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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Why I Reject Protestantism- Guest Contributor

JTO Readers: Here is another challenging statement from JTO Guest Contributor, Timothy Kwoh, from the land down under. They make them tough down there and Timothy is no exception. It is clear that Timothy is less concerned with offending than he is with rescuing souls from the maze and mire that is Protestantism. For some in need of rescue, that requires confrontation and manumit not cookies and milk. But in case manumit takes you too much out of your comfort zone, I have provided a photo of cookies and milk below for you to visualize as you read. Just ignore the fiery sword to the right. I said ignore it...

Dear Orthodox Brethren,
I wish to state some reasons as to why I reject Protestantism. It may be disturbing to say the least.

1. Protestantism allow
s for private interpretation before Truth. Whilst claiming to believe in the "infallibility of Scripture" or "Bible Only", what it really reads as is personal private interpretation as becoming the standard of Truth rather than the whole counsel of God as revealed in Scripture and Holy Tradition. In fact, it has often lead to total negation of fundamental Christian doctrines altogether and even to pseudo-Christian and heretical cults. Whilst Papists/Latins already elevate private interpretation in the form of the rantings of one hierarch speaking in "ex-cathedra", Protestants have taken the other extreme and tried to make it look more pious. Is it no wonder that one of our saints of our time, Saint Justin Popovich, stated: "Papism is the first Protestantism".

2. Protestantism has encouraged anti-Christian and anti-Biblical sentiments in both doctrine and social issues all in the name of "the grace of God" which is really gracelessness. It is within Protestantism that we discovered liberalism, communism, gay/lesbian
liberation theology, ecumenism/pan-heresy movement, so called "Emergent Church" Movement and so on. To add insult to injury, you can include the World Council of "Churches" (really World Council of Heretics and Antichrists) as well as evangelists in universalism such as Robert Schuller, Billy Graham, John Stott and so on.

3. [CAUTION: THIS IS ONE THAT EVEN A NUMBER OF OUR ORTHODOX BRETHREN EVEN FALL GUILTY OF]. Anti-Jewishness and
Israel bashing at every turn seems to be promoted in classical Protestantism. (Shame on any Orthodox, both layman or hierarch, who has engaged in the same!). It was Martin Luther who gave a precursor for Nazism to persecute the Jews out of existence. Even though a number of Lutherans today might find this an embarrassing fact, many Lutheran bishops and pastors welcomed Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich. In addition to this, both the Nazis (including neo-Nazis today) and the Lutheran 'church' published Martin Luther's rants against the Jews. Today in the world of Protestantism, even though the facts are obvious to all, there is much bashing of Israel and 'Zionism' but nothing said against the godless anti-Christian Muslim terrorists in the Hamas and Hezbollah movements as well as PLO. It seems convenient to ignore the fact that these people stated: "First the Saturday people. (Jews) Next the Sunday People (Christians)." [SHAME ON ANY ORTHODOX LEADER OR LAYMAN WHO HAS DONE EXACTLY THE SAME. YOU DO NOT REPRESENT THE FAITH BUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL, ETHNOCENTRIC BIAS!]. As much as the Jews and Judaism may be wrong for rejecting the Messiah, yet we must always bear in mind that since they are the original people of God, we the Church have the mission of bringing them back into the fold through both correct teaching of the Old Testament and also through out love. Like it or not, only the state of Israel has guaranteed the protection and freedoms of the Christians in the Middle East, not to mention the fact that they have even allowed Jews or Israeli citizens to convert to Christianity. We must love them into the Church, since it is inevitable after much suffering, that they will repent and accept the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

4. [CAUTION: THIS IS ANOTHER THAT EVEN OUR ORTHODOX BRETHREN HAVE FALLEN GUILTY OF]. Collaboration with Islam and Muslim terrorists. Protestantism is the worst culprit in this regards. In fact, Martin Luther and John Calvin, whilst criticizing Islam theologically, on the other hand, were keen on having their followers being buried with Islamic ritual and also at times collaborated with the godless Ottoman Turks to overthrow their Catholic counterparts. Today we have official hierarchs and well-renowned evangelists and leaders seeking to collaborate with these Christ-deniers and murderers of the brethren. Whether it is the World Council of 'Churches' (Heretics and Antichrists) or the likes of Rev. Gordon Moyes, Rev. Billy Graham, Rev. John Stott, Robert Schuller and others. In fact, Robert Schuller was caught on camera stating that he did not object to his children converting to Islam! [SHAME ON ANY ORTHODOX HIERARCH AND LAYMAN WHO HAS DONE THE SAME. GREATER SHAME ON A NUMBER OF HIERARCHS WITHIN THE ANTIOCHIAN CHURCH AS WELL AS THE RUSSIAN AND GREEK CHURCHES WHO HAVE DONE SIMILARLY. THEY PUT ST. JOHN OF DAMASCUS TO SHAME AND TRAMPLE ON THE BLOOD OF OUR BRETHREN.]

