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Author Topic: Why did you convert to Orthodoxy?  (Read 10757 times) Average Rating: 0
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Buddhalover
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« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2007, 10:38:48 PM »

Ebor, you did not offend me. No ones post has offended me. I was a bit puzzled as to some judgements by some concerning my commitment or lack of commitment to Buddhism when all I wanted was for people to share their own faith about Orthodoxy. But I did not find your posts puzzling. The era I was referring to was WW2 Japan as written about in "Zen at War." Someone commented that the Zen leaders justified mass killings for the good of Japan. I have not read the book so I do not know if this is even true.

I suppose people are Orthodox because that is where they feel the closest to God and are nourished according to their understanding. This is the same way I feel about Buddhism.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 10:39:46 PM by Buddhalover » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2007, 06:28:32 PM »

I suppose people are Orthodox because that is where they feel the closest to God and are nourished according to their understanding.

An elegant and sympathetic truism echoed in the story of the tenth century Russian emissaries who were sent to determine what religion their country should adopt:

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« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2007, 09:26:33 AM »

I suppose people are Orthodox because that is where they feel the closest to God and are nourished according to their understanding.

An elegant and sympathetic truism echoed in the story of the tenth century Russian emissaries who were sent to determine what religion their country should adopt

Vladimir on Islam's prohibition of drink
Drinking is the joy of the Russes.  We cannot exist without that pleasure. 

Vladimir On Roman Catholicism and fasting
Depart hence, our fathers accepted no such principle.

On the Khazars
The Khazars echoed the Muslim prohibition against pork and supported circumcision.   God was angry at our forefathers, and scattered us among the gentiles on account of our sins.  Vladimir asked How can you hope to teach other whiles you yourselves are cast out and scattered abroad by the hand of God.  If God loved you and your faith, you would not be thus dispersed in foreign lands.  Do you expect us to accept that fate also.

Russian Emissaries on the Byzantines
We knew not whether they were on heaven or on earth.  For on earth there is no such splendor of beauty, and we are at a loss as to how to describe it. We only know that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations.

I am Christian
because I find the evidence for the resurrection compelling.
Consider http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth22.html

Orthodox
Lots of reasons, but a crucial one expressed by an old story
A Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox discussed what religion   Christ will have on his return. After the others gave their reasons  the Orthodox said
Why would he change

For a good thread covering reasons for conversion on another site consider
http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2007/03/02/why-people-become-orthodox/

Buddhalover I am interested in  what led you to make this enquiry.
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« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2007, 10:15:27 AM »

Echristos Anesti!

Buddhalover, with all due respect and speaking as an ex-Seventh Day Baptist (SDB), if you were a Fundamentalist who converted to the Charismatic movement then you have never been a Christian. Let me compare it this way, if a Samaritan living 2000 years ago became an Essene, he could not rightly claim to be an Israelite even though he had been part of two movements which thought they were Israelites. (Please forgive any error in this comparrison.) The point is that neither the Fundamentalist nor the Charismatic movement is Apostolic and as such neither can rightly claim to be Christian.
(You can probably figure out a thing or two about SDBs simply from the name of the group however individuals vary widely and wildly within the movement as it encompasses all ranges of Baptist thought with the uniting point being the Sabbath. Only Primative SDBs are of note as not being part of the main SDB body as far as I am aware
 although smaller groups exists. The PSDBs as all PBs don't believe in such organisations.)

May I please ask how recently your friend converted to Orthodoxy please?


From what you have said it is clear that you do not accept the Holy Bible as being the infallible Word of God. However it is interesting that you mention God as most Buddhists are either atheists or polytheists.

You talked about Testimonies, if you haven't read it and would like to, I recommend Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells by Gallatin (not sure of how to spell his name sorry but that's close).



Your friend is probably concerned about you as the Church is like Noah's Ark. If you're not in it then you have no hope according to strict Orthodox teaching. Note please though, the Orthodox Church knows who is in the Church but not who is out of it. God gave the Church one way of ensuring people are in it but if God has another way then He didn't tell us about it. Hence, the safe way is considered the best way.

