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Author Topic: Most innane questions you have been asked  (Read 6831 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 11, 2008, 03:38:23 PM »

I would love to hear what some of the most innane questions you all have been asked by others about your faith.

When I told my mother about attending an Orthodox church;

"Is the church alive?"

I was raised Pentacostal, so if one disagreed with the church, or it wasn't amusing and exciting enough-it was "dead." And as such the "Holy Ghost" wouldn't go there.
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2008, 05:04:17 PM »

After one of my first visits to an Orthodox Church, I asked the priest, "So wait, why DON'T you sacrifice animals here?" and I was quite serious. I think he was a bit taken aback.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2008, 06:51:52 PM »

My younger brother (after we'd had a few bevies):
"What day of the week is Good Friday this year?"
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 06:53:40 PM »

^^ LOL
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2008, 07:07:26 PM »

After trying to explain fasting to a friend and then explaining the length of Lent, she asked me how we could possibly go without food for over a month.  Fasting, to her, means total fast.   laugh
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2008, 08:33:27 PM »

The Director of Sales in a company I worked for many years ago was chatting with me in the office.  She asked me what I was doing the coming weekend, and I said, "actually I'm celebrating Orthodox Easter" and she replied "Wow I didnt know you were Jewish!  Jewish Easter is on a different day?"

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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2008, 10:19:47 PM »

One time a guy asked me what religion I was. I said "Russian Orthodox". He meditated for a bit, brightened, and said, "Russian Orthodox Jew? Or Russian Orthodox Christian?" (I learned my lesson and no longer tell anyone I'm Russian Orthodox-it's too confusing).
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2008, 10:45:42 PM »

I had a question that focused on the "R" word, too!

"Russian Orthodox? So, you're like a Communist?"
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2008, 10:52:14 PM »

"Why don't you go to an Italian Orthodox Church?"
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 12:42:33 AM »

When I was in high school no one had any clue about religion and someone asked me "What religion are you?" I said "Greek Orthodox" they looked very puzzled at me and said "So you like believe in Zues?" lol I love bogans. Also the question that used to really make me annoyed is when people asked "Are you Catholic or Christian?".
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2008, 02:12:49 AM »

...
"Are you Catholic or Christian?".

I remember that too.  It was like, "Yes?"
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2008, 02:55:57 AM »

I can't recall any inane questions, but I remember my dear Mum's response to the news that we were converting to Orthodoxy. "Oh, that Church is completely wrong," she said. It wasn't quite the response I was expecting as I aware that she knew nothing about Orthodoxy, so I asked her what is was about our faith that she thought made it so wrong. "Oh, I don't know anything about it," she said, "I just know it's wrong!" We laughed about this later when she was more in a frame of mind to ask questions. Grin
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2008, 03:46:52 AM »

"Are you Catholic or Christian?".

Well my (Christian Orthodox) mum did much the same in the past. As we are Greek and I live in Spain, she used to ask "so are there any more Christians there where you live?", as in Orthodox Christians. And I have been asked a couple of times by people here if , being Orthodox, I study the Torah etc.
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2008, 09:42:47 AM »

My  favorite remark was from the Greek Orthodox Priest when my wife and I approached him about becoming Orthodox, "Why would you want to do that? You don't look Greek".  He later  chrismated my wife, myself, and our 5 children into the Church.  It seems we were the first "Xenos" (non-Greeks) to ever ask him to come into the Greek Orthodox Church who had not been married to a Greek already. He was a wonderful priest and before he had left our mission had actually brought in 4-5 American families who had no connection to Greeks except that they wanted to become Orthodox Christians.

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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 09:44:16 AM »

Several of my students, when they learned that I am Orthodox, asked me, "so, what's the difference between your faith and the Christian faith?" Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2008, 10:15:56 AM »

After explaining why I don't believe in Calvinist predestination, I was asked how much of the Bible we Orthodox use, "since the whole of Christian Holy Scripture clearly confirms predestination".

I hardly knew where to begin explaining everything that was wrong with that statement.   laugh
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2008, 10:31:33 AM »

The funniest/silliest one I've gotten regarding Orthodoxy came from my Grandmother. When I first started attending an Orthodox Church on a regular basis I used to drive about 45 minutes to get to an Antiochian parish. My Grandmother was very confused about this, and asked me why I didn't just go to "the Greek Church" that was about 5 minutes away. I tried to explain to her that the one she was talking about was a Greek Catholic Church, but she wouldn't accept that there was a difference. It was all the same to her.
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2008, 01:47:22 PM »

