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Author Topic: Any Protestants?  (Read 26559 times) Average Rating: 0
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prodromas
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« on: September 18, 2007, 04:37:03 AM »

Are there any Protestants on this forum?
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 10:04:46 AM »

 I'm Anglican. 
 (since I go on the idea that there is no such thing as a generic "protestant".)

Is there some way in which I can be if help to you?

Ebor
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 08:31:47 PM »

I've only been Orthodox for a little over a year.  I might have a few insights from my Baptist/Assembly of God days.
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 10:55:05 PM »

Are there any Protestants on this forum?

Though I was received into the Church 3 years ago, I spent the previous 25 years as an American Baptist.  May I be of service?

Athanasia
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 10:59:10 PM »

I was baptized in a congregation that belongs to the Presbyterian Church (USA), a liberal-modernist Protestant stonghold. It was in February 2004, and in January 2005 I was elected and ordained elder of that congregation. Became disappointed and left in October 2006, so not that long a "tenure," but have some knowledge of what's going on on the "liberal" side of the modern American mainline Protestantism, from inside. What questions do you have? --George
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 12:44:47 AM »

Chrismated Orthodox just 1 1/2 years ago.  I am an ex-Lutheran, LCMS. How may I be of service to you?
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 02:56:44 AM »

What drew you to convert to Orthodoxy? or didn't in Ebor's case.
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 01:43:47 PM »

I would be willing to post on this if it would not go against the Forum rules.  I mean no offense to anyone in my not becoming EO, I assure you.  Perhaps the mods might decide if it would be alright.

Ebor
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 03:35:33 PM »

I would be willing to post on this if it would not go against the Forum rules.  I mean no offense to anyone in my not becoming EO, I assure you.  Perhaps the mods might decide if it would be alright.

Ebor

I ran afoul of the mods by answering this type of question once before. I don't think there's much you can say.
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2007, 05:16:31 PM »

I would be willing to post on this if it would not go against the Forum rules.  I mean no offense to anyone in my not becoming EO, I assure you.  Perhaps the mods might decide if it would be alright.

Ebor
Ebor, are there rules against emailing your story privately to prodromas if he is agreeable to that?

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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2007, 05:21:58 PM »

What drew you to convert to Orthodoxy? or didn't in Ebor's case.

In my case, it was, probably, my culture, my Ukrainain roots, plus a very serious disappointment in the church where I was baptized and made elder. I felt at some point that it's just not church. It's a gathering of various kinds of folks, most of whom are very good, charitable, eager to so something nice to their neighbor in the name of Christ. But there was never any feeling of Holy, of what Paul Tillich refers to as "the immediate presence of the Holy." The feeling that I actually did have when I was little, walking into the St. Volodymyr cathedral in my home city, Kyiv, and hearing the choir sing, and seeing the icons and murals, and smelling the incense. The feeling that I did have when my family and I lived in Seattle in the 1990's and visited a small Ukrainian mission parish. I just realized that I will never, ever get the same feeling anywhere but in the Orthodox church. So, I'm here (or "almost here," since I recently learned that the church I had been chrismated in is not a canonical Orthodox church).
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2007, 05:55:53 PM »

I would be willing to post on this if it would not go against the Forum rules.  I mean no offense to anyone in my not becoming EO, I assure you.  Perhaps the mods might decide if it would be alright.

Ebor

Can you quote (or link to) the rule(s) in question?

Thanks,
Peter.
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 06:13:05 PM »

Can you quote (or link to) the rule(s) in question?

Thanks,
Peter.

I've been here for so long that I have to find the rules again.  Smiley  I'm just trying to be a good guest.

Ebor
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2007, 06:34:31 PM »

Ebor If you wouldn't mind emailing me that would be good to hear from you! I can pm you my private email.
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2007, 07:25:14 PM »

Heorhij and I were in the PCUSA at the same time, though probably in different churches.  I started attending in June 2004, then left in November 2006.  I thought I was "home," until I heard about Orthodoxy.  At first it was just a curiosity: Hey, a denomination I know very little about!  I also wanted to research the claims of universalism, and Orthodoxy claimed to go all the way back to the beginning without doctrinal changes.  But after I read "River of Fire" late one night (yes, I know it's polemical, but I was feeling polemical), I was hooked.  The more I learned, the more intrigued I became.  Orthodoxy was much different from the Protestantism and Catholicism I was familiar with.  Finally I realized Orthodoxy was the continuation of the New Testament Church, and couldn't stand to be away from it one moment longer.
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2007, 07:32:03 PM »

