OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 24, 2014, 11:46:25 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: To Former Baptists/Prostestants  (Read 2375 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« on: July 22, 2003, 06:40:29 PM »

As a Baptist inquirer, I'd be curious to know something of how former prostestants (especially Baptists) discovered and then converted to Orthodoxy:

1.  What first brought Orthodoxy to your attention?

2.  What were some pivotal books/articles you may have read on your journey?

3. What was the one or two areas that was your biggest "hold up", so to speak, in embracing Orthodoxy?  (and how did you overcome these obstacles?)

4. what was it that finally made you decide to seek conversion into the Orthodox faith?

Any input would be appreciated.  Thanks.  Smiley
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Faith: BZZT
Posts: 29,256



« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2003, 07:22:15 PM »

Doubting Thomas

Greetings Smiley I was a Wesleyan (Bible Student at college) before I became Orthodox. Here's my (admittedly brief) attempt at answers...

Quote
1.  What first brought Orthodoxy to your attention?

I had decided to leave Protestantism before I had ever heard (or at least taken notice of) Orthodoxy. I was sort of in a bind at that point, and decided to "look around," if you'll forgive such a shallow phrase being applied to spirituality.

Quote
2.  What were some pivotal books/articles you may have read on your journey?

Reading the Church Fathers was a big help for me. Also, reading some of the deep stuff in Orthodoxy helped me to see that there was a lot to Christianity that I had never thought of before. Topics like prayer, anthropology, ecclesiology, and so forth started having real meaning to me. The Church Fathers of the 4th-5th centuries (Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Theologian, etc.) were especially helpful, as were the very early fathers (Ignatius, Clement of Rome). Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by Saint Justin Popovich (d. 1979) was also very helpful in me becoming Orthodox.

Quote
3. What was the one or two areas that was your biggest "hold up", so to speak, in embracing Orthodoxy?  (and how did you overcome these obstacles?)

I guess my biggest thing towards the end was  just making sure I was really going to enter Orthodoxy full blast. I didn't want to become Orthodox and then fall back into the spiritual apathy that I had once been in, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to become Orthodox only to decide a year down the road to leave it. Even after I had accepted (in my head) all the stuff about saints, icons, priests, the church, etc., I wanted to make sure that my heart accepted it.

Quote
4. what was it that finally made you decide to seek conversion into the Orthodox faith?

I just got tired of waiting. I knew in my head that I wanted to be Orthodox: I agreed with and affirmed what the Orthodox taught and believed. I just was holding back because I wanted to make sure. One day I just decided to ask the Priest to become a catechumen. I hardly ever "feel" things, or "hear God" telling me to do something, and I'm not sure that that was the case in this instance either. All I know is that one day I fell asleep very cautious about the whole thing, and had even planned on putting things off for a year or more. And then I woke up the next morning and wanted to be Orthodoxy and thought I was ready.
Logged
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2003, 07:35:24 PM »

Paradosis,
Good handle!  Grin  I've been reading a lot about the "paradosis" myself recently.  Currently I'm re-reading a book by a Baptist (D.H. Williams) titled RETRIEVING THE TRADITION AND RENEWING EVANGELICALISM which is ironically pushing me more toward Orthodoxy.  At any rate, thanks for your responses.
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2003, 08:58:59 PM »


I was an enthusiastic and on-fire-for-the-Lord Southern Baptist as a teenager. I was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and somewhat active in Campus Crusade for Christ. By family heritage and infant baptism I was a Lutheran, however, and ultimately wound up returning to the Lutheran Church as an adult.

Quote
1.  What first brought Orthodoxy to your attention?

I took a trip to Russia, where I met a Russian Orthodox priest named Father Aleksandr. I was deeply impressed by the goodness, holiness, and kindliness of the man, who seemed to glow (honestly). Whenever I write about him and read my descriptions later, they always strike me as woefully inadequate. Fr. Aleksandr had a saintliness about him I had never experienced before. I could honestly feel my blood pressure drop when I was in his presence.

I don't want my impression of Fr. Aleksandr to sound like hero-worship. I know he is merely a man and capable of sin like anyone else. But he is largely the reason I decided to investigate the Orthodox Church.

