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Author Topic: BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANITY  (Read 7670 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ctebah
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« on: August 09, 2008, 09:30:45 PM »

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am looking for help on a subject that has lead to "discussions" with my wife.
I was brought up an Orthodox Christian and was an active member of the Church and Serbian community pretty much all my life.
I did stray from my faith when I was about 22 till 35. I can say with regret that I was not an active or "good" Christian. I went through my turmoils in life and did "my time" but did try to get back on track.
I met a young lady which I married and with which I have 3 children now. She went through the same sought of turmoil as I did at the time, but she was from a Pentecostal family (namely the Potters House Church). Although at the time she didn't attend church either, but we Christened our children in the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Now this is the dilemma; she decided to go back to her Church and was "saved" or "born again" as they say. I started going back to my Church as I wanted my children to be raised Orthodox (in one way it was a blessing in disguise that she was so called "born again" because it made me go back to Church out of fear for my children's identity and ethnicity as my wife is Polynesian)
I am now in a bit of a dilemma as to how to take all this in and get her to see that the "Potters House" is not all as it seems.
Although all the persons that do attend her church are really good God loving people and I honestly don't see "them" as being bad or satanic as they do good things for the community and do follow the scripture (per se).
What I am asking really is how do I explain to her that the Orthodox Christian Church is the true Church of God ? How can I lead her and perhaps the other "born again" Christians into realizing that what they are doing although good is not blessed from God (or is it)??
If you can enlighten me or lead me in the right direction I would appreciate it. I KNOW THIS IS A PHENOMENAL TASK BUT SHE IS MY WIFE AND I DO LOVE HER AND MY CHILDREN AND ONLY WISH HARMONY IN MY HOME.
I haven't spoken to my priest about this as I am embarrassed and I feel like it is my fault by not marrying and Orthodox Christian in the first place. BUT WHAT CAN I DO NOW??

God Bless
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 09:40:39 PM »

Ctebah,

Welcome to the forum. This is a very hard situation you find yourself in. In all honesty, I believe that you should overcome any embarrassment you feel and talk to your priest. If your wife is interested in reading about the Orthodox church, I would suggest getting her a copy of "The Orthodox Church" by Timothy Ware. It might put some things into perspective for her. I wish you and your family all the best as you face this present hurdle.

God be with you.
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 09:41:00 PM »

Grace and Peace Ctebah,

I'm sure more mature Orthodox Brothers and Sisters will address you question I felt I would let you know that I came to realize Holy Orthodoxy as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church through attending the Divine Liturgy and the wonderful Hymnography of the Ancient Church. As a Pentecostal she should respond to the Hymnography but if her faith is largely 'emotional' it might be a challenge. How 'deep' is her faith? That will tell us what is it about Pentecostalism that attracts her.

Peace and God Bless.
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2008, 10:57:10 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Brother Ctebah!

Since you asked ... if your marriage is not in crisis, I would suggest that you not interfere with your wife or children attending the other Church.  Continue to attend your Orthodox Church and perhaps they may follow you by their own free will.  After all, Christ told his Disciples to "Follow Me."  Christ cannot operate in the heart of someone who either chooses not to listen or is incapable of listening.  By forcing the Orthodox faith upon someone unable or unwilling to receive it, one creates the potential of trouble and discord.

My long-estranged wife is involved with a disfellowshipped JW.   Sad  I can't stand the man due to his multiple drunk driving arrests, domestic violence and general deterioration.  He was previously married for over 2 decades with 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren until his divorce in 2004 .  In May, my wife, 3 year old son and young relatives attended Greek festivals just so my wife could have me pay for dinner, tacky gifts, etc.  At least they were exposed to Orthodoxy and I hope that seed takes root like the Parable of the Sower.

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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2008, 11:47:31 PM »

Perhaps you could start by filling in the holes the Pentecostals leave. They talk about salvation and being "born again," but from my experience they have very little real understanding of what that means. I've found that Orthodoxy has helped me to connect everything I knew as a Pentecostal but never understood. I knew, for example, that Christ dwelt within me, but I never understood that He also dwells within everyone, and that literally what I do to others I do to Christ, Who dwells in them.

Rather than tell your wife she's wrong (which she isn't entirely, as she is a Christian, just without the fullness of the Church), I think it would be better to supplement what the Pentecostals are teaching her with the understanding of those teachings that only comes from Tradition. This method I have used with friends and family who are still Pentecostal, and it has worked so far to maintain a relationship. I have lost some friends, however, so I can't say that it's a cure-all. It may be a place to start.

Hope that helps.
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2008, 07:10:14 AM »

my husband and 18 yr old son are also not Orthodox.  I would recommend that you love your wife, pray for her, pray that you can accept God's timing and will, and try not to shove Orthodoxy in her face.  If she asks about Orthodoxy, talk with her about it.  Nothing will get a person's defenses up more than if you start to act holier than thou and trying to "expose" the errors of Pentecostalism.