5. Protestantism created the impetus for left-wing ideologies of Communism, liberal-Bible denying theories and the pseudo-science of Darwin's evolution theory. Both Marx and Engels came from Protestant backgrounds. Marx from Lutheranism via his father's conversion and Engels from the Huguenots who immigrated to Germany. When they totally rejected any vestige of Christianity altogether, they changed the "natural law of God" to the law of man. Protestantism gave enough impetus for them to write their accursed "The Communist Manifesto". Bible-deniers were prominent in the Lutheran circles via the Jesuit theories adopted.(It seems that Khomyakov was correct in stating that: "Both Papism and Protestantism are two sides of the same coin."). It is interesting to note that Luther called for the removal of the book of James altogether from the New Testament in the name of "defending grace" (really 'gracelessness'). Charles Darwin never had a degree in science whatsoever and was simply coming from the background of negating God because of his disillusionment with Christianity. Darwin, despite negating his own theories, on his deathbed, never repented to the God of the Bible and yet was granted an Anglican burial! Protestantism created his rebelliousness since it allowed for private interpretation to be superior to Truth. It is also interesting to note that the accursed "Biblical Criticism" came from Protestantism and even gave birth to the negation of the Byzantine Text of Scripture to the point of replacing it with 2 manuscripts that were never used by the Church, and in fact, were meant to be thrown out by the monks in the Sinai monastery, only to be discovered by rationalist Germans and furthered by 2 Christ-denying, heretical Anglican clergymen: Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort. All the modern translations, both Protestant and Catholic, are based on these perverted manuscripts.

6.Protestantism was the first to promote accommodation with the world to the point of allowing rock music and questionable material and practices to penetrate their 'churches'. They made the excuse of "making the church relevant" and 'following the times' to bring people into church. If that is the case, then they have failed miserably because the West is apostatizing and most are avoiding 'churches' or anything to do with Christianity for Eastern religions and heresies. Thus, Protestantism has made itself the enemy of God by seeking to be friends with the world. (James 4)

7. Protestantism is the biggest revisionist of history. In the name of 'purifying the church', they make base accusations saying that Christianity was lost for thousands of years until the arrival of the Protestant Reformation. They accuse the Fathers of various sins and denigrate certain saints. They are thus accusing Christ of not being able to keep his promise that the Church will always be there unto the end of the world and that the gates of hell will not prevail against her. I wish to tell any serious minded Christian person within Protestantism to come out of her and be not a partaker of her plagues. Entering the Orthodox Church does not mean you will lose any real Christian convictions you may have learnt. It will only clarify them further and strengthen your faith, small as it may be. If anything, you will learn more not less to support your Christian convictions if you have any. Orthodoxy has not changed whilst both Papism and Protestantism have often been subject to change.

Yours in Christ,
Timothy Kwoh

[JTO Note: Click here or on the artwork of the sword on fire to read about the astonishing work of the artist- a believer and man of faith.]

9 comments:

  1. RE "5. Protestantism created the impetus for left-wing ideologies of Communism,... Both Marx and Engels came from Protestant backgrounds."

    Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that this is true could not one also say the actions of the Russian Orthodox Church in suporting the tsars was at least partly to blame for the Protestant influences taking hold?

    Did not the ROC both support and receive support from the autocracy?

    Since, well before the 1600's, "the overriding tradition of the Orthodox Church was to support the autocracy and to work closely with it, rather than to challenge it."*

    Greg

    *extract from chapter 5, The Molding of Russian Society 1613-1689, in Russia and the Soviet Union by John M. Thompson, page 95.

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  2. Timothy,

    If you follow to its conclusion the logic leading you to this blanket rejection of all Protestantism, you should just as well reject Orthodoxy.

    It's almost like a Jew telling an Orthodox Christian, "Yeah, Orthodox Christianity is obviously ridiculous. It has abandoned holiness in its accommodation to Greek philosophy. Christianity is a hotbed for perversions such as Gnosticism. Look at the way Gnosticism took hold in some of those Christians. And this whole idea of 'incarnation' and 'grace' just opened wide the door for such heresies as Protestantism."

