Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Joshua Genig's Conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy

On today's program, I addressed a recent article published in First Things (which can be found here), in which former LCMS pastor Joshua Genig explains his reasons for joining the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

15 comments:

Trent said...

As a Lutheran pastor (who shall remain nameless) once put it to me:

"The real heartache is in realizing that what they seek is a fiction. The problems in Eastern Orthodoxy -- moral, theological, general corruption, and ethnocentrism -- make the LCMS a truly wonderful place to be."

J. Dean said...

I have to wonder whether or not Mr. Genig actually understands the true necessity to the centrality of the atonement.

As bad as it is when a good church forsakes sound liturgy, I'd rather go to a church with sound doctrine and bad liturgy than the other way around.

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Nice podcast Jordan. I have a few questions though. You mentioned that you consider the Eastern Orthodox brother and sisters in Christ despite their differences with your confession. My question is would you grant the same to Roman catholic believers? Are Roman Catholics your brothers and sisters in Christ or do they teach to much heresy to be considered Christian? If you want to answer me via email then my email is vincentvdweerden@gmail.com.

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Hello Jordan, is it best for me to ask you questions here or via email?

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Jordan you mentioned that both the EO and Lutherans have common disagreements with Rome. What are those common disagreements?

hayesworldview said...

@Vincent: here is the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Statement regarding the Roman Catholic church. Jordan's church is full fellowship here, so his answer will most likely be similar (although I will let him answer of course:

"he LCMS recognizes all Trinitarian church bodies as Christian churches (in contrast to "cults," which typically reject the doctrine of the Trinity and thus cannot be recognized as Christian). In fact, a primary "objective" listed in the Synod's Constitution (Article III) is to "work through its official structure toward fellowship with other Christian church bodies"—which explicitly assumes that these "other church bodies" are "Christian" in nature. That does not lessen the Synod's concern for the false doctrine taught and confessed by these churches, but it does highlight the Synod's recognition that wherever the "marks of the church" (the Gospel and Sacraments) are present—even where "mixed" with error—there the Christian church is present. Such a church is a heterodox church, that is, a church that teaches false doctrine.

Of course, personal salvation is not merely a matter of external membership in or association with any church organization or denomination (including the LCMS), but comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as "Christians" by the Synod—only God can look into a person's heart and see whether that person really believes. It is possible to have true and sincere faith in Jesus Christ even while having wrong or incomplete beliefs about other doctrinal issues.

This explains why former Synod President A.L. Barry called members of the Roman Catholic Church "our fellow Christians" in his statement Toward True Reconciliation, which at the same time identifies and laments the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

The great danger is that believing things contrary to God's Word can obscure and perhaps even completely destroy belief in Jesus Christ as one's Savior. We pray that this will not happen to those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior and yet belong to heterodox church bodies, including fellow Christians in the Roman Catholic Church."

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Thanks for responding. I hope i can here Jordan's answer aswell.

Jordan Cooper said...

Vincent,

I have been meaning to write something on that topic for some time, but I have not yet gotten around to it. I can certainly say that many Roman Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ. What we fail to realize is the diversity of views within the Roman communion, and so it is unfair to simply say Roman Catholics are heretics, or are all Christians. Some are extremely liberal and reject the major tenants of the Christian faith. Others are quite orthodox. The Roman Church itself is not a false church, but one with many errors.

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Thanks for responding Jordan. I have to ask would you agree with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod statement about the Roman Church? You do belong to that church body right?

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Is there a difference between a heretical false church and a heterodox church? If so what is it?

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Jordan would you consider Rome part of the visible church? What is the Lutheran consensus on this?

Syntyche said...

As someone who converted to the EO 8 years ago from an Evangelical background, I am far from being "disillusioned"--probably because I never was idealistic.
The Orthodox Church is the Ark of Salvation--and "She is a VERY old ship --with a VERY swarthy crew" as a Deacon I know says. I absolutely knew what I was in for. Church is messy--as messy as the crew makes it! Its always been this way--(read Acts) However,--after 8 years aboard I would say that instead of being disillusioned, I am ever more grateful for her LIFE,beauty and Truth. For the Fullness of the Faith (Jude 3)that She contains....You see the Church is not "perfect" here on earth--Jesus is in the process of making her that way though. But it IS complete. I echo the comments of GAbe Martini--- "I would encourage those interested in learning more about Orthodoxy to not necessarily start with any one book, but with a simple visit to a nearby parish. Grab coffee with the priest or deacon, and pick his brain with your questions or concerns. More often than not, they will be happy to do so, and without any pressure or presumption that you’re interested in converting. Attending some services during the week, when it doesn’t conflict with your own religious attendance on Sunday, is another helpful option (especially during Great Lent). It’s one thing to read about Orthodoxy, and another thing altogether to experience it and be exposed to the incarnate reality of the Church on a regular basis.
I hope someone finds this ‘conversation’ helpful, and that it clears up any confusion Lutherans (or other Protestant Christians) might have regarding the Orthodox Church and faith. I’d also like to wish Jordan the best in his ministry and efforts, and ask his forgiveness for any areas where I’ve misunderstood or misrepresented what he had to say."
http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2014/02/22/why-are-lutherans-converting-to-eastern-orthodoxy/

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Disillusionment with ones denomination is not, by itself, a good reason to become Orthodox. Sometimes we quite resemble the Church at Corinth. Oh, wait - Corinth IS an Orthodox Church. 1036

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Hello Jordan, I dont mean to pester you, but would you mind telling me whether you consider Rome still part of the visible church catholic or apostate?

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Hello Jordan, I dont mean to pester you, but would you mind telling me whether you consider Rome still part of the visible church catholic or apostate?