The Illumined Heart at Ancient Faith Radio did a segment a few months ago about a couple where the husband became Orthodox and the wife did not.  It was very encouraging.  Eventually, the wife did follow her husband to Orthodoxy (which I am not quite so optimistic about myself), but the advice that was given was very similar to the advice I've received from others in our situation. 
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2008, 07:31:34 AM »

Welcome Ctebah, fellow Australian!
You ask:
Quote
BUT WHAT CAN I DO NOW??
You can love them! Love alone will draw people to Christ. Not arguments, not rebukes, not belittling, only Love. Show them what it means to be an Orthodox Christian by your example of Love for them while at the same time practicing your own Faith without forcing it on them. The best way any of us can preach the Faith is by living it and being the best examples of Orthodox Christianity we can be.
If you guys are Sydney-siders, come and make a pilgrimage to the Greek Orthodox Monastery here in the Blue Mountains some time!

George

 
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Ctebah
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2008, 07:55:27 AM »

Thank you brother for the advice I do love them and will continue to do so. Unfortunately we not from Sydney but from Adelaide.. but thanks for the invite. God Bless
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2008, 09:15:38 AM »

Unfortunately we not from Sydney but from Adelaide..
You'll be pleased to know that we have another South Australian member here: Keep an eye out for "jayjay"!
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2008, 09:57:07 PM »

Thank you brother for the advice I do love them and will continue to do so. Unfortunately we not from Sydney but from Adelaide.. but thanks for the invite. God Bless

Ctebah,

I didn't realise that you were in Australia. I'm over in Queensland. I've been here just over a year, so I'm a recent "Australian" - and loving it!!!  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2008, 10:27:09 PM »

Hey Ctebah,
its good to see another Aussie Serb here. i wish you well with everything.
i have friends of mixed serb and other (german, lebanese) parentage- some of them are completely Orthodox Serb while others don't feel the same. i think its the way you bring them up. show them the way by immersing and engaging them in the Serb Orthodox culture. without sounding racist the more they "hang" out with Serbs the more they will feel that way. that is what i have noticed anyway
in terms of your wife - we all have a path to follow....................
all the best
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2008, 10:36:57 PM »

. BUT WHAT CAN I DO NOW??


The worst thing you can do is force Orthodox Christianity on her.  

The best thing you can do is be a true anthentic Orthodox Christian.  Actions speak louder than words.  If she feels the Orthodox Church is/has made you a better person, than she will gravitate towards it.  Be active in the Orthodox Church services, programs, and events, and ask her to come along.  But don't tell her to read this book or that book, don't force it on it.  Be smooth about it.  

If she sees you are serious about it, and she loves you, she will move towards it.  Be active in your prayer, and study the bible and orthodox literature.  Do not get into debates, it leads to no where.  Be diplomatic about it.

The reason why this issue is senstive, you are dealing with a person who knows all your imperfections.  It likes a person who smokes cigerettes telling a person not to smoke cigerettes.

Be patient, Jesus said in the Bible, Be ye perfect as your father in heaven is perfect.  The point is, you have to be Christian.  Talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words.

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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2008, 09:09:25 AM »

Welcome Ctebah to the Convert Issues Forum,

I endorse much of what has been said.  The Potter's Church is strong in my town and has the reputation of everything being black and white. It is attractive to those seeking absolute answers.  I have found that  the discussion with them of Holy Scripture using the Orthodox Septugint Bible has been helpful.  The point is that it was the Old Tesatment used and understood at the time of Christ, it opens the door to understanding the early Church Fathers.  Many people attracted to the Potter's Church ministry are looking for genuine ancient Christianity which we know is found the Holy Orthodox Church.  Books written by Father Jack Sparks,  Father Jon Braun, and Father Peter Gillquist are vey useful reading for these evangelical pentecostals as they use terminology they understand, as well as introduce the Church Fathers to the reader at the same time.

Once again, Welcome to the Forum!

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Ctebah
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2008, 11:57:44 AM »

engaging them in the Serb Orthodox culture. without sounding racist the more they "hang" out with Serbs the more they will feel that way. that is what i have noticed anyway

I can see your reasoning with the subject "hang around" with Serbs they will feel Serbian. That probably applied for the previous generation. But what if the Serbian culture is moving away from Christianity... after all we did regularly go to the Serbian Club on Friday nights where my son attended folk dancing and Serbian school etc... but that all just seemed superficial to me. After all when I was a kid my parents took me to Sunday school  at the Church on Sundays we did our lessons first thing in the mornings and then the children where escorted to Church. Now its on Friday nights because its to hard for parents to come on Sundays ? They have other commitments sports etc..?? On Friday nights the fathers are around the pool tables drinking, smoking and cursing. The mothers are gathered in another corner gas bagging and the children are out in the streets doing things they probably shouldn't be doing. Its not exactly a good scenario for bringing up a child as an Orthodox Christian.
This is why I have cut out going to the Serbian club and only attend Church on Sundays and other times when their are holy days and name days. We pray and read the Bible every night. My boys have learned the "Lords Prayer" in Serbian and recite it before they go to bed and I am consciously trying to uphold my faith with them as best as possible. PS My wife is definitely helping here aswell, she prays with them and reads to our 2 yo daughter.

