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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Topic started by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 12:13:12 PM

Title: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 12:13:12 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".   

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation. 

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on March 27, 2011, 12:28:23 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome". 

It's amazing that you are able to read the hearts and minds of so many converts. Are you clairvoyant? 

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation. 

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy? 

Because they don't agree with Roman Doctrine. It's not just about a Latin-Rite mass, it's about doctrine. Protestants who convert to Orthodoxy don't agree with Catholic doctrine.

It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Wow, than you obviously think those who convert to Orthodoxy are a lot more shallow than they really are. Ever think that it has nothing to do with not wanting to be Catholic and everything to do with not wanting to join a group whose doctrine you don't agree with?

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

If that's what you have to tell yourself at night to help you sleep better, then God bless you.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Orthodox Church, but there are many differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches beyond just the issue of the Papacy. Perhaps if you actually took the time to study the differences, speak with converts (and "cradle") alike, you would have a greater understanding as to why people believe what they believe.

On a whole, your post comes off as ignorant and obtrusive.

Many Protestant converts to Orthodoxy do explore the Roman Catholic Church before being chrismated; but once they read up on the history and beliefs of the Orthodox Church, and realize that we have remained unchanged in belief and doctrine since Pentecost (something Rome can't claim), they usually are happy to become Orthodox.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 01:04:31 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".  

It's amazing that you are able to read the hearts and minds of so many converts. Are you clairvoyant?

Now hold on here.  I said "a small number".  I did not mean "many" or "most".  Just a small number.  All I want to know is if my hypothesis/prejudice is true for some Protestants that have converted to Orthodoxy.  Undoubtedly, most Protestant converts to Orthodoxy convert out of personal conviction.    

Because they don't agree with Roman Doctrine. It's not just about a Latin-Rite mass, it's about doctrine. Protestants who convert to Orthodoxy don't agree with Catholic doctrine.

Still, the Tridentine Mass, and especially the Roman Canon, _is_ the summation of Roman doctrine on the Eucharist.  If a Protestant person is drawn to the Tridentine Mass, he or she should consider joining the Roman Church.  While the Orthodox affirm the same fundamental meaning of the Eucharist (but in different words), the Roman Canon is the Catholic confession of the Eucharist.  It is strange to say "I'm Orthodox" and then worship at a liturgy that screams "Roman!".

It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Wow, than you obviously think those who convert to Orthodoxy are a lot more shallow than they really are. Ever think that it has nothing to do with not wanting to be Catholic and everything to do with not wanting to join a group whose doctrine you don't agree with?

It's not necessarily a matter of being shallow.  Sociocultural currents run deep.  I could see a person whose family or even spouse has a deep prejudice against Roman Catholicism joining an Orthodox church instead.  Sometimes it is better to maintain family allegiance rather than risk ostracization.  I wish that people would not be so prejudiced, but unfortunately that is the case at times.  

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: FormerReformer on March 27, 2011, 01:13:09 PM
If you're mainly asking about Evangelical non-mainline Protestants than I think that Western Rite is a bit of a red-herring in the discussion.  Yes, Western Rite serves a Tridentine Mass (as well as the Rite of St Tikhon, based off the Anglican Book of Common Prayer) but the main draw is less that of the Evangelicals and more that of the mainline Protestants.  Most Western Rite parishes are parishes that convert en masse from groups such as the Lutherans and Anglicans and even the occasional Roman Catholic who already have historical connections to the Rites practiced.  

For an Evangelical any Rite is going to be bizarre and alien new territory, and they are far more likely to convert in a Byzantine parish, if only due to the fact that Eastern Rite parishes FAR outnumber the Western Rite.

As to Evangelicals who convert to Orthodoxy out of a desire not to be perceived as "Roman" and yet become "apostolic", while it is possible these converts exist, their numbers are far fewer than those who convert to the Roman Catholic Church out of ignorance that any other option exists or a belief that Orthodoxy is the same thing with a different Pope (Constantinople).  

Those you perceive as taking a "hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism" are usually those Protestants who did do the research.  A Protestant who avoids Rome due to Mariology, the Saints, and Icons is naturally going to be softened toward Roman Catholics once they settle into Orthodoxy.  A Protestant who converts to Orthodoxy after researching the history of the papacy, the filioque, and the doctrinal innovations since the schism isn't about to give the Roman Catholic Church a break on these issues, as they are still ongoing.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 27, 2011, 01:16:05 PM
Because Roman Catholicism is false.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Wyatt on March 27, 2011, 01:17:02 PM
I think your opening post certainly makes a lot of sense, and I have thought for a long time that this is probably true in a lot of cases. I mean, we were always taught (I am an ex-Protestant) the evils of the Roman Catholic Church and how false it is, so I think logically any Protestant who wants to investigate Apostolic Christianity is going to be drawn (at least initially) towards Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy and absolutely avoid Rome. This was the case with my dad at first (he and I entered the Catholic Church Easter Vigil 2007). Initially when he was searching for the Church of the Apostles he was drawn to and fascinated by Eastern Orthodoxy. It was only later that he started to wonder if what he had been taught all our life about Rome was actually true (of course, it was not).

For me, a huge inspiration was watching the Journey Home on EWTN. It was especially a blessing to hear ex-Methodists and ex-Wesleyans (I grew up being both United Methodist and later Wesleyan) talk about their journey into the Catholic Church and mentioning stuff that they may have believed when they were still Protestant or things which they were told about the Church when they were Protestant which were absolutely not true. For instance, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is not idolatry when one understands our belief about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, yet as a Protestant I did not understand it and initially thought it looked idolatrous when watching EWTN.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 02:05:35 PM
Thank you, FormerReformer, for proving my prejudices wrong.

A Protestant who converts to Orthodoxy after researching the history of the papacy, the filioque, and the doctrinal innovations since the schism isn't about to give the Roman Catholic Church a break on these issues, as they are still ongoing.

Fair enough.  I respect anyone who makes an informed decision to convert to any religion.  My prejudice that evangelicals would convert to Orthodoxy because it's the apostolic Christianity that's "not the Rome" is abrasive, and I apologise for that.

Still, if a Protestant is primarily interested in joining the Western Rite Orthodox, he or she should seriously consider becoming a traditional Catholic.  I would respect their decision to become WRO if it's a distinction made after thorough investigation.  Still, there is a cognitive disjunct, I think, to worship at the Tridentine Mass under the auspices of a canonical Orthodox patriarchy or autocephalous synod.  Yes, as of now Rome does not permit traditional Catholic priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass in the vernacular (vernacular readings during the Mass are allowed, but the rest of the Mass must be in Latin).  I would not become Orthodox just to hear the ancient Mass in English.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: blessedbeggar on March 27, 2011, 02:05:45 PM
To be frank, this post is more than inflammatory, it is rather offensive to me. I will concede that there may be some Protestants that choose Orthodoxy over Rome simply on the basis that it is not Rome. However, this is a very wrong reason for joining any church, and these few people should be prayed for. As for me, I chose Orthodoxy after much prayer, study, conviction, and some heartache. My wife and I were very active in our protestant church, being a lay evangelist and teacher...the decision to walk away from that community of faith was not a flip of the coin. We, at first, began RCIA with the full intention of joining the Catholic Church....even with the multiple hangups I had with it. Not being one to leave well enough alone, I pressed into the study of ancient Christianity and found Orthodoxy...and my home. To say that I went there to avoid Rome is gravely wrong, or that I sought out a Western Rite is laughable. I travel 3 hours just to get to an Eastern Rite parish...and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I chose Orthodoxy over Catholicism because I was led by God to find His Church, and the UNCHANGING Truth, Doctrine, and Tradition that has only been preserved within the Most Holy Orthodox Church. I am now beginning catechism, along with my family, and there is no doubt that I am where I should be. Not being part of Rome had little to nothing to do with my decision...
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on March 27, 2011, 02:35:04 PM
Thank you, FormerReformer, for proving my prejudices wrong.

A Protestant who converts to Orthodoxy after researching the history of the papacy, the filioque, and the doctrinal innovations since the schism isn't about to give the Roman Catholic Church a break on these issues, as they are still ongoing.

Fair enough.  I respect anyone who makes an informed decision to convert to any religion.  My prejudice that evangelicals would convert to Orthodoxy because it's the apostolic Christianity that's "not the Rome" is abrasive, and I apologise for that.

Still, if a Protestant is primarily interested in joining the Western Rite Orthodox, he or she should seriously consider becoming a traditional Catholic.  I would respect their decision to become WRO if it's a distinction made after thorough investigation.  Still, there is a cognitive disjunct, I think, to worship at the Tridentine Mass under the auspices of a canonical Orthodox patriarchy or autocephalous synod.  Yes, as of now Rome does not permit traditional Catholic priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass in the vernacular (vernacular readings during the Mass are allowed, but the rest of the Mass must be in Latin).  I would not become Orthodox just to hear the ancient Mass in English.


What you still keep missing is that the reason they become Orthodox is because they don't agree with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The Western Rite Orthodox Church allows them to worship in an ancient Western Mass, but does not compromise on doctrine.

Why would someone who seeks the truth about the filioque, the Papacy, Original Sin, Mariology, and a whole host of other issues join the Catholic Church?

I have a lot of respect for the Catholic Church and many members of my family were Catholic, however I could never become Catholic because I do not believe with Catholic doctrine.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

In other words, just because the Pope has allowed for the use of the Tridentine Mass it is still under the authority of the Pope.

Those who seek out Western Rite Orthodoxy are seeking the beauty of the Tridentine Mass, but sans Roman doctrine. Get it?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on March 27, 2011, 02:38:21 PM
To turn this question on its head, why do Latin Rite Catholics change to Eastern Rite Catholics instead of becoming Orthodox?

Answer: They don't agree with Orthodox doctrine.

Stop looking at the superficial and start looking at the core of the issue.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: FormerReformer on March 27, 2011, 02:58:45 PM
Thank you, FormerReformer, for proving my prejudices wrong.

A Protestant who converts to Orthodoxy after researching the history of the papacy, the filioque, and the doctrinal innovations since the schism isn't about to give the Roman Catholic Church a break on these issues, as they are still ongoing.

Fair enough.  I respect anyone who makes an informed decision to convert to any religion.  My prejudice that evangelicals would convert to Orthodoxy because it's the apostolic Christianity that's "not the Rome" is abrasive, and I apologise for that.

Still, if a Protestant is primarily interested in joining the Western Rite Orthodox, he or she should seriously consider becoming a traditional Catholic.  I would respect their decision to become WRO if it's a distinction made after thorough investigation.  Still, there is a cognitive disjunct, I think, to worship at the Tridentine Mass under the auspices of a canonical Orthodox patriarchy or autocephalous synod.  Yes, as of now Rome does not permit traditional Catholic priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass in the vernacular (vernacular readings during the Mass are allowed, but the rest of the Mass must be in Latin).  I would not become Orthodox just to hear the ancient Mass in English.


Here you might not be stirring up much controversy on the RC/EO divide, but rather finding many EO coming out of the woodwork to agree with you.  The existence of the Western Rite is still more than a little controversial, which is one of the reasons that only two Orthodox jurisdictions (Antioch and ROCOR) even allow for it.

FWIW Western Rite is more akin to the new Anglican Ordinariate than anything else.  Tridentine is just one of the many options available to the users of the Western Rite, and according to OrthodoxWiki (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Western_Rite (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Western_Rite)) is in the minority usage, at least in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate.  The Liturgy of St Tikhon is the majority use, appropriate for Anglican converts.  For High Church Lutherans converting to Orthodoxy the Liturgy of St George is more in keeping with their traditions, and not a cop-out to anti-Roman sentiment.  In ROCOR Anglicans who convert are apparently given a choice between Tridentine and the Sarum Rite or Gallican even (Sarum and Gallican being two of the sources for the Anglican BCP).

Also an interesting historical note, the first advocate of the Western Rite was not a Protestant convert, but a convert from Roman Catholicism- Joseph Overbeck.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Red A. on March 27, 2011, 03:06:03 PM
  It's all rather insulting. 
It's not about you.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: tuesdayschild on March 27, 2011, 03:14:12 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

Yes, this post is inflammatory. 

This is entirely due to how you presented your question, not due to the nature of the topic.

Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue. 

I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

Translation: People who make decisions I disagree with are irrational.

It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty

Sometime, when you get over yourself, ask me why my experience in RCIA convinced me that the RCC was wrong. It was only afterward that I began to consider the EOC.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 03:46:18 PM

Sometime, when you get over yourself, ask me why my experience in RCIA convinced me that the RCC was wrong. It was only afterward that I began to consider the EOC.

I was an RCIA catechist for years.  You would not be the first only or most well informed person to not go forward and become Catholic.  So perhaps once you get over yourself, we could talk?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: tuesdayschild on March 27, 2011, 03:57:37 PM
So perhaps once you get over yourself, we could talk?

:laugh:  Um, no. There are less polemic RCC apologists I would seek out first. But thank you.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 04:02:26 PM
So perhaps once you get over yourself, we could talk?

:laugh:  Um, no. There are less polemic RCC apologists I would seek out first. But thank you.

I'll just bet there are.  Maybe you can bamboozle them.

Fact of the matter is that I am no apologist.  I live and breathe my faith and so when I am told an untruth about my faith or the faith of Roman rite Catholics, just like you would do for Orthodoxy, I am going to say "No.  That's not quite right..."...I might be nicer than you are about it, I might be more like you...but I would say something, you betcha!!
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Marc1152 on March 27, 2011, 04:07:08 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".   

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation. 

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.


I think it centers on the RCC teaching on the place of the Pope. While Protestant aversion to Papal Authority can be a bit rough shod, they are in the main correct to see it as a heresy that must be avoided. So they come to the Orthodox and find a True Catholic path without the necessity to compromise on that issue.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2011, 04:30:04 PM
While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome"...

... I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 04:41:01 PM
While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome"...

... I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

Agreed.

Perhaps one of the keys to understanding what is going on is to look at those "hard line" evangelicals who become Catholic rather than Orthodox.  What is it that they have come to terms with that others have not, and why?...

Another thing you need to bear in mind is that conversions take more than one form.  Some are conversions of the heart; some are more of the mind or reasoned conversions; and some are spirit led.

So I always come back to the notion that each conversion is very very personal.  Meaning that we need to not paint with broad brush strokes to the point where we simply obscure the entire painting.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2011, 04:46:07 PM
While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome"...

... I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

Agreed.

Perhaps one of the keys to understanding what is going on is to look at those "hard line" evangelicals who become Catholic rather than Orthodox.  What is it that they have come to terms with that others have not, and why?...

Another thing you need to bear in mind is that conversions take more than one form.  Some are conversions of the heart; some are more of the mind or reasoned conversions; and some are spirit led.

So I always come back to the notion that each conversion is very very personal.  Meaning that we need to not paint with broad brush strokes to the point where we simply obscure the entire painting.

Good points, and I apologize if I offended anyone, I just thought there might be something to it, even regarding my own spiritual journey. :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 27, 2011, 04:49:16 PM
Asteriktos you battle with alot of rationlism and skepticsm with your faith, no?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2011, 04:53:23 PM
Asteriktos you battle with alot of rationlism and skepticsm with your faith, no?

Yes, that's true... still trying to figure out how it all works together (and I can hear ozgeorge groaning at me for wanting to "figure things out"  :D ).
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 27, 2011, 04:58:59 PM
Asteriktos you battle with alot of rationlism and skepticsm with your faith, no?

Yes, that's true... still trying to figure out how it all works together (and I can hear ozgeorge groaning at me for wanting to "figure things out"  :D ).
LOL I lost my faith in Protestant Christianity when I had to rationalize the Bible against its critics. It became so tiresome.

I took Elder Paisos' advice about faith without thinking too much works wonders, but it's hard for a guy like me who loves to think to put that advice into practice. There's things that we aren't going to know in life, unanswered questions, but it's how we live with those unanswered questions I think is the key; just accepting we can't rationalize away everything. I wish you the best of luck brother, and I join you in a similar struggle.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 05:02:07 PM
While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome"...

... I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

Agreed.

Perhaps one of the keys to understanding what is going on is to look at those "hard line" evangelicals who become Catholic rather than Orthodox.  What is it that they have come to terms with that others have not, and why?...

Another thing you need to bear in mind is that conversions take more than one form.  Some are conversions of the heart; some are more of the mind or reasoned conversions; and some are spirit led.

So I always come back to the notion that each conversion is very very personal.  Meaning that we need to not paint with broad brush strokes to the point where we simply obscure the entire painting.

Good points, and I apologize if I offended anyone, I just thought there might be something to it, even regarding my own spiritual journey. :)

I don't think you are offensive. 

I think it is interesting that you seek to "figure" things out but you seem to have no trouble speaking of a "spiritual" journey...How does your own experience bear up to what has been said so far in this discussion?

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2011, 05:21:04 PM
I think it is interesting that you seek to "figure" things out but you seem to have no trouble speaking of a "spiritual" journey...How does your own experience bear up to what has been said so far in this discussion?

Well, around 2000/2001, after I had left Protestantism, I was thinking about becoming either Orthodox or Catholic. I don't think I pursued Orthodoxy rather than Catholicism because I didn't want to seem Catholic... having said that, looking back, I don't think I fully explored things properly, or really gave Catholicism the chance it deserved. While I was reading anti-Catholic Orthodox authors (Whelton, St. Justin Popovich, etc.), when it came to Catholics I was mostly reading more moderate or liberal people (Hans Kung, Fr. Basil Pennington, etc.) and avoiding the books that argued directly for Catholicism. I did read some stuff by the apologist Dave Armstrong online, but for the most part I didn't do Catholicism justice. I'm not sure why exactly. Maybe it wasn't that I didn't want to appear Catholic, but maybe I wanted something different (most of the family on my Father's side is Catholic, and I was baptized Catholic as an infant), or something that seemed more mysterious. At the time I believe I was sincere, but I also think (looking back) that I wasn't going about things in a balanced way.

Anyway, when I was a Protestant I attended a very anti-Catholic church. The doctrine and especially eschatology was vehemently anti-Catholic, and people would even take shots at Catholicism with jokes meant to put Catholics down. I can totally envision someone who bought into all the "Catholicism is of satan" stuff that that Church taught to avoid Catholicism just because it was Catholicism. Now, admittedly, the church wasn't high on Orthodoxy either, but Orthodoxy never got mentioned (except when I brought it up when I was leaving). But this is certainly a very sensitive area to discuss, and I don't mean to point fingers at anyone here.

Asteriktos you battle with alot of rationlism and skepticsm with your faith, no?

Yes, that's true... still trying to figure out how it all works together (and I can hear ozgeorge groaning at me for wanting to "figure things out"  :D ).
LOL I lost my faith in Protestant Christianity when I had to rationalize the Bible against its critics. It became so tiresome.

I took Elder Paisos' advice about faith without thinking too much works wonders, but it's hard for a guy like me who loves to think to put that advice into practice. There's things that we aren't going to know in life, unanswered questions, but it's how we live with those unanswered questions I think is the key; just accepting we can't rationalize away everything. I wish you the best of luck brother, and I join you in a similar struggle.

Thank you, I wish you well as well :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 05:33:27 PM
I think it centers on the RCC teaching on the place of the Pope. While Protestant aversion to Papal Authority can be a bit rough shod, they are in the main correct to see it as a heresy that must be avoided. So they come to the Orthodox and find a True Catholic path without the necessity to compromise on that issue.

Good point.  I've thought that this might be the case for many evangelical Protestant converts.  So many evangelical tracts (okay, yes, Jack Chick, but even much more thoughtful and less insulting ones) tend to not have a very well formed understanding of Catholic sacramentality.  The only area of Catholicism that evangelical apologists seem to understand very well is papal supremacy.  There seems to be this foreboding fear among a small section of evangelicalism that the Romans have some magical, Illuminati-like special force that will one day turn into a grand persecution of evangelicals that cannot accurately recite the definition of transubstantiation from the Tridentine Catechism in 30 seconds or less.  This is, of course, utter crap and completely unrealistic.  Still, there is this sort of lingering "no popery" sentiment among some evangelicals.  Maybe there are very few evangelical converts to Protestantism that convert solely because of this prejudice (I hope so!)  

Perhaps the synodic structure of Orthodoxy is more comforting to those used to congregationalist governance.

Nevertheless, all of us (including me) in one form or another, have prejudices.  Interestingly, we young Catholics were always told to dismiss evangelical Christianity as a simplistic, unreasoned, non-intellectual, and liturgically vapid.  These prejudices have stuck with me for many years.  The train tracks travel both ways.
  
Those who seek out Western Rite Orthodoxy are seeking the beauty of the Tridentine Mass, but sans Roman doctrine. Get it?

One of these days I'll do an exegesis of the Roman Canon through the Latin text.  One cannot profess the "beauty" of the Tridentine Mass without professing the Catholic dogma of the Eucharist.  The two go hand-in-hand.  If one honestly believes in the theology of the Tridentine Mass, he or she should be a Roman Catholic.  I am convinced of this, and I'd be happy to show you why.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 05:50:33 PM
Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue. 

I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

Translation: People who make decisions I disagree with are irrational.

I have met a number of ex-Protestant Orthodox converts in person, akin to FormerReformer here in the forum, who can discuss this issue without name-calling.  This is a sensitive issue, but it's one that Catholics and Orthodox need to discuss together. 

Sometime, when you get over yourself, ask me why my experience in RCIA convinced me that the RCC was wrong. It was only afterward that I began to consider the EOC.

RCIA is a very deficient program.  It's a made up "rite" that progressive Catholics came up with after the Council.  It's a misguided attempt to restore the pre-Constantinian catechumenate.  We should go back to inquirer's groups and small scale instruction.

Problem is, RCIA is often run by laypeople who are almost as uncatechized as the "catechumens" (inquirers).  Often heresy is taught; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident.  The RCIA textbooks often portray this happy-clappy, uncritical view of the Novus Ordo that tends to downplay or even outright mock traditional Catholic piety and Tridentine Catholicism.   Also, from what I've seen, there's a fair amount of sentimentality.  There are good options here and there: some groups such as Opus Dei run orthodox, non-nonsense RCIA on behalf of other parishes.  Those who are lucky enough to find a Tridentine-rite-oriented church will probably get orthodox instruction.  On the whole, the lay catechist led RCIA has caused more confusion and has lost much more for Rome than it has gained (at least in North America.)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: IsmiLiora on March 27, 2011, 05:54:21 PM
I think it centers on the RCC teaching on the place of the Pope. While Protestant aversion to Papal Authority can be a bit rough shod, they are in the main correct to see it as a heresy that must be avoided. So they come to the Orthodox and find a True Catholic path without the necessity to compromise on that issue.

Good point.  I've thought that this might be the case for many evangelical Protestant converts.  So many evangelical tracts (okay, yes, Jack Chick, but even much more thoughtful and less insulting ones) tend to not have a very well formed understanding of Catholic sacramentality.  The only area of Catholicism that evangelical apologists seem to understand very well is papal supremacy.  There seems to be this foreboding fear among a small section of evangelicalism that the Romans have some magical, Illuminati-like special force that will one day turn into a grand persecution of evangelicals that cannot accurately recite the definition of transubstantiation from the Tridentine Catechism in 30 seconds or less.  This is, of course, utter crap and completely unrealistic.  Still, there is this sort of lingering "no popery" sentiment among some evangelicals.  Maybe there are very few evangelical converts to Protestantism that convert solely because of this prejudice (I hope so!)  

Perhaps the synodic structure of Orthodoxy is more comforting to those used to congregationalist governance.

Nevertheless, all of us (including me) in one form or another, have prejudices.  Interestingly, we young Catholics were always told to dismiss evangelical Christianity as a simplistic, unreasoned, non-intellectual, and liturgically vapid.  These prejudices have stuck with me for many years.  The train tracks travel both ways.
Yes. I grew up in a very diverse area and I attended Catholic school for my entire life. I am ashamed to say this, but I knew about Jewish people, atheist people, Muslim people, Hindus, etc. and I learned about those faiths (or lack thereof) growing up. I NEVER learned about Orthodoxy and I studied Protestantism very briefly (I'm talking about a lesson in History class about Martin Luther) in high school.


One day I was speaking to a student and she mentioned that she wasn't Catholic. "What are you? Atheist? Muslim?" I asked her. She responded that she was Episcopalian and I had NO idea what that meant. I was in awe when a non-denominational friend told me about dancing in church and drinking grape juice. I thought they were a bunch of freaks. (There may have been more that I met, but they didn't discuss religion with me so I most likely assumed that they weren't believers at all.)

I went to college and I was smack in the northern part of the Bible Belt. I met Protestants for really, the first time in my life. They would ask me if I were Christian, if I were saved. I would respond, "Um, I'm Catholic." The girl who became my best friend pulled me over and said, "Stop saying that you're not Christian, you're Catholic. We're all in this together."

She brought me to a charismatic church. I partly think that I rebelled from Catholicism because I was so angry that I had never been exposed to the "other side" of Christianity, that leaders of the school groups would turn on the televangelist channel and make fun of the preachers saying "Praise the Lord!" and mock the charismatic style of dancing.

And I am dead serious when I say that my award winning, college prep high school did NOT teach one thing about Orthodoxy. I don't remember it. It may have been one brief lesson of the schism. (I wish I had my religion books again) Our religion dept. at the college also didn't offer any classes about it.

I DID learn that many Protestants have a fear of the pope, and I never considered going back to the Catholic Church because I had my doubts about the Papal Authority and Supremacy, even as a child. Sometimes things don't unfold very neatly, and I am not ashamed to admit that I first looked at the Orthodox church as a way to compromise with my husband, who really wanted to become Catholic (although now, I don't think he quite understood what the implications of that were). I prayed about it for months and I started to realize that I was searching for a Church like the Orthodox Church all along. I nearly had to drag HIM to the church the first time.

The super-Protestant friend I mentioned in the beginning? She did not like Catholics very much. She is now in the RCIA program. I never thought this would happen, and sometimes things don't happen as we think they should. But God leads us down certain roads for certain reasons...I understand your complaint, jordanz, and I do sympathize with the anti-Rome sentiment so prevalent in other churches but believe me, my Protestant friends and in-laws are by no means happier about our path to Orthodoxy... :-\
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 05:58:20 PM

Problem is, RCIA is often run by laypeople who are almost as uncatechized as the "catechumens" (inquirers).  Often heresy is taught; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident.  The RCIA textbooks often portray this happy-clappy, uncritical view of the Novus Ordo that tends to downplay or even outright mock traditional Catholic piety and Tridentine Catholicism.   Also, from what I've seen, there's a fair amount of sentimentality.  There are good options here and there: some groups such as Opus Dei run orthodox, non-nonsense RCIA on behalf of other parishes.  Those who are lucky enough to find a Tridentine-rite-oriented church will probably get orthodox instruction.  On the whole, the lay catechist led RCIA has caused more confusion and has lost much more for Rome than it has gained (at least in North America.)

You must be a very important figure in the Roman rite to be able to make this kind of sweeping statement about the Church.  I don't think anyone could make that kind of statement without having access to literally thousands of parishes in the United States alone!!

I am impressed!!
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: tuesdayschild on March 27, 2011, 05:59:03 PM
I was an RCIA catechist for years.

RCIA is a very deficient program.

Problem is, RCIA is often run by laypeople who are almost as uncatechized as the "catechumens" (inquirers).  Often heresy is taught; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident.

On the whole, the lay catechist led RCIA has caused more confusion and has lost much more for Rome than it has gained (at least in North America.)

(http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll59/MeekOneGOP/EatingPopcorn.gif)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 27, 2011, 06:01:31 PM
To turn this question on its head, why do Latin Rite Catholics change to Eastern Rite Catholics instead of becoming Orthodox?

Answer: They don't agree with Orthodox doctrine.

Stop looking at the superficial and start looking at the core of the issue.

I was a devout Roman Catholic, and I started attending the Melkite Divine Liturgy in 1993.

After that first Divine Liturgy, I spoke with a Catholic Melkite Priest, who was Irish.
I asked him why the Eastern Catholic Church existed, and why Melkites were not Orthodox.
He mentioned that the Melkites were originally Orthodox in communion with the Antiochian Patriarch.
However, the Jesuits and Franciscans came into Lebanon and Syria and started converting the Melkites.
In 1724, many Melkites were received into the Catholic Church as Eastern Catholics.

With permission of this priest, I started attending inquiry classes at a local Greek Orthodox Church.
The rest is history, and our entire family was received by Holy Chrismation.
My father informed me that I had returned to my roots as my family is of French Lebanese descent.
In fact, I am related to St. Thomas More, whose family had come over from Normandy during the Normandy invasion.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on March 27, 2011, 06:04:40 PM
One of these days I'll do an exegesis of the Roman Canon through the Latin text.  One cannot profess the "beauty" of the Tridentine Mass without professing the Catholic dogma of the Eucharist.  The two go hand-in-hand.  If one honestly believes in the theology of the Tridentine Mass, he or she should be a Roman Catholic.  I am convinced of this, and I'd be happy to show you why.

As others have already said, the use of the Tridentine Mass makes up a small percentage of the Western Rite Orthodox. Western Rite Orthodoxy makes up an even smaller percentage of Orthodoxy, mostly in the US. Only 2-4% of Americans claim to be Orthodox.

So basically, you have a handful of people who are Orthodox using the Tridentine Mass. The Anaphora has been changed to conform with Orthodox standards.

You see, as you and I both know, our faith does not begin or end with Liturgy on Sunday.

I have studied the Catholic Mass, and despite its beauty and history, I could never become Catholic because of much of the dogma that the Catholic Church formalized leading up to and after the schism. It is for these reasons and others that people choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.

I am glad that you are happy in your Catholic faith and that you are able to have a close relationship with Christ through that faith.

Why does it bother you so much that others are seeking a relationship with Christ through the Orthodox Church?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 06:08:54 PM
Problem is, RCIA is often run by laypeople who are almost as uncatechized as the "catechumens" (inquirers).  Often heresy is taught; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident.  The RCIA textbooks often portray this happy-clappy, uncritical view of the Novus Ordo that tends to downplay or even outright mock traditional Catholic piety and Tridentine Catholicism.   Also, from what I've seen, there's a fair amount of sentimentality.  There are good options here and there: some groups such as Opus Dei run orthodox, non-nonsense RCIA on behalf of other parishes.  Those who are lucky enough to find a Tridentine-rite-oriented church will probably get orthodox instruction.  On the whole, the lay catechist led RCIA has caused more confusion and has lost much more for Rome than it has gained (at least in North America.)

You must be a very important figure in the Roman rite to be able to make this kind of sweeping statement about the Church.  I don't think anyone could make that kind of statement without having access to literally thousands of parishes in the United States alone!!

I am impressed!!

I've studied the catechetical writings of many lay leaders in the RCIA.  From my point of view, there is little emphasis on rote learning of dogma and doctrine.  There are publications, such as the Baltimore Catechism no.3, which present all that a layperson needs to know about the Catholic faith in less than 150 pages.  Very direct and succinct, point by point apologetics.  Rather, RCIA leaders blather on about the "conversion experience" and "conversion liturgies" and "the music for the Liturgy of the Elect."  Balderdash.  Hand everyone a copy of the adult Baltimore Catechism, read, recite, read, recite, and examine.  That's the way to make sure both cradle Catholics and converts know their faith.  There's this notion that dogmatic instruction will turn off people and lots of cool ceremonies will get people interested.  Somewhere along the line, converts will need a solid dogmatic and doctrinal education.

I went through years of _Catholic_ school without learning the basic dogmas of Trent.  My parents paid thousands of dollars for me to read Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving and similar psycho-therapeutic texts rather than hunkering down and learning about hypostasis and the dogmatic definition of the sacraments.  RCIA is merely an extension of the post-Conciliar failure to provide solid, no-nonsense catechesis at all levels of Catholic instruction, both for cradle laity and converts.  Learning the nuts-and-bolts of a religious confession can't be touchy-feely if serious education is going to get done.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 06:14:09 PM
I was an RCIA catechist for years.

RCIA is a very deficient program.

Problem is, RCIA is often run by laypeople who are almost as uncatechized as the "catechumens" (inquirers).  Often heresy is taught; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident.

On the whole, the lay catechist led RCIA has caused more confusion and has lost much more for Rome than it has gained (at least in North America.)

(http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll59/MeekOneGOP/EatingPopcorn.gif)

Catholic RCIA programs, depending upon the parish and the pastor, can be pretty superficial and sometimes heterodox.  But to claim that for the entire United States or the Catholic world is simply not truthful or real.  I appreciate the giggle you get out of this one but there is also a serious side to it, and Sir Jordon does over-step himself here...as he has in other places.  
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 06:18:25 PM
Problem is, RCIA is often run by laypeople who are almost as uncatechized as the "catechumens" (inquirers).  Often heresy is taught; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident.  The RCIA textbooks often portray this happy-clappy, uncritical view of the Novus Ordo that tends to downplay or even outright mock traditional Catholic piety and Tridentine Catholicism.   Also, from what I've seen, there's a fair amount of sentimentality.  There are good options here and there: some groups such as Opus Dei run orthodox, non-nonsense RCIA on behalf of other parishes.  Those who are lucky enough to find a Tridentine-rite-oriented church will probably get orthodox instruction.  On the whole, the lay catechist led RCIA has caused more confusion and has lost much more for Rome than it has gained (at least in North America.)

You must be a very important figure in the Roman rite to be able to make this kind of sweeping statement about the Church.  I don't think anyone could make that kind of statement without having access to literally thousands of parishes in the United States alone!!

I am impressed!!

I've studied the catechetical writings of many lay leaders in the RCIA.  From my point of view, there is little emphasis on rote learning of dogma and doctrine.  There are publications, such as the Baltimore Catechism no.3, which present all that a layperson needs to know about the Catholic faith in less than 150 pages.  Very direct and succinct, point by point apologetics.  Rather, RCIA leaders blather on about the "conversion experience" and "conversion liturgies" and "the music for the Liturgy of the Elect."  Balderdash.  Hand everyone a copy of the adult Baltimore Catechism, read, recite, read, recite, and examine.  That's the way to make sure both cradle Catholics and converts know their faith.  There's this notion that dogmatic instruction will turn off people and lots of cool ceremonies will get people interested.  Somewhere along the line, converts will need a solid dogmatic and doctrinal education.