    So many of these things that you accuse Protestantism of being guilty of, or responsible for, the Orthodox church has also been guilty of and responsible for. You even admit as much in two of your points. And this "antichrist" WCC is something that Orthodox representatives were a part of as well.

    I would suggest that instead of using these as grounds for a sweeping condemnation of Protestantism, you narrow the focus of your attacks to those specific groups you abhor.

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  3. Lynchburger12:34 AM

    This is the kind of argument that makes knowledgeable Protestants cringe. First, consider structure. Structurally, any system with strong central governance combined with a belief in "utopia now" focused on the collective over the individual is subject to the accusation of aiding and abetting Marxian totalitarianism. Early Protestantism had a few strong centers as that was the model provided by Rome and uncritically accepted by the first reformers, but leadership eventually became diffuse as to human personalities because the premise was, and is, that we call no one Master but Jesus, a high and difficult principle which takes time to permeate primitive human institutions. It is relatively easy to twist that into the classic “private interpretation” straw man argument, but any theological epistemology that excludes the role of the Holy Spirit in maintaining the unity of the faith is doomed from out the gate. Authentic Protestantism, carried to the full expression of its most basic principles, cannot exist structurally without the Holy Spirit. It disintegrates to anarchy or reintegrates to the totalitarian rigidity of other models that rely on human rather than divine enforcement schemes.

    Whereas, structurally, Rome and other systems that rely for their power on human hierarchies with “masters” unaccountable to the arbitration of divine words, who may by fiat or the impulse of religious emotion supersede the record of God’s exertion of his mastery among us, are inherently more compatible with humanist utopian delusions of grandeur. Remove the Holy Spirit and they will function just fine; eliminate the primacy of written revelation and you have a ready-made tool for demagogues and dictators seeking to impose their private will via an established system of strong central governance.

    Thus Protestantism is acid to dictatorships; it is why Stalinist countries hate it to such extremes, though they may use a narrow subset of its ideas to challenge rival autocracies. But Protestantism cannot long be toleraated by statist governments, because it challenges their core assumption, that law is whatever issues from the fuehrer’s mind, tongue, or pen, not the law written by God on every human heart, nor the recorded word of God declared openly to every willing ear.

    Second, from the structural premise follows the historical conclusion. If you assume that the lack of a visible and dominant “Protestant” structure implies the absence of the essentials of Protestant belief, that because Protestants proclaimed a rediscovery of the true nature of Christian authority, that therefore it disclaims the continuous existence of a true church prior to that time, then you do not understand Protestantism. Protestants do not claim the church did not exist until they rediscovered Sola Scriptura. Rather, they claim that what man accounts as the church and what God accounts as the church are not identical, that though the church has always existed, it has not always been recognized as such. Their “discovery” amounts to a public argument that our method of identifying the faithful had become fatally perverted through the sin of human pride, and that authentic followers of Jesus will in fact follow Jesus in word, deed, and principle with a unity that emerges, not from externally imposed man-made structures, but from the infallible work of the Holy Spirit in individual human hearts.

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  4. Response From Timothy Kwoh,

    In answer to the question of whether I had any first-hand knowledge of Protestantism or not, I should make clear that I was once a Protestant myself. However, due to the fact that I was sick and tired with the way in which the Scriptures were being twisted to one's private interpretation as well as distortions that were rampant all throughout, I decided to let Christ be the Truth above all things and thus came to accept His Church. His True Church has not changed throughout history in either doctrine or practice. However, both Papism and Protestantism are always subject to change, the first due to putting the private interpretation of one individual above the Church in "ex-cathedra" as well as 'innovationism' and the latter due to wanting to put private interpretation above even the Scripture in individualistic format whilst claiming to be "following the Bible alone", as a sophism for coming to extremely heretical conclusions at times.

    The only reasons that Communism/Marxism succeeded in Russia are for 2 reasons: 1. Compromise and spiritual laxness and lukewarmness on the part of many Orthodox, who thus allowed Satan to infect the once Holy Russia with false ideas. 2. Infectious ideas from the Westernisers in Russia, most of whom were atheists. From these same Westernisers came Freemasonry and Marxism/Communism. History repeats itself in that it is for these self-same reasons that Islam triumphed in once Christian lands of Constantinople, Egypt, Syria, Armenia and others. Compromise, lukewarmness and spiritual laxness caused both heresies and false religions to triumph.

