Author Topic: Conversion Stories  (Read 51760 times)

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #90 on: November 25, 2015, 06:36:36 AM »
First of all, you will be reading a story from someone who's 18. Things will sound silly.

As any middle-class Brazilian kid, I was a devout Catholic boy. I thought Protestant kids were weird and I was very joyful that I had not only my beautiful family on Earth, but a Father and a Mother in Heaven, taking care of every step I took. I was happy to know the saints could listen to me, and I told them my most compelling secrets.

My faith just got warm when I was 13, on 2011. As I turned 14 by the end of the year, though, dumb atheist propaganda started nuking my mind, and I just apostasised, I started to call myself an "Agnostic", a "Nihilist", and, at some point, I would pretend I was some kind of Laveyanist. On early 2014, I started studying Thelema, Gnosticism, Paganism, and maybe Kardecism. God is wise. I was to "edgy to simply return to Christianity, but those readings washed my silly contempt for the methaphysical away. Those studies made me retake Bible studying for curiosity's sake, although, as I clearly focused on the Old Testament, I treated the Holy Scriptures as some kind of series of foundational myths, historical accounts and wisdom.

Well, on early 2015, my admiration for some seminarists I met made me truly wish to come back to the Roman Catholic faith. I was a bit doubtful, specially after I attended a charismatic mass, but the strong light emanating from my new readings from the New Testament, plus my overall fascination with Russia, plus a big curiosity on what then would the three Orthodox friends I already had be doing Sunday morning... well, when I realised myself, there I was, going for liturgy every Sunday.

There are already five friends, plus my girlfriend, who simply followed me into the church, plus three internet buddies elsewhere in Brazil who are looking for the same. A friend of mine told me I have a great catechetical gift. I'll try not to get this over my head, since I'm a catechumen myself!  :P But I'm greatly happy with the path I've been taking. A year ago, my greatest dreams were all about getting a regular job and following some political panorama. Now, my life foresight is serving the Church, engaging my dear girlfriend and keep my healthy friendships. This last sentence may sound out of context, but all I mean is that: life is definitely changed for me.  :)

Creio em uma única Igreja: Una, Santa, Católica e Apostólica.

Que Deus os abençoe.
God bless you all.
"Now therefore, when thou didst pray, and Sara thy daughter in law, I did bring the remembrance of your prayers before the Holy One: and when thou didst bury the dead, I was with thee likewise." (Righteous Tobit 12:12)

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Dominika

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2015, 02:24:00 PM »
Welcome to the forum!
Nice to see somebody from the Polish Church, especially from Brazilian mission (I'm from Polish Church too, but living in its homeland ;))
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2015, 06:57:21 PM »
Welcome to the forum!
Nice to see somebody from the Polish Church, especially from Brazilian mission (I'm from Polish Church too, but living in its homeland ;))

Nice to meet you, Dominika!  :)

Our community has a peculiar history inside the Polish Church. We're all Brazilians.  ;D When the original community, as seated in Portugal, wished to become fully canonical, Poland recognised they were faithfully Orthodox. And here we are:



Ambrose (Bishop for Recife), Chrysostom (Archbishop for Brazil) and blessed Sawa. I have the dear opportunity of asking Chrysostom the blessing most Sundays. He's really a very humble and attentive man.

Many years upon them. God bless you all in Poland, brothers!
"Now therefore, when thou didst pray, and Sara thy daughter in law, I did bring the remembrance of your prayers before the Holy One: and when thou didst bury the dead, I was with thee likewise." (Righteous Tobit 12:12)

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Dominika

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #93 on: November 26, 2015, 09:22:17 AM »
^^ Yeah, I know the story, and I've talked to bp Ambrose when he visited Holy Mount Grabarka in Poland 2 years ago. It was funny, as I was asking in Spanish, and he was giving answers in Portuguese ;) However, I haven't met abp Chrysostom ;)