Thanks
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2008, 12:10:42 PM »

I'm sure more mature Orthodox Brothers and Sisters will address you question I felt I would let you know that I came to realize Holy Orthodoxy as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church through attending the Divine Liturgy and the wonderful Hymnography of the Ancient Church. As a Pentecostal she should respond to the Hymnography but if her faith is largely 'emotional' it might be a challenge. How 'deep' is her faith? That will tell us what is it about Pentecostalism that attracts her.

Brother in Christ,

I have to say on the surface her faith is great in her Church.. and I don't want to look for the speck in her eye and ignore the plank in mine.
I will heed the advice of my brothers and sisters that have posted me and approach my priest for advise on the matter and try to be a better person and Christian myself. I am not perfect, but I can only do the best that I can...

thanks  Embarrassed
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2008, 01:17:53 PM »

Hello Brate Srbine....About 25yrs ago i had a born again experience,the person that experiences it, it is real,i call it a grace that God Gives were a person knows  that there is a God ...there no more ifs buts or maybe that God exists..
Thats why be gentle with her...
when i experienced it the first thing i said what church should i join i attended a jw kingdom hall ,,i allso knew the orthodox church was ancient and apostalic ...  Start taking her to the orthodox church ,,start giving her the lives of the orthodox saint's that had miraculous experiences in there lives,,she will identify with that,since she had her grace Filled experience..
 Ween her away from the penticostal as fast as you can.....
Hope this helps .....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2008, 02:27:41 PM »

Welcome Ctebah!

God bless you and your family...Amen.

The suggestions that people are giving are on the face very good advice. Please heed!

I must say that what you really need is a priest.

Your situation is very serious and can easily get worse and get worse really fast without strong spritual guidance. Most of us here is not qualified to provide what you need at all.

It is good advise to listen to people who genuinely want to help and are providing the best that they can. This can go a long way and serve as a positive direction for you indeed.

Your situation is 'Sacramental' in nature due to the fact that you were orthodox before you "married" this person.

Most examples thus far on this thread regard marriages that were performed 'before' either person was baptised in the holy church where ones spouse became othodox and the other did not. This is more missionary and evangelical in nature as regards the 'other' spouse.

You are a compeletly different case.

An orthodox person who goes outside the church and recieves another Sacrament is very serious act which must be rectified within the holy orthodox church. Until then the 'marriage' (for you) is non-existant as far as the orthodox church is concerned. Thus the women you have now is not your wife until the two of you are married and consumated in the holy church by and orthodox priest or bishop.

Again; you really have a big issue to get cleared up my brother. After which or during which your "wife" and her salvation can be handled. But first you msut get your spiritual house in order.

I am not trying to be hard. I am only trying to give you real guidance.

Please see your priest asap.

I am praying for you and your family.

Please pray for me!

Peace

Dcn Amdetsion
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2008, 06:00:56 PM »

An orthodox person who goes outside the church and recieves another Sacrament is very serious act which must be rectified within the holy orthodox church. Until then the 'marriage' (for you) is non-existant as far as the orthodox church is concerned. Thus the women you have now is not your wife until the two of you are married and consumated in the holy church by and orthodox priest or bishop.
Huh
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2008, 06:43:15 PM »


An orthodox person who goes outside the church and recieves another Sacrament is very serious act which must be rectified within the holy orthodox church. Until then the 'marriage' (for you) is non-existant as far as the orthodox church is concerned. Thus the women you have now is not your wife until the two of you are married and consumated in the holy church by and orthodox priest or bishop.



Huge Quote Brother !!! I will see my priest and try to sort this out. I have fasted and repented for this matter and I know God has forgiven me... I also cant just walk out on my wife and 3 young children ?? But I will follow it up with my priest, thanks for your concern and your prayers God Bless.
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2008, 07:21:59 PM »

Huge Quote Brother !!! I will see my priest and try to sort this out. I have fasted and repented for this matter and I know God has forgiven me... I also cant just walk out on my wife and 3 young children ?? But I will follow it up with my priest, thanks for your concern and your prayers God Bless.
To put you more at ease about this, I'm not aware that the Church actually recognizes as "not a marriage" a state-honored marriage performed outside the Church, such that the woman to whom you're married is not your wife, PERIOD.  IOW, I don't think the Church would think of you and your wife as "living in sin" until you're married within the Church.  Sure, your marriage may not be considered a marriage in the fullest Orthodox, sacramental understanding of marriage, but neither is the relationship between you and your wife a total nonentity in the eyes of the Church.  Then again, I'm not an expert on the Orthodox understanding of marriage, so I can agree with Dn. Amdetsion on this one point that you need to see a priest about your situation, since he's eminently more qualified to speak to your specific situation than I or anyone else on this forum.
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2008, 11:16:00 PM »

Huge Quote Brother !!! I will see my priest and try to sort this out. I have fasted and repented for this matter and I know God has forgiven me... I also cant just walk out on my wife and 3 young children ?? But I will follow it up with my priest, thanks for your concern and your prayers God Bless.

I do not expect that you would or should walk out on your wife and kids. They are a blessing and God is merciful. But the Lord wants us to be firm in all things regarding His commandments. Not drown in our sins expecting that He is merciful. This is why you need to have the priest embrace you and this whole matter.

