Skip to comments.A Critique of the Protestant Missionary Presence in the former Soviet Union
Posted on 02/26/2022 4:13:53 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege
Very frequently mission mistakes result from a lack of appreciation for, and even ignorance of, the culture in question. It may be that the greatest flaw today in missionary orientation for post-Soviet lands is not its brevity, although that is frequently a serious shortcoming. The greatest flaw may be inadequate to nonexistent country-specific and culture-specific preparation; that is, woefully insufficient study of pertinent languages, literature and history.
Ministry training too often focuses on what might be called generic preparation...Greater attention to culture-specific orientation and training... would reap ample dividends in terms of less traumatic culture shock and greater longevity for personnel in the field. Missionaries to Russia, for example, who arrive ignorant of icons and Orthodoxy, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, Stanislavsky and Chekhov, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, will not be taken seriously and will give deep offence.
I often have been asked by mission boards and mission candidates for recommended reading on Eastern Orthodoxy. And when I have suggested Don Fairbairn's thoughtful Evangelical critique Partakers of the Divine Nature I have been told, more than once, that at a hundred pages it is too much." My response is that if even 500 pages of reading on Orthodoxy is too much for missionaries bound for Russia, then the distance - in comprehension as well as miles - is too great. They had better stay at home.
Fortunately, those too busy to prepare properly do not represent the whole picture. I have also had the joy of leading a semester-long independent read- ings course on Eastern Orthodoxy that involved two missionaries on leave and one missionary candidate who regularly drove the over two hours round-trip to my office so that all four of us could gain a better understanding of Slavic Christianity. They minister today in Romania, southern Russia and Siberia.
(Excerpt) Read more at biblicalstudies.org.uk ...
As a Baptist, I actually find the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of deification to be rather congenial. Norman Russell has a quite good and extensive study of that doctrine in the Greek patristics.
As a former missionary, the idea that someone could not study 100 pages to better understand the field is ludicrous. I speak and read Russian and have memorized many verses in Russian. No one that I knew went over there that unprepared.
Protestants should stay out of Slavic states. It’s like a 3rd grader going up against a tenured professor, spiritually speaking.
The riches of Orthodoxy cannot be found in any other Christian expression, as it is the Church of Christ and the full expression of Wisdom.
I once had a (formerly protestant) convert friend reprimand me for mocking the spiritual and intellectual simplicity of protestants. She told me, “We have this huge feast, with every possible food imaginable. And we say, “Come, eat with us! The food is plentiful, unending, and rich.” All they have is baby food and milk, and they mix it up in all these different ways to make it palatable, but it’s all they have and it’s all they know. They cant even imagine our reality.”
Don’t get me wrong, I personally don’t care if you or anyone else is a protestant. But it’s foolish to think any protestant has anything of faith to offer a practicing Orthodox. Almost all the protestants I know who genuinely explore Orthodoxy become Orthodox.
Just wow. My dad (when he was alive), made a couple of trips to the Ukraine to help with the work of the church there in a preacher training school (church of Christ). The way you just wrote makes my draw drop. The attitude of so many people these days, like yours, portends the second coming of Christ. I don’t see how things can ever improve.
Do they also send missionaries to New York and California where the sinners are?
Some of them seem to have come to the US from Russia:
and have picked up country western gospel along the way:
В сионской горнице
South Korean Christians have a substantial mission outreach in southern California, centered in Fullerton, on the border between Los Angeles and Orange counties.
That's funny; I think the same thing about chrstians (of any variety) trying to convert Jews.
Recognising postcommunist mission mistakes, and recalling the region's long- standing tradition of state churches identified with particular nationalities, one can more readily explain the genesis of various legislative measures to curb Western missionary activity. The fact of ill-advised and ill-informed Christian witness is however only part of the explanation for the hostile reception. Communists, national- ists and the hierarchs of former state churches also oppose Evangelical missionaries because they are just as often warm, winsome and loving as they are brash, brazen and culturally clueless. Opposition, then, is as much a function of what Evangelicals are doing right as it is of what they are doing wrong. It may be argued that so many ministries are having such a beneficial effect, in so many places, in so many ways, that their detractors cannot tolerate it, and as a result seek to restrict freedom of conscience by erecting political barriers which discriminate against arbitrarily defined 'non-traditional' faiths. In the meantime, large numbers of Western ministries are making perhaps their greatest impact for good in former Soviet-bloc states through all manner of specialised assistance, including facilitating in-country radio broadcasting, publish- ing, and film and video production, entering into partnership with indigenous churches to help provide training at all levels from Sunday school to seminary, sharing expertise in counselling on marriage, family, youth, prison, alcohol and drugs and introducing sports, camping, and drama ministries.
The NT church saw great evangelism by new converts, while your arrogance is a reason why evangelicals should stay NOT out of Slavic states (and just 7% of Russians say they attend services on a weekly basis anyway). While having substantial disagreements with Rome, they hold many of the distinctive Catholic teachings that are not manifest in the only wholly inspired substantive authoritative record of what the NT church believed (which is Scripture, in particular Acts through Revelation, which best shows how the NT church understood the gospels).
Oh yeah, nothing says "tenured professor of spirituality" than the degenerate KGB agent and purveyor of Liberation Theology, Archbishop Kirill. In fact, according to KGB files, pretty much ALL Russian Orthodox Priests with any authority have KGB codenames and served the state. The very few that didn't, or who only served half-heartedly, were never promoted.
And Daniel is quite right that only 7% of the population even bothers to attend church once a month.
So much for the "spiritual treasures" of Orthodoxy! In Russia, it's quite dead, just a fake State Run church for its fake Priests and Fake "elected" leaders.
Первая на территории России христианская FM-станция «Новая Жизнь» появилась в 1996 году в Магадане. В 2000 году радио «Новая Жизнь» открыло свой филиал в Москве и начало спутниковое вещание на территорию всей России, а также организовало Интернет-вещание.
When I lived in California, I met Koreans, who were missionaries to California.
Except true salvation.
I guess the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ does look unappealing to someone who thinks religion is about the smells and bells and dazzling the eyes with their finery and pomp, but religion, no matter how overwhelming to the senses, can never impart eternal life.
If 500 pages of reading on American history is too much for voters selecting leaders, then the ballot box insertions are too valuable. They had better stay at home watching Gilligan.
Especially the True Scotsmen.
There is a lot of FR Christians that sem to never open the Book they profess to live by.
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