I went through years of _Catholic_ school without learning the basic dogmas of Trent.  My parents paid thousands of dollars for me to read Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving and similar psycho-therapeutic texts rather than hunkering down and learning about hypostasis and the dogmatic definition of the sacraments.  RCIA is merely an extension of the post-Conciliar failure to provide solid, no-nonsense catechesis at all levels of Catholic instruction, both for cradle laity and converts.  Learning the nuts-and-bolts of a religious confession can't be touchy-feely if serious education is going to get done.

My dear, you are beginning to sound hysterical here.   I can take you personally to dozens of RCIA preparation classes now and show you exceptional teaching using all sorts of materials including the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  One need not return to the molly-coddling catechisms of the Baltimore Irish Jansenists in order to pass on the faith, Jordan. 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 06:19:30 PM
I am glad that you are happy in your Catholic faith and that you are able to have a close relationship with Christ through that faith.

Why does it bother you so much that others are seeking a relationship with Christ through the Orthodox Church?

I am glad to see that you have found a reasoned and solid faith in Orthodoxy as well.

I am just hurt that perhaps there might be the chance that some Protestant converts to Orthodoxy converted simply because they wanted ancient Christianity without the sociocultural baggage of Catholicism.  I find that hurtful.  Then again, there are many things in life that are hurtful, and which we must deal with as adults rationally.  I should be glad that my former Protestant brothers and sisters have joined the fullness of Christ's Holy Church in Orthodoxy for whatever reason and for whatever circumstances.  Often, converts to any religious faith have to endure the criticism and even ostracism of other family members, peer groups, or extended family.

Even so, I should respect that everyone has a special reason for converting to one faith or another.  I apologize for being a reductionist about these matters.  However, it is not always bad for other parties to explore their prejudices.  This must be done with the consent of others, however.  I did not seek this consent, and that is where I went wrong.  I apologize to everyone here (but not about RCIA, however).
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 06:31:26 PM
  I apologize to everyone here (but not about RCIA, however).

You should.   You have fed a prejudice.  Told a partial truth as though it were the whole truth.  Done a severe injustice to those who do catechize the orthodox faith be it with children, adults or inquirers and catechumen.

I know that I will be taking you far less seriously from here on out.  You have allowed your personal biases to sour your mouth, and feed the very antagonisms that you deplore. 

But you are young and you are either going to get much worse with your ego bulging or you will learn a hard lesson or two.

Blessings...

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 27, 2011, 06:37:10 PM
  I apologize to everyone here (but not about RCIA, however).

You should.   You have fed a prejudice.  Told a partial truth as though it were the whole truth.  Done a severe injustice to those who do catechize the orthodox faith be it with children, adults or inquirers and catechumen.

I know that I will be taking you far less seriously from here on out.  You have allowed your personal biases to sour your mouth, and feed the very antagonisms that you deplore. 

But you are young and you are either going to get much worse with your ego bulging or you will learn a hard lesson or two.

Blessings...



(http://i.imgur.com/hVPn1.gif)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 06:41:00 PM
  I apologize to everyone here (but not about RCIA, however).

You should.   You have fed a prejudice.  Told a partial truth as though it were the whole truth.  Done a severe injustice to those who do catechize the orthodox faith be it with children, adults or inquirers and catechumen.

I know that I will be taking you far less seriously from here on out.  You have allowed your personal biases to sour your mouth, and feed the very antagonisms that you deplore. 

But you are young and you are either going to get much worse with your ego bulging or you will learn a hard lesson or two.

Blessings...



(http://i.imgur.com/hVPn1.gif)

Dear Jordon,

I believe that you now have the answer to your original question.

Mary
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 06:41:50 PM
My dear, you are beginning to sound hysterical here.   I can take you personally to dozens of RCIA preparation classes now and show you exceptional teaching using all sorts of materials including the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  One need not return to the molly-coddling catechisms of the Baltimore Irish Jansenists in order to pass on the faith, Jordan.  

Before I go, let me put in a plug for the Baltimore Catechism.

The Baltimore Catechism no.3 (http://goo.gl/g7Iay), with suitable additional correction and instruction in light of the Second Vatican Council (particularly on Nostra Aetate and the Paschal Mystery) is a very valuable tool for catechesis and evangelization.  It offers dogmatic and doctrinal definitions in one to three sentence statements.  These statements can be memorized.  Heck, my elderly mother can still recite parts of the Baltimore Catechism from memory, and her faith is rock-solid orthodox.  Many poorly catechized Catholics my age think that the Eucharist is a "symbol".  Mom can recite the Tridentine dogma of the Holy Mass.

Yes, there are bits of the Baltimore Catechism that must be corrected, particularly in the areas of supersessionalism.  Perhaps a revised version should be issued that handles the Church's relationship with Judaism and other religions and other issues in a more modern and nuanced manner.  However, very little else needs to be changed.  This text continually nourishes the mind and soul with basic dogma and doctrine simply because it can be memorized and carried in the pocket without need for an bulky and expensive textbook series.  Baltimore Catechism #3 can be easily had for under $10, even less with the TAN thrift edition and bulk order.  Heck, one can have the HTML text from Project Gutenberg (http://goo.gl/g7Iay) for free.

I taught myself the faith of the Universal Church from the Baltimore Catechism simply because the Catholic school teachers failed to do it the "first time around".  Better, then, to just give people the unvarnished Catholic faith up front, have them memorize it thoroughly, and then discuss more advanced aspects of the faith after the basics are down pat.      
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 27, 2011, 06:43:56 PM
  I apologize to everyone here (but not about RCIA, however).

You should.   You have fed a prejudice.  Told a partial truth as though it were the whole truth.  Done a severe injustice to those who do catechize the orthodox faith be it with children, adults or inquirers and catechumen.

I know that I will be taking you far less seriously from here on out.  You have allowed your personal biases to sour your mouth, and feed the very antagonisms that you deplore. 

But you are young and you are either going to get much worse with your ego bulging or you will learn a hard lesson or two.

Blessings...



(http://i.imgur.com/hVPn1.gif)

Dear Jordon,

I believe that you now have the answer to your original question.

Mary
Because we are not as smug as yourself?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Punch on March 27, 2011, 06:50:25 PM
As a former Protestant who converted to Orthodoxy, I can tell you this; I studied Roman Catholicism for years before my conversion to Orthodoxy.  It was one of the FIRST things that I studied.  The problem was that Roman Catholicism is NOT Apostolic Christianity, but rather a heresy.  There are a number of Protestant denominations, including the one that I left, that are closer to Apostolic Christianity than Roman Catholicism.  So, if one were to be looking for Apostolic Christianity (as I was), the RC church is not an option.  In the end, I was left with only two options, Oriental Orthodoxy (which I nearly joined) and Eastern Orthodoxy.   
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 06:54:33 PM
As a former Protestant who converted to Orthodoxy, I can tell you this; I studied Roman Catholicism for years before my conversion to Orthodoxy.  It was one of the FIRST things that I studied.  The problem was that Roman Catholicism is NOT Apostolic Christianity, but rather a heresy.  There are a number of Protestant denominations, including the one that I left, that are closer to Apostolic Christianity than Roman Catholicism.  So, if one were to be looking for Apostolic Christianity (as I was), the RC church is not an option.  In the end, I was left with only two options, Oriental Orthodoxy (which I nearly joined) and Eastern Orthodoxy.   

And then there are those whose trajectories were the same as your own, seeking the faith of the Apostles and they are now in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church.

The question that I find fascinating is what makes the difference:  The faith?:  Or the person who studies the faith for so long and hard?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 07:02:15 PM
Baltimore Catechism #3 can be easily had for under $10, even less with the TAN thrift edition and bulk order.  Heck, one can have the HTML text from Project Gutenberg (http://goo.gl/g7Iay) for free.

Erm, make that $15.  TAN used to have really cheap editions, but I guess they need to make a buck as well.  The new editions look like Penguin thrift novels. 

There are a number of Protestant denominations, including the one that I left, that are closer to Apostolic Christianity than Roman Catholicism.

Which faiths are you talking about, and why are they more apostolic than Roman Catholicism?  I generally know which Catholic teachings some Orthodox find to be un-apostolic.  I've never heard the claim that some Protestant denominations are more apostolic than Catholicism, though.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jaderook on March 27, 2011, 08:30:53 PM
Dear OP:

All of my first cousins are Catholic.  I've had plenty of opportunities to see Catholic services over the years.  I made it a point to read up on what Catholics believe and there were some points that I couldn't get around.  Add the priest abuse scandal to the mix.  Then add me and my husband- who at the time we discovered Orthodoxy had pretty much written off Christianity entirely.  The particular issues I had with Catholicism didn't exist in Orthodoxy.  No offense, but it was Orthodoxy or nothing for us.  It wasn't special hate for Catholics.  I love my Catholic family.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 27, 2011, 09:22:10 PM
I don't know, I am pretty well read on Roman Catholicism, and we did briefly consider it before becoming Orthodox, but in the end, a couple of things won out.

1)  Proximity.  To be dead honest, the closest Church to us we felt would be reasonably catholic and liturgical (what we were looking for) was an Eastern Orthodox Church.  Now, if we'd found that wanting, we might have looked a bit harder, but we didn't, so no need to look further.

2)  Doctrine.  The issues my wife and I had with Rome were the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, purgatory, required celibacy of priests, the immaculate conception and the doctrine of merit.  Rome still holds to all of these.  Orthodoxy holds to none.  So there were fewer doctrinal hurdles to Orthodoxy.  Nothing we've seen in Orthodoxy or my studies of Church history since our conversion has changed our minds.

Number 1 was initially more important -- it got us in the door.  But number 2 won out in the end.  I looked into the development of the Papacy, the IC, the development of merits, etc., and I was convinced the Orthodox Church had maintained the apostolic faith, the RCC had added to it and Protestants had subtracted from it.  It really was that simple.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 09:39:56 PM
I don't know, I am pretty well read on Roman Catholicism, and we did briefly consider it before becoming Orthodox, but in the end, a couple of things won out.

1)  Proximity.  To be dead honest, the closest Church to us we felt would be reasonably catholic and liturgical (what we were looking for) was an Eastern Orthodox Church.  Now, if we'd found that wanting, we might have looked a bit harder, but we didn't, so no need to look further.

2)  Doctrine.  The issues my wife and I had with Rome were the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, purgatory, required celibacy of priests, the immaculate conception and the doctrine of merit.  Rome still holds to all of these.  Orthodoxy holds to none.  So there were fewer doctrinal hurdles to Orthodoxy.  Nothing we've seen in Orthodoxy or my studies of Church history since our conversion has changed our minds.

Number 1 was initially more important -- it got us in the door.  But number 2 won out in the end.  I looked into the development of the Papacy, the IC, the development of merits, etc., and I was convinced the Orthodox Church had maintained the apostolic faith, the RCC had added to it and Protestants had subtracted from it.  It really was that simple.

Do you have friends or family in the Catholic Church who went in that direction rather than to Orthodoxy?  Do you have any idea what not only drew them, but kept them?  What do you think of protestants who did the same kind of study that you did and came to very different conclusions?

I realize you might not have such experiences but I am curious, if you do or did.

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 09:44:22 PM
All of my first cousins are Catholic.  I've had plenty of opportunities to see Catholic services over the years.  I made it a point to read up on what Catholics believe and there were some points that I couldn't get around.  Add the priest abuse scandal to the mix.  Then add me and my husband- who at the time we discovered Orthodoxy had pretty much written off Christianity entirely.  The particular issues I had with Catholicism didn't exist in Orthodoxy.  No offense, but it was Orthodoxy or nothing for us.  It wasn't special hate for Catholics.  I love my Catholic family.

No offense taken.  Conversion is a very personal issue that I tried to rationalize into an anthropological question.  I'm an academic, so everything in my world is rather unemotional and analytical.  Roman Catholicism is also very scholastic, abstract, rationalist, and legalist, so perhaps this is why I find Catholicism particularly compelling.  It's also surprising that I am still unmarried.  It's no fun dating a mainframe with legs.  It's a good thing I'm not in the gene pool.

The priest scandal is a grave problem (an understatement in the most optimistic terms!).  It is an institutional problem of power, privilege, and pathology which can and should be corrected at the very least through some forthrightness on behalf of the Vatican and optional celibacy for the parish clergy.  Unfortunately, Rome has not taken either the legal or doctrinal measures to bring some resolution to the problem.  All religions have leaders who abuse their positions for criminal ends, the worse (in my view) being child sexual abuse.  This does not take away from the gravity of the Catholic situation.  Still, I can see how someone who was not deeply invested in the Roman faith before the recent wave of scandals would not want to be a member of this faith. 

Still, the abuse scandal has not shaken my faith that the Roman see is the completion of canonical jurisdiction.  Orthodoxy shares in the apostolic and sacramental faith fully with Catholicism (i.e. I personally believe that Orthodoxy is in the Church of Christ and within her is the fullness of salvation), but is not in the canonical completion that is the Roman see.

One area where Orthodox discipline perhaps outshines Catholicism is in the area of "economy".  I suspect (okay, Maria?) that Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae from a very academic viewpoint.  The prohibition of artificial birth control as promulgated in HV scrupulously adheres to Scholastic logic (though certainly there are Patristic elements to HV as well).  HV, however, pretends as if people with complex human relationship issues don't exist.  The same is true for the annulment process, although annulments are much more widely given these days.  The Orthodox concept of "economy", especially in sensitive pastoral situations such as contraception and marital life, is much more compassionate than the abstract Roman view of the human implications of sacraments. 

Rome prides herself on being logical.  Sometimes, however, Roman policy could be viewed as "cold" and heartless.  I could see why Orthodoxy, with its emphasis on greater decision making at the pastoral level, could be viewed as a more favorable path.   


I don't know, I am pretty well read on Roman Catholicism, and we did briefly consider it before becoming Orthodox, but in the end, a couple of things won out.

2)  Doctrine.  The issues my wife and I had with Rome were the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, purgatory, required celibacy of priests, the immaculate conception and the doctrine of merit.  Rome still holds to all of these.  Orthodoxy holds to none.  So there were fewer doctrinal hurdles to Orthodoxy.  Nothing we've seen in Orthodoxy or my studies of Church history since our conversion has changed our minds.


Okay, I respect that.  I always though that Purgatory was a hopeful doctrine (is it any more or less hopeful than the Final Theosis?  What's the difference, really?) but I'm not going to belabor the point. 

I have spoken to Protestant converts to Orthodoxy who found the idea of merit and indulgences an hard division against conversion to Roman Catholicism.  Post-conciliar Catholicism has de-emphasized merit, as she has likewise moved more towards a theosis-model of Purgatory rather than Purgatory as a physical place with the gnashing of teeth.  Indulgences and merits still exist, but there are no more Johann Tetzels prowling Saxony with tithe-boxes.  Still, given that the issue of merit and indulgence were central to the German Reformation, I could see people from certain Protestant traditions having difficulty with the notion that merit and indulgences still exist.  I have no difficulty with the idea of merit and indulgences, so long as indulgences can never be bought (they can't anymore).  I also have no problem with merit and indulgence if the person who is seeking the indulgence realizes that the sacrament and penance are what matters, and the indulgence is a secondary effect of the celebration of the sacrament.  In other words, one should hear Mass because he or she wishes to receive the grace of the sacrament and not receive a plenary indulgence. 

The priests I know have stopped taking stipends for private Masses.  My priest friends will say their daily Requiem or votive Mass for dear Aunt Sally gratis.  Just ask, write the name down, and Father will remember him or her in the Memento. 

 

 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2011, 09:52:57 PM
I always though that Purgatory was a hopeful doctrine (is it any more or less hopeful than the Final Theosis?  What's the difference, really?) but I'm not going to belabor the point.  

Out of curiosity, what is "Final Theosis"? I've not heard of that term before--leastwise, as far as I can remember.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 27, 2011, 10:00:14 PM
Do you have friends or family in the Catholic Church who went in that direction rather than to Orthodoxy?  Do you have any idea what not only drew them, but kept them?  What do you think of protestants who did the same kind of study that you did and came to very different conclusions?

I realize you might not have such experiences but I am curious, if you do or did.

No, not really.  I had other Lutheran friends who went East and a couple of Lutheran acquaintances who went to Rome, but realistically we weren't looking until we were looking, so to speak, so their influence was minimal until after we had already visited an Orthodox parish.  I do have Roman Catholic friends, but nearly all of them are cradle Catholics.

Okay, I respect that.  I always though that Purgatory was a hopeful doctrine (is it any more or less hopeful than the Final Theosis?  What's the difference, really?) but I'm not going to belabor the point.  

I have spoken to Protestant converts to Orthodoxy who found the idea of merit and indulgences an hard division against conversion to Roman Catholicism.  Post-conciliar Catholicism has de-emphasized merit, as she has likewise moved more towards a theosis-model of Purgatory rather than Purgatory as a physical place with the gnashing of teeth.  Indulgences and merits still exist, but there are no more Johann Tetzels prowling Saxony with tithe-boxes.  Still, given that the issue of merit and indulgence were central to the German Reformation, I could see people from certain Protestant traditions having difficulty with the notion that merit and indulgences still exist.  I have no difficulty with the idea of merit and indulgences, so long as indulgences can never be bought (they can't anymore) and that the person who is seeking the indulgence realizes that the sacrament and penance are what matters, and the indulgence is a secondary effect of the celebration of the sacrament.  In other words, one should hear Mass because he or she wishes to receive the grace of the sacrament and not receive a plenary indulgence.  

The priests I know have stopped taking stipends for private Masses.  My priest friends will say their daily Requiem or votive Mass for dear Aunt Sally gratis.  Just ask, write the name down, and Father will remember him or her in the Memento.  

For what it's worth, purgatory wasn't nearly as great an issue as the IC and the Papacy.  Purgatory was more offensive to me in application (i.e., as you note, indulgences and notions of merits) than in theory.  And I fully acknowledge Rome has softened her stance not only on these issues, but on justification (which was a stumbling block with both the RCC and the EOC).  At the end of the day, the Papacy is probably the real deal-killer.  The rest are issues we probably could have worked through, but there's no getting around the claim of universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, and that's something we just didn't see either ecclesiologically or historically.

In hindsight, having become Orthodox, I'd have probably a greater issue with the immaculate conception as a matter of basic anthropology and Christology, but that's hindsight.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Sleeper on March 27, 2011, 10:02:22 PM
Being an Orthodox Christian who chose the path of Western Orthodoxy myself, and knowing many, many people who have done so, I can honestly tell you that it always comes down to doctrine, as far as why we didn't become Roman Catholic (or Anglican). It often has very little to do with liturgy or culture, although those are important things. We'd be the first ones to join a Byzantine parish if it were between that and a Roman Catholic one. It's about Orthodoxy and the simple fact that we believe it to be the sole guardian of the Apostolic faith and the One Holy Church of Christ.

What exactly do you think it is that makes someone "anti-Rome" besides doctrine anyway? What else would their be?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 27, 2011, 10:07:50 PM
What exactly do you think it is that makes someone "anti-Rome" besides doctrine anyway? What else would their be?

That's a good question.  I like Catholics.  Most of them are really nice, and they seem to be reasonable folks.  I haven't checked behind the parts in their hair, but I don't think they have horns or anything.

Plus, Catholic churches are usually pretty big in these parts and have all the nice bells and whistles and programs and books and TV shows and Sirius satellite radio stations.  If we were being superficial, there's really no reason to choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.  Not in most parts of the U.S. at least.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 27, 2011, 10:08:16 PM
Do you have friends or family in the Catholic Church who went in that direction rather than to Orthodoxy?  Do you have any idea what not only drew them, but kept them?  What do you think of protestants who did the same kind of study that you did and came to very different conclusions?

I realize you might not have such experiences but I am curious, if you do or did.

No, not really.  I had other Lutheran friends who went East and a couple of Lutheran acquaintances who went to Rome, but realistically we weren't looking until we were looking, so to speak, so their influence was minimal until after we had already visited an Orthodox parish.  I do have Roman Catholic friends, but nearly all of them are cradle Catholics.

Yes.  I see what you mean.  It had not occurred to me that you might have been influenced actually.  I was thinking more in terms of what you might have seen with reference to why some went one way and some went the other...I am curious about what sends people with very similar backgrounds off in different directions in terms of religious conversion, since that is what we are talking about here, and not necessarily a conversion to Christianity.

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 27, 2011, 10:16:18 PM
I've said this in the past, but I am quite fond of Pope Benedict XVI and am fond of their apologists (Peter Kreeft, GK Chesterton, etc). As Sleeper mentioned it comes down to doctrine and for me I think the RCC relies too heavily on logic and rationalizing to expound on the mysteries of God, which should remain exactly that mysteries instead of explaining them away. Anytime you try to explain it away logically, you open yourself up to logical fallacies, inconsistencies, and the sorts.

Alveus Lacuna referred to the Orthodox Church existing in this "mysitcal" bubble, and one of the things that drew me closer to Orthodoxy was that it saw the West as a malady of rationalism and things being subject to human fallible logic. For someone like myself who is against the post-modern movement and rationalism, not only was this a sigh of relief but a cure for the disease. In fact I am eager to see this Western though process crumble because it slowly, but steadily, is eliminating the sacredness of life.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 27, 2011, 10:17:46 PM
Yes.  I see what you mean.  It had not occurred to me that you might have been influenced actually.  I was thinking more in terms of what you might have seen with reference to why some went one way and some went the other...I am curious about what sends people with very similar backgrounds off in different directions in terms of religious conversion, since that is what we are talking about here, and not necessarily a conversion to Christianity.

M.

I'd be curious about that as well, honestly.  My guess is it's probably easier for Lutherans to go East than to Rome since Rome is what Lutherans left, historically speaking.  Plus, the Lutheran Confessions have an affinity for the East -- it is almost always referenced positively, whereas Rome is excoriated.

I definitely view Rome differently now than when we first became Lutheran, but that has evolved over time -- it wasn't just after we became Orthodox.  By the time we left, I had softened my stance quite a bit.  Some Lutherans self-identify as opposed to Rome.  Others consider themselves catholic without what they consider Roman errors.  The latter is where we were for the most part, and I began to see some things we held as "errors" to be apostolic along the way (like requesting intercessory prayers of the saints, as one example).  
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 10:23:25 PM
What exactly do you think it is that makes someone "anti-Rome" besides doctrine anyway? What else would their be?

In England alone: Guy Fawkes, "No Popery", Jesuit conspiracies, heck, even the early Anglo-Catholics were smeared as "papists" simply for wearing chasubles!  In 1982 (!) Robert Runcie (then Archbishop of Canterbury) was verbally attacked by a mob of protesters outside of Canterbury Cathedral for stating that he would meet with Pope John Paul II during the Pontiff's pastoral visit to Britain that same year!  The protesters were still dredging up centuries-old sectarian socio-cultural prejudice about Roman Catholicism (oh no! Popish plot!) and other absurdities.  Abp. Runcie did indeed hear Vespers or similar with Pope John Paul II in Westminster Cathedral and knelt alongside the Pontiff, but did so at a palpable personal cost.  It so happens that Abp. Runcie was an Anglo-Catholic and did not have any personal animus with Rome, but the evangelical wing of Anglicanism went berserk over his public advocacy of Pope John Paul's visit.

Pick up any one of Jack Chick's screeds against Catholicism (The Death Cookie (http://goo.gl/yM1E) is my personal favorite, as he shows his complete ignorance about Eucharistic theology both East and West.)  The ignorance that some evangelicals harbor towards Catholicism is stunning.  I remember hearing Fr. Peter Stravinskas (famous traditional Catholic priest-apologist) debate an evangelical preacher, the Rev. James White.  To his credit, Rev. White was very professional, but the evangelicals in attendance were extremely obnoxious.  During the middle of the conference I had to use the facilities.  The restroom was littered (and I mean littered!) with Jack Chick tracts.  The Catholics at the conference didn't leaflet the entire conference-hall: I and my companions were greatly pissed off, but I did not hear any Catholic pick a fight with an evangelical.  Some of the evangelicals were quite livid, however.  I cannot help but think that some of their prejudices are generations-old and based on facile distortions of Catholicism.  It's all rather pathetic, as I have spoken to many evangelical "apologists" who do not even understand Reformation thought! 

Evangelical apologists never really attack Orthodoxy, even though Orthodox theology is much closer to Roman Catholic theology than to the thousands of Protestant evangelical splinter groups.  If evangelical Protestants were to be thoroughly methodical, they would attack both Orthodoxy and Catholicism equally on the doctrines that the two traditions both share.  The fact that evangelicals often do not criticize the commonalities in Orthodoxy and Catholicism tells me that their prejudice towards Catholicism is not based on doctrine but rather culturally conditioned socio-economic, perhaps nativist, fears about the Roman church and its great influence in world affairs. 

It's true that 18% of the entire world is nominally Catholic.  Still, why haven't evangelical Protestants gone after Orthodoxy with the same ferocity? 
     
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 27, 2011, 10:41:17 PM

Evangelical apologists never really attack Orthodoxy, even though Orthodox theology is much closer to Roman Catholic theology than to the thousands of Protestant evangelical splinter groups.  If evangelical Protestants were to be thoroughly methodical, they would attack both Orthodoxy and Catholicism equally on the doctrines that the two traditions both share.  The fact that evangelicals often do not criticize the commonalities in Orthodoxy and Catholicism tells me that their prejudice towards Catholicism is not based on doctrine but rather culturally conditioned socio-economic, perhaps nativist, fears about the Roman church and its great influence in world affairs.  

It's true that 18% of the entire world is nominally Catholic.  Still, why haven't evangelical Protestants gone after Orthodoxy with the same ferocity?  
    

Several Orthodox Priests say that certain Protestant denominations are actually closer to Orthodoxy than Roman Catholicism, and that it is easier for those Protestants to convert to Orthodoxy than it is for Roman Catholics as Catholics often feel guilty about denying the Papacy. In fact, I knew several Catholic who reverted back to Catholicism from Orthodoxy due solely to their guilt feelings about denying the Papacy.

In my case, while I did not accept Papal Supremacy, I had difficulty reconciling my belief in Papal Infallibility. I read a *book from St. Vladimir Seminary Press. In this book, different theologians from Catholicism and Orthodoxy presented papers. After reading this book through three times and discussing it with my Orthodox Priest, I was convinced on the truth of Orthodoxy.

* I tried to do an internet search, and I cannot find the title of the book.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Father H on March 27, 2011, 10:45:22 PM
There are probably some who come to Orthodoxy out of an apostolic "other-than-Rome" attitude.  However, I have heard many that have chosen rome, despite the fact that they agree with Orthodoxy more in the "schism disputes."  Why?  Because Rome is "more organized."    Also, as you stated, Rome is more comfortable.   But I would disagree that Rome is altogether the place to be for western rite.   As Bishop Jerome (formerly Fr. John Shaw who is very knowledgable of the savvas typikon, being its only full translator to date) of ROCOR has demonstrated, there has never been such a thing as Orthodoxy without western rites in her history.  

Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".   

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation. 

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Sleeper on March 27, 2011, 10:48:12 PM
What exactly do you think it is that makes someone "anti-Rome" besides doctrine anyway? What else would their be?

In England alone: Guy Fawkes, "No Popery", Jesuit conspiracies, heck, even the early Anglo-Catholics were smeared as "papists" simply for wearing chasubles!  In 1982 (!) Robert Runcie (then Archbishop of Canterbury) was verbally attacked by a mob of protesters outside of Canterbury Cathedral for stating that he would meet with Pope John Paul II during the Pontiff's pastoral visit to Britain that same year!  The protesters were still dredging up centuries-old sectarian socio-cultural prejudice about Roman Catholicism (oh no! Popish plot!) and other absurdities.  Abp. Runcie did indeed hear Vespers or similar with Pope John Paul II in Westminster Cathedral and knelt alongside the Pontiff, but did so at a palpable personal cost.  It so happens that Abp. Runcie was an Anglo-Catholic and did not have any personal animus with Rome, but the evangelical wing of Anglicanism went berserk over his public advocacy of Pope John Paul's visit.

Pick up any one of Jack Chick's screeds against Catholicism (The Death Cookie (http://goo.gl/yM1E) is my personal favorite, as he shows his complete ignorance about Eucharistic theology both East and West.)  The ignorance that some evangelicals harbor towards Catholicism is stunning.  I remember hearing Fr. Peter Stravinskas (famous traditional Catholic priest-apologist) debate an evangelical preacher, the Rev. James White.  To his credit, Rev. White was very professional, but the evangelicals in attendance were extremely obnoxious.  During the middle of the conference I had to use the facilities.  The restroom was littered (and I mean littered!) with Jack Chick tracts.  The Catholics at the conference didn't leaflet the entire conference-hall: I and my companions were greatly pissed off, but I did not hear any Catholic pick a fight with an evangelical.  Some of the evangelicals were quite livid, however.  I cannot help but think that some of their prejudices are generations-old and based on facile distortions of Catholicism.  It's all rather pathetic, as I have spoken to many evangelical "apologists" who do not even understand Reformation thought! 

Evangelical apologists never really attack Orthodoxy, even though Orthodox theology is much closer to Roman Catholic theology than to the thousands of Protestant evangelical splinter groups.  If evangelical Protestants were to be thoroughly methodical, they would attack both Orthodoxy and Catholicism equally on the doctrines that the two traditions both share.  The fact that evangelicals often do not criticize the commonalities in Orthodoxy and Catholicism tells me that their prejudice towards Catholicism is not based on doctrine but rather culturally conditioned socio-economic, perhaps nativist, fears about the Roman church and its great influence in world affairs. 

It's true that 18% of the entire world is nominally Catholic.  Still, why haven't evangelical Protestants gone after Orthodoxy with the same ferocity? 
     

Right, but is the Papacy not an issue of doctrine?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: FormerReformer on March 27, 2011, 10:54:23 PM

Pick up any one of Jack Chick's screeds against Catholicism (The Death Cookie (http://goo.gl/yM1E) is my personal favorite, as he shows his complete ignorance about Eucharistic theology both East and West.)  The ignorance that some evangelicals harbor towards Catholicism is stunning.  I remember hearing Fr. Peter Stravinskas (famous traditional Catholic priest-apologist) debate an evangelical preacher, the Rev. James White.  To his credit, Rev. White was very professional, but the evangelicals in attendance were extremely obnoxious.  During the middle of the conference I had to use the facilities.  The restroom was littered (and I mean littered!) with Jack Chick tracts.  The Catholics at the conference didn't leaflet the entire conference-hall: I and my companions were greatly pissed off, but I did not hear any Catholic pick a fight with an evangelical.  Some of the evangelicals were quite livid, however.  I cannot help but think that some of their prejudices are generations-old and based on facile distortions of Catholicism.  It's all rather pathetic, as I have spoken to many evangelical "apologists" who do not even understand Reformation thought! 
     

Oh, the tracts!  I think my final straw with Evangelicals was when I was working at a Floridian theme park after graduating high school.  We had a large church youth group come through and at the end of the day our entire queue was littered with thousands of the darn things (tracts, not youth group members).  Somehow, I don't think my earning salvation through drudgery and toil was their intent, but that's the only benefit I can see.

Later in life, while doing a short stint as a waiter I used to dread Sunday afternoons in Mississippi when the local churches got out.  You'd bust your hump all through the lunch hour providing exemplary service to the well-dressed ne'er-do-wells and in place of a tip they left tracts.  Most obnoxious of all was that little tract where it's printed like a $20 on one side and when flipped over there's text starting off "Do you want true wealth?"  These were all the rank-and-file pew fillers, of course (and more than one or two deacons, I suspect.  Being of pastor descent I know their cheapness well).  One of my favorite group of customers was an interfaith group of pastors and professors from William Carey College and USM that would meet every Monday, they always had interesting conversations to overhear and everyone in the group would chip in on the tip.  
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Thankful on March 27, 2011, 10:55:32 PM
I think I (we) may be a "classic case" that the OP describes. The book I read originally, that piqued our interest, was the story of a Pentecostal preacher's conversion to Roman Catholicism. I read nearly the entire thing, and what that book did for me was open my eyes to church history. I'd never before heard that there were writings/testimonies for a historical church -- and I had no sense that it mattered anyway. So I finish this book, and did I start researching Catholicism? No. I couldn't. I knew as I read, and I said from the beginning, that I couldn't get behind the idea of papal supremacy. I knew converting to Catholicism would not be an option. Thankfully, I'd heard vague mentions of the Orthodox church over the previous few years (and perhaps the RC convert who wrote the book I read mentioned it in his story), so the day after I finished reading the book, I spent the entire next day reading about the Orthodox church on the internet. And I believe their/our claim to historicity to be much more real. I was very thankful to learn that one could enter into this historic/original church without having to agree to papal supremacy.

Is that the type of thing, OP, you are referring to?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 10:59:57 PM
Right, but is the Papacy not an issue of doctrine?

Yes, it is.  However, there's a difference between an articulate position and prejudice.  A person who says "I chose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism for principled reasons", and then articulates those reasons, is perfectly respectable.  The persons who attacked Abp. Runcie for merely welcoming Pope John Paul II to a secular, post-Christian Britain were acting without sense and in prejudice.  There is absolutely no way that Pope John Paul II would want to "take over" Britain.  Probably didn't even cross his mind.  Ditto Pope Benedict on his recent trip to Britain.

The more important issue is evangelical apology's extreme and almost exclusive focus on Catholicism when Orthodoxy is doctrinally quite similar in many respects.  That is a glaring defect in evangelical Protestant apologetics.  If the main evangelical Protestant contention with Catholicism surrounds papal primacy and papal political influence, then attack those two points exclusively and honestly.  Don't attack the Holy Mass -- what does that have to do with Roman jurisdiction?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 27, 2011, 11:12:25 PM
Right, but is the Papacy not an issue of doctrine?

Yes, it is.  However, there's a difference between an articulate position and prejudice.  A person who says "I chose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism for principled reasons", and then articulates those reasons, is perfectly respectable.  The persons who attacked Abp. Runcie for merely welcoming Pope John Paul II to a secular, post-Christian Britain were acting without sense and in prejudice.  There is absolutely no way that Pope John Paul II would want to "take over" Britain.  Probably didn't even cross his mind.  Ditto Pope Benedict on his recent trip to Britain.

The more important issue is evangelical apology's extreme and almost exclusive focus on Catholicism when Orthodoxy is doctrinally quite similar in many respects.  That is a glaring defect in evangelical Protestant apologetics.  If the main evangelical Protestant contention with Catholicism surrounds papal primacy and papal political influence, then attack those two points exclusively and honestly.  Don't attack the Holy Mass -- what does that have to do with Roman jurisdiction?

