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Do you agree with Kevin Allen on the state of the church

jewish voice

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This question is about Kevin's last podcast. If you haven't listened to it you can go to afr to listen to it. My question is do you agree with Kevin on his view of the church right now. Or do you disagree  with it. he talked to a lot of different heads in the church so what say you?
 

minasoliman

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Do you have a link?
 

jewish voice

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Fabio Leite said:
jewish voice said:
Blocked here. What's his view?
I don't want to put words into Mr Allen's mouth so to me sum it up . The church is digging in not looking to preach the word on the streets not wanting an American orthodoxy at all sticking to what it is now with many bishops over lapping areas which is not to be done. That's what I got from it
 

minasoliman

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Fabio Leite

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minasoliman

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Fabio Leite

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jewish voice said:
I don't want to put words into Mr Allen's mouth so to me sum it up . The church is digging in not looking to preach the word on the streets not wanting an American orthodoxy at all sticking to what it is now with many bishops over lapping areas which is not to be done. That's what I got from it
We need a supranational governance but not a global governance.

The Orthodox Church is not it's formal organizational institutions, but the community of faith. Nevertheless, Rome, confusing it's formal organizational institution with what being the Church is, adapted better for changing geopolitical conditions, at least restricted to the West and for some centuries.

We need a new way of organizing bishops and jurisdictions that is not so dependent on fading national sovereignities, nor a vassal to the rising global governance structure.

Like it or not, the closest working model is that of multinational corporations and just like the Church was never a state but learned from states how to reorganize itself, we should learn from corporations how to reorganize ourselves.

It's not at all about becoming a corporation but learning with their experience. Training, clear communication, transparency, *organizational* (not moral!) flexibility, think local nodes (parishes) plus intertwined networks of interests (ministries, pastorals). Having a structure that is friendly toward priests who have to work outside the Church - the simlpe fact we lack this here is one of the greatest reasons Orthodoxy never really took of in Brazil.
For training I mean specially having at least some bishops - those who really have management as their second support vocation - taking Management courses in Business Schools, not to "acquire clients" as if faithful were clients (that's the Protestant model). But for the simple fact that as organizations the churches have to deal with human resources, accounting, communication, fund raising, ethics, law. Eventually there could be a "Church Administration" minor even in seminaries.

Honestly, it is not that our leaders are bad people, or unintelligent or not spiritual. It is just that the least important part of the Church, its boring bureaucratic structure is still thought of as an analogy of a state, which is a thoroughly inneficient form of organization, which has been smashed by corporations and global NGOs.

I agree with Pope Francis. The Church is not a NGO. But it does require some form of structure to operate publically, even if this structure is irrelevant for our spiritual lives. And then it's inspiration can come from State, Corporations or NGOs. I think there is much to learn from the later two in the specific areas I mentioned.

Both would demand that the Orthodox churches declare their "indepedence" not from their nations or ethnic groups, that would be absurd, but from their states. To be very "cynical" the real question is: can the Church pay for her own costs? Can she decide what she will do without having to condone with the political whims of kings, presidents and prime-ministers? There are the known theological issues we can criticize Rome for. Their relative independence from any state is an example though.

The Church should be able to have an income of its own independent from any state. He who pays gives the orders, and paying for yourself means you don't have to get orders from anyone. For the Church, that would be a wonderful thing in my opinion. The Council of 2016, if it really happens, could be a step towards that emancipation. I doubt that any single Orthodox Church could do that alone. We all together can.
 

Punch

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Had me fooled. I thought that Churches were corporations in the business of selling Jesus.
 

Fabio Leite

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Punch said:
Had me fooled. I thought that Churches were corporations in the business of selling Jesus.
I though about that analogy. Our final "product", the metrics to be used in audits for "quality assurance" is very simple: saints. Deified people. Our "client" is God. At least "products" with minimum quality, people who honestly strugle for salvation and who actually advance toward that.

