Clergy & Monastics Father Andrew Damick

Blade Runner

Pelican
Orthodox
There is a thread specifically on ‘Giants’ where I articulate my criticisms of LOS. I’m not going to repeat them on this thread.
I find Fr. Stephen de Young quite informative on many levels, and to be frank, level headed and certainly orthodox. I enjoy that podcast, and Fr. Andrew is basically just the guest host, to be honest. Let's not detail the thread though.

Perhaps I have missed it, and if it is more nuanced please state it, but what exactly is this position that those named have (those "against" Fr. Peter) regarding the sarscov2 situation and the church? My feeling is that people have been far too charitable in their responses to such sillyness, when so many of the measures (masking but communion, masking at all, different spoons and alcohol when supposedly the gifts do not cause disease, etc) do not make any logical sense at all within an orthodox mindset. If you don't care to be notified of this because all of your "flock" is passive, then you have your reward, but when people who can think point out that these things make no sense, don't get mad at them.
 

SeanGarrison

Chicken
Orthodox
They might know a lot of information about Christianity, yet teach a distorted faith because they lack experience in practicing it.

I have been following this drama on YouTube and wanted to contribute. The entire quote needs to be emphasized, not just the bit about distorted faith. Father Andrew is criticising an observable trend of online behaviour rather than specific individuals.

The YouTube apologists are fresh converts with admirable zeal and a vast knowledge of Orthodox history yet they have very little practical experience living the faith. It follows a consistent pattern of acidic, hostile behaviour online at odds with how we're expected to live as Christians. We all fall short of this, but these apologists position themselves as de facto teachers and experts on a faith they don't yet truly understand. They go out seeking battles, not with the goal of winning people to Christ, but with the goal of being right.

If I memorize a recipe, does this make me a chef? If I memorize a cookbook, does this make me qualified to teach others about cooking? No, it takes experience actually cooking the recipes to make me a chef.

Michael Witcoff, Jay Dyer, and others are intelligent, articulate men who love their faith. There is no denying this. Their behaviour in videos and debates (or even posts here pridefully blaming qualified priests rather than listening to their instruction) suggest they are still incredibly young in terms of living Christian lives, lacking a spiritual maturity that comes only with time. Christian faith is not just known, it is lived.

"And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell." I say this with brotherly love. Popularity and persona online are a gateway to hell. These things are causing you to stumble. Cut off the bad foot!
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
First off, I agree that new Orthodox Christians should be cautious and certainly not hostile towards others.
I have been following this drama on YouTube and wanted to contribute. The entire quote needs to be emphasized, not just the bit about distorted faith. Father Andrew is criticising an observable trend of online behaviour rather than specific individuals.

The YouTube apologists are fresh converts with admirable zeal and a vast knowledge of Orthodox history yet they have very little practical experience living the faith. It follows a consistent pattern of acidic, hostile behaviour online at odds with how we're expected to live as Christians. We all fall short of this, but these apologists position themselves as de facto teachers and experts on a faith they don't yet truly understand. They go out seeking battles, not with the goal of winning people to Christ, but with the goal of being right.
You don't know their hearts or how much they actually understand. Literally thousands of people attribute their conversions to Jay Dyer. A clergyman can always contact Jay's spiritual father with concerns, or if he isn't going to church, call him out publicly and by name. How long would they need to be Orthodox for it to be more acceptable? 3, 5, 10, 20 years?
If I memorize a recipe, does this make me a chef? If I memorize a cookbook, does this make me qualified to teach others about cooking? No, it takes experience actually cooking the recipes to make me a chef.

Michael Witcoff, Jay Dyer, and others are intelligent, articulate men who love their faith. There is no denying this. Their behaviour in videos and debates (or even posts here pridefully blaming qualified priests rather than listening to their instruction) suggest they are still incredibly young in terms of living Christian lives, lacking a spiritual maturity that comes only with time. Christian faith is not just known, it is lived.

"And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell." I say this with brotherly love. Popularity and persona online are a gateway to hell. These things are causing you to stumble. Cut off the bad foot!
Has there ever been a case in history where an Orthodox priest from a different jurisdiction has publicly complained about the optics of an Orthodox layman with no secular government position who was not teaching any heresy or committing any crime? Can you show me where it is stated that we need to listen to priests with regards to instruction and rebuke who not only aren't our confessors but also aren't even in our jurisdiction? I will show them respect as a priest, but it also should be a two way street where they show us respect, and respect towards our confessors. They should respect the chain of command, and not attack the spiritual children of others.