If it makes you feel any better, the situation is beginning to balance out.

There are several protestant sites who list both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as cults. I do not want to list these prejudiced sites, so please forgive me if I do not link to those sites.

There are also several forums run by fundamental evangelical conservative Protestants which discriminate against members who are Eastern Orthodox and Catholic. If you are a Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox Christian, you can never be in leadership, but are more likely to be banned.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 27, 2011, 11:22:30 PM
Is that the type of thing, OP, you are referring to?

Yes. I'm glad that you have found the apostolic church with the life-giving sacraments.  That's what matters for your soul, and you will be well nourished in your church.  Christ is there in your sacraments.  This is all that matters in the end.  If you, or anyone here, is happy being Orthodox, that's wonderful.  Keep at it and pray for me, a sinner.

If it makes you feel any better, the situation is beginning to balance out.

There are several protestant sites who list both Orthodoxy and Catholicism as cults. I do not want to list these prejudiced sites, so please forgive me if I do not link to those sites.

There are also several forums run by fundamental evangelical conservative Protestants which discriminate against members who are Eastern Orthodox and Catholic. If you are a Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox Christian, you can never be in leadership, but are more likely to be banned.

Again, pray for me a sinner.   If someone came to Orthodoxy out of hatred or mistrust of the Roman church or the Pope as Pontiff, he or she has found the apostolic faith anyway.  Even if a former Protestant still hates Rome, they have found the life-giving sacraments anyway.  It is not for me to judge why or how others have come to the realization of the apostolic Christian faith.  We have all arrived, one way or another.  

If Orthodoxy can accommodate Protestant convert sensibilities in a way that Roman Catholicism can't, then that is a great evangelical gift of our Eastern brethren.  Even if that means bringing others to the apostolic faith by offering the Roman sacraments to them outside of the auspices of the Roman church (i.e. the Tridentine Mass and Ritual in a Western Orthodox church), then so be it.  I would rather that people worship in the Roman liturgy within its native home and under its native ecclesiastical leader the Pope, but the Roman Canon is an apostolic anaphora that must be shared simply because it is "public domain" for apostolic Christianity.

It is better then that we are all fed by the sacraments, however we find them, then be placed in a tradition that one might find alien or even disquieting.

Thank you for your patience.    
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 27, 2011, 11:33:56 PM

Again, pray for me a sinner.   If someone came to Orthodoxy out of hatred or mistrust of the Roman church or the Pope as Pontiff, he or she has found the apostolic faith anyway.  Even if a former Protestant still hates Rome, they have found the life-giving sacraments anyway.  It is not for me to judge why or how others have come to the realization of the apostolic Christian faith.  We have all arrived, one way or another.  
    

If someone were to come to Orthodoxy with a large and expressive chip on their shoulder against Catholics, usually an Orthodox Priest would address that before administering the Holy Mysteries to that person.

We are to love our neighbor and forgive those who hate us, no matter what their creed.  If we cannot love, then the Spirit of God is not in us.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: IsmiLiora on March 27, 2011, 11:43:41 PM
If someone were to come to Orthodoxy with a large and expressive chip on their shoulder against Catholics, usually an Orthodox Priest would address that before administering the Holy Mysteries to that person.
I didn't have such a chip on my shoulder for Catholics (I made peace with my upbringing in the church a long time ago, and I DO regard them as Christians), but when I told my priest that I had been basically excommunicated for a few years, he said, "We're going to have to talk about that."

I think I will have to renounce (not quite sure what the right word would be) leaving the apostolic church when I become a member (not quite sure) but he is addressing it somehow.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 27, 2011, 11:58:29 PM
If someone were to come to Orthodoxy with a large and expressive chip on their shoulder against Catholics, usually an Orthodox Priest would address that before administering the Holy Mysteries to that person.
I didn't have such a chip on my shoulder for Catholics (I made peace with my upbringing in the church a long time ago, and I DO regard them as Christians), but when I told my priest that I had been basically excommunicated for a few years, he said, "We're going to have to talk about that."

I think I will have to renounce (not quite sure what the right word would be) leaving the apostolic church when I become a member (not quite sure) but he is addressing it somehow.

When I became a catechumen in the Holy Orthodox Church, my Catholic bishop told me that I had excommunicated myself from the Catholic Church.

Immediately after my Chrismation into the Greek Orthodox Church, my priest heard my confession and lifted that excommunication.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 27, 2011, 11:59:08 PM
If someone were to come to Orthodoxy with a large and expressive chip on their shoulder against Catholics, usually an Orthodox Priest would address that before administering the Holy Mysteries to that person.
I didn't have such a chip on my shoulder for Catholics (I made peace with my upbringing in the church a long time ago, and I DO regard them as Christians), but when I told my priest that I had been basically excommunicated for a few years, he said, "We're going to have to talk about that."

I think I will have to renounce (not quite sure what the right word would be) leaving the apostolic church when I become a member (not quite sure) but he is addressing it somehow.

When I was chrismated, I did not have to renounce the Catholic Church because the Holy Orthodox Church is the Holy Catholic Church.
Yes, I did make some affirmations, but you can ask your priest to see a copy of the Chrismation ceremony.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: IsmiLiora on March 28, 2011, 12:05:04 AM
Thanks, Maria. I think that's actually what he said, but I couldn't quite remember.

I remember saying, "I would feel pretty lousy to walk and confess to a Catholic priest, just to say, 'Hey, by the way, now that I'm officially forgiven, I can go convert to the Orthodox Church. See ya!'" Confessing it makes sense.


ETA: I mean confessing it to my Orthodox priest after my chrismation
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: leap of faith on March 28, 2011, 12:18:01 AM
What exactly do you think it is that makes someone "anti-Rome" besides doctrine anyway? What else would their be?

In England alone: Guy Fawkes, "No Popery", Jesuit conspiracies, heck, even the early Anglo-Catholics were smeared as "papists" simply for wearing chasubles!  In 1982 (!) Robert Runcie (then Archbishop of Canterbury) was verbally attacked by a mob of protesters outside of Canterbury Cathedral for stating that he would meet with Pope John Paul II during the Pontiff's pastoral visit to Britain that same year!  The protesters were still dredging up centuries-old sectarian socio-cultural prejudice about Roman Catholicism (oh no! Popish plot!) and other absurdities.  Abp. Runcie did indeed hear Vespers or similar with Pope John Paul II in Westminster Cathedral and knelt alongside the Pontiff, but did so at a palpable personal cost.  It so happens that Abp. Runcie was an Anglo-Catholic and did not have any personal animus with Rome, but the evangelical wing of Anglicanism went berserk over his public advocacy of Pope John Paul's visit.

Pick up any one of Jack Chick's screeds against Catholicism (The Death Cookie (http://goo.gl/yM1E) is my personal favorite, as he shows his complete ignorance about Eucharistic theology both East and West.)  The ignorance that some evangelicals harbor towards Catholicism is stunning.  I remember hearing Fr. Peter Stravinskas (famous traditional Catholic priest-apologist) debate an evangelical preacher, the Rev. James White.  To his credit, Rev. White was very professional, but the evangelicals in attendance were extremely obnoxious.  During the middle of the conference I had to use the facilities.  The restroom was littered (and I mean littered!) with Jack Chick tracts.  The Catholics at the conference didn't leaflet the entire conference-hall: I and my companions were greatly pissed off, but I did not hear any Catholic pick a fight with an evangelical.  Some of the evangelicals were quite livid, however.  I cannot help but think that some of their prejudices are generations-old and based on facile distortions of Catholicism.  It's all rather pathetic, as I have spoken to many evangelical "apologists" who do not even understand Reformation thought! 

Evangelical apologists never really attack Orthodoxy, even though Orthodox theology is much closer to Roman Catholic theology than to the thousands of Protestant evangelical splinter groups.  If evangelical Protestants were to be thoroughly methodical, they would attack both Orthodoxy and Catholicism equally on the doctrines that the two traditions both share.  The fact that evangelicals often do not criticize the commonalities in Orthodoxy and Catholicism tells me that their prejudice towards Catholicism is not based on doctrine but rather culturally conditioned socio-economic, perhaps nativist, fears about the Roman church and its great influence in world affairs. 

It's true that 18% of the entire world is nominally Catholic.  Still, why haven't evangelical Protestants gone after Orthodoxy with the same ferocity? 
     

I agree with you that the majority of Protestants are shockingly ignorant of what is taught in the Roman Catholic Church.  Most simply repeat what has been whispered in their ear.  I know this because I was once among them and would receive a chorus of "amens" whenever I would parrot some unsubstantiated criticism.  And then....I met some wonderful people and became very close to them and they were...wait for it...that "C" word.  *gasp* Suddenly, I started to imagine their faces when someone would criticize their Church.  That hurt. I was already quite studied in Christian apologetics as it relates to other belief systems, so I did what I had been taught to do.  I made an honest attempt to learn from the RCC perspective and apply some critical analysis.  Yes, I struggled with agreement but I did, at the very least, understand!  I also began to realize how misunderstood Roman Catholicism is in the Protestant/Evangelical world.  My snotty attitude was melting away and I began correcting my protestant friends when they would criticize ignorantly and would explain what the actual teaching was in that area to the best of my ability.  Conversion wasn't something that I considered at that point, but I was happy to loose the baggage of misplaced negativity.  Additionally, my friends genuinely appreciated that the "Protestant" girl would make the effort.  

To this day, I cringe when I hear such nasty exchanges and assumptions being hurled from various sides of the fences.  In fairness, I have also read/heard some cruel untruths being parrotted regarding Protestants, also. Honestly, if it were not for the years I spent studying Christian apologetics and the uniqueness of Christ....I might have walked away from Christianity when I see or read the examples of people who claim Christianity and, yet, are so unnecessarily harsh and presumptive of others and the state of their mind, heart and salvation.  I try very hard to think about that before I tell God who I think He has or has not a salvational relationship with. Thankfully, I was well taught that we don't judge a belief system based on those who claim it or abuse it, but on the fundamental truth claims of the belief system, itself.  One can accurately discuss points of separation without being cruel.

So, after several years of study, why Orthodoxy instead of Rome?  (I was Methodist and I'm 50 years old) I admit that becoming Roman Catholic would have been MUCH easier from a convenience standpoint.  As I stated earlier, several of my friends are RC, my husband was raised RC, we have in-laws who are RC and we have several RCC's within a few miles of us.  The idea of "returning to Rome" was not a problem for me at all.  Let's face it...in the eyes of most Protestants, there is no difference because Church history prior to the 1500's isn't emphasized. I have a 200 mile round trip to the nearest Orthodox Church and a husband who has only 1 day off a week, and spends half of that day working our livestock...so I'll likely be going alone.  The rest of my family still attends our conservative Methodist Church, as do most of my friends.  This hasn't been an easy path, but I promised myself and God that I would follow where I was led.

In the end, I could not get past:
1) Immaculate Conception because it seemed to me to change the humanity of Christ. That's a HUGE thing and straying from 100% man and 100% God isn't to be taken lightly. Yes, I've had it explained to me but it simply comes up short.
2) I struggled with the practice of indulgences, particularly for "annulments."  Which is closely related to my next point.
3) Although I understand and respect absolutely the sacrament of marriage, the RCC stand on divorce and the "unique" way that has been found to get out of the corner that I believe they have painted themselves into is...ummmm...odd.  It seems to be the equivalent of the Protestant stand on homosexuality.  Is the Church not supposed to be the Hospital of the Great Physician?  
4)  Liberalism and inconsistency of liturgies.  I tried and tried to make sense out of the coastal Roman Catholic mindsets that seemed in direct opposition. Even my Roman Catholic friends are distressed.
5) Perhaps some could claim it was an overreaction on the part of the Protestant-raised woman, but the rationalization of the development of dogma which was spread over SUCH a vast amount of time.......how does a Roman Catholic then turn around and fault the Protestant churches for doing the same thing?  "Do as I say but not as I do" doesn't cut it.  Yes, I understand the argument/explanation.  Truly, I do.  In the end, it flirts with rationalization and I've rationalized enough to last a lifetime.  I want NOTHING to do with the development of critical dogma past the 7 Ecumenical Councils.  I'm sick of changes and additions.

Church history, IMO, held up the position of Orthodoxy.  Comparing the histories of the RCC and Orthodox Church since the Schism is massive.  I don't tend to think that money and membership #'s is exactly a good thing in this misguided, fallen world.  If it is, then I should be reconsidering the mega churches of the evangelical world.  The persecution of the Orthodox Church was very impactful.

To Her credit, Orthodoxy was vastly more consistent and more conservative.  It took a couple of years for me to really begin to see the continuity and how each one woven together with the others created a strong, beautiful tapestry.  I feel such a release of burden to know that I am home.  I can stop looking over my shoulder and trying to find my own way through.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow...Orthodoxy remains Orthodoxy.  Change is overrated.

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: SolEX01 on March 28, 2011, 01:12:00 AM
but the Roman Canon is an apostolic anaphora that must be shared simply because it is "public domain" for apostolic Christianity.

Sometimes, I wonder what the 12 Apostles would say about the last 500 years of conflicting Papal Encyclicals and "secret" ex cathedra statements issued by a successor to one of them.  Maybe we'll find out on Judgment Day?   ???

It is better then that we are all fed by the sacraments, however we find them, then be placed in a tradition that one might find alien or even disquieting.

Thank you for your patience.

I hope you're not leaving us?   ???
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 02:07:23 PM
but the Roman Canon is an apostolic anaphora that must be shared simply because it is "public domain" for apostolic Christianity.

Sometimes, I wonder what the 12 Apostles would say about the last 500 years of conflicting Papal Encyclicals and "secret" ex cathedra statements issued by a successor to one of them.  Maybe we'll find out on Judgment Day?   ???

 :)  They might suggest that they are the figment of Orthodox and Protestant imaginations, with one or two exceptions.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 02:18:15 PM
Personally, I find all the stories recounted here to be very heart-warming.  It is touching and encouraging to hear people who have searched and found an ecclesial home.  So you have my thanks completely for participating in this thread.  I do have other questions but rather than pick out individual stories or people to address, I'd like to ask something of a more general question.

Given the fact that people with very similar backgrounds choose, respectively, both Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church, I think it might be reasonable for me to wonder and to ask:  If there came a time when Orthodox bishops said that there have been several major doctrinal misunderstandings between the Orthodox and Catholics and that these things have been resolved as misunderstandings,  and communion was to be restored with no change to either Orthodox ecclesiology or Catholic ecclesiology [meaning that all jurisdictional concerns remain the same for both Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church], and no change to doctrinal teachings except to demonstrate where the fundamental teachings are shared, even with the originally contested doctrine:  Would you be able to accept that or would you reject anything like that?

It seems that Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate has suggested that this is a real possibility.  That we may, without compromise, find that we are not teaching different core truths but share core truths expressed differently.  He also suggested that we might find other things where there are differences and we have not addressed these things at all.  I am open to both and think I can see both as possibly quite true.  So I would be open to something like this:  Of course I cannot yet imagine precise terms of such a plan; none of us can.  So I am asking very generally.

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mike on March 28, 2011, 02:34:53 PM
I have a second one question: What would converts do if dinosaurs started to emerge from the NYCS?


Both situations are likewise possible.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 28, 2011, 02:35:28 PM
Personally, I find all the stories recounted here to be very heart-warming.  It is touching and encouraging to hear people who have searched and found an ecclesial home.  So you have my thanks completely for participating in this thread.  I do have other questions but rather than pick out individual stories or people to address, I'd like to ask something of a more general question.

Given the fact that people with very similar backgrounds choose, respectively, both Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church, I think it might be reasonable for me to wonder and to ask:  If there came a time when Orthodox bishops said that there have been several major doctrinal misunderstandings between the Orthodox and Catholics and that these things have been resolved as misunderstandings,  and communion was to be restored with no change to either Orthodox ecclesiology or Catholic ecclesiology [meaning that all jurisdictional concerns remain the same for both Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church], and no change to doctrinal teachings except to demonstrate where the fundamental teachings are shared, even with the originally contested doctrine:  Would you be able to accept that or would you reject anything like that?

It seems that Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate has suggested that this is a real possibility.  That we may, without compromise, find that we are not teaching different core truths but share core truths expressed differently.  He also suggested that we might find other things where there are differences and we have not addressed these things at all.  I am open to both and think I can see both as possibly quite true.  So I would be open to something like this:  Of course I cannot yet imagine precise terms of such a plan; none of us can.  So I am asking very generally.

M.

If it is that neat and clean -- if in fact the entire canonical Orthodox Church reunites with the entire Roman Catholic Church, yes I would accept it.  

But it won't be (and can't be) that neat and clean.  There will be mini-schisms and other fractures in both bodies before that would happen.  To an extent, that's already happening and the two sides are nowhere near intercommunion.  So in reality, I'd have to answer "I'll wait and see what that looks like and who goes where on what terms."  
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Alpo on March 28, 2011, 02:42:43 PM
I have a second one question: What would converts do if dinosaurs started to emerge from the NYCS?


Both situations are likewise possible.

 ;D ;D ;D

Ditto. I chose Orthodoxy over Catholicism just because I became convinced that there still is differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy is the one which is more faithful to history of the Church.

Still I long for day when I can receive communion in a mass under the dome of St. Peter's from an Orthodox pope of Old Rome.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 02:44:03 PM
Personally, I find all the stories recounted here to be very heart-warming.  It is touching and encouraging to hear people who have searched and found an ecclesial home.  So you have my thanks completely for participating in this thread.  I do have other questions but rather than pick out individual stories or people to address, I'd like to ask something of a more general question.

Given the fact that people with very similar backgrounds choose, respectively, both Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church, I think it might be reasonable for me to wonder and to ask:  If there came a time when Orthodox bishops said that there have been several major doctrinal misunderstandings between the Orthodox and Catholics and that these things have been resolved as misunderstandings,  and communion was to be restored with no change to either Orthodox ecclesiology or Catholic ecclesiology [meaning that all jurisdictional concerns remain the same for both Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church], and no change to doctrinal teachings except to demonstrate where the fundamental teachings are shared, even with the originally contested doctrine:  Would you be able to accept that or would you reject anything like that?

It seems that Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate has suggested that this is a real possibility.  That we may, without compromise, find that we are not teaching different core truths but share core truths expressed differently.  He also suggested that we might find other things where there are differences and we have not addressed these things at all.  I am open to both and think I can see both as possibly quite true.  So I would be open to something like this:  Of course I cannot yet imagine precise terms of such a plan; none of us can.  So I am asking very generally.

M.

If it is that neat and clean -- if in fact the entire canonical Orthodox Church reunites with the entire Roman Catholic Church, yes I would accept it.  

But it won't be (and can't be) that neat and clean.  There will be mini-schisms and other fractures in both bodies before that would happen.  To an extent, that's already happening and the two sides are nowhere near intercommunion.  So in reality, I'd have to answer "I'll wait and see what that looks like and who goes where on what terms."  

So essentially you are saying that you would trust your hierarchs sufficiently to follow them?  

Also...is the path to communion, even within our respective Churches, ever truly "neat and clean"?

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 28, 2011, 02:58:19 PM
So essentially you are saying that you would trust your hierarchs sufficiently to follow them?  

Also...is the path to communion, even within our respective Churches, ever truly "neat and clean"?

M.

That's kind of the point -- asking if I would trust my hierarchs blindly versus whether I would trust my hierarchs in a particular situation with particular terms is two different things.  Right now, as currently constituted, Orthodox-Catholic reunion would have certain terms before Orthodox would engage in it.  If those terms are met, sure, I'm in.  You might not be, but I would be.

On the flipside, since we can't know what the terms would be, we'll just have to wait and see and that was really my point.  If every hierarch were to blindly cave to Rome tomorrow, the truth is most Orthodox bishops wouldn't go along with it and most Orthodox laity would support the Orthodox bishops who maintained Orthodox teaching.  So we'd have a bit of a canonical crisis that would work itself out, and then we'd see who ends up where.  Same with Rome -- if Pope Benedict decreed tomorrow that he does not have universal jurisdiction over the entire Church, that the immaculate conception is (pardon the pun) ill-conceived, and the filioque is heretical and should be dropped, do you think the entire Roman Catholic Church would tag along behind him?  There is a difference -- within the RCC, theoretically at least, such a thing is possible, whereas in Orthodoxy it is not.  But assuming the Pope did it, would you go along?  Do you think all of the bishops would?

That's why the question is a bit of a fantasy.  It cannot be seriously answered since it will never happen that way, on either side.  It will be quite a bit messier than that, if we ever get there.  Concessions will be made on both sides, and people -- yes, even bishops -- on both sides will schism away.  Those schisms might be healed eventually, but that is for history to work out.  As things stand now, the entire Orthodox Church is not about to become Roman Catholic, and the Roman Catholic Church isn't about to become Orthodox.  So there is quite a bit of work left to do in order to even see what the terms of any reunion would be.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 03:11:23 PM
So essentially you are saying that you would trust your hierarchs sufficiently to follow them?  

Also...is the path to communion, even within our respective Churches, ever truly "neat and clean"?

M.

That's kind of the point -- asking if I would trust my hierarchs blindly versus whether I would trust my hierarchs in a particular situation with particular terms is two different things.  Right now, as currently constituted, Orthodox-Catholic reunion would have certain terms before Orthodox would engage in it.  If those terms are met, sure, I'm in.  You might not be, but I would be.

On the flipside, since we can't know what the terms would be, we'll just have to wait and see and that was really my point.  If every hierarch were to blindly cave to Rome tomorrow, the truth is most Orthodox bishops wouldn't go along with it and most Orthodox laity would support the Orthodox bishops who maintained Orthodox teaching.  So we'd have a bit of a canonical crisis that would work itself out, and then we'd see who ends up where.  Same with Rome -- if Pope Benedict decreed tomorrow that he does not have universal jurisdiction over the entire Church, that the immaculate conception is (pardon the pun) ill-conceived, and the filioque is heretical and should be dropped, do you think the entire Roman Catholic Church would tag along behind him?  There is a difference -- within the RCC, theoretically at least, such a thing is possible, whereas in Orthodoxy it is not.  But assuming the Pope did it, would you go along?  Do you think all of the bishops would?

That's why the question is a bit of a fantasy.  It cannot be seriously answered since it will never happen that way, on either side.  It will be quite a bit messier than that, if we ever get there.  Concessions will be made on both sides, and people -- yes, even bishops -- on both sides will schism away.  Those schisms might be healed eventually, but that is for history to work out.  As things stand now, the entire Orthodox Church is not about to become Roman Catholic, and the Roman Catholic Church isn't about to become Orthodox.  So there is quite a bit of work left to do in order to even see what the terms of any reunion would be.

I see what you are saying, David, and of course as you have outlined it here, my question is an absurdity.

But I think if you allow for a slightly different perspective we might get a little closer to agreement.

You list a number of doctrinal differences.  I think, with some fair good reason, that many of not most of what you've listed has already found resolution among many Orthodox hierarchs and scholars.  In other words there is no "caving" in about it.  There is actually renewed understanding. 

It seems to me as I watch from the sidelines that there are levels of understanding that have been reached already that have not been reached in centuries because of certain kinds of resistance.  So some of the accord represents a change in attitudes.  Some of it is actually due to the emergence of new, or new to us, documentation that allows for the Catholic Church to demonstrate that her language may seem foreign but her meanings have been shared with the Holy Fathers all along and the Orthodox are paying attention to this new documentary scholarship.

That's why I pose the question as I do.  Just how wedded are Orthodox believers to their conviction that all that has been said about Catholic teaching over the past few centuries in Orthodoxy is absolutely cast in stone without recourse.

I have had it said to me by Orthodox converts from the Catholic Church:  IF I was taught badly and I made a choice based on those poor teachings, then to admit that now means my whole life has been a waste and I cannot accept that!" 

That is almost a direct quote.  If that is not self-will, I don't know what is.  BUT...it is real; it is serious; it is determinative at some level and it will be hard as the dickens to change.  Do I like it?  No.  But I do recognize that it is a very real reaction and needs a very very real response.

I am curious about the similar protestant equivalent response that says "Hey!! I worked hart to get here; to make my choices; and I was and AM absolutely certain that I made the right choice!!"

The fact of the matter is that you probably did indeed make the right choice but your understanding of Catholic teaching might STILL be flawed.

It's that kind of dense emotional, intellectual and spiritual underbrush that we are ALL going to have to examine more carefully...

What do you think?

Mary
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 28, 2011, 03:32:37 PM
I see what you are saying, David, and of course as you have outlined it here, my question is an absurdity.

But I think if you allow for a slightly different perspective we might get a little closer to agreement.

You list a number of doctrinal differences.  I think, with some fair good reason, that many of not most of what you've listed has already found resolution among many Orthodox hierarchs and scholars.  In other words there is no "caving" in about it.  There is actually renewed understanding. 

It seems to me as I watch from the sidelines that there are levels of understanding that have been reached already that have not been reached in centuries because of certain kinds of resistance.  So some of the accord represents a change in attitudes.  Some of it is actually due to the emergence of new, or new to us, documentation that allows for the Catholic Church to demonstrate that her language may seem foreign but her meanings have been shared with the Holy Fathers all along and the Orthodox are paying attention to this new documentary scholarship.

That's why I pose the question as I do.  Just how wedded are Orthodox believers to their conviction that all that has been said about Catholic teaching over the past few centuries in Orthodoxy is absolutely cast in stone without recourse.

I have had it said to me by Orthodox converts from the Catholic Church:  IF I was taught badly and I made a choice based on those poor teachings, then to admit that now means my whole life has been a waste and I cannot accept that!" 

That is almost a direct quote.  If that is not self-will, I don't know what is.  BUT...it is real; it is serious; it is determinative at some level and it will be hard as the dickens to change.  Do I like it?  No.  But I do recognize that it is a very real reaction and needs a very very real response.

I am curious about the similar protestant equivalent response that says "Hey!! I worked hart to get here; to make my choices; and I was and AM absolutely certain that I made the right choice!!"

The fact of the matter is that you probably did indeed make the right choice but your understanding of Catholic teaching might STILL be flawed.

It's that kind of dense emotional, intellectual and spiritual underbrush that we are ALL going to have to examine more carefully...

What do you think?

Mary

Ah, I see what you are saying -- in essence, can I admit I am wrong and we were wrong all along?

The short answer is "yes."  The long answer would be, well, long, but to put it simply, it would take an awful lot of convincing.  My guess is it would also take a lot of concession on the Catholic side for that to take hold.  A lot has been said and done over the last thousand years.  I acknowledge (and, frankly, very much appreciate) Pope Benedict's irenic tone and willingness to dialogue.  That certainly gives reason for hope.  And I would certainly hope that for our part, we wouldn't dig our heels in and say "our way or the highway."  If we're wrong and we are shown to be wrong, I'd like to think we'd be willing to accept that.

But all that remains to be seen.  I'm not anti-Rome by any means.  I am hopeful for reunion.  But I'm a realist too, and there is a lot of ground to cover to get there.  I seriously don't see one side covering all that ground, and I certainly don't see the Orthodox up and saying "well, turns out we were wrong all along," at least not to each and every issue.  Again, the Pope's tone in dealing with us is helpful in that regard, but much remains to be seen.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 03:48:23 PM

Ah, I see what you are saying -- in essence, can I admit I am wrong and we were wrong all along?

The short answer is "yes."  The long answer would be, well, long, but to put it simply, it would take an awful lot of convincing.  My guess is it would also take a lot of concession on the Catholic side for that to take hold.  A lot has been said and done over the last thousand years.  I acknowledge (and, frankly, very much appreciate) Pope Benedict's irenic tone and willingness to dialogue.  That certainly gives reason for hope.  And I would certainly hope that for our part, we wouldn't dig our heels in and say "our way or the highway."  If we're wrong and we are shown to be wrong, I'd like to think we'd be willing to accept that.

But all that remains to be seen.  I'm not anti-Rome by any means.  I am hopeful for reunion.  But I'm a realist too, and there is a lot of ground to cover to get there.  I seriously don't see one side covering all that ground, and I certainly don't see the Orthodox up and saying "well, turns out we were wrong all along," at least not to each and every issue.  Again, the Pope's tone in dealing with us is helpful in that regard, but much remains to be seen.

Yes!  Now we are much closer in line with our thinking here! 

I'll tell you that I stay far away from some Catholic sites on this Internet because of the truly bitter and wrong-headed things said about Orthodoxy and also eastern Catholics.    There are Catholic Bishops that I would hate to see get within a long country mile of Orthodox bishops.  I don't know if I could stomach their high-handed superiority toward the Orthodox hierarchs.  We don't even need to get near doctrinal issues before there is work to be done on the Catholic side.  Patience will be the watchword for all those who are deeply committed to resumption of Communion.

At any rate I am very encouraged by your responses, and am in substantial agreement with you!

Mary
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 28, 2011, 04:37:39 PM
Hi jordanz. I'm not going to try to sort out everything that's involved in these issues, but I want to comment on one thing that you said:

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

I haven't heard that complaint very often, hardly ever really, but it does make sense. (Anyone who doesn't understand it should take a moment to consider how the Orthodox feel about ex-Orthodox converts to Eastern Catholic Churches. Indeed many Orthodox even have a strong dislike of the descendants of said converts.)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 28, 2011, 04:40:37 PM
Another thing you need to bear in mind is that conversions take more than one form.  Some are conversions of the heart; some are more of the mind or reasoned conversions; and some are spirit led.

I think most people, when they hear the word conversion, are too quick to think of re-affiliation.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 05:02:52 PM
Another thing you need to bear in mind is that conversions take more than one form.  Some are conversions of the heart; some are more of the mind or reasoned conversions; and some are spirit led.

I think most people, when they hear the word conversion, are too quick to think of re-affiliation.

I am not trying to be argumentative with you here, Peter but in 17 years, I have not found that among Orthodox converts, unless it happens to be eastern Catholics who, in their minds, transfer.  But even they do so by leaving parts of themselves behind...knowingly.

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ndigila on March 28, 2011, 05:14:41 PM
Nevertheless, all of us (including me) in one form or another, have prejudices.  Interestingly, we young Catholics were always told to dismiss evangelical Christianity as a simplistic, unreasoned, non-intellectual, and liturgically vapid.  These prejudices have stuck with me for many years.  The train tracks travel both ways.
This line of thinking is quite a tough sell (for me at least).

From personal experience, part of discovering and acknowledging the errors of Protestantism involved acknowledging that the prejudices against Rome were in fact, prejudices.  I remember my brother telling me that I used to be Rome's harshest critic only to become of their prime defenders.

Additionally, converts in the US face some very interesting practical challenges from living at least 3 hours away from the nearest parish to having attend churches where the liturgies are in a language they can't understand.  A person who chooses Orthodoxy simply because of a bias against Rome isn't likely to tolerate such a situation for a long time.   
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 28, 2011, 05:34:10 PM
Another thing you need to bear in mind is that conversions take more than one form.  Some are conversions of the heart; some are more of the mind or reasoned conversions; and some are spirit led.

I think most people, when they hear the word conversion, are too quick to think of re-affiliation.

I am not trying to be argumentative with you here, Peter

No problem.

Question: when you say

but in 17 years, I have not found that among Orthodox converts,

is that a qualified agreement, i.e. you haven't found it among Orthodox converts but you've found it among other people?

In any case, I don't think it's worth arguing over.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 28, 2011, 05:38:40 PM
Nevertheless, all of us (including me) in one form or another, have prejudices.  Interestingly, we young Catholics were always told to dismiss evangelical Christianity as a simplistic, unreasoned, non-intellectual, and liturgically vapid.  These prejudices have stuck with me for many years.  The train tracks travel both ways.
This line of thinking is quite a tough sell (for me at least).

From personal experience, part of discovering and acknowledging the errors of Protestantism involved acknowledging that the prejudices against Rome were in fact, prejudices.  I remember my brother telling me that I used to be Rome's harshest critic only to become of their prime defenders.

Additionally, converts in the US face some very interesting practical challenges from living at least 3 hours away from the nearest parish to having attend churches where the liturgies are in a language they can't understand.  A person who chooses Orthodoxy simply because of a bias against Rome isn't likely to tolerate such a situation for a long time.   

Definitely we should try not to overgeneralize; but I think that there are a fair number of ex-Protestant Orthodox who are anti-Catholic, and also a fair number of ex-Protestant Catholics who are anti-Orthodox. I'm reminded of a Touchstone article I read some years back (at a time when I was reading Touchstone a lot more than I am now):

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=13-07-017-f
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 05:51:26 PM
Another thing you need to bear in mind is that conversions take more than one form.  Some are conversions of the heart; some are more of the mind or reasoned conversions; and some are spirit led.

I think most people, when they hear the word conversion, are too quick to think of re-affiliation.

I am not trying to be argumentative with you here, Peter

No problem.

Question: when you say

but in 17 years, I have not found that among Orthodox converts,

is that a qualified agreement, i.e. you haven't found it among Orthodox converts but you've found it among other people?

In any case, I don't think it's worth arguing over.

True.  No argument. 

My most numerous experiences are of people living out a process of conversion through Catholic Rites of Initiation, and in speaking to converts to Orthodoxy.  In both cases I can't really remember more than one name where I could say that they fit the description of changing affiliation.  I am the only other example of that.  Had I moved into Orthodoxy, in my own mind, I would not have done so by a process of conversion.  I would have slid across the aisle according to my own perception of the move.

Perhaps the difference in perception is in how we understand conversion...Perhaps it is because I accept what they say about their own experiences and what I observe of them....something like that.

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 06:01:07 PM
Nevertheless, all of us (including me) in one form or another, have prejudices.  Interestingly, we young Catholics were always told to dismiss evangelical Christianity as a simplistic, unreasoned, non-intellectual, and liturgically vapid.  These prejudices have stuck with me for many years.  The train tracks travel both ways.
This line of thinking is quite a tough sell (for me at least).

From personal experience, part of discovering and acknowledging the errors of Protestantism involved acknowledging that the prejudices against Rome were in fact, prejudices.  I remember my brother telling me that I used to be Rome's harshest critic only to become of their prime defenders.

Additionally, converts in the US face some very interesting practical challenges from living at least 3 hours away from the nearest parish to having attend churches where the liturgies are in a language they can't understand.  A person who chooses Orthodoxy simply because of a bias against Rome isn't likely to tolerate such a situation for a long time.   

