It's unfortunate that Heorhij and others have such difficulty living with the faith of Christ.
I pray for us all.
I to have similar concerns; although not like what I have read hear.
The strange thing for me is.....
I am around orthodoxy all the time.
My house is like a church itself with Icons, Crosses and incense as well as the sounds of various liturgies emanating in the background from the stereo. I put on all kinds of liturgies EO or OO. I am NOT an OO prude at all. I love the Russian traditions of all the EO traditions I have experienced thus far which for me are so thorough, organic and deeply spiritual.
My family and my wifes family, my close buddy etc. I even work with a Bulgarian and a Ukranian Orthodox. Even non-religious people (the few I know) engage with us in a sort of 'must be around them' sort-a-way. Me and my wife are to many people urbane and "city-slick". WE are really very nerdy, religious people with a love for various cultures and traditions which makes us very likeable....popular. WE are not urbane. Just seems that way.
I work in midtown Manhattan and have the choice of praying my daily devotions in an Armenian, Russian or Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
This is my blessing.
BUT.....Lately things have been changing and thats how I fit into this thread.
I must go now. But I will pick up from here shortly with Gods will upon me.
Heorhij; I am with you my brother.
I did not get to finish this post.
As I was saying ... things have began to change for me.
Me and my wifes families have digressed to the point to where they have very little to do with the orthodox faith anymore. There is every excuse in the world for not fasting or attending liturgy or any of the orthodox services. They no longer come to my home for religious gatherings (we call this 'Maheber').
One brother in-law corrupted himself by marrying outside the church. This act alone brought with it a land slide of extenuating circumstances which have created a lot of bad feelings.
Many if not most Ethiopians are cradle baptised. This is so prevelant that many of us are surprised that a grown person can be baptised. Some Ethiopians learn this after coming to America and attending services at the Archdiocese Cathedral in NY and seeing adult people get baptised. I have had Ethiopians tell me that "the Ethiopian Church only baptises babies".
Also many Ethiopians feel that we are already 'blessed' and so it does not matter that we may not hold to all the church doctrine. A sort of like being born holy and blessed just because your Ethiopian.
The cause of this is very complex. Part of which is the fact that Ethiopia is very prominantly mentioned in bible from Genesis to Revelations as well as the quran and many of the the important historical ancient books of the Greeks; where in most cases "Ethiopians" are regarded in high esteem...even as Godly of Godly. This lends to the idea that we are aong the "elect" by virtue of our 'birth' alone. Not all of us think this way; but a good amount does.
Of course Ethiopians like Isrealites, Hebrews, Jews and all other people on earth who does not call on Jesus Christ and is NOT baptised and keeps NOT His commandments and partakes NOT of His Holy Body and Precious Blood will NOT see God and will NOT inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
TRUE!!......But we are hard headed and upity....so the truth never really sets with alot of us. When I say "us" I mean all mankind. The is especialy true when you have a big impotant life. It is hard to be mindful of Godliness.
I serve in the American mission for a lot of good reasons firstlly that God has put me here. I do not feel like some other Ethiopains about "being Ethiopian". I live in the west thus I am a black man; case closed. I have had some white Americans try to treat me as if I was higher than what they called "regular blacks". But to me that is all nonsense to serve some deep rooted 'racist ideology'.
I am happy working with converts and mission related activities.
Most our converts are African-American. They are always shocked beyond belief when they learn about how ancient Christs Church is in Africa. They are also pleased to know that baptist and all the other protestant religions are not all they have.
They like the spiritual and holiness of orthodoxy in lieu of the jump and shout religions they know. They also get the bonus of returning back home to Africa. Its a win win. It is very rewarding to be a part of the missionary outreach of our church.
I am ashamed when I visit Ethiopian churches that have no mission outreach ....nothing....just Ethiopians only interested in other Ethiopians. NO English services....nothing. In America or anywhere outside Ethiopia this behavior is sinful to me and goes against the grain of what is truely apostolic.
How can we call ourselves "orthodox" if we are not preaching and teaching the Holy Gosple to ALL the world?
Is not that how we all got our national churches in the first place?
To make a long story short I said to my wife recently..." maybe we are too orthodox"....."maybe we need to roll back a little and be more in line with the world we know". She then asked me.."what will rolling back actually be"?
Of course we can not roll back.
So we are now living on the fringes of what was a very happy thoroughly orthodox world. If we move any further we will be out of our orthodox world. We are at the fringes trying to keep up with what is all around us who were slowly leaving and changing. This is my final move.
I am turning back toward the path I was on. Looking at whats a head appears very lonely. But I told my wife that we are who we are because God has kept us. We have no choice.
We love so much our family and friends who have chosen to move away from the church (and us) but my life is a church life. I have no interests that compel me to seek experiences outisde the church way of life.
So; I am with you Heorhij.
You have helped me to understand what is begining to happen to me.
May God continue to work through you and bless you.
Give God Glory..Halleuyah!!!...Amen