Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Para-Church Charismata, Rite, Ecclesiology, Mysteriology

First, it is a happy thing when anyone finds the Faith. Whatever they used to be, wherever they came from, we consider ourselves less worthy. However, this is a different question from whether conversion to Orthodoxy means right-affiliation or a right-mind.

One concerns is reports of para-church “bible studies” and “prayer meetings” forming alongside the liturgy, in which the so-called “charismatic gifts” are practiced (speaking in “tongues”, praying “in the Spirit”, getting a “word” of prophesy or letting Jesus “speak to your heart”). This is a grave thing indeed, for it means not only the establishment of a parallel rite, a parallel spirituality (mysteriology), indeed a parallel charism (another Spirit) which is incompatible with that of Christ as revealed in fullness in the Orthodox Church, but also indeed a rejection of the fullness of any rite, Eastern or Western, which is precisely the concern that many of us have consistently voiced.

When the Charismatic Episcopal Church says, “We believe that the CEC has an appointment with destiny to bring back these three streams, to make the Church charismatic, evangelical, and sacramental, all at the same time.” it must not, can never, will never refer to the Orthodox Church. The Church is One, it is Undivided, it is the Spotless Lamb and Without Blemish. it is complete, whole, and the fullness of the Faith. Any notion of coming in to “make the Church” this or “make it that”, to “bring” in fulless, is, friends, an utter repudiation of Orthodox ecclesiology.

“I’m not bringing what I want to Orthodoxy, it’s bringing it back to me.” – Kevin Barry, catechumen (True Convergence: Orthodox Podcast #4)


January 18, 2008 - Posted by | Western Rite Questions | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Looking for a gulf, chasm, an abyss between public and private prayer? Looking for shrill triumphalism vs. humility? Looking to meet lay leaders on power trips who play headgames with the most weak, vulnerable, and those in psychaitric care and occasionally the most physically attractive? Looking to witness and experience not even barely veiled sensuality and even lust mascarading as the Early Church? Looking to alienate those who “just don’t get it” among family and friends thereby turning them off from “Christianity” while turning yourself into a self-described long-sufferer who awaits the “conversion” of these said family and friends?

    Join the prelest fest!

    Comment by publican123 | May 20, 2008 | Reply

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