Definitely we should try not to overgeneralize; but I think that there are a fair number of ex-Protestant Orthodox who are anti-Catholic, and also a fair number of ex-Protestant Catholics who are anti-Orthodox. I'm reminded of a Touchstone article I read some years back (at a time when I was reading Touchstone a lot more than I am now):

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=13-07-017-f

I don't know that this article is a good one to use since Addison Hart seems to have had some kind of Change of He/art over the past year or so.  It seems as though he's had enough of a Church who specializes in pederasty, so his original "choices" are changing to other choices, if I have the story set correctly.  It seems his doctrinal discernment is pegged to the absence of holiness in a few Catholic priests and bishops.

I am certainly open to correction here.

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ortho_cat on March 28, 2011, 06:03:23 PM
most protestants are taught from an early age to avoid any contact with Roman Catholics at all cost...it's pretty well ingrained by the time they reach adolescence... (speaks from experience)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 28, 2011, 06:36:50 PM
Thank you for your patience.

I hope you're not leaving us?   ???

No, I'm just trying to say "I'm sorry" for pre-judging Protestant converts to Orthodoxy.  I'm beginning to see that there are some very nuanced, thoughtful, and challenging reasons why Protestants chose Orthodoxy over Catholicism. 

Hi, Leap of Faith -- thanks for your awesome post.  Just a few things I want to touch on.

In the end, I could not get past:
1) Immaculate Conception because it seemed to me to change the humanity of Christ. That's a HUGE thing and straying from 100% man and 100% God isn't to be taken lightly. Yes, I've had it explained to me but it simply comes up short.
2) I struggled with the practice of indulgences, particularly for "annulments."  Which is closely related to my next point.
3) Although I understand and respect absolutely the sacrament of marriage, the RCC stand on divorce and the "unique" way that has been found to get out of the corner that I believe they have painted themselves into is...ummmm...odd.  It seems to be the equivalent of the Protestant stand on homosexuality.  Is the Church not supposed to be the Hospital of the Great Physician? 
4)  Liberalism and inconsistency of liturgies.  I tried and tried to make sense out of the coastal Roman Catholic mindsets that seemed in direct opposition. Even my Roman Catholic friends are distressed.
5) [...] the rationalization of the development of dogma which was spread over SUCH a vast amount of time [...]

I'm convinced that 1 through 5 (with 5 enveloping 1 though 4) are very astute criticisms of Catholicism today.  Catholic apologists are going to go berserk because a Catholic is backing up Orthodox observations, but Catholic brothers and sisters: hear me out.

Part of the reason why Rome is in such a mess today on certain issues is because of the western Christian tendency to place reason and intellectual development on the same level or even above divine revelation.  God has given human beings reason and thought to understand the natural world and salvation history.  We are thinking beings because our thoughts should always lead us not to infatuation with what we can create but a yearning for eternal life.  Difficulties arise when we humans think that we can understand all of God's mystery through our own intellectual study.  Revelation is always above human understanding. 

Let's take (4) and see how rationalism has ruined the Roman liturgy.  The current trainwreck that is post-Vatican II liturgy didn't just arise as a result of the philosophical and theological confusion of the 1960's.  For at least one hundred years previously, theologians (now often called "liturgists") tried to reconcile modern and postmodern philosophy, and social sciences in particular, with the apostolic Roman liturgy.  Really Bad Move.  Theologians of the 19th and 20th century dismissed the ancient Latin and ritual of the Mass as an impediment to "active participation".  Suddenly, theologians began to contend that Mass had to shift from the Holy Sacrifice and the Eternal Banquet, into a socio-anthropological transaction between priest and worshippers in "community".  The only real participation could happen through saying responses and "seeing what the priest is doing".  Mass now was to be tamed to serve our anthropological interests, and not lift our minds towards the holy-eternal-life-giving Sacrament.

I needn't tell any of you what has happened to the Roman Mass in the last 50 years.  If a Protestant became Orthodox simply out of confusion and disgust at what has happened to the Mass, I sympathize with them.  Fortunately the apostolic Roman liturgy, aka the "Tridentine Mass" or Extraordinary Form, is slowly regrowing and thriving in many places.  Still, there are many liturgists in diocesan chanceries that still believe that Mass exists as a psycho-therapeutic session rather than the union of heaven and earth in the unbloody re-presentation of the eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

Let the past 50 years of Roman liturgy illustrate the way in which the Roman tendency to rationalize the properly mysterious has gone horribly, horribly wrong.   
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: xariskai on March 28, 2011, 07:26:04 PM
I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".  

...Why not become Roman Catholic
In my own case that there is no trace of papal supremacy (primacy is not supremacy) or papal infallibility in the first Christian millennium (the latter first pronounced as an official dogma in 1870) was enough reason, although there were other reasons. Another biggie for me, with graduate background in philosophy, was the role medieval rationalism came to take from the middle ages onward, as alluded to in the previous post, which rather than leading to the firm foundation for God on the basis of reason it postulated/dogmatized, led instead to the Enlightenment, the Death of God, the collapse of Foundationalism in philosophy, the rise of postmodern relativistic skepticism etc.

Latin Catholicism as I saw it simply wasn't genuinely "apostolic" in the way Orthodoxy continued to be because of those and similar departures in the Latin tradition from historic Christianity as it existed during the first Christian millennium. Latin Catholicism and Protestantism seemed (and seem) to me two sides of the same coin that began with the Latins. As Orthodox often affirm: Latins added to the faith; Protestants took away. This judgment -though perhaps controversial to Latin Catholic ears- is quite reasonable from the perspective of critical historiography IMO.

If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 28, 2011, 07:54:27 PM
Fantastic post xariskai, I'm with you on all points however I did want to bring up something...

Another biggie for me, with graduate background in philosophy, was the role medieval rationalism came to take from the middle ages onward, as alluded to in the previous post, which rather than leading to the firm foundation for God on the basis of reason it postulated/dogmatized, led instead to the Enlightenment, the Death of God, the collapse of Foundationalism in philosophy, the rise of postmodern relativistic skepticism etc.
One of my primary reasons why I'm not Roman Catholic. Would you be the opinion of rationalism and the usage of future logic rock, and perhaps destroy, the foundation of the Catholic Church teaching?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 28, 2011, 08:36:28 PM

If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?

And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on March 28, 2011, 08:39:09 PM
Although I was baptized as an infant into the Orthodox Church, in many ways I am a convert. My mother was raised by two devout Polish Catholic parents, and attended Catholic schools (yet surprisingly knows little about the meaning behind Catholic doctrine.) My father was raised Orthodox. When they married, they married in the Orthodox Church, and my sister and I were subsequently baptized in the Orthodox Church.

When my parents divorced, my mother became an Evangelical Protestant.

As a child, I was at a different church every other weekend. Weekends with Dad were Orthodox, weekends with Mom were Baptist. (FUN!)

As an adult, I had to figure out what I believed and why. I knew I believed in the Trinity, in Christ and His Resurrection. I thus began exploring every denomination of Christianity. I attended services read books. Furthermore, I had just about every sect of Christianity represented within my extended family.

I never felt a hostility towards Catholicism because it was the faith of my maternal grandparents. I had attended Midnight Mass with them many times. My Grandmother even had an audience with Pope John Paul II when her parish went to Rome in 1990. I still have her icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa in my bedroom.

The reasons I didn't become Catholic were many. Here are a few:

1) Since the 8th Ecumenical Council, Orthodox doctrine has remained the same. Once the basic tenets of the faith were established, the Patriarchs didn't feel the need to issue a statement on every granular level of faith. In the Catholic Church doctrine and dogma have changed throughout the years. The Mass has changed throughout the years. The last major revision to the Liturgy the Orthodox Church experienced was in the 4th Century. As recently as last year, The College of Cardinals were still tinkering with the Mass.

If God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why must His Church, which He promised would withstand the Gates of Hades, constantly change her doctrine and form of worship?

2) The Papacy. This topic has been beaten to death, so I'm not going to go over it again.

3) Rome doesn't understand "economia." The fact that my mother would have had to gotten an annulment to receive communion in the Church after her divorce from my father is ridiculous. Rome likes to write rules, but doesn't understand how they apply to real people. The Orthodox Church sees herself as a "Hospital for Sinners" where each individual prescription for theosis is different for each individual. Why? Because God made each of us different.

4) Original Sin. Really? I'm Ukrainian on my father's side. Ukrainians inherit guilt from their Grandmother's. Not from Adam.  ;) (Grandma: "Why didn't you come over this week?" Me: "I didn't know you wanted me to come over." Grandma: "But I made you dinner!" Me: "But you didn't tell me!" Grandma: "It doesn't matter, you should have come over! I'm 92! I'm cooking and you don't come over! What's wrong with you?!")

5) The Immaculate Heart of Mary. So let me get this straight. For almost 2,000 years, the dogma of the Immaculate Heart and the Immaculate Conception didn't exist, then all of the sudden God reveals this little tid-bit almost 2 millenia after His Resurrection? Also, it just seemed like a way to continue with St. Augustine's strange views on Original Sin. (See Ukrainian Grandmother.)

6) The formal Canonization process for picking Saints. In the Orthodox Church, if a Holy person dies and is locally venerated by the faithful, and miracles occur, that's enough for people to recognize him/her as a saint. In Rome, you need a tribunal, there is an investigation. Only God has the authority to choose who is and is not a saint. Not a pontiff.

7) Orange shag carpet. Also known as the Vatican II Council. Almost two millenia worth of beautiful architecture, music, liturgy, and worship thrown away in the name of being politically correct. Again, if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why are you changing?

After Vatican II it seemed like the Church had lost her identity. I see videos on Youtube of Masses with dancing and modern rock music, and then there is talk of bringing the SSPX back into the fold. Instead of the faithful conforming to Christ and His Church, His Church is conforming to the people. The Anglicans have tried that, and they are in quite a mess as a result.

So, I returned back the Orthodox Church. As we sing after receiving communion each Sunday, "We have seen the true light. We have received the Heavenly Spirit. We have found the true faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity, who has saved us."
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on March 28, 2011, 08:42:57 PM

If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?

And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

M.

Our father among the saints, St. Gregory Palamas rejected the idea of eastern scholasticism, and as a result, so did the East. We embraced mysticism instead.

The faith one chooses (or chooses to reject) is a very personal matter. I think it is presumptuous for anyone to assume why anyone would choose any path of faith.

The best we can do is pray that the Lord will have mercy on us all.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 28, 2011, 08:58:16 PM
If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

You're quite right.  Many intelligent Protestant scholars have converted to Orthodoxy after reasonable and principled examination.  I apologize (and have apologized) for insinuating that "a great many" Protestants choose Orthodoxy because of anti-Catholic prejudice in some Protestant circles.  mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, ideo precor ...  I've served many Masses.  I can say the Confiteor in under nine seconds :-)

7) Orange shag carpet. Also known as the Vatican II Council. Almost two millenia worth of beautiful architecture, music, liturgy, and worship thrown away in the name of being politically correct. Again, if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why are you changing?

That description of postmodern Roman liturgical insanity trumps my paragraphs of ranting.  Thanks Handmaiden! 

We traditional Romans are holding onto our ancient apostolic liturgy by our fingernails.  I could "jump ship" and become Orthodox, but I'm praying that Catholicism can be saved from its desire to destroy itself.  From the looks of it right now, it seems that many Catholics are willing to sell the entire faith down the river for a "happy clappy", feel good, no committment, therapy hour version of Catholicism.  I'd like to know why we Catholics are changing.  I never signed up for the changes. 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 28, 2011, 09:09:00 PM
What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?
Doesn't happen because Orthodoxy exists in this mystical realm outside of human fallible logic.

Quote
And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

Nowhere in that post does he say ANYTHING about "intelligent converts", let's look at that quote again:

Quote
thoughtful and well-educated
When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Mivac on March 28, 2011, 09:14:05 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".   

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation. 

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.


Not to be to blunt, it is because RCism is not Apostolic due innovations and wandering away from Holy Tradition.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 28, 2011, 09:52:12 PM


We traditional Romans are holding onto our ancient apostolic liturgy by our fingernails.  I could "jump ship" and become Orthodox, but I'm praying that Catholicism can be saved from its desire to destroy itself.  From the looks of it right now, it seems that many Catholics are willing to sell the entire faith down the river for a "happy clappy", feel good, no committment, therapy hour version of Catholicism.  I'd like to know why we Catholics are changing.  I never signed up for the changes. 

20 years ago, I was in the same situation as you are.

An Orthodox Priest told me to put the schizophrenia aside of trying to be a traditionalist (Orthodox) Catholic under Rome and come East.
I took his advice and have never looked back. I am now part of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, and I love her.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 28, 2011, 09:58:09 PM
Thank you for your patience.

I hope you're not leaving us?   ???

No, I'm just trying to say "I'm sorry" for pre-judging Protestant converts to Orthodoxy.  I'm beginning to see that there are some very nuanced, thoughtful, and challenging reasons why Protestants chose Orthodoxy over Catholicism. 

Hi, Leap of Faith -- thanks for your awesome post.  Just a few things I want to touch on.

In the end, I could not get past:
1) Immaculate Conception because it seemed to me to change the humanity of Christ. That's a HUGE thing and straying from 100% man and 100% God isn't to be taken lightly. Yes, I've had it explained to me but it simply comes up short.
2) I struggled with the practice of indulgences, particularly for "annulments."  Which is closely related to my next point.
3) Although I understand and respect absolutely the sacrament of marriage, the RCC stand on divorce and the "unique" way that has been found to get out of the corner that I believe they have painted themselves into is...ummmm...odd.  It seems to be the equivalent of the Protestant stand on homosexuality.  Is the Church not supposed to be the Hospital of the Great Physician? 
4)  Liberalism and inconsistency of liturgies.  I tried and tried to make sense out of the coastal Roman Catholic mindsets that seemed in direct opposition. Even my Roman Catholic friends are distressed.
5) [...] the rationalization of the development of dogma which was spread over SUCH a vast amount of time [...]

I'm convinced that 1 through 5 (with 5 enveloping 1 though 4) are very astute criticisms of Catholicism today.  Catholic apologists are going to go berserk because a Catholic is backing up Orthodox observations, but Catholic brothers and sisters: hear me out.
etc.

While none of us, presumably, like to hear that sort of thing, sometimes it's necessary to hear it. (Of course, the Orthodox also don't like to hear criticisms of themselves, but that's beside the point.) With that in mind, I'd like to add a thought of my own what's already been said (by you and by others): I think that we modern RCs have too much of a tendency to define ourselves in terms of what we're not, for example, the-less-Protestant-you-are-the-more-Catholic-you-are mentality.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 28, 2011, 10:12:13 PM
When I was a Catholic, nuns and priests often gave the following advice: "Do not try to be holier than the Pope."
That was the "mark" of a good Catholic.

In Orthodoxy, we are called to "put on Christ."
We are urged to cleanse our tarnished icon of Christ with our tears of repentance.

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 28, 2011, 10:17:24 PM
While none of us, presumably, like to hear that sort of thing, sometimes it's necessary to hear it. (Of course, the Orthodox also don't like to hear criticisms of themselves, but that's beside the point.) With that in mind, I'd like to add a thought of my own what's already been said (by you and by others):


Sorry about the long post/rant/vent.  Sometimes I forget to take the Haldol on time.

I think that we modern RCs have too much of a tendency to define ourselves in terms of what we're not, for example, the-less-Protestant-you-are-the-more-Catholic-you-are mentality.

Not sure what you mean by this, Peter.  Do you mean the low church/high church/tridentine divisions in Roman Catholic liturgy?  Are you talking about a spectrum between Protestant belief and Catholic belief?  In my parent's RC diocese there's everything from "charismatic Catholics", to liturgically Protestant low church Novus Ordo, to Solemn Tridentine Mass and Vespers.   
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 28, 2011, 10:32:29 PM
When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 28, 2011, 10:39:22 PM
Ah so now you really want to pick fights, okay then...

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.
So the Gospel is relative then, nobody can profess the Gospel accurately or truthfully.

Quote
lulz @ objective.
lulz @ relativism

Quote
These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.
Better be equipped with the facts than being stunned with the question "Well where did the Bible come from?" or "How can I trust your Bible?".

And just so you know we aren't dealing with people on this board who are merely people on the street so your comment is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

Quote
One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?
I got evangelized by "the confines of an LCD screen" and it happens all the time. For some people who are in depth with Church History, it's easier to pull up sources to support the argumentation on the differences between both churches.

Quote
How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

5 people so far, and that's all on message boards.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: xariskai on March 28, 2011, 10:43:47 PM
If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

You're quite right.  Many intelligent Protestant scholars have converted to Orthodoxy after reasonable and principled examination.  I apologize (and have apologized) for insinuating that "a great many" Protestants choose Orthodoxy because of anti-Catholic prejudice in some Protestant circles.  mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, ideo precor ...  I've served many Masses.  I can say the Confiteor in under nine seconds :-)
Thanks; I respect your retraction and your character for making it.


What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?
Doesn't happen because Orthodoxy exists in this mystical realm outside of human fallible logic.

Quote
And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

Nowhere in that post does he say ANYTHING about "intelligent converts"
Thanks Aposphet; that should be apparent to the careful reader.

And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?
It might have been if someone had suggested that. My point was that the presumption conversions to Orthodoxy surely indicate widespread unthinking prejudice is in play is inflammatory. I hadn't noticed that jordanz had kindly retracted earlier, so I will in turn apologize for beating down a dead horse on my own part ;-) -albeit in my defense it was in the OP  :D

Do intelligent converts adept at logic and history chose correctly -ipso facto? There are *intelligent* Latin Catholics, Orthodox, atheists, pantheists, and serial killers. Faith is a component of living mercy and divine disclosure directed toward a repentant heart, not simply the conclusion of a syllogism held by the Rationally Superior Man, nor is it the indication of a rationally inferior man (Jn 3:19-21). Triumphalist apologists, foundationalists, and verificationalists might suppose the former; over-confident atheists might suppose the latter. 'God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom" -1 Cor 1:21 There are those who rationally suppose they know God but don't, and others who might suppose rationally they don't know who are being drawn by the living God in all and through all things who is nearer to each of us than our own life.

(http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p52/sirhemlock/Fountain-1.jpg)
"Your fountain, Lord, is hidden from the person who does not thirst for You." -St. Ephrem the Syrian (Faith 32:2-3)

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." -1 Cor 2:14  

Conversion is a very personal issue that I tried to rationalize into an anthropological question.  I'm an academic, so everything in my world is rather unemotional and analytical.  Roman Catholicism is also very scholastic, abstract, rationalist, and legalist, so perhaps this is why I find Catholicism particularly compelling.
This is an interesting comment; I'm very academic as well, however the scholastic, abstract, rationalist, and legalist aspects are precisely why I find Latin Catholicism isn't compelling. I view it not only historiographically late (and that I regard it as an theological innovation is important), but building upon sand that has in large measure responsible for the likes of Protestantism and Atheism as counter-reactions to what I feel are overblown claims about the power of Rationality. We do not know God as a function of autonomous reason; no one can know God except insofar as they love Him, and their brother (1 Jn); even demons "knew" Jesus Christ was the Son of God; many modern critical historians claim to know darn well on the basis of Reason that He isn't. A Calvinist friend of mine gives the very same reason for why he finds Calvinism so compelling, it is "logical" -that appeals to him; he cannot fathom Barth's statement that systemetization is the enemy of true theology (also important in Eastern Christian mystical and apophatic theology). It is Reason that has led to a multitude of disparate though exegetically and logically grounded human certainties that seldom converge to much less than total chaos. It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on March 28, 2011, 10:51:24 PM
This is an interesting comment; I'm very academic as well, however the scholastic, abstract, rationalist, and legalist aspects are precisely why I find Latin Catholicism isn't compelling. I view it not only historiographically late (and that I regard it as an theological innovation is important), but building upon sand that has in large measure responsible for the likes of Protestantism and Atheism as counter-reactions to what I feel are overblown claims about the power of Rationality. We do not know God as a function of autonomous reason; no one can know God except insofar as they love Him, and their brother (1 Jn); even demons "knew" Jesus Christ was the Son of God; many modern critical historians claim to know darn well on the basis of Reason that He isn't. A Calvinist friend of mine gives the very same reason for why he finds Calvinism so compelling, it is "logical" -that appeals to him; he cannot fathom Barth's statement that systemetization is the enemy of true theology (also important in Eastern Christian mystical and apophatic theology). It is Reason that has led to a multitude of disparate though exegetically and logically grounded human certainties that seldom converge to much less than total chaos. It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

That answered my previous question on both of us holding to the same degree of the rejection of this flawed philosophy of holding reason alone and rationalism. Excellent post.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 28, 2011, 11:00:02 PM
Quote
lulz @ objective.
lulz @ relativism

*sigh* Keeping coming back.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: bogdan on March 28, 2011, 11:01:58 PM
When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. When you don't know any better, you don't search for more. But Protestants are often in a perpetual search of historicity and accuracy, and that is where they often find the Church.

So, don't knock people who are initially converted by historical arguments. It cannot stop there—it must grow into a love for the Church for what it is—but if that's what God can use to hook people, then it's good.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 28, 2011, 11:04:11 PM
When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. When you don't know any better, you don't search for more. But Protestants are often in a perpetual search of historicity and accuracy, and that is where they often find the Church.

So, don't knock people who are initially converted by historical arguments. It cannot stop there—it must grow into a love for the Church for what it is—but if that's what God can use to hook people, then it's good.

Didn't knock it. Tone and exclusivity is the point.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 28, 2011, 11:07:03 PM
The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. .

Couldn't agree more.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on March 28, 2011, 11:07:58 PM
I thought that True Church thread of ozgeorge did away with all these arguments?  ???  :P
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 28, 2011, 11:12:05 PM
It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: FormerReformer on March 28, 2011, 11:21:14 PM
It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  

A fairly recent thread to rid the last of that notion: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29606.0.html (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29606.0.html)

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: bogdan on March 28, 2011, 11:43:20 PM
When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. When you don't know any better, you don't search for more. But Protestants are often in a perpetual search of historicity and accuracy, and that is where they often find the Church.

So, don't knock people who are initially converted by historical arguments. It cannot stop there—it must grow into a love for the Church for what it is—but if that's what God can use to hook people, then it's good.

Didn't knock it. Tone and exclusivity is the point.

Fair enough. Apologies if I jumped to concussions.  :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: wynd on March 28, 2011, 11:52:50 PM
Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

You might have answered this in another post that I didn't see. Do you have access to a traditional RC parish?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 29, 2011, 12:25:26 AM
Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

You might have answered this in another post that I didn't see. Do you have access to a traditional RC parish?

Ever since I got my driver's license I stopped going to the Novus Ordo except on vacations and when I just couldn't avoid it.  Back where I'm originally from I had my pick of three or four (usually high) Latin Masses on Sunday, and weekday Low Masses also.  The only option I have here in my new place is the SSPX, and I'm not down with their prejudice.  Now I worship with the Ukrainian Greek Catholics.  I really miss Latin Mass though.  It is home for me.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 29, 2011, 07:26:43 AM
The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

It was huge for me.  As you note, we were converts, believers who were seeking the Church.  Once we had reason to look outside our own tradition, history was an enormous factor in settling such issues as Papal jurisdiction and prayer to the saints.  I can't overstate the impact studying Church history had on our conversion.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 29, 2011, 12:02:16 PM
Once we had reason to look outside our own tradition, history was an enormous factor in settling such issues as Papal jurisdiction and prayer to the saints. 

I understand that Westerners and Easterners pray for the intercession of the saints differently.  What is it about the Eastern understanding of intercession that drew you to Orthodoxy?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on March 29, 2011, 01:11:34 PM
Once we had reason to look outside our own tradition, history was an enormous factor in settling such issues as Papal jurisdiction and prayer to the saints. 

I understand that Westerners and Easterners pray for the intercession of the saints differently.  What is it about the Eastern understanding of intercession that drew you to Orthodoxy?

I don't know that it was a difference in understanding (I'm sure there is one, but I'm not articulate enough to state it).  I didn't mean history settled every issue in favor of Orthodoxy over and against Rome.  Obviously, Papal jurisdiction was settled that way, but prayer to the saints was more of an historical issue with the whole Church, and in fact the fact that both the Eastern and Western Churches hold to this practice was huge for me, as a Protestant.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 29, 2011, 02:22:41 PM
When I was a Catholic, nuns and priests often gave the following advice: "Do not try to be holier than the Pope."
That was the "mark" of a good Catholic.

In Orthodoxy, we are called to "put on Christ."
We are urged to cleanse our tarnished icon of Christ with our tears of repentance.

I grew up Catholic, but I never once heard "Do not try to be holier than the Pope" until 3 or 4 years ago, when I heard (well, read) it on an internet discussion forum.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 29, 2011, 02:29:48 PM
When I was a Catholic, nuns and priests often gave the following advice: "Do not try to be holier than the Pope."
That was the "mark" of a good Catholic.

In Orthodoxy, we are called to "put on Christ."
We are urged to cleanse our tarnished icon of Christ with our tears of repentance.

I grew up Catholic, but I never once heard "Do not try to be holier than the Pope" until 3 or 4 years ago, when I heard (well, read) it on an internet discussion forum.

I was under Cardinal Mahony at that time. He has since retired.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 29, 2011, 02:31:49 PM
While none of us, presumably, like to hear that sort of thing, sometimes it's necessary to hear it. (Of course, the Orthodox also don't like to hear criticisms of themselves, but that's beside the point.) With that in mind, I'd like to add a thought of my own what's already been said (by you and by others):


Sorry about the long post/rant/vent.  Sometimes I forget to take the Haldol on time.

No need to apologize. I'm glad you shared your concerns and criticisms.

I think that we modern RCs have too much of a tendency to define ourselves in terms of what we're not, for example, the-less-Protestant-you-are-the-more-Catholic-you-are mentality.

Not sure what you mean by this, Peter. 

I'm afraid I don't have good examples in mind.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 29, 2011, 02:39:52 PM
I was under Cardinal Mahony at that time. He has since retired.

OT: Did Cardinal Mahony ever have any semblance of normalcy during his episcopacy, or was he simply crazy whack from the beginning?  That bishop did more damage to American Catholicism than we'll ever know.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on March 29, 2011, 02:50:02 PM
It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  

At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 29, 2011, 02:54:19 PM
It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  

At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

I agree wholeheartedly!!  I am very close to any number of Catholics who were devastated by the changes coming out of the hijacking of the Second Vatican Council.   But these people have actually done something about it and in large part their untiring work within the boundaries of the canonical Church have begun to turn things around.  They did not waste time pooping in their own nest.

I think perhaps Jordon needs a cool change!

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 29, 2011, 02:58:42 PM
I was under Cardinal Mahony at that time. He has since retired.

OT: Did Cardinal Mahony ever have any semblance of normalcy during his episcopacy, or was he simply crazy whack from the beginning?  That bishop did more damage to American Catholicism than we'll ever know.

Under Cardinal Mahony's reign, I knew a quite a few Catholics who joined the Orthodox Church.

Roger Cardinal Mahony actually told me to stay at home and pray because I was allergic to the lemon scented air conditioner filters that permeated all of his parishes. He told me that someone had graciously donated the funds for all these lemon scented filters, and that he was not about to offend that person, so I joined the Melkite Church where no such filters were used. The Priest at the Melkite Greek Catholic Church said that the lemon scent would interfere with the incense, so I would not find such a filter in his church. If a person were to ask about making a donation toward scented filters, he would suggest that they donate a pound of incense instead. When I visited an Orthodox Church, they did not use these filters either.

Ultimately, it was the joke about change that started me on my journey toward Orthodoxy:

Q: How many Orthodox Christians are needed to change a light bulb?
A: Change, what is this word "change?"


Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 29, 2011, 03:04:17 PM

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there. About one month later, I told him that our family would like to be received as catechumens.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 29, 2011, 03:07:31 PM
At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

This is a very good point.  I once knew a man who is a political refugee from Iraq.  He greatly misses Iraq.  Living in Canada is just not the same as his homeland and birthplace.  However, as a Canadian citizen he's free to express himself, worship according to his conscience, go to university, and build the life he'd like to live.  That doesn't take away the pain of exile, but he'll be the first to tell you that he's glad that Canada has given him a safe home.

Maybe I'll eventually view Orthodoxy that way.  No, it's not my Roman birthplace.  It may never be familiar to me.  It might well be where I need to go to serve God and be conformed to Him through theosis.  Maybe, like my friend, I need to take refuge in a foreign place for my own (spiritual) safety and well-being.     
   
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 29, 2011, 03:13:10 PM
At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

This is a very good point.  I once knew a man who is a political refugee from Iraq.  He greatly misses Iraq.  Living in Canada is just not the same as his homeland and birthplace.  However, as a Canadian citizen he's free to express himself, worship according to his conscience, go to university, and build the life he'd like to live.  That doesn't take away the pain of exile, but he'll be the first to tell you that he's glad that Canada has given him a safe home.

Maybe I'll eventually view Orthodoxy that way.  No, it's not my Roman birthplace.  It may never be familiar to me.  It might well be where I need to go to serve God and be conformed to Him through theosis.  Maybe, like my friend, I need to take refuge in a foreign place for my own (spiritual) safety and well-being.      
  

I had a good Catholic friend who converted to Orthodoxy with me. She always viewed herself as a refugee.
Later, she joined a schismatic Traditional Catholic Church under Bishop Sebastian in Los Angeles.
When this renegade bishop upset a lot of parishioners, she left that church and went somewhere else.
As far as I know, she is still searching.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 29, 2011, 03:28:11 PM
At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

This is a very good point.  I once knew a man who is a political refugee from Iraq.  He greatly misses Iraq.  Living in Canada is just not the same as his homeland and birthplace.  However, as a Canadian citizen he's free to express himself, worship according to his conscience, go to university, and build the life he'd like to live.  That doesn't take away the pain of exile, but he'll be the first to tell you that he's glad that Canada has given him a safe home.

Maybe I'll eventually view Orthodoxy that way.  No, it's not my Roman birthplace.  It may never be familiar to me.  It might well be where I need to go to serve God and be conformed to Him through theosis.  Maybe, like my friend, I need to take refuge in a foreign place for my own (spiritual) safety and well-being.      
  

I had a good Catholic friend who converted to Orthodoxy with me. She always viewed herself as a refugee.
Later, she joined a schismatic Traditional Catholic Church under Bishop Sebastian in Los Angeles.
When this renegade bishop upset a lot of parishioners, she left that church and went somewhere else.
As far as I know, she is still searching.

There are two, at least two, excellent lessons to be found in your story and in your friend's story.  Thanks very much for sharing them here.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on March 29, 2011, 04:16:03 PM
for me it was the history, and the doctrine.
i once asked a catholic priest if i could become catholic if i believed only 95% of the doctrine.
he was horrified. i tried explaining that only 1 or 2 of his parishioners we more catholic than i was, but he didn't buy it!
i found that in the orthodox church i could accept 100% of the doctrine.
that's what nailed it for me, even as a protestant i struggled to accept all the doctrines (especially as there were so many 'flavours'!).

by the way the british orthodox church has some awesome plainchant.
i think you can find some on you tube if you search under 'british orthodox'.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 29, 2011, 07:05:00 PM
Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there.

I think what that priest said makes a lot of sense.

But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 29, 2011, 07:07:45 PM
Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there.

I think what that priest said makes a lot of sense.

But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?

I am curious about what you mean by "in good conscience"?

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Kasatkin fan on March 29, 2011, 09:15:27 PM
Growing up a Protestant, schooled by Protestants my issues with the Roman Catholic Church were things such as the worship of Mary and the saints, refusal to rely on the Word of God, and the suppression of individual revelation. (I put them in the most polemical language because that is how I would have phrased it)

Anyone who spends two minutes looking at the Orthodox Church will see these exact same things. While I admit that I also had an issue with the Office of Pope, if one can set aside everything else, that shouldn't be hard either.

For myself personally I rejected protestantism several years before I even attended an Orthodox service. Both faiths were certainly on equal ground when I started looking at the Early Church.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 30, 2011, 02:01:10 AM
Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there.

I think what that priest said makes a lot of sense.

But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?

I am curious about what you mean by "in good conscience"?



Ask your priest.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 09:47:18 AM
Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there.

I think what that priest said makes a lot of sense.

But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?

I am curious about what you mean by "in good conscience"?



Ask your priest.

Thank you, Maria dear.  I do know what the Church means by a good or well formed conscience, and what the Church means when she asks for an ascent of faith with regard to teachings.  

I also know that we are human and much of what we believe, in terms of Church teaching,  we truly do not understand and many who might say that they do are gnostic, prelest, an outright liar or some other negative state of being with respect to theology and the spiritual life.

No.   If I wanted to understand what my Church teaches I would not have asked here.

I really am trying to understand what Peter is meaning in his note.


Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 30, 2011, 11:10:27 AM
elijahmaria, I'm afraid I'm not sure what you're asking either. As you indicated in your last post, "in good conscience" is a fairly well established and commonly used phrase. So ...
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 11:17:41 AM
But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?

Since you say that you use the Church's understanding of a well formed Catholic conscience here, I don't understand how you can even suggest that someone with a well-formed conscience would have difficulty receiving communion in either instance.

But since you do suggest the possibility, then I have to wonder what you mean by "in good conscience"....
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 30, 2011, 11:59:23 AM
But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?

Since you say that you use the Church's understanding of a well formed Catholic conscience here, I don't understand how you can even suggest that someone with a well-formed conscience would have difficulty receiving communion in either instance.

But since you do suggest the possibility, then I have to wonder what you mean by "in good conscience"....

Ah. So essentially you wanted to slam anyone who feels that they cannot, in good conscience, receive communion in the Catholic Church, or a subset of it.

Not to sound like a broken record, but do remember that it's lent.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 12:11:02 PM
But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?

Since you say that you use the Church's understanding of a well formed Catholic conscience here, I don't understand how you can even suggest that someone with a well-formed conscience would have difficulty receiving communion in either instance.

But since you do suggest the possibility, then I have to wonder what you mean by "in good conscience"....

Ah. So essentially you wanted to slam anyone who feels that they cannot, in good conscience, receive communion in the Catholic Church, or a subset of it.

Not to sound like a broken record, but do remember that it's lent.

Please don't use these bully tactics. This has been a very good discussion topic.  I have not "slammed" anyone.  I am asking you a question which either cannot answer or choose not to answer.

