Home > Eastern Orthodoxy > “Orthodoxy”: Myths and Realities

“Orthodoxy”: Myths and Realities

May 25th, 2007
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Recently, one of the "ninety day wonder" priests ordained by the former Roman Catholic, turned Oral Roberts Bible professor, turned Orthodox bishop, so-called, has taken to agitating on several Lutheran blog sites, engaging in efforts at sheep-stealing. It’s important once again to make the following points.

What I notice in reading discussions between Lutherans and recent
converts to Eastern Orthodoxy, or those considering taking the plunge
to swim the Bosporus, is how hard they strive to assure themselves that
in leaving the Lutheran Confession and embracing Eastern Orthodoxy they
are in fact either completing what they started to find in Lutheranism,
or that they are discovering what Lutheranism leans toward, but does
not fully embrace, or perhaps most honestly of all, they say that they
have found the fullness of the Church that Lutheranism lacks.

In order to do accomplish this they must turn a blind eye and deaf
ear to the profound deficiencies in Eastern Orthodoxy. Ironically, and
sadly, they extend to Eastern Orthodoxy a charity that they have long
since abandoned toward Lutheranism. They are quick to pounce on any and
every either real, or imagined, problem in Lutheranism, while they seem
more than happy to ignore, or explain away, any such lack in Orthodoxy.
Cupid_1

It is very much like new love, where a loved one’s faults, failings,
weaknesses and problems are unable to be seen, so enthusiastically and
fondly is the other person caught up in the joy and wonder of the new
relationship. Starry-eyed romanticism clouds the insight that sober,
more mature judgment brings. Ironically, those doing this are
constantly clamoring, "Don’t you know? You don’t realize that
Lutheranism has problems!" The "logic" here seems to be: If Lutheranism
has problems, then the Lutheran Confessions are wrong [the most honest
position], or, the Lutheran Church doesn’t actually exist [the most
self-deceiving position]; therefore, we need to find a different
confession, so we are headed East.

The sad thing is that recent converts to Orthodox are actively
seeking others to convert to their point of view. They especially seem
to target younger pastors, some of them converts themselves to
Lutheranism. They play off their frustrations wHear_no_evilith
realities of the Lutheran church today. They move in and work to
influence and turn a person’s mind toward Orthodoxy. They work to shake
confidence in the ground of faith: Christ and His Gospel and Gospel
Sacraments. They try to impress the impressionable by a show of
beautiful liturgy, a supposed "Great Tradition," and by claims to be
"really the church." And by convincing some that the problems in
Lutheranism are so vast, and so great, they lead some to believe that
the only possible response is to leave. But to accomplish this they
must embrace a see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil mindset
toward Orthodoxy. They do not really seem able to internalize the
contradiction of leaving one communion because of real, or perceived
ills, only to join another with more than its share of the same!

The converts to Eastern Orthodoxy, or those or considering it, don’t
seem as concerned about the great internal contradictions within
Orthodoxy, every bit as serious as there are within Lutheranism. I
recall for instance watching as the head of one of the Orthodox
communions in this country attended a service in the National Cathedral
in Washington, DC at which event there was worshiped Allah, the Jewish
god, and of course the Blessed and Most Holy Trinity was acknowledged.
The Gospel was explicitly ignored as a part of this service, and
thereby denied. I was assured that the Orthodox primate prayed in the
name of Christ. I was told he was bearing witness, etc. I was told that
in Eastern Orthodoxy there is discipline of errant clergy. And then I
wondered who might "discipline" this head of an Orthodox church in
America. I’ve learned that throughout the lands of Eastern Orthodoxy in
Russia and other places, for example, the sin of abortion is deplored
privately but they simply "don’t talk about it" much at all. But, we
are assured, this is not a doctrinal problem, it is a matter of
practice not conforming to doctrine. But wait a minute! Isn’t this
precisely what upsets them so about Lutheranism, as they regard it?
They tell us our practice doesn’t follow doctrine well enough. So,
that’s bad when it happens in Lutheranism, but it’s acceptable when it
happens in Orthodoxy. Why? Well, you will finally hear that all that
matters is that Orthodoxy has a historic liturgy and in that historic
liturgy this is where you find the wonderful doctrine, because, as we
are told, Orthdooxy is not an idea, it is a living reality as witnessed
in its liturgy. But…don’t look too closely at that liturgy, for you
will find any number of ant-Apostolic features, including admixture of
faith and works, prayers to saints, etc. Are you more than a little
puzzled? Join the club!