For my part, I became Orthodox after attending Protestant churches all my life and feeling like something was always missing.  Despite all the high tech gadgetry and "exciting" theatrics that are so prevalent these days, I never felt connected to anything and didn't really feel the Spirit move.  Also, church felt more like a country club to me, a place where the popular and/or exclusive crowd hangs out.  My first experience in the Orthodox church was the opposite:  I felt at home immediately, though I didn't really understand what was going on.  As for excitement and the presence of God, there's nothing like Pascha when the prayers go from repentence and sorrow to simple joy when we get to the Christ is Risen part.  Yay!
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2007, 07:35:31 PM »

As for excitement and the presence of God, there's nothing like Pascha when the prayers go from repentence and sorrow to simple joy when we get the the Christ is Risen part.  Yay!

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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2007, 08:47:37 PM »

What drew you to convert to Orthodoxy?

A search for the True Church. 

I have been a Christian my entire life.  I was born and raised Roman Catholic and then went to Protestantism.  After 25 years as an American Baptist, I stumbled upon Eastern Orthodoxy in a college history class. 

The class syllabus included our professor taking us to Vespers and then Pascha at his church.  Upon entering the Nave and seeing the tomb of Christ, I was never so confronted with the fact that Jesus was a real man who really died.  It was rather startling to be honest.  Then at midnight when the priest banged on the Church door and we entered the Nave all alight, bright and shining and all of us yelling "Christ Is Risen!" I knew in that very moment that Christ had INDEED Risen and was INDEED my Savior.

It was at that split second I knew God brought me home.  My search was over.  By the end of Pascha Liturgy, I felt like I had just played a full tackle football game.  My body ached from the intense joy of being in God's Presence and feeling His Love all around me.  It was indescribable.

However, the difficulties were just beginning.  Today peace reigns and I would do it all over again.

Love IN Christ our Savior,
Athanaisa
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2007, 10:28:20 PM »

I was a Presbyterian and attended the evangelical congregations going against the tide of the larger liberal denomination; I also spent some years in a smaller, conservative Presbyterian denomination in the South.

For me it was the constant splintering into ever smaller "more true" presbyterian denominations over the years and the fact that the "shelf life" for these various denominations maintaining any sort of faithfulness to the bibilcal witness was 200 years tops. A Church that had made it 10 times that long without change or compromising its worship or doctrine was what made Orthodoxy appealing to me.

A liturgy and a couple vespers services sealed the deal for me! Catechumen to convert to having been here at least a little while - five years since the journey first began.
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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2007, 10:31:53 PM »

I was Disciples of Christ/Church of Christ originally, baptized into an independent church whose paster was a big fan of the DoC and after leaving that church pastored a DoC church, then Assemblies of God for six years. When I was seventeen, I quit going to church, except for Sunday school. I went there mainly to talk to friends I wouldn't see otherwise. When I was eighteen, I left the AoG altogether. I went to a Baptist church after that, but only because I could be in a skit group. I went to Sunday school about twice a month so I could meet the requirements for staying in the group, but otherwise I was only in a service when I was performing.

I started looking for a church again because of my mother's prodding. After two weeks of visiting two different churches and being completely ignored (by completely, I mean not a single person spoke one word to me, not even "hello"), I was about ready to give up for good when I was invited to the Orthodox parish I'm now a part of by a friend I had met in college. My first reaction was, "It still exists? And it's here?" I had no idea the Orthodox Church had survived the schism; all history classes I had had ignored it after that, focusing on the European Middle Ages and the influence of the RC Church.

I immediately perceived the Orthodox Church to be the Church that I had read about in the Acts of the Apostles, and I have never been anywhere else since then. I still look back on my eighteen years as a Protestant positively; after all, they did teach me what Orthodoxy is. Even if the churches I was a part of were lacking somehow, they were close enough to the Church for me to be able to recognize it immediately. The greatest thing the Protestants gave me, though, was a knowledge of Scripture. The Protestants generally do very well at teaching a love for Scripture, even if they often err on the side of personal interpretations. I do not regret the time I had in Protestantism, nor do I regret becoming Orthodox. After all, "There is an appointed time for everything, and there is a time for every event under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
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« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2007, 10:45:25 PM »

I do not regret the time I had in Protestantism, nor do I regret becoming Orthodox. After all, "There is an appointed time for everything, and there is a time for every event under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

This is very well said.  I am sorry I didn't include it in my words because I feel the same exact way.  If it were not for all my time in the Protestant Church and all I learned, I would never have been led to the Orthodox Church.