The point remains that a fully formed Catholic conscience, as defined by the Church [which is where you directed me for my understanding of your point] would not have difficulty receiving communion at either parish because they would understand that Donatism is a heresy, and that both liturgies are approved by the Church as valid forms of liturgical and eucharistic action.

So again:  what do YOU mean when you use the phrase "in good conscience"?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 30, 2011, 12:51:21 PM
You are being ridiculous.

1. I didn't use "bully tactics". You did.


2.
The point remains that a fully formed Catholic conscience, as defined by the Church [which is where you directed me for my understanding of your point] ...

When?

So again:  what do YOU mean when you use the phrase "in good conscience"?

3. Sorry, I'm not taking the bait.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 12:55:17 PM
You are being ridiculous.

1. I didn't use "bully tactics". You did.

I don't think I am bullying you.  I think you are avoiding me.  That's ok.  We both know the answer in any event.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 01:03:23 PM
For those who might be confused: 

Using the Church's definition of a well formed Catholic conscience, if I attend a liturgy in the Roman rite that is said according to the rubrics and is reverential, then I cannot justify not receiving communion simply because I do not believe the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy.    That is not proper exercise of "in good conscience."  There is always an element of obedience in the exercise of a well formed Catholic conscience.

However if I attend a liturgy that is clearly not being celebrated according to the rubrics and is not reverential then it is objectively obvious that I am at a liturgy that is neither licit nor is it valid.  I have every obligation, exercising a well formed Catholic conscience, to walk out of that liturgy and make the report to the bishop, unless it is the bishop celebrating and then my letter goes to the appropriate curial offices and to the office of the Holy Father.

So it is important to know what is meant when someone says "in good conscience".

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jnorm888 on March 30, 2011, 01:28:43 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".  

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation.  

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.



 It's not hard to find the East being right when one looks at the 1054 A.D. issue.

But as for myself, back when I first started reading the Fathers way back in 1997/1998 I naturally saw a connection a fluid continuity with Eastern Orthodoxy. And so I tried to become Orthodox way back then. It never happened, and so I was side tracked to something else:
http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/index.html (http://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/index.html) (I was into them from 1997/1998 to about 2003)

and

http://stbrendanship.homestead.com/files/convergence2.htm (http://stbrendanship.homestead.com/files/convergence2.htm) (convergence movement) (I was into them from 1997/1998 to about September of 2006)


And I was officially Anglo-Catholic from 2003 to about when I was Chrismated as Orthodox.....which was in April of 2007


But in 1997/1998 the group I was into strongly advocated the Septuagint Scriptures. They also strongly advocated the pre-Nicene view of the Trinity. These two influences alone helped me to eventually look East again. You see, I knew that it would be extremely difficult to become Roman Catholic if I believed in the view of the Trinity that was more in line with Orthodox Christianity. Why become Roman Catholic if it would be easier to hold to an Orthodox view of the Trinity. That transition was a whole lot easier. Also, why be Roman Catholic when the Orthodox strongly advocate the Septuagint?

Also, why become Roman Catholic when the Orthodox are alot closer to the ethos, thought and practice of the early church? My mind was already closer to the East. I knew that I would have to constantly argue if I was Roman Catholic. I would have to argue in defense of Orthodox beliefs! No! I was tired of arguing, I was tired of fighting. I wanted to rest. I wanted a place to lay my head. A place to sleep.........a place to defend Orthodoxy without me ever trying or wanting to do so.

I became Orthodox, because I knew I was already closer to them than to Rome, and I didn't feel like constantly defending Orthodox Christian beliefs in Rome.  That would give anyone ulcers. Why would I want the stress?

No, I found rest here. I am happy here.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 30, 2011, 02:05:21 PM
I think you are avoiding me. 

There are some times when it is better to simply not engage.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 02:23:18 PM
I think you are avoiding me. 

There are some times when it is better to simply not engage.

Then you should have said that rather than falsely accusing me of trying to bully anyone.  But we live and learn.

I believe I have clarified my interest in your words here:

For those who might be confused:

Using the Church's definition of a well formed Catholic conscience, if I attend a liturgy in the Roman rite that is said according to the rubrics and is reverential, then I cannot justify not receiving communion simply because I do not believe the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy.    That is not proper exercise of "in good conscience."  There is always an element of obedience in the exercise of a well formed Catholic conscience.

However if I attend a liturgy that is clearly not being celebrated according to the rubrics and is not reverential then it is objectively obvious that I am at a liturgy that is neither licit nor is it valid.  I have every obligation, exercising a well formed Catholic conscience, to walk out of that liturgy and make the report to the bishop, unless it is the bishop celebrating and then my letter goes to the appropriate curial offices and to the office of the Holy Father.

So it is important to know what is meant when someone says "in good conscience".
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 02:24:25 PM

I became Orthodox, because I knew I was already closer to them than to Rome, and I didn't feel like constantly defending Orthodox Christian beliefs in Rome.  That would give anyone ulcers. Why would I want the stress?

No, I found rest here. I am happy here.

 :) One man's chore is another man's blessing!!  :)

But truly I am happy you have found peace!!
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on March 30, 2011, 03:04:27 PM
Then you should have said that rather than falsely accusing me of trying to bully anyone.

As I said on an earlier occasion, I'm not taking the bait.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 30, 2011, 03:50:24 PM
Because they don't agree with Roman Doctrine. It's not just about a Latin-Rite mass, it's about doctrine. Protestants who convert to Orthodoxy don't agree with Catholic doctrine.

...Ever think that it has nothing to do with not wanting to be Catholic and everything to do with not wanting to join a group whose doctrine you don't agree with?

...Many Protestant converts to Orthodoxy do explore the Roman Catholic Church before being chrismated; but once they read up on the history and beliefs of the Orthodox Church, and realize that we have remained unchanged in belief and doctrine since Pentecost (something Rome can't claim), they usually are happy to become Orthodox.

I wasn't evangelical but I was Protestant, and that last is exactly what happened. I started to read Christian history, and was astonished by what I found out about, for example, papal infallibility and the change in the filioque.
It would have actually made more "practical sense" to become Roman Catholic, since my husband was one, but, as handmaiden says, how could I join a group whose beliefs I did not share?
Most Orthodox, in my purely personal observation and experience (YMMV, of course) are not anti-Catholic or mad at the RCC. We just don't believe the same things, and it's silly to pretend otherwise.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on March 30, 2011, 07:34:43 PM

I wasn't evangelical but I was Protestant, and that last is exactly what happened. I started to read Christian history, and was astonished by what I found out about, for example, papal infallibility and the change in the filioque.
It would have actually made more "practical sense" to become Roman Catholic, since my husband was one, but, as handmaiden says, how could I join a group whose beliefs I did not share?
Most Orthodox, in my purely personal observation and experience (YMMV, of course) are not anti-Catholic or mad at the RCC. We just don't believe the same things, and it's silly to pretend otherwise.

Very well stated.

Those of us who converted from Roman Catholicism to Eastern Orthodoxy are also at home in Orthodoxy once we have moved beyond Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility. Once the issue of Papal powers is resolved, then the rest falls in place.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 30, 2011, 10:20:11 PM
For those who might be confused: 

Using the Church's definition of a well formed Catholic conscience, if I attend a liturgy in the Roman rite that is said according to the rubrics and is reverential, then I cannot justify not receiving communion simply because I do not believe the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy.    That is not proper exercise of "in good conscience."  There is always an element of obedience in the exercise of a well formed Catholic conscience.

However if I attend a liturgy that is clearly not being celebrated according to the rubrics and is not reverential then it is objectively obvious that I am at a liturgy that is neither licit nor is it valid.  I have every obligation, exercising a well formed Catholic conscience, to walk out of that liturgy and make the report to the bishop, unless it is the bishop celebrating and then my letter goes to the appropriate curial offices and to the office of the Holy Father.

So it is important to know what is meant when someone says "in good conscience".



I remember my stay with the Jesuits that they said if the Priest was a Muslim cleric in disguise and didn't celebrate anything properly but the "laity" truly thought they were communing, then in fact they would be or at least not taking part in something to their condemnation.

Am I wrong?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 30, 2011, 10:24:02 PM
Not to sound like a broken record, but do remember that it's lent.

I dunno about bullying, but sin of piety much?

I thinks she knows it's Lent and you are not a mod to be shepherding the tone nor the content of the discussion one way or the other.

And if you don't want to sound like a broken record, then don't repeat yourself.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 30, 2011, 10:36:44 PM
For those who might be confused: 

Using the Church's definition of a well formed Catholic conscience, if I attend a liturgy in the Roman rite that is said according to the rubrics and is reverential, then I cannot justify not receiving communion simply because I do not believe the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy.    That is not proper exercise of "in good conscience."  There is always an element of obedience in the exercise of a well formed Catholic conscience.

However if I attend a liturgy that is clearly not being celebrated according to the rubrics and is not reverential then it is objectively obvious that I am at a liturgy that is neither licit nor is it valid.  I have every obligation, exercising a well formed Catholic conscience, to walk out of that liturgy and make the report to the bishop, unless it is the bishop celebrating and then my letter goes to the appropriate curial offices and to the office of the Holy Father.

So it is important to know what is meant when someone says "in good conscience".



I remember my stay with the Jesuits that they said if the Priest was a Muslim cleric in disguise and didn't celebrate anything properly but the "laity" truly thought they were communing, then in fact they would be or at least not taking part in something to their condemnation.

Am I wrong?

These particular Jesuits were out to lunch.  Yes.  I've heard the same thing.  Doesn't matter the source it is wrong.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 30, 2011, 10:40:20 PM
For those who might be confused: 

Using the Church's definition of a well formed Catholic conscience, if I attend a liturgy in the Roman rite that is said according to the rubrics and is reverential, then I cannot justify not receiving communion simply because I do not believe the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy.    That is not proper exercise of "in good conscience."  There is always an element of obedience in the exercise of a well formed Catholic conscience.

However if I attend a liturgy that is clearly not being celebrated according to the rubrics and is not reverential then it is objectively obvious that I am at a liturgy that is neither licit nor is it valid.  I have every obligation, exercising a well formed Catholic conscience, to walk out of that liturgy and make the report to the bishop, unless it is the bishop celebrating and then my letter goes to the appropriate curial offices and to the office of the Holy Father.

So it is important to know what is meant when someone says "in good conscience".



I remember my stay with the Jesuits that they said if the Priest was a Muslim cleric in disguise and didn't celebrate anything properly but the "laity" truly thought they were communing, then in fact they would be or at least not taking part in something to their condemnation.

Am I wrong?

These particular Jesuits were out to lunch.  Yes.  I've heard the same thing.  Doesn't matter the source it is wrong.

So what is the deal, if I pretend to be a RC Priest (I can look the part at times) and pull off a Mass successfully? What happened during the Communion and to the Communicates?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on March 30, 2011, 10:41:15 PM
For those who might be confused: 

Using the Church's definition of a well formed Catholic conscience, if I attend a liturgy in the Roman rite that is said according to the rubrics and is reverential, then I cannot justify not receiving communion simply because I do not believe the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy.    That is not proper exercise of "in good conscience."  There is always an element of obedience in the exercise of a well formed Catholic conscience.

However if I attend a liturgy that is clearly not being celebrated according to the rubrics and is not reverential then it is objectively obvious that I am at a liturgy that is neither licit nor is it valid.  I have every obligation, exercising a well formed Catholic conscience, to walk out of that liturgy and make the report to the bishop, unless it is the bishop celebrating and then my letter goes to the appropriate curial offices and to the office of the Holy Father.

So it is important to know what is meant when someone says "in good conscience".



I remember my stay with the Jesuits that they said if the Priest was a Muslim cleric in disguise and didn't celebrate anything properly but the "laity" truly thought they were communing, then in fact they would be or at least not taking part in something to their condemnation.

Am I wrong?

These particular Jesuits were out to lunch.  Yes.  I've heard the same thing.  Doesn't matter the source it is wrong.

So what is the deal, if I pretend to be a RC Priest (I can look the part at times) and pull off a Mass successfully? What happened during the Communion and to the Communicates?

You can see I am potential RC convert, given my inclination to absurd hypotheticals ;)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on March 31, 2011, 09:28:42 AM
Those of us who converted from Roman Catholicism to Eastern Orthodoxy are also at home in Orthodoxy once we have moved beyond Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility. Once the issue of Papal powers is resolved, then the rest falls in place.

My husband says that he feels like he found the "real Catholic Church" in Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jordanz on March 31, 2011, 10:35:42 AM
So what is the deal, if I pretend to be a RC Priest (I can look the part at times) and pull off a Mass successfully? What happened during the Communion and to the Communicates?

In Romanthink, layperson simulation of the sacraments is not only latae sententiae (automatic excommunication) but also a sin that might only be absolved with the permission of the Holy See.  That is, the excommunication cannot be lifted until the ordinary receives explicit instruction from Rome to absolve a layperson who has simulated a sacrament. 

Since you are Orthodox you would not be excommunicated of course, but perhaps your spiritual advisor might find your faux-Mass troubling.

From Rome's standpoint, a canonical Orthodox priest who says the Roman Mass celebrates a valid Mass.  As for Catholics hearing this Mass and receiving Communion: the Mass is "illicit", and probably wouldn't fulfill the Sunday obligation.  Still, I suspect that it would not be a sin to for a Catholic to receive Communion at this Mass if he or she is properly disposed to do so.  After all, it is the Holy Sacrifice, which is pure grace for souls.  Could Orthodox receive at this Mass?  Dunno, especially if the Roman Canon is said without a Byzantine epiclesis.

Get your ordination on and you can trinate votives, for all Rome cares.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on March 31, 2011, 10:41:24 AM
For those who might be confused: 

Using the Church's definition of a well formed Catholic conscience, if I attend a liturgy in the Roman rite that is said according to the rubrics and is reverential, then I cannot justify not receiving communion simply because I do not believe the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy.    That is not proper exercise of "in good conscience."  There is always an element of obedience in the exercise of a well formed Catholic conscience.

However if I attend a liturgy that is clearly not being celebrated according to the rubrics and is not reverential then it is objectively obvious that I am at a liturgy that is neither licit nor is it valid.  I have every obligation, exercising a well formed Catholic conscience, to walk out of that liturgy and make the report to the bishop, unless it is the bishop celebrating and then my letter goes to the appropriate curial offices and to the office of the Holy Father.

So it is important to know what is meant when someone says "in good conscience".



I remember my stay with the Jesuits that they said if the Priest was a Muslim cleric in disguise and didn't celebrate anything properly but the "laity" truly thought they were communing, then in fact they would be or at least not taking part in something to their condemnation.

Am I wrong?

These particular Jesuits were out to lunch.  Yes.  I've heard the same thing.  Doesn't matter the source it is wrong.

So what is the deal, if I pretend to be a RC Priest (I can look the part at times) and pull off a Mass successfully? What happened during the Communion and to the Communicates?

Now that I've read Jordan's exposition on Romanthink, I expect that anything that I would have to say, short of being more lurid, would be a dead bore  :)

Sometimes it is better just to watch.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Contarini on April 01, 2011, 02:25:26 PM
for me it was the history, and the doctrine.
i once asked a catholic priest if i could become catholic if i believed only 95% of the doctrine.
he was horrified. i tried explaining that only 1 or 2 of his parishioners we more catholic than i was, but he didn't buy it!
i found that in the orthodox church i could accept 100% of the doctrine.


This is an issue for me as well. Though I wonder if he would have reacted differently if you said, "Can I become Catholic while accepting only those dogmas accepted by the Orthodox?" The way you put it sounds as if you're just picking and choosing.

I have thought of going to a Catholic priest and asking the above question, myself.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on April 01, 2011, 05:56:08 PM
for me it was the history, and the doctrine.
i once asked a catholic priest if i could become catholic if i believed only 95% of the doctrine.
he was horrified. i tried explaining that only 1 or 2 of his parishioners we more catholic than i was, but he didn't buy it!
i found that in the orthodox church i could accept 100% of the doctrine.


This is an issue for me as well. Though I wonder if he would have reacted differently if you said, "Can I become Catholic while accepting only those dogmas accepted by the Orthodox?"

Very possibly he would have.

But doesn't that strike as a very strange question to ask in any case? (As, conversely "Can I become Orthodox while accepting those dogmas accepted by Catholics?" would be a strange thing to ask.)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on April 01, 2011, 09:38:17 PM
for me it was the history, and the doctrine.
i once asked a catholic priest if i could become catholic if i believed only 95% of the doctrine.
he was horrified. i tried explaining that only 1 or 2 of his parishioners we more catholic than i was, but he didn't buy it!
i found that in the orthodox church i could accept 100% of the doctrine.


This is an issue for me as well. Though I wonder if he would have reacted differently if you said, "Can I become Catholic while accepting only those dogmas accepted by the Orthodox?"

Very possibly he would have.

But doesn't that strike as a very strange question to ask in any case? (As, conversely "Can I become Orthodox while accepting those dogmas accepted by Catholics?" would be a strange thing to ask.)

That has happened. I know several Catholics who did not want to renounce their beliefs in Catholic dogmas, yet they wanted to become Orthodox because they did not like all the changes in the Mass. Because of questions like this, the Orthodox Priest replied that inquirers from certain Protestant denominations are more docile and open to Orthodoxy. Therefore, these protestant converts usually had a much shorter catechumenate whereas Catholic converts could spend as long as three years studying Orthodoxy, acquiring her ethos, and trying to live the faith.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on April 02, 2011, 10:19:50 AM
So what is the deal, if I pretend to be a RC Priest (I can look the part at times) and pull off a Mass successfully? What happened during the Communion and to the Communicates?

In Romanthink, layperson simulation of the sacraments is not only latae sententiae (automatic excommunication) but also a sin that might only be absolved with the permission of the Holy See.  That is, the excommunication cannot be lifted until the ordinary receives explicit instruction from Rome to absolve a layperson who has simulated a sacrament. 

Since you are Orthodox you would not be excommunicated of course, but perhaps your spiritual advisor might find your faux-Mass troubling.

jordanz, there are a couple things that I take issue with in your post. I've been debating with myself whether it's worth getting into them, but here goes ...

For one thing, that last sentence quoted above strikes me as awfully presumptuous. I'm willing to take your word for it that an Orthodox person would not be excommunicated for said crime; but by saying "of course" you make it sound like the Orthodox Church never excommunicates anyone (or even like they can't do so). Or perhaps you just meant to say "of course you would not be excommunicated by the Catholic Church".

Then there's the matter of:

From Rome's standpoint, a canonical Orthodox priest who says the Roman Mass celebrates a valid Mass.  As for Catholics hearing this Mass and receiving Communion: the Mass is "illicit"

This claim has been made many times on various internet fora, that the Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be illicit, but I never yet gotten anyone of the posters to show me where the Catholic Church made that statement -- and not for lacking of asking. Can you? (Note: I'm not saying you're wrong -- I admit I don't have any evidence to show that the RCC has not made such a statement. But I think that if you're going around claiming that she has said that, you should be able to back it up.)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on April 02, 2011, 12:41:48 PM

This claim has been made many times on various internet fora, that the Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be illicit, but I never yet gotten anyone of the posters to show me where the Catholic Church made that statement -- and not for lacking of asking. Can you? (Note: I'm not saying you're wrong -- I admit I don't have any evidence to show that the RCC has not made such a statement. But I think that if you're going around claiming that she has said that, you should be able to back it up.)

I agree with you here Peter.  In fact I have said in other threads that it makes no sense for the Catholic Church to say anything about legal aspects of anything outside of their own traditional canonical jurisdiction, which is tied directly to the western code of canon law.  You won't even see anything come out of the Vatican concerning the eastern Catholic Churches that says one word about "licit" anything, since those Churches have their own code of canons.

So the assertion that the Orthodox liturgies and sacraments are valid but illicit, according to the Vatican,  is simply a canonical absurdity.

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Father H on April 02, 2011, 02:08:49 PM
This claim has been made many times on various internet fora, that the Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be illicit, but I never yet gotten anyone of the posters to show me where the Catholic Church made that statement -- and not for lacking of asking. Can you? (Note: I'm not saying you're wrong -- I admit I don't have any evidence to show that the RCC has not made such a statement. But I think that if you're going around claiming that she has said that, you should be able to back it up.)
I agree with you here Peter.  In fact I have said in other threads that it makes no sense for the Catholic Church to say anything about legal aspects of anything outside of their own traditional canonical jurisdiction, which is tied directly to the western code of canon law.  You won't even see anything come out of the Vatican concerning the eastern Catholic Churches that says one word about "licit" anything, since those Churches have their own code of canons.So the assertion that the Orthodox liturgies and sacraments are valid but illicit, according to the Vatican,  is simply a canonical absurdity.
I agree although I have seen the claim, have found nothing in terms of evidence for the claim
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on April 02, 2011, 02:30:03 PM
This claim has been made many times on various internet fora, that the Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be illicit, but I never yet gotten anyone of the posters to show me where the Catholic Church made that statement -- and not for lacking of asking. Can you? (Note: I'm not saying you're wrong -- I admit I don't have any evidence to show that the RCC has not made such a statement. But I think that if you're going around claiming that she has said that, you should be able to back it up.)
I agree with you here Peter.  In fact I have said in other threads that it makes no sense for the Catholic Church to say anything about legal aspects of anything outside of their own traditional canonical jurisdiction, which is tied directly to the western code of canon law.  You won't even see anything come out of the Vatican concerning the eastern Catholic Churches that says one word about "licit" anything, since those Churches have their own code of canons.So the assertion that the Orthodox liturgies and sacraments are valid but illicit, according to the Vatican,  is simply a canonical absurdity.
I agree although I have seen the claim, have found nothing in terms of evidence for the claim

Not to put too fine or final a point on any conclusion of this line of reasoning but it seems to me that this is where our respective hierarchs begin when laying out the jurisdictional lines should there be a resumption of communion...which is why it is so important for Orthodoxy to get their own internal lines in order first.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on April 03, 2011, 02:23:12 PM
hi, contarini,
what orthodox doctrines do you agree with/ disagree with and why?
would you like to discuss it?
i had very patient orthodox friends and priests who explained everything to me, using the Bible as the principle source.
when i saw how much their loved the Bible, i became serious about becoming orthodox.

so far, 100% of the doctrine makes sense! so i became orthodox, not catholic.
eg. ezekiel 44:2 (the closed gate) is a picture of saint mary's womb. so she had to be always a virgin, and it is correct to venerate her (think highly of her and love her) as the ever-virgin mother of God as God Himself took flesh in her womb.

catholics think this too, but they took it further to say she had to be conceived in some special way. we believe she was a normal human, just a really devout, kind, pure, lovely one.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on April 03, 2011, 02:31:30 PM
catholics think this too, but they took it further to say she had to be conceived in some special way. we believe she was a normal human, just a really devout, kind, pure, lovely one.

I bet most Orthodox would agree she was conceived in a uncommon way. Her conception was "immaculate". It is the reasons for the belief the RCs give which are unOrthodox, not the "special" nature of her conception.

I nearly would say her conception unique; however, I've heard Orthodox hold John the Forerunner's conception to be as uncorrupted by sin (lust, carnal desire, etc. as the Virgin Mary's).
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on April 03, 2011, 03:52:34 PM
catholics think this too, but they took it further to say she had to be conceived in some special way. we believe she was a normal human, just a really devout, kind, pure, lovely one.

I bet most Orthodox would agree she was conceived in a uncommon way. Her conception was "immaculate". It is the reasons for the belief the RCs give which are unOrthodox, not the "special" nature of her conception.

I'm glad you said that, I was a little puzzled by mabsoota's statement.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on April 03, 2011, 04:40:05 PM
as far as i know, only the catholics (and lots of protestants) believe in saint augustine's doctrine of original sin.
in the oriental orthodox churches we believe we inherited mortality, not sin, from adam.
i thought the EO churches believed the same, maybe i am wrong (i am primarily here to learn).

it's because of the doctrine of inherited sin, that those who believe that way must say that saint mary had some special conception where she got to avoid inheriting the original sin.

of course, her birth and life are special, she is the most special woman ever.
may her prayers be with us all.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on April 03, 2011, 05:04:15 PM
I always though that Purgatory was a hopeful doctrine (is it any more or less hopeful than the Final Theosis?  What's the difference, really?) but I'm not going to belabor the point.  

Out of curiosity, what is "Final Theosis"? I've not heard of that term before--leastwise, as far as I can remember.

See
http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Purgatory
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on April 03, 2011, 05:04:24 PM
as far as i know, only the catholics (and lots of protestants) believe in saint augustine's doctrine of original sin.
in the oriental orthodox churches we believe we inherited mortality, not sin, from adam.
i thought the EO churches believed the same, maybe i am wrong (i am primarily here to learn).

it's because of the doctrine of inherited sin, that those who believe that way must say that saint mary had some special conception where she got to avoid inheriting the original sin.

of course, her birth and life are special, she is the most special woman ever.
may her prayers be with us all.

I made no mention of original sin. Again, that is the heresy the RCs created which they had to fix with their theology of IC.

The Orthodox view as I have read, heard, and understand it is what I stated above in a very simplistic form. Through the work of generations in submission to God to varying degrees of success a couple were produced who were capable of creating a child in a sexual embrace free of sin.

This however didn't make Mary free of sin as such, but like her generations she worked out her relationship with God in a day to day manner in such a way that she could assent to being the Bearer and Mother of God which invariably means she didn't sin in any grave manner.

Nothing magical or mysterious. As it has been said: the Theotokos ain't the Great Exception, she is the Great Example.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on April 03, 2011, 05:07:47 PM
as far as i know, only the catholics (and lots of protestants) believe in saint augustine's doctrine of original sin.
in the oriental orthodox churches we believe we inherited mortality, not sin, from adam.
i thought the EO churches believed the same, maybe i am wrong (i am primarily here to learn).

I don't want to speaks for them, but what you just said sounds like what I've heard from EOs.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on April 03, 2011, 05:14:00 PM
I always though that Purgatory was a hopeful doctrine (is it any more or less hopeful than the Final Theosis?  What's the difference, really?) but I'm not going to belabor the point.  

Out of curiosity, what is "Final Theosis"? I've not heard of that term before--leastwise, as far as I can remember.

See
http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Purgatory

Ahh, thank you :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: orthonorm on April 03, 2011, 05:20:08 PM
as far as i know, only the catholics (and lots of protestants) believe in saint augustine's doctrine of original sin.
in the oriental orthodox churches we believe we inherited mortality, not sin, from adam.
i thought the EO churches believed the same, maybe i am wrong (i am primarily here to learn).

I don't want to speaks for them, but what you just said sounds like what I've heard from EOs.

Original sin and ancestral ain't the same. But to separate death from sin is utterly unBiblical.

Sin in not necessarily an act per se. The state of the natural order is a product of the fall. People are not to die in earthquakes and the like. Babies ain't to be born with cancer. We ain't to be born with certain proclivities (prolepses) toward lust, homosexuality, alcoholism, anger, etc. and we are.

How we respond to those inherited conditions as the result of the fall is another thing all together.

We carry the entire humanity of our genealogies with us. The dualism of infused spirits and the like is unChristian.

Remember Seth was made in the image and likeness of Adam. The story of Old Covenant to Mary is the working out in flesh and blood (and that is to say "spirit" as well) of a people to produce a woman capable of assenting and working with God to bear His Son.

There was no need to God to clean up the sinfulness of sex ahead of time to prepare the way for Mary.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Maria on April 03, 2011, 05:29:32 PM
I think that the EO Church originally taught that Original Sin was passed down to us.

Check the church fathers.

Anyway, there was an interesting debate between an old retired Greek Orthodox Priest and a new graduate from Holy Cross Seminary. The older priest was taught that Original Sin is passed down, but the new priest was taught that only the Ancestral Curse affected us.

Perhaps this should be discussed in another thread. Any links?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shiny on April 03, 2011, 10:40:24 PM
Sex is sinful? I'd argue against that.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Contarini on April 04, 2011, 12:46:20 PM
hi, contarini,
what orthodox doctrines do you agree with/ disagree with and why?

Like many Anglo-Catholics, I accept the teachings of the "Undivided Church" (i.e., the Catholic/Orthodox Church of the first millennium). I further accept the Orthodox claim that no doctrinal developments in their Church since the Schism have compromised their adherents to those teachings, and I accept the East rather than the West as the best interpreter of those teachings.

The only major point on which I differ with Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy's understanding of the Church. I hold to a "baptismal ecclesiology" in which all who are baptized in water in the name of the Trinity belong to the Church in some sense. I am not sure that this is necessarily incompatible with Orthodoxy, but most Orthodox language about the non-Orthodox seems to presuppose the falsity of such a position. Furthermore, whether the position is compatible with Orthodoxy or not, my ecclesiology makes me very unwilling to abandon the congregation to which I belong (and further spurn the two RC churches in my town) and drive nearly 30 miles to an Orthodox church. Obviously I have personal reasons for this unwillingness as well, but it is a theological issue. I believe that the Body of Christ is present in my town and I am not going to abandon it. If I were to move to a place where there was an Orthodox parish in my immediate vicinity, I would at least consider joining it--but I'd have to be honest with the priest about my reasons for not becoming Orthodox sooner, and he might find this a reason to refuse me (or he might convince me to change my mind--you are welcome to try this also!).

I also have historical problems with the relation between Church and state in Orthodoxy--the most specific focus for these issues is the canonization of Constantine and other rulers of doubtful holiness, but I recognize that at least some Christians in communion with Rome also consider Constantine a saint! Primarily, these issues make it hard for me to abandon my ecclesiology for a more thorough-going, unequivocal acknowledgment of Orthodoxy as the "true Church." Orthodoxy is in my opinion the "sounder part of the Church," to use Richard Hooker's language--but I have trouble acknowledging it as the "one true Church."

I have some squeamishness about the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos, but since that is certainly a tradition of the Undivided Church I consider myself obliged to submit my 21st-century prejudices to the wisdom of the ancient Church on that point. I am tentatively also willing to do this with regard to women's ordination, though I'm not convinced that the theological arguments for women's ordination have been duly considered and rejected within either Catholicism or Orthodoxy, so I regard that as still to some extent an open question.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Contarini on April 04, 2011, 12:47:25 PM
I think that the EO Church originally taught that Original Sin was passed down to us.

Check the church fathers.


I do not find in any Father before Augustine the teaching that the guilt of sin is inherited. I find language about an inherited "stain" and inherited "corruption."

If you find Augustine's teaching in earlier Fathers, where do you find it?

Edwin
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on April 04, 2011, 05:01:14 PM
hi contarini,
thanks for answering my question, it's good to see your carefully thought-out arguments.
certainly the influence on the state on the church has been a terrible thing through the ages
(yes, i really do think it is that bad).

those churches that have suffered a lot seem to be doing better (like in north africa and west asia) than those that succumbed to a theology of comfort (which is all of us to one degree or another).
however, in my (almost) humble opinion, i think one of the churches that suffered most of all from state interference has been the anglican church (i live in uk). despite pockets of beauty and true faith, it seems to be sliding ever more into the sea of liberalism and new age theology. even many of the churches that have icons teach that sex outside marriage is ok, and basically as long as you don't actually kill anyone, other sins aren't so bad.
personally, i have had some beautiful experiences of the love of God in anglican churches, however, the general trends worry me.

at the time of a recent bird 'flu scare in the uk, i noticed that many churches (even catholic) had stopped giving the Blood of the Lord in the Holy Communion incase anyone caught germs from using the same cup. i told my orthodox friends about that; we could hardly hold back from laughing! as if the Blood of Christ could give someone bird 'flu...

so, my church is not perfect, but i like the fact that all the theology is clear, and also people have a relationship with God that makes it possible to obey Him.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Contarini on April 04, 2011, 07:51:50 PM
hi contarini,
thanks for answering my question, it's good to see your carefully thought-out arguments.
certainly the influence on the state on the church has been a terrible thing through the ages
(yes, i really do think it is that bad).

those churches that have suffered a lot seem to be doing better (like in north africa and west asia) than those that succumbed to a theology of comfort (which is all of us to one degree or another).
however, in my (almost) humble opinion, i think one of the churches that suffered most of all from state interference has been the anglican church (i live in uk). despite pockets of beauty and true faith, it seems to be sliding ever more into the sea of liberalism and new age theology. even many of the churches that have icons teach that sex outside marriage is ok, and basically as long as you don't actually kill anyone, other sins aren't so bad.
personally, i have had some beautiful experiences of the love of God in anglican churches, however, the general trends worry me.

at the time of a recent bird 'flu scare in the uk, i noticed that many churches (even catholic) had stopped giving the Blood of the Lord in the Holy Communion incase anyone caught germs from using the same cup. i told my orthodox friends about that; we could hardly hold back from laughing! as if the Blood of Christ could give someone bird 'flu...

so, my church is not perfect, but i like the fact that all the theology is clear, and also people have a relationship with God that makes it possible to obey Him.

Absolutely agreed that Anglicanism is perhaps the worst offender in this regard, and for an Anglican to question Orthodox on this point is like the pot calling the kettle black. However, Anglicanism doesn't claim to be the true Church. I became Anglican instead of Catholic or Orthodox not because I thought Anglicanism was superior but primarily because it allowed me to remain in contact with my evangelical heritage. (And at the time my theology was a lot more Augustinian than it is now.)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Dnarmist on April 04, 2011, 07:54:28 PM
I became Anglican instead of Catholic or Orthodox not because I thought Anglicanism was superior but primarily because it allowed me to remain in contact with my evangelical heritage.

So is the Truth relative, one just decides on their own what the truth is?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Asteriktos on April 04, 2011, 08:02:21 PM
I became Anglican instead of Catholic or Orthodox not because I thought Anglicanism was superior but primarily because it allowed me to remain in contact with my evangelical heritage.

So is the Truth relative, one just decides on their own what the truth is?

I didn't get that from what Contarini posted. Perhaps the issue is: where can someone best work out their salvation and be in communion/contact with God?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jnorm888 on April 04, 2011, 10:52:41 PM
I became Anglican instead of Catholic or Orthodox not because I thought Anglicanism was superior but primarily because it allowed me to remain in contact with my evangelical heritage.

So is the Truth relative, one just decides on their own what the truth is?