When I was staying with some friends out of state over a weekend, I was trying to explain to them why I was trying to find an Orthodox church that wasn't too far out of their way. They offered to take me to their church, and I respectfully declined. They retorted, "But we're not like other Pentecostals; we're Church of God." It was hopeless trying to explain that it didn't matter to me what their religion was. Fortunately, we found an Orthodox church just a couple of blocks from theirs. Unfortunately, it didn't have a Liturgy that week, so I went to their church. I brought a book with me and read in the back. Thankfully they didn't have communion at their church. I really didn't want to go there.
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 01:01:05 AM »

ytterbiumanalyst
 
Being a Church of God pastor, I am interested in what you thought of the service.  I realize you read but surely you did pick up on some of what went on.  Just wondering.   
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2008, 04:09:16 AM »

When I was staying with some friends out of state over a weekend, I was trying to explain to them why I was trying to find an Orthodox church that wasn't too far out of their way. They offered to take me to their church, and I respectfully declined. They retorted, "But we're not like other Pentecostals; we're Church of God." It was hopeless trying to explain that it didn't matter to me what their religion was. Fortunately, we found an Orthodox church just a couple of blocks from theirs. Unfortunately, it didn't have a Liturgy that week, so I went to their church. I brought a book with me and read in the back. Thankfully they didn't have communion at their church. I really didn't want to go there.
i think it's disrespectful to attend someone's church service and sit there reading. why did you bother to go then?
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2008, 02:50:33 PM »

i think it's disrespectful to attend someone's church service and sit there reading. why did you bother to go then?

I must admit this troubled me a bit too. I think it would be a better testimony to respectfully observe the service-after all these people are Christians too.  I'm not sure reading in the lobby is going to create a good impression of Orthodox Christianity on your friends-if anything it'll only put up barriers. I would feel hurt if my non-orthodox friends would stand out in the narthex, or out on the steps reading a book while service is going on. "Do unto others..."
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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2008, 04:53:32 PM »

Well, I didn't really intend to turn this into a thread about me, but I'll answer a few questions.

Being a Church of God pastor, I am interested in what you thought of the service.  I realize you read but surely you did pick up on some of what went on.  Just wondering.   
I thought the pastor was quite self-absorbed; everything in the service was all about him. They sang a few songs, mainly rock ballads, but between each one the pastor came up and talked about himself, then they went back to singing. The sermon was about the time he accidentally set his house on fire by throwing away some inflammable objects in his trash can, then setting the trash can next to the house where it spontaneously combusted. He attempted to tie this to the idea that faith is like God's "setting your heart on fire"--I heard that a lot in the Pentecostal church--but really the sermon was an excuse to talk about himself.

This was the only experience I've had with the Church of God, but I suspect this was one renegade pastor dealing with giantism and egotism, and not indicative of the larger Church of God denomination.

i think it's disrespectful to attend someone's church service and sit there reading. why did you bother to go then?
I apologize that I didn't make this clearer. I only found out the Orthodox church didn't have a Liturgy when we drove to it. Since there was no one there, and I didn't have a car myself, I had the choice of either sitting through their service or waiting in the car. I thought waiting in the car would be worse. Looking back on it, I'm not sure which actually would have been. "Knowing that I could not travel both/I looked down one as far as I could/To where it disappeared in the undergrowth."

I must admit this troubled me a bit too. I think it would be a better testimony to respectfully observe the service-after all these people are Christians too.  I'm not sure reading in the lobby is going to create a good impression of Orthodox Christianity on your friends-if anything it'll only put up barriers. I would feel hurt if my non-orthodox friends would stand out in the narthex, or out on the steps reading a book while service is going on. "Do unto others..."
I apologize that this troubled you. I'm no saint, and I don't pretend to believe that everything I did was correct. But I do believe that even poor examples can serve a purpose: if nothing else, they can tell you what not to do. It's all too easy to say, "These people are so stupid; I can't believe they don't know any better." Much more difficult is to understand where you yourself have gone wrong. All of us have done inane things, often believing that we were doing what is right. Spiritual blindness takes many forms, and it afflicts all of us.
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2008, 05:05:04 PM »

When I was discussing being baptized Orthodox instead of Roman Catholic (I was in 10th grade, and she was a lapsed Catholic), my mom said, "But Will, you're not Greek," to which I responded, "Mom, you're not Roman." She sighed and chuckled saying, "Great, now it's gonna be a 'thing', and I'm gonna be making baklava."  Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2008, 07:42:36 PM »

Quote
  I do believe that even poor examples can serve a purpose: if nothing else, they can tell you what not to do. It's all too easy to say, "These people are so stupid; I can't believe they don't know any better." Much more difficult is to understand where you yourself have gone wrong. All of us have done inane things, often believing that we were doing what is right. Spiritual blindness takes many forms, and it afflicts all of us.