Glory to God for all things!

Athanasia
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« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2007, 11:16:33 PM »

A search for the True Church. 

I have been a Christian my entire life.  I was born and raised Roman Catholic and then went to Protestantism.  After 25 years as an American Baptist, I stumbled upon Eastern Orthodoxy in a college history class. 

The class syllabus included our professor taking us to Vespers and then Pascha at his church.  Upon entering the Nave and seeing the tomb of Christ, I was never so confronted with the fact that Jesus was a real man who really died.  It was rather startling to be honest.  Then at midnight when the priest banged on the Church door and we entered the Nave all alight, bright and shining and all of us yelling "Christ Is Risen!" I knew in that very moment that Christ had INDEED Risen and was INDEED my Savior.

It was at that split second I knew God brought me home.  My search was over.  By the end of Pascha Liturgy, I felt like I had just played a full tackle football game.  My body ached from the intense joy of being in God's Presence and feeling His Love all around me.  It was indescribable.

However, the difficulties were just beginning.  Today peace reigns and I would do it all over again.

Love IN Christ our Savior,
Athanaisa

What a lovely story. Deo gratias. Thank you for that. I also get that experience when I attend a Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2007, 11:20:28 PM »


I immediately perceived the Orthodox Church to be the Church that I had read about in the Acts of the Apostles, and I have never been anywhere else since then. I still look back on my eighteen years as a Protestant positively; after all, they did teach me what Orthodoxy is. Even if the churches I was a part of were lacking somehow, they were close enough to the Church for me to be able to recognize it immediately. The greatest thing the Protestants gave me, though, was a knowledge of Scripture. The Protestants generally do very well at teaching a love for Scripture, even if they often err on the side of personal interpretations. I do not regret the time I had in Protestantism, nor do I regret becoming Orthodox. After all, "There is an appointed time for everything, and there is a time for every event under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Well said. There are elements of grace and truth in those other communions that should be respected. I thank our loving and merciful God for the graces he provides to our neighbors outside the visible boundaries of the Church.
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2007, 11:40:47 PM »

I would be willing to post on this if it would not go against the Forum rules.  I mean no offense to anyone in my not becoming EO, I assure you.  Perhaps the mods might decide if it would be alright.

Ebor

I could not imagine that any would take offence with you responding to a legitimate question according to the dictates of your conscience. Huh
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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2007, 11:50:33 PM »

I would be willing to post on this if it would not go against the Forum rules.  I mean no offense to anyone in my not becoming EO, I assure you.  Perhaps the mods might decide if it would be alright.

Ebor 

I don't see a problem with it... If people decide to use it to trigger debate, I'll split that part off into its own thread.
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2007, 11:57:52 PM »

This is very well said.  I am sorry I didn't include it in my words because I feel the same exact way.  If it were not for all my time in the Protestant Church and all I learned, I would never have been led to the Orthodox Church.

Glory to God for all things!

Athanasia

I can concur with you. Nonetheless, I would have preferred to have been born into the Orthdox faith. I think a lot of false spiritual battles in my life were waged in the name of protestant gnosticism and/or Calvinistic doctrines of "total depravity." Being born Orthodox would have saved me some grief!
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2007, 10:35:32 AM »

I can concur with you. Nonetheless, I would have preferred to have been born into the Orthdox faith. I think a lot of false spiritual battles in my life were waged in the name of protestant gnosticism and/or Calvinistic doctrines of "total depravity." Being born Orthodox would have saved me some grief!

