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Author Topic: AOG converting to Orthodox  (Read 4875 times) Average Rating: 0
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prodromas
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« on: July 16, 2007, 04:29:01 AM »

(don't worry this is going somewhere) I am an Greek Orthodox that lives in a rural town in Australia we have 1 community owned church and there is no priest to facilitate the position. There are many other Christian churchs but no awareness whatsoever of the Orthodox church. I attend an A.O.G youth group and help out because I want to help disadvantaged youths in my area (on a side note my area is no.1 in Australia for teenage pregnancies and single family rates). I'm putting forward this question to A.O.G or pentecostal converts on what you would have liked to hear about the Orthodox church like whether or not you would have liked to hear information about it or how to put forward the information? (they link the church when I attempt to describe it as Catholic and asked me if I worshiped Mary to understand the level of ignorance) also on a side note (sorry if it is repetitive) but would it be better for me to attend a Catholic or Anglican church instead of not going to one at all and doing prayers?       
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2007, 05:50:44 AM »

Hi prodromas!
Just wanted to say I'm in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of NSW!
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 08:17:45 AM »

Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum!

If unable to attend Orthodox Services with regulariity, you may wish to contact a priest by phone or the internet to devise a method of worship and study. On Sundays the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese here in the US located on website www.goarch.org provides the Divine Liturgy Live at several times every Sunday and on major Feasts days.  Aware that you have several hours differences in time, they also have it on video recording.  So actually  "attending" a Divine Liturgy is always avaialble almost 24 hours each day.  While I do not live in the  outback, I do live 50 miles from the nearest Church and so do Reader's Services in my home with the blessing of my Bishop and closest priest.  I also have used various sanctioned Orthodox Bible Studies with non-orthodox neighbors that have gone over well.  You may want to try an organize one there.

In Christ,
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2007, 10:56:47 AM »

As far as talking with AOG youth, I understand their ignorance, having come out of that church--but I also was able to find Orthodoxy by following the path the AOG showed me. So there's real promise with pentecostals, and I wouldn't give up on them just for that reason (if there are other reasons as well, then you may consider leaving).

In regards to the question about Mary Theotokos, remember that they have nothing against her; they merely misunderstand her position. For the ones who are just looking for a reaction, try to steer the conversation elsewhere. For the ones who are really seeking, try to put the issue into terms they can understand. For example, you may ask, "Do you worship the Apostle Paul because he spoke in tongues more than anyone else?" The answer is, "Of course not, but since he did, we should as well." There you have a talking point, and can show them something about the Church.
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2007, 01:53:28 AM »

ytterbiumanalyst what path did the AOG show you?
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2007, 09:51:06 AM »

The path to Orthodoxy, the "narrow road" Christ spoke of.
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2007, 11:53:46 AM »

I'd have to agree - growing up as the son of an AoG pastor, and grand-son of an AoG missionary, the AoG gave me several tools that helped me towards Orthodoxy. They taught me respect for Holy Scripture, that God was not impersonal or disinterested, and in fact He is active in our lives. Not that most AoG folk are just waiting to become Orthodox. Oddly enough, when I was youth pastor for an AoG church (and a Korean Full Gospel), I had assistants who were Coptic Orthodox.
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2007, 07:18:57 PM »

Fair enough, so essentially your path to Orthodoxy grew from you searching for yourself, if you had the chance to meet an Orthodox christian (with an understanding of their own church) would you want them to to have talked to you about Orthodoxy (when you were apart of the AOG church), and if so what would you have wanted them to have talked about?
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The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2007, 08:20:24 AM »

There is a thread on this forum (the Convert Forum) about a Pentacostal minister on his way to Orthodoxy.

 A poster was writing a paper for school and asked him (our new friend) about his life and his conversion.  It was truly one of the most interesting posting series I have ever read.
 The posters name was  ComingHome, I think.
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2007, 10:21:37 AM »

Fair enough, so essentially your path to Orthodoxy grew from you searching for yourself, if you had the chance to meet an Orthodox christian (with an understanding of their own church) would you want them to to have talked to you about Orthodoxy (when you were apart of the AOG church), and if so what would you have wanted them to have talked about?