Avoid using common sense and guess work or adhering to the kind of advise that starts with or includes in some way or in some aspect "this is what I think..." or any variations or parellels of this.

See your priest and pray daily on this.

Do not fear or worry. Just continue to move forward in the correct and right direction that you are on.

God is watching!

I love you my brother and I am praying for you.

Peace to you and your family

Dcn Amdetsion
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2008, 11:50:19 PM »

I'm not aware that the Church actually recognizes as "not a marriage" a state-honored marriage performed outside the Church, such that the woman to whom you're married is not your wife, PERIOD.  .

The Orthodox Church does not recognise state-marriages. These marriages are contrary to the teaching and our fervent love for and faith in Christ since they are NOT performed nor consumated in His Holy name by a true bishop or priest.

Marriage is like all 7 sacraments...'sacred'. You break one you break them all.

We take communion in the Church that is Holy and orthodox only; not in anything 'state sponsored'.

I hope I am not being confusing with that example.

Marriage is the property of God and the root and foundation of the Holy Church. Our Lord said to us: "I am the Groom and the Church is my Bride".

I do not intend for our good brother to be set in fear. But to be put at ease in that he is getting the proper instruction he is seeking so that he can trust the steps that he must take with confidence.

I enlarged the small print so to speak.

He knows this is not easy from his initial post.

It is for us to do our part to help each other. Sometimes that help will sting; but it is OK; Like the Psalm says: "Let that which is rightious smite me; it shall be a blessing".

I do believe that you intend the same for him as I do. That he not fear but trust and have faith.

Thanks!

Lets pray for each other:

God bless us and guide us. Bestow upon us your tender mercy and compassion less our sins swallow us whole. Lord have mercy on us all as we struggle on in this lost and corrupted world. Amen

Dcn Amdetsion


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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2008, 12:43:41 AM »

The Orthodox Church does not recognise state-marriages. These marriages are contrary to the teaching and our fervent love for and faith in Christ since they are NOT performed nor consumated in His Holy name by a true bishop or priest.
And yet, iirc, marriage was originally not one of the sacramental mysteries of the Church.  What happened then?  Did the Church simply grant her blessing to what started as a state-licensed relationship?
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2008, 12:55:47 AM »

In 1Corinthians 7:12-16 St Paul seems to recognise marriages between the believer and the non-believer, so why would the Church contradict him on marriages between two believers, even if one is not of the Orthodox faith?
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« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2008, 01:15:32 AM »

Here I am at the GOARCH website, and in this long disquisition they specifically say that they not only recognize but even DO marriages between their members and Trinitarian Christians who are members of unOrthodox bodies. You of course can condemn them (anathematization being the Orthodox church sport) and I'm sure the true/genuine bodies don't agree with them, but there it is.

Activating my theological powers, it is clear to me that the claim of the church over marriage is completely bogus. Yes, marriage is sacramental; yes, marriage across religions and often sects is inadvisable, at least in the abstract. But scripture clearly teaches that marriage issues from the natural order of humanity; in reality, people marry with or without the consent of the church. Marriages may be rendered illegal, and marriage against the rules of the hierarchy might be taken as a sin of disobedience; nevertheless, the marriages thus entered into are real.
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2008, 07:58:36 AM »

WOW I got you guys started and fired up didn't I  angel God Bless
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« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2008, 08:40:27 AM »

Ctebah ,

I think you would be correct in discussing this issue with your priest.  That is always our advice on issues like this.  You must remember that Father Deacon Amdetsion, is not  a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church  in communion with the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Moscow, Alexandria, or Antioch but a member of the Oriental Orthodox Churches that include our brethren in Ethiopia. His responses may not always be in agreement with the Eastern Orthodox Churches as defined by Chalcedon that you are a member of. Most Europe, including your homeland, uses a civil ceremony to perform the required by state civil wedding and a religious ceremony is done later to meet religious traditions and requirements. Speaking with your priest would determine the direction that his bishop has given him pertaining to cases like your own. It may be as simple as having your marriage blessed by an Orthodox Priest to regularize it. Most Eastern Orthodox churches will permit marriages between  Heterodox (other beliefs) Trinitarian Christians and Orthodox Christians as long as the non0-orthodox spouse has been baptised in the name of the Trinity.

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« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2008, 08:58:11 AM »

Ctebah ,

I think you would be correct in discussing this issue with your priest.  That is always our advice on issues like this.  You must remember that Father Deacon Amdetsion, is not  a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church  in communion with the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Moscow, Alexandria, or Antioch but a member of the Oriental Orthodox Churches that include our brethren in Ethiopia. His responses may not always be in agreement with the Eastern Orthodox Churches as defined by Chalcedon that you are a member of.

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I hope you don't mind my stepping in a changing the subject a bit, but this is exactly the reason why I wish OCnet would require people to state which church/jurisdiction/tradition they belong to.  I find it rather confusing to watch a discussion and not know who is Orthodox, who is Protestant and who's Catholic, etc. etc... and all of them telling me what EO believe. 