Badidea4_2I
grant that in several respects Orthodoxy is a wonderful idea, but the
actual working out of it is  lacking. In other words, Orthdoxy, in this
respect, is in the same boat Lutheranism is. Is Orthodoxy then a better
idea than the idea of Lutheranism? There are beautiful articulations of
the Gospel to be found and heard, but then again, there are  horrendous
contradictions of the same in the practice of Orthodoxy. There are some
wonderful professors, pastors and pious laity, but then again, others
who simply don’t seem to have it all together. I reflect on the fact
that there are literally dozens of Orthodox churches, but there doesn’t
seem to be much unity among them, in fact, a degree of disunity that
must be a puzzlement to many. The idea of unity is wonderful, but I
don’t see it in actual practice to the extent some would have us
believe.

Some recent converts to Orthodoxy would have us believe that
Lutheranism believes the church is invisible, and therefore we
Lutherans are not as concerned about the reality of the church. But
this is either self-deceiving and self-justifying commentary, or
willful deception and distortion of what Lutheranism actually stands
for. The hiddeness of the church under cross, suffering, weakness,
shame and sin is not to say that the church is "invisible" but to
assert that the reality of the church is not located in the rites and
ceremonies that have no command of God and no institution by our Lord
Christ. There is not a scintilla of Biblical evidence by which one can
assert that the liturgical forms of Eastern Orthodoxy are in any way
essential to the Gospel itself, and by no means are these forms,
beautiful as they are, are in any way part and parcel of the faith once
handed over to the saints. That is a reality that is frustrating for
those anxious to locate the church’s reality in some other place other
than the preaching of the Gospel and the giving out of the Sacraments.

For all the talk I hear telling us Lutherans that we have only an
idea, not a real church, I’m left wondering about the contrast between
Orthodoxy articulated in beautiful books, and advocated by converts,
and the actual working out of the same. I’m also struck by the naievete
of those who think that Orthodox churches made up predominantly of
converts from Western Evangelical, Lutheran, Anglican or other
Protestant churches, are in fact reflective of Orthodoxy as it is
actually found throughout the world. As for the authority of bishops,
I’m almost amused that some of our Orthodoxy leaning, or going, friends
praise the notion of the authority of bishops, yet seem willing to
dismiss the fact that there is in this world a church that does have
universal fellowship and authority flowing from one bishop. They want
an authoritative magisterium and bishop, but not this magisterium and
not this bishop. This church, they say, is merely a splinter group from
the "real" and "true" and "most ancient" church. I can’t help but
wonder why they are not more attracted to the chuch that has such unity
around one bishop: Roman Catholicism.

JelloAnd
so, ironically, when some who have defected from Lutheranism
continually assert that Lutheranism does not exist because nowhere,
they claim, can one find practiced what they believe to be the proper
interpretation of the Book of Concord, I can’t help but smile at the
irony of the fact that at least we have a definitive collection of
Confessions to which one can point and say, "This is Lutheranism." Any
such attempt to point to definitive Orthodox confession of truth is
like trying to grab hold of jello, and besides, even before you do,
you’ll be told, "No, it’s not this jello, it’s this! Not the lime
jello, here, it’s the lemon jello."  You think you can cite one
catechism, but you are told, no, that is not the right catechism. You
think you can cite one Orthodox father, teacher, bishop or monk, only
to be told, no, this one is the better one. You think you can quote
from one person’s book, only to be told, no, you really need to read
this book. And then it dawns on you that one aspect of Orthodoxy that
makes it relatively easy for those doubting Lutheranism, or those who
left, to find Orthdoxy a viable option is because one can find just
about whatever one is looking for in it. If you  try to quote something
from any Orthodox text or book, you
are quickly told that, no, this is not really Orthodoxy. It really
matters not what source one quotes, there is always the rejoinder thatHerd_1
this is not a reliable source. Try to pin anything down very
specifically, and Orthodox folks will tell you, in very pious and
impressive ways, that Orthodoxy is the Faith of the Apostles and you’ll
find that to be quite a challenge. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it
again, trying actually to nail down what it is precisely that Orthodoxy
believes, teaches and confesses is as easy as herding cats. 

Good_ideaInsteal of all this, let’s keep working on living up to what we confess as Lutherans! Now this is such a good idea! To
those no longer, have the stomach to stand their post on the walls of
our Lutheran Zion, then, to them, we simply must say, "Go peacefully
and may God bless and, what you must do, do quickly!" 