Actually, that is exactly what happened. My family was involved in bringing refugees from the Soviet Union during the 80s, and into the 90s. One family was Armenians from Baku who went to Russian Orthodox. The eldest daughter was a medical doctor, and already had the English tongue. She patiently explained over time the holiness of Orthodox worship. That prompted me towards much reading and soul-searching. We talked about many things, but the only one that I can remember is that worship is not made up of what we want it to be. God gave directions for how he wanted worshipped (one can see it in Exodus and Leviticus). If one gives worship out of their own creativity, it will carry all the flaws and errors of its creator. However, Divine worship not only has origins with God himself (on Sinai to Moses, and then Christ to the Apostles), but has the action of the Holy Spirit upon it through the generational experience of Christians. What we're left with is the best worship - because it is not simply created by man, nor subject to his whims.

Beyond that, there were many conversations - but I cannot recall them. Other issues I had to struggle with for a long, long time. Some shortly after that I came to an Orthodox understanding of - and some, I never had to change: Orthodoxy could affirm some things we were doing right all along.
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2007, 09:13:09 AM »

God gave directions for how he wanted worshipped (one can see it in Exodus and Leviticus). If one gives worship out of their own creativity, it will carry all the flaws and errors of its creator.
Very well put! Protestants can understand the words of God in Scripture as being flawless; it's only a step away from understanding that His liturgy is also flawless.
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2007, 02:45:40 AM »

May I please ask where abouts you are?

I speak online with a fellow in Sydney whom I have told that he is the most Orthodox Protestant whom I have ever come across. (He even calls St. Mary the Mother of God!) He attends one of those community-type religious clubs which he's slowly growing out of. I find using reason often helps with him. He wasn't Nestorian thankfully, as so many Protestants are, so simply saying:
"Is Jesus Christ God?" Reply: Yes.
"Is St. Mary the mother of Jesus Christ?" Reply: Yes
"Then St. Mary is the mother of God."
worked straight away with him.

(I had hoped to introduce him to my priest when I was down but we had not spoken for a while and I failed to tee up a meeting. Perhaps the Lord thought it more important for certain other people to meet Abouna first.)

Hope that helped a bit.
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2007, 11:32:45 AM »

He wasn't Nestorian thankfully, as so many Protestants are
I don't think Protestants are Nestorian, but shy away from "Mother of God" because it is associated with so much extra baggage. For most, I think, Mary seems to be worshiped by catholics and so calling her Mother of God is almost like saying God finds His divine origin in her. For people who know what we believe better, the problem with "Mother of God "is stuff like the veneration of Mary, calling her Queen of Heaven, "O Theotokos save us" looking like she is the one who saves us, etc. If Mother of God did not have this baggage, there would absolutely be no problem.
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2007, 04:32:08 PM »

Well, some are Nestorian or even Arian in their beliefs. The Dake's Annotated Study Bible used by many in the AoG (and other Pentecostals/Charismatics) has a footnote - I believe one of the first in the Gospels, saying that Jesus Christ only became the Christ at his baptism. That suggests one of those ancient heresies. And, yes, there are many AoG (such as my father, an AoG minister for over 40 years) who totally reject the title 'Theotokos', saying Mary is only the mother of Christ, and not of God. One of the Sumrall family had argued with me at one point that Mary was only mother of Christ's 'human part', not of his 'God part'. Now - if that isn't latent Nestorianism (and the other Arianism), it sure is pretty close. Of course, I don't believe they hold those positions as rejection of Orthodoxy. I believe it is 90 percent ignorance, and 10 percent Romaphobia (have to be contrary to Rome.)
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2007, 06:07:46 PM »

Sabellianism is a heresy particularly prominent among some Pentacostals (many calling it 'Oneness Pentacostalism').

But the heresies of the Pentacostal movements are pretty tame compared to that of many senior figures within the Anglican Church - who deny the reality of Christ's divinity, His birth from a Virgin, His resurrection, His ascension, the miracles surrounding His ministry, etc. - who stray further than the Muslims in their disbelief.
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2007, 06:39:12 PM »

Sabellianism is a heresy particularly prominent among some Pentacostals (many calling it 'Oneness Pentacostalism').