A year later I was back in Moscow and was surprised when I met an Orthodox nun at the Pokrovsky Monastery who made the same impression of goodness and holiness on me - Sister Concordia. To meet a second such person just floored me.

Quote
2.  What were some pivotal books/articles you may have read on your journey?

The Way: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, by Clark Carlton;

The Orthodox Church, by Timothy Ware;

Introducing the Orthodox Church, by Anthony Coniaris;

Becoming Orthodox, by Peter Gillquist;

Dancing Alone, by Frank Schaeffer (son of Protestant theologian Francis Schaeffer);

Sola Scriptura, a pamphlet by John Whiteford;

Apostolic Succession, a pamphlet by Gregory Rogers (both pamphlets are available from Conciliar Press);

and, last but definitely not least,

The Truth of Our Faith, by the Elder Cleopa Ilie.

A videotape series by Father David Anderson was also extremely influential. It answered a lot of my questions.

Quote
3. What was the one or two areas that was your biggest "hold up", so to speak, in embracing Orthodoxy?  (and how did you overcome these obstacles?)

The veneration of Mary and the rest of the saints and the use of images in worship.

Reading the Church Fathers helped. I realized that the veneration of the saints and of icons was part of the Church's Apostolic Tradition. Ultimately, I accepted these practices on the authority of the Church. I surrendered the prejudices I had acquired as a Protestant to the teaching authority of the Church He founded.

Now these things are a source of joy and consolation to me.

Quote
4. what was it that finally made you decide to seek conversion into the Orthodox faith?

I became convinced that Orthodoxy was the truth and I wanted to experience the fullness of historic Christianity in the communion of the saints.

I am very happy as an Orthodox Christian.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2003, 09:01:32 PM by Linus7 » Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
moronikos
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ...and they were first called Christians in Antioch
Posts: 150


I'm trying to think, but nothing happens!


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2003, 01:06:50 AM »

Thomas,

My story is at http://orthodoxconvert.com/content.php?type=story&story=1

The thing that first pushed me down the road was an investigation into history--especially of the theology of the Reformers and into early church history.  Many of the books I first read were by Roman Catholic authors.  One I would recommend is by Thomas Howard:  Evangelical is Not Enough:  Worship of God in Liturgy and Sacrament
Logged
CDHealy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 112

I'm a philosophy major.

chealy5
WWW
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2003, 10:21:05 AM »

1.  What first brought Orthodoxy to your attention?

Hmmm.  Probably the very first thing(s) are the books Gilquist's Becoming Orthodox and Ware's The Orthodox Church.

However, in terms of seriously turning to Orthodoxy, I can very certainly tie it to a post card I got advertising Frank Schaeffer's interview on Calvin Forum.  I purchased the video, which led to more books, the internet and my present parish.

2.  What were some pivotal books/articles you may have read on your journey?

The most singularly mind-changing books are: Zizioulas' Being as Communion and Nellas' Deification in Christ.  In terms of making Orthodoxy real, Frederica's Facing East.

3. What was the one or two areas that was your biggest "hold up", so to speak, in embracing Orthodoxy?  (and how did you overcome these obstacles?)

The role of Mary in the work of salvation God has wrought.
Prayer to the saints.
That there is no salvation outside the Church.

4. what was it that finally made you decide to seek conversion into the Orthodox faith?

I'm not yet a catechumen.  But there are personal family matters I'm working through right now.  In terms of what has determined me to one day be chrismated: in technical terms that theosis is only possible through the hypostatic union of the human and divine in Christ and the how that union is effected by the Holy Spirit in the Church.  Or, as it was put above: there is no salvation outside the Church.
Logged

Clifton D. Healy
email: chealy5@yahoo.com
blog: http://benedictseraphim.wordpress.com

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--Hamlet,
Chuck S.
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


Place Personal Text Here


« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2003, 07:13:35 PM »



Hi Thomas, Great question!

I became a Christian in my early 20's. I was not raised in any church, protestant or otherwise. (However I was baptized catholic as an infant) In fact the first time I ever set foot inside a church was at a close friends wedding. Actually it was his witness (by his life style not preaching) that got me interested in the Bible.

