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It was Weber, I think, but perhaps someone else, who said that the Reformation re-directed the "ascetic impulse" away from interior restructuring and toward exterior domination and acquisition.

I say the process started much earlier, with Anselm at the latest.

The only denunciation I should be doing is of myself, and that only before my confessor.

"The reason why many Orthodox churches are not growing is first of all because of an incongruity between doctrine and behavior. The second reason is the daily litany of denunciation. The snot-culture of denunciation and complaint will be our downfall."

In the popular mind, the two are one and the same. It is our identity in the pop-American scene: We Orthodox argue, squabble, etc. And now we denounce and complain. Gee... can I have coffee with that? Nah.

The imagination and creativity to engage positively... not just beyond our walls, but within... is a good start to narrowing the distance between practice and belief. And a lot tougher, less fun, etc. than the adolescent sneer that constitutes much of modern (but not traditional) American culture. We need to do more than put the sneer in a pretty church. How's about something more... something like "Joy"? Where'd that go? Maybe the ethnic dances and "fests" do more along those lines than we Amerikanistas think. Hmmmmm.

Thanks for the post.

Only in freedom does work follow faith.
Only persons can act deliberately.

And I thought that was the Liberal agenda!

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