It's nice to that this mission receives new converts, as Polish Church isn't so big jurisdiction, so that's amazing, that you keep being under our omophorion
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #94 on: November 28, 2015, 12:08:11 AM »
^^ Yeah, I know the story, and I've talked to bp Ambrose when he visited Holy Mount Grabarka in Poland 2 years ago. It was funny, as I was asking in Spanish, and he was giving answers in Portuguese ;) However, I haven't met abp Chrysostom ;)

It's nice to that this mission receives new converts, as Polish Church isn't so big jurisdiction, so that's amazing, that you keep being under our omophorion

That is amazing! I don't know him myself. I heard they're building him a new cathedral in Recife.  :)
"Now therefore, when thou didst pray, and Sara thy daughter in law, I did bring the remembrance of your prayers before the Holy One: and when thou didst bury the dead, I was with thee likewise." (Righteous Tobit 12:12)

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline vansensei

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #95 on: December 29, 2015, 03:19:28 AM »
First of all, you will be reading a story from someone who's 18. Things will sound silly.

As any middle-class Brazilian kid, I was a devout Catholic boy. I thought Protestant kids were weird and I was very joyful that I had not only my beautiful family on Earth, but a Father and a Mother in Heaven, taking care of every step I took. I was happy to know the saints could listen to me, and I told them my most compelling secrets.

My faith just got warm when I was 13, on 2011. As I turned 14 by the end of the year, though, dumb atheist propaganda started nuking my mind, and I just apostasised, I started to call myself an "Agnostic", a "Nihilist", and, at some point, I would pretend I was some kind of Laveyanist. On early 2014, I started studying Thelema, Gnosticism, Paganism, and maybe Kardecism. God is wise. I was to "edgy to simply return to Christianity, but those readings washed my silly contempt for the methaphysical away. Those studies made me retake Bible studying for curiosity's sake, although, as I clearly focused on the Old Testament, I treated the Holy Scriptures as some kind of series of foundational myths, historical accounts and wisdom.

Well, on early 2015, my admiration for some seminarists I met made me truly wish to come back to the Roman Catholic faith. I was a bit doubtful, specially after I attended a charismatic mass, but the strong light emanating from my new readings from the New Testament, plus my overall fascination with Russia, plus a big curiosity on what then would the three Orthodox friends I already had be doing Sunday morning... well, when I realised myself, there I was, going for liturgy every Sunday.

There are already five friends, plus my girlfriend, who simply followed me into the church, plus three internet buddies elsewhere in Brazil who are looking for the same. A friend of mine told me I have a great catechetical gift. I'll try not to get this over my head, since I'm a catechumen myself!  :P But I'm greatly happy with the path I've been taking. A year ago, my greatest dreams were all about getting a regular job and following some political panorama. Now, my life foresight is serving the Church, engaging my dear girlfriend and keep my healthy friendships. This last sentence may sound out of context, but all I mean is that: life is definitely changed for me.  :)

Creio em uma única Igreja: Una, Santa, Católica e Apostólica.

Que Deus os abençoe.
God bless you all.

E você também. Há muito cristãos orthodoxos no Brasil? A country that's 70-80% Catholic must have some.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #96 on: December 29, 2015, 10:33:47 PM »
First of all, you will be reading a story from someone who's 18. Things will sound silly.

As any middle-class Brazilian kid, I was a devout Catholic boy. I thought Protestant kids were weird and I was very joyful that I had not only my beautiful family on Earth, but a Father and a Mother in Heaven, taking care of every step I took. I was happy to know the saints could listen to me, and I told them my most compelling secrets.

My faith just got warm when I was 13, on 2011. As I turned 14 by the end of the year, though, dumb atheist propaganda started nuking my mind, and I just apostasised, I started to call myself an "Agnostic", a "Nihilist", and, at some point, I would pretend I was some kind of Laveyanist. On early 2014, I started studying Thelema, Gnosticism, Paganism, and maybe Kardecism. God is wise. I was to "edgy to simply return to Christianity, but those readings washed my silly contempt for the methaphysical away. Those studies made me retake Bible studying for curiosity's sake, although, as I clearly focused on the Old Testament, I treated the Holy Scriptures as some kind of series of foundational myths, historical accounts and wisdom.