Are we delivering or not? That's all that matters. Not to save the climate, not to recover Russia, not to save the West from its mistakes, not to unite with anyone in particular, not to bring about "social justice", welfare, or even wealth. Saints. Saved people. All the rest is secondary. If the Church feeds all the hungry and redistributes all the wealth, but no one was saved and no one became a saint, she has failed her mission.
 

jewish voice

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Fabio Leite said:
jewish voice said:
I don't want to put words into Mr Allen's mouth so to me sum it up . The church is digging in not looking to preach the word on the streets not wanting an American orthodoxy at all sticking to what it is now with many bishops over lapping areas which is not to be done. That's what I got from it
We need a supranational governance but not a global governance.

The Orthodox Church is not it's formal organizational institutions, but the community of faith. Nevertheless, Rome, confusing it's formal organizational institution with what being the Church is, adapted better for changing geopolitical conditions, at least restricted to the West and for some centuries.

We need a new way of organizing bishops and jurisdictions that is not so dependent on fading national sovereignities, nor a vassal to the rising global governance structure.

Like it or not, the closest working model is that of multinational corporations and just like the Church was never a state but learned from states how to reorganize itself, we should learn from corporations how to reorganize ourselves.

It's not at all about becoming a corporation but learning with their experience. Training, clear communication, transparency, *organizational* (not moral!) flexibility, think local nodes (parishes) plus intertwined networks of interests (ministries, pastorals). Having a structure that is friendly toward priests who have to work outside the Church - the simlpe fact we lack this here is one of the greatest reasons Orthodoxy never really took of in Brazil.
For training I mean specially having at least some bishops - those who really have management as their second support vocation - taking Management courses in Business Schools, not to "acquire clients" as if faithful were clients (that's the Protestant model). But for the simple fact that as organizations the churches have to deal with human resources, accounting, communication, fund raising, ethics, law. Eventually there could be a "Church Administration" minor even in seminaries.

Honestly, it is not that our leaders are bad people, or unintelligent or not spiritual. It is just that the least important part of the Church, its boring bureaucratic structure is still thought of as an analogy of a state, which is a thoroughly inneficient form of organization, which has been smashed by corporations and global NGOs.

I agree with Pope Francis. The Church is not a NGO. But it does require some form of structure to operate publically, even if this structure is irrelevant for our spiritual lives. And then it's inspiration can come from State, Corporations or NGOs. I think there is much to learn from the later two in the specific areas I mentioned.

Both would demand that the Orthodox churches declare their "indepedence" not from their nations or ethnic groups, that would be absurd, but from their states. To be very "cynical" the real question is: can the Church pay for her own costs? Can she decide what she will do without having to condone with the political whims of kings, presidents and prime-ministers? There are the known theological issues we can criticize Rome for. Their relative independence from any state is an example though.

The Church should be able to have an income of its own independent from any state. He who pays gives the orders, and paying for yourself means you don't have to get orders from anyone. For the Church, that would be a wonderful thing in my opinion. The Council of 2016, if it really happens, could be a step towards that emancipation. I doubt that any single Orthodox Church could do that alone. We all together can.
I found the ethnicity or orthodoxy a turn off when I was searching. I went to an English speaking Greek church was nice moved and was gone why go where I haven't a clue what is being said. Course the old guard won't let go.
 

Nephi

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I'll listen to it in a minute (I've been a regular listener of his show for a couple years), but I must say that paying attention to current Church events, or even anything outside of one's own parish, can be extremely draining. Do it for a couple years or more as part of an occupation, like Kevin Allen did, and I'm not surprised that he seems unhappy with things.
 

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jewish voice said:
I found the ethnicity or orthodoxy a turn off when I was searching. I went to an English speaking Greek church was nice moved and was gone why go where I haven't a clue what is being said. Course the old guard won't let go.
That too. :)

We don't have to stop having parishes for ethnic communities, but we should also have parishes for locals.

I don't know about other places, but at least here, locals are also to blame. To build a parish "for locals" would require hard work, people who would be willing to sacrifice other aspects of their lives to keep the parish, not a small amount of money and locals simply don't want to do that. So the hand that pays the bills, write the rules. And live with that. :)
 

Punch

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Fabio Leite said:
Punch said:
Had me fooled. I thought that Churches were corporations in the business of selling Jesus.
I though about that analogy. Our final "product", the metrics to be used in audits for "quality assurance" is very simple: saints. Deified people. Our "client" is God. At least "products" with minimum quality, people who honestly strugle for salvation and who actually advance toward that.