    It is true that Communism persecuted Protestantism as they did all other religions. That is because by nature, Communism is miltantly atheistic and Darwinist. Let us bear also in mind that the first targets of the Communists was the Orthodox Church. The first people that the Bolsheviks were murdering besides the Czar of Russia and his family were the faithful Orthodox priests, monks, nuns, bishops, metropolitans and archbishops. This trend still continued even until the fall of Communism in Russia. However, knowing that mere force alone could not destroy the Church, Satan in his evil devices sought to use compromise with the Communist government and the Church in the form of Sergianism in the 1920s which still continued even until present. However, God is not to be mocked. The faithful outdid the compromisers and heretics in Russia and thus were finally able to see the day of Communism's downfall in Russia.

    Whilst it has been mentioned about Orthodox Churches partaking in the World Council of 'Churches' (Heretics and Antichrists), this is something foreign to the principles of Orthodoxy. It should be pointed out however, that this heretical pan-heresy movement of ecumenism was started by Protestants and Catholics in the forms of both the Lambeth Conference which eventually progressed to World Congress of Evangelism and also the World Council of Churches on the part of the Protestants. On the part of the Papists/Latins/Catholics, we had Vatican II and the official Ecumenical Movement. To their own shame and disgrace, there were a number of Orthodox Patriarchs and clergy who decided to partake of this pan-heresy movement. They have moved away from the Church by such actions as well as their wicked behaviour of attacking fellow-Orthodox Christians who did not support such a heretical move. In fact, the Church pronounces: "Anathema" on all such heretics and lovers of the world rather than lovers of God. Even as a Protestant, I was uncomfortable with such movements since the World Council of Churches was notorious for having hierarchs who denied Biblical truth and historocity as well as pandering to Communism and Islam. As an Orthodox, I can now see where its roots lay and wish to tear of its mask and reveal to the world how wicked these people are.

    There are genuine Christians within Protestantism who actually agree with what I am saying and to such, I have no ill will towards at all. My sincere wish to such is to maintain your Christian convictions and find the source of their strength in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, as stated in the Nicene Creed. The Holy Spirit will lead you there slowly but surely if you are genuine about maintaining your Christian convictions in the face of an ever-changing wicked world.

    Since I was once a Protestant, I wish to reach out with all love and sincerity, even though it sounds harsh, to my Protestant readers to put aside their prejudices on the Orthodox Faith and seek its source in the Apostolic Fathers as well as the Scriptures. I do not judge your eternal destiny, for that is for God to judge. However, I wish to implore you to seek Christ as God and thus love His Truth above modern ideas and falsities that have crept into your churches unawares.

    Before entering Orthodoxy, I was involved with the Fundamentalist Baptist movement. I am glad that God allowed for this since there was much in common with the Fundamental Baptist and the Orthodox Faith than with any other denomination in both Protestantism or Catholicism. Little did I realize that the Fundamental Baptists and a genuine Orthodox Christian had more to agree upon than disagree upon. This included the mode of baptism, the belief in the Byzantine Text of Scripture, the acceptance of all the fundamental doctrines of Christianity regarding the Trinity, deity of Christ, the miracles of Christ, the death of Christ on the cross for man's salvation, the resurrection of Christ and His ascension and His Return. In addition to this, I discovered that we opposed majority of the same things: Darwinian evolutionary teaching, leftist/secular humanist thinking in our public system, abortions, homosexuality/sodomy, Papacy/Latin falsehoods that includes: purgatory, forced celibacy of all clergy and the primacy of Peter; both share a history of opposition from Islam and Communism as well as thorough challenges from both our ends.
    The list is endless but I must conclude with a quote from a dear Orthodox brother, who was himself once a Fundamental Baptist. He states this: "Within the heart and spirit of every hard-core Evangelical or hard-core Fundamentalist is someone who is truly Orthodox in spirit. They just do not know it yet."

    May God bless your endeavors to serve Him.

    Yours in Christ,

    Timothy Kwoh

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  5. This poster seems to have a right wing bias and, in fact, his critique sounds rather like an right wing evangelical rant. If one surveys Protestantism in the US, you will find a kind of right wing extremism and unqualified support for Zionism and Israel - not the other way around as the article above says. In fact the anti-Orthodox doctrine of dispensationalism is the root cause of this. What Timothy also fails to see is that there are many Orthodox Christians amongst the Palestianians!! They aren't all Muslims. He also seems blissfully unaware that it is American Protestantism that is driving pro-Israel support!! So its not extreme left wing ideology that stems from Protestantism, the much bigger problem in Protestantism is extreme right wing ideology - the so-called evangelical right.

