Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Weighty possibilities I haven’t come across before for the phenomenon — reportedly not rare — of Orthodox clergy who seem reluctant to receive a convert, especially in the Western world, are presented by a Greek priest in Australia.  (NB: I’ve never heard of a language requirement before.)

His piece reminds us that most Orthodox didn’t come to the West as missionaries.  Of course, most non-Indigenous didn’t come to North America, Australia, etc., as missionaries — their religions basically followed them here.  (Of course, conversion of the Indians was part and parcel of colonial policy in Latin America.)  We easily forget ethnic distinction in religion wasn’t brought here by the Orthodox; to this day many Protestant and Catholic congregations are still predominantly of one or another ethnicity (or two), even if they don’t include it in their buildings’ names anymore.  But active explicit or implicit competition for adherents began apace at least in the U.S. with its (eventual) very “free-market” approach to religion.  Since overall, Orthodox are more-recent arrivals than other Christians, they’re mostly still in that earlier phase so to speak.

Sometimes a little sociological understanding can go a long way….  Kind of a correlate to Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green’s 12th “…Thing I Wish I’d Known…

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Another thought from Abp LAZAR:

Ignorance is the mother of violence, fear is its father. Combined, they work together to undermine faith. Much of the world’s religion, including much of Christianity, has become based in fear and ignorance, and this is one of the greatest promoters of atheism. But atheism, too, is based in fear and ignorance. One who has a genuine faith in Christ no longer subscribes to fear and ignorance, and no longer hates, wishes to persecute or resorts to violence, either physical, emotional or verbal. As the apostle so clearly tells us, “we have not been placed in bondage to a spirit of fear,” and our beloved father John the Evangelist enjoins that “there is no fear in love; rather perfect love drives out fear,” and “whoever still has fear has not been made perfect in love.”