December 6, 2008

Modernism: "Why I can't be Pente" - Part IV

The other chief characteristic of Protestantism is Modernism.

From the very beginning Protestantism has been marked by a complete contempt for ancient Christianity and Tradition. It must be conceded that Protestantism was not without justification in protesting the form of tradition that it was confronting -- because far from being faithful to Ancient Christianity, Papism was itself an innovation.
But rather than return to the authentic Christianity of Orthodoxy, Protestantism sought to remedy the situation by ostensibly returning to the ancient purity of the Scriptures, but in reality it was simply replacing the arbitrariness of a single pope with democratic papism -- in which each individual was his own infallible pope -- receiving direct revelation from the Holy Spirit.

Protestants claimed that they held Scripture to be the only authority, and rejected the interpretations of the Fathers whenever they contradicted the Scriptures -- but in reality they were really placing their interpretations of the Scriptures above that of the Fathers, and in essence saying that when the Fathers contradict their individual interpretations -- their interpretations are to be taken as more authoritative.

In its fight against Romanism, Protestantism sought to discredit all the ancient wisdom of the Church. The previous period was termed pejoratively as "the dark ages." "New" became synonymous with "good"; "Newer" with better; and "New and Improved" as better still. "Change" is used almost like a magic amulet, that justifies whatever it is associated with. The ancient Christian view was that novelty and innovation were absolute proofs of error, but in Protestantism this was turned on its head to the point that innovation is to them proof of truth. While Protestants attacked (often with justification) the Roman Tradition for its post apostolic additions -- they developed new Traditions at a rate that would make any Papist's head spin.

At heart, Modernism is not really at war with the past nearly so much as it is at war with God.

Modernism is simply the lever with which Humanists and Secularists have sought to unseat God from His throne and place man in His stead.

The Secular Humanism that conservative Protestants view as their mortal enemy is simply a more highly developed form of Protestantism. The pietist Protestantism of the past has now outlived its usefulness for the Secularization process, and so has been discarded by the more advanced Protestant Secularists.

The Reformers rejected Tradition, and said that they only needed the Bible and their own reason as their guide. Later Protestants turned their knives on the Bible itself, whittling away at it until they now have only their own reason and sentimentality as their guide. More Primitive religious Protestants, having been spurned by Modernity has ever since been trying to catch up with the spirit of the age by becoming "relevant". To become "relevant" they have sought to further accommodate their religion to appeal to the broader culture. Today, even among conservative Evangelicals, it is Madison Avenue that determines their worship -- not any Scriptural mandates. There has been a continuous parade of fads that have swept this country as Protestants have tried to keep things entertaining and "new".


Antiquity / Unchanging
Rather than the Modernists continual desire to be relevant, and their valuing of innovation. In the Orthodox Church, we view innovation as the mark of heresy. St. Jude says that the Faith was once delivered unto the saints -- we can expect no new revelation until the second coming.

We are taught that it is our duty to live and pass on the Orthodox Faith in its purity -- just as we have received it without changing it either by adding to it, or taking from it. We Orthodox have no need to be relevant to the Modernist spirit -- because we have seen heresies come and go. Long after Modernism has been completely discredited and is a faint memory -- the Orthodox Faith will still be standing. Rather than trying to hitch our wagon to the latest fad (such as environmentalism) we hold fast to the Traditions we have received from the Apostles, just as we have received them.

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የአቡነ ጳውሎስ "ሐውልተ ስምዕ"

ነጻ ፓትርያርክ ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ ማንን ይመርጡ ነበር? እንበልና ሁሉም ነገር ሥርዓቱን ጠብቆ የተከናወነ የእጩዎች ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ አሁን የምናነሣቸው ጉድለቶች ባይኖሩ ኖሮ፣ 6ኛው ፓትርያርክ እንዲሆን የምትመርጡት ማንን ነበር? (ማሳሰቢያ፦ አሁን ያለው ክፍፍል እና የመንግሥት ተጽዕኖ ባይኖር ኖሮ ተብሎ የሚመለስ ጥያቄ ነው። የምን “ባይኖር ኖሮ ነው” የሚል አስተያየት ካለዎትም እናከብራለን።)