Very true.
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2008, 07:58:49 PM »

When I was discussing being baptized Orthodox instead of Roman Catholic (I was in 10th grade, and she was a lapsed Catholic), my mom said, "But Will, you're not Greek," to which I responded, "Mom, you're not Roman."

Best response ever
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2008, 08:51:34 PM »

"Are you going to start dressing like a Muslim?" because some women cover their hair for the Liturgy... Tongue

A friend of mine even made the joke that I could stop wearing deodorant period because I would be engulfed in incense during the Liturgy and would carry that out with me after the Service ends... laugh
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2008, 09:00:00 PM »

Off of what Myrrh said, I remember I was in the process of doing a prostration during Lent when my dad walked into my room. He almost had a heart attack and yelled, "What the hell are you doing?!"
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« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2008, 09:05:52 PM »

Quote
Off of what Myrrh said, I remember I was in the process of doing a prostration during Lent when my dad walked into my room. He almost had a heart attack and yelled, "What the hell are you doing?!"

LOL! laugh
I would have made sure there was a slight comedic pause and said "Allahu Akbar?"! Grin
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2008, 10:35:57 PM »

This was the only experience I've had with the Church of God, but I suspect this was one renegade pastor dealing with giantism and egotism, and not indicative of the larger Church of God denomination.

I cannot  tell you how much I wish that were the case.  Unfortunately, I see a great deal of it and it almost seems that it is encouraged to some extent by the leadership.

I apologize that this troubled you. I'm no saint, and I don't pretend to believe that everything I did was correct. But I do believe that even poor examples can serve a purpose: if nothing else, they can tell you what not to do. It's all too easy to say, "These people are so stupid; I can't believe they don't know any better." Much more difficult is to understand where you yourself have gone wrong. All of us have done inane things, often believing that we were doing what is right. Spiritual blindness takes many forms, and it afflicts all of us.

As one who is so far from being a saint, I can only say a hearty "Amen!" 
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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2008, 01:29:47 PM »

Off of what Myrrh said, I remember I was in the process of doing a prostration during Lent when my dad walked into my room. He almost had a heart attack and yelled, "What the hell are you doing?!"
LOL
That's awesome!
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« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2008, 10:08:47 PM »

Regarding reading a book in the back of a church, I've noticed a few times that visitors will read their Bibles throughout the entire Liturgy, out of protest or piety I cannot say.  I suspected they were reluctant Protestants dragged into our church kind of against their will.
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2008, 08:13:10 PM »

When I was staying with some friends out of state over a weekend, I was trying to explain to them why I was trying to find an Orthodox church that wasn't too far out of their way. They offered to take me to their church, and I respectfully declined. They retorted, "But we're not like other Pentecostals; we're Church of God." It was hopeless trying to explain that it didn't matter to me what their religion was. Fortunately, we found an Orthodox church just a couple of blocks from theirs. Unfortunately, it didn't have a Liturgy that week, so I went to their church. I brought a book with me and read in the back. Thankfully they didn't have communion at their church. I really didn't want to go there.

People have done this in Orthodox churches as well - reading in the back when a service was going on.

I was at a vigil service at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington. There was a woman (I believe a woman from Russia, but it is beside the point) come in with a teenaged girl. The woman came into the santuary proper and the girl sat in the back, promptly planted herself on the bench and was absorbed in a book -- not the Bible. I saw that and thought it was a bit rude and then went about my own business worshiping.

When the censing of the temple occurred, I noticed the girl was still reading and about her business when the deacon, who was censing, stopped right in front of her. He told her to stand up. He repeated himself and looked a little ticked (rightly so). She looked up with this puzzled "what on earth?" look and stood up. He censed her with a chink (acolyte-speak Smiley ) and continued on.

I comment on this and bring this story up because I sympathize with those uncomfortable with what they read and their comments. This girl also didn't look like she wanted to be there. Who knows what her story was. But she was a guest in God's house. Christians are called the witness Christ - be it in a Protestant building as a guest, driving on the beltway, standing in line at a football game , etc. And we ALL fall short in witnessing the Faith.

I'm not saying this to beat you up. You certainly don't have to participate in a gathering like that, take communion, or repond to an altar call. This might not be the last time you are in a situation like that in your life. Please think how actions like that would affect a person who might be pondering joining the Faith and yet sees something like this. Most of us would not like action like this in own own house of worship.

Pray for me, a sinner and all the best to you.

This went off topic on the thread and I apologize.
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2008, 03:12:11 AM »

"If your priest is married, is his wife a nun?"
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2008, 10:56:14 AM »

"If your priest is married, is his wife a nun?"