Now, one more thing, please read the following e-mail my friends at the radio show Issues, etc. received
from an Orthodox Priest. In his defense of Orthdoxy, he admits that in
fact the great "unity" of Orthodoxy is no more, or less, just an "idea"
than what some criticize about Lutheranism. The church that he claims
"can not err" in fact does err, as he concedes, but he tells us they
are not "really Orthodox." Sound familiar? And finally, notice how he
says that they are united in the Faith that has not changed one bit
since the time of the Apostles. But nowhere in Apostolic Scripture do
we find any advocacy for some of the chief characteristics of
Orthodoxy: prayers to the saints, to Mary, veneration of icons, the
sacrifice of the Eucharistic, the epiclesis, etc. etc. etc.!! And I
mention only a few. I was informed that the letter writer is a member
of a "splinter group" in Orthodoxy, the implication being therefore
that his comments should be disregarded because of alleged immorality
in the leadership of that splinter group. Well, using that standard, we
could point to any number of scandals in Orthodoxy. For instance, in Greek Orthodoxy. And in the Holy Land. Apparently scandalous behavior may reach to the very heights of the Greek Orthodox Church. Apparently the Orthodox Church in America has its shares of woe as well. There is in fact a web site devoted to this issue. But wait, there’s more. One reads this:

THE ORTHODOX MESS IN AMERICA EXPLAINED

We all know the Orthodox Church here in North America is a mess. Our church is divided
into jurisdictional factions. Our bishops often do not lead. Our laity is often ignorant of
our faith. One scandal seems to follow another. The "language issue" and ethnic pride have
lost the Church several generations. What went wrong? What can be done?

And what are we to make of this sort of discussion?
How does this square with the holiness and purity that some would have
us believe of the Orthodox church? How does this square with those who
fault Lutherans for talking about a church hidden under weakness and
sin? Here is an excerpt from one of those whom I told is the person to
whom we should look for accurate discussions about Orthodox, Father
Alexander Schmemann

Referring to Orthodoxy’s "progressive surrender" to secularism, Father
Alexander names the clergy as "the first to accept and to propagate"
its alluring vision and philosophy. It was the clergy who capitulated to the
idea that an authentic expression of Orthodox life in America was an
impossibility. Given this conclusion the only way Orthodoxy could survive In
America was if it compromised virtually every aspect of its life. And though
this compromise may have been difficult at the start, it gradually became a way
of life – a way of survival – that continues even to the present.    The "religious" corporation became the paradigm for
American parish life and remains so to this day. Thus, in retrospect, we need to
see that regardless of what can accurately be referred to as a renaissance of
parish life i.e. educated clergy, liturgical and eucharistic revival, Christian
education programs, outreach and missionary awareness a secular vision still
prevails in the local parish’s perception of itself. Here we encounter a great
paradox. On the one hand an attempt to restore Orthodox church life in the
parishes is underway. Yet, on the other hand, these same parishes with their
by-laws and statutes still retain and rely on a form of governance that is
uncanonical and therefore antithetical to the very renaissance they affirm to
desire and support. This paradox signifies that another dimension of the
spiritual problem is developing which will be more difficult to diagnose and
remedy.

A recent blog discussion
features a comment by a person leaning East who asserts, "the LCMS is
an heretical communion since it not only permits but also promotes
false teaching according to its own doctrinal standard." OK, with that accusationPot
in mind, read this letter from an Orthodox priest who clearly admits
that this is precisely what is going on within Orthodoxy! Like I say,
Orthodox might, in some ways, be a great idea, but the reality is quite
another thing and so any such claims about Lutheranism are, finally, in
the final analysis, the pot calling the kettle black.

Dear Pastor Wilkens,

Have been listening to your discussions on the Orthodox Church.  Of
particular interest was the latest with the former Orthodox priest.
His ("…Smith?") reason for apostasy was revealing.

He explained that the Orthodox placed great emphasis on unity, yet
were divided by the petty issue of the Calendar. He failed to make a
few distinctions.  To be sure, the Calendar, and the date of Paschalion
inseperable from it,  was produced by the Council of Nicea; hence,
very  important.  They are the signs of the Church’s historicity and
her external unity.

The Emperor Constantine urged the Council to give the Church a
peremanent and universal Calendar that would end the scandalous
situation in which, for example,  part of the Church was feasting and
part fasting.