I think I know what you mean. I was raised in the former USSR in a non-religious family, so I never had any systematic religious education, but the Orthodox Church was right there, near me, I saw it, heard it, sensed it all the time, and it would never even occur to me that the Church can be an arena of what you call "false spiritual battles." Here in the US, especially after my move to the Deep South, I was overwhelmed with all these "battles" fought by Protestants - "Dispensationalism" vs. "Covenant Theology," "Pre-Milleniarism" vs. "Post-Milleniarism" or "A-Milleniarism," "Arminianism" vs. "Calvinism," etc. etc. etc. I remember seeing on a conservative Calvinist Web site a statement that an Arminian is so much worse than a Mohammedan or a Pagan... Smiley And it's striking that all these battles are over "non-issues," over something that the historical Church either never even considered worth debating, or solved long time ago.
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« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2007, 10:57:02 AM »

I think I know what you mean. I was raised in the former USSR in a non-religious family, so I never had any systematic religious education, but the Orthodox Church was right there, near me, I saw it, heard it, sensed it all the time, and it would never even occur to me that the Church can be an arena of what you call "false spiritual battles." Here in the US, especially after my move to the Deep South, I was overwhelmed with all these "battles" fought by Protestants - "Dispensationalism" vs. "Covenant Theology," "Pre-Milleniarism" vs. "Post-Milleniarism" or "A-Milleniarism," "Arminianism" vs. "Calvinism," etc. etc. etc. I remember seeing on a conservative Calvinist Web site a statement that an Arminian is so much worse than a Mohammedan or a Pagan... Smiley And it's striking that all these battles are over "non-issues," over something that the historical Church either never even considered worth debating, or solved long time ago.

You're right. Without the doctrine of total depravity, the whole Calvinist-Arminian debate is moot. When people ask me whether I'm Calvinist or Arminian, I tell them "neither."
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« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2007, 11:46:44 AM »

I can concur with you. Nonetheless, I would have preferred to have been born into the Orthdox faith. I think a lot of false spiritual battles in my life were waged in the name of protestant gnosticism and/or Calvinistic doctrines of "total depravity." Being born Orthodox would have saved me some grief!

But dear Brother A,

You would have had another kind of angst growing up Orthodox. It was painful to grow up with the knowledge of living in the original church of Christ and realize you don't know how to share it with others or if you did share it with others they would have to endure Divine Liturgy in a foreign language. The phrase that 'Orthodoxy is the best kept secret' still makes me wince every time I hear it.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2007, 12:30:29 PM »

I could not imagine that any would take offence with you responding to a legitimate question according to the dictates of your conscience. Huh

Because it is possible that through a poor choice of words on my part or some other misunderstanding of what I would be trying to get across, that someone might take it as an "attack" or declaration against EO or something like that. 

Ebor
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2007, 09:37:43 AM »

I don't see a problem with it... If people decide to use it to trigger debate, I'll split that part off into its own thread.

Well, in trying to 'walk carefully', if I may, I would like to say that I have been to EO services of a number of jurisdictions, including WR.  But I have not felt that which others have written of, or in some cases, I have felt the same thing that I experience in my own Anglican worship.

Also, just to be clear, there have been those in the past (not on this forum that I recall) who have written that if a person studies History then he/she *must* become EO (or RC depending on the writer's own Church).  Well, I think from my posts here that I do study History and it is important to me and yet it has not moved me to convert.

I apologize if any of the above offends.

Ebor
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2007, 10:08:29 AM »

Well, in trying to 'walk carefully', if I may
Take courage Ebor, and walk more freely!
Context is everything. Had you written this in response to an Inquirer's question in the Convert Issues Forum, or in response to a prayer request in the Prayer Forum, (the two no-fly zones for debate) I would certainly have questioned your motives. But all I can see here is you stating where your conscience is and what your personal experiences are.
And the other context is that you have earned much trust by your balanced and thoughtful posts over the years. If anyone has a right to speak, it's you.
Personally, I think what you have to say about your experiences is important for we Orthodox Christians to hear.
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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2007, 11:34:44 PM »

Take courage Ebor, and walk more freely!
Context is everything. Had you written this in response to an Inquirer's question in the Convert Issues Forum, or in response to a prayer request in the Prayer Forum, (the two no-fly zones for debate) I would certainly have questioned your motives. But all I can see here is you stating where your conscience is and what your personal experiences are.
And the other context is that you have earned much trust by your balanced and thoughtful posts over the years. If anyone has a right to speak, it's you.
Personally, I think what you have to say about your experiences is important for we Orthodox Christians to hear.

Agreed! Ebor, you always have something valuable to say.
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« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2007, 02:08:38 PM »

Take courage Ebor, and walk more freely!

I have been thinking about this for a couple of weeks, and how to 'walk more freely' without causing upset.  Other reasons that I have for not becoming EO might inadvertently offend.   Some of the things I believe or think do not agree with the EO; if I did think in all things as the EO I would *be* EO, I think it follows logically.

