More Zwinglian that Zwingli

I have been enjoying Gavin Ourtland’s Youtube channel lately. And I have been particularly edified by his work on icons and the Eastern Orthodox church. Granted he is far kinder and ecumenical than I would be, but that good will disagreement has not been expressed in return. I was particularly fascinated by the reaction to the two interviews he did with Joshua Schooping a former orthodox priest who returned to Reformed Protestantism. Unhinged would be the nice way to describe it, b**chy would be the accurate way. Honestly there is nothing more pathetic than an orthodox keyboard warrior pounding out his little anathema in the Youtube comments section. 

This highlighted something I have noticed for a few years now which is a play that is run on protestants by the EO and the Papists. And I think it’s time we called them on it, or better yet doubled down. It goes something like this Protestant Joe offers some mild, and usually fact backed critique of Rome or the east and blowback is swift and angry or wounded. Akin to the drama preformed by a French soccer player alone at one end of the field faking an injury. Or say Joe Protestant has any fun reveling in his Reformation history and lo again the funny hat wearing brethren begin rolling on the grass shrieking hoping that the ref will penalize the mean man. 

Typically the Protestant will capitulate to this weeping fellow. Apologies will flow, nuance will be called for, affirmations of ecumenism are made all in the soothing tones that are aimed to appease the wounded child of ancient practice. Yet this never occurs the other way. If the EO or Papists have a merry old podcast waxing eloquent about the good old days when Popes called for all out war against Protestants we are expected to just take it on the chin. They can be as condescending as the day is long and we (with very few exceptions*) react like a duck with water on it’s back. 

For example if a meme criticizing ash on foreheads with Steve Carell sausages even harder during Lent starts making the rounds suddenly from the woodwork come ash smashed faced legalists wailing in the comments section about how rapturously beautiful penitential seasons are. But when they of the magical transforming bread and wine put up a meme with an icon of Nicholas (of Santa fame) and text saying that he came to deliver presents and punch protestants and he just ran out of presents… Well any objections raised about likening us to Arius are treated as butt hurt whiners showing up to rain on the patriarch parade. By in large we tend to ignore this kind of behavior.

And while this may just be us being the bigger men I don’t think a stoic, literal frozen chosen position is always the best.

Sometimes we get accused of being more Calvinistic that Calvin. And while that particular charge should be dealt with at some point in the future, I think there is something in it. I would say we should be more Zwinglian than Zwingli. 

At the Affair of the Sausages Zwingli was present but he did not partake. He was sensitive to the perceptions of the non Protestant papists and how they might feel. And, I will differ to him and his expertise of his era. But we are not in 1522, and if that particular BBQ sparked the Reformation in Zurich by implying that the papists should repent then we should cary on that great tradition with gusto, Eastern and Romansh fainting couches, smelling salts, and wails of distress be damned. This past Thursday my mens group and I threw a proper Affair of the Sausages at our whiskey gathering. And though the Lenten laden were welcome it was their loss for being too pious to participate. 

And that is the point, we have something great, something superior. We are Reformed it is time we stoped apologizing for it. In fact we should revel in it. We aren’t looking to be ecumenical and find what we have in common, we are looking for them to repent and be converted. They have their faith in a counterfeit church that promises to save them. Christ is merely a co-redemptor. The Reformation recovered beautiful doctrines and cut out oppressive soul sucking practices. For that we should revel, we should joke, we should be assertive. It is time for us to stop surrendering the tone of the discussion to groups that run the same play as progressives with their eleventh commandment of, “thou shalt be nice.” So let the memes flow, mock and laugh at absurd traditions, and let the delightful repentance inviting smell of grilled meats waft around the neighborhood on Fridays, and especially during lent. Be more Zwingian then Zwingli.

*Perhaps once in a blue moon a cage stage Calvinist with a small Youtube channel will have a melt down, but no one really takes them seriously.

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