But the heresies of the Pentacostal movements are pretty tame compared to that of many senior figures within the Anglican Church - who deny the reality of Christ's divinity, His birth from a Virgin, His resurrection, His ascension, the miracles surrounding His ministry, etc. - who stray further than the Muslims in their disbelief.

In the Anglican church is the a serious reality? how can they disregard such fundamental teachings?
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The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2007, 07:03:30 PM »

In the Anglican church is the a serious reality? how can they disregard such fundamental teachings?

Officially, the Anglican church upholds all of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. However, many of its members (sadly this includes some senior clergy) do not.
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2007, 11:10:07 PM »

Officially, the Anglican church upholds all of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. However, many of its members (sadly this includes some senior clergy) do not.
I think we see in the Episcopal Church (the dominant American form of Anglicanism) a rampant worship of the human intellect and critical thinking.  One of the greatest proponents of the Episcopalian intelligentsia is/(was?) in fact a bishop, John Shelby Spong.
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2007, 06:39:44 PM »

what do people with this line of thinking believe about certain sacraments? especially eucharist if they reject the divinity of christ?
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The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2007, 11:31:10 AM »

JawaMan
I don't think Protestants are Nestorian

Sorry but obviously you have not listened to Baptist sermons about how Christ was separated from God the Father when He was crucified and or listened to the Protestant songs about how "the Father turns His face away" from the crucified Son (see http://www.ap0s7le.com/list/song/28/Stuart_Townend/How_Deep_The_Father's_Love_For_Us/) which I always refused to sing. {It is clearly contrary to the notion that God is One as well as Psalm 21:25 (DRB), ...Neither hath he turned away his face form me: and when I cried to him he heard me.}

Clearly such comments are Nestorian and, despite your noble thoughts, I am sorry to tell you that mainstream Protestants are quite often Nestorians. Personally I believe that this is what is leading so many Baptists in Texas to become Sunnis. When you don't truly believe that Jesus Christ is God it is only a small step to modified Islam.

Orthodox11, as an ex-Sabellian I can relate to your comments about this amongst Protestants.

All, the heretical false bishop Spong is certainly not a Christian and indeed writes some of the most offensive anti-Christian literature there is on the market.

prodromas, some people will work for any religious group willing to pay them the right wage and give them the status they desire. There is an Anglican priestess who also calls herself a Muslim. There is also an Anglican priest who was born and remains a Sikh. (Generally I have high regard for Sikhs who are not versed in historical Christianity but I find it hard to understand how anyone who has been through Anglican theological training could not become Orthodox [or at least RC] especially now that I am friends when a man who did just that.)
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2007, 12:26:24 PM »

Officially, the Anglican church upholds all of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. However, many of its members (sadly this includes some senior clergy) do not.

And many other of its members (including senior clergy) *do* just for information's sake.   

Sigh.

Ebor
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2007, 12:35:20 PM »

the heretical false bishop Spong is certainly not a Christian and indeed writes some of the most offensive anti-Christian literature there is on the market.

He is also no longer a sitting bishop, that is he is retired and has no diocese.  That has cut his access to the news reports as he does not have the *percieved* fame that he once had.  Also, his writings have been denouced by other Anglicans fyi.

Quote
There is an Anglican [woman priest] who also calls herself a Muslim.

The lady in question has been inhibited for the period of a year by her bishop so that she can figure out some of her thinking. That one person has done this should not be applied to the millions of other Anglicans.  It is the action of one person.

Quote
There is also an Anglican priest who was born and remains a Sikh.

I do not know of this case.  Would you please give some other particulars such as his name and diocese?  Thank you in advance.

Quote
I find it hard to understand how anyone who has been through Anglican theological training could not become Orthodox [or at least RC] especially now that I am friends when a man who did just that.)

Yet there are many who have and remain Anglican.  Perhaps you do not understand Anglican Theological training?

I mean no disrespect in this.

Ebor
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2007, 01:20:23 PM »

Didymus,

Quote
Generally I have high regard for Sikhs who are not versed in historical Christianity but I find it hard to understand how anyone who has been through Anglican theological training could not become Orthodox [or at least RC] especially now that I am friends when a man who did just that.

See my signature Wink
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