Author Topic: Protestant pastor Converting  (Read 37385 times)

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Offline Seeker73

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2008, 02:26:31 PM »
Ditto, ex-Lutheran (ELCA).  I think though that I wouldn't have been as open to becoming Orthodox if I hadn't been raised in a liturgical environment like the Lutheran church.  It was exactly my exposure to that kind of worship that reinforced my desire for more traditional and conservative services. 

This goes way back, but I got more interested in my Lutheran faith during college.  Along the way I had a summer romance with a guy that provided me with my one exposure to the world of hard core, country, Holy Ghost pentecostalism.  His parents owned a dairy farm in deep East Texas.  So I go home one weekend to meet his folks.  Nice country people, very country.  The next day we went to church.  And even though I wasn't a very knowledgeable Lutheran, I knew this was so totally out of my league.   When they started speaking in tongues, and hollering and carrying on, I thought I'd landed on some kind of alien world and I was the alien.  All I could think was, Lutherans don't act like this, and church should be reverent and ordered.  Needless to say, that was the one experience that told me this relationship wasn't going anywhere, and it kept me on the path of liturgical churches.

I was raised in a pentecostal congregation, so I know exactly what you mean.  I've seen people pass out, jump over pews, scream, cry, yell, and run laps around the church sanctuary.  I've heard them speaking in tongues, too.  All of this happened right in the middle of the Sunday services.  It used to scare me when I was a child, and I left the church when I was fifteen because of it.  I agree with you, church isn't supposed to be this way.  I sincerely worry about the fate of the souls of the people in that church, especially since the church denies the doctrine of the Trinity.  It makes me wonder about the origin of their "spiritual gifts."  One of the most disturbing things I found in the Roman Catholic Church was the acceptance of Charismatic Catholicism.  There are several Charismatic Catholic Masses here where I live, and I attended several.  They all reminded me too much of the church in which I grew up.  I personally have doubts about whether or not the movement is from God.

Offline Fr. David

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2008, 02:43:59 PM »
I would also suggest reading some of Frank Shaeffer's stuff, he minces no words about the likes of Falwell, Graham and others and has a distinct understanding of the protestant world before his conversion. Just read his crazy for God, but I think I had read a couple of other things by him when dh brought them home.

It's not my purpose to start a fight about this, so I'll just say that my opinion differs with regards to Franky Shaeffer's works (at least Dancing Alone, the only one I've read, though I hear other books of his carry the same tone as Dancing).  I find Franky to be very bitter.  Don't misunderstand; I actually agree with some of his points, but his delivery is so angry and blunt (in my opinion) that I don't think anyone but an already-convinced catechumen or a (recently) chrismated Orthodox Christian would find a lot of common ground.  There's a way to highlight differences and shortcomings with tact and charity, and there's a way to do it without said attributes.  It's my opinion that Franky does this in the latter.

I'm glad the podcasts were mentioned.  I really like the Illumined Heart.
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Offline Seeker73

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #47 on: May 06, 2008, 02:46:45 PM »
You know I still live in that area and many of the hs groups use that facility for meetings, and of course I still know many people that attend. They think I am in a cult if they happen to find out. But my problem is that I literally get sick to my stomach when we have a meeting up there for some reason. Or they meet up at the nice indoor playground and I have to beg off.  Should I still feel this way after 4 years?  Our priest and one of our kids godparents had never seen the Christmas Tree production and we had free tickets from a family member that still works for the Godparent home.  Fr. and our friends absolutely loved the production, said it was as professional as any they had ever seen. but I cringed the whole time because still KNEW these people and KNEW what they believed.
I must be wierd, but just being around them still upsets my spirit and physical being.
Does anyone else feel this way about what they left behind?  OR did you guys remove yourselves far enough that you don't have to orbit in the same places?

