Skip to comments.More Protestants Find a Home in the Orthodox Antioch Church
Posted on 10/07/2009 6:33:33 AM PDT by Nikas777
More Protestants Find a Home in the Orthodox Antioch Church
By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN
Published: October 2, 2009
LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. Cal Oren was threading his way through the Santa Cruz Mountains of California early one evening in 1993, driving his wife, brother and three tired children back from a day of hiking amid the redwoods. As their car neared the town of Ben Lomond, Mr. Oren said, his brother pointed to a church on the roadside and said: Ive been inside this. Its really neat.
So Mr. Oren pulled to a stop, and as the children stayed in the car, the grown-ups gingerly padded into the sanctuary of Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church. A lifelong Presbyterian, Mr. Oren knew virtually nothing about the Antiochians or, for that matter, Orthodox Christianity in general. He had always associated Ben Lomond with hippies, geodesic domes and marijuana fields.
As he entered, a vespers service was under way. Maybe two dozen worshipers stood, chanting psalms and hymns. Incense filled the dark air. Icons of apostles and saints hung on the walls. The ancientness and austerity stood at a time-warp remove from the evangelical circles in which Mr. Oren traveled, so modern, extroverted and assertively relevant.
This was a Christianity I had never encountered before, said Mr. Oren, 55, a marketing consultant in commercial construction. I was frozen in my tracks. I felt like I was in the actual presence of God, almost as if I was in heaven. And Im not the kind of person who gets all woo-hoo.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The truth as described by Russian pagans over a thousand years ago is echoed by an American today.....
Then we went on to Greece, and the Greeks led us to the edifices where they worship their God, and we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it. We know only that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty. Every man, after tasting something sweet, is afterward unwilling to accept that which is bitter, and therefore we cannot dwell longer here."- The Russian Primary Chronicle - 988 AD
Orthodox ping list request.
“When is a Baptist not a Baptist?”
When he’s in the presence of Lutherans and there’s beer in the fridge?
So, you guys are the other non-commie greeks
And the congregation grew by 4%, with the addition of Mr Oren. How many of the other two dozen worshipers were Protestants?
“Incense filled the dark air. Icons of apostles and saints hung on the walls.”
Sounds like when I was in college. Whoever knew the Beatles were saints?
“More Protestants” means more than one? Or more than zero?
I’m sure the Orthodox Antioch Church is perfectly charming, but this is a truly Eastern level of number-futzing.
We Orthodox Christians are here, we are not queer and we are coming for your children.
The church at Ben Lomand has had a tortured history. At the time Mr. Oren attended vespers there the parish had a population of about 1500 people, most of whom were converts. The convert priests became disobedient to +Philip, the Metropolitan of the Antiochian Archdiocese and were removed. Lets just say they had some odd and distinctly unorthodox ideas and ways. They and about 300 of their followers went off on their own. The parish today, I am advised, is vibrant and successful.
The visible shift began in 1987 with the conversion of nearly 2,000 evangelical Christians, led by Peter E. Gillquist and other alumni of the Dallas Theological Seminary and the Campus Crusade for Christ. More recently, a wave of converts has arrived from such mainline Protestant denominations as the Episcopalian and Lutheran.
Some 70 percent of Antiochian Orthodox priests in the United States are converts, according to Bradley Nassif, who, as a theology professor at North Park University in Chicago, is a leading scholar of the religion. A generation or two ago, Professor Nassif said, converts made up barely 10 percent of Antiochian clergy.
Professor Nassif went so far, in a 2007 article in Christianity Today magazine, as to suggest that the 21st century might become the Orthodox century as disenchanted Protestants grew attracted to the historical roots, theological rigor and social conservatism of the Eastern Christian denominations.
Whether or not the prediction pans out, it is certainly true that no American convert comes to the Antiochian church by convenience or ease. The denomination has only about 250,000 members in 250 congregations in the country, Professor Nassif estimated.
(my comment was more the disbelief I feel when I see the proliferation of Obama stickers in the church parking lot)
A convert from the Charismatic Protestant church describes her discovery of the Ancient Orthodox Christian Church. Judith Irene Matta, MTh interviews Alison Cloonan about her journey into the fullness of Faith in Christ.
Vespers is the pre-game warm-up: Not essential, but really beneficial if you want to do it right. Usually the vespers crowd in the Byzantine churches I’ve been in is about 10% of the full crowd, mostly single people and parish leaders.
Greeks may have voted for Obama because McCain and the Republicans are seen as pro Muslim Turks - odd as that may sound to non Greek ears. Also, Bush and McCain backed the naming of “Macedonia” over Greek objections. So to say Greeks support Obama hence they are commies is too simple.
Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel. Rev 8:3-5
I wonder if the mods are gonna say anything about the snarky, insulting garbage being sniped by Protestants toward Orthodox on this thread.
I doubt it, we don’t wear the James Dobson/Adrian Rogers Pledge Pin.
It makes me sad that FR is becoming such an echo chamber.
And before you call me a troll, check my join date (2000, circa the election) and my postings. My Conservative ducks are in a row.
I couldn't find anything mentioned in the article or on their website....is Ben Lomand in the "Western Rite" portion of the AOC, or are they offering an Eastern liturgy?
“Greeks may have voted for Obama because McCain and the Republicans are seen as pro Muslim Turks - odd as that may sound to non Greek ears. Also, Bush and McCain backed the naming of Macedonia over Greek objections. So to say Greeks support Obama hence they are commies is too simple.’
I agree. Greeks also supported Dukakis (ethnic pride I can understand, but come on).
My point is simple. American Greeks are a great, hardworking people. Many came here with nothing and depended on hardwork, family and church to build successful lives. Many, many are small business owners. Most are completely devoted to family and faith. Most are proud and committed to 24/7 work over handouts. It’s just beyond me why so many brethren are drawn to the democrat party.