Author Topic: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?  (Read 842 times)

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Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #45 on: Yesterday at 10:39:34 AM »
Also, I always say to them One, Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, because the C word is not permitted in my house.
Why can't even the word catholic be mentioned in your house?  What is this that happens so strongly in American Protestantism?  Is it because it's the faith of them foreigners?
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ!

Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #46 on: Yesterday at 10:43:12 AM »
How do I deal with the Orthodox part of my family  :P
Why, you become Orthodox, of course! :P

More seriously, it's usually easier when one of the spouses in a mixed faith marriage is not devout in his church.  When both spouses are zealous about their faiths, a certain vein of tribalism may underpin the barrier to dialog and conversion.  It's a very difficult situation.  My prayers go out to you and your family.
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ!

Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 10:45:21 AM »
But sadly, this is because my parents know next to nothing about their own religion, I had to study the basics of Christianity from scratch because they never taught me anything to begin with, or if they did, it was in a very bad way.
In many Evangelical circles I notice a not so subtle disdain for objective study of the faith, leading to a legion of distortions in Christianity, as the spiraling number of such denominations shows.
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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 07:03:46 PM »
Quote
Basically, the crux of the matter is that they have a huge issue with my stance on the Orthodox Church being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. They see this position as elitism and as me conveying a sense of superiority over them. I have explained that this is not the vibe I am trying to give off, but at the same time this is not my own personal opinion... it has nothing to do with my opinion and certainly nothing to do with my own individual relationship with God (as I am still a lowly sinner at best) but this is simply the fact of the matter. I feel it is an undeniable fact which is rooted in history and is also what the Church says about itself. Therefore, as a member of the Church this is simply the position I take. Brothers and sisters, why must this be so offensive to them?
Deemphasize the one, holy, Catholic bit and stress things about Orthodoxy that are mentioned in the Reply #39.  Also, can you invite your relatives to something informal?  It will place them in a low pressure situation and show them that Orthodox are just normal people -- not elitists.

Thanks for this. My father and stepmother have both been to my parish. Actually, my father has been twice now. He said he loved it and would go back, but couldn't see himself becoming a member or anything like that. My stepmom also mentioned that she liked it but didn't say much more than that. I tried to get my sister and brother-in-law out to the Greek festival that happened here recently so that they could at least tour the church and enjoy a fun evening, but they were unable to go at the last minute due to not being able to find a sitter for their one year old. Anyway, my family is not entirely opposed to Orthodoxy or anything like that, but when we get onto topics regarding doctrine, theology, etc. it tends to get a bit heated. Although, this could be my perception of it and maybe not the feeling of the entire room because both times I called the person I got into the "debate" with the next day and they said that they just saw it as a casual discussion and nothing more.

I am going to try to live out the faith as much as possible, both behind closed doors and around others and also maybe lovingly show them some things that were mentioned in the list above by rakovsky (thanks for that list by the way! :)) I will say though, there is absolutely no sense of Tradition in their minds, anything with the "t" word is automatically deemed "traditions of men". This is sad because I see Tradition as an expression of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Church, but to me that is something that one has to experience, it can't just be intellectualized. So as much as I want to tell them about all these things, I really don't think they (or anyone else for that matter) are going to understand until they "come and see". I will keep inviting them to things when the opportunity arises.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #49 on: Today at 01:23:29 AM »
Quote
Basically, the crux of the matter is that they have a huge issue with my stance on the Orthodox Church being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. They see this position as elitism and as me conveying a sense of superiority over them. I have explained that this is not the vibe I am trying to give off, but at the same time this is not my own personal opinion... it has nothing to do with my opinion and certainly nothing to do with my own individual relationship with God (as I am still a lowly sinner at best) but this is simply the fact of the matter. I feel it is an undeniable fact which is rooted in history and is also what the Church says about itself. Therefore, as a member of the Church this is simply the position I take. Brothers and sisters, why must this be so offensive to them?
Deemphasize the one, holy, Catholic bit and stress things about Orthodoxy that are mentioned in the Reply #39. 

Here is another list I found. The original poster can also mention music and architecture. It is nice that they liked the orthodox service that they attended.

Quote
Among the elements which make up the Holy Tradition of the Church, the Bible holds the first place. Next comes the Church’s liturgical life and its prayer, then its dogmatic decisions and the acts of its approved churchly councils, the writings of the church fathers, the lives of the saints, the canon laws, and finally the iconographic tradition together with the other inspired forms of creative artistic expression such as music and architecture.
https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20