Are we delivering or not? That's all that matters. Not to save the climate, not to recover Russia, not to save the West from its mistakes, not to unite with anyone in particular, not to bring about "social justice", welfare, or even wealth. Saints. Saved people. All the rest is secondary. If the Church feeds all the hungry and redistributes all the wealth, but no one was saved and no one became a saint, she has failed her mission.
Then the modern Church has failed.  Recognizing one of two Saints a year is not a very good return on investment.  On the other hand, if the Church actually does what Christ commands rather than simply acting as a repository of the Faith, then perhaps the other things will follow.  It has happened (and still does in some places).
 

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Fabio Leite said:
jewish voice said:
I found the ethnicity or orthodoxy a turn off when I was searching. I went to an English speaking Greek church was nice moved and was gone why go where I haven't a clue what is being said. Course the old guard won't let go.
That too. :)

We don't have to stop having parishes for ethnic communities, but we should also have parishes for locals.

I don't know about other places, but at least here, locals are also to blame. To build a parish "for locals" would require hard work, people who would be willing to sacrifice other aspects of their lives to keep the parish, not a small amount of money and locals simply don't want to do that. So the hand that pays the bills, write the rules. And live with that. :)
What is an ethnic" and what is a local?
 

Fabio Leite

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Orest said:
Fabio Leite said:
jewish voice said:
I found the ethnicity or orthodoxy a turn off when I was searching. I went to an English speaking Greek church was nice moved and was gone why go where I haven't a clue what is being said. Course the old guard won't let go.
That too. :)

We don't have to stop having parishes for ethnic communities, but we should also have parishes for locals.

I don't know about other places, but at least here, locals are also to blame. To build a parish "for locals" would require hard work, people who would be willing to sacrifice other aspects of their lives to keep the parish, not a small amount of money and locals simply don't want to do that. So the hand that pays the bills, write the rules. And live with that. :)
What is an ethnic" and what is a local?
What I mean by that is any cultural group that is foreign to a certain land. The natives are the "locals".

An American Baptist church composed mainly of Americans or descedents in Japan would be an ethnic church.
 

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I still like my idea about placing each country under the most populous jurisdiction. I think Denmark would become romanian.
 

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Well that was a bummer to listen to. I agree with him in part though.
 

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I think most would agree with Kevin that the declines observed in some Orthodox jurisdictions are discouraging and that over-identification of Orthodoxy with particular ethnic groups can lead to a loss of younger generations and a failure to attract converts from other ethnic groups.  The problems won't be addressed, however, by merely removing the ethnic reference from church signs or mandating the use of English in all parishes.  The problem is ultimately not administrative but spiritual and is largely the result of secularism.  Here is a very good article on the subject by Met Hierotheos on "Secularism in the Church, Theology and Pastoral Care" which I provided in another thread recently:

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/pastoral/hierotheos_vlachos_secularism.htm
 

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I think the self-satisfaction of Americans such as Mr. Allen is reason enough to maintain the existing, fragmented order of things. Until by the Holy Spirit we can see ourselves as "wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked," and in no way suitable to be entrusted with the task of forming a church after our own image, then I pray fragmentation and reliance on foreign ancient sees remain the order of the day, as I am convinced that is our only hope of salvation.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
I think the self-satisfaction of Americans such as Mr. Allen is reason enough to maintain the existing, fragmented order of things. Until by the Holy Spirit we can see ourselves as "wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked," and in no way suitable to be entrusted with the task of forming a church after our own image, then I pray fragmentation and reliance on foreign ancient sees remain the order of the day, as I am convinced that is our only hope of salvation.
Yes, because all law and no gospel is how we reach salvation.
 

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Fabio Leite said:
Orest said:
Fabio Leite said:
jewish voice said:
I found the ethnicity or orthodoxy a turn off when I was searching. I went to an English speaking Greek church was nice moved and was gone why go where I haven't a clue what is being said. Course the old guard won't let go.
That too. :)

We don't have to stop having parishes for ethnic communities, but we should also have parishes for locals.

