So does it not stand to reason that the Orthodox in America have similar experience with Western Christianity in general? It is only natural for less well-read parishioners to ask what differs between Orthodoxy and say Lutheranism or what differs between Latin Christianity and Orthodoxy, and it falls to the priests to have answers readily available. In Greece or Russia, discussions over differences in doctrine are more of an academic luxury, whereas in America, they are a matter of pastoral necessity. It has nothing to do with “little brother syndrome” or any such drivel and everything to do with pastoral need.
Frankly, this has not been my experience. American Roman Catholics love to talk about Protestantism and her errors, often to excess. Just look at this very discussion forum. So if some Orthodox Christians are themselves guilty of this, is it really so tenable for you to assert that Orthodox Christians live constantly feeling the weight of Latin Christianity “EVERY DAY” or some such similarly ridiculous assertion? In fact, Latin Christianity has very little weight upon us, because one need only attend our liturgies, hear the scriptures, listen to our liturgical texts, and hear patristic homilies (none of which mention Latin Christianity, aside from mentions in the synaxaria of Orthodox Christians martyred by Latins) in order to acquire the phronema of the Church. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that there is no true theology without liturgy and no theoria without right worship; lex orandi, lex credendi holds in Orthodoxy as a general principle. One need only be taught how we differ from other forms of Christianity in order to reduce the risk of being led astray by them.
Still taking this untenable course, I see. People have been predicting that Orthodoxy would go “moribund” in the states for generations, but they have heretofore not been correct. In fact, the Antiochians have achieved rather good rates of growth over the last few decades.
Not necessarily in an entirely negative fashion. The growth of Evangelicalism often signals a rise in religious sentiment in general.
That is certainly not the impression I’ve gotten of the Charismatic movement. Many of my friends who received degrees in either theology or philosophy from a local Catholic university do not have positive opinions of the Charismatic movement, believing that some of its tenets are at odds with Catholic teaching. I certainly find the emphasis on attempting to revive gifts of the Spirit which the New Testament said would cease in the future (like tongues) to be quite troubling.