Well, on early 2015, my admiration for some seminarists I met made me truly wish to come back to the Roman Catholic faith. I was a bit doubtful, specially after I attended a charismatic mass, but the strong light emanating from my new readings from the New Testament, plus my overall fascination with Russia, plus a big curiosity on what then would the three Orthodox friends I already had be doing Sunday morning... well, when I realised myself, there I was, going for liturgy every Sunday.

There are already five friends, plus my girlfriend, who simply followed me into the church, plus three internet buddies elsewhere in Brazil who are looking for the same. A friend of mine told me I have a great catechetical gift. I'll try not to get this over my head, since I'm a catechumen myself!  :P But I'm greatly happy with the path I've been taking. A year ago, my greatest dreams were all about getting a regular job and following some political panorama. Now, my life foresight is serving the Church, engaging my dear girlfriend and keep my healthy friendships. This last sentence may sound out of context, but all I mean is that: life is definitely changed for me.  :)

Creio em uma única Igreja: Una, Santa, Católica e Apostólica.

Que Deus os abençoe.
God bless you all.

E você também. Há muito cristãos orthodoxos no Brasil? A country that's 70-80% Catholic must have some.

The 2010 census counted 130 thousand of us. but I believe they must have counted the Oriental Orthodox altogether.
"Now therefore, when thou didst pray, and Sara thy daughter in law, I did bring the remembrance of your prayers before the Holy One: and when thou didst bury the dead, I was with thee likewise." (Righteous Tobit 12:12)

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline ahmad seraphim

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Offline Calla

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #98 on: December 05, 2016, 04:26:32 PM »
I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. My parents had a turbulent trip in that organization - Mom converted young, when I was a toddler, Dad was eventually baptized but later disfellowshipped, reinstated then DF'ed again - we moved across several states and congregations, they divorced - I have to give the JWs credit for being present, supportive, loving and the only constant in our lives throughout those years.

By the time I was 18, I was inactive as a JW, no longer living a moral lifestyle and largely agnostic. I moved around, "tried different things," and maybe once a year vaguely considered going back to the org.

I met my husband when I was 23, and we married a year later. From that point on, I would sporadically revisit the idea of Christianity, would attend a rare service here and there (mainline Protestant churches. An Episcopalian service, a Presbyterian.) I was thinking of the Church in terms of lifestyle and community, not faith or worship.

A year ago things got more intense. My husband and I had 3 children, and I became conscious of the fact that there was a gaping hole somewhere... in my chest, a desire for purpose, a clear recognition that despite the secular, casually negative towards Christian beliefs waters I had been swimming in, I wanted to truly believe in Christ, and worship God. I was thinking wholly in Protestant terms, and prayed, and visited some more churches. It felt like church shopping though, and that just couldn't be right. At that point I recognized that picking through churches till I found one that fit all of my preconceptions was doing just what every other cafeteria Christian does, and it was never supposed to be easy.

I read some softer "manosphere" stuff, and some Christian oriented manosphere blogs. We had already made great progress in our marriage by discarding essentially the last 60 years of male-female and marriage oriented thought and advice, and so I was looking to find out which churches those folks attended. One blogger in particular had hit on some things that affected me, and it turns out he was Orthodox (after making his own journey.) So I started reading on Journey to Orthodoxy... it was all at once deeply alien and massively appealing.

All of those church shopping list bullet points that I had been working with suddenly seemed much less important. They weren't wrong, exactly, just a much smaller piece of a tapestry and I began to understand was the "fullness of the faith." There was the understanding that all of the history of the Reformation that I had been taught was just not applicable to Orthodoxy - that was shockingly painless, walking away from being so certain of Protestantism. Too much and too many things to list here, as they are discussed all over the forum.

