Father Josiah Trenham is a pillar of Orthodoxy

Aboulia

Woodpecker
You might be right. I don't know.

Jordan Peterson has indeed led many to Christ and His Church.

However, how many has he led away from the Church, who would have otherwise embraced the Kingdom of God?

I don't know the answer to this question, but it is an important one that Christians are not asking.

Peterson espouses a New Age theology wrapped in sophistic nonsense. There are good things in Peterson's teachings (eg. 'Clean Your Room'), but they're not particularly insightful. His interpretation of Scripture verges on gnostic heresy, at best, and he's an avowed agnostic who does not believe in the resurrection of Christ.

When it comes to Scripture, and to paraphrase St. Paul, what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Furthermore, it is not my intention to judge Fr. Josiah overall (I enjoy his YouTube channel) -- I am just wondering why Peterson specifically? Why give young men Peterson's poorly conceived 12 Rules for Life, instead of St. John Chrysostom's sermons or the writings of the Desert Fathers?

EDIT. Being good at 'interpreting symbols' is not necessarily a virtuous thing. High-ranking freemasons, after all, are competent at uncovering the hidden meaning of symbols.

I don't disagree with anything you're saying here. You're Orthodox, of course JP is going to be of no use, if you're raised to understand the services.

You can't really speak of "how many he led away" at this point, for we live in a very secular, and morally bankrupt age. If he led Orthodox away, I don't know how serious their Orthodoxy really was.

I'd agree with you that JP is a sophist, at least he's honest about it if you pay attention, he describes himself as being a "pragmatist". Pragmatism denies universal truth, and thus is rooted in self interest, and therefore it's sophistic.

Would I give it out en masse to Orthodox youth? No, but I'm not a priest with a large congregation. I don't know how much one on one time he can spend with each person. What was taken for granted in St. Chrysostom's time, we don't have today, so he won't be helpful to everyone. The only thing that JP has going for him is that he's living today, and can see problems today. His writings will be completly forgotten in a few years, but for the time period, they may be useful to nominal Christians, and secular people.

I don't even agree with the thread title labelling Fr Trenham a "Pillar of Orthodoxy". I bought "Rock and Sand" and his catachism series after the glowing reviews in this thread, His materials were very good, but not "Pillar of Orthodoxy" good. He was a little too loose in his language in some of his catechetical lectures, (the conflation of Hell/Hades, being one of the examples that comes to mind).
 

fireshark

Sparrow
As a Protestant curious about Orthodoxy, Fr. Josiah Trenham has been incredibly helpful in understanding the Orthodox view and where it agrees and disagrees with Protestantism. (and Catholicism)

I listened to the entire 2-part Rock and Sand interview and will order the book. I agree with all of his criticisms of Protestantism. However, there are still some points of Orthodox practice that I need explained in greater detail before I could consider conversion. I will continue going over his videos and other material. I may inquire about some of the points with a priest. I found there are a few Orthodox churches in my area.

In any case, there is a lot to learn here. Regardless Protestant, Orthodox, or Catholic, we absolutely need more people like Fr. Josiah Trenham.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Woodpecker
Great sermon that states many Christians have gone too far with pacifism...

Christians have definitely gone too far with pacifism, but Fr. Josiah's example -- of a pro-life Christian being beaten to a pulp outside an abortion clinic, while his brother Christians looked on -- is poorly conceived.

If these young men had reacted with reasonable force, as Fr. Josiah wishes they had, what would be the result? The media would have twisted the story into one of 'Christian bigotry and violence against abortion centres.'

We have to choose our battles wisely.

The problem, methinks, is not pacifism per se. The problem is that Christian men lack masculinity. If Christian men signal Christ-like firmness and toughness, then no one will mess with us in the first place.
 
Last edited:

DanielH

Pelican
Christians have definitely gone too far with pacifism, but Fr. Josiah's example -- of a pro-life Christian being beaten to a pulp outside an abortion clinic, while his brother Christians looked on -- is poorly conceived.

If these young men had reacted with reasonable force, as Fr. Josiah wishes they had, what would be the result? The media would have twisted the story into one of 'Christian bigotry and violence against abortion centres.'

We have to choose our battles wisely.