There was similar problem in the primitive Church between those
Christians who celebrated Easter (Pascha) on the 14th of Nissan (on
whatever day it fell during the week) and those, like the Roman Bishop,
who insisted on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover. The former
finally capituated to the will of the universal Church. And there is
another instance: the Church of Ireland did not obey the decree of
Nicea until the 10th century.

Now, you may argue that there has never been "unity" in the Church,
or you may look for another reason to explain the Calendar dissensions.

We begin with defining "unity" as "unity" in the Faith, "the Faith
once delivered (or traditioned) to the saints" (Jude 3). The Orthodox
Faith has never changed.  She believes now what she believed at the
time of the Apostles. She is the Church of the Apostles.  That Faith is
infallible and immutable, for the Holy Spirit does not allow her to lie.

We can never boast that every member of the Church, every
Patriarch, bishop, every presbyter, deacon and laymen have complied
with the Will of the Spirit. The Orthodox Church has always had her
share of apostates, heretics and schismatics.

Do not think, incidentally, that the Calendar is the only problem.
Some Orthodox Churches have joined the ecumenical movement — "the
heresy of heresies," as one of our Bishops referred to it. They claim
to have enlisted in order in order to witness to the Faith.  Initially,
perhaps, but not now.  The canons have been violated seriously.

St Basil the Great (Canon 1) says that heretics and apostates are
not part of the Church, of her "unity."  Although in a state terrible
sin, schismatics (such as the New Calendarist) are still part of her, a
rotten branch that will eventually fall from the tree.

They are guilty of breaking the external unity of the Church, which
has implications for ecclesiology and christology. The Orthodox Church
is the Body of Christ, and it is not the Will of the Lord that His Robe
be torn.

But we non-ecumenist, Old Calendar Orthodox, separate from "brethren
that walk disorderly," according to the command of the Apostle. Yet,
what the Orthodox Faith  remains available to all who seek the saving
truth. Of course,  the seekers must find an Orthodox bishop who clings
to immaculate Faith of the Apostles and Fathers. There are many who use
the name "Orthodox" and there are many who are schismatics.  Read the
holy Fathers on this serious offense.

I would never leave the Orthodox Church, because, as St Peter of
Damascus said, "The longer I live it, the more I know it is true."
Your "Rev Smith" seems a very intelligent and sincere man, but reasons
for his impetuous departure from Orthodoxy were not well thought out.
Neat, logical, to be sure, but wrong. If he had absorbed the wisdom of
the Fathers, he would not have made such a mistake.

Fr Michael Azkoul
St Catherine Greek Orthodox Church

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Categories: Eastern Orthodoxy
  1. Erich Heidenreich, DDS
    May 25th, 2007 at 23:23 | #1

    Just a quick note to affirm the truth of what you have written, Pr. McCain. I am ashamed to say that I am one of those people who almost bought the lie of EO a few years ago. I think this is because the “Church” and the “Liturgy” can easily become idols. It the end, God’s grace toward me was such that he opened my eyes to the lie of EO against the pure grace of forensic justification that I had known my entire life as a Lutheran.
    The attitude of those trying to take as many sheep with them as possible when they jump ship from Lutheranism for EO reminds me of something I have witnessed many times as a dentist. When some people take the leap of having all their teeth pulled and having dentures made, one of the first things they do is tell everyone what a great decision it was, that they should have done it years before, and that YOU should do it too!
    The more people they can talk into taking the same leap, the more they feel confirmed in their error. Truth is, a set of dentures is a sorry substitute for what God gave you, and instead you should take care of what you’ve got and restore what is broken or missing. Only once you have let your teeth go to the point of no return do dentures begin to look appealing. Unfortunately, sometimes teeth can be too far gone to repair. Not so with faith!
    The pure Gospel is the free gift of forgiveness, life, and salvation, through the universal imputation of all our sins to Christ and the universal imputation of all of Christ’s righteousness to us – subjectively applied in all its fullness through the means of grace by the gift of faith in this simple truth: “…for you.” This is denied in many ways by EO, the Papacy, and every other denomination. Lutheranism restored this biblical doctrine in all its beauty and purity when it became broken down and decayed in the middle ages. One can now always return to this Scriptural truth found in the Lutheran Confessions, and even just Luther’s Small Catechism. That’s THE miracle cure for what ails ya!
    The church has many battle scars. Never despair. And never mistake the beauty, authority, or liturgy of a false church as a substitute for the clear doctrine of salvation (by grace alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone) that’s taught through Law and Gospel and saves you and your children. No appearances, authority, or ancient liturgy – however majestic – are as divine as God’s pure monergistic grace! Wherever God’s Word is preached in its purity and His Sacraments are rightly administered, be assured and comforted: THERE is the Church!