Also, there's the idea of some things are 'subjective' and others are 'objective'.  But that neither means that ALL things are subjective, nor that someone's personal experience is "wrong" because another felt something different.  (It feels like I'm being incoherant to some degree, but it's difficult to phrase things when one feels like one is walking a tightrope in another's home and the crystal goblets, china and other fragibles are all around.  Smiley  )

Quote
Context is everything. Had you written this in response to an Inquirer's question in the Convert Issues Forum, or in response to a prayer request in the Prayer Forum, (the two no-fly zones for debate) I would certainly have questioned your motives. But all I can see here is you stating where your conscience is and what your personal experiences are.

And the other context is that you have earned much trust by your balanced and thoughtful posts over the years. If anyone has a right to speak, it's you.

Thank you. That is very kind of you to write.  (And what about my goofy and quirkly posts, one wonders  Grin )

Quote
Personally, I think what you have to say about your experiences is important for we Orthodox Christians to hear.

I'll try then, but it feels like I should have a big sign on everyone "I'm not trying to upset anyone". or the like.

As I mentioned above, while others write that they felt or experienced in EO worship something that they did not in other cases, this is not the case with me.  (this is one of the subjective parts).  At the WR service, it was all familiar (including the hymnal  Smiley ) with a couple of minor things different.  At the Byzantine Liturgies there was beauty, yes, but while different not orders of magnitude 'better' or more 'worshipful' then the Anglican services that I have been a part of for over 30 years.  I feel great peace and the presence of God in Anglican liturgies and prayers.

To be honest, some other EO services seemed to *me* to be chaotic.  There were people moving all around, coming and going, entering the building and leaving it (I am not writing of the priest(s), deacon(s) etc, but the congregation.)  One parishioner who had invited us to his parish had warned us that it would be like "a bus terminal" and I could see the comparison.  Early one, someone (vested iirc) was going through some prayers/psalms in Slavonic (they were waiting for a bishop to arrive) at a machine-gun rattling pace while few seemed to be paying attention.  I, by nature, am an introvert and the Anglican "decently and in order" liturgies is how I *can* worship; the thought of services like that, I'm very sorry, give me a headache and an impulse to get away from it.

I think that is enough for now (feeling rather neurotic at the moment). 

No offense is meant to anyone or to EO.

Ebor

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« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2007, 02:09:46 PM »

Agreed! Ebor, you always have something valuable to say.

Even my "Monty Python" and other quotes?   Grin

Thank you for the encouragement.

Ebor
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« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2007, 02:31:33 PM »

Even my "Monty Python" and other quotes?   Grin
Ah, but what could be more valuable than out-of-context Monty Python drivel? They said more with nonsense than most do with carefully written essays.
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« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2007, 02:32:31 PM »

(this is one of the subjective parts).

Come on, stick your neck out, I'd be more interested in the more objective parts. Wink

Seriously, I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to hear an objective criticism of their religion. It may give you a perspective you have not considered, and depending on your sympathy to the perspective it may increase your faith or cause you to question, but in either case it will give you perspective, it will give you knowledge, it will allow you to learn from another's experience...and for any who care about truth or knowledge, this can only be a good thing.
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« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2007, 03:05:24 PM »


To be honest, some other EO services seemed to *me* to be chaotic.  There were people moving all around, coming and going, entering the building and leaving it (I am not writing of the priest(s), deacon(s) etc, but the congregation.)  One parishioner who had invited us to his parish had warned us that it would be like "a bus terminal" and I could see the comparison.  Early one, someone (vested iirc) was going through some prayers/psalms in Slavonic (they were waiting for a bishop to arrive) at a machine-gun rattling pace while few seemed to be paying attention.  I, by nature, am an introvert and the Anglican "decently and in order" liturgies is how I *can* worship; the thought of services like that, I'm very sorry, give me a headache and an impulse to get away from it.


I remember thinking that the Orthodox service was like a circus.  But when I started doing a prayer rule under the guidance of my spiritual father, things within me began to change.......
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« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2007, 03:13:30 PM »

What drew you to convert to Orthodoxy? or didn't in Ebor's case.

I'm literate, and the Lord has a mighty strong hand.
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« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2007, 08:07:34 PM »

To be honest, some other EO services seemed to *me* to be chaotic.  There were people moving all around, coming and going, entering the building and leaving it (I am not writing of the priest(s), deacon(s) etc, but the congregation.)  One parishioner who had invited us to his parish had warned us that it would be like "a bus terminal" and I could see the comparison.

