“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Friday, November 30, 2012

Dissing the "Cradle Orthodox"!

As our Metropolitan once said, "thank God for our converts!"

First of all, to every latest convert to our faith who calls those of us who grew up in this church community "cradle Orthodox": you cannot imagine how OFFENSIVE we find the appellation. If you want to fit in here, DO NOT USE THAT TERM! If you dare say it to our face, our first inclination might well be to deck you. Since most of us do not condone violence, we will simply walk away from you and ask you to NEVER speak to us again if you choose to continue using the term.

We are PROUD to be what you term - too often, derisively - "cradle Orthodox". Our parents and grandparents simply told us from the time we knew what language meant - in both Greek and English - that Orthodoxy meant - "correct faith/glorification".

We understand that if you have converted to our faith you are engaged in something wondrous. There is, however, more to those of us who grew up with this heritage than just that wonder. We are the PROUD cultural descendants of a group of immigrants who strove, starved, suffered, endured and prospered.

We understand that legacy and continue to feel it in our marrow. We do not expect you to understand it. However, we will not allow you to denigrate it, or to tell US it is not significant - even if our so-called "spiritual fathers" deem it convenient to ignore or subsume that legacy, whenever it suits their purposes, and use YOU to help them attack it as it suits their purposes.

Don't tell us we have too much time on our hands. Don't tell us to go to confession. This is beyond your right and scope of responsibility. We know who we are; we don't need you to remind us. We have been brought up to know this, and we know WHO our true spiritual fathers are! Moreover, we know who they are NOT!

We are glad to have you join us, but before you throw yourselves into a fray that you really do not understand, please at least have the courtesy to ask a variety of others of us - the "cradle orthodox" who you obviously disrespect - what our point of view might be.

Then, if you still wish to hold an opposing viewpoint, so be it.

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