Anyway, I inquired on Journey to Orthodoxy. Fr. John Peck answered and referred me to a parish in my city. I went, the priest was uncannily on point as far as addressing my particular snarls and issues, and after 3 months of being an inquirer he accepted that I am serious  ;D , let me know he requires at least a year as a catechumen, and so now I am one! God sent me there. It feels a bit arrogant and absurd to say, but there is really no other explanation. I am very thankful, and have a long way to goo.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 04:31:22 PM by Calla »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #99 on: December 05, 2016, 04:39:39 PM »
Hi Calla, welcome to the forum and to the Church!

What would you consider a "softer" manosphere blog?
Quote
But it had not been in Tess's power - nor is it in anybody's power - to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them. She - and how many more - might have ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, "Thou hast counselled a better course than thou hast permitted."
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Offline Calla

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #100 on: December 05, 2016, 09:32:54 PM »
Hi Calla, welcome to the forum and to the Church!

What would you consider a "softer" manosphere blog?

Thank you.

I suppose anything that isn't full on PUA, or crosses over into other topics as well. I don't endorse everything in all of them - slatestarcodex, Dr. Helen, Athol Kay. Maybe 'related' would have been a better word.

Offline Saxon

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #101 on: March 06, 2017, 03:14:47 PM »
I had been a disenchanted Protestant since about the age of 13. I was baptised as an infant in a Presbyterian church that folded into the ultra-liberal United Church of Canada - we'll come to that later. While God and a Christian life were very important at home, we generally did not attend church; in fact, we only went a handful of times to a prominent Pentecostal megachurch in our city. While admittedly still a child, I found nothing about it to be appealing or of any spiritual value (the minister in a stylish suit belting out a fire-and-brimstone type sermons; people standing up and speaking in tongues or waving their hands with heads tilted back mumbling "praise Jesus"; the cavernous and oppressively sterile interior of the church itself, etc.).

Being from a family of English Anglican and Scottish Presbyterian ancestry, I liked the connection the latter still had to the Scottish diaspora in Canada, so I got my mother to start taking me to a beautiful, century-and-a-half old gothic revival Presbyterian church in our hometown when I was about 14. That suited me for a while. The minister was an older, theologically conservative type which suited the aversion I had already begun to cultivate to modernized, liberal Christianity. It was difficult to feel fully at home there, however; the congregation was mostly comprised of octogenarians and was very clannish. But still we went. It was shortly after that a young gay couple began attending the church - two men who would put their arms around each other when we stood to sing hymns, among other over PDA. The minister started happily chatting to them and heaping attention on them after the services, which I found very off-putting. I started attending some other Presbyterian parishes in town, but many were also hiring female clergy which I have always been vehemently opposed to.

We also intermittently went to Anglican services, but the regional Anglican cathedral located in my city had a flamboyant gay priest, and other Anglican parishes in the area flew rainbow flags and seemed more preoccupied with pushing social justice issues, multiculturalism (including Koran readings during services), and other things that I felt were downright anti-Christian. The Anglican Church of Canada is a particular problem even among the milieu of that faith, and is currently suspended by Canterbury for its ultra-liberal stances.

Now, I was well aware of Orthodoxy throughout most of this time. My aunt married a Romanian and my cousin was baptised in a beautiful Serbian Orthodox parish in our town. I knew nothing of the theology, but loved the outward beauty of the faith. However, as all local parishes were in Serbian, Russian, Greek, Ukrainian, or other foreign languages, and I still had the Protestant aversion to the rampant idolatry that I felt at the time characterised Orthodoxy (the usual icons are graven images, do not pray to saints, etc.), I did not pursue it, despite having a conversation with my mother at about the age of 14 about going to the local Russian church (before ultimately delving into Calvinism as aforementioned).