  2. May 27th, 2007 at 07:43 | #2

    Pr. Paul, What I like about Lutherans is their capacity to be self-critical. Those who promote that their “church” is the greatest thing since slice bread is nothing more but a theology of glory. Lito
    McCain: There is a significant, and essential, distinction we need to keep in mind. The confession of Lutheranism is in fact the greatest thing since sliced bread, because it is nothing, or less, than the confession of the faith of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith. How that confession is given expression, and the degree to which is purely maintained and advanced is the subject for much self-criticism.

  3. May 27th, 2007 at 07:46 | #3

    Pr. Paul,
    What I like about Lutherans is their capacity to be self-critical.
    Those who promote that their “church” is the greatest thing since slice bread is nothing more but a theology of glory.
    Lito

  4. Pastor Furgeson
    May 27th, 2007 at 13:44 | #4

    I find it fascinating that the argument usually runs: since no one perfectly carries out the Confessions, it is time to go to Eastern Orthodoxy. Rarely is there any mention of a flaw in the Confessions, only in the practice of Lutherans. By that same logic, we should chuck all of the instruction in the Bible for Christian living, because we never faithfully carry out any of it, and instead find something more appealing and do-able. Rather than strive for our pastors and laymen to redouble our commitment to the Book of Concord and retrain our Lutheran people, it is time to throw out all of it and go elsewhere, better or not. This is not right thinking. Seeing all of the issues at stake for Lutherans today, now is the time to be on the offensive with our Scriptural and Confessional truths, to be bold in the faith, and face the work laid before us.

  5. Basil Shannon
    September 6th, 2007 at 18:50 | #5

    I converted to Orthodoxy over a decade ago from a Missouri Synod Lutheran to charismatic ORU student background. I can’t argue against the honeymoon stage that many zealous converts go through upon discovering Orthodoxy, but to liken this to the blindess of new love is a little intellectually dishonest. Are you suggesting that anyone who feels grateful for finding the Church is just dumb-blind? Most of us came into Orthodox knowing full well that politics and corrupt clergy, and even hierarchs, existed or might exist from time to time within the Church. Does the fallibility of men and women within the Church disprove anything? Can anyone point to a place in history at which the Orthodox Church apostacized or was overcome by schism and corruption? Can anyone indicate at which point the doctrines of the Apostles were corrupted and changed within the Church? Can anyone honestly argue that it was the Roman Catholic Church who departed from the Universal Church in the events leading up to 1054 A.D., while the other patriarchs in Jerusalem, Antioch, Constantinople, and Alexandria remained united, carefully preserving the ancient faith and passing down the faith unchanged to us today which we call the “Orthodox Church.” The historic continuity is clear. The Church was never overcome by darkness, nor did the gates of hell prevail againt it.
    Yes, corruption and politics exist within Orthodoxy, and every other organization of men. If one analyzes the various Lutheran churches, we may be able to make some valid criticisms about politicial positions being embraced by church leaders, such as the apparent acceptance of actively homosexual clergy with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, although I’m sure many of their clergy reject such a position. The point at which it’s valid to condemn internal corruption is when those corrupt positions become mainstream or the official position of the denomination. Can you find any documentation that any corruption or heterodox beliefs have become fully embraced universally or officially in Orthodoxy. With a Body of around 250 million worldwide, you’ll be able to find ample stories of corruption and scandal, if you want to build a strawman, suggesting that this is the nature of Orthodoxy.
    If you desire to invalidate Orthodoxy, show that it’s added to or subtracted something from the deposit of faith passed down by the Apostles. Show the error of it’s worship, dogma, or traditions, but don’t return tit for tat and attack scandalous behaviors you may be able to find just as prominent within Orthodoxy as within Lutheranism or any other group. The failure of sinful individuals proves nothing about the whole. We can address Lutheranism from a historical, ecclesiastical, and doctrinal point of reference, with no need to take cheap shots at the foibles of sinful men and women and their failures; nor, do we need to construct strawmen to knock down. History attests to the truth and scripture illumines the way also, if we interpret it within the context in which it had been given.
    Basil Shannon

  6. Robert Srebrianski.
    September 23rd, 2007 at 11:18 | #6

    Rev Pastor,
    I agree 100% with what yousay regards eastern orthodoxy.
    Where in the Holy Bible, Or Apostolic church do we find Prayers for the dead, Praying to saints, Etc etc. No where. Dr Martin Luther would have joined Orthodox church when he left rome if he beleived it to be the one, And only true church, He knew about it, But he also knew it did not teach the true gospel, Like Roman catholicism also does not teach the truth. No, The orthodox church is not the true faith once delivered, Lutheranism comes closest to that.
    Robert Srebrianski. Ex orthodox church.

