Wednesday, July 24, 2019

How to save Eastern churches in the West: culturally turn Protestant?

One of my sayings: Eastern Christianities fail in Western countries in three generations. A correspondent suggests Protestantizing culturally to better serve America, a Protestant country. Wrong answer but a try.
Big communities, Greek and Russian, fall off in three generations. I know why. Because Liturgy is just boring. It's not relevant with anything the young adult is going through or interested In. Meaning at school and the workplace. Relationships with other American people. The Eastern Orthodox Church is even more strange and alien than Catholic style in USA. So if the Catholic Church is not fully accepted, wanted, or understood, why would something even more outdated be? Also the Eastern Orthodox youth. If Middle Eastern looking. Will not want to go rubbing it in people's face. For fear of persecution. Ostracized from society.
So non-WASPs from the ancient churches should become Protestants at least culturally in America? No. Roman Rite Catholics, that is, most Catholics, tried that with Vatican II and their white ethnic base in America is cratering. All it did was destroy the Christian community they had. One of my sayings: Catholic ghetto is Christian community that liberals don't like.

Many Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches have services in English and great youth programs such as summer camps. But they're still bombing with the second and third generations.

The services in pure form are extremely long but old-country Orthodox know how to handle it. They don't stay for the whole thing. Far from it.
The Eastern Orthodox "spirit" is just not American. It's not compatible.
America is very problematic for the ancient churches. It's been Protestant since its beginning. Why it nearly ran Irish Catholics out of the country in the early 1800s. But we could live in peace and even thrive here. America's English-based culture was originally Catholic in the old country, before it was Protestant, and our shared Western culture - laws and norms at least indirectly based on the church - made it work. You seem to be telling all the ancient churches to throw in the towel in America and become Protestant. The Episcopalians have been trying to do that to us for many years, pretending to be one of us. No. And they're cratering too. Evangelicalism seems the liveliest Christianity in America, with old-school Catholicism the second, catching on among the young who choose to stay.

I'm under Rome and I'll take the Eastern Orthodox spirit over Americanism, hands down.

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