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Evangelicals Turn Toward … the Orthodox Church

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Evangelicals Turn Toward … the Orthodox Church

 

By Jason Zengerle

Quote

Ellsworth’s story is hardly unique. Most of the approximately 150 members of the Orthodox parish he now leads are former evangelicals themselves. Even Ellsworth’s transition from evangelical minister to Orthodox priest is not uncommon. Of the more than 250 parishes of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, some 60 percent are led by convert priests, most of whom are from evangelical backgrounds. And, according to Bradley Nassif, a professor at North Park University and the leading academic expert on Evangelical- Orthodox dialogue, the Antiochian Archdiocese has seen over 150 percent church growth in the last 20 years, approximately 75 percent of which is attributable to converts.

While it’s unlikely that the Orthodox Church–which, according to the best estimate, has only 1.2 million American members–will ever pose any sort of existential threat to evangelical Christianity in the United States, it is significant nonetheless that a growing number of Southern Baptists and Presbyterians and Assemblies of God members have left the evangelical fold, turning to a religion that is not only not American, but not even Western. Their flight signals a growing dissatisfaction among some evangelicals with the state of their churches and their complicated relationship with the modern world.

I've heard it said that from time to time Evangelical types will try to convert Orthodox Christians to the faith of Christ. I would believe the brothers would show great sympathy for one such as that, being they'd be considered an innocent who has no knowledge of the faith of Christ that Orthodox Christians uphold. However, this is a surprising bit of news. Especially the number of converts finding their way to what some call a living relationship with our Lord.

Enjoy. I hope this feeds the spirit of charity and compassion here.

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I'm going to read that page you have there when I have time. I put it in my favorites column at the top so I don't forget. 

That's really surprising that Evangelicals are going to Orthodox churches. I've been to a few of the evangelical churches in my area and I didn't cotton to those at all. It felt really odd to be among people that put their religion on the shelf when they got home from church on Sunday. But pulled it down and used it like a baseball bat when they wanted to judge people they thought deserved it from their self-named Christian perspective. I hung out in those churches and with the people there for almost a year trying to get in the swing of things. Never happened. But the knot in my stomach made me finally decide to listen to God and get out and stop trying to figure a way to make their way make sense with his word. 
When I left my stomach felt better the longer I stayed gone. Maybe that's what the folks in that article know too and that's why they're migrating out. 

Anyway Joshuas thanks for that post. I'll get back to you when I get it all finished. I like to take my time reading long articles because I want to get the feel for where it makes sense and jives with my understanding. Even when it doesn't it could lead me to better understanding. That's why I take 'er easy. 

Talk to you another time. 

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I'll bump your talk here. There's a thread about persecution of Christians in the middle east. Being Orthodox Christians are among those being targeted by the evil there I thought this would maybe personalize the issue a little more. Being evangelicals are converting to a faith that is targeted in the ME. If it will happen there I don't think any Christian is safe when evil is entering into western countries through the refugee programs. And by other means. 

We've suffered terrorist attacks by ISIS in America already. God forbid Christians are targeted here as they are in the Middle East. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/26/2017 at 1:20 PM, JoshuasonFlower said:

 

Evangelicals Turn Toward … the Orthodox Church

 

By Jason Zengerle

I've heard it said that from time to time Evangelical types will try to convert Orthodox Christians to the faith of Christ. I would believe the brothers would show great sympathy for one such as that, being they'd be considered an innocent who has no knowledge of the faith of Christ that Orthodox Christians uphold. However, this is a surprising bit of news. Especially the number of converts finding their way to what some call a living relationship with our Lord.

Enjoy. I hope this feeds the spirit of charity and compassion here.

 

from your link

 

Quote

From a spiritual perspective, however, Ellsworth was suffering. Over the past 20 years, a growing number of evangelical churches have joined what is called the “church growth movement,” which favors a more contemporary, market-driven style of worship–with rock ‘n’ roll “praise songs” supplanting traditional hymns and dramatic sketches replacing preachy sermons–in the hope of attracting new members and turning churches into megachurches. First Baptist of Wheaton was not immune to this trend: Ellsworth increasingly found himself fighting with congregants about the way worship was being done. “They wanted to replace our organ with a drum set and do similar things that boiled down not to doctrine, but to personal preference,” he explains. “I said, That’s not going to happen as long as I’m here.’” It didn’t. In 2000, after 13 years as the pastor of First Baptist, Ellsworth was forced out.

This is an "American" story. So then what do church growth numbers look like "in America" for the Orthodox as compared to Evangelicals?

 

And then for the "world wide" context. How many atheists, buddhists, agnostics are counted as "Orthodox" under the policy "everybody in Russia is counted as Orthodox" or "Everyone in xyz Orthodox country is counted as Orthodox"??