In regards to the "we are the one true church" mentality that you mention, if it is used to exalt oneself or degrade others then this is sad. However in Orthodoxy it is simply put forward as a statement of truth that Christ said, I will establish my Church and the gates of Hell (Hades) will not prevail against it. The Holy Bible also strictly warns against separating from the Church which the Apostles founded. As the Orthodox Church is this same Church it is simply stated as fact that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church and then if you don't want to accept that then it won't be pushed. Whilst without the Church you are free to believe whatever you like and the Orthodox respect the right of a man to be wrong.

May I please point out that the Muslim who flies an aeroplane into a building feels close to God. How one feels is no indication of reality. If I eat magic mushrooms I might feel great but my health won't be so great. If I feel that I know a lot about the Holy Bible as an SDB, this just means I haven't yet been involved with people (such as the Orthodox) who know a lot more than I do.

Please be specific about what things people believe about Jesus Christ which He did not say about Himself. Remember also that not all His words are in the Holy Bible as St. John tells us and that He taught His Apostles many other things which have been received by the Church.
There are some things which are unknown. For example, what happens to unbaptised babies which die? Some will contend greatly for both sides of this issue which is evidence that it remains unknown but what is known is that baptised babies are safe.
The Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) to guide His Church into all truth and He guides the Council when it is Ecumenical. (Oriental Orthodox Christians will here contend that there have only been three [3] however issues regarding the next three [3] have been largely resolved now and OOs agree with the one about icons anyway.) As ozgeorge said, a Council has to reach a consensus and that at Chalcedon did not as about 1/3rd of the Bishops disagreed and St. Dioscorus was falsely deposed.
To clarify as well, a heretic has to know that he is wrong and be warned repeatedly before he is called a heretic. Why he is wrong is explained to him several times and any issues of difficulty are discussed but if he is to change the faith which was once delivered to the saints then he can not remain a part of it. Calling a person a heretic is the last kind act the Church shows a person in the hope that he might repent of making his own choices (which is what heresy means) against the wisdom of the Church.
In regards to the Council of Florence, I know there were Ethiopian Orthodox Christians there which did not agree with Rome however I'm unsure about any other OOs. Also, isn't Mark of Ephesus a saint amongst the EOs?

I've replied to this quickly and briefly as I am not yet baptised and so it is unlikely that anyone will listen to me however my father has been a western-style Buddhist for some years so I have some knowledge of this topic. I would like to ask please if you are aware of how different western-style Buddhism is to Buddhism as practised about the Indian sub-continent and in SE Asia and Japan?

Please forgive me for being too direct however I fail to see why I should be subtle as usual at a time when nobody will listen to me anyway.

In short though, as it was your original question, I am about to convert to Orthodoxy and become a Christian (at long last after having been through many denominations and investigated various groups even including the Strangites) because I keep seeing miracles unlike anything that I have ever seen anywhere else (and they aren't just silly "my back was sore and now it isn't" type of miracles) and it has amazed me how many attempts at investigating other religious groups have failed for one reason or another, particularly in the last few months, whilst I have been investigating Orthodox Christianity. Also, I have been reading the writings of early Christians and other works and, whereas I once debated doctrine powerfully, I am now unable to stand any longer against the teachings of Orthodoxy in debate. I must say though, I still have a question that I would like answered before joining the Church but I'm now satisfied that if I just stop tarrying and organise to be baptised the answer might be given me afterwards.

Hope you read this as I haven't read everything but generally looked at the first page.

Having just read that story, hedley, about "Why would He change?" I must relate that to some others. Thank you for it. I might change it a bit as I'm a bit of a story-teller and prefer longer stories.

Hope that helped Buddhalover.

+May the prayers of St. Mary, the Holy Apostles, the saints of this day and St. Didymus the Blind be with us, IS.
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« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2007, 12:55:54 AM »

Quote
What I really came here for was to discover the specialness of Orthodoxy among its members.

That goal contains issues.  If you want to discover the "specialness" of Orthodoxy among its members you must understand that we do not simply act as individual members, nor are we able to experience it through internet discussion boards.  You seem to want the individual answer.  There is no such thing.  Everything we do is in the context of community.  When we err as individuals we not only sin against God, but our communities.  You have to give up your life to save it.  The last, the servant, is first, not the glorified individual.  As an individual, this has no relevance.  The glorified individual can't do the work in the community.  There is only one.  In that context all work is done for self gratification.   