I don't live in Lynchburg anymore, but I do still live near my former evangelical church and former evangelical friends (They all stopped speaking to me when I began attending the local Roman Catholic parish a few years ago) here in North Carolina.  I pass the church every day when I drive into town to run errands, go shopping, etc.  The Bible college from which I graduated is also here, just a few miles from where I live.  I pass by that frrequently as well.  I do feel the same way that you do.  I feel a spiritual upset every time I pass my former church and college.  I think not only of the spiritual deception (however unintentional it was) to which I fell vicitm, but I also think of the spiritual deception that still enslaves my former evangelical friends and congregants.  I can't stand it.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 02:49:43 PM by Seeker73 »

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #48 on: May 06, 2008, 02:56:46 PM »
I still feel that way too.  I don't even want to experience another altar call.  I still remember trying to explain what an altar call was to my first priest, who is cradle Orthodox.  He is very involved in missions and evangelization, but he didn't have a clue about altar calls.  I was going to visit my brother who is Baptist and the shortest altar call I've seen in his church on Sunday morning is 15 minutes--they can go on much longer.  After I did my poor best trying to explain one to him, he didn't want me going either.  I have to admit, though, that I was never really comfortable with those.

The sad thing about the Independent/Fundamentalism is the legalism.  It can do so much damage.  I feel so sorry for teens who are raised in those homes.  They are not even allowed to listen to Contemporary Christian music (much less rock music), or do the other things that most kids are doing.  I can see why so many totally rebel and go off the deep end.  I was Southern Baptist when I converted to Orthodox, and they are nowhere near as bad.

It made me sick to hear Mr. Falwell say that the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were the result of our sin, talking about the homosexuals and abortionists.   It was mentioned on one of the Orthodox lists that I belong to, and one of the cradle Orthodox priests said that we should look at ourselves to see if we have some of the blame for what happened.  I told him that, unfortunately, I didn't think Mr. Falwell's comments were doing that.  My experience of having been in that movement is that you blame it all on the homosexuals and abortionists (and fill in the blank with any other groups you feel like including) so that you don't have to look at yourself.

I've experienced one hour altar calls on many occasions.

The legalism is awful among Fundamentalist and evangelical churches.  It's spiritually damaging.  What disturbs me the most is the lack of Christian love and outright hatred I've experienced in those churches.  Hatred directed at homosexuals in particular, but also towards abortionists and even African Americans.  You have no idea how many times I've heard the f-word used to refer to homosexuals, or the n-word used to refer to African Americans.  One Baptist church I attended for a while would not even allow an African American to enter the building.  I tried bringing a homosexual friend with me to church one Sunday morning a few years ago, but neither of us attended services that morning because her presence caused such a hostile reaction.  (Everyone correctly assumed she was a lesbian, due to her rather masculine appearance.)  I have experienced so many un-Christian things in Fundamentalist and evangelical churches (and my former Bible college), I can no longer call the movement "Christian" with a clear conscience.

I also heard Falwell's remarks concerning 9/11.  They sickened me as well.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 02:59:11 PM by Seeker73 »

Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2008, 03:24:16 PM »
I've experienced one hour altar calls on many occasions.

The legalism is awful among Fundamentalist and evangelical churches.  It's spiritually damaging.  What disturbs me the most is the lack of Christian love and outright hatred I've experienced in those churches.  Hatred directed at homosexuals in particular, but also towards abortionists and even African Americans.  You have no idea how many times I've heard the f-word used to refer to homosexuals, or the n-word used to refer to African Americans.  One Baptist church I attended for a while would not even allow an African American to enter the building.  I tried bringing a homosexual friend with me to church one Sunday morning a few years ago, but neither of us attended services that morning because her presence caused such a hostile reaction.  (Everyone correctly assumed she was a lesbian, due to her rather masculine appearance.)  I have experienced so many un-Christian things in Fundamentalist and evangelical churches (and my former Bible college), I can no longer call the movement "Christian" with a clear conscience.

I also heard Falwell's remarks concerning 9/11.  They sickened me as well.
Yeah. Sounds a lot like my life within the Fundamentalist sects... Sad really.

