The Shape of an American Orthodoxy
A bit too simple, yes.
. . . Ofiesh's claims were largely dependant upon the claims of the Russian Church over America. So in his mind at least, he had gotten approval from the necessary parties.
After reading some of the letter exchange between Ofiesh and the Greek Abp Alexander two days ago, when you speak of Ofiesh's mindset/method and say "in his mind," above, this is what I am speaking to when I suggest a distillation of things in my last post. I think I have a kind of radar built in, and granted this could not possibly be more subjective and unreliable; however, through this letter exchange (and in light of Herman's comment) there is definitely a blip on the screen. I have had my fair share of dealings with so called religious men who are nothing more than ambitious politicians/opportunists with their own personal agendas for the advancement of their own personal kingdoms. But, I guess I am now making way too many assumptions. For that matter I am assuming Herman's comment is correct when he says:
. . . Bishop Afthemios was to some extent abandoned to his own devices.
Wherein, I wonder if this would be a point of agreement?
If this is a true statement, I think this speaks directly to much of what we see in this first attempt at an American Orthodox Church which was void of anything remotely resembling a natural occurring or organic process. Otherwise, I defer to the more informed in our midst.
The method which is seemingly employed here, in this example, is perfectly parallel to other church growth experts/gurus that I have met in the past whereby the end justifies the means every time, and all people and circumstances are means to be used to obtain the desired/contrived end. Whereby, in the wake of all such efforts destruction and division are to be found. Especially, in efforts/vehicles promoted for the purpose of unity, it seems that what initially was intended to unite is the very thing which divides, which becomes a vehicle of division. In this sense, my sense of things is that the mindset/method of Ofiesh is not unique, but is very recognizable.
And, while this may be a part of the history of Orthodoxy in America, I would like to suggest that this has nothing to do with an American Orthodoxy of the present day.
And, this is usually the point where I kill all conversation in these AO threads by means of speculative thought. . . but, I wonder if any here see a distinction between Orthodoxy in America and an American Orthodoxy? It seems that with great speed as the eye is turned to the history of Orthodoxy in America (especially just even a glance at the timeline) much of the intuitive writing in previous AO threads is fully supported with little research effort.
It is my view that Orthodoxy in America, and the history of Orthodoxy in America has little to do with an American Orthodoxy as it is emerging today. In fact, on the website we are using here, I appreciate it that they title their timeline "A Timeline of Orthodoxy in America" as opposed to 'A Timeline of American Orthodoxy,' because I think we are just now seeing the emergence of an American Orthodoxy.
Or, possibly the timeline on the website should be titled "A Timeline of the Divisions found in Orthodoxy in America?"
So, as I have made a move to begin to distinguish between Orthodoxy in America and an American Orthodoxy, I would also like to offer up a thought for additional conversation which is:
"The greatest hindrance to the emergence and development of an American Orthodoxy today is Orthodoxy in America today."
But, even in this proposition we begin to see another train of thought, a distinction between an American Orthodoxy of today and an American Orthodox Church of tomorrow--and my mind moves to the preacher of Ecclesiastes who speaks of division and unity when he says there is a time to rend, and a time to sew back together.