I didn't get that from his post. I know when I personally became Episcopal, a lot of it had to do with a familiar culture. I was raised Baptist, and the Baptists came from a split that came from a split of Anglicanism. And so the culture was more comfortable, because it was more familiar. There is a measure of truth in other traditions. Orthodoxy has the fullness. And so instead of looking at truth as relative, look at it as a difference in degree. A measure of truth can be found everywhere.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Contarini on April 05, 2011, 07:42:42 AM
I became Anglican instead of Catholic or Orthodox not because I thought Anglicanism was superior but primarily because it allowed me to remain in contact with my evangelical heritage.

So is the Truth relative, one just decides on their own what the truth is?

These are two completely different questions--indeed, while you seem to be implying that relativism and deciding "on one's own" are the same thing, I would say it's closer to being the other way round. The only sense in which Truth is "relative" is that one can't decide Truth (certainly not religious truth, and maybe no kind) on one's own. That means that our _perceptions_ of truth are inevitably shaped by the communities to which we belong--and that's something we should embrace rather than fleeing.

In my case, the community that shaped my perception of truth was a weird kind of community--I grew up essentially in a house church with a highly spiritualized understanding of the Church, basically derived from the Wesleyan Holiness movement. When I say that I wanted to remain in touch with my evangelical heritage, I'm saying precisely that I didn't think I could just decide the truth on my own. I am shaped as a Christian by evangelicalism.

When converts to Orthodoxy (or Catholicism) say that they have looked at history and determined that such-and-such church is the True Church, what on earth are they doing but deciding "on their own"?

Edwin
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Contarini on April 05, 2011, 07:45:20 AM
I became Anglican instead of Catholic or Orthodox not because I thought Anglicanism was superior but primarily because it allowed me to remain in contact with my evangelical heritage.

So is the Truth relative, one just decides on their own what the truth is?

I didn't get that from his post. I know when I personally became Episcopal, a lot of it had to do with a familiar culture. I was raised Baptist, and the Baptists came from a split that came from a split of Anglicanism. And so the culture was more comfortable, because it was more familiar. There is a measure of truth in other traditions. Orthodoxy has the fullness. And so instead of looking at truth as relative, look at it as a difference in degree. A measure of truth can be found everywhere.

Right. I should say that familiarity of culture isn't the big deal for me. I have spent quite a bit of time in Romania and I love Eastern European culture and Byzantine liturgy. It isn't that I find Orthodoxy too alien, but that the evangelical tradition as represented by, say, the hymns of Charles Wesley seems to me to be an important part of historic Christianity, and any vision of the Church that doesn't recognize this is an imperfect one.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Marc1152 on April 05, 2011, 09:57:09 AM
hi contarini,
thanks for answering my question, it's good to see your carefully thought-out arguments.
certainly the influence on the state on the church has been a terrible thing through the ages
(yes, i really do think it is that bad).

those churches that have suffered a lot seem to be doing better (like in north africa and west asia) than those that succumbed to a theology of comfort (which is all of us to one degree or another).
however, in my (almost) humble opinion, i think one of the churches that suffered most of all from state interference has been the anglican church (i live in uk). despite pockets of beauty and true faith, it seems to be sliding ever more into the sea of liberalism and new age theology. even many of the churches that have icons teach that sex outside marriage is ok, and basically as long as you don't actually kill anyone, other sins aren't so bad.
personally, i have had some beautiful experiences of the love of God in anglican churches, however, the general trends worry me.

at the time of a recent bird 'flu scare in the uk, i noticed that many churches (even catholic) had stopped giving the Blood of the Lord in the Holy Communion incase anyone caught germs from using the same cup. i told my orthodox friends about that; we could hardly hold back from laughing! as if the Blood of Christ could give someone bird 'flu...

so, my church is not perfect, but i like the fact that all the theology is clear, and also people have a relationship with God that makes it possible to obey Him.

Absolutely agreed that Anglicanism is perhaps the worst offender in this regard, and for an Anglican to question Orthodox on this point is like the pot calling the kettle black. However, Anglicanism doesn't claim to be the true Church. I became Anglican instead of Catholic or Orthodox not because I thought Anglicanism was superior but primarily because it allowed me to remain in contact with my evangelical heritage. (And at the time my theology was a lot more Augustinian than it is now.)

Define the term "True Church". I think we may mean different things.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on April 05, 2011, 10:01:05 AM
Welcome to the Forum, Contarini.  I apologize for missing your first posts.

Ebor (another Anglican)  :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Contarini on April 05, 2011, 10:11:11 AM

Define the term "True Church". I think we may mean different things.

I mean that community which stands in a covenant relationship with God and thus enjoys the regular and visible use of the means of grace. I think I mean by it precisely what the Orthodox mean when they say that we can confidently affirm grace to come through the sacraments of the Orthodox Church, and must be agnostic at best about grace in other Christian churches. I claim on the other hand that wherever water is applied to people in the name of the Trinity understood as the name of the one God, there sacramental grace can be affirmed to be received, and there the visible Church is truly if imperfectly present.

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on April 05, 2011, 10:41:12 AM

Define the term "True Church". I think we may mean different things.

I mean that community which stands in a covenant relationship with God and thus enjoys the regular and visible use of the means of grace. I think I mean by it precisely what the Orthodox mean when they say that we can confidently affirm grace to come through the sacraments of the Orthodox Church, and must be agnostic at best about grace in other Christian churches. I claim on the other hand that wherever water is applied to people in the name of the Trinity understood as the name of the one God, there sacramental grace can be affirmed to be received, and there the visible Church is truly if imperfectly present.



But how do you know this?

As in, I've frequently heard Orthodox say that we know where the Church is, and has been for a couple of millenia, give or take. But that we don't know where it is not.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: GreekChef on April 05, 2011, 11:14:21 AM
Hi, Contarini!  Welcome to the forum!  I'm intrigued by your well thought out, eloquent posts.  Hope you don't mind if I jump in to the conversation!

Right. I should say that familiarity of culture isn't the big deal for me. I have spent quite a bit of time in Romania and I love Eastern European culture and Byzantine liturgy. It isn't that I find Orthodoxy too alien, but that the evangelical tradition as represented by, say, the hymns of Charles Wesley seems to me to be an important part of historic Christianity, and any vision of the Church that doesn't recognize this is an imperfect one.

I guess the response that comes to my mind is, can you not retain the hymns of Charles Wesley as part of your personal life?  Why must they be affirmed by the Church in order for you to recognize the validity of the Church? Isn't that sort of subjecting the Church to your will and your opinions? 

I sing with a community choir which sings Protestant and Catholic hymns all the time.  I don't use them as part of my prayer life or spiritual life, but I certainly love every minute of singing them, often feel edified by them, and many times am moved to tears by the sentiments expressed in them.  But senitment has little place within worship and I recognize that those hymns have a proper place in my life.  I can certainly understand that for someone from a Protestant background, recognizing such history and hymnography might feel important.  I don't see why, with proper guidance from a spiritual father, they couldn't be retained in your life had you become Orthodox.  Why must the Church accept them for you to accept the Church?  Not trying to convince you to convert, just curious is all.

To take it one step further, I notice that you are of the opinion that the Orthodox Church has maintained sound belief and continuity (hope I'm paraphrasing correctly and not putting words in your mouth!).  If that is the case, wouldn't accepting Wesley or other Protestant writers be a compromise of that sound belief and continuity? 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Punch on April 05, 2011, 11:21:59 AM
I do use the Lutheran Hymns that I learned in my private worship, and with full blessing of my priest.  He told me that by an Orthodox Christian singing these hymns, they are sanctified.  In fact, he went as far as to say that if some of the pagan practices of the early Slavs were sanctified by the Church and made part of the traditions, why couldn't hymns that were written by people trying to glorify God, but who may not have been part of the Church.  "Many sheep have I that are not of this fold, and to them I go also".

Hi, Contarini!  Welcome to the forum!  I'm intrigued by your well thought out, eloquent posts.  Hope you don't mind if I jump in to the conversation!

Right. I should say that familiarity of culture isn't the big deal for me. I have spent quite a bit of time in Romania and I love Eastern European culture and Byzantine liturgy. It isn't that I find Orthodoxy too alien, but that the evangelical tradition as represented by, say, the hymns of Charles Wesley seems to me to be an important part of historic Christianity, and any vision of the Church that doesn't recognize this is an imperfect one.

I guess the response that comes to my mind is, can you not retain the hymns of Charles Wesley as part of your personal life?  Why must they be affirmed by the Church in order for you to recognize the validity of the Church? Isn't that sort of subjecting the Church to your will and your opinions? 

I sing with a community choir which sings Protestant and Catholic hymns all the time.  I don't use them as part of my prayer life or spiritual life, but I certainly love every minute of singing them, often feel edified by them, and many times am moved to tears by the sentiments expressed in them.  But senitment has little place within worship and I recognize that those hymns have a proper place in my life.  I can certainly understand that for someone from a Protestant background, recognizing such history and hymnography might feel important.  I don't see why, with proper guidance from a spiritual father, they couldn't be retained in your life had you become Orthodox.  Why must the Church accept them for you to accept the Church?  Not trying to convince you to convert, just curious is all.

To take it one step further, I notice that you are of the opinion that the Orthodox Church has maintained sound belief and continuity (hope I'm paraphrasing correctly and not putting words in your mouth!).  If that is the case, wouldn't accepting Wesley or other Protestant writers be a compromise of that sound belief and continuity? 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Marc1152 on April 05, 2011, 11:37:46 AM

Define the term "True Church". I think we may mean different things.

I mean that community which stands in a covenant relationship with God and thus enjoys the regular and visible use of the means of grace. I think I mean by it precisely what the Orthodox mean when they say that we can confidently affirm grace to come through the sacraments of the Orthodox Church, and must be agnostic at best about grace in other Christian churches. I claim on the other hand that wherever water is applied to people in the name of the Trinity understood as the name of the one God, there sacramental grace can be affirmed to be received, and there the visible Church is truly if imperfectly present.



Okay.. I think that is a good definition.

We also have the saying: "We know where the Church is, we cant say for certain where it isn't."

So we would see the Anglican Church as a "maybe" and the Orthodox Church as  "definably".  This would not be due to every decision we make being obviously better or all the decisions of Christians outside The Church as being bad or inferior.

Many people leave the Anglican Church for the Orthodox Church ( My Priest, his family and my new wife for example) because they desire to know the Apostolic Roots of Christianity and to be part of that. The Orthodox Church has a far better case for being the actual Historic Church.

 If that is the case then one would need to show how and when The Church, the same one founded on the day of Pentecost... either disbanded or fell into such sin that it negated all the protections and grace assigned to it in Scripture.... I think that's a tall order.

You said:

 I claim on the other hand that wherever water is applied to people in the name of the Trinity understood as the name of the one God, there sacramental grace can be affirmed to be received, and there the visible Church

That's a personal opinion. Welcome to Protestantism. This formula is not supported by Holy Tradition or Scripture. I apologize if this sounds snarky, but what else about Christian Practice do you wish to alter? Will you be coming out with a Catechism?

The reason we advise people to stick with Orthodox  Christianity as is has been practiced over the centuries and not rewrite the religion is that The Church produces results. It makes Saints, it heals spiritually and sometimes physically and miracles abound. It is your best chance to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. All other paths, no matter how well intentioned are risky at best.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on April 05, 2011, 04:48:32 PM
When converts to Orthodoxy (or Catholicism) say that they have looked at history and determined that such-and-such church is the True Church, what on earth are they doing but deciding "on their own"?

Edwin

Good point.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on April 05, 2011, 05:04:56 PM
When converts to Orthodoxy (or Catholicism) say that they have looked at history and determined that such-and-such church is the True Church, what on earth are they doing but deciding "on their own"?

Edwin

Good point.

Not quite the same. And certainly not the same as rejecting the beliefs and praxis of that True Church, based solely on one's opinions and "feelings."
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: leap of faith on April 05, 2011, 06:29:15 PM
When converts to Orthodoxy (or Catholicism) say that they have looked at history and determined that such-and-such church is the True Church, what on earth are they doing but deciding "on their own"?

Edwin

Good point.

I guess I wouldn't say that it was "deciding on their own" as much as it is critically analyzing and weighing the evidence to the best of our ability.  No one has absolute proof.  No one has absolute proof of God's existence, let alone where the True and Complete Church exists on this earth.  Evidence can take us only so far and that's when faith steps in.  As I move forward into embracing Orthodoxy, I will say that I *believe*...with all of my heart and my mind and my soul...that She is the True Church, as established by the Apostles and maintained through the generations by the leading of the Holy Spirit. 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: David Garner on April 05, 2011, 09:19:45 PM
When converts to Orthodoxy (or Catholicism) say that they have looked at history and determined that such-and-such church is the True Church, what on earth are they doing but deciding "on their own"?

Edwin

Good point.

I guess I wouldn't say that it was "deciding on their own" as much as it is critically analyzing and weighing the evidence to the best of our ability.  No one has absolute proof.  No one has absolute proof of God's existence, let alone where the True and Complete Church exists on this earth.  Evidence can take us only so far and that's when faith steps in.  As I move forward into embracing Orthodoxy, I will say that I *believe*...with all of my heart and my mind and my soul...that She is the True Church, as established by the Apostles and maintained through the generations by the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

That's my take as well.  There is an element of objectivity present in comparing and contrasting what the Church has said through her Saints throughout history as opposed to reading the Bible and deciding for myself what it means.  It's not that truth is relative and one can decide for themselves, it's that truth is verified by the Church and one can determine for themselves what the Church has said in an objective sense.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: The Iambic Pen on April 06, 2011, 01:12:09 AM
I guess the response that comes to my mind is, can you not retain the hymns of Charles Wesley as part of your personal life?  Why must they be affirmed by the Church in order for you to recognize the validity of the Church? Isn't that sort of subjecting the Church to your will and your opinions?
I have often thought the great hymns of Protestantism are what I would miss most if I became Orthodox or Catholic.  However, as you say, I could retain them as part of my personal life.  When my family gets together, we often sing hymns at home, and I could continue to do that if I was no longer Protestant.

Of course, the hymns are not much of a Protestant anchor anymore, as at least the evangelical churches of my own experience have largely abandoned them in favor of more modern music.

To go back to the original question, I have not yet converted to either Catholicism or Orthodoxy.  I was very interested in becoming Catholic before I even considered Orthodoxy, so I do not think any lingering anti-Catholicism has influenced me overly much.  I still do not know which way to go, or even if it matters.  If it comes down to preference (which it may, in the end; I am not infallible in matters of faith and morals), I prefer Orthodox doctrine and liturgy.  However, many of the Christians I most admire (J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and Thomas Howard, to name a few) are Catholic, so I feel a strong pull to be in communion with these fine people.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on April 06, 2011, 09:37:33 AM
Quote from: The Iambic Pen link=topic=34742.msg552680#msg552680
I have often thought the great hymns of Protestantism are what I would miss most if I became Orthodox or Catholic.  However, as you say, I could retain them as part of my personal life.  

I have sung in church choirs since I was a child, and music, especially the Sacred Harp music, speaks directly to my heart of God and faith. I was formerly Lutheran and the Lutheran church used to be called the "singing church." I too thought that I would miss the good old hymns that I had sung all my life.
The reality is, not so much...
The Orthodox hymnology knocks it out of the park! Especially the great hymns of Pascha!

‘O strange Orthodox Church, so poor and so weak, at the same time so traditional and yet so free, so archaic and yet so alive, so ritualistic and yet so personally mystical, Church where the pearl of great price of the Gospel is preciously preserved, sometimes beneath a layer of dust — Church that has so often proved incapable of action, yet which knows, as no other, how to sing the joy of Easter.’ — Fr Lev Gillet, ‘A Monk of the Eastern Church’
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on April 07, 2011, 12:11:53 PM
When converts to Orthodoxy (or Catholicism) say that they have looked at history and determined that such-and-such church is the True Church, what on earth are they doing but deciding "on their own"?

Edwin

Good point.

Not quite the same. And certainly not the same as rejecting the beliefs and praxis of that True Church, based solely on one's opinions and "feelings."

For you the EO is the "True Church". For some RC persons here they are in the "True Church".  Other people believe that they are in the "True Church" (as can be read in some threads here).  The claim to be such is one that a person might accept or not.

Edwin, I think that your point is a good one.

With respect,

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on April 07, 2011, 12:32:36 PM
For you the EO is the "True Church". For some RC persons here they are in the "True Church".  Other people believe that they are in the "True Church" (as can be read in some threads here).  The claim to be such is one that a person might accept or not.

Edwin, I think that your point is a good one.

With respect,

Ebor

Anyone may believe or feel anything that they wish. I myself believe that I am a dead-ringer for Angelina Jolie.
However, if one rejects the Orthodox belief that it is the True Church, is it according to Orthodox definition and understanding of the term, or a "feeling" that any Church I belong to is the True Church?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on April 11, 2011, 11:11:43 PM
I myself believe that I am a dead-ringer for Angelina Jolie.

Then you're a bit too pouty for me.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on April 12, 2011, 10:12:17 AM
I myself believe that I am a dead-ringer for Angelina Jolie.

Then you're a bit too pouty for me.

Everybody's a critic. I paid good money for these here lips.

 ;)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Doubting Thomas on April 18, 2011, 05:27:50 PM
I can echo many here in that the issue of the Papacy was a big factor when I began seriously exploring Eastern Orthodoxy 7-8 years ago after briefly considering the RCC.  In my case, there may have been an anti-RCC bias at play, because in my Southern Baptist days I owned such books as "A Woman Rides the Beast" (Hunt) and "Two Babylons" (Hislop).  However, when I began questioning the Baptist distinctives I grew up with (ie Once-saved-always saved; Zwinglian memorialism, believers-only baptism) after reading some of the church fathers, I actually wanted to give Rome a fair shake, since it was reading some of the RC apologists' arguments on certain topics (in response to the obnoxiously Calvinist James White) that convinced me that much of what I thought about the RCC was incorrect.

At the end of the day, though I read such books as Ray's "Upon this Rock", I found the historical evidence for papal supremacy (let alone papal infallibility) lacking.  Although it would have been much more convenient  to go to the local RCC parish than to drive an hour away to the nearest EOC one, I couldn't in good conscience subscribe to papal infallibility.  I sided with the East on the issue of the papacy and the filoque (plus I thought Rome over-dogmatized certain Marian beliefs).  Ultimately, after even being an Eastern Orthodox catechumen for about 1-2 months, I didn't end up crossing the Bosphorus. However, on these particular  issues that have divided East and West. I still side with the East, although I am definitely more western on certain other emphases.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on April 21, 2011, 03:19:54 PM
For you the EO is the "True Church". For some RC persons here they are in the "True Church".  Other people believe that they are in the "True Church" (as can be read in some threads here).  The claim to be such is one that a person might accept or not.

Edwin, I think that your point is a good one.

With respect,

Ebor

Anyone may believe or feel anything that they wish. I myself believe that I am a dead-ringer for Angelina Jolie.
However, if one rejects the Orthodox belief that it is the True Church, is it according to Orthodox definition and understanding of the term, or a "feeling" that any Church I belong to is the True Church?

I do not mean anything against you personally is this, I assure you, but a belief on one's identical appearance to another person can be seen (or not) by others and comparisons of features would show the similarities or differences.  And (again meaning no offense) if the resemblance is not there, then the person believing it is not correct.

On a Church's claim that it is the "True" one, just making the claim doesn't mean that it's true either.  Why would a person be required to accept this claim without question? 

With respect,

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: katherineofdixie on April 26, 2011, 11:10:11 AM
For you the EO is the "True Church". For some RC persons here they are in the "True Church".  Other people believe that they are in the "True Church" (as can be read in some threads here).  The claim to be such is one that a person might accept or not.

Edwin, I think that your point is a good one.

With respect,

Ebor

Anyone may believe or feel anything that they wish. I myself believe that I am a dead-ringer for Angelina Jolie.
However, if one rejects the Orthodox belief that it is the True Church, is it according to Orthodox definition and understanding of the term, or a "feeling" that any Church I belong to is the True Church?

I do not mean anything against you personally is this, I assure you, but a belief on one's identical appearance to another person can be seen (or not) by others and comparisons of features would show the similarities or differences.  And (again meaning no offense) if the resemblance is not there, then the person believing it is not correct.

On a Church's claim that it is the "True" one, just making the claim doesn't mean that it's true either.  Why would a person be required to accept this claim without question? 

With respect,

Ebor

Sorry the humor (? intended, anyway, so perhaps I get points for trying?) passed you by. I'll attempt to be more serious in future conversations.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: DennyB on April 27, 2011, 10:46:35 PM
Could it be that Protestant Churches(on a local level) tend to be more concilliar in nature,than Catholicism is?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on May 04, 2011, 10:10:05 AM
Could it be that Protestant Churches(on a local level) tend to be more concilliar in nature,than Catholicism is?

I would say that some could be considered conciliar; others are just chaotic and/or individualistic.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on May 05, 2011, 09:45:04 AM
Sorry the humor (? intended, anyway, so perhaps I get points for trying?) passed you by. I'll attempt to be more serious in future conversations.

I understood that you were trying to be humourous  :)  It can be tricky on-line even with smilies

However, your post was part of the thread and I was addressing its point as well.

 :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Alcuin on May 20, 2011, 11:16:53 AM
The reason Protestants convert to Orthodoxy is because of a vast underground conspiracy against us Catholics in order to undermine the Church. Obviously.  ::)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on May 21, 2011, 07:25:35 AM
yeah, i completed half the RCIA.
it was the men in black with laser guns that put me off and showed me the way to the orthodox church.
 ;)
lol
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: JohnnyTideFan on May 28, 2011, 10:07:21 AM
I can only speak to my own experiences. When I began to discover the early church, study about Christian history, and the like, I eventually ended up choosing Catholicism, despite have a Baptist and Pentecostal background. I has already begun to question Baptist and Pentecostal distinctives as well. This is also despite the fact that when I had to write a research paper on the Gospel of John in seminary, my research led me to believe that from a "Bible alone" perspective, the Orthodox Church was correct on Flioque, and the west erred.

I ended up choosing Rome because at the time, Papal infallibility seemed like the best way to deal with the problems caused by Sola Scriptura. I also thought purgatory solved the issue of having unconfessed sin upon death. Protestants don't have a good answer for this unless you go to a "Once saved always saved" route.

If anything, I should have considered Orthodoxy more than I did back then, but didn't because it was too foreign and eastern, and not as accessible here in the West. I had an anti-Orthodox prejudice more than anti-Catholic. Now I am considering Orthodoxy, along with returning to Catholicism. Anglicanism is nice and there is alot to love, but I starting to doubt if it is truly apostolic.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on May 28, 2011, 10:44:01 AM
yeah, as it was started by a guy who had his wife's head chopped off and wanted to divorce another wife coz she gave birth to a girl instead of a boy.
 ;)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: JohnnyTideFan on May 28, 2011, 11:11:34 AM
yeah, as it was started by a guy who had his wife's head chopped off and wanted to divorce another wife coz she gave birth to a girl instead of a boy.
 ;)

LOL Henry was no saint thats for sure. Actually he comes across as a real pig to me. Its debatable whether Henry actually founded the Anglican church in the truest sense. He was not a support of the Protestant reformation, and it was Elizabeth 1st who really finalized CoE's split with Rome, after Queen Mary attempted to bring England back to the Roman fold.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on May 28, 2011, 12:14:34 PM
yeah, sorry i couldn't resist replying to your wonderings about the anglican church being apostolic. it just seemed fairly clear to me that it wasn't!
i was an anglican twice, the second time a proper member, voting in the parish council meetings, so i am the first to accept there have been lots of good things in the anglican church. just being an apostolic church is not one of them!
it is really painful to watch what is going on currently in the anglican church, especially as i know some anglican priests who are finding it harder and harder to stay in the church.
my advice (in case you were asking, which you probably weren't!) is to leave slowly, leading many people to orthodoxy as you go.
 :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: JohnnyTideFan on May 28, 2011, 06:53:04 PM
yeah, sorry i couldn't resist replying to your wonderings about the anglican church being apostolic. it just seemed fairly clear to me that it wasn't!
i was an anglican twice, the second time a proper member, voting in the parish council meetings, so i am the first to accept there have been lots of good things in the anglican church. just being an apostolic church is not one of them!
it is really painful to watch what is going on currently in the anglican church, especially as i know some anglican priests who are finding it harder and harder to stay in the church.
my advice (in case you were asking, which you probably weren't!) is to leave slowly, leading many people to orthodoxy as you go.
 :)

Interesting insight, I should be thinking beyond myself in all this. I could perhaps do that, if I indeed decided on Orthodoxy-no I'm not saying that I believe truth is relative, but I'm only going to join Orthodoxy because I am convinced it is right, and I am prepared to take time to make that decision. I want it to be a rock solid one.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HeruvimTajno on May 28, 2011, 08:28:25 PM
I have not read any part of this thread aside from the OP, so I'm sure this post is out of context entirely.

I've thought the reason that Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Catholicism is because Orthodoxy contains everything that any Protestant in the right mind would want (liturgy, the Eucharist, etc.) without having to accept the Pope, since the Protestant upbringing would naturally leave them with a revulsion to the office of the papacy, and Orthodoxy with its apostolic nature is able to provide for them without having to struggle with the papacy.

I can to an extant understand the struggle with the papacy. I am a cradle Catholic who went/goes (I'm an older teenager) to Catholic school, and suffered under the infamously awful religious education. I went through a long period of religious doubt that sent me on a painful search for truth that led me back where I was to begin with, after a long study on religion, leaving me a theology nerd. One of the questions I ran into, once I had finally reaffirmed in my mind the truth of Christianity, was the role of the papacy and responding to arguments against it, virtually all from Protestants, I didn't know much at all about Orthodoxy back then. Long story short, I read a lot and accepted the Pope. I'm not sure how well a ramble about how I accepted the papacy is going to be taken on an EO forum. :P

The point is I'm convinced that the reason for the OP's question is because of a struggle with the idea of the papacy, which affects a large number of people.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: biro on May 28, 2011, 08:37:19 PM
Quote from: HeruvimTajno
I've thought the reason that Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Catholicism is because Orthodoxy contains everything that any Protestant in the right mind would want (liturgy, the Eucharist, etc.) without having to accept the Pope, since the Protestant upbringing would naturally leave them with a revulsion to the office of the papacy, and Orthodoxy with its apostolic nature is able to provide for them without having to struggle with the papacy.

I'm sure that's part of it, for at least some of them.

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on May 28, 2011, 08:43:06 PM
Its debatable whether Henry actually founded the Anglican church in the truest sense.

Interesting. I've encountered the Henry-VIII-founded-Anglicanism view on this forum before. I've pretty much dismissed it as the raving of some unecumenical Orthodox posters; but if even you (an Anglican) think it's "debatable", then perhaps I should consider it.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Iconodule on May 28, 2011, 09:53:38 PM
Its debatable whether Henry actually founded the Anglican church in the truest sense.

Interesting. I've encountered the Henry-VIII-founded-Anglicanism view on this forum before. I've pretty much dismissed it as the raving of some unecumenical Orthodox posters; but if even you (an Anglican) think it's "debatable", then perhaps I should consider it.

I don't think it's debatable that Henry VIII actions were the immediate cause for the creation of the Anglican church. At the same time the creation and subsequent theological defining of this church depended on the efforts of many reformers, some of whom were sincere and not necessarily sharing in Henry's base motivations.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on May 28, 2011, 10:11:09 PM
Its debatable whether Henry actually founded the Anglican church in the truest sense.

Interesting. I've encountered the Henry-VIII-founded-Anglicanism view on this forum before. I've pretty much dismissed it as the raving of some unecumenical Orthodox posters; but if even you (an Anglican) think it's "debatable", then perhaps I should consider it.

I don't think it's debatable that Henry VIII actions were the immediate cause for the creation of the Anglican church.

Do you also think that the Catholic Church was created by Cardinal Humbert in the 11th century (or perhaps by Pope Eugene in the 15th century)?

I'm just trying to gauge how much stock I should put in your ideas. ;)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Iconodule on May 28, 2011, 10:15:59 PM
Its debatable whether Henry actually founded the Anglican church in the truest sense.

Interesting. I've encountered the Henry-VIII-founded-Anglicanism view on this forum before. I've pretty much dismissed it as the raving of some unecumenical Orthodox posters; but if even you (an Anglican) think it's "debatable", then perhaps I should consider it.

I don't think it's debatable that Henry VIII actions were the immediate cause for the creation of the Anglican church.

Do you also think that the Catholic Church was created by Cardinal Humbert in the 11th century (or perhaps by Pope Eugene in the 15th century)?

I'm just trying to gauge how much stock I should put in your ideas. ;)

Are you trying to argue that the Anglican church is simply the natural continuation of the English Catholic Church (I have seen Anglicans try to make this claim)?

I do of course consider your "Catholic Church" to be a schism from the true Catholic Church. Exactly when to date the schism, or whom to attribute it to, is a more complicated question.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on May 28, 2011, 10:27:05 PM
Are you trying to argue that the Anglican church is simply the natural continuation of the English Catholic Church (I have seen Anglicans try to make this claim)?

No, I wouldn't go that far.

I do of course consider your "Catholic Church" to be a schism from the true Catholic Church. Exactly when to date the schism, or whom to attribute it to, is a more complicated question.

But that's not what I asked:

Do you also think that the Catholic Church was created by Cardinal Humbert in the 11th century (or perhaps by Pope Eugene in the 15th century)?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Iconodule on May 28, 2011, 10:31:19 PM
Are you trying to argue that the Anglican church is simply the natural continuation of the English Catholic Church (I have seen Anglicans try to make this claim)?

No, I wouldn't go that far.

I do of course consider your "Catholic Church" to be a schism from the true Catholic Church. Exactly when to date the schism, or whom to attribute it to, is a more complicated question.

But that's not what I asked:

Do you also think that the Catholic Church was created by Cardinal Humbert in the 11th century (or perhaps by Pope Eugene in the 15th century)?


You are asking me whom the schism should be attributed to. As I said, I think it's a more complicated question than that of the origin of the Anglican church.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on May 28, 2011, 10:41:15 PM
Are you trying to argue that the Anglican church is simply the natural continuation of the English Catholic Church (I have seen Anglicans try to make this claim)?

No, I wouldn't go that far.

I do of course consider your "Catholic Church" to be a schism from the true Catholic Church. Exactly when to date the schism, or whom to attribute it to, is a more complicated question.

But that's not what I asked:

Do you also think that the Catholic Church was created by Cardinal Humbert in the 11th century (or perhaps by Pope Eugene in the 15th century)?


You are asking me whom the schism should be attributed to.

No, I'm not.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: JohnnyTideFan on May 28, 2011, 11:20:05 PM
Its debatable whether Henry actually founded the Anglican church in the truest sense.

Interesting. I've encountered the Henry-VIII-founded-Anglicanism view on this forum before. I've pretty much dismissed it as the raving of some unecumenical Orthodox posters; but if even you (an Anglican) think it's "debatable", then perhaps I should consider it.

I don't think it's debatable that Henry VIII actions were the immediate cause for the creation of the Anglican church. At the same time the creation and subsequent theological defining of this church depended on the efforts of many reformers, some of whom were sincere and not necessarily sharing in Henry's base motivations.

Likewise, its unlikely that Ole Hank would have supported many of the reforms that came about as time passed. He was not supporter of Luther and his followers, or the reformation occurring on the continent as a whole. His motivations were well, for power and for women. If the Pope had granted his annulments, I don't think Hank would have moved to take control of the English church.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on May 29, 2011, 12:50:30 PM
Its debatable whether Henry actually founded the Anglican church in the truest sense.

Interesting. I've encountered the Henry-VIII-founded-Anglicanism view on this forum before. I've pretty much dismissed it as the raving of some unecumenical Orthodox posters; but if even you (an Anglican) think it's "debatable", then perhaps I should consider it.

I don't think it's debatable that Henry VIII actions were the immediate cause for the creation of the Anglican church. At the same time the creation and subsequent theological defining of this church depended on the efforts of many reformers, some of whom were sincere and not necessarily sharing in Henry's base motivations.

Likewise, its unlikely that Ole Hank would have supported many of the reforms that came about as time passed. He was not supporter of Luther and his followers, or the reformation occurring on the continent as a whole. His motivations were well, for power and for women. If the Pope had granted his annulments, I don't think Hank would have moved to take control of the English church.

As to Henry VIII's motives as being for "power", well he was the King, but only the second one of his house to rule, but it was not a simple case of "I want to run things".  The Wars of the Roses were still pretty recent history and they had caused convulsions, death and destruction in England for many, many years.  So this was a matter of a male heir to maintain the Tudor line.  How is that different from a host of other kings and nobles who, in the culture of their time, needed male descendants so that the family/house/etc would continue.  There is a thread here from a while back in which some of the complications of the time and place were covered. 

As to wanting "women" it's not like this was all a case being based on lust, either.  Henry had sired a son with another woman, but he died before he could be in someway made an acceptable heir, though he was acknowledged and was made the Duke of Richmond and Somerset.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_FitzRoy,_1st_Duke_of_Richmond_and_Somerset

Bishops of Rome had granted annulments many times in the centuries past.  It wasn't a new and startling request.  But who would rule in England?  An English King or the Emperor Charles V who controlled Clement VII?

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on May 29, 2011, 01:01:09 PM
yeah, as it was started by a guy who had his wife's head chopped off and wanted to divorce another wife coz she gave birth to a girl instead of a boy.
 ;)

Wrong order and there was more to it than that..  ;)

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13426.0.html

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on May 29, 2011, 01:06:18 PM
yeah, as it was started by a guy who had his wife's head chopped off and wanted to divorce another wife coz she gave birth to a girl instead of a boy.
 ;)

Wrong order and there was more to it than that..  ;)

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13426.0.html

Ebor

Where are we with respect to the original question?  Is there a way to tie up the flapping ends here?...just asking...not challenging.

M.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on May 29, 2011, 03:49:43 PM
yeah, as it was started by a guy who had his wife's head chopped off and wanted to divorce another wife coz she gave birth to a girl instead of a boy.
 ;)

Wrong order

True.