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #50 on: May 06, 2008, 03:30:18 PM »
Yeah. Sounds a lot like my life within the Fundamentalist sects... Sad really.

Yes, it's very sad.  I pray for them daily.  I hope they all see the Truth and accept it one day.

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #51 on: May 06, 2008, 04:25:07 PM »
Hello Seeker73 God Bless You! I am a former Free Will Baptist Minister. I was just Chrismated on March 30 08. If you would like to talk just send me a PM. I think our stories will be very similar.

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Welcome to the Body of Christ!
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #52 on: May 06, 2008, 04:34:43 PM »
I've experienced one hour altar calls on many occasions.

The legalism is awful among Fundamentalist and evangelical churches.  It's spiritually damaging.  What disturbs me the most is the lack of Christian love and outright hatred I've experienced in those churches.  Hatred directed at homosexuals in particular, but also towards abortionists and even African Americans.  You have no idea how many times I've heard the f-word used to refer to homosexuals, or the n-word used to refer to African Americans.  One Baptist church I attended for a while would not even allow an African American to enter the building.  I tried bringing a homosexual friend with me to church one Sunday morning a few years ago, but neither of us attended services that morning because her presence caused such a hostile reaction.  (Everyone correctly assumed she was a lesbian, due to her rather masculine appearance.)  I have experienced so many un-Christian things in Fundamentalist and evangelical churches (and my former Bible college), I can no longer call the movement "Christian" with a clear conscience.

I also heard Falwell's remarks concerning 9/11.  They sickened me as well.

Wow!

This happened in this century? (metaphorical)

Lord have mercy on us.

I pray that your gay friend is OK after that traumatic experience and have found or is still seeking her salvation.

As you may know African Americans are conditioned over centuries in America with this kind of obscene brutality and contempt. I still pray that your African American friend is also well after the Godless attack by the 'God fearing' faithful at your former place of worship and have forund grace and eternal life through the cross of Jesus Christ.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 04:41:47 PM by Amdetsion »
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #53 on: May 06, 2008, 05:52:25 PM »
It's not my purpose to start a fight about this, so I'll just say that my opinion differs with regards to Franky Shaeffer's works (at least Dancing Alone, the only one I've read, though I hear other books of his carry the same tone as Dancing).  I find Franky to be very bitter.  Don't misunderstand; I actually agree with some of his points, but his delivery is so angry and blunt (in my opinion) that I don't think anyone but an already-convinced catechumen or a (recently) chrismated Orthodox Christian would find a lot of common ground.  There's a way to highlight differences and shortcomings with tact and charity, and there's a way to do it without said attributes.  It's my opinion that Franky does this in the latter.

One of the customer reviewers on Amazon wrote that in 2005, Schaeffer stated that he was too harsh in this book, and would rewrite half of it if he were able to do it over.  Note that it was published 14 years ago, when (I believe) he was still a new convert.  It's easy to be bitter about a church you've only just left.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 05:57:03 PM by OrthodoxFairyQueen »
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Offline Seeker73

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #54 on: May 06, 2008, 06:41:18 PM »
Wow!

This happened in this century? (metaphorical)

Lord have mercy on us.

I pray that your gay friend is OK after that traumatic experience and have found or is still seeking her salvation.

As you may know African Americans are conditioned over centuries in America with this kind of obscene brutality and contempt. I still pray that your African American friend is also well after the Godless attack by the 'God fearing' faithful at your former place of worship and have forund grace and eternal life through the cross of Jesus Christ.



Yes, this happened about six years ago.  It's truly sad. 

Sh has since moved, but last I heard she refuses to have anything to do with church at all.  She also now has a female romantic partner.  She was mistreated many times by Christians other than the one time I related, and I believe the incidents drove her deeper into the homosexual lifestyle.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2008, 08:48:37 PM »
Yeah. Sounds a lot like my life within the Fundamentalist sects... Sad really.

