Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another Response to "Why I am Not Protestant"

There has been a great deal of conversation following the post "Why I am Not a Protestant" and much of the conversation has been helpful to me personally.  I related to John Wood's Lament and his struggle to find an expression of the true Faith that speaks in tones with which he resonates. 

The following is an important perspective also. It comes from James Morgan, a former Anglican, who has been Orthodox for about 25 years. He writes in response to my post here.

1. I think that over the long run the Ordinariate people will be encapsulated by the borg of the Roman Church.Too bad. They have a goodly heritage spanning over 400 years, but how many RCs think anything of Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, the Ancrewn Rule, or any of the other worthies that flourished before the Deformation? Not many, I fear.

2. As to the Caroline Divines, it seems to be a mostly scholarly persuit, and I doubt that many pew-sitting RCs have ever heard of them or even care much. Same goes for the glorious cathedral (and parochial) music from Tallis to Howells. Not part of the normal RC parish mix, even though they seem to be getting rid of the guitars and drums.

3. As a delegate to several diocesan conventions in Los Angeles, ending in the '80s, and as a member of the Commission on Ministry there for six years, I realized that the theology was all over the place, ranging from crypto-buddhism to papalism, with many stops in between. No common theology; thus no common language or communication. One of our ordinands departed for Australia in disgust, even though he had a wonderful reference from A. M. Maskall at Oxford.

4. This experience prompted me to investigate where the truth lay: I soon found that the Orthodox Church, despite its warts proclaimed the same dogmatic truth, and practiced the same sacramental life, even though there were divisions of ethnicity, and arguments as to who was the 'real, true, genuine Orthodox'.

5. As to the female clergy, I was involved in vetting several when I was on the COM. Ironically, most were of the Anglo-Catholic persuasion. And they really wanted to serve the church and minister to people. One was the daughter of a bishop (I forget her name now) but she stressed confession, frequent communion, and a rule of life. She was a spiritual mother to many people, but always felt she was a minority witness. The situation in the TOC has changed a lot now of course with the radicals taking over. I doubt that any of the women clergy I knew back then would approve, or even be in communion with Katie and her ilk.

As to Gary's comment, you might want to mention that ROCOR has a growing Western Rite group, mostly on the east coast of the US, and that many of the 'ethnic' groups have mostly English services. Naturally immigration from the homelands has caused some parishes to revert to the old country languages in order to minister to their new flocks (Romanian, Serbian, Ukranian etc) but even out here on the Left coast we have many 'traditional' parishes who serve mainly in English. I don't know about the rest of the country.

Rdr. James Morgan
Olympia, WA


Margaret said...

Dear Rdr James,
According to the work of Alexei Krindatch in the Atlas of American Orthodox Christians, the Orthodox parishes that are growing are the ones that worship in English, and they are the majority of Orthodox parishes at this point. You, and those like you, seeking authentic, unchanging teaching, continuity of faith, and sacramental worship united in The Spirit, now represent more than half of the membership in Orthodox parishes in the US. (This is what the converts at my parish tell me drew them to Orthodoxy) This is an indication of what Orthodoxy is to be in America in the future. You're the leading edge of a great wave.

Anonymous said...

Rev. James,

There is much more to the Roman church than just music. Nobody, I know has ever joined a church because of the music, but because God called them to it.

Christianity is about changing people not institutions. We need to start with ourselves, we need to strive to become the saints God created us to be.

We should be so busy working on our own walk with God, that we have little time to criticize others.


Gary said...

Thank you again, Dr. Linsley, for your advice last month. And thank you, Rev James, as well.

I was not aware Western Rite Eastern Orthodoxy even existed! That is quite a relief.

I am still in flux as a recovering Evangelical and, honestly, I think I'm going to swim the Tiber. However, I do have affection for Orthodoxy and may visit an EO parish in my area soon; it would be educational, if nothing else.

I suppose my earlier rant was dissatisfaction with an inability, and indeed lack of trying, of genuinely holding the Yesterday and the Today holistically.