriptura" schemes, or, going the other way any form of universalism, for that matter. This makes us appear very rigid and exclusivist to the majority of American Christians who are neither Catholic nor Orthodox. This can be wearing on all concerned in an atmosphere where, in the secular sense, we all generally do not have trouble "getting along." So, over time, there is a strong temptation to trying to go the extra mile to find whatever lowest common denominator might be out there, in order to get our religious and secular lives more in sync with those of our Protestant neighbors. That, it seems to me, is the root of accommodationism.

The same principal applies in Europe, only there it is more along the lines of accommodationism in relation to pure secularists. And it shows! The Church there is even more inclined to syncretistic nonsense than even we are!

As Americans, we are disinclined to come-across as deliberately insulting to our Protestant neighbors, the ones we work with, hang out at the golf/sports/civic club with, and generally socialize with amicably. Yet our theology seems mighty off-putting to them when we start talking about sanctifying grace being necessary for salvation, and that grace being found, primarily, in the Sacraments that Protestants do not have. On a purely human view, we can understand how this can be insulting and "uncomfortable." Therefore, there is a tendency, wherever possible, to minimize (or even "broom" altogether) the differences Catholics have with Protestants over salvation issues and other points of difference. I suspect that the Orthodox are becoming more susceptible to this pressure, too. Perhaps they are just not as far down the line yet, being a smaller proportion of the population and therefore less inclined to chuck their "distinctiveness."

But, I also think that Catholics, at least, are beginning to see that the benefits of overly-cozy ecumenism with Protestants are really almost non-existent. Very little has been gained, while much stands in danger of being permanently lost (here in the West, anyway). Even our bishops are, I think, beginning to see the point! This Pelosi business (although dealing with a putative "Catholic") illustrates my contention. The Church is afraid of alienating some of its Leftist membership, and also afraid of bad PR within the non-Catholic population. The verbal smackdown of Pelosi by several bishops signals that they are less afraid of "what people will say" than perhaps they were in the recent past. They fear alienating the Catholic extreme-Left somewhat less than before. They also seem to be less concerned with general public opinion, among the whole crowd of Catholics and non-Catholics. The alliance of convenience with mainstream Protestants is coming to an end, as the Catholic bishops see they've been made suckers and fools for years with extreme Leftists. It's gotten them nothing over the years, and, what little they think they got, they now realize they might be mere months away from having it all stripped away from them by their very own "allies." Once the Dems gain total control of all three branches, watch the scales suddenly fall off the eyes of Catholic bishops everywhere in this country! We may not go back to the early 1900s mentality entirely, but we will stop trying to be "all things to all men," and will teach the Faith with full vigor again, seeking to make converts, and not mere alliances of convenience. You'll see in a few years... I imagine you folks will stop going down the same road, too. Earlier, probably, since you are not as far down that road to begin with.

74 posted on 08/26/2008 9:02:40 PM PDT by magisterium
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To: magisterium
I agree with everything you wrote. Spot on. The key point being that accommodating , while stemming "from the Sacramental nature of our two Church structures," produced nothing good because the Church has become protestantized (with Catholics leading the Orthodox by a wide margin).

And I agree, it's time to stop.

We may not go back to the early 1900s mentality entirely, but we will stop trying to be "all things to all men," and will teach the Faith with full vigor again, seeking to make converts, and not mere alliances of convenience. You'll see in a few years... I imagine you folks will stop going down the same road, too. Earlier, probably, since you are not as far down that road to begin with.

Spot on. Being "all things to all men" was maybe possible for +Paul, but that is above our pay grade. The East gave up on ecumenism a decade ago. If +Paul believed in ecumenism he would not have written a single Epistle.

Monasteries and European churches never fully accepted ecumenism anyway, treating it more as heresy than anything else.

Protestantism is a choice. We can talk to them, we may even cooperate with them on some basic matters, but we don't believe the same thing as they do. No one said it was easy being Catholic/Orthodox. It's a struggle. We don't sell reservations to heaven. 

Making a distinction between Protestants and secularists is a matter of degree and not of kind. Protestant America is essentially a secular country because there is no penalty—they are all "saved."

77 posted on 08/26/2008 9:33:25 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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