EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): As we approach a very critical moment for Orthodoxy in America, the words of wisdom from Father Josiah of the Antiochean Church can guide in the right direction, undoubtedly the direction of Panorthodox Unity in America through a Church independently organized from all foreign influences. (Please take a look at his impressive bio here).
This Priest is a breath of fresh air and speaks truth into the state of the Orthodox Church in America.
Division, division, division seems to be the prevailing common thread in not only politics today, but in religion as well as in many other areas. Division and conflict are distractions used by the ENEMY of our soul to pit us against one another further driving us away from our relationship with Christ himself.
“Identity politics” is simply replaced with “identity religion” within the GO church with both struggling to maintain the status quo of the “elites” in power who only serve to benefit their enormous “kingdoms”. Both of which are evil.
Just think of what can be accomplished if there was more unity and love for fellow man and Christ…
Sad to see to Greek Americans fall for this clownish, Protestant universalist hogwash. Was the Church divided in Christ because there were 5 jurisdictions within one political nation 1500 years ago? No. Were they divided 1000 years ago when new jurisdictions within and without the “Oikoumene” were born? No. Division was and is sown when people become greedy or power-hungry, whether it be the Fanariots starting 500 years ago piggybacking on Turkish power or Anglo-American converts who demand that everyone look, talk, and think like they do. I feel plenty of joy when I celebrate a feast with a fellow Greek, Russian, Arab, Georgian, or American in which there is mutual respect and love. I enjoy hearing their native hymns and partaking of and sharing culture and various forms of love for Christ. I feel very much the opposite of love when someone walks into my house, kicks his feet up onto my table, and demands that I “speak English” and do what he says. Despite nonsense about some fictional “Romaiosyne,” for hundreds of years different “phylai”/ethnicities sat side by side and celebrated the faith into their own way, despite periodic bouts of Turko-Greek or Jesuit Romanov tyranny. If we are somehow to pretend that the Church is defined by maps and not people/souls, the boundaries between jurisdictions were always very ambiguous, and one of the main features of 1054 is that Rome demanded that all Greek churches in Southern Italy submit to it and even serve the Roman liturgy, despite their continual connection to the Greek East. This priest is a excellent example of the “Latin” phronema that continual infects Orthodoxy. It’s only in the past 100 years that we have really confused conformity with unity, and lose so much because of that, whether in the general American or specific Orthodox context. This is just a translation of the ‘colorblind’ nonsense that only invalidates the Black man and no way supports or uplifts him, using a shallow, unOrthodox understanding of “neither Greek nor Jew.” The primary challenge of Orthodoxy in America is that it is, well, not Orthodox, but rather some protestantized, syncretist, ecumenist, cowardly, shallow American mess. If anything, if it was more authentically “ethnic” it would probably be more authentically Orthodox as well.
1) If someone is to propel into the discussion such “heavy” words as “clownish” and “hogwash” the least we should expect is a name…
2) Historical splits of Christianity do not have much to do with the divisions of Orthodoxy in America, which are largely the result of immigration from different Orthodox countries at different times. The last such wave happened at least 3 decades ago and it is now time to unite in “one holy, catholic and apostolic church”…
3) Before seeking authenticity we first have to perform Christ’s work… Authenticity is an excuse for people and hierarchs who have other goals in mind, namely the “materialism” by the elites of the church you are referring to.
4) As a good speaker of Greek in its ancient, biblical (alexandrian), medieval and modern form I can guarantee you that I value more than most the continuity of this rich tradition. Culture (and religion) is best mirrored in language. I am sure we can preserve some aspects of this tradition in the mass, while the select few can explore it further in monasteries and in academia. For the rest, the 99% of the faithful, our Church should be based on a means of communication understandable by all: IN THE TIMES OF CHRIST THIS MEANS OF COMMUNICATION WAS THE GREEK LANGUAGE – IN TODAY’S AMERICA IT SHOULD BE ENGLISH…
Blagoje, you are on the wrong side of this conversation. Your ethnocentric view of Orthodoxy is more than sad. I am a cradle Serbian Orthodox and have been a member of the Greek Church for years. Pan Orthodoxy is the future of our “church”. Leave your shackles behind and joy the movement with love and joy and loose the bitter attitude.
join the movement not joy the movement please correct
Do you mean because we have pews? Because we kneel? Because we fast modestly and not often? Do you feel the problem is that we live an American life and not a Greco-Russian monastic one?
You have it exactly wrong. Ethnophyitism has destroyed any chances of our spreading the Gospel which was the set of orders at Pentecost. So, stay in your ethnic ghetto and blame America. You’re alone.
Identity religion continues to cause collateral damage– as seen in the race riots destroying our cities/nation.