22 August 2006

Too long for the comment section

Sophia's Wisdom had an interesting post, and I started to ramble on in her comment box before deciding to rewrite, tighten it up, and make it a post of my own.

Khouria Frederica Matthews-Green wrote the essay referenced in Sophia's post above. The relevant quote is,

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it’s something that their wives—especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style—are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It’s going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it’s not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it’s through with you you’re going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It’s going to demand, not death on the battlefield, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It’s a guy thing. You wouldn’t understand."

Then the actual 'kicking and screaming' phrase Sophia quoted.

You are both absolutely correct. Orthodoxy, while having great appeal to both sexes (in Christ, there is no male or female) allows men to remain men. American culture (political correctness, etc) seems to want to emasculate men. Orthodoxy wants men to be better (Christ-like) men, not substitute women. I read once an Orthodox Christian who works in marketing who wrote that to his perspective, much of American Protestantism is marketed to 50 year old women.

The question is the ancient ideal of masculine protection of women and children. This is, despite the attempts of certain breeds of feminists to deny it, a biological imperative. Cluttered with bad poetry, it become chivalry. This is the ancestry of what a modern Southerner would refer to as 'manners'. I say Southerner because I'm not sure what Yankees mean by manners, if in fact they are aware of the concept.

It used to be that protection of those who can't protect themselves was enforced strictly by the way the world worked. Those tribes which did not protect their women and children found that their women and children were eaten by hyenas, and so those tribes no longer exist. Modern woman, so the feminists tell us, can protect herself with injunctions and restraining orders, and the assumption that some 158lb guy needs to stick up for her is downright sexist.

Then along come people like yourself and my wife who have discovered that it isn't about limiting women. Protecting women does not merely involve explaining to the Socially Disadvantaged Youth that perhaps my wife's purse is not what he needs to buy his next drug fix. It's about being supportive in every way--financially, emotionally, helping cover responsibilities and duties, etc. In other words, it is about cherishing the women in our lives as we cherish our own bodies (says St. Paul) and loving completely, in a sacrificial manner that extends to being willing to lose our lives if need be. Does that extend to the Church as a whole? Absolutely. A husband is supposed to model Christ, who died for the Church. In the United States, this is rarely necessary. Usually the more pressing need is for guys to show up on Saturday to rake leaves and help with the yard work at the Church. I think I prefer it that way.

In the specific situation mentioned, I happen to agree with the Chaldeans involved. You don't come to my Church and hurl invective that disturbs my service. It wouldn't happen in Texas because even at Church, there are enough CC permit holders to ensure that violent protest doesn't get out of hand. But they presented what a group of recent immigrants from the Middle East would recognize as a prelude to a riot, and they suffered the consequences. People don't get up early in the morning and go scream invective in the Middle East outside a hated minority group's worship services unless they mean to go further. Reap what you sow, etc.


Blogger sophia said...

Thanks so much for this! Yep, You're right it was Khouria Frederica who wrote the said article. It was great to read it again. Your blog really clarified what I was trying to say, and I must confess that I had an "Oprah moment" when my eyes started watering as I read your 2nd to last paragraph. Amen to that! I don't know what to think about your last paragraph. I have very mixed feelings about concealed weapons and esp at church...but I hear you.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

Ooooh I wish I had time to respond in depth to your post. I'm at work and time is limited.

But you and I have discussed in the past that your experience in Protestantism does not match mine. The things that you say of protestants is probably true in one manner or another for ANY christian sect.

Remember how we discussed the 80/20 rule? Although in reality the ratio is 90/10 or even 99/1. This especially applies to churches. What you say is probably true for 80 or 90 or even 99% of churches, Protestant or othewise. But it ISN'T true for 100% of them. The things you say are true of Orthodoxy are things I heard either from the pulpit, the books, seminars, retreats and other teaching ministries of my home church. My home church (though I have had my problems with it) would unhesitatingly proclaim the very words you just put on your blog.

This points out unity rather than separation. Any church which holds fast to Scriptural truth will teach these very things. This is NOT a doctrine of just Orthodoxy, but of ANY scripturally based Christian church.

As for weapons at church: my home church has a uniformed cop at every service. These are officially off-duty, and are picking up some security work for extra money. We are glad to have them as there as our leaders have been targeted for violence in the past.

FWIW: any Scriptural church is a threat. THEY KILLED JESUS, THEY WILL KILL HIS FOLLOWERS TOO. Some of those people will respond with violence to such an ideological threat. So be it.

I've been in a situation where a firearm was pointed in my general direction, and my only defense was my Bible. Please note that I am still alive and free while the guy that did it is now hoeing cotton at a Texas prison farm, and will do so for the rest of his life. If you're keeping score, I won that confrontation--actually, God did. I had a more powerful weapon. Messrs. Smith & Wesson make a good handgun, but its power is limited. My weapon was [is] a much sharper sword and its power is infinite.

6:53 PM  

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