And (for what it's worth) I personally think that the idea that the Anglican Church was "created" in the 16th century, as some on this thread have asserted, is just the raving of a few radical anti-ecumenists.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Alcuin on May 29, 2011, 04:35:28 PM
The adoption of the Edwardine Ordinals and the putting down of the Prayer Book Rebellion during the reign of King Edward VI strike me as the two events after which you can understand the Church of England as a new body which is no longer part of the Catholic Church, so I would agree that Anglicanism was founded in the 16th century. But not by Henry VIII. Henry, and his Church, were just excommunicated Catholics.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Sleeper on May 29, 2011, 08:36:01 PM
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "founded" as there has always been a Church in England since AD 37 according to tradition. That didn't stop simply because communion with Rome was severed. Something new wasn't born.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on May 29, 2011, 09:01:42 PM
 :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Iconodule on May 29, 2011, 10:33:22 PM
yeah, as it was started by a guy who had his wife's head chopped off and wanted to divorce another wife coz she gave birth to a girl instead of a boy.
 ;)

Wrong order

True.

And (for what it's worth) I personally think that the idea that the Anglican Church was "created" in the 16th century, as some on this thread have asserted, is just the raving of a few radical anti-ecumenists.

And when do you think it was created?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Father H on May 29, 2011, 10:54:46 PM
The Anglican Church is of course from very early.  The Anglican Communion, however, is the invention of a murderous king and the 16th century reformation. 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: FormerReformer on May 29, 2011, 11:13:31 PM
The Anglican Church is of course from very early.  The Anglican Communion, however, is the invention of a murderous king and the 16th century reformation. 

Well, the post-reformation Church of England might be the invention of a murderous king (though I don't know if he was any more murderous than many other of the English kings), but the Anglican Communion is an even later invention then that, not existing until the finalization of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral in 1888.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on May 30, 2011, 06:02:29 AM
i understand my history is not so accurate, but as the church today has as it's head the wife of the most senior freemason in the country, we have a problem.

of course, there were many churches where the priests did their best to uphold the word of truth despite fierce persecution, at times they had to be anglican, then at times catholic, then back to anglican again. i believe that God does not withdraw his grace just because a church has the 'wrong' label; it is the theology that counts. but the theology in the large part of the anglican church in britain is moving steadily away from anything remotely orthodox.
also, it is true that there is continuity in the line of SOME of the priests, tracing their ordination to bishops who were ordained before any of the schisms, and some very good traditions have been handed down. also there are many anglicans trying to return to orthodox theology and practice.
but i am not sure for how long God will have patience with the current situation, where so many are liberal and reject even the basic beliefs of the virgin birth, resurrection etc. and reject the practices of chastity, Bible study and fasting.
thank God He is more merciful than i am! may He guide all those seeking the right path.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Wyatt on May 30, 2011, 07:55:18 PM
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Shlomlokh on May 30, 2011, 08:45:14 PM
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Let's just get all the stupid comments out, shall we? All Germans hate Jews, all white people hate blacks, all Yankees hate Southerners, blah, blah, blah. When will senseless stereotyping cease and will you perpetuate it by this silliness or seek to end it through prayer and love?

The reason I replied to your post was because I was a Protestant and became RC at 17 years of age. After a few years I became Orthodox. Not all Protestants have a bug up their bug for Catholicism, I hate to tell you.

In Christ,
Andrew
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on May 30, 2011, 08:57:11 PM
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

Most Protestants that I have known that have joined an ancient communion became Roman Catholic.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Wyatt on May 30, 2011, 09:33:22 PM
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Let's just get all the stupid comments out, shall we? All Germans hate Jews, all white people hate blacks, all Yankees hate Southerners, blah, blah, blah. When will senseless stereotyping cease and will you perpetuate it by this silliness or seek to end it through prayer and love?

The reason I replied to your post was because I was a Protestant and became RC at 17 years of age. After a few years I became Orthodox. Not all Protestants have a bug up their bug for Catholicism, I hate to tell you.

In Christ,
Andrew
First, my comment was nowhere near on par with your over-the-top comparisons. Secondly, it was not stupid. If you were Protestant you must have been the exception rather than the rule (as I suppose I was). As a former Protestant myself, I can't imagine that the majority of Protestants would embrace Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy assuming that they know Eastern Orthodoxy exists. I remember being taught that the Pope is the antichrist and all kinds of other nonsense regarding the Papacy. I'm sure that some (like you and me) get past that, but I would imagine there are far more who do not. For many, the Papacy is a huge stumbling block, and one that they do not have to overcome if they choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.

This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

Most Protestants that I have known that have joined an ancient communion became Roman Catholic.
What denominations(s) were they mainly from? I can't imagine the evangelical, Jack Chick types taking to Catholicism very easily.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Robb on May 30, 2011, 09:42:21 PM
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

From what I've personally witnessed, this does seem to be the case most of the time.  I'd also say that Orthodoxy offers a place of refuge for many evangelical Protestants who are burned out by the "culture wars".

While some EO's may participate in these "culture warrior" struggles, most are aloof and even indifferent from the ragging battles between religious and secular Americans.  This may also be the reason why I notice so many Protestant converts to the OC recoil in horror from any suggestion of politics and taking sides to affect some type of moral good for our society.  They'd rather just sit around and practice Theosis instead of protest in front of abortion clinics or petition to end Gay marriage.  I'm not saying that their approach to this issue is entirely wrong or without merit, but I do notice these tendencies.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: DavidH on May 30, 2011, 11:23:40 PM
I was raised Baptist, became Charismatic non-denominational in Jr. High school, and then Roman Catholic upon graduating from a Protestant Bible college.

What won me to RCism was it's deep history and much closer connection to ancient Christianity both theologically and in worship than anything I had known as a Protestant. But it was the Catholicism you find in the catechism and history books I had fallen in love with. A few years of modern RCism became a big disappointment to me in both the Faith of the average Catholic and the changes of the Mass. It was almost as if RCism had decided to throw out much of their spiritual heritage in order to appear Protestant (only they weren't as good at it).

Then I discovered Orthodoxy and found an even deeper connection to the early Church both theologically and in worship and I knew right away I was home.

Curiously, one of the more difficult doctrines for this former Reformer to lay down were those concerning the Papacy. I had become convinced of the importance of both Scripture and Tradition and had never heard a clear patristic apologetic against the claims of Rome since I had so few Orthodox resources available to me at the time. However, Abbe Guettee's book on the Papacy helped me with that.

I do believe that Orthodoxy is right in the Great Schism between East and West but I have sometimes wondered: if Vatican 2 had never happened and the beauty of the Tridentine church had not been swept away or the liberal theologians allowed to run amok- would I have become discontented enough to search for the Orthodox Catholic Church?  
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Wyatt on May 31, 2011, 12:05:03 PM
I was raised Baptist, became Charismatic non-denominational in Jr. High school, and then Roman Catholic upon graduating from a Protestant Bible college.

What won me to RCism was it's deep history and much closer connection to ancient Christianity both theologically and in worship than anything I had known as a Protestant. But it was the Catholicism you find in the catechism and history books I had fallen in love with. A few years of modern RCism became a big disappointment to me in both the Faith of the average Catholic and the changes of the Mass. It was almost as if RCism had decided to throw out much of their spiritual heritage in order to appear Protestant (only they weren't as good at it).

Then I discovered Orthodoxy and found an even deeper connection to the early Church both theologically and in worship and I knew right away I was home.

Curiously, one of the more difficult doctrines for this former Reformer to lay down were those concerning the Papacy. I had become convinced of the importance of both Scripture and Tradition and had never heard a clear patristic apologetic against the claims of Rome since I had so few Orthodox resources available to me at the time. However, Abbe Guettee's book on the Papacy helped me with that.

I do believe that Orthodoxy is right in the Great Schism between East and West but I have sometimes wondered: if Vatican 2 had never happened and the beauty of the Tridentine church had not been swept away or the liberal theologians allowed to run amok- would I have become discontented enough to search for the Orthodox Catholic Church?  
Interesting post. I think this largely explains why I remain RC. One, I really do believe it is the Church, but two, I've had nothing but good experiences since I have joined the Catholic Church. I am fortunate enough to have a very solid, orthodox (small 'o') parish with a reverent liturgy and none of the abuses that popped up after Vatican II that people gripe about. That's not to say that I don't think Orthodoxy is very good in many ways as well, but it seems that those things which I love about Orthodoxy are the things that are present in my Church as well. It is those areas which we differ that would keep me from becoming Orthodox.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ebor on June 02, 2011, 10:08:38 AM
The Anglican Church is of course from very early.  The Anglican Communion, however, is the invention of a murderous king and the 16th century reformation.  

Well, the post-reformation Church of England might be the invention of a murderous king (though I don't know if he was any more murderous than many other of the English kings), but the Anglican Communion is an even later invention then that, not existing until the finalization of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral in 1888.

Erm, "murderous" is a label that could be applied to many more kings and nobles and people with power than just one or a few English ones. Plenty of examples can be found across Europe (both "west" and "east") and around the world.  Henry VIII was in fact an educated man and much more complex than some would represent.

Thank you for the data point on the C-L Q correcting FrHLL, FormerReformer.  :)

Ebor

 
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jnorm888 on June 03, 2011, 09:33:52 PM
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

From what I've personally witnessed, this does seem to be the case most of the time.  I'd also say that Orthodoxy offers a place of refuge for many evangelical Protestants who are burned out by the "culture wars".

While some EO's may participate in these "culture warrior" struggles, most are aloof and even indifferent from the ragging battles between religious and secular Americans.  This may also be the reason why I notice so many Protestant converts to the OC recoil in horror from any suggestion of politics and taking sides to affect some type of moral good for our society.  They'd rather just sit around and practice Theosis instead of protest in front of abortion clinics or petition to end Gay marriage.  I'm not saying that their approach to this issue is entirely wrong or without merit, but I do notice these tendencies.

I think what we mostly get upset about is the tendency to protest and become politically active when it comes to the politics of a different country, but it's looked down upon when we protest and become politically active for America. This is my country. This is my home! This is where I live! And this is the place where my family is from. And so I care about America.

We also get upset when it's ok to protest for Earth Day, but not ok in regards to other issues like Abortion....etc. And so I learned to simply ignore what other Orthodox have to say when it comes to the issue of what I should or shouldn't do/believe in the area of American Politics.

If an Orthodox Christian agrees with my political views then we will naturally group together, if an Orthodox Christian disagrees with my political views then we will naturally bump heads. And I'm content with living with that as a reality.

I am also content with hanging with Roman Catholics who are like minded politically. I really don't have a problem with it.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Nero on June 07, 2011, 11:09:16 PM
I hope that I'm not re-stating what someone else already said, but here's my take on the matter.

Most protestants who want to leave the vast sea of denominations look for a church that has absolutely no resemblance to the Protestant houses of worship. They want a system that is so drastically different from the man-made setups which they have grown to dislike. From here, it probably depends on which Churches they visit. If they go to a more traditionalist Catholic Church (which was my introduction to the faith), they may convert to Catholicism. If they find a "modernist" Church where the priest looks like a pastor and the setup looks just like the Methodist / Anglican / Presbyterian church, then they may keep trying the waters until they find an Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Doubting Thomas on June 14, 2011, 03:49:56 PM
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "founded" as there has always been a Church in England since AD 37 according to tradition. That didn't stop simply because communion with Rome was severed. Something new wasn't born.
Yep.  8)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ialmisry on June 14, 2011, 04:41:02 PM
The Spirit is descended!
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Let's just get all the stupid comments out, shall we? All Germans hate Jews, all white people hate blacks, all Yankees hate Southerners, blah, blah, blah. When will senseless stereotyping cease and will you perpetuate it by this silliness or seek to end it through prayer and love?

The reason I replied to your post was because I was a Protestant and became RC at 17 years of age. After a few years I became Orthodox. Not all Protestants have a bug up their bug for Catholicism, I hate to tell you.

In Christ,
Andrew
First, my comment was nowhere near on par with your over-the-top comparisons. Secondly, it was not stupid. If you were Protestant you must have been the exception rather than the rule (as I suppose I was). As a former Protestant myself, I can't imagine that the majority of Protestants would embrace Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy assuming that they know Eastern Orthodoxy exists. I remember being taught that the Pope is the antichrist and all kinds of other nonsense regarding the Papacy. I'm sure that some (like you and me) get past that, but I would imagine there are far more who do not. For many, the Papacy is a huge stumbling block, and one that they do not have to overcome if they choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.

This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

Most Protestants that I have known that have joined an ancient communion became Roman Catholic.
What denominations(s) were they mainly from? I can't imagine the evangelical, Jack Chick types taking to Catholicism very easily.
What makes you think that they would take to Orthodoxy?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ialmisry on June 14, 2011, 04:46:32 PM
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
So are Muslims.  Why not embrace Islam?

And if anti-Papacy was the defining content of Eastern Orthodoxy, why didn't the Protestants embrace it during your Reformation, given that there was plenty of contact with the Lutherans, Hussites, Calvinists and Anglicans?

You all fail to explain how the Orthodox, faced with the choice between the Protestants and the Vatican (e.g. the Tubingen correspondence, the Synod of Jerusalem, the Orthodox Confession [i.e. Catechism] of the Catholic Church approved at Iasi, etc.), the Orthodox firmly came down on the same side as the Vatican.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on June 14, 2011, 07:19:41 PM
The Spirit is descended!
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Let's just get all the stupid comments out, shall we? All Germans hate Jews, all white people hate blacks, all Yankees hate Southerners, blah, blah, blah. When will senseless stereotyping cease and will you perpetuate it by this silliness or seek to end it through prayer and love?

The reason I replied to your post was because I was a Protestant and became RC at 17 years of age. After a few years I became Orthodox. Not all Protestants have a bug up their bug for Catholicism, I hate to tell you.

In Christ,
Andrew
First, my comment was nowhere near on par with your over-the-top comparisons. Secondly, it was not stupid. If you were Protestant you must have been the exception rather than the rule (as I suppose I was). As a former Protestant myself, I can't imagine that the majority of Protestants would embrace Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy assuming that they know Eastern Orthodoxy exists. I remember being taught that the Pope is the antichrist and all kinds of other nonsense regarding the Papacy. I'm sure that some (like you and me) get past that, but I would imagine there are far more who do not. For many, the Papacy is a huge stumbling block, and one that they do not have to overcome if they choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.

This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

Most Protestants that I have known that have joined an ancient communion became Roman Catholic.
What denominations(s) were they mainly from? I can't imagine the evangelical, Jack Chick types taking to Catholicism very easily.
What makes you think that they would take to Orthodoxy?

Shared distaste/hatred for Rome of course.  Happens all the time.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ialmisry on June 14, 2011, 07:31:55 PM
The Spirit is descended!
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Let's just get all the stupid comments out, shall we? All Germans hate Jews, all white people hate blacks, all Yankees hate Southerners, blah, blah, blah. When will senseless stereotyping cease and will you perpetuate it by this silliness or seek to end it through prayer and love?

The reason I replied to your post was because I was a Protestant and became RC at 17 years of age. After a few years I became Orthodox. Not all Protestants have a bug up their bug for Catholicism, I hate to tell you.

In Christ,
Andrew
First, my comment was nowhere near on par with your over-the-top comparisons. Secondly, it was not stupid. If you were Protestant you must have been the exception rather than the rule (as I suppose I was). As a former Protestant myself, I can't imagine that the majority of Protestants would embrace Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy assuming that they know Eastern Orthodoxy exists. I remember being taught that the Pope is the antichrist and all kinds of other nonsense regarding the Papacy. I'm sure that some (like you and me) get past that, but I would imagine there are far more who do not. For many, the Papacy is a huge stumbling block, and one that they do not have to overcome if they choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.

This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

Most Protestants that I have known that have joined an ancient communion became Roman Catholic.
What denominations(s) were they mainly from? I can't imagine the evangelical, Jack Chick types taking to Catholicism very easily.
What makes you think that they would take to Orthodoxy?

Shared distaste/hatred for Rome of course.  Happens all the time.
Only in the stupor of Ultramontanists drunk off of bitter wine tread from sour grapes.  If hatred of the Vatican was enough of a theology, the Protestants would have joined us during your Reformation.  Instead, being birds of your feather, they prefered to stay on the other side of your coin.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: elijahmaria on June 15, 2011, 12:14:49 AM
The Spirit is descended!
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Let's just get all the stupid comments out, shall we? All Germans hate Jews, all white people hate blacks, all Yankees hate Southerners, blah, blah, blah. When will senseless stereotyping cease and will you perpetuate it by this silliness or seek to end it through prayer and love?

The reason I replied to your post was because I was a Protestant and became RC at 17 years of age. After a few years I became Orthodox. Not all Protestants have a bug up their bug for Catholicism, I hate to tell you.

In Christ,
Andrew
First, my comment was nowhere near on par with your over-the-top comparisons. Secondly, it was not stupid. If you were Protestant you must have been the exception rather than the rule (as I suppose I was). As a former Protestant myself, I can't imagine that the majority of Protestants would embrace Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy assuming that they know Eastern Orthodoxy exists. I remember being taught that the Pope is the antichrist and all kinds of other nonsense regarding the Papacy. I'm sure that some (like you and me) get past that, but I would imagine there are far more who do not. For many, the Papacy is a huge stumbling block, and one that they do not have to overcome if they choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.

This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

Most Protestants that I have known that have joined an ancient communion became Roman Catholic.
What denominations(s) were they mainly from? I can't imagine the evangelical, Jack Chick types taking to Catholicism very easily.
What makes you think that they would take to Orthodoxy?

Shared distaste/hatred for Rome of course.  Happens all the time.
Only in the stupor of Ultramontanists drunk off of bitter wine tread from sour grapes.  If hatred of the Vatican was enough of a theology, the Protestants would have joined us during your Reformation.  Instead, being birds of your feather, they prefered to stay on the other side of your coin.

They wanted you to come with them at that point.  Once the bloom was off the rose then they were happy to return to a Church that looked more like their own.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Stepan on September 17, 2011, 08:48:16 PM
Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".   

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation. 

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.


Because it isn't about a shallow preference in worship style and it isn't necessarily an anti-Rome thing.

Speaking for myself, my journey to Orthodoxy has been a studied one. Though I had been leaning towards and studying Orthodoxy for years, I did not want to dismiss Rome. My wife also wanted to look at Rome so we left our Protestant church and for a time attended a Roman church and had even began RCIA classes. In the end, we ended up leaving there because history, tradition, Scripture, and overall witness favored Orthodoxy. Coming from an Anglican background, Western liturgy was certainly more familiar but our hearts and minds were drawn to Orthodoxy. We are on track for chrismation this year.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ImperfectRose on November 16, 2011, 06:36:23 AM
I am converting to Orthodoxy because I believe, personally, that it is God's true church. I have looked into Catholicism, and it screams false to me. The infallibility of the Pope, the pervertedness of the priests, everything. I just can't come to agree with it. Yes, their practices are somewhat like Orthodoxy, but there are others that are not. I don't dislike the people, I just dislike some things of the beliefs.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ialmisry on November 16, 2011, 09:06:17 AM
The Spirit is descended!
This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.
Let's just get all the stupid comments out, shall we? All Germans hate Jews, all white people hate blacks, all Yankees hate Southerners, blah, blah, blah. When will senseless stereotyping cease and will you perpetuate it by this silliness or seek to end it through prayer and love?

The reason I replied to your post was because I was a Protestant and became RC at 17 years of age. After a few years I became Orthodox. Not all Protestants have a bug up their bug for Catholicism, I hate to tell you.

In Christ,
Andrew
First, my comment was nowhere near on par with your over-the-top comparisons. Secondly, it was not stupid. If you were Protestant you must have been the exception rather than the rule (as I suppose I was). As a former Protestant myself, I can't imagine that the majority of Protestants would embrace Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy assuming that they know Eastern Orthodoxy exists. I remember being taught that the Pope is the antichrist and all kinds of other nonsense regarding the Papacy. I'm sure that some (like you and me) get past that, but I would imagine there are far more who do not. For many, the Papacy is a huge stumbling block, and one that they do not have to overcome if they choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.

This is simple. Protestants are anti-Papacy, Eastern Orthodoxy is anti-Papacy, ergo Protestants become Eastern Orthodox. It's really not that hard.

Most Protestants that I have known that have joined an ancient communion became Roman Catholic.
What denominations(s) were they mainly from? I can't imagine the evangelical, Jack Chick types taking to Catholicism very easily.
What makes you think that they would take to Orthodoxy?

Shared distaste/hatred for Rome of course.  Happens all the time.
Only in the stupor of Ultramontanists drunk off of bitter wine tread from sour grapes.  If hatred of the Vatican was enough of a theology, the Protestants would have joined us during your Reformation.  Instead, being birds of your feather, they prefered to stay on the other side of your coin.

They wanted you to come with them at that point.  Once the bloom was off the rose then they were happy to return to a Church that looked more like their own.
You mean, after EP Jeremias II rejected them?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 16, 2011, 09:39:36 AM
I am converting to Orthodoxy because I believe, personally, that it is God's true church. I have looked into Catholicism, and it screams false to me. The infallibility of the Pope, the pervertedness of the priests, everything. I just can't come to agree with it. Yes, their practices are somewhat like Orthodoxy, but there are others that are not. I don't dislike the people, I just dislike some things of the beliefs.
Does Catholicism actually teach as doctrine that their priests are to fondle little boys?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on November 17, 2011, 03:32:52 PM
no. at this point, i want to defend the catholics and say that anyone can sin, and any church (catholic, protestant or orthodox) which aligns itself too closely with the state and becomes too comfortable can be tempted to uphold the status quo (leave things alone) instead of fighting for truth and justice.

most catholics are devastated by the actions of a few crazy priests (and the ignorant higher clergy who did not investigate) so we should not speak or act like most catholics are dodgy.
may God give them peace and courage in their spiritual life.

i also wish stepan and imperfectrose peace and grace from God in their spiritual life as they seek the depth and beauty of orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ialmisry on November 17, 2011, 03:49:25 PM
no. at this point, i want to defend the catholics and say that anyone can sin, and any church (catholic, protestant or orthodox) which aligns itself too closely with the state and becomes too comfortable can be tempted to uphold the status quo (leave things alone) instead of fighting for truth and justice.
That can happen with no connection to the state.  Indeed, it can even happen if the state is actively hostile to the church.

Case in point on the mentioned issue: The Vatican hierarchy is not even recognized as an institution in Ireland.  It didn't prevent the scandal there.  Ditto Mexico, where up until recently priests could not wear clerical garb in public.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on November 17, 2011, 05:19:01 PM
i have been to ireland twice.
the church and state are still pretty close. most average irish people still wouldn't dare to criticise the church publicly. the good side to this is that u can cross yourself as much as you like in public, and no-one minds or finds it unusual.  :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: ialmisry on November 17, 2011, 05:37:07 PM
i have been to ireland twice.
the church and state are still pretty close.
No, not officially. They disestablished the Vatican in Ireland decades ago.  The culture remains (or remained close), with the effects of that in a democratically elected government, e.g. the referendum on abortion.
most average irish people still wouldn't dare to criticise the church publicly. the good side to this is that u can cross yourself as much as you like in public, and no-one minds or finds it unusual.  :)
Would that it would remain so!
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: genesisone on November 17, 2011, 08:35:46 PM
i have been to ireland twice.
the church and state are still pretty close.
No, not officially. They disestablished the Vatican in Ireland decades ago.  The culture remains (or remained close), with the effects of that in a democratically elected government, e.g. the referendum on abortion.

And even beyond that, Ireland has closed its embassy to the Vatican (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15586816). That doesn't mean a severance of diplomatic ties, of course, but there is symbolic value in the event.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: JamesR on November 25, 2011, 02:44:18 AM
As an ex-Protestant convert I am a bit offended by this. I am 15 years old and I grew up in an extremely Protestant household and I later ended up leaving it and adoptiong Theravada Buddhism and sort of an atheistic, hostile view towards Christianity. Later on though, I converted back to Christianity after reading some of the greatest books of my life, and I realized that Protestantism seemed insubstantial and when I realized that most of my favorite authors were either Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. So, I decided that I would become one of the two. My parents were not too happy, but, they did not stop me. I chose the Eastern Orthodox Church because of the history, I became convinced that we held onto the faith of the Apostles and that Rome was in schism and that the Roman Catholic Church did not exist until 1054 and right now I am currently an Eastern Orthodox catechumen.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Sleeper on November 25, 2011, 03:49:22 AM
Offended by what, James?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: casisthename on November 27, 2011, 12:21:54 AM
I find it amusing that there's so much "because they both hate Rome..." attitude. Believe it or not, on the campus of the Evangelical school I go to it works the other way around occasionally. Catholics and Orthodoxy respect each other a bit in a different way then they do the 90% of the rest of the school that's evangelical protestant.

A perfect example, is that I doubt anyone in the college age group at my OCA parish would consider dating a protestant. (Keep in mind, of the 8 or 10 or so of us only 2 didn't convert/aren't converting during/immediately following college) However, someone there dating a Catholic doesn't seem totally outlandish.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: biro on November 27, 2011, 02:53:28 PM
That's not what I saw when I was in school.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on November 27, 2011, 05:12:40 PM
there was NO orthodox group in my university!
 :(
so i hung out with both protestants and catholics
 ;)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: SeraphimMark on November 29, 2011, 03:48:43 AM
I converted from Protestantism, The Lutheran Church, and very well knew the options before me .I knowingly choose to not convert to Roman Catholicism for so many reasons .

As a Lutheran, an "orthodox" Lutheran, I also had a strong aversion to Evangelicalism. I found them to be snotty to anyone who disagreed with their anti- sacramentalism. On the other hand, I think what really closed the door to the American Roman Catholic Church is just that , in the name.

It is nothing that resembles the Church that Luther was apart of, or even the one St Paul spoke of in his Epistles. On the contrary, it is a reflection of the decadence and dereliction of a society that is post Christian. In leaving Lutheranism, I  really saw the American Roman Catholic Church like any other denomination.
 
Perhaps even a mediocre version of the EC-USA. Always reinventing itself to become more relevant to the society around it .

This Isn't a put down , but the Crisis of Faith in Roman Catholicism in America , the fact that a Church that claims to have Christ but yet whos layfaithful and priests treat this fact nonchalantly in their Mass, makes me doubt the authenticity of their claims.

Of course there is the fact that reading Jarslo Pelikan's writings on the history of the Church , a scholarly, non biased, account of Church History drew me closer to the Eastern Church. I have to thank my Catholic friends  at the time who recommended it for those reasons :-)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on November 29, 2011, 03:00:06 PM
hi and welcome seraphimmark!
how long have u been orthodox?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: SeraphimMark on December 02, 2011, 03:07:18 AM
Mabsoota, Hi ,Thank you , yes Iv'e been Orthodox for nine years now. I was Lutheran five years before that .
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: SeraphimMark on December 02, 2011, 03:10:08 AM
BTW since your Coptic I happened to see a local Coptic Priest shopping in Target a few days ago . It was wonderful to recieve his blessing . I have a lot of respect for the Coptic Church, thank God you keep the faith against Islamic Oppression bless you
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on December 03, 2011, 11:01:11 AM
i bet the priest enjoyed meeting u too.
9 years! wow, that's ages, i've only been orthodox 3 years.
may God give u many years and may u continue to bless those around u as u shine yr light.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: SeraphimMark on December 03, 2011, 11:01:12 PM
Thank You, and you also . Being new yourself, just know never be dissuaded in your Journey. There is so much to learn and struggles. I remember my own naivete when I became an Orthodox convert, and then reality sets in . Discernment comes in time if you have not been gifted with it already.  Ive found out through a hard lesson the difference between sentimentalism and actual authentic Faith. Beware of those who claim to be Christian, even among the Orthodox.  Some keep a facade of personnel piety and religion, but this is not Faith. I struggle with the bitterness of this , God have mercy on me . My prayer currently is this, "God forgive those who spitefully use us and help me to forgive them. "

May the Lord Bless you in your struggles and shine on your Faith.

The Sinner Mark
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ivanov on April 26, 2012, 02:43:09 PM
I was a protestant (liberal & fundy)for the first 35 years of my life... a RC for the next 25+... and have finally turned the corner to hurry home (I've just entered the catachumenate in the Greek Orthodox Church). I would have turned the corner much earlier if I were not so pigheaded, ie, 'black or white'... "my reason reigns" oriented :>) And, since age 21, my 'asking, seeking and knocking' were the fruit of a real conversion... that is, I was not shopping or seeking to quell an overactive curiosity or immersed in spiritual romanticism (though I'm sure I stuck a toe or two in that romantic pond). I was desperate to find the House of God where Truth Himself reigns.

Now to answer your question simply, "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?"... I would say it is a direct result of God's goodness. One needn't seek difficulty where there is none. I only hope these protestant converts appreciate how much time has been saved and confusion avoided by this Goodness they have received.

It helps, when one is sincerely asking, to remember that the Church was without the great schism for 1000+ years. It would be a bit "partial" and embarrassing to assume publicly that the Orthodox owe their Divine Liturgy to Rome... but let me be quick to say that the Church has always understood and acknowledged the special place of Rome and it's bishops and (from my limited understanding) has done so without feeling in the least, from the beginning, the need to crown them with the infallibility that belongs only to Christ, Her Head.

Now a few quick questions about your Roman Catholic environment. What was the cause of the Pro Multis controversy (changing the words of the consecration of the Precious Blood) in the RCC? How about the latest on the SSPXr's and the Sedevacantists that arose after Vatican II? Does it concern you at all that both councils titled "Vatican Councils" have been profoundly problematic, the first not even concluded but abruptly ended (don't discount God's Providence), and also the outworkings of the second one, which I have witnessed very painfully up-close-and personal at ground level for a quarter of a century. Untold millions of Catholics, confused and scandalized, left... gone! So much for the "pastoralness" which the council forgers touted. I believe honesty requires a prayerful and courageous consideration of these things from an unbiased heart. I think we both know, you as a Catholic and I as a former Catholic, that the list and litany of horrors could go on and on... for me, despite the scandals and falsehoods, I still, overall,  longed for The House of God where Truth Himself reigns, and in retrospect give thanks for the usefulness of those post-Vatican I/II horrors that goaded me into hurrying along Home. I was not argued into faith in Christ (I fell in love), and we are not argued or debated into His Church either. Faith is not jettisoned for reason in this life, so I must be obedient. And still, The Lord Jesus says " All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out"... "This is the will of the Father Who sent Me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day". (John 6:37,39) Quoting these verses doesn't make me a Calvinist or a Catholic or an Orthodox... it makes me a 'quoter' and you a reader :>)

I'll just add in closing, that the words from Sacred Scripture I include below in my "signature" seem to strengthen me in what I've said here.

May The Living God, Most Holy Trinity, protect you and grant both you and I the helps we need to be true and at Peace, Himself.

Christ is Risen!

Ivanov
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: samkim on April 26, 2012, 02:58:13 PM
I am converting to Orthodoxy because I believe, personally, that it is God's true church. I have looked into Catholicism, and it screams false to me. The infallibility of the Pope, the pervertedness of the priests, everything. I just can't come to agree with it. Yes, their practices are somewhat like Orthodoxy, but there are others that are not. I don't dislike the people, I just dislike some things of the beliefs.
Does Catholicism actually teach as doctrine that their priests are to fondle little boys?

According to South Park.

Good point, though. Moral failings in a particular church don't necessarily mean its doctrines are false. If it did, the Orthodox Church would not be the true Church either.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ivanov on April 26, 2012, 04:35:16 PM
Thank you, SamKim. I agree, regarding moral failures and this is why I said..." for me, despite the scandals and falsehoods, I still, OVERALL, longed for the House of God...". I understood, and understand, that moral failure can occur even in the context of correct doctrine... however a 25 year preponderance of scandals and cries of heresy and "sede vacante" does give one pause and cannot humanly be dismissed and ignored entirely.

Are you familiar with the RC doctrine "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" (Outside the Church there is no salvation)? And the teaching of the Council of Trent and other sources that if one is not subject to the Roman Pope and in communion with those who are subject to the Roman Pope, that one will not be saved. In the RC's fervor to circumscribe itself as the Ark and the Roman Pope as the very wood from which that Ark is fashioned, may it not imply in doing so that it has also circumscribed Almighty God Our Savior Himself. Let's have a chat with St. Dismas (the repentant thief) about that:>) If the correct identification of 'The Church' in these decrees is none other than (i.e. "only") the Roman Catholic Church, would this be correct doctrine, or scandal or both?

God Bless and keep you...

Ivanov


Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: biro on April 26, 2012, 07:45:12 PM
That's pretty funny. I've heard plenty of Orthodox on this forum say that if you do not possess the Orthodox faith, you're not getting into Heaven when you die. And yet, they shake their heads when Roman Catholics say the same things about themselves. Why do they think they sound better, when in many cases, they don't even sound different?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ivanov on April 26, 2012, 09:49:58 PM
Hi Biro!!! Hope all is well with you.

I plead ignorance before Our Lord, but I have my predispositions :>) IMHO, in a world that surfs on the waves of indifference, relativism and syncretism, the need to proclaim a single Ark is obvious, if not obligatory. Here again, the horribleness of the Schism weighs heavily. The more I learn, the dumber I get... I hope that's a circular dilemma and not a linear one  :laugh:

Christ is Risen!

God be with you, dear friend!

Ivanov
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ivanov on April 27, 2012, 01:24:47 PM
Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

Regarding 'Church-centric teaching, are you familiar with 'The St. Benedict Center' in New Hampshire (these RC's are sometimes referred to as 'Feeneyites', after their founder Fr. Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit)? They took/take the RC dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ('no salvation outside the church') quite seriously and literally, but were seriously disciplined by Rome for adhering to the logical conclusions/teaching that dogma invites. So apparently there is some amount of ambiguity around this dogma and its subsidiary decrees, ambiguity being the soup de jour for many years now since Vatican II.

In Christ The Lord,

Ivanov
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: witega on April 27, 2012, 04:08:58 PM
Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

You are correct. We are all in communion with the Ecumenical Patriach (as with every other Orthodox hierarch) because he is part of the Church. But only those Orthodox who are part of his patriarchate are actually subject to him. And if he begins to teach heresy, or puts himself into schism, then the Church will keep going without him as it had to do when Rome left.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ivanov on April 28, 2012, 01:07:09 PM
I do want to say that there are many things that I respect about the Catholic Church, and I believe as I grow in my Orthodox faith, I'll find that those very things were present pre-Schism for roughly the first 1000 years of the Church's history. As an ex-RC, it can be, if I let it, easy for me to point out firstly all the things that drove me away. Learning as I go, I believe the better path is to speak of the thiings I do respect (even some things I may miss after 25 years there) at the outset, and prayerfully address other not-so pleasant things as needful. I have failed to do this at times, and hope any and all I may have hurt or offended will forgive me.