We are a community.  We disagree at times.  We argue.  Sometimes we act selfishly and cause scandals amongst ourselves.  But what *I* receive is what those with whom I may disagree most on many issues also receive.  We need each other and we receive it together. We don't do this because we are exceptionally weak or exceptionally stupid or because we want someone else to tell us what to believe.  We do this, in part, because we recognize that everyone is weak, foolish, prone to do wrong, etc.  We do it because God became Man to unite us *all* with Himself.

We may experience God's energies personally, but we do so through the Church.  We experience God through the Church.  If you want to know what we get from Orthodoxy, you must see it through the Church.  Otherwise it is not Orthodoxy.

To explain what we see in the Divine Liturgy (or anything concerning the experience of the Faith) without the context of experience would be like trying to explain the color red to someone who is blind, the sound of a stream running over rocks to someone who is deaf, or restfulness of a full night's sleep to anyone with three boys under the age of three.  It's simply pointless.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 12:56:41 AM by cizinec » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: April 18, 2007, 12:24:32 PM »

budalover: Our earthly life is so fragile and yet our spirit can only be freed by participation in it and cyclical rebirths weighed by karmic progress seem perilous in this temporal world ( or other material worlds hard to transcend and also subject to perpetual decay). How many reach the sought for "pure lands"? How many can a bodhisattva aid?  I am not condemning you or your beliefs; I am just saying our life is so precious and to miss the opportunity the Gospel of Jesus Christ promises is to miss the chance of a lifetime and in faith accept in all humility that without him we "can do nothing" (John 15:5). Now, why the Holy Orthodox Church? While I do believe that a non Orthodox communion can offer salvation and all Christians are blessed some have ceased to be Christian. Holy Orthodoxy is still retained in the true Apostolic and Catholic church and surely saints and apostates have been ordained as clergy (as in Rome and Protestants). The fulness of the salvic medicine still exists in the blessed sacraments although the chaos of the world affects our disposition in partaking of them (such is spiritual warfare, especially in partaking of the blessed Eucharist). While saints (known and unknown) can conceptually compared to bodhisattvas, our faith tells us that they are partakers of the true divine nature and that their communion supports the faithful and all mankind thanks to Jesus Christ. Only in the Holy Orthodox church can we fully spiritually partake of our saviour's blessings. Prayer is comprehensive for the earthly living and the living departed (cf Matthew 22:32) and must be practiced and meditated on daily. Through this we nurture love, faith, and hope as the apostle Paul noted. I could go on but I hope that I have humbly, politely, and not self righteously proclaimed what is the truth and not offended the values of any kindly person.
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« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2007, 04:47:00 PM »

Hi Don,

Let me try to give you a short answer why I became Orthodox. Honestly, perhaps the answer closest to the truth is, I don't know. I mean, I cannot explain it rationally. I believe in God and I believe that Christ is the Son of God Who "for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven," etc., you know, what the Nicean-Constantinople Creed says. I believe in every word of it, just believe, one might perhaps say, "buy into it." Maybe it's childish credulity, I won't argue. And because I believe in all these things that the Creed mentions, I want, I have always wanted to enter this "Kingdom that will have no end," to live eternally with God. And I believe that this life has already started, has begun, in this mysterious, definition-defying thing that is called Church. Again, I feel it rather than rationally am able to explain it. And that Church is the Orthodox Church. I am there because "it's good for me to be there" (Matthew 17:4).

Best wishes,

George
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« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2007, 04:54:29 PM »

I mean, I cannot explain it rationally.