I'm also yet to hear an explanation of what "distorted faith" means. Seems to be a weird way to say "I don't like how they behave." If they're teaching a distorted faith, explain what that is, I would hate to unknowingly believe in something heretical.

Edit: Furthermore, what posts, what videos attacking qualified priests are you referring to? Let us know so we can avoid such people or correct ourselves.
 
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SeanGarrison

Chicken
Orthodox
How long would they need to be Orthodox for it to be more acceptable? 3, 5, 10, 20 years?

The mark of spiritual maturity isn't time in grade, it's our demonstrated ability to live as Christ instructed us to live. There are some new converts in the Church who may not be well-read (or even literate at all), yet demonstrate Christ's holiness through charity, humility, and forgiveness. Others spend their entire lives in the Church and may have memorized every book on Orthodoxy ever written, yet remain far from Christ in their words and actions.

More important than our ability to treat fellow Orthodox Christians with kindness is our capacity to love those who aren't Orthodox, or who aren't Christians at all. We aren't commanded to shout down and berate lost sheep as heretics in juvenile interactions, but to guide them to Christ through patient instruction and love.

Has there ever been a case in history where an Orthodox priest from a different jurisdiction has publicly complained about the optics of an Orthodox layman with no secular government position who was not teaching any heresy or committing any crime?

Well, the internet has changed things. When we speak to a global audience, we may be rebuked by a global audience.

Can you show me where it is stated that we need to listen to priests with regards to instruction and rebuke who not only aren't our confessors but also aren't even in our jurisdiction? I will show them respect as a priest, but it also should be a two way street where they show us respect, and respect towards our confessors. They should respect the chain of command, and not attack the spiritual children of others.

Entering the priesthood isn't easy. Candidates have been properly educated, vetted, and with proper periods of discernment on both sides to ensure the candidate's calling is based on true and honourable intentions. They are entitled to respect, regardless of jurisdiction. Compared to Orthodox Christians in other parts of the world, Westerners possess an individualistic and narcissistic streak often making it difficult for them to maintain a sense of humility within hierarchical confines.

I'm also yet to hear an explanation of what "distorted faith" means. Seems to be a weird way to say "I don't like how they behave." If they're teaching a distorted faith, explain what that is, I would hate to unknowingly believe in something heretical.

I ask you to please read the second part of the same sentence. ("teach a distorted faith because they lack experience in practicing it.") Assuming knowledge of Orthodoxy is more important than living Orthodoxy is a distortion of the faith. No one knows what's in their hearts but God, we can only discern and offer brotherly rebuke based on the behaviour we witness.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
The mark of spiritual maturity isn't time in grade, it's our demonstrated ability to live as Christ instructed us to live. There are some new converts in the Church who may not be well-read (or even literate at all), yet demonstrate Christ's holiness through charity, humility, and forgiveness. Others spend their entire lives in the Church and may have memorized every book on Orthodoxy ever written, yet remain far from Christ in their words and actions.

More important than our ability to treat fellow Orthodox Christians with kindness is our capacity to love those who aren't Orthodox, or who aren't Christians at all. We aren't commanded to shout down and berate lost sheep as heretics in juvenile interactions, but to guide them to Christ through patient instruction and love.



Well, the internet has changed things. When we speak to a global audience, we may be rebuked by a global audience.



Entering the priesthood isn't easy. Candidates have been properly educated, vetted, and with proper periods of discernment on both sides to ensure the candidate's calling is based on true and honourable intentions. They are entitled to respect, regardless of jurisdiction. Compared to Orthodox Christians in other parts of the world, Westerners possess an individualistic and narcissistic streak often making it difficult for them to maintain a sense of humility within hierarchical confines.



I ask you to please read the second part of the same sentence. ("teach a distorted faith because they lack experience in practicing it.") Assuming knowledge of Orthodoxy is more important than living Orthodoxy is a distortion of the faith. No one knows what's in their hearts but God, we can only discern and offer brotherly rebuke based on the behaviour we witness.
You're talking past me here, but since you won't address how anything Jay or anyone else is sharing is wrong, I will continue learning theological concepts from laypersons and clergy alike and I will specifically look to clergy, the Bible, the lives of the saints, and my Godmother for spiritual guidance and guidance on how to live my life (just like Jay and everyone else in the Orthosphere says to do).
 