A thought for all of you folks who have recently come from legalistic, Protestant backgrounds. I have observed that some former Protestants unwittingly or unconsciously bring a legalistic way of thinking with them into the Orthodox church. They start analyzing how things are done in Orthodoxy and where things measure up or don't measure up according to how things were done in the past. This type of thinking leads some of them to question their own bishop's decisions on certain matters. Some of these converts end up becoming very legalistic within an Orthodox frame work. I know this idea may seem ironic, especially when so many leave Protestant fundamentalism for this very reason. Unfortunately, the end results of this sort of journey into Orthodoxy are not always good. Many end up bitter and discouraged or they jump from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in an effort to find the "truest" form of Orthodoxy. Some end up leaving the church when they discover there is no such thing. Just something to think about as you settle into your new home.

Offline katherine 2001

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #56 on: May 06, 2008, 10:10:54 PM »
It's true for me.  I catch myself starting to do that alot.  I have to constantly remind myself that I am not the fasting police, the crossing yourself police, etc, and having to ask God's forgiveness for that.  However, I have not read the Rudder, nor do I usually complain about the canons not being applied like I think they should (that's the priests' and bishops' job--not mine) or anything like that.  Personally, I don't want to be responsible for that kind of thing.  The bishops and priests needs our prayers, because the more power you have,  the more accountable you are to God for how you use that power.  There are incredible temptations that come with the power and the responsibility.  The more power and responsibility a person has, the more Satan tempts them. 

Offline calligraphqueen

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2008, 09:57:11 AM »
I was about to say this doesn't affect me, it's more my gung ho husband who blasted his way into the Faith. But then I remembered how confused and frustrated I get when I hear token lazy responses from cradle Orthodox as to why they don't do "such and such" anymore-mainly so they can blend into American society.  Why they gave up this practice or that practice, or they don't really care about pro life because they are feminist professors at a local lesbian college.  And I stand there astounded like, so what? 
These people had the faith handed to them at birth most of the time and take it for granted. They have no idea what others have to survive to find Orthodoxy, they don't seem to realize how incredible it is to land in Orthodoxy after nearly imploding as a baptist! ;)  I don't care about crossing, of fasting as far as other people go. But it bothers me when I organize our yearly Sanctity of Life Sunday Silent Witness with the other parish in town, just a few hours of silent support for women that have endured and suffered abortions.  and all of 3 people from our parish come including me. some are actually hostile about being pro life at any point in the human time line.  that's their business I suppose, but it does make me sad. Humans are the only species that are inconvenient at both ends of life these days.

Offline Thomas

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2008, 09:58:01 AM »
It's true for me.  I catch myself starting to do that alot.  I have to constantly remind myself that I am not the fasting police, the crossing yourself police, etc, and having to ask God's forgiveness for that.  However, I have not read the Rudder, nor do I usually complain about the canons not being applied like I think they should (that's the priests' and bishops' job--not mine) or anything like that.  Personally, I don't want to be responsible for that kind of thing.  The bishops and priests needs our prayers, because the more power you have,  the more accountable you are to God for how you use that power.  There are incredible temptations that come with the power and the responsibility.  The more power and responsibility a person has, the more Satan tempts them. 

I think all converts tend to go through that wanting to be the "perfect Orthodox Christian" phase, I know I did. It is a time in which we are really challenged because of our own Triumphalism that we have " found the True Faith". My spiritual father really kicked that out of me when he reminded me that on the Last Great and Dreadful day of Judgement, I will be judged by how I judged others. Wow! What an eye opener.  I  learned to simmer down  and now look at myself and what I have done and how great a sinner I am---it sure makes life simpler than trying to change another person. I think that this is our true relationship with God ---asking Him to help us change and forgive us.