You may go back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2008, 01:31:06 PM »

I hope you don't mind my stepping in a changing the subject a bit, but this is exactly the reason why I wish OCnet would require people to state which church/jurisdiction/tradition they belong to.  I find it rather confusing to watch a discussion and not know who is Orthodox, who is Protestant and who's Catholic, etc. etc... and all of them telling me what EO believe. 

You may go back to your regularly scheduled programming.

It should be noted that Father Deacon Amde Tsion has always been open as to his jurisdiction, I presented my information to  CTEBAH because many Convert Issues members are new enough not to know that there may a difference in canons and practice between the Eastern Orthodox Churches (Chalcedon) and the Oriental Orthodox Churches (Non-Chalcedon),

Thomas       corrected for spelling
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« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2008, 02:07:20 PM »

And yet, iirc, marriage was originally not one of the sacramental mysteries of the Church.  What happened then?  Did the Church simply grant her blessing to what started as a state-licensed relationship?

I do not know. I was not there of course.

I am sure tis would be a lenghty history lesson.
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« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2008, 02:16:10 PM »

Here I am at the GOARCH website, and in this long disquisition they specifically say that they not only recognize but even DO marriages between their members and Trinitarian Christians who are members of unOrthodox bodies. You of course can condemn them (anathematization being the Orthodox church sport) and I'm sure the true/genuine bodies don't agree with them, but there it is.

Activating my theological powers, it is clear to me that the claim of the church over marriage is completely bogus. Yes, marriage is sacramental; yes, marriage across religions and often sects is inadvisable, at least in the abstract. But scripture clearly teaches that marriage issues from the natural order of humanity; in reality, people marry with or without the consent of the church. Marriages may be rendered illegal, and marriage against the rules of the hierarchy might be taken as a sin of disobedience; nevertheless, the marriages thus entered into are real.


All my protestant aquaintences follow this brand of theology to the "T".

Thanks for your perspective.
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« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2008, 04:29:29 PM »

It should be noted that Father Deacon Amde Tsion has always been open as to his jurisdiction, I presented my information to  CTEBAH because many Convert Issues members are new enough not to know that there may a difference in canons and practice between the Eastern Orthodox Churches (Chalcedon) and the Oriental Orthodox Churches (Non-Chalcedon),

Thomas       corrected for spelling

Yes, I was not trying to single out Father Deacon because I *had* noticed he had his jurisdiction listed (I should have made that part clear).  Its just your comment reminded me how frustrating that can be when someone pipes in about an issue, but I have no idea which church they are representing.  KWIM?
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« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2008, 06:32:45 PM »

I have been posting on this OC.net Forum for a few years now.

I must say that I have never felt so alienated as I do right now considering the comments of the esteemed moderator.

I chose to be a part of this forum community because of the respect that I noticed among the many posters here even if they were RC.

I beleived that I could be of some good to the efforts that seemd to be to bridge the differences that we all may have.

That the esteemed moderator would single me out the way he did is quite disappointing for me.

It has always been my hope that we all would continue to share our orthodoxy on this forum and learn from one another....NOTdismiss each otherfor our differences. It has never been a secret that I am from the Ethiopian Church it written at the side below my forum name.

The relevance of pointing out my Ethiopian affiliation has no basis at all. On OC.net I am here because I want to meet my fellow orthodox and learn more about each other.

Maybe I am too nieve.

That is one of my big problems.

Although politely done with no glaring aire of intention; never-the-less this for me is a serious "push to the side".

The implications can even seem insulting. Not that I am insulted.

Maybe I can offer a small snap shot of who I am:

I read all the fathers, Russian, Greek EO and OO.

I have served with Russians and Greek orthodox.

I attend every year the joint prayer service in New York with all the hierarchs of the EO and OO churches of metropolitan New York.

I am extremely pro-UNITY. ONE CHURCH. Holy and Orthodox. NO more cultural barriers.

I am extremely non-conformist. Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy. The world must conform to US; not the other way around.

I have a love for Russian liturgical and orthodox tradition which I have studied. It is so much like Ethiopian orthodoxy. Which is no surprise since we are all really one faith. It is just the fact that our worlds 'culturally' are so vastly different. But our worship of God is so similar. The contrast is very remarkable. When I was a lay person I attended Liturgies in the Russian and Ukranian churches that caused me to cry. The service was so touching and rich. I did not understand a word but the spirit that existed during the mass...spoke to me.

My bishop allows me to wear EO styled vestments on regular days. I have a cassock that I ordered from Bulgaria and one from Greece that I am allowed to wear on occassions. I asked him for this because I really love the EO tradition as much as my own. I love the people I have met and prayed with as true brothers and sisters in Christ. So I do These things to help me to stop dwelling in my own 'Ethiopian' and "OO" world and see the larger world of the whole Universal Church.

How else will we learn about each other?

Our esteemed moderator has respectfully defended the "EO" way and anyone who may get lost or misguided by my "OO" views. That is important to him and he did it as he is entitled.

I am .....saddened however.

But this is about our brother Ctebah and not me.

Sorry for any confusion or errors I may have caused him and this thread.