That is probably one of the best explanations I have read and can relate completely.  So much and so many aspects of your being pulls you towards Holy Orthodoxy, but at the same time you cannot put it to words or do it proper justice.
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« Reply #53 on: May 14, 2007, 06:27:20 PM »

Thank you, Friul. --G.
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« Reply #54 on: May 14, 2007, 10:14:49 PM »

As a recent convert, I thought I'd better chime in. Smiley  I just became Orthodox this past Theophany, 2007.  I was a Greek Melkite Catholic for 12 years, raised southern baptist.  I became Orthodox fundamentally because I came to see that Rome's claims about papal supremacy and infallibility were not true and that the official Roman scholastic theology was riddled with contradictions and errors.  I wanted the pure thing.  So, I came to believe that the pure faith, delivered from Christ to the apostles to their successors, has been kept in its entirety, without distortion, only in the Orthodox Church.  I regard Roman Catholics, Eastern Catholics, and Protestants as my brothers and sisters in Christ.  But, I regard their Churches and communions as being in error since they have either departed from the Orthodox faith in substantial matters (protestants) or they have distorted the Orthodox faith with a faulty ecclesiology and unnecessary additions (Roman Catholicism).

Joe
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« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2007, 12:22:24 PM »

If Buddhalover should come back to this thread, I have a copy of "Zen at War" waiting for me at the local book shop.  My suspicions are that the promoting of WWII he mentions is more due to Japanese Nationalism and social aspects then to something zen/Buddhist

Ebor
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« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2007, 09:34:57 PM »

Serge (a frequent contributor to this forum) has a great link on Buddhism vis-a-vis Orthodoxy

http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/OldWorldBasic/Buddhism_to_Orthodoxy.htm
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« Reply #57 on: June 06, 2007, 10:58:31 AM »

As a recent convert, I thought I'd better chime in. Smiley  I just became Orthodox this past Theophany, 2007.  I was a Greek Melkite Catholic for 12 years, raised southern baptist.  I became Orthodox fundamentally because I came to see that Rome's claims about papal supremacy and infallibility were not true and that the official Roman scholastic theology was riddled with contradictions and errors.  I wanted the pure thing.  So, I came to believe that the pure faith, delivered from Christ to the apostles to their successors, has been kept in its entirety, without distortion, only in the Orthodox Church.  I regard Roman Catholics, Eastern Catholics, and Protestants as my brothers and sisters in Christ.  But, I regard their Churches and communions as being in error since they have either departed from the Orthodox faith in substantial matters (protestants) or they have distorted the Orthodox faith with a faulty ecclesiology and unnecessary additions (Roman Catholicism).Joe

Interesting, Joe.  Much of that good post could be lifted from my own journal.  I was raised Roman Catholic, and I came back to it five years ago after having a religious conversion in my life.  However, I have come to the same conclusions about papal claims, etc., and I am inclined towards Orthodoxy for (as you put it) "the pure thing." 

Neverthless, there is a part of me that wonders just how pure is it?  With the Protestants I wonder:  isn't all this fuss and bother over theology and liturgy unessential and distracting?  Yet, what keeps me from going Protestent is the multitude of denominations.  Maybe plurality is good to some degree, but I would like some unity in essentials, and Protestantism doesn't seem to have much more in common among its denominations than Jesus and the Bible.  But, I know (and crave) that there is much more to salvation; there is also theosis.   

Also, there is part of me that wants to stick with what I know (Catholicism) rather than try something else (Orthodoxy), to "bloom where I'm planted" so to speak. 

And so it goes  . . .


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« Reply #58 on: June 27, 2007, 10:51:31 AM »

In response to the original poster, I actually came to Orthodoxy (to Christ, really) for the reasons you describe as keeping you away.  I once thought that doing my own thing, making up my own belief system(s), and doing whatever I felt like while avoiding traditional morality were my inalienable rights.  I thought that everyone should just do what came naturally to them, and listen to the Earth Mother, or if they were going through bad times try on a little nihilism.  You know, whatevs.  Anything goes.  Unfortunately, I learned the really hard way that doing whatever you want and doing what comes "naturally" can lead to some really bad things.  Some people are more moderate by nature, and may not have as well-developed a sense of personal sin.  But for most of us, moral relativism and stark rationalism are deadly.

