A Turn in the Right Direction? across Catholic and Protestant Churches, "Orthodoxy Movements" Have Sprung Up to Hold on to and Defend What They See as the One True Way of Their Particular Tradition

By Smietana, Bob | U.S. Catholic, May 2003 | Go to article overview

A Turn in the Right Direction? across Catholic and Protestant Churches, "Orthodoxy Movements" Have Sprung Up to Hold on to and Defend What They See as the One True Way of Their Particular Tradition


Smietana, Bob, U.S. Catholic


When John and Carolyn Green got married, they made all the decisions that any couple makes, like who they invite to the wedding, where they would live, and who would do the cooking. They also had a theological debate about a very personal--issue whether or not to use birth control.

John, a lifelong Catholic who was ordained a deacon last year, was uncomfortable with the idea because of the church's official teaching. For Carolyn, whose father was a Baptist minister, using birth control seemed perfectly normal. They decided to use birth control despite the teaching.

But a few years later the couple had what they call a "conversion experience" that changed their thinking. It started when another couple at their parish, St. Thomas of Canterbury in Chicago, took them aside and asked them about birth control and Natural Family Planning (NFP).

"They said, `You really need to examine this issue--you can't just do your own thing,'" says John. "As we read and looked at the issue more closely, we realized that the church is right and that we need to conform our lives to that truth. That's the real question for us: Do we lives to the truth, or do we try and conform the truth to fit our lives?"

Like the Greens, many of the parishioners at St. Thomas have chosen to be "intentionally orthodox"--embracing official Catholic teaching on a whole range of issues, including NFP. Not because the pope says they have to, or out of nostalgia for a pre-Vatican II past, but because they genuinely believe the church's teaching is "the truth."

In doing so, the Greens and their fellow parishioners are part of a larger movement among American Christians--Catholic and Protestant alike--who are concerned about issues of orthodoxy. In some cases, it is an individual parish like St. Thomas; in others, "orthodoxy movements" have sprung up to push for a return to official church teaching.

A growing movement

In the Catholic Church, members of groups like Catholics United for the Faith, Regnum Christi, Opus Del, and others push for orthodoxy in following their interpretation of the teachings of the Vatican.

Among Protestants, one of the largest orthodoxy groups is the Confessing Church Movement in the Presbyterian Church (USA), named for its commitment to three confessions: 1. Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation; 2. scripture as the church's only infallible rule of faith and life; and 3. The marriage between a man and a woman as the only relationship within which sexual activity is appropriate. The movement claims to have the support of 1,289 churches with more than 400,000 members, or nearly 20 percent of the 2.5 million-member denomination.

In the Episcopal Church, groups like Episcopalians United and Forward in Faith have opposed the ordination of women, the ordination of gay priests, and the views of liberal clergy such as retired Archbishop John Shelby Spong, who has challenged the Virgin birth, the Incarnation, Jesus' physical Resurrection, and other Christian doctrines.

Within the largest Protestant denomination, the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), a movement advocating strict adherence to orthodoxy has been the most successful. The so-called "conservative takeover" of the SBC began in 1979, when fundamentalist Baptists decided that the church had strayed too far from biblical inerrancy--a cornerstone of orthodox Southern Baptist theology. To correct that, the new leadership required all denominational staff, seminary professors, and missionaries to sign a "Baptist Faith and Message" statement. Yet dissent among moderates continues within the SBC.

There is even a confessing movement of sorts in the Unitarian Church--the American Unitarian Conference--which claims that the Unitarian Universalist Association has gone too far and has no room for God.

Church historian Martin E. Marty says these confessing or orthodoxy groups fill a need for stability in an uncertain world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Turn in the Right Direction? across Catholic and Protestant Churches, "Orthodoxy Movements" Have Sprung Up to Hold on to and Defend What They See as the One True Way of Their Particular Tradition
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.