Peace

Please keep me in your prayers.

Dn Amdetsion
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« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2008, 09:05:06 PM »

Fr Deacon Bless ..every one of your posts iv read i learned something good from them ,,you are a great blessing for us here on orthodox christianity.net ..i thank God for your presence here.....thank you....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2008, 09:24:55 PM »

Deacon Amde,

I don't think it was Thomas' intention to marginalize our OO Traditions, or us as OO's.  Rather he was pointing out that the OO Tradition may be different from the EO in this case, and for that reason it may be good for the original poster to talk to his priest.  I personally always consider it good advice to tell people to talk to their priests about the various matters we discuss here.  There is often a difference in how things are done, not just between OO and EO, but sometimes even between the various jurisdictions within those communions.  I know Thomas, and I feel that is what he meant.
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« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2008, 09:57:48 PM »

Deacon Amde,

I don't think it was Thomas' intention to marginalize our OO Traditions, or us as OO's.  Rather he was pointing out that the OO Tradition may be different from the EO in this case, and for that reason it may to good for the original poster to talk to his priest.  I personally always consider it good advice to tell people to talk to their priests about the various matters we discuss here.  There is often a difference in how things are done, not just between OO and EO, but sometimes even between the various jurisdictions within those communions.  I know Thomas, and I feel that is what he meant.

This is the way I understood it too.  I apologize, Father Deacon, if I made things worse.
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« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2008, 01:16:58 AM »

I hope you don't mind my stepping in a changing the subject a bit, but this is exactly the reason why I wish OCnet would require people to state which church/jurisdiction/tradition they belong to.  I find it rather confusing to watch a discussion and not know who is Orthodox, who is Protestant and who's Catholic, etc. etc... and all of them telling me what EO believe. 

You may go back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Continuing your side-bar for a moment, I was dismayed at seeing our voluntary jurisdiction labels removed after many years of agitating for them here (not as a requirement though, voluntary was good enough).

EDIT: The labels are back..great. Thanks.
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« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2008, 01:46:07 AM »

Stevane from what you said i think you are on the right track. i mean if your kids are reciting the Lords Prayer in Serb every night...........what more can i say:) many full blooded Serb kids wouldn't know the prayer in English let alone Serb (which is a shame)
i am no one to question your choices but i think it's a shame that you stopped going to the Serb club or involving your kids in it. As a Serb i am the first to point out Serbian faults (and we have many as a community) but i can't imagine that all the people at the club are like what you described (i think your comments were a little harsh). As a kid i went to various Serb clubs around sydney and honestly never experienced what you mentioned. i mean there was always some sort of segregation like you mentioned (men on one side, women on the other and kids just being kids and playing) and on occasion the men might swear when discussing politics but i really can't say that it was detrimental to me as a Christian child nor did i grow up to smoke or drink or swear (well only sometimes do i swear when i'm truely angry:))
many Serbs are not, what i would term (active) Christians but it doesn't mean they don't hold Christian values.  In recent years in the Serbian/Australia community there have been many problems with priests. speaking specifically of the dramas in Sydney many people of late won't go to church because they don't respect some of the priests (and believe me some of these priests should be ashamed). so in my whole "round the bush" kind of way what i'm tryin to say is that in every community you get all sorts and just becaue some smoke, drink or swear etc doesn't make them any less worthy than the ones that go to church (including priests).
In the end you are the kids role model not the next door neighbour. they will grow up to be the people you and your wife mold them into.

"i mean no offense to any priests here on this forum or to anyone. these are just my opinions."

just to reiterate my earlier comment to you Stevane- to me it looks like you are doing a great job with your kids. as a thought if you do want your kids to feel more Orthodox via their Serbian heritage maybe introduce them to Serb history. that was one thing that always made me proud of my Orthodoxy! 
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« Reply #38 on: August 15, 2008, 02:03:57 AM »

Quote
As a Serb i am the first to point out Serbian faults (and we have many as a community) but i can't imagine that all the people at the club are like what you described (i think your comments were a little harsh).


I can assure you that the behaviour described by Stevan can also be found at Russian and Greek clubs. Sad, but true. Only yesterday, I was at a church gathering where several drunken lads at lunch were spouting idiotic nationalistic nonsense regarding the current conflict in Georgia ... I have heard similar sentiments among Greeks with regards to the Cyprus partition, the bombing of Belgrade in 1999, etc. These folks may be nominally Orthodox, but true Orthodoxy is beyond and above nationalism and politics.
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« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2008, 10:35:40 AM »

JHP17 & LPK .. Firstly God Bless you and your families... thank you for your concern ,efforts and prayers.

I am sorry to say though but our Church organizations are becoming more social / political gatherings rather than religious and I am finding it hard to accept it as I am now looking at a larger holier picture.
Just a simple example that I use often...
Here in Adelaide we have 2 Serbian Orthodox Churches .... each Church on any given Sunday might have 20-25 parishioners (except Christmas or Easter  off course!). On Friday Nights their is 200-300 people at the Church hall for folklore practice, bocce bowls, 8-ball, chess and the "bar" etc.... Now it is a fact that the 200-300 that come Friday nights "pay the bills" and the 20-25 that attend Sunday services pay pittance in comparison. The two Serbian Communities here have always been at arms length and relationships were strained for whatever reasons. (this is a similar situation with the other communities ie. Russian, Ukranian, Greek, Bulgarian etc...)