To be honest with the originator of this thread, I must admit that early on I too wondered if a Protestant convert to Orthodoxy could really understand or empathize with a RC's conversion and the difficulties unique to the RC situation. I.e., if one comes from a non-RC Christian tradition which was already prejudicial or ignorant (or both) of the RCC, it might seem easier, at first blush, for that person to move to Orthodoxy.

At any rate, I am deeply thankful that The Living God had such mercy and compassion on me as to lead my feet and heart into the path of the Ancient and Orthodox Church. I do feel like that one whom The Good Samaritan took to the Inn to be cared for until He returned. Glory to God!

In Christ The Savior and Lord,

Ivanov
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Papist on April 28, 2012, 01:46:28 PM
Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

Regarding 'Church-centric teaching, are you familiar with 'The St. Benedict Center' in New Hampshire (these RC's are sometimes referred to as 'Feeneyites', after their founder Fr. Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit)? They took/take the RC dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ('no salvation outside the church') quite seriously and literally, but were seriously disciplined by Rome for adhering to the logical conclusions/teaching that dogma invites. So apparently there is some amount of ambiguity around this dogma and its subsidiary decrees, ambiguity being the soup de jour for many years now since Vatican II.

In Christ The Lord,

Ivanov
I have heard of this group. Are they in communion with Rome still?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: biro on April 28, 2012, 01:55:21 PM
Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

Regarding 'Church-centric teaching, are you familiar with 'The St. Benedict Center' in New Hampshire (these RC's are sometimes referred to as 'Feeneyites', after their founder Fr. Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit)? They took/take the RC dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ('no salvation outside the church') quite seriously and literally, but were seriously disciplined by Rome for adhering to the logical conclusions/teaching that dogma invites. So apparently there is some amount of ambiguity around this dogma and its subsidiary decrees, ambiguity being the soup de jour for many years now since Vatican II.

In Christ The Lord,

Ivanov

I haven't heard of them, but I'll take your word for it.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Aaron M on April 28, 2012, 02:40:27 PM
This thread is among the most interesting to read, it's like a direct personal and entirely subjective proposition with no meaningful answer, "why do Protestants convert...?"  I honestly could see myself converting to either Roman Catholicism (but knowingly to a traditionalist variety, like SSPX) or to Eastern Orthodoxy (by way of a more traditionalist jurisdiction) - a good number of years from now.

I am not intellectually sophisticated enough to 'ascertain' and 'judge' the truth-claims of either, on say the papacy or the Councils, especially when there is so much wiggle-room in when papal infallibility applies to a Catholic perspective, or exactly which decrees (properly canons?) of the Ecumenical Councils are a "must-believe" to an Orthodox one.  The nuances claimed on each side for various things, in catchwords and phrases like "economy", "no salvation outside the Church" (anything less than this actually sounds like a deterrent to my 'trying' to convert at any point) muddle up my want for clear answers.  Representing an almost perfect caricature of a Bible-touting evangelical fundamentalist - the last word applies to my way of thinking - I fear that nuance in any doctrinal matter defeats the very purpose of acquiring a doctrinal belief, so therefore I should look only to the Scriptures for doctrinal truths, or for supporting doctrinal (dogmatic?) convictions.  I must have the emotional and possibly mental maturity (many times I think) of a 10- or 12-year old, even though I am 32.

So should I wing it by feeling - go to services of each, and perhaps of more churches, and just see what jives the most, resonates the most, with my subjective feelings?  Thinking about it in this moment (and at many other moments...) after reading Ivanov's posts above, I think that the traditional Latin mass represents (in what it translates to in English, not so much what it sounds like in Latin, audibly or inaudibly) about the most perfect summation of what should be a best well-rounded doctrinal and worshipful participation in the Truth of Christ, in sacramental form.  However, I do *not* think the same of the Novus Ordo mass, simplistically because I think this one lacks the sufficiently penitential character (and text) of the TLM.
     Now bringing the Orthodox in for a superficial comparison, if I were to look only at the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom, it would not quite have that "sufficiently penitential character" of the TLM and I would favor the Traditional Roman Catholics.  Since I have an Orthodox prayer book and have, at a few short periods in the last couple of years, read enough of the prayers in the days before Sunday to acquire a penitential and somber mindset that way, then all turns out to be perfect with the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, after all.

To me, the person of the Pope is ultimately not of fundamental importance, you could guess.  Or, at times, I can see the strong points of Catholics in favor of it, more often than I identify with criticism of it by the Orthodox.  Trying to believe what the Catholics claim about the papacy works, is my guess, very well when the Pope himself is most well-rounded traditionally, "economically", doctrinally and all that mix.  But I shudder and recoil at the thought of what might happen if a social-morality wise liberal Pope got elected, and changed all or very many of the long-held beliefs (contraception, gay sex, abortion, economic philosophy less likely but whichever) seemingly on a whim, time-wise.  Catholic apologists will say that can't happen, or that it wouldn't stick in the long-term, but I just can't know, and pessimistically doubt that it wouldn't.  In turn, then, my mind switches over to the Orthodox convictions on why the papacy is the wrong way to administer the church (or claim that it is the way the church is to be administered - as a wannabe traditionalist morally, how easily so many nay the majority of Catholics seem to dismiss the Vatican in all things except to acknowledge his nominal person i.e. "the Most Holy Father" is scandalous.)

This is getting too long and has a narcissistic feel to it, sounds like.  That is me and not the thread question though.  It is meant to be an intelligent reflection on solid theological reasons why Protestants convert to Orthodoxy, is it?  Or are subjective responses like mine (from one who hasn't converted to anything) fine?

What are the simpletons (or the simplifiers) to do with such questions when it is like a personal proposition that utterly confounds them?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Ivanov on April 28, 2012, 07:21:45 PM
Hi Aaron,

I sincerely appreciate your honesty. Forums, after all, can leave you hanging by a 'thread' (pun intended) with nothing to show for the emotional currency you just spent. I trust in God's merciful providence and leading (even in spite of myself) and none of us could go back and piece together a coherent, clear and concise recitation of every single 'thing' that brought us to this point. I've done the fundamentalist thing (many flavors), Novus Ordo, SSPX (moved my family to the midwest on that one), back to the Novus Ordo (Fraternity of St. Peter as a sort of halfway house in between), in the hospital, at death's door, back to Novus Ordo, up against the wall... humbled by my own wickedness and pride, found the grace to take another step... surprised by this gift called Orthodoxy... peace... and nowhere left to go, literally. The one great and eternal 'dogma' with no "wiggle room" is The One Who Is. I know you and I both understand that "ask, seek and knock" are not a one-time exercise. They are part of the labor we are called to so that we might enter His rest. The one, overarching call in my conversion that continues to resonate is "Come and See"!

I hope that nothing I have poorly said has caused you any confusion or offense (in any of my posts). If so, please forgive me and understand that I would like to help, but more often than not, as a newbie, I should probably just post pleasant, edifying pictures and keep my 'mouth' shut :>)

Sincerely yours, in the Risen Christ...

Ivanov
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HouseOfGod on June 11, 2012, 11:20:34 AM
As a former Protestant who converted to Orthodoxy, I can tell you this; I studied Roman Catholicism for years before my conversion to Orthodoxy.  It was one of the FIRST things that I studied.  The problem was that Roman Catholicism is NOT Apostolic Christianity, but rather a heresy.  There are a number of Protestant denominations, including the one that I left, that are closer to Apostolic Christianity than Roman Catholicism.  So, if one were to be looking for Apostolic Christianity (as I was), the RC church is not an option.  In the end, I was left with only two options, Oriental Orthodoxy (which I nearly joined) and Eastern Orthodoxy.   

And then there are those whose trajectories were the same as your own, seeking the faith of the Apostles and they are now in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church.

The question that I find fascinating is what makes the difference:  The faith?:  Or the person who studies the faith for so long and hard?
I was reading this forum, and I would just like to say that a response like Punch's was exactly the one that I was looking for. It's impossible to judge a response like that, one that is based off of a person's personal experience and opinion. As a teenage "cradle" Eastern Orthodox Christian, I feel as though, while I am incredibly passionate about my faith, I cannot make an appropriate comment about what one should and should not choose. Roman Catholics and Orthodox alike should just try to profess their faith in the best way that they can. Listen to those who have a testimony as to their own story of converting, but do not force the doctrines of your faith upon them and challenge their choices. :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: truthseeker32 on June 11, 2012, 02:19:01 PM
As someone who has been in the process of trying to decide between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy for the past year or so I thought I would give my two cents.

I was raised Mormon (a non-protestant religion) that has a few things in common with protestant denominations that are applicable to this topic. There is an anti-Catholic sentiment in the Mormon faith, although it may not be as pronounced as it is in other denominations. I grew up with a minor "us and them" attitude towards other faiths, which was difficult to overcome after initially losing my faith about four years ago.

I first began to attend an Episcopalian church because it fit my progressive political ideologies of the time. I was blessed to have two professors, one who had converted to RC a decade prior and one who has recently converted to RC from Mormonism, who were willing to counsel me in my spiritual journey. They helped me realize that rather than looking for a religion that fits who I am, I should instead look for a religion that stands up to the test of history and philosophy. Consequently, I soon began attending RCIA which I found to be a well structured educational group that never once taught heresy:) The first year or so of my spiritual journey (2008-2009) I had no idea what Eastern Orthodoxy was. I had seen pictures of Russian Orthodox churches and clergy, but I thought they were Roman Catholics. It was in the fall of 2009 in college that I gained a brief week long exposure to the Orthodox faith in a "Introduction to World Religions" course. We watched a documentary about Orthodox Christianity in the USSR. Eventually I took a two hour trip to experience the DL for the first time, and since then I have been tied up trying to figure things out. I have read numerous books from authors on both sides, and have surrendered to the reality that it may be many years still before I finally have a spiritual home.

I like the strong history of philosophy in the RCC and, although it may be due to the EOC's more limited prevalence in the west, I tend to be more fond of Roman Catholic figures like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, Edward Feser, Peter Kreeft, and G.K. Chesterton. I often wonder why the three latter figures chose the RCC over the EOC.

That being said, I prefer the liturgy and theology of the EOC. I have yet to read anything that convinces me that the doctrine of papal infallibility is  legitimate. However, I am open to having my mind changed, and am currently discussing this issue with a close RC friend.

If I convert to the EOC it will not be because of anti-Pope sentiments.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: mabsoota on June 11, 2012, 04:06:32 PM
houseofGod, i agree with yr post.
i spent a lot of time attending catholic and protestant churches and studying church history before becoming orthodox.
so, technically, the orthodox church is doing things right in my opinion.
but i have seen catholics (and protestants) with a true and living faith showing God to the people around them, so i don't knock their faith.
recently, when traveling, i had a lovely discussion about faith with a catholic priest. he is a man who is so full of love (for God and for people) that is shows easily and i was very blessed by the meeting. he is blessing a lot of people where he is, doing what he does.

truthseeker32, i think the most important thing is to progress in your spiritual journey. visit churches near you and get to know the people there, so u can benefit by knowing how their faith affects their daily life.
when u find a church where people love and obey God and show u how to use the tools of prayers, fasting and the sacraments to become more like God then stick with it until u are sure.
pray and ask God to show u who He is, and study the Bible to learn more about Him.
personally i think the orthodox church has more things right (there is no perfect church until we are in heaven!) but i have seen enough examples of 'orthodox Christians' putting people off their faith to know that this is not always the best church to go to in all parts of the world on all occasions.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HouseOfGod on June 11, 2012, 04:07:53 PM
truthseeker32:
I pray for you to have strength in your journey. Just keep working at it, you'll find your way home. For me, Orthodoxy is definitely mine. But while I believe that the Orthodox Church is right-on in terms of doctrine and spirituality (and a lot of other things :) ), I strongly believe that sometimes different people need different churches. As long as you find your way to Jesus Christ and have a strong personal relationship with Him, that's all that really matters :)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Kerdy on June 11, 2012, 07:58:21 PM
I can only speak for myself, but I became Orthodox because I honestly feel it is the ancient church built by the Apostles.  I studied Roman Catholicism for a couple of years in high school while dating a wonderful Catholic girl.  (On a side note, I was a horrible boyfriend.)  I was young and arrogant and found reasons NOT to like the Roman Church.  As you can imagine, the relationship didn’t last long.  But that is fine because I found my dream girl and she has shaped me just the way she likes me.  :laugh:

As an adult and realizing Protestantism’s problems, I took another look at the Roman Church.  I was surprised to find the things I chose not to like as a teen were actually things I found incorrect as an adult.  I was completely unaware of the Orthodox Church for the most part at this time.  I spent well over a year talking to Roman Catholics and asking questions.  I liked many things about the Roman Church and I very much wanted to be able to accept all of her teachings, but in the end, I simply could not.  I then started to study Luther and the Reformers and realized I was headed right back to where I was attempting to leave.

Then, I began to talk to some Orthodox Christians.  WOW!  What a wonderful discovery and experience!!!  I honestly cannot put into words the excitement and joy I felt at that point in my life.  It was not about trying NOT to be Catholic, it was about finding the true and original church, and I had found it!!!  My journey to where I am now has provided me an understanding and appreciation for Roman Catholics I never had as a Protestant.  My “rejection” of the Catholic Church was not out of vitriol for anything “Rome”, it was in search of home.

I do; however, understand your (original poster) frustration as many people have those feelings for the Catholic Church.  I am unsure if this is what swayed them to the Orthodox Church, but Protestants (not all) really do have an aversion to Rome.  It’s odd.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: HouseOfGod on June 12, 2012, 12:34:52 AM
Kerdy:
I wish you continued success in your faith. God bless you.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: truthseeker32 on June 12, 2012, 12:50:35 AM
truthseeker32, i think the most important thing is to progress in your spiritual journey. visit churches near you and get to know the people there, so u can benefit by knowing how their faith affects their daily life.
when u find a church where people love and obey God and show u how to use the tools of prayers, fasting and the sacraments to become more like God then stick with it until u are sure.
pray and ask God to show u who He is, and study the Bible to learn more about Him.
personally i think the orthodox church has more things right (there is no perfect church until we are in heaven!) but i have seen enough examples of 'orthodox Christians' putting people off their faith to know that this is not always the best church to go to in all parts of the world on all occasions.
truthseeker32:
I pray for you to have strength in your journey. Just keep working at it, you'll find your way home. For me, Orthodoxy is definitely mine. But while I believe that the Orthodox Church is right-on in terms of doctrine and spirituality (and a lot of other things :) ), I strongly believe that sometimes different people need different churches. As long as you find your way to Jesus Christ and have a strong personal relationship with Him, that's all that really matters :)
I appreciate your kind words. I would love to attend an Orthodox parish more regularly, but the closest one is 60 miles away, through a canyon, and I don't have a car. This alone has made me wonder if I should put extra effort into building faith in the Roman Catholic Church since there is one just a few blocks from where I live. It is much more accessible.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Father H on June 13, 2012, 10:16:23 PM
truthseeker32, i think the most important thing is to progress in your spiritual journey. visit churches near you and get to know the people there, so u can benefit by knowing how their faith affects their daily life.
when u find a church where people love and obey God and show u how to use the tools of prayers, fasting and the sacraments to become more like God then stick with it until u are sure.
pray and ask God to show u who He is, and study the Bible to learn more about Him.
personally i think the orthodox church has more things right (there is no perfect church until we are in heaven!) but i have seen enough examples of 'orthodox Christians' putting people off their faith to know that this is not always the best church to go to in all parts of the world on all occasions.
truthseeker32:
I pray for you to have strength in your journey. Just keep working at it, you'll find your way home. For me, Orthodoxy is definitely mine. But while I believe that the Orthodox Church is right-on in terms of doctrine and spirituality (and a lot of other things :) ), I strongly believe that sometimes different people need different churches. As long as you find your way to Jesus Christ and have a strong personal relationship with Him, that's all that really matters :)
I appreciate your kind words. I would love to attend an Orthodox parish more regularly, but the closest one is 60 miles away, through a canyon, and I don't have a car. This alone has made me wonder if I should put extra effort into building faith in the Roman Catholic Church since there is one just a few blocks from where I live. It is much more accessible.

OR start a mission.  You don't have to be a priest to do that, you just have to get one, eventually.  Most of the parishes in this country were not started by clergy, but by laity.  You have to be catechized of course...  well, just pm me
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: jerry on August 15, 2012, 11:02:45 PM
I can respond to this post since I recently converted to Orthodoxy and not to Catholicism.  I won't speak on specifics but will point out the corruptive history of the Catholic church and the mishandling of children who've been assaulted.  That was the biggest turn off to me.  I mean no offense to our Catholic friends here and know that most Catholics are good and decent people and do not approve of the history I mentioned.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Cyrillic on August 24, 2012, 04:39:41 AM
I didn't convert to Orthodoxy yet, but the reason that I ruled out Catholicism was that I couldn't see how the Pope had the right to appoint and depose bishops in the Netherlands or the US at will. I don't think that the Pope had the right to do that sort of things in the first millenium.

Papal Infallibility I can't find in the ECF's either except for one isolated quote of Cyprian and a bit from Irenaeus of which the original Greek was lost and of which we only have a latin translation.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Palex on August 31, 2012, 04:49:17 PM
Last week I discovered this website while Googling a specific issue that was covered within another thread in this forum. I randomly chose to read this thread after and have been fascinated with the thoughtful and informative responses here. I'm an older cradle Orthodox (Greek) and am delighted to have found, rather stumbled upon, this forum.

Here is a link which may be of interest to those of you who live a great distance from an Orthodox church and would like to view live church broadcasts. It's off the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website:

http://www.goarch.org/chapel/live (http://www.goarch.org/chapel/live)  
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Jeremy on October 17, 2012, 11:47:08 AM
As a Protestant who recently started exploring the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) but then became interested in the Orthodox Church (due to serious issues in the RCC), I might be able to shed some light on the OP.

I was very enthusiastic about the RCC for about 4-5 months as I explored it and got involved, but recently I became gravely concerned with some of its teachings, namely:


I know that last teaching listed is what the Orthodox hold to as well, so I am still far from joining the OC, as justification is a huge issue for me. But what appealed to me about the OC is its emphasis on preserving and handing on apostolic teaching rather than constantly developing doctrine. The latter has led to excesses and contradictions in RCC teaching. I know Catholics here will disagree, but I've been doing research on it, and it's unlikely I'll be dissuaded.

Just wanted to answer the OP.

Jeremy

Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: WPM on October 17, 2012, 12:00:38 PM
I'm not sure ... the RC priest does stop taking individual cases and instead wants to convert the whole classroom/audience.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: xariskai on October 20, 2012, 07:41:53 PM
I know that last teaching listed is what the Orthodox hold to as well, so I am still far from joining the OC, as justification is a huge issue for me. But what appealed to me about the OC is its emphasis on preserving and handing on apostolic teaching rather than constantly developing doctrine. The latter has led to excesses and contradictions in RCC teaching. I know Catholics here will disagree, but I've been doing research on it, and it's unlikely I'll be dissuaded.

Jeremy, have you looked into recent scholarship and e.g. the so-called New Pauline Perspective on justification? The following article which I posted on my blog might help you to see that major contemporary scholarship has very strongly adopted views on justification which both call strongly into question medieval developments and converge very well with paleo-orthodox and Orthodox soteriology.

http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/dikaiosyne-theou-the-righteousness-of-god-in-contemporary-biblical-scholarship/ (http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/dikaiosyne-theou-the-righteousness-of-god-in-contemporary-biblical-scholarship/)

The emphasis of the eastern church from the pre-Augustinian period of the apostolic fathers to the present has always been upon theosis rather than justification. Justification for the eastern church, not unlike emphases found in the NPP, is a restoration to covenant relationship, but with a much larger aim in view, our being remade in the image of Christ and to literally become partakers of the divine nature. From an Eastern Christian perspective abstracting justification as something isolated and unparalleled in importance, e.g. viewing justification as "more central" than sanctification and so on is a distortion of scripture; life in Christ viewed from the perspective of eternity is actually an indivisible whole. Election, for example, is related to foreknowledge of sanctification in Peter's first epistle rather than justification; in Romans those who are justified are also conformed to the likeness of Christ and glorified. Glorification, sanctification, conformation to the likeness of Christ and so on, rather than being of lesser importance, are in reality what justification restores us for; apart from this it is reduced to a legal fiction.

Also related, cf.  http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/did-luther-get-it-wrong-most-major-contemporary-pauline-scholars-say-yes/ (http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/did-luther-get-it-wrong-most-major-contemporary-pauline-scholars-say-yes/) which amounts to not only a critique of Luther, but the medieval paradigm stemming from Anselm which Luther was reacting against and which by his time had become dogmatically entrenched in the Roman Catholic tradition.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Jeremy on October 21, 2012, 10:27:07 AM
I know that last teaching listed is what the Orthodox hold to as well, so I am still far from joining the OC, as justification is a huge issue for me. But what appealed to me about the OC is its emphasis on preserving and handing on apostolic teaching rather than constantly developing doctrine. The latter has led to excesses and contradictions in RCC teaching. I know Catholics here will disagree, but I've been doing research on it, and it's unlikely I'll be dissuaded.

Jeremy, have you looked into recent scholarship and e.g. the so-called New Pauline Perspective on justification?

I'm aware of the New Perspective on Paul. From what I understand, it teaches (among other things) that when Paul spoke of "works of law," he was referring only to ceremonial works of the law, such as circumcision, and not the moral aspects of the law, such as love for God and neighbor. I have doubts about that view, however, based on Gal. 3:10 and Acts 15. Gal. 3:10 speaks of the necessity to keep the whole law, with no distinction between moral and ceremonial; and in Acts 15 the Jerusalem council stood against the Pharisees' demand that Gentiles be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. The Pharisees mentioned both of those things explicitly: circumcision and the law of Moses. If by the law of Moses they meant only ceremonial laws, there would have been no need to mention circumcision separately and by name.

Quote
The following article which I posted on my blog might help you to see that major contemporary scholarship has very strongly adopted views on justification which both call strongly into question medieval developments and converge very well with paleo-orthodox and Orthodox soteriology.

http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/dikaiosyne-theou-the-righteousness-of-god-in-contemporary-biblical-scholarship/ (http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/dikaiosyne-theou-the-righteousness-of-god-in-contemporary-biblical-scholarship/)

Thanks. I've started it.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: xariskai on October 22, 2012, 12:12:16 AM
I'm aware of the New Perspective on Paul. From what I understand, it teaches (among other things) that when Paul spoke of "works of law," he was referring only to ceremonial works of the law, such as circumcision, and not the moral aspects of the law, such as love for God and neighbor. I have doubts about that view, however, based on Gal. 3:10 and Acts 15. Gal. 3:10 speaks of the necessity to keep the whole law, with no distinction between moral and ceremonial; and in Acts 15 the Jerusalem council stood against the Pharisees' demand that Gentiles be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. The Pharisees mentioned both of those things explicitly: circumcision and the law of Moses. If by the law of Moses they meant only ceremonial laws, there would have been no need to mention circumcision separately and by name.

Thanks. I've started it.

The threefold systematic division of the law into ceremonial/civil/moral is actually a Reformed/Calvinist position of confessional status in the Westminster Standards (it is explicitly found in Calvin, Francis Turretin, the Westminister Confession, and the 1689 Baptist Confession). Some Calvinist writers attempt to trace it to Aquinas, however Aquinas's moral category specifically denoted *natural law* which Reformed scholars reject (arguing instead for natural revelation; Orthodox Christians typically reject the dogmatic status of Aquinas's natural theology natural law theory as medieval innovations not elevated to dogmatic status until 1871/Vatican I in Roman Catholicism, and which were considered suspect by many Roman Catholics from the medieval period to Vatican I, as pointed out by Fr. Copleston in his book on Aquinas).

Actually the NPP is regarded by Reformed scholars who defend the threefold division as a major challenge to their position. The rejection by the NPP of merit soteriology also represents a major challenge to the whole range of development of Latin Catholic and Protestant theologies of merit -from condign merit to congruent merit in the Christian West- see further here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condign_merit) and here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merit_%28Catholicism%29) ). Paleo-orthodoxy, i.e. patristic theology of the entire first Christian millennium, as I mentioned briefly before, had little use for categories like merit, and satisfaction was completely unheard of.

I may say more on the question of the law in the Pauline letters in a bit, but for the present I will say that like you I see no need to employ late Reformed systematic divisions of the law to explain Paul's reply to his Judaizing opponents as found in Acts 15 and in Galatians.



Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Daedelus1138 on December 25, 2012, 05:01:43 PM
   I explored Orthodoxy years ago and actually I was first drawn to Roman Catholicism and explored that alot first.  But Orthodox theology appealed more to me, and I just don't understand how Rome's reading of the Papacy rings of truth.   In more retrospect, I view alot of the spiritual crisis of the West due to the failure of the Papacy- it is simply too authoritarian and lacks real spiritual power.

  As it is now, I feel like Eastern Orthodoxy is basicly right about many things but its steeped in a premodern mindset that is anti-intellectual to a disturbing degree- examples of anti-Western and anti-gay demonstrations of "Orthodox" people in Western Europe are good examples of how Eastern Orthodoxy has failed to speak Good News in the face of modern challenges, where marginalized groups will not stay silent in the face of unquestioned traditions.   I really do believe many things about faith are a mystery, and not open to Scholasticism, but how you treat your fellow human beings, ethics, should be grounded in shared human experience and scientific data, not religious authority.  It is here I prefer Anglicanism, it is like Orthodoxy in many ways but gives a higher priority to human reason  and doesn't reduce the Christian life to mere mysticism.  I have a new respect for Roman Catholic moderates and liberals as well, though  I doubt I could ever convert to that church.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on December 27, 2012, 01:53:20 PM
   I explored Orthodoxy years ago and actually I was first drawn to Roman Catholicism and explored that alot first.  But Orthodox theology appealed more to me, and I just don't understand how Rome's reading of the Papacy rings of truth.   

That's largely our fault: we generally don't present the papacy very well, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Daedelus1138 on December 27, 2012, 10:58:30 PM
That's largely our fault: we generally don't present the papacy very well, in my opinion.

  I'm not anti-Catholic, actually I have alot of respect for Roman Catholics .  I just never really understood how Papal Infallibility is intelligible or helpful, and I don't think Roman Catholics realize how alienating this can be to your average non-Catholic (often times the Papacy for non-Catholics comes across as "listen to me because I'm authoritative. Full stop no mystery no argument", seeming to go against the rationality that Roman Catholicism prizes, and the fact millions of Christians, who seem to be thoughtful and rational too, disagree).   There is alot good about the Roman Catholic church, but the institution has a poor presentation and I don't think all of it can be laid on the feet of secular hatred of religion.   And that bit really turned me off.  I just accepted that the Papacy's claims were uncertain for me and decided to try to pursue an Apostolic faith tradition.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: WPM on January 11, 2013, 04:28:47 PM
Quote
Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?


I don't know ... location and ease of access?..
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: walter1234 on January 11, 2013, 04:41:16 PM

Quote
Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?


Less legalistic
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on January 24, 2013, 11:42:52 PM
I know this thread is "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?", but I've always (or at least, for quite a few years) felt like the real question is "Why do Protestants convert to Catholicism rather than Orthodoxy?"

Recently (in the last year or two) I feel like I've started to get a handle on that question, but I'm still reluctant to try to explain it to others. Anyone else care to answer it?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peacemaker on January 30, 2013, 04:53:23 PM
Because I wanted to fullness of the faith and in my research the RC's kept falling short on that. I was reading Acts one day, and said to myself "I want to be in this Church, where is this Church? It has to still exist!" Like all roads lead to Rome, it always lead back to Orthodoxy in my search. Everything I felt and believed fit perfect with Orthodoxy, like it was some sort of inherited understanding of what the faith should be. There were many things that didn't sit right with me in Roman Catholic and in Protestant teachings and practice. It wasn't like that with Orthodoxy, it fit perfectly, like a missing puzzle piece.

(Keep in mind I grew up in a non religious home and I had to find the right path on my own. It took many many years, but after all that time searching, I know where I am now is home!)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: dzheremi on January 30, 2013, 05:27:11 PM
I know this thread is "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?", but I've always (or at least, for quite a few years) felt like the real question is "Why do Protestants convert to Catholicism rather than Orthodoxy?"

Recently (in the last year or two) I feel like I've started to get a handle on that question, but I'm still reluctant to try to explain it to others. Anyone else care to answer it?

This really should be its own thread, Peter, but I don't think it's a bad question. I also don't think it takes too much time to understand, though. For a Protestant to come to Orthodoxy is to abandon more of his presuppositions than for that same Protestant to become Catholic. Protestants and Catholics share essentially the same worldview (such that Protestantism arose out of the Western/Catholic world and not the Eastern Christian world; it was a response to uniquely Catholic ideas and views), and so accepting Catholicism can be seen as a sort of knocking down of a few (very well entrenched) roadblocks or barriers, rather than a fundamental change. I've watched enough episodes of the "The Journey Home" on ETWN to know the story: "I was raised in a hardcore Baptist (or some other Protestant) home, and we were always taught that the Pope was the antichrist and his followers were deluded rubes...so imagine my surprise to find one day a co-worker who was Catholic, and explained to me how the Pope WASN'T the antichrist, and that to be a Catholic you don't have to believe that he's right about every little thing...well, then I figured maybe I've had it wrong this whole time! It really opened up my eyes and blahblahblahblah..."

Sure, that's a change, alright...from one position on the Roman Pope to another position on the Roman Pope (or from one position on Mary to another position on Mary, or whatever their pet issue is). But it is not a fundamental change in being Christian comparable to coming to Orthodoxy. It is, at best, (re)considering one issue and then another issue and then another, until the Protestant convert "sees the light", realizes that what they'd always believed about RCism is not true, and converts (as though having been wrong about RCism in the past therefore means RCism is right in the present...I know a few converts who seem to think it is). By contrast, I have found that coming to Orthodoxy was much less about being convinced on an issue-by-issue basis (i.e., I did not convert to OO'xy out of a hatred of Chalcedon, though that seems to be a popular assumption about OO converts), and more about a rediscovery of what was ancient common practice and ancient common belief, which is really what I affirm by my acceptance of baptism, such that when I was asked during a celebration of my baptism by a man from the church in which I was baptized (not my home parish, as we don't have the proper facilities) why I had converted to Coptic Orthodoxy, I told him "I didn't; I converted to Orthodoxy...you guys just happen to already be here."  ;D

Short answer: It's easier. ;)
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: sirsharp on January 31, 2013, 12:05:40 AM
Quote
I know this thread is "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?", but I've always (or at least, for quite a few years) felt like the real question is "Why do Protestants convert to Catholicism rather than Orthodoxy?"

I would have to agree that the switch from Protestantism to Catholicism does not (generally) involve a fundamental shift in one's thinking.  If one reads anything written by Scott Hahn or Jimmy Akin it still reads like something an evangelical Protestant would write.  Ironically, I don't think Catholicism is very good at attracting mainline Protestants (excluding Anglicans) because it has been influenced so much by former evangelicals. 

Personally, I left RCIA because I found Catholicism to be too... Protestant.  But for evangelicals it seems like a perfect fit.  The theology is not too different and there is no longer the awkward pause between Augustine and Luther.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Nephi on January 31, 2013, 12:39:09 AM
This really should be its own thread, Peter, but I don't think it's a bad question. I also don't think it takes too much time to understand, though. For a Protestant to come to Orthodoxy is to abandon more of his presuppositions than for that same Protestant to become Catholic. Protestants and Catholics share essentially the same worldview (such that Protestantism arose out of the Western/Catholic world and not the Eastern Christian world; it was a response to uniquely Catholic ideas and views), and so accepting Catholicism can be seen as a sort of knocking down of a few (very well entrenched) roadblocks or barriers, rather than a fundamental change. I've watched enough episodes of the "The Journey Home" on ETWN to know the story: "I was raised in a hardcore Baptist (or some other Protestant) home, and we were always taught that the Pope was the antichrist and his followers were deluded rubes...so imagine my surprise to find one day a co-worker who was Catholic, and explained to me how the Pope WASN'T the antichrist, and that to be a Catholic you don't have to believe that he's right about every little thing...well, then I figured maybe I've had it wrong this whole time! It really opened up my eyes and blahblahblahblah..."

Sure, that's a change, alright...from one position on the Roman Pope to another position on the Roman Pope (or from one position on Mary to another position on Mary, or whatever their pet issue is). But it is not a fundamental change in being Christian comparable to coming to Orthodoxy. It is, at best, (re)considering one issue and then another issue and then another, until the Protestant convert "sees the light", realizes that what they'd always believed about RCism is not true, and converts (as though having been wrong about RCism in the past therefore means RCism is right in the present...I know a few converts who seem to think it is).
It goes back to that oft-quoted idea that "Protestants and Catholics give different answers to the same questions, whereas Orthodox ask different questions altogether."

Although, in some ways I'm not sure exactly how accurate this is since it increasingly seems like Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox are much more (theologically) similar than we'd often like to admit. Spirituality is where it seems like the real differences lie, at least between most Protestants and Orthodox.


Quote
I told him "I didn't; I converted to Orthodoxy...you guys just happen to already be here."  ;D
+1

Honestly if a OO parish had been closer, I probably would've entered it instead of the further (an hour's drive) EO one.
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Peter J on January 31, 2013, 12:28:37 PM
Short answer: It's easier. ;)

You mean like

Everything I felt and believed fit perfect with Orthodoxy,

?

(Kidding,  ;) mostly.)

But seriously, I agree with you in large part: when I hear converts' reasons for choosing Catholicism over Orthodoxy, oftentimes I feel they are "all the wrong reasons".*

On the other hand, there also seem to quite a lot of Catholic ex-protestants who never really chose Catholicism over Orthodoxy, if you know what I mean.

* Any Tom Petty fans here?
Title: Re: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?
Post by: Jetavan on January 31, 2013, 12:29:38 PM
Short answer: It's easier. ;)

You mean like

Everything I felt and believed fit perfect with Orthodoxy,

?

(Kidding,  ;) mostly.)

But seriously, I agree with you in large part: when I hear converts' reasons for choosing Catholicism over Orthodoxy, oftentimes I feel they are "all the wrong reasons".*

On the other hand, there also seem to quite a lot of Catholic ex-protestants who never really chose Catholicism over Orthodoxy, if you know what I mean.

* Any Tom Petty fans here?
They don't come around here no more.