Brother Augustine

vraph

 
Banned
Other Christian
This has deep roots in early modern secularizing thinkers like Bacon and Locke. In A Letter concerning Toleration (1689), Locke argued that the state should tolerate religious differences (even including Jews, and I think Muslims), with two exceptions - atheists (you can't trust them to be good citizens because they don't believe God will punish them for treachery) and Catholics (you can't trust them to be good citizens because their first loyalty is to a foreign potentate, i.e. the pope).

My philosophy surrounding religious difference is that in order to gain the right to toleration you must give some form of loyalty test. If the Vatican assures loyalty somehow, you may tolerate Catholics.

Secularism to me is not no religion whatsoever, it is no established religion.
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
Locke argued that the state should tolerate religious differences (even including Jews, and I think Muslims), with two exceptions - atheists (you can't trust them to be good citizens because they don't believe God will punish them for treachery) and Catholics (you can't trust them to be good citizens because their first loyalty is to a foreign potentate, i.e. the pope).
Substitute YKW and Israel in that last bit and you might have me convinced.
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
I stumbled upon Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen as I researched speaking in tongues, which made me think of Brother Augustine's stream on Copeland. I'm quite gobsmacked at the moment actually, I didn't knew Christian ''denominations'' like this existed. Denominations in brackets, as it's entrepreneurs who have chosen religion as their field and those with a tendency towards religion as their target market. I've never seen a scam/charlatan so easily and straightaway. How deep have we fallen if these people gain millions of followers?
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Moderator
Orthodox
BPF calls "Griftcoff" out to debate.


I highly encourage everyone to not click on that. I didn't, and won't. It's gossip, which is a sin, that they're profiting from. Christ tells us that if you have a problem with another Christian, to see them one on one first, then use a mediator, and after that go to the Church. None of that happened here, so even if they have legitimate complaints against Brother Augustine, it is brought up in a completely uncharitable, and even profiteering manner.

We must not be so quick to air dirt about people.
 

rodion

Sparrow
Orthodox
I highly encourage everyone to not click on that. I didn't, and won't. It's gossip, which is a sin, that they're profiting from. Christ tells us that if you have a problem with another Christian, to see them one on one first, then use a mediator, and after that go to the Church. None of that happened here, so even if they have legitimate complaints against Brother Augustine, it is brought up in a completely uncharitable, and even profiteering manner.

We must not be so quick to air dirt about people.

This whole situation is very unfortunate, and gay. I’m sure they have issues with BA, but doing it like this is also grifting for views and clout. Everyone should just shut up and move on.
 

drbcorelian

Chicken
Orthodox
I started listening and after about a half hour had to turn it off. I found it disgusting, distasteful and very cringe. It was really disappointing to see the chat room full of mocking and joking and downright meanness dragging up all of Michael's past life before his conversion, making fun of him. It truely reminded me of a bunch of school kids mocking and picking on someone. The language was also really awful. What made it even more disappointing was seeing "Ortho bros" such as Jay Dyer, David Patrick Henry and other online Orthos piling on and cashing in on the gossip. Interjecting their own self promotion. I like Jay's and David's work, but this was so disappointing to see them participating in the gossip fest. Shameful! Not a good look for Orthodoxy. Would you see someone like Saint Paisios or Saint Nectarios of Father Spyridon behaving this way? Why is this acceptable? Is this how the upcoming new generation of Orthodox behave? This type of crap needs to be handled offline. Not in full public display for all to feast upon.
 

drbcorelian

Chicken
Orthodox
I highly encourage everyone to not click on that. I didn't, and won't. It's gossip, which is a sin, that they're profiting from. Christ tells us that if you have a problem with another Christian, to see them one on one first, then use a mediator, and after that go to the Church. None of that happened here, so even if they have legitimate complaints against Brother Augustine, it is brought up in a completely uncharitable, and even profiteering manner.

We must not be so quick to air dirt about people.
:like:
 

TheosisSeeker

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
I started listening and after about a half hour had to turn it off. I found it disgusting, distasteful and very cringe. It was really disappointing to see the chat room full of mocking and joking and downright meanness dragging up all of Michael's past life before his conversion, making fun of him. It truely reminded me of a bunch of school kids mocking and picking on someone. The language was also really awful. What made it even more disappointing was seeing "Ortho bros" such as Jay Dyer, David Patrick Henry and other online Orthos piling on and cashing in on the gossip. Interjecting their own self promotion. I like Jay's and David's work, but this was so disappointing to see them participating in the gossip fest. Shameful! Not a good look for Orthodoxy. Would you see someone like Saint Paisios or Saint Nectarios of Father Spyridon behaving this way? Why is this acceptable? Is this how the upcoming new generation of Orthodox behave? This type of crap needs to be handled offline. Not in full public display for all to feast upon.