What I can't accept NOW that I am a father and have a family to take care of both financially and spiritually is this lack of unity, compassion and acceptance in our proud nation(s) and peoples.
We have strayed from God and our Faith and accepted a capitalist view of the world.. which I think is perhaps even more dangerous because it slowly "reels you in" to believing that a nice Church Hall and LCD TV's and cable and a "great bar" are more important than the Church itself and our necessity to attend services regularly. Ohh I was at Church on Friday night ??

Getting drunk on a Friday night and singing Serbian patriotic songs at the bar does not make you a good Serbian Orthodox Christian, quit the opposite I think. (I know because I was one of these fools previously Shocked)

So when you ask the leaders in our Church community what have you done for the "Church" their answer will be...(if not the same but similar)  we put a new roof on the hall, we bought a picnic ground (which is used once a year), we have a new LCD and Plasmas, cable, Fox etc.... new pool tables.

NOT ONE OF THEM WILL GIVE YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER... AND THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR CHILDRENS FAITH.

OUR CHILDRENS FUTURE DOES NOT LIE IN THE FOUR WALLS THAT WE BUILT BUT IN THEIR SOUL, IN THEIR FAITH, THEIR HERITAGE - TRUE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.

Because if our children loose their faith and the true values of the Holy Orthodox Church and accept the western worlds values regarding materialism/capitalism/liberalism and all the other "isms" that are satans view of the world as many of us have unknowingly, then our community is not going to exist in 50-100 years time.

All the Serbian (and Russian, Ukranian, Greek etc...) Orthodox Churches and the Church Halls will be empty because we will have lost them to the "West".

FORGIVE ME IF I AM COMING ACROSS AS PERHAPS NEGATIVE, I ASSURE YOU I AM NOT. WE HAVE TO ACT ON THIS, AS THIS IS THE PATH THAT WE ARE HEADING AT THE MOMENT.

We need ORTHODOX UNITY FIRSTLY and our Patriarchs must act on this as we are scattered around the world and heading in all different directions. Don't you agree ?

Enter by the narrow gate as the wide gate and path that everyone follows will lead to destruction.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL. PRAISE JESUS
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« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2008, 01:25:35 PM »

JHP17 & LPK .. Firstly God Bless you and your families... thank you for your concern ,efforts and prayers.

I am sorry to say though but our Church organizations are becoming more social / political gatherings rather than religious and I am finding it hard to accept it as I am now looking at a larger holier picture.
Just a simple example that I use often...
Here in Adelaide we have 2 Serbian Orthodox Churches .... each Church on any given Sunday might have 20-25 parishioners (except Christmas or Easter  off course!). On Friday Nights their is 200-300 people at the Church hall for folklore practice, bocce bowls, 8-ball, chess and the "bar" etc.... Now it is a fact that the 200-300 that come Friday nights "pay the bills" and the 20-25 that attend Sunday services pay pittance in comparison. The two Serbian Communities here have always been at arms length and relationships were strained for whatever reasons. (this is a similar situation with the other communities ie. Russian, Ukranian, Greek, Bulgarian etc...)

What I can't accept NOW that I am a father and have a family to take care of both financially and spiritually is this lack of unity, compassion and acceptance in our proud nation(s) and peoples.
We have strayed from God and our Faith and accepted a capitalist view of the world.. which I think is perhaps even more dangerous because it slowly "reels you in" to believing that a nice Church Hall and LCD TV's and cable and a "great bar" are more important than the Church itself and our necessity to attend services regularly. Ohh I was at Church on Friday night ??

Getting drunk on a Friday night and singing Serbian patriotic songs at the bar does not make you a good Serbian Orthodox Christian, quit the opposite I think. (I know because I was one of these fools previously Shocked)

So when you ask the leaders in our Church community what have you done for the "Church" their answer will be...(if not the same but similar)  we put a new roof on the hall, we bought a picnic ground (which is used once a year), we have a new LCD and Plasmas, cable, Fox etc.... new pool tables.

NOT ONE OF THEM WILL GIVE YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER... AND THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR CHILDRENS FAITH.

OUR CHILDRENS FUTURE DOES NOT LIE IN THE FOUR WALLS THAT WE BUILT BUT IN THEIR SOUL, IN THEIR FAITH, THEIR HERITAGE - TRUE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.

Because if our children loose their faith and the true values of the Holy Orthodox Church and accept the western worlds values regarding materialism/capitalism/liberalism and all the other "isms" that are satans view of the world as many of us have unknowingly, then our community is not going to exist in 50-100 years time.

All the Serbian (and Russian, Ukranian, Greek etc...) Orthodox Churches and the Church Halls will be empty because we will have lost them to the "West".