LOL!  That's hilarious.
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2008, 02:58:29 PM »

Regarding reading a book in the back of a church, I've noticed a few times that visitors will read their Bibles throughout the entire Liturgy, out of protest or piety I cannot say.  I suspected they were reluctant Protestants dragged into our church kind of against their will.

My brother did this on Sunday when he attended with me. His twin refused blessed bread when people offered because it was a closed communion. I had to explain that the blessed bread is OK, just not anything in the chalice. But that is a pretty understandable misunderstanding.
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2008, 03:38:07 PM »

My brother did this on Sunday when he attended with me. His twin refused blessed bread when people offered because it was a closed communion. I had to explain that the blessed bread is OK, just not anything in the chalice. But that is a pretty understandable misunderstanding.

My first Sunday I attended I refused a second piece of blessed bread because I didn't understand the idea behind it.  I wasn't sure if it was ok to take more than one piece.  Luckily the man who offered it to me ended up being my sponsor so I don't think he was too offended.  Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2012, 08:22:43 AM »

An Atheist once asked me "Why do you believe in God?"
...But is that really such a dumb question?
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« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2012, 12:20:08 PM »

An aunt of mine once asked me if I went to Church with my father this morning, I told her no and explained that we attend different Churches since I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian. She then asked me 'So what do you believe?' and expected me to give her an entire summary of Orthodox Christianity, our doctrines, history, dogmas etc in a short, brief two minute answer. Lol. I don't think people realize the depth of Orthodoxy or any form of Christianity for that matter; even other Christians.

Also, there was once a strange, somewhat offensive comment that came from my Roman Catholic grandmother. At Easter she asked me if I had gone to Church, I explained to her that my Easter--called Pascha--is one week later because we use an older calendar. She responded 'Oh yeah, because you're a different religion than us.'
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« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2012, 01:08:32 PM »

This last week my friends invited me to go to the mall. I was hesitant because I thought they'd spend the whole time playing Magic: the Gathering at this one nerdy store. I asked my dad for advice and he asked me why I didn't want to play Magic. "Is it against your religion or something?"
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« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2012, 03:43:12 PM »

This last week my friends invited me to go to the mall. I was hesitant because I thought they'd spend the whole time playing Magic: the Gathering at this one nerdy store. I asked my dad for advice and he asked me why I didn't want to play Magic. "Is it against your religion or something?"
Heh way back whenever that was popular in my middle school my father wouldn't let me get a deck because he said it was "devil's stuff". Thank God.
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« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2012, 04:37:23 PM »

We used to sponsor an annual carnival on the Melkite Cathedral grounds. Several times each year, an attendee would ask to see the interior of the Cathedral, which invariably led to some variation on the question, 'So, what exactly is a Melkite/Eastern Catholic/Byzantine Catholic?' 

On one occasion, after listening to my explanation, the visitor said "I get it, you're like the Greek Jews, only you're not Orthodox - that's why you don't have the dreadlock things, right?'
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« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2012, 05:27:26 PM »

I would love to hear what some of the most innane questions you all have been asked by others about your faith.

When I told my mother about attending an Orthodox church;

"Is the church alive?"

I was raised Pentacostal, so if one disagreed with the church, or it wasn't amusing and exciting enough-it was "dead." And as such the "Holy Ghost" wouldn't go there.

"do you guys pray there?"
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« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2012, 05:36:02 PM »

"Why do they say Muslim prayers? Are you becoming a Muslim?" -- My father, in reaction to hearing this recitation of the Verses of the Cymbals by Muallem Gad Lewis coming out of my laptop during my last visit home. Lord have mercy! Shocked I told my friends from church that my father thinks I'm converting to Islam by attending a Coptic Church. I don't think I've ever seen them laugh so hard.
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« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2012, 05:40:43 PM »

Once I was asked for ID to prove who I was.

I offered the ID I was given for such circumstances.

I then had to prove I was the person to whom that ID referred.

I was detained for about six hours while this debacle went on.

Unfortunately for me, they ended up believing their own paperwork, as from the outset I explained to them I would have been quite happy if they had settled on another identity for me.

Biggest disappointment of my life: finding out I am exactly who the bureaucrats had decided I was.

My life has been exactly the same ever since.
 
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« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2012, 05:44:43 PM »

Once I was asked for ID to prove who I was.

I offered the ID I was given for such circumstances.

I then had to prove I was the person to whom that ID referred.

I was detained for about six hours while this debacle went on.

Unfortunately for me, they ended up believing their own paperwork, as from the outset I explained to them I would have been quite happy if they had settled on another identity for me.

Biggest disappointment of my life: finding out I am exactly who the bureaucrats had decided I was.

My life has been exactly the same ever since.
 
Wow! What a boring life! Wink
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