Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Conversion or Affiliation?


“You see, I think part of the problem lies in the fact that certain Orthodox converts are evangelized using a faulty technique. We want them to join our Church because they are dissatisfied with their church’s liturgy or ceremonial or devotions. I call it the “look-how-prettty-our-icons-are” method of evangelism. It is cheap and it makes amateur liturgical connoisseurs of an orientalist stripe. It doesn’t make real converts. I insist that the only legitimate reason to convert to the Orthodox Christian faith is if you come to believe that the Orthodox Church is THE Church founded by Jesus Christ. If you come to that conclusion it shouldn’t matter if the liturgy you go to on Sundays is St. John Chrysostom’s in Slavonic or St. James’ in Syriac- you will know that the reason you are there has to do with more than just liturgy. ” –

It’s interesting that the author of the series to which the above writer is responding, would go on to write this: “I like being “mechanically religious” a lot more than I like living for God, but I know which of the two is the correct way to do things.”

The question becomes, of course, whether or not the converts currently filling out the Western rite, really see it as a conversion of the kind described above, or merely a better affiliation. THAT question determines a lot.

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January 30, 2008 - Posted by | -- Catechesis & Conversion, -- Evangelism, Western Rite Quotes | , , ,

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