After learning about Bible prophecy through TBN and other various programs I eventually came to faith in Christ in my early 20's. Over the next few years I went from non-denominational beliefs, to pentecostal, to almost southern baptist beliefs. (though I never truly accepted that if I later became an atheist and slaughtered half the worlds population I would still be saved..lol!)

One night I was in a 'debate' (ok I was a Fundamentalist so it was an arguement..LOL!) with an agnostic/almost atheist about the existance of God and the infalibility of the Bible. She told me I didn't have the "real" Bible...but if I wanted to see the "true teachings of Christ" I had to read the "coptic bible"...(I later discovered she was actually refering to the Aramaic and not coptic texts)

So I did an internet search for "coptic bible" and all this stuff about the Orthodox Church popped up on my screen. I thought what is this? Oh yeah...a catholic church for ethnic people...LOL!

I began researching Orthodoxy...and of course my evangelical background told me this was a  'pagan' church...after all it sort of reminded me of the catholics so it must be exactly the same! (so wrong I was)

So I set out to disprove it. I would disprove it by the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura) ....I started with honoring the Virgin Mary...I soon discovered that the Virgin herself prophesyed that ALL GENERATIONS would call her blessed. Hmmm..interesting I wasn't doing that as a protestant. To me she was a useless vessel that God used and then discarded like an old pair of shoes!....but of course she wasn't the 'Mother of God'..oh no wait, that was in the Bible too. Hmmmm...

After this I just went from one doctrine to the next. of course incense was a pagan heresy and against the Bible...oh no...wait here in the OT God commanded the Hebrews to use incense to set them APART FROM the pagans.

Ah yes, the saints are "dead" and can't see us on earth. No, wait....Jesus said the saints aren't dead. And here in Revelation they're praying for those still on earth. ooops...

yes..Communion...Communion is just a symbolic memorial...that if eaten in an unworthy manner you can die from? (1st Corinth 11) Hmmm...how can one die from a meaningless memorial? Oh...and Paul says its the BODY and BLOOD of the Lord? Ooops. I was wrong about that too! It was't a "memorial" but was the Body and Blood of Christ.

This went on for about 5 months...LOL! Of course this brief post over simplifies it greatly...but I think you get the idea. Suffice it to say, after 5 months there was no doubt that the Orthodox Church was the Church established by Christ. I knew this not only from the Bible but from the Church Fathers and history as well.

Anyways...after 5  months I simply knew the Orthodox Church was the True Church! and I knew that I couldn't go back to protestantism..so I had to become Orthodox. I eventually made my first visit to an Orthodox Church and was Chrismated on May 4th (the Sunday of St. Thomas) of this year! :=)

What was the hardest part for me? It started out to be the saints and icons...but once I understood how Orthodox views them, I overcame it without much trouble.

The HARDEST thing was the Orthodox teaching of the end times! I first became a Christian after getting into Bible prohecy...and after 5 years as a Christian the whole dispensationalist/rapture/duel covenant view flowed through my blood.

I absolutely rejected it to my very core....in fact it almost made e give up and go back to protestantism. But after 4 months I knew I had come too far to give up and to quit. So I asked God, literally with tears in my eyes, to show me how HE meant the bible to be understood, and specifically how HE meant end times prophecy to be understood.

After this I began to see the Scriptures in a whole new light. Miracuously after just a couple weeks...I realized the Orthdoox view of the end times was the correct view.

By then my journey was complete to believing Orthodoxy...and I finally set foot inside an orthodox Church 5 months after I first heard of it.

As far as reading...well I mainly did my reading online. In fact I ddi all of it online. I alsomainly corresponded with Orthodox Christians via email and message boards. (not this one, I only recently began posting here) I did do alot of reading online as well...I'll try to post links today or tomorrow....

It was only after I visited na Orthodox Church that I actually got a couple books. 'The Orthodox Church' 'The Orthodox Way' and 'The Orthodox Faith' by Thomas Hopko. (great for beginners)

I think the Orthodox Way is the best though.

I've also read most of 'the Truth of our Faith' by Fr. Cleopa...which if you're like me, logical and into doctrine, would be an excellent choice.