I stopped going to coffee hours and left my original community partially because of gossip. Some guys would just gossip the entire time, so if they are doing that in front of you, you best be sure they are probably doing that about you. I don't think Orthodox leadership even recognizes it.
 

Blade Runner

Hummingbird
Orthodox
I don't trust the affect of that guy, the whiny voice and twitching made me turn it off pretty quickly. Having said that, I don't know who he is and I agree that it's better to not even get involved in such nonsense. Something tells me that digital media in general brings out certain things in people that are hard to fathom or even corral, given that by definition the job is having an audience. This applies to everyone in the "space."
 

rodion

Sparrow
Orthodox
I started listening and after about a half hour had to turn it off. I found it disgusting, distasteful and very cringe. It was really disappointing to see the chat room full of mocking and joking and downright meanness dragging up all of Michael's past life before his conversion, making fun of him. It truely reminded me of a bunch of school kids mocking and picking on someone. The language was also really awful. What made it even more disappointing was seeing "Ortho bros" such as Jay Dyer, David Patrick Henry and other online Orthos piling on and cashing in on the gossip. Interjecting their own self promotion. I like Jay's and David's work, but this was so disappointing to see them participating in the gossip fest. Shameful! Not a good look for Orthodoxy. Would you see someone like Saint Paisios or Saint Nectarios of Father Spyridon behaving this way? Why is this acceptable? Is this how the upcoming new generation of Orthodox behave? This type of crap needs to be handled offline. Not in full public display for all to feast upon.

While we should aim not to judge and condemn anyone, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to raise these concerns. Yes, “how very Christian of you” is often used liberally by the heterodox as a supposed get-out-of-jail-free card, but this is terrible optics.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
This whole situation is very unfortunate, and gay. I’m sure they have issues with BA, but doing it like this is also grifting for views and clout. Everyone should just shut up and move on.
I spent several days with the Wilsons (“BPF” Andrew and his wife Rachel) just a few weeks ago, at Montanica. We broke bread together, hung out for hours, joked around, told stories, and talked about guns and tools. They couldn’t have acted friendlier to me in person, and when I heard about this the other day I assumed it was going to be some kind of weird satire. I’m told it wasn’t, but I haven’t watched the video and won’t be watching it. I’m left wondering why, if Andrew believes I’m as evil as I’m told the video claims I am, all my videos and interviews on his channel are still published (and why he kept inviting me on in the first place).

In either case please pray for them, they are new to the faith (still catechumens) and don’t have the Sacraments yet to help them fight temptation.
 
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drbcorelian

Chicken
Orthodox
I spent several days with the Wilsons (“BPF” Andrew and his wife Rachel) just a few weeks ago, at Montanica. We broke bread together, hung out for hours, joked around, told stories, and talked about guns and tools. They couldn’t have acted friendlier to me in person, and when I heard about this the other day I assumed it was going to be some kind of weird satire. I’m told it wasn’t, but I haven’t watched the video and won’t be watching it. I’m left wondering why, if Andrew believes I’m as evil as I’m told the video claims I am, all my videos and interviews on his channel are still published (and why he kept inviting me on in the first place).

In either case please pray for them, they are new to the faith (still catechumens) and don’t have the Sacraments yet to help them fight temptation.
:like:
 

Hermetic Seal

Pelican
Orthodox
Gold Member
Against the dictates of common sense I listened to virtually all of that stream, and essentially what it boils down to is, "I think Witcoff is embellishing his rank in the Masons and claims of financial success in some old blog posts, podcasts, and videos I dug up years before he was even Orthodox, therefore he's a grifter!" There's the occasional pertinent criticism or comment, but the vast majority is irrelevant or gossipy fluff. What's funny is how it kind of reminds me of the infamous VaticanCatholic video "critique" of Jay Dyer.

I came away from this thinking that one could make an intriguing presentation criticizing him, but this guy focused almost entirely on irrelevant topics trying to essentially portray Michael as a lolcow. Between his snarky talk show host style of presentation and fixation on boring minutiae, I would describe listening to this podcast as a profoundly tedious experience.

In something of a counterpoint to Roosh's Rise Of The Orthosphere article, I'm increasingly coming to a negative opinion of the Orthosphere. While I like quite a bit of content produced by people affiliated with this online space, and share virtually identical views to them in regards to the faith and surrounding culture, the community surrounding them is often incredibly unhealthy or even destructive, making it an easy target for the "progressive" types sometimes found in GOARCH or OCA. My disillusionment with the Orthosphere results in me not really interacting with the online Orthodox community on Twitter, where I'm paradoxically most active: I mostly use the platform as a sounding board or news aggregator. A lot of the discussion, debate, and drama on there really turns me off. (Note that I'm referring mostly to laypeople affiliated with the "movement," not clergy like Fr. Spyridon Bailey or Fr. Zechariah Lynch.) I'm not a big fan of how it feels like the Orthodox version of parachurch ministries in evangelicalism.