I don't know about other places, but at least here, locals are also to blame. To build a parish "for locals" would require hard work, people who would be willing to sacrifice other aspects of their lives to keep the parish, not a small amount of money and locals simply don't want to do that. So the hand that pays the bills, write the rules. And live with that. :)
What is an ethnic" and what is a local?
What I mean by that is any cultural group that is foreign to a certain land. The natives are the "locals".

An American Baptist church composed mainly of Americans or descedents in Japan would be an ethnic church.
So a German-speaking mennonite church in Manitoba, canada which has exsisted for over 100 years is then local and so is a Ukrainian Orthodox Church built in 1896 in manitona or elsewhere on the Canadian prairies.  Not to mention a French-speaking Catholic Church in Nova Scotia.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Punch said:
Then the modern Church has failed.  Recognizing one of two Saints a year is not a very good return on investment.  On the other hand, if the Church actually does what Christ commands rather than simply acting as a repository of the Faith, then perhaps the other things will follow.  It has happened (and still does in some places).
You've been pretty negative on Orthodoxy lately, so I just wanted to throw you some light and say that I had an overwhelming sense of the love of God and his love for me today because of the beauty that the Orthodox church continues to create in our world. It's not just a dry repository, it's really and truly beautiful. The Western churches have almost totally abandoned what is true and beautiful. I know Orthodoxy can be a lot, and I know we are all worn out, but remember the right things that you were drawn to about it. Surely it wasn't all rational argumentation of historical and theological points. Surely you felt God in a deeper and more profound way than ever before, right? Maybe not, I don't know...Just don't let the "side show" aspects of it destract you from what it really is, or what you can really be.
 

Punch

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Punch said:
Then the modern Church has failed.  Recognizing one of two Saints a year is not a very good return on investment.  On the other hand, if the Church actually does what Christ commands rather than simply acting as a repository of the Faith, then perhaps the other things will follow.  It has happened (and still does in some places).
Surely it wasn't all rational argumentation of historical and theological points. Surely you felt God in a deeper and more profound way than ever before, right? Maybe not, I don't know...Just don't let the "side show" aspects of it destract you from what it really is, or what you can really be.
Actually, it was.  It was the theological aspects that attracted me, as well as the full content of the services – something almost never experienced outside of ROCOR.  As to feeling God in a deeper and more profound way, not at all.  I often miss my relationship with God before my conversion, and I miss seeing God at work in the people around me.  I am sure that a major factor is whatever parish one attends.  However, I have found the same to be true in my former denomination.  I have seen good Christians in the Protestant Churches, Roman Catholic Churches, as well as the Orthodox Churches.  I also have a Hindu that is my best friend (and one of the only true friends that I have ever had) that lives Christ more than any Christian that I have ever met.  I also think that much of the problem is American exceptionalism in convert parishes.  I have to say that I while I have found the ethnic Orthodox to have some issues, they also have tended to be more humble and more in line with the Orthodoxy that I studied before converting.  What I cannot stand is the “we are the fullness of the Faith” crowd that, when push comes to shove (and you don’t have to push that hard) are really no better than anyone else.  I have dealt with my share of miracles and death in my life – including miracles in my own life and being close to death myself and watching my father die earlier this year.  I really have not seen that much difference when it comes right down to it.  I like the services of the Orthodox much better, and I believe in praying for the dead.  But that is about all.  I often realize that I am more of a Lutheran that buys in to Orthodox theology more than I am Orthodox with Lutheran leanings.  And the more that I read some of the drivel in this site (like the latest “wisdom” of our sex is bad guru), the more I am proud of that fact.
 

minasoliman

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I just listened to it...he makes a lot of great points that we need to admit.

I think there will be a "supernatural selection" with all the jurisdictions.  Many will die off due to their lack of evangelism and the youth services.  And the next generations of churches are those who will from the ground up will lead to jurisdictional unity, but not without friction from the mother churches.
 
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