I hope this helps some Thomas...

In Christ, Chuck

Logged

In Christ, Thomas
Oblio
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 454

The Pointless One !


WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2003, 07:33:30 PM »

Quote
It was only after I visited na Orthodox Church that I actually got a couple books. 'The Orthodox Church' 'The Orthodox Way' and 'The Orthodox Faith' by Thomas Hopko. (great for beginners)

The Orthodox Faith by V Rev Thomas Hopko
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2003, 07:36:06 PM »

Brother Chuck -

I don't mean to butt in on your excellent answer to Doubting Thomas, but you mentioned eschatology, so I wanted to ask you if you have read T.L. Frazier's A Second Look at the Second Coming (Conciliar Press, 1999)?

It is hands-down the best book I have ever read on the whole End Times subject, especially when it comes to dealing with the Dispensationalists.

I recommend it highly.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Chuck S.
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


Place Personal Text Here


« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2003, 08:06:58 PM »


Hi Linus,

No, I havent read 'Second Look' as of yet. My Church bookstore had it over the weekend but I didn't have the $18 to get it so someone else bought it! :=) I'm going to have them order another one though and plan on getting it since it looked so very good! I'm glad to hear its as good, maybe better, than it looks! Now I have no doubts about getting it! Smiley


Doubting Thomas,

Ok here's a list of at least a few of the websites that had a strong impact in my
study. There were actually a whole lot more but I can't possibly post them all.

First definitely look at the "big three"...

The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese  of America: http://www.antiochian.org

The Greek Orthodox Church Archdiocese of America: http://www.goarch.org

Orthodox Church in America: http://www.oca.org

The Greeks are a little more philisophical in their approach, so if that bothers you (as it originally did me) stick to the Antiochians and Russian sites.

But here's a few more than are really good to:

http://www.onearthasinheaven.com/

http://www.assumptionmadison.org/Birds_Eye_View.html (a basic outline of Orthodoxy, very basic though so may not be all that helpful)

here's a site with convert Testimonies that is very cool:

http://www.holycrossonline.org/Testimonies.html

And finally  here's an article on Icons that GREATLY helped me in uderstanding the Orthodox view of them,

'Is Venerating Icons Idolatry?'  

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/icon_bowing.htm

Now that is an article from this website: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com

A word of warning about this last site though Thomas...stick to the "Enquirers" section of the site! They have a section called "especially for protestants" and "in defense of Icons" which is especially good. I HIGHLY recommend you stick to those sections and not venture beyond them, because, well frankly some of the stuff beyond that isn't the best stuff IMO. I'm sure others may disagree with me but so be it.

The Enquirers section is actually the best I've ever found directly aimed at..well enquirers...LOL!


In Christ, Chuck



Logged

In Christ, Thomas
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,271


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2003, 08:16:34 PM »

A word of warning about this last site though Thomas...stick to the "Enquirers" section of the site! They have a section called "especially for protestants" and "in defense of Icons" which is especially good. I HIGHLY recommend you stick to those sections and not venture beyond them, because, well frankly some of the stuff beyond that isn't the best stuff IMO. I'm sure others may disagree with me but so be it.


Actually, I have profited a lot from OrthodoxInfo, even if it would deem me a heretic and a schismatic.  I think, though, that Chuck's advice is good.  Stick to the stuff he recommended for starters, and once you have a grounding in Orthodoxy and are somewhat familiar with it, then maybe you can venture off into the other stuff.
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2003, 08:26:21 PM »

Thanks again for all the info.   Smiley

I've visited Orthodoxinfo.com (a lot!), oca.org, and goarch.com.  I've also visited a Father Alexander website.  I've even watched (or listened) to some broadcasts on Orthodox.tv.com.

I just ordered some more books this afternoon--the two by Bishop Ware, Clark Carlton's THE WAY, and Franky Schaeffer's book (DANCING ALONE).  This might be a little too much for my wife to handle though with our first born on the way in 8 weeks!  Grin  Seriously, I don't plan on rushing into anything, and I certainly don't want to change churches without her!
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.09 seconds with 40 queries.