Here’s a snippet from a longer article that applies to Orthodox Christianity in spades:
However, a deeper issue also underlies the battle concerning “Open Orthodoxy”, and that’s the question of inclusivity versus exclusivity. Orthodoxy’s growth over the past half-century has relied on, like Protestant evangelicalism, an inclusive model. Seeking to compete with liberal Jewish movements, Orthodoxy stretched its big tent to embrace Modern Orthodoxy, Chabad, the “yeshivish” Orthodox, and the Hasidic enclaves, like Satmar. Plenty of bickering took place internally, but for the most part Orthodoxy’s major wings learned from the bitter experience of earlier decades that peaceful cooperation would serve all of them better than open warfare would. The calamitous decline suffered by the Conservative movement when the Reconstructionists on the left and the traditionalists on the right angrily abandoned that movement’s big tent served as an object lesson as to why it was so important for inclusivity to be preserved.
Beware all purists, but beware konvertsy purists, in particular. We need a united Russian Orthodox Church here, and that does trump everything else. All those who wish to have calendar fights or squabble over this or that piece of liturgical minutiae can most sincerely shut the fuck up. All those with oddbod political and social notions should put a rag in it, the sooner, the better. Beware all those who talk of “purity”… all too often, it’s a smokescreen for exclusivity. You don’t have to wave a placard for a “cause” to be Russian Orthodox… you just have to be a believer.
There are enough parishes in this country, with enough space between them, to keep the peace. Let’s celebrate what we hold in common! What a concept!