Now a bit older, I began to seriously study the tenets of various Protestant sects. To be honest, I never really agreed with fundamental aspects of Calvinism such as predestination, their rampant Zionism, etc. I liked Anglicanism for its liturgical, sacramental, traditional style, but the church descended into progressive values to the point of heresy, and seems to be proving that there is indeed a long journey to rock bottom. In university, I began attending a Confessional Lutheran (Lutheran Church Canada - ie. Missoui Synod) parish, as I found they best kept the tradition of the Reformation without sinking into modernism. I was also active in the pro-life club at school, which has attached to it an LCC seminary. Again, however, I just found nothing inspiring about it, and began to seriously look into Roman Catholicism just at the time of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, but dropped that when the liberation theologist who currently occupies the Papacy was selected.

My girlfriend (now fiance) comes from a Ukrainian family, and her grandparents were Orthodox but her parents did not bother with religion and she was not baptised or raised in the faith. However, she had always wanted to be involved with the Church, and felt it was part of her identity that her parents denied to her. At work, one of her coworkers is a Russian man who is heavily involved with the Russian Orthodox Church (his brother is the choir director at one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in Canada). This man was also a longtime friend of the priest of the Russian church in my hometown 45 minutes away - the one I had wanted to attend over a decade prior. The priest has a son around my age who my fiance's Russian coworker helped to get a job at their place of employment, and we became close friends. We began spending a lot of time with them, and were spiritually counselled by the priest and guided into the faith. We were finally baptised in December into their ROCOR parish, and will be getting married there in October.

I cannot believe it is a coincidence that, moving away from home, I meet a Ukrainian girl who wanted to return to the faith as much as I wanted to come to it, and then just happen to become acquainted with members of the Russian community who work in our industry, including the priest of the church I had previously been interested in in my old hometown, and who just happen to live down the street from us now. This goes to show that if you are sincere in your resolve to come to Christ, God will show you the way.

Offline ody30

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #102 on: April 19, 2017, 11:28:15 AM »
May God continue to guide you as you grow in the faith

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #103 on: April 19, 2017, 12:11:02 PM »
I converted as a teenager. Part of it was me wanting to find my own way as a teenager. Also I read Spare the Child that focused on corporal punishment as an aspect of Calvinism and Reformed Protestantism's religious system. The harshness reflected the judgmental attitudes that I had met among Evangelicals/Fundamentalists. I would probably have been left in a feeling of nondenominational liberal mainstream Protestantism, but I was interested in Russian culture.

I went to Catholic school briefly and looked on it as substantially the same with some exceptions like Transubstantiation, private confession sessions with a priest, and what I saw as the Pope's status as a kind of infallible emperor over everyone. I didn't look at crossing yourself or praying the rosary as a significant difference.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 12:14:25 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #104 on: April 19, 2017, 12:40:18 PM »
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #105 on: April 19, 2017, 03:51:25 PM »
"Now therefore, when thou didst pray, and Sara thy daughter in law, I did bring the remembrance of your prayers before the Holy One: and when thou didst bury the dead, I was with thee likewise." (Righteous Tobit 12:12)

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #106 on: April 19, 2017, 08:39:45 PM »
Former Taliban From Afghanistan Baptized at Mount Athos

Hazara Taliban? Yeah...

Regardless, glad he's been received.
Sure he's Hazara? :P

Hah. No, but... And this: "for years he worked for the Taliban, doing various things," i.e. he wasn't exactly a tip o' the spear Taliban nunchuck wielding super-operator.

But like I said, good for him.
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Conversion Stories
« Reply #107 on: April 19, 2017, 08:42:15 PM »
ETA (in an accidental double post): Missed the Farsi part too. Far more common with Tajiks and Hazara than "Talibany" Pashtun. But it was kind of a jerk thing for me to harp on. And I could be wrong, of course. Just seems a tad bit off to me. But I'm not capable enough to edit my own post correctly, so don't trust me. I'll shut up now.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 08:47:17 PM by Cognomen »
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.