Thomas
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 09:58:17 AM by Thomas »
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Offline RLNM

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2008, 11:44:42 AM »
These people had the faith handed to them at birth most of the time and take it for granted. They have no idea what others have to survive to find Orthodoxy, they don't seem to realize how incredible it is to land in Orthodoxy after nearly imploding as a baptist! ;) 

So very often, humans take for granted that of which they were never deprived. I know that I was once just such a person. There was a time I was just as stuck-up and concited about how well I was being Orthodox as a person could get. Then, in God's great wisdom, I had to endure the very difficulties that I so coldly dissmissed in other people's lives. Now, I don't worry about what any other person does or doesn't manage, I am too busy with my own life and current pit-falls.
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Offline Sophie

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2008, 12:11:16 PM »
These people had the faith handed to them at birth most of the time and take it for granted. They have no idea what others have to survive to find Orthodoxy, they don't seem to realize how incredible it is to land in Orthodoxy after nearly imploding as a baptist! ;)  I don't care about crossing, of fasting as far as other people go. But it bothers me when I organize our yearly Sanctity of Life Sunday Silent Witness with the other parish in town, just a few hours of silent support for women that have endured and suffered abortions.  and all of 3 people from our parish come including me. some are actually hostile about being pro life at any point in the human time line.  that's their business I suppose, but it does make me sad. Humans are the only species that are inconvenient at both ends of life these days.

To some of us it does not feel as being handed the faith at birth, it feels more or less like family or culture do to most people, it is the one we were born to and grow up in, so it is not that a conscious thing for some. So, some of ud do not question it nor theorise too much about it and go along with it the way we have been raised to. Most of us never go through catechesis, nor bible studies and most cradle Orthodox I know never engage in the kind of analytical arguments and discussions about faith I see in this forum as they keep a rather middle of the road attitude - for various reasons.
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Offline katherine 2001

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2008, 08:11:48 PM »
I think all converts tend to go through that wanting to be the "perfect Orthodox Christian" phase, I know I did. It is a time in which we are really challenged because of our own Triumphalism that we have " found the True Faith". My spiritual father really kicked that out of me when he reminded me that on the Last Great and Dreadful day of Judgement, I will be judged by how I judged others. Wow! What an eye opener.  I  learned to simmer down  and now look at myself and what I have done and how great a sinner I am---it sure makes life simpler than trying to change another person. I think that this is our true relationship with God ---asking Him to help us change and forgive us.

Thomas

The thing that changed my position of being the fasting police was having to be taken totally off fasting for about 1-1/2 years due to a health condition at the time.  I found out that there can be a perfectly good reason why someone has to be on a modified fasting rule or not being able to fast at all from food.  I no longer look at what people are eating.  I still have to follow a modified fast.  If I even catch myself starting to look at what other people are eating, I remind myself that that person's fasting rule is between them, God, and their Spiritual Father. 

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2008, 08:14:46 PM »
Maybe the moderators would want to split this thread?  It seems to be getting off topic. 

Offline Seeker73

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #63 on: May 07, 2008, 08:20:11 PM »
Thank you and God bless to everyone who answered my original question that started this thread, and thanks to everyone who offered their insights and assistance to me.  Please know that it's greatly appreciated.  Since this thread has served the purpose for which I started it and seems to have gone off course since, I'll be making my exit now. 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 08:21:35 PM by Seeker73 »

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2008, 12:24:22 AM »
This brings me to a question that's been on my mind for a while.  Did I sin by preaching evangelical Protestant doctrine in the past?  Do I need to repent for it?
After your baptism and chrismation but before your first Eucharist, your priest will have you make your first confession in which you usually try to bring everything you can remember to God for forgiveness.  As for your question 'did I sin...?', I would discuss it with your priest and then follow his counsel.
May God continue to bless you.

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Offline Thomas

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Re: Protestant pastor Converting
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2008, 08:49:30 AM »
Maybe the moderators would want to split this thread?  It seems to be getting off topic. 

As our person seeking the advice of the forum feels that the question has been answered I am now closing this discussion. Thank you all for your insightful responses.

Thomas
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