Why do the Orthodox publicly identity so strongly with organizations like the National Council of Churches and individual Protestant churches within that group and why has Orthodoxy seemed to have lost its voice on the greater moral and theological errors of the day (like abortion, same sex marriage, ambiguous confessions of God, and anti-creedal doctrines)?
For all the great appreciation and respect I have for Orthodoxy, I am just as mystified as this author by the willingness to continue in the empty forms and gestures of the NCC and why Orthodoxy has remained mostly hidden in the great debates of our time over issues of sexuality, abortion, and anti-Trinitarian definitions of God? If there are Orthodox who could explain this, I welcome their help in figuring out why Orthodoxy in America seems more comfortable with liberal Protestantism's rejection of Biblical authority, the unique revelation of God in the Trinity, and the full embrace of a liberal social agenda? If I have missed out where Orthodoxy has vigorously disavowed these associations and positions, I welcome the the chance to correct the record here.
Statements issued by: The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America (formerly known as the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America) is one of twelve bishops' assemblies which have been established in different geographical regions throughout the world. It is made up of all the active, canonical Orthodox bishops of North and Central America, of every jurisdiction.
January 22, 2013: The 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
Marriage and the Moral Crisis in our Nation
As a disaffected LCMS Lutheran, I was interested in learning more about the Eastern Orthodox church with the intention of joining it. Since the EO leadership appears to embrace the same positions as the liberal Christians on political, moral, and economic issues, I have changed my mind. I guess I am stuck with the LCMS and its Willow Creek and Saddleback garbage......
Anon, I am not out to try to convince you one way or the other about the Orthodoxy Church, but I would like to set the record straight. Read the above links. The Orthodox Church does NOT embrace the same positions as the liberal Christians on moral issues. In fact, the author of the article made it a point to say, Hey, we don't believe these things so why are we involved and identified with a group that does? (But to be sure, in our Church body we do have individuals who believe something other than what the Church teaches...in that we are no different than any other group.)
And politically, the Orthodox are not going to look like any Protestant group. The article points to this, too. The Orthodox ways are not American ways...it takes a while to understand that there is a method to what appears to be the madness.
I am not defending the various Orthodox jurisdictions' membership in the NCC...although I think I understand some of the motivations for staying. But their membership should not be confused as their agreement on such critical moral issues.
It looks to me like your trying a guilt by association. The NCC and WCC and other organizations may ostensibly condone such actions as gay marriage and abortion on demand, etc., but I think a disclaimer on their websites amounts to the "positions held here are by no means representative of all respective affiliates."
I think the reason that some Orthodox churches remained involved with such bodies as these is mainly out of a spirit of dialogue (even if the dialogue is truly going nowhere) and also to try to do some good by bringing some of the traditional Protestants back to traditional teaching and belief. I also think that the NCC is desperate to hold on to Orthodox churches because without them, they really have no legitimacy or standing in the greater Christian world. So, they promise positions of influence to Orthodox clergy. Not too long ago, an Armenian Orthodox was president.
At the same time, I don't think the Orthodox churches do very much with these organizations. It's like staying part of an organization and still receiving their mailer though you haven't been to a meeting in a long time.
I think Pr Peters probably knows that the Orthodox do not hold the same theology as the NCC and WCC but isn't that his point? If dialogue is going nowhere and your theology and moral stances are far away from those organizations in which you hold membership, is this not the time to distance yourself from them formally? AKA leave?
You mean like how the ELCA and the LCMS continue to have dialogue and work together in ministries?
I am a former LCMS pastor, now Orthodox for 25 years in Smyrna, TN. The question you pose could also be posed about the ELCA, etc. The fact is that which is called World Orthodoxy has departed from the Orthodox Faith by membership in and adherence to (agreement with) WCC's heretical views of the Church. The "official" church speaks from both sides of the mouth. They prefer associations with the liberals and denounce the conservatives while claiming to profess the Orthodox Faith. I discovered this early on and found that the Orthodox Faith is preserved in what is called the Old Calendarist's or True Orthodox.http://hotca.org/news/miscellaneous/535-synodal-concelebration-of-unity-and-confession
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