 Cheesy I know precisely what you mean!
When I visit my Aunt in Sydney, I attend her very large Parish Church, and I have the same impression myself. People talking , moving about, coming and going. I remember one Sunday, the Priest becoming so frustrated, that at the end of the Liturgy, he refused to distribute the Antidoron, and sent the Sacristan to stand at the door with it.
Last year, this Parish sent a busload of people on a pilgrimage to our Monastery here in the mountains, and some of them started talking during the reading of the Epistle. The Abbot was the celebrant that day. He stopped the Epistle reading and walked into the nave carrying the censor. He approached the two main culprits and ordered them to follow him and made them stand in front of the Reader whom he ordered to begin the Epistle from the beginning again. After the reading, the Abbot made the culprits stand at the front for the rest of the Liturgy! If people are going to behave in Church like they're in junior school, then that's how they should be treated IMHO!
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« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2007, 11:09:00 PM »

My Friend in a Greek Orthodox church in Melbourne referred to the old ladies (yayades) standing in line at the end for the antidoro as the scrum (rugby team) because of how strong they are at pushing to get to the end! Another incident the son of the priest told us was that people were in line for the antidoro and they were visually pushing people to get the the front and the priest got so angry he grabbed the antidoro ran to the front door of the church and yelled "he who is first shall be served last and he who is last shall be first" everyone was then solemnly quiet and acted orderly after that and the people at the front were last!
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« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2007, 11:57:33 PM »

these last several posts are some funny stories.
My priest chastised on of the "ushers" - not really appointed but guys who stand at the back of the church all service; that sunday they were talking too much and too long.














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« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2007, 02:54:07 PM »

Come on, stick your neck out, I'd be more interested in the more objective parts. Wink

Seriously, I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to hear an objective criticism of their religion. It may give you a perspective you have not considered, and depending on your sympathy to the perspective it may increase your faith or cause you to question, but in either case it will give you perspective, it will give you knowledge, it will allow you to learn from another's experience...and for any who care about truth or knowledge, this can only be a good thing.

But there could be other persons who would not take kindly to something that seemed a criticism of their Church/religion.  A possible parallel situation might be not wanting to hear something less them appreciative about a loved one, or ones home place or something like that.  Then again, they might not see such a thing as objective, but subjective because the poster/writer is not part of their Church (I've had that happen before.  "You don't like this/understand this/appreciate this/accept this because you are not part of my group.  There is nothing wrong here, it's all with *you*." )  It is such people that I am at least in part thinking of when 'walking through the china shop" as it were.

Look on this as practicing empathy while also trying to explain oneself, maybe.

Ebor
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« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2007, 02:57:48 PM »

I remember thinking that the Orthodox service was like a circus.  But when I started doing a prayer rule under the guidance of my spiritual father, things within me began to change.......

Well, it changed for you.  I mean no offense when I write that it is quite possible that the experience might not change for me.  Human beings, in the wonderous diversity in which God created each of us, do not all fit into one pattern and I do not believe that the Maker of All intended us to fit into one box or to worship in only one way.

Ebor
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« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2007, 03:01:46 PM »

Cheesy I know precisely what you mean!
When I visit my Aunt in Sydney, I attend her very large Parish Church, and I have the same impression myself. People talking , moving about, coming and going. I remember one Sunday, the Priest becoming so frustrated, that at the end of the Liturgy, he refused to distribute the Antidoron, and sent the Sacristan to stand at the door with it.
Last year, this Parish sent a busload of people on a pilgrimage to our Monastery here in the mountains, and some of them started talking during the reading of the Epistle. The Abbot was the celebrant that day. He stopped the Epistle reading and walked into the nave carrying the censor. He approached the two main culprits and ordered them to follow him and made them stand in front of the Reader whom he ordered to begin the Epistle from the beginning again. After the reading, the Abbot made the culprits stand at the front for the rest of the Liturgy! If people are going to behave in Church like they're in junior school, then that's how they should be treated IMHO!

I have often wondered during my visits to EO parishes what the priest is thinking of the umm less then attentive behaviour of his flock.  Do you have any theories of *why* this is so common?  I've seen it in mostly slavic parishes here and you've had it in Greek ones in Australia. 

Ebor
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