The problem, methinks, is not pacifism per se. The problem is that Christian men lack masculinity. If Christian men signal Christ-like firmness and toughness, then no one will mess with us in the first place.
Letting yourself or your friend get pushed around by a leftist demoniac is infinitely worse optics than telling that guy “If you touch my friend again your ass will be on the pavement” and that weakness only encourages that same behavior from that leftist demoniac and others in the future.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Woodpecker
Who cares what the media would say?

We do, if it causes our brethren to needlessly fall into persecution, or for Christians to be unfairly maligned, hence making our job to witness more difficult (1 Peter 2:12).

The limiting principle is, of course, disobedience to Christ and His Church (1 Peter 3: 14-15). But that isn't the case here, which is why Fr. Josiah's example is so poorly conceived.

Grabbing the assailant and pinning him to the ground is also not the best strategy. It would be better to put a wall between him and the victim, as a first attempt to diffuse the situation.
 
Last edited:

DanielH

Pelican
We do, if it causes our brethren to needlessly fall into persecution, or for Christians to be unfairly maligned, hence making our job to witness more difficult (1 Peter 2:12).

The limiting principle is, of course, disobedience to Christ and His Church (1 Peter 3: 14-15). But that isn't the case here, which is why Fr. Josiah's example is so poorly conceived.

Grabbing the assailant and pinning him to the ground is also not the best strategy. It would be better to put a wall between him and the victim, as a first attempt to diffuse the situation.
I would argue letting your brother (a member of His Church) get attacked in a way that could easily be prevented is disobedience to His Church.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Woodpecker
I would argue letting your brother (a member of His Church) get attacked in a way that could easily be prevented is disobedience to His Church.

Sure, but pinning the guy to the ground, while reasonable in some ways, also invites unnecessary media speculation and gossip.

In these situations, as I imply above, it is better for Christian men to have a physically imposing presence, such that putting themselves between assailant and victim is enough to end violence. This works the vast majority of the time, as I have found through experience.
 

PainPositive

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I believe in using the minimum amount of force necessary to deal with the problem. I used to restrain violent people for a living, most of the time it's easy to do without actually hurting them.

I agree. I wonder about Luke Chapter 22 and if it applies to this context. It seems right to me that defending one another from harm and evil people would be the righteous thing to do but I'm still not sure of this. While I personally have never been someone who could stand there and watch my friends get beat up it seems like the teachings of the church, biblical examples, and lives and deaths of many Saints and Martyrs shows I might be off on his subject. I can't think of many examples where Saints used physical force to defend themselves or beat up evildoers but I could be wrong.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
I agree. I wonder about Luke Chapter 22 and if it applies to this context. It seems right to me that defending one another from harm and evil people would be the righteous thing to do but I'm still not sure of this. While I personally have never been someone who could stand there and watch my friends get beat up it seems like the teachings of the church, biblical examples, and lives and deaths of many Saints and Martyrs shows I might be off on his subject. I can't think of many examples where Saints used physical force to defend themselves or beat up evildoers but I could be wrong.

It's justified to protect yourself and others. If you're a husband and it's your family, whatever violent action happens to them in your presence is your responsibility, and you will be judged accordingly if you fail in this regard. The main concern is whether you're acting for your own self-interest, or if it's for the greater good around you.

You won't find many recorded actions of Saints defending themselves, for that's generally a common action not worth recording. There's no lessons to be learned there, so why record it? You're more likely to come across their patience in persecutions being recorded, but we're not to seek out persecution and martyrdom unless called to it. There are Saints such as Petar I who was canonized for their unifying of the nation and the defense of it against the Turks. also the Great-Martyr Tsar Lazar of Serbia who was captured by the Turks and beheaded in the Battle of Kosovo.
 

PainPositive

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Can you guys reference some of these opinions? Any guidance from priests, writings by Saints, Church guidance on any of this? I would be interested in reading up on this subject.
 
Not to derail the thread but how do you reconcile promoting someone as a "pillar" of the Orthodox Church who themselves supports and promotes the works of Jordan Peterson? His works are anti-Christ tier stuff, and he's a degenerate. To me this is a sign that Trenham has low discernment. We must use strong discernment because most priests have some degree of error in their works, the only real pillars of Orthodoxy are the saints (and even then, there is error and even heresy that we must avoid internalizing). The OCA is full of priests who are signalling to the far right but they are being reeled into a trap and don't seem to be able to transcend this paradigm of post-enlightenment era, modern idealism (which the American worldview is an extension of).
 
Top