SeanGarrison

Chicken
Orthodox
You're talking past me here, but since you won't address how anything Jay or anyone else is sharing is wrong, I will continue learning theological concepts from laypersons and clergy alike and I will specifically look to clergy, the Bible, the lives of the saints, and my Godmother for spiritual guidance and guidance on how to live my life (just like Jay and everyone else in the Orthosphere says to do).

Do you consider Michael and Jay's behaviour in debates, and desire to seek them out, indicative of the spiritual maturity required to teach the faith?

Father Andrew didn't critique specific points of the doctrine they teach; he advised caution around those who may know the faith on paper, but through consistent behaviour in interactions with others demonstrate they do not live the faith. As he mentioned in the video, Orthodoxy is not a spreadsheet to complete.

I pray for them and rely on spiritually mature, qualified clergy for instruction.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
I have been following this drama on YouTube and wanted to contribute. The entire quote needs to be emphasized, not just the bit about distorted faith. Father Andrew is criticising an observable trend of online behaviour rather than specific individuals.

The YouTube apologists are fresh converts with admirable zeal and a vast knowledge of Orthodox history yet they have very little practical experience living the faith. It follows a consistent pattern of acidic, hostile behaviour online at odds with how we're expected to live as Christians. We all fall short of this, but these apologists position themselves as de facto teachers and experts on a faith they don't yet truly understand. They go out seeking battles, not with the goal of winning people to Christ, but with the goal of being right.

If I memorize a recipe, does this make me a chef? If I memorize a cookbook, does this make me qualified to teach others about cooking? No, it takes experience actually cooking the recipes to make me a chef.

Michael Witcoff, Jay Dyer, and others are intelligent, articulate men who love their faith. There is no denying this. Their behaviour in videos and debates (or even posts here pridefully blaming qualified priests rather than listening to their instruction) suggest they are still incredibly young in terms of living Christian lives, lacking a spiritual maturity that comes only with time. Christian faith is not just known, it is lived.

"And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell." I say this with brotherly love. Popularity and persona online are a gateway to hell. These things are causing you to stumble. Cut off the bad foot!
I agree with most of this, but it wasn’t generous for Fr. Andrew to discuss specific individuals. Bless him though!
 

NickK

Woodpecker
Orthodox
There is a reason new monks are forbidden to touch dogma and apologetics for many many years.
Perhaps decades of inner work must pass before their elders allow them to go out and preach and engage in apologetics and write books.
This has been the tradition of our Church.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
Do you consider Michael and Jay's behaviour in debates, and desire to seek them out, indicative of the spiritual maturity required to teach the faith?
It's not for me to decide, they have blessings to do so. Take it up with them personally or their spiritual fathers. You can talk to either of them. Neither of them have ever claimed to be examples of Orthodox spirituality.

I am suspicious of people who go around asking people to disavow things, this is subversive behavior.
Father Andrew didn't critique specific points of the doctrine they teach; he advised caution around those who may know the faith on paper, but through consistent behaviour in interactions with others demonstrate they do not live the faith. As he mentioned in the video, Orthodoxy is not a spreadsheet to complete.
Okay, nobody is looking to these people as role models, and they themselves point to actual role models.

There is a reason new monks are forbidden to touch dogma and apologetics for many many years.
Perhaps decades of inner work must pass before their elders allow them to go out and preach and engage in apologetics and write books.
This has been the tradition of our Church.
They have blessings to do so, from the Church.
 
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Basilus of Moro

Sparrow
Orthodox
I have been following this drama on YouTube and wanted to contribute. The entire quote needs to be emphasized, not just the bit about distorted faith. Father Andrew is criticising an observable trend of online behaviour rather than specific individuals.

The YouTube apologists are fresh converts with admirable zeal and a vast knowledge of Orthodox history yet they have very little practical experience living the faith. It follows a consistent pattern of acidic, hostile behaviour online at odds with how we're expected to live as Christians. We all fall short of this, but these apologists position themselves as de facto teachers and experts on a faith they don't yet truly understand. They go out seeking battles, not with the goal of winning people to Christ, but with the goal of being right.

If I memorize a recipe, does this make me a chef? If I memorize a cookbook, does this make me qualified to teach others about cooking? No, it takes experience actually cooking the recipes to make me a chef.

Michael Witcoff, Jay Dyer, and others are intelligent, articulate men who love their faith. There is no denying this. Their behaviour in videos and debates (or even posts here pridefully blaming qualified priests rather than listening to their instruction) suggest they are still incredibly young in terms of living Christian lives, lacking a spiritual maturity that comes only with time. Christian faith is not just known, it is lived.