Edited by BobRyan

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2017 at 11:38 AM, Happinessity said:

I'll bump your talk here. There's a thread about persecution of Christians in the middle east. Being Orthodox Christians are among those being targeted by the evil there I thought this would maybe personalize the issue a little more. Being evangelicals are converting to a faith that is targeted in the ME. If it will happen there I don't think any Christian is safe when evil is entering into western countries through the refugee programs. And by other means. 

We've suffered terrorist attacks by ISIS in America already. God forbid Christians are targeted here as they are in the Middle East. 

 

Interesting that the Orthodox in Russia are looking for ways to ban various Christian groups. Notice what the Orthodox did when Russia took over a slice of the Ukraine? Look at what they did in Syria. -- Are the Orthodox "known for tolerance"?? Are they really calling for "Religious Liberty" in countries where they have dominant influence? Are they working to influence Orthodox members in government to favor "Religious Liberty"?

Really? 

 

Where is that "news"?

Edited by BobRyan

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3 hours ago, BobRyan said:

Interesting that the Orthodox in Russia are looking for ways to ban various Christian groups. Notice what the Orthodox did when Russia took over a slice of the Ukraine? Look at what they did in Syria. -- Are the Orthodox "known for tolerance"?? Are they really calling for "Religious Liberty" in countries where they have dominant influence? Are they working to influence Orthodox members in government to favor "Religious Liberty"?

Really? 

 

Where is that "news"?

Where is that proof ? 

I entered this thread looking for a discussion about the Evangelicals that are turning to the Orthodox church.  Your remarks are inflammatory and off topic. And of course, unsupported.  

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Wolf Bridges said:

Where is that proof ? 

I entered this thread looking for a discussion about the Evangelicals that are turning to the Orthodox church.  Your remarks are inflammatory and off topic. And of course, unsupported.  

 

On the contrary I am referring to historic facts ... "the news".  What group argues that the news should not be let out - or else it is inflammatory? The reason for bringing this up - is to shine some light on exactly what it is that these Evangelicals are leaving - and what they are running towards when they trade one denomination and heritage -- for another.

1. In Russia 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/june/no-evangelizing-outside-of-church-russia-proposes.html

Which includes this - 

Quote

Proposed by United Russia party lawmaker Irina Yarovaya, the law appears to target religious groups outside the Russian Orthodox church. Because it defines missionary activities as religious practices to spread a faith beyond its members, “if that is interpreted as the Moscow Patriarchate is likely to, it will mean the Orthodox Church can go after ethnic Russians but that no other church will be allowed to,” according to Frank Goble, an expert on religious and ethnic issues in the region.

Russian nationalist identity remains tied up with the Russian Orthodox church.

“The Russian Orthodox church is part of a bulwark of Russian nationalism stirred up by Vladimir Putin,” David Aikman, history professor and foreign affairs expert, told CT. “Everything that undermines that action is a real threat, whether that’s evangelical Protestant missionaries or anything else.”

 

2. In Syria - I have a friend who came from Syria recently and told first-hand how the Orthodox church in Syria went to the government there to claim that certain other Christian denominations are "spies for Israel".

3. In the Eukraine

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/ukraine.christians.threatened.with.firing.squads.and.pastors.held.hostage/41224.htm

Edited by BobRyan

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Makes me quite glad that the burning times of those deemed heretics by leaders of certain Church orders are no longer legal anywhere in the civilized world. 

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6 hours ago, PlanetChee said:

Makes me quite glad that the burning times of those deemed heretics by leaders of certain Church orders are no longer legal anywhere in the civilized world. 

No kidding! Those who called for the murder of Christians were Christians! It was a campaign against those who were deemed not to believe the "right way". 
Anyone could be targeted. Well, except for the super rich of course. When are they ever equal to the peasant class back then? 

If someone wanted your family property and you refused to sell, all they had to do was whisper, "heretic", or , "witch", in the right place. And the inquisition would deem them guilty just for the accusation against them and then take them into custody. And that property they refused to sell? That went to the church who would auction it off and likely to that one that wanted to buy it before but was refused. 

But they did earn their comeuppance when the plague struck. Because as part of the inquisition terrorism cats were burned to death too. Thought to be "familiars" of the so called "witches" that were murdered. And with no cats to keep down the rats, the fleas on the rats proliferated. As did the rats. As did the plague. 

Domino effect. 

Amazing to witness the odor of inquisition now days isn't it? 

 

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On 5/23/2017 at 3:50 PM, Wolf Bridges said:

Those who called for the murder of Christians were Christians! It was a campaign against those who were deemed not to believe the "right way". 

 

Born again Christians? or those that followed a State Church (Rome, Geneva, Anglican, Lutheran, Greek Orthodox etc)?

 

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