    It is also worth noting that Communism is not a Protestant product, it is an atheist product. So I think Timothy is way off here. There is no evidence to suggest that there is a logical connection between Protestantism and Communism. Note how in Eastern Europe, where Orthodox Christianity guarded against the extreme right wing ideology of Protestantism, Communism was raised up against the church. In the West, the extreme right wing fundamentalism of Protestant Christianity has led many to become atheists. Opposition to the church is a direct result of fundamentalist Protestant folly. Right wing fundamentalism of Protestants is the problem not left wing liberals!!

    I would say that Orthodoxy is far more left wing politically and theologically than Protestantism. On the topic of universalism - you have Met. Kallistos Ware saying in his book The Orthodox Church that we may legitimately hope for the salvation of all. And that hell remains a possibility because of our freedom to reject God's love. This statement would be seen as heresy by fundamentalist Protestants. Little do they know that it is very orthodox. And politically: I would encourage Timothy to read St John Chrysostoms's On Wealth and Poverty, where the Saint says that the when the rich do not give to the poor they are, in fact, stealing from them. Orthodox Christianity does not promote the sort of right wing politics you think it does. If anything, it promotes a balanced, slightly left leaning, economics and politics - albeit with the Kingdom of God, not violence, as its means of achieving this.

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  6. Timothy, with all due respect, I don't think you know what you're talking about. I find no difference at all between the ideas you are espousing with right wing Evangelical fundamentalism. One thing is for sure, right wing Protestant fundamentalism is not Orthodox. Sure, they may affirm some elements of Orthodoxy. But their approach and application is totally different. Take abortion. Yes we should oppose this. But not because of the fundamentalist Protestant juridical/forensic reason. But because we want to restore and preserve life. We want to heal people. So we don't look at these people as depraved and evil. We look at them as needing healing. This plays out totally differently in how we deal with the problem. The language of hate and disdain in fundamentalist Protestantism often leads to violence against abortion clinics etc. A truly Christian response would be to have dialogue and try to make a way so that the person will not want to have an abortion. This will often involve Christians actually helping that person financially and emotionally. One of the reasons people want abortions is because they lack hope. They can't see a good future for their unborn child. But the Christian message is about love and hope. And it is our job in proclaiming the gospel to be agents of God's love to these people. Not to condemn them as a fundamentalist Protestant would. Not to use the language of hate and disdain against them. We want to world to be reconciled to God. This can't happen with the sort of fundamentalist approach in Protestantism. It can happen with the true orthodox Christian church. With it's gentle and meek picture of God.

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  7. Simmo, The old adage "Hate the sin but love the sinner" allows for the condemnation of sin and the actions of the perpetrators. This is not "hate and disdain" as you suggest. Does God have enemies? Does God hate? Yes. We are to hate evil. That Timothy approaches such evil with a strong prophetic voice, is as much a valid part of the body of Christ as your suggested method of "love and hope". To warn of the destructive nature of sin and to rebuke those who actively are engaged in it, is for the salvation of their souls. Would you call Christ a hater for whipping up on the money changers in the temple, overturning their tables and rebuking them? Timothy does know what he is talking about as do you. You have differing gifts as is the design of he body of Christ.

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  8. Nathan, with all due respect, the language of hate that Protestant fundamentalists use the abortion debate has led to violence. This is anti-Christian. The adage "hate the sin but love the sinner" is not scriptural I feel but provides a cover for those who wish to be judgemental in a way that the Lord never was. Does God hate? I would fundamentally disagree with you there. God is love. Love is the essense of God's triune being. God does not hate. I think the scriptures reveal that God's attitude to evil is to want to remedy and heal it. Yes rebuke is necessary, but it must be done gently and lovingly in the same way of our Lord. Yes we are to be disgusted with immorality, the way our Lord was with the money changers. Note that it was always against the rich and the proud that our Lord got angry. I think the Old Testament prophets and the Epistle of St James in particular show that injustice against the widow and the poor are some of the things we are to be genuinely indignant about. But, of course, this is not done with the language of hate and of violence. Christians should never fall into the fundamentalist Protestan tendency to indulge their passions of violence and judgement. Timothy's post was very ungracious and the language used was inflamatory. This is not the Christian way... And I think this is situation where rebuke is necessary.

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  9. Well communisim as a movement developed in the Roman Catholic west with groups that dislike the church groups like the free brethan who believed in a community of wives and goods and property. The anabapists in their early years during the radical reformation practice sometimes a community of wives and property. They actually seized control of a town in Germany in the 1500's and forced a regime of a community of wives and prperty. Early gnostic groups in the Byzantine east like the Paulicians and the Bogomils were not into communisim.

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