FORGIVE ME IF I AM COMING ACROSS AS PERHAPS NEGATIVE, I ASSURE YOU I AM NOT. WE HAVE TO ACT ON THIS, AS THIS IS THE PATH THAT WE ARE HEADING AT THE MOMENT.

We need ORTHODOX UNITY FIRSTLY and our Patriarchs must act on this as we are scattered around the world and heading in all different directions. Don't you agree ?

Enter by the narrow gate as the wide gate and path that everyone follows will lead to destruction.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL. PRAISE JESUS


WOW!!!

Val'me dobro, Val'me dobro moj brat!

I agree 100%

I would like to hear more of your thoughts my brother.

I have been praying that my posts earlier were not too strong for you.

From what you write here you seem to be a man who is tired of drinking milk and want to eat meat.

I pray you are doing well with the goals for your family.
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« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2008, 04:52:46 AM »

WOW!!!

Val'me dobro, Val'me dobro moj brat!

I agree 100%

I would like to hear more of your thoughts my brother.

I have been praying that my posts earlier were not too strong for you.

From what you write here you seem to be a man who is tired of drinking milk and want to eat meat.

I pray you are doing well with the goals for your family.


Brother as you said earlier your thoughts are quit strong but I do agree with them, what I do with my situation regarding the born again Christian matter and my wife I know I can handle now, as I will discuss it with my priest and I am sure God will lead me in the right direction their. I have found some extra spiritual strength in these last couple days and these matters I WILL RESOLVE THEM WITH SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE FROM MY PRIEST. AMEN
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« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2008, 09:00:50 AM »



I can assure you that the behaviour described by Stevan can also be found at Russian and Greek clubs. Sad, but true. Only yesterday, I was at a church gathering where several drunken lads at lunch were spouting idiotic nationalistic nonsense regarding the current conflict in Georgia ... I have heard similar sentiments among Greeks with regards to the Cyprus partition, the bombing of Belgrade in 1999, etc. These folks may be nominally Orthodox, but true Orthodoxy is beyond and above nationalism and politics.


Hey, have you by any chance seen our own Politics forum? It's exactly THAT... ethnocentrism, Panslavic or Panhellenic chauvinism, xenophobia, conspiracy theories, hatred to the West, revenge to the evil US, and occasionally a bit of Realpolitik. All that from those who claim to be Orthodox...
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« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2008, 09:26:51 PM »

Hey, have you by any chance seen our own Politics forum? It's exactly THAT... ethnocentrism, Panslavic or Panhellenic chauvinism, xenophobia, conspiracy theories, hatred to the West, revenge to the evil US, and occasionally a bit of Realpolitik. All that from those who claim to be Orthodox...

Hey you aswell Heorhij !!

If YOUR OPINION of me is that I am a "chauvinist" or nationalist then good I won't deny this because I would rather be that and righteous than support "the evil west".
But I will also point out and stand by my words that the western world in particular the USA's Liberalism and Democracy is teaching and slowly turning people against the essence of Christianity.
Is this evil ?? You can answer that yourself because my answer is very clear. YES YES YES

God Bless

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« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2008, 09:50:39 PM »

Brate,

I read some responses, I skipped most because I didn't want to be tainted by what was already written.  I have some thoughts on the subject and maybe some good insight...

As you know, I am a PROUD Serb.  My wife is Serbian (born in Tito's Yugoslavia), my kids (born in America), speak Serbian and we are at Church every week.  Was I always like this?  Heck no!  Not even close... during the period you mentioned, I was still "Orthodox" but outside the Church in every way.  However, I came back...

So, how to get your wife and family fully into Orthodoxy?  I think it starts with the word "beauty".  If she truly "believes" and cares for her salvation, open her eyes to the beauty of the Orthodox Church, because that is where God can be found. Only in its purest beauty, can you see that God truly resides in our Church.  But how do you get her to see the beauty?

Well, it's not as simple as opening the doors to this foreign world of Church.  Truth is, if you've never been in an OC it can look a bit weird (and even if she's been 100 times, it can still look weird).  Are the "worshipping" pictures, what's with all the crossing, who are the bowing to, what's with all the standing etc...

To allow your wife to open her eyes and mind to the beauty, it MUST start with education and thoughtful discussion.  Picking up books like The Orthodox Church or Mountain of Silence are (IMHO) must reads for anyone coming to our Church.

Next, teach her about what it means to be Serbian Orthodox.  Why we are the ONLY Orthodox Christians with a Slava, what it means and why we do what we do?  Don't do it in the typical Serbian father to Serbian son way, but do it in the Ozgeorge way; with love. 

Find some "Serbian friends" that SPEAK ENGLISH first.  If she gets some Serbian friends (even if they are not Church goers), it may make her feel a greater attachment. 

Look at it as a long term project, not a car lease.

My sister is married to a non-Serb, former Roman Catholic who is now Serbian Orthodox.  Not only is he a regular at Church, he is a very proud Serbian Orthodox Christian.  When my sister educated him about certain differences between the two Churches he almost instantly said "well that makes more sense to me anyway".  I think if you start showing her the beauty of the Church, she'll want to come in on her own.

Oh, and don't forget to pray.  Prayer is God's medicine for all of our ailments.
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