"And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell." I say this with brotherly love. Popularity and persona online are a gateway to hell. These things are causing you to stumble. Cut off the bad foot!

I don't think anyone would deny character issues among some online Orthodox, nor deny that the medium makes such issues more pronounced. We all know examples of zeal without knowledge, of errors on the right, and on the left. Fr. Seraphim Rose said it best when he wrote:

"Above all, we must strive to preserve the true fragrance of Orthodoxy, being at least a little ‘not of this world,’ detached from all the cares and politics even of the Church, nourishing ourselves in the other-worldly food the Church gives us in such abundance. Elder Macarious well says in a letter: ‘Fanaticism limits a man’s way of thinking, but true faith gives him freedom. This freedom is revealed by the firmness of a man in all possible cases of happiness and unhappiness.’ That freedom is the sign of our Orthodoxy; that is precisely why the Josephites separated from Sergius in 1927: not for incorrect ecclesiology or violation of canons, but because he deprived the Church of the thing most precious to her: her internal freedom. But to see this one must have the savor of Orthodoxy. Let us not lose it!”

It is true that we must be careful, and that doing Orthodox stuff online is not necessarily a blessed endeavor, even if one's priest correctly or incorrectly gives a blessing. We must all be careful, surely, and seek obscurity if we can, but we must be discerning to not condemn these brothers. I especially appreciate Roosh's work, since he knows well his limits, sticking to very basic things. It is a mark of God-pleasing diminution of his own thoughts - of crucifixion of the intellect. We must be humble ourselves, and not condemn those who in no wise depart from the faith. Fr. Andrew is correct that we should go to the experienced for guidance (and who is going to our friends for this?), but I believe he should take this advice himself, and rush to those experienced in purification, illumination, and deification, instead of academics. It is the experienced that speak against many of the things he promotes himself. Lord have mercy.

It is therefore not enough to call priests "qualified," and though we must respect their office, and hold in esteem their offerings, we are not obligated to agree with them, or regard their advice as from God. Indeed, on the contrary, we rush to the saints and those illumined in our day, and urge priests to do the same. Is this not what Brother Augustine urged in this very thread?
 
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Penitent

Robin
Orthodox
I have been following this drama on YouTube and wanted to contribute.
Immediately you betray yourself in this post with these words. You are lecturing us, and yet you yourself are immersed in all of this internet gossip which itself is sinful. Don't you think your time would be better spent with a prayer rope, or reading the lives of the saints? Have you ever been around somebody who has recently been baptized and is on fire with zeal and love of God and is still shining with Grace from the purifying fount? Sometimes I feel like I have more to learn from somebody who is newly baptized than any, as they are better Christians than many of us who are growing old in sin.
 

SeanGarrison

Chicken
Orthodox
Is it sinful gossip to reach a different conclusion on Father Andrew's statement than the others also offering their opinions? You seem very angry and I'm not sure where it's coming from. I do recognize there is a strong emotional attachment here to several figures.

I cast no judgment on any of the YouTube apologists. It's fair to advise discernment, however, as Father Andrew did. Is this not fair?
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Assuming knowledge of Orthodoxy is more important than living Orthodoxy is a distortion of the faith. No one knows what's in their hearts but God, we can only discern and offer brotherly rebuke based on the behaviour we witness.

Except there wasn't really a rebuke, it was painting with a broad brush. If you love your brother, then call out specifically what's wrong, and admonish in a private manner so that any problems can be corrected. But if you're going to vaguely call out certain behaviours in a public presentation without any concrete examples including mentioning that someone is hiding their connections to their bishop, as if you knew who their bishop was you'd censor the person through that channel if you could, then you're not interested in helping your neighbour, you're interested in silencing people and creating scandal. It was a thoughtless comment on his part, and hopefully he will do better in the future.

"And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell." I say this with brotherly love. Popularity and persona online are a gateway to hell. These things are causing you to stumble. Cut off the bad foot!
I cast no judgment on any of the YouTube apologists. It's fair to advise discernment, however, as Father Andrew did. Is this not fair?

It sure is :)

IMHO, video debates really aren't a good way to promulgate the faith, for ego is easily involved, and people don't generally weigh rational argumentation, and are far more likely to follow personalities. Written debates are far superior, but less likely to be monetized, and if you're doing these sort of things, you're probably being deplatformed in life and need the funds. When you have groups of Orthodox clergy kowtowing to the powers that be, like in statements like this, what's the valid alternative? Orthodoxy is not found in obeisance to the state.
 
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