I should have given you more of a warning about that link, but you have it pegged very well. I actually, had a somewhat menacing beggar come up to me and my wife a few weeks ago as we were walking in a downtown area. I normally give folks the "spare change" that they ask for, but this one was almost demanding that I give him some money . . . and especially with my wife's safety in mind, I was more inclined to give him a good punch on the nose than to listen to him and be persuaded by him (which I think makes your original point somewhat).
But, as the author of that article says Negrut was silly to say: "one cannot become Orthodox in general."
I'm not sure what Negrut means when he wrote this. Actually, I looked for this quote in Negrut's article and couldn't find it, although I know it's there because you mentioned it above. But, what was Negrut's point in saying this. This interested me and this is why I looked for it. But, as the aggressive beggar wrote about this:
Quote:The fact is, there are many cultures that practice Orthodoxy, but no one is forced to "become" that culture - our role is not with a nation or tribe, but with the Kingdom of God.
I do have to agree with him there. But, again I cannot cross reference with this with Negrut's comment about one not being able to be Orthodox in general. I guess chances are the point was missed as it was referred to as being a silly comment.
But, as well I did appreciate the insight offered on that link as the author shared:
Quote:One of the unusual things about Americans becoming Orthodox is the fear people have - and I believe it's there on both sides - that the one culture will force the other culture into its mold...
I wonder if any of this is at play in your neck of the wood?
I too appreciate Father Gregory's writing here very much. As he wrote:
Quote:Is the Church a museum for the preservation of relics from other times and places, or a living organism proclaiming the Gospel to every person in his or her own tongue (following the description of Pentecost)? And, if the latter, how is this to be done in practice?
This is so significant to both those who would be Orthodox, and for those of us who have taken the leap (for the lack of a better expression at the present). As he implies above about those coming in the front door only to leave out the back door of the local church, if a museum is what is found why would any stay for any length of time. And, as I read his concluding question above, 'how is this to be done in practice?' . . . my mind moves to a similar, but distinct question which (at the risk of me becoming an aggressive beggar) is 'what is it that keeps this from being done?' Do you catch my drift here? What would some of our writing above look like if we switched out the phrases "The Church" and "Orthodoxy" and replaced them with the words "We" or "I" or John or Rick or Fr. Gregory? What happens to our thinking, and our point, when we do not remove ourselves from the reality of the conversation . . . when we do not afford ourselves the luxury of only being observers and commentators? Or, is this too much of a Protestant way of considering real remedies for perceived error. You know? I am guilty of this as much as the next guy, but there are different degrees of whining and sometimes there is subtle polemic that cannot not promote only a smile of resignation in the end. And, who wants that? So, seriously, as it relates to a proclamation of the Gospel to every person in his or her own tongue "what is it that keeps us from doing this now?" I think this is a fair question as we consider how we are viewed through both other perspectives and our own.
For that matter what was it that kept me from proclaiming the good news of the Kerygma of Christ to that beggar whom I was ready to punch in the nose?