I don't think people in the Orthosphere set out to become gurus or Internet personalities with their own contingent of minions, but something about the nature of platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Discord, etc. seems to cultivate or encourage these sorts of negative elements to emerge. Interestingly, I think Roosh, who is quite a bit more mellow than some of the Orthosphere hotheads, has almost entirely avoided this, probably because he uses his own platforms and website, which has led to a more cultivated environment with a higher standard of discussion; and because most of the community here was in place long before he became Orthodox. Internet forums, compared to the faster pace of Twitter, YouTube comments, Discord, etc. also foster more substantial and less impulsive discussion in general.

Either way, though I can recommend the content created by various Orthosphere figures, I can't really recommend directly engaging with them or their followers on the big platforms. None of this is because I have a grudge against this guy or that, to the extent I've interacted directly with any of them I've had charitable interactions. I'd tell people interested in Orthodoxy to just stay away from all of it and focus on what's going on at your parish (or finding one, if you haven't already.) There is such a vast difference between the weird world of Internet Orthodoxy and what happens at my parish that it's pretty hard to overstate.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Against the dictates of common sense I listened to virtually all of that stream, and essentially what it boils down to is, "I think Witcoff is embellishing his rank in the Masons and claims of financial success in some old blog posts, podcasts, and videos I dug up years before he was even Orthodox, therefore he's a grifter!"
Whatever it is I’m being accused of, said accusers deliberately did not speak with me or ask me any questions - either about my past or present - despite having every opportunity to do so before making this video. As a result, it seems obvious their motivations had nothing to do with truth, charity, fellowship, God, or any relevant topic beyond trying to cause drama for attention. If they’d asked me any questions beforehand, for example during the entire weekend we just spent together, I’d have happily addressed anything they were curious about. From what I’m told, most of what they’re talking about is actually stuff I’ve already talked about in my own streams anyway. Regardless, the way this was done reeks of self-serving malice and I’m not going to engage with them.

Primarily the reason I’m not going to watch it or respond is because that will help me cultivate virtue and learn lessons I need to learn about dispassion. Secondarily, if and when the truth comes out about all of these accusations, they’re going to look far worse than any response I make would achieve anyway.
 
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get2choppaaa

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Whatever it is I’m being accused of, said accusers deliberately did not speak with me or ask me any questions - either about my past or present - despite having every opportunity to do so before making this video. As a result, it seems obvious their motivations had nothing to do with truth, charity, fellowship, God, or any relevant topic beyond trying to cause drama for attention. If they’d asked me any questions beforehand, for example during the entire weekend we just spent together, I’d have happily addressed anything they were curious about. From what I’m told, most of what they’re talking about is actually stuff I’ve already talked about in my own streams anyway. Regardless, the way this was done reeks of self-serving malice and I’m not going to engage with them.

Primarily the reason I’m not going to watch it or respond is because that will help me cultivate virtue and learn lessons I need to learn about dispassion. Secondarily, if and when the truth comes out about all of these accusations, they’re going to look far worse than any response I make would achieve anyway.
I'm not sure who these obscure Jabronies are... Or what value they actually offer anyone other than the tools who are checking them out over the internet stream.

Whatever the case Michael, you've made contributions to the lives of others out of what we can all see is legitimate intent to help.

You've got bigger things to worry about and are taking the correct approach in dismissing their jealousy.

Congrats on the recent marriage and all the positivity you've got going on in your life!
 

Blade Runner

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Having commented on this earlier, it seems most agree with what I said about the nature of (social) media. I'm glad MW is taking the high road. Remember, part of life is that all things have costs and benefits in this world. The cost of having the benefit of wide reaching information on the internet (in this case, Orthodoxy) is the multiplicity of side items that come with it. I think the knowledge and examples of many coming to the knowledge of the truth, or at least being seekers and starting their journey, far outweighs these side effects and distractions. What's more, as Michael has pointed out, they are also trials for self improvement. Good on everyone here - maybe the drama and gossipers can also understand what they are doing and change their minds. Lord have mercy.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Went through the guy's Gab account and it looks like some of his most recent gabs were him calling various other people "faggots", "idiots", and "midgets". If people in this thread didn't mention he is Orthodox I wouldn't have thought he was any sort of Christian. I would have thought he was one of those secular dissident right-wing people with is mostly interested in internet bloodsports - someone like Ethan Ralph. Good example of how diving too much into these sort of online places can have negative spiritual reprecussions.
 
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