  7. Basil Shannon
    September 24th, 2007 at 08:38 | #7

    With much respect, Mr. Srebrianski, it should be pointed out that those who depart this life are not dead. Is God the God of the living or the dead? Certainly, if we affirm Christ’s resurrection, we affirm also that those who are reposed in Christ reside with Him now in heavenly places, and make up a great cloud of witnesses who worship Him unceasingly. It’s with this choir of witnesses and angels that we join our voices with each Divine Liturgy. We join the heavenly worship, which does not end. We believe by the Holy Spirit our requests for prayer can reach those who are more alive than we are, being in heaven. We affirm the that prayers of righteous men and women accomplish much. Petitioning them for their prayers in no way diminishes God’s role, but instead perfects our love between all those who exist within Christ, living and reposed. In Orthodoxy, we do not give them the attributes of God, just honor as righteous men and women, who’s prayers, as scripture affirms, can accomplish much.
    I would like to know more about Martin Luther’s objection to praying to the saints, but my impression is that it had more to do with it’s abuses in the corrupted Roman Catholic group, than it’s actual correct practice, as preserved in Orthodoxy.
    Basil

  8. organshoes
    September 24th, 2007 at 10:32 | #8

    Certainly they are dead in earthly terms, and certainly await the fulfillment of the resurrection of their bodies from the grave.
    To say that invoking the saints through prayer is not diminishing God’s role, but only perfects the love between us and them, is to ignore what ‘One mediator’ means.
    We pray with them; not through them. Why pray through them, when there is no command, or promise, or example, from Christ or the Apostles, that we are to pray to those who are in heaven?
    Though we honor the dead in Christ, we do not have to give them more than they are due, as their victory over death is hardly their achievement. We thank God they possess the heavenly life, but they did not purchase or attain it themselves.
    Surely, a true saint in Heaven is insulted that we would treat them as if this were otherwise.
    As for what prompted Luther to his position, I would imagine he first searched the scriptures, and found them less than silent as to what prayer is and to Whom it is directed and for what purpose: to reach God’s ears, and not those of someone nearby.
    He is no nearer to those saints than He is to me in Divine Service.

  9. Anderson
    October 14th, 2007 at 21:43 | #9

    Dear Pr McCain,
    I read your post with great interest, being myself a conservative Lutheran who has long observed the increasing footprint of Orthodoxy on U.S. Christianity. I was disappointed, however, that your post never seemed to go anywhere. Sure, Orthodox clergy are sinful human beings like all others. Sure, there are disagreements and arguments between the various Orthodox churches. Sure, there are discussions within and between the the Orthodox churches of how to approach and acommodate modernity. How are these in any way substantial observations? It is simply to say that they are exactly like us.
    Although I am the first to agree that “convertitis” often is a tremendously annoying affliction, the fact that you make fun of, and make use of the zeal of the newly Orthodox to argue against Orthodoxy is entirely disingenuous. Our LC-MS congregations harbor numerous ex-Roman Catholic who have seen the Lutheran light and, as a result, are now not only Evangelically Lutheran, but also aggressively anti-Roman. Will you devote a post to rebuking them for inappropriate behavior? If such behavior detracts from Orthodoxy, surely it must also detract from Lutheranism? Like sinful clergy, financial troubles and theological disagreement, the zeal of converts is not an Orthodox afflication.
    My point is this: your shallow treatment of the matter is an opportunity missed to say something important, given the tremendous attraction of Orthodoxy on a significant number of Lutherans. It would be useful to your readers if you would initiate a serious discussion by explaining, from a Lutheran perspective, where the Orthodox churches depart from the Gospel. What is it that they falsify? What is it that they ignore? Where do they go wrong?
    As someone interested in this matter, I–and many others, I am sure–could benefit from your expert opinion, but only if it rises above the level of cheap shots and jabs
    Very respectfully,
    Anderson

  10. December 22nd, 2008 at 18:51 | #10

    dosug nn

    dosug nn

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