Anyway, a year ago came a breaking point.  My early twenties had been filled with so much sin and unhappiness and pain that I just didn't know where to turn for comfort, or more importantly, guidance.  On a whim, not even with much interest, I was home one day looking for something to read and I came across my grandmother's copy of Mere Christianity.  I devoured it and all of Lewis' apologetics in about two weeks.  Christianity, what had been a personal scapegoat and source of contempt for me for so long, revealed the Truth to me. I know that Orthodoxy doesn't emphasize redemption as much as Catholicism, but before I even knew about theosis or union with God or fruits of the Spirit, I read "Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more".  These words of the Savior are what made me want to get as close to him as possible, and searching for his Church led me to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2007, 11:08:07 AM »

At last we are back on topic, I knew it would happen if I left it open.  Lets remember to keep our discussions on topic.

Thanks,
Thomas
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« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2007, 01:38:31 PM »

In response to the original poster, I actually came to Orthodoxy (to Christ, really) for the reasons you describe as keeping you away.  I once thought that doing my own thing, making up my own belief system(s), and doing whatever I felt like while avoiding traditional morality were my inalienable rights.  I thought that everyone should just do what came naturally to them, and listen to the Earth Mother, or if they were going through bad times try on a little nihilism.  You know, whatevs.  Anything goes.  Unfortunately, I learned the really hard way that doing whatever you want and doing what comes "naturally" can lead to some really bad things.  Some people are more moderate by nature, and may not have as well-developed a sense of personal sin.  But for most of us, moral relativism and stark rationalism are deadly.

Anyway, a year ago came a breaking point.  My early twenties had been filled with so much sin and unhappiness and pain that I just didn't know where to turn for comfort, or more importantly, guidance.  On a whim, not even with much interest, I was home one day looking for something to read and I came across my grandmother's copy of Mere Christianity.  I devoured it and all of Lewis' apologetics in about two weeks.  Christianity, what had been a personal scapegoat and source of contempt for me for so long, revealed the Truth to me. I know that Orthodoxy doesn't emphasize redemption as much as Catholicism, but before I even knew about theosis or union with God or fruits of the Spirit, I read "Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more".  These words of the Savior are what made me want to get as close to him as possible, and searching for his Church led me to Orthodoxy.

My God, that's beautiful.   Smiley  God be praised !

It reminds me somewhat of my own road back to Jesus Christ, but that is for another post...

Thank you for sharing that Smiley.

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« Reply #61 on: December 19, 2012, 10:36:41 AM »

 Dear Don
   God has made the world the way it is and no matter what we think or how we want it to be we can't change how God has made it.
  Everybody has there own version of how they want the world and Christianity to be, but that doesn't mean we should say it is they way we want it. We should learn to accept Christianity and the world the way God has made it not they way we want. And the way God has made it is how it is written in the Holy Bible and it is obvious that the Eastern Orthodox Church is the only Church following it Fully as it is written in the Holy Bible.
                                Please read the book of the prophecies in the old testament and all of the new testament and you'll see that it is true. PLEASE TRY.
  God Bless You and keep You and give you More Knowledge.
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« Reply #62 on: December 19, 2012, 12:21:00 PM »

The saints in the orthodox church are so full of giant compassionate love and deep humility that you cannot find such people in other religions. That's why I'll be forever orthodox(God may help me by your prayers to stand firm to end). It fills my soul with endless faith to know that I've been trying to walk to the highest top of spiritual life.
Read the life of the saints (especially of the contemporary)
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« Reply #63 on: December 19, 2012, 01:27:26 PM »

The teachings of Orthodoxy makes more sense, and they are related to one another.  Sometimes you don't even have to learn about everything, you learn one and apply the concept to other things.  In Catholicism, every aspect seems like a separate subject, totally independent from one another.  And often it is so hard to fit the puzzles together.  For example, the ecclesiology of the Catholic Church has no theological basis anywhere else in Christianity.  They base it off an interpretation of one verse in the Bible.  I know of cults who base the existence of their church from one verse in the Bible.  Orthodox ecclesiology is synonymous to the theology of the Eucharist and the Holy Trinity.
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« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2012, 02:31:14 PM »

Quote
Why did you convert to Orthodoxy?


Better Worship Service. Though my situation is the nearest Orthodox Church is a good distance to the Cityview area of Benbrook.
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