Poll

What was your previous religious background before coming to Orthodoxy?

I've always been Orthodox!
26 (12.4%)
Roman Catholicism
47 (22.4%)
Protestant
88 (41.9%)
Nontrinitarian (LDS, JW, etc.)
2 (1%)
No religion (atheist, agnostic, etc.)
28 (13.3%)
Other religion (do tell!)
19 (9%)

Total Members Voted: 178

Author Topic: What was your previous religious background? (poll)  (Read 22524 times)

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Offline Marc1152

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2009, 01:13:57 PM »
Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better.. Theravada is more about how to save yourself.

I had a Buddhist Prison Ministry and led a small congregation for a number of years. I had a low level ordination. Since some guys continued after they graduated from Prison, the group was rather eclectic.. Guys with Tattoo's on their face and Yuppies all mixed together :)
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #46 on: October 05, 2009, 02:49:27 PM »
Lutheran born and Lutheran bred. My German Lutheran ancestors came to the US to escape persecution by their Catholic ruler (or so the story goes) so being Lutheran was part of my culture as well as my faith. Never seriously considered another faith, though had the usual college rebellion.
Very active both in my local Lutheran church and Synodical level (worship & pastoral assistant, homilist, choir, Sunday School & catechism teacher, Via de Cristo etc. etc.)
Accepted to seminary, and during the discernment process required of all candidates for the ordained ministry, was given the assignment of studying Christian history.
Ooops!
Well, we all know where that led, don't we, folks?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 02:50:10 PM by katherineofdixie »
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2009, 03:18:30 PM »
Accepted to seminary, and during the discernment process required of all candidates for the ordained ministry, was given the assignment of studying Christian history.
Ooops!

That's hilarious!

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2009, 10:28:19 PM »
Tangent on the different forms of Buddhism split off and moved here:  The Many Forms of Buddhism
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 10:36:02 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline John of the North

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2009, 11:28:40 PM »
I voted Protestant, though I guess I could have voted for a few different things. I was baptized by the Catholic Church when I was an infant. I grew up in nominally Protestant homes. I became a Protestant (Wesleyan Holiness) at the age of 18. There was a period between my leaving Protestantism and my becoming Orthodox when I wasn't really a part of any ecclesiastical group. And I've been switching between atheist/agnostic and Orthodox over the past few years.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #51 on: October 10, 2009, 11:38:19 PM »
I voted Protestant, though I guess I could have voted for a few different things.
You still can. ;D
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Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2009, 07:08:47 PM »
Baptised and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church.  Went weak agnostic for a while.  Returned to Roman Catholicism.  Found Orthodoxy, entered the Catechumenate, then chose to leave the Catechumenate after nearly 3 years.  Currently enjoying spiritual limbo.  :D
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2009, 09:47:54 PM »
Baptised and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church.  Went weak agnostic for a while.  Returned to Roman Catholicism.  Found Orthodoxy, entered the Catechumenate, then chose to leave the Catechumenate after nearly 3 years.  Currently enjoying spiritual limbo.  :D

Not me... but I love your signature line. :))))
Love never fails.

Offline Sakeneko

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #54 on: October 20, 2009, 01:53:51 AM »
Raised non-religious.  (Parents were atheist and/or agnostic, depending on which you asked, and when.)  Became Protestant in junior high school, remained so for fifteen years.  Left when I was around 30.  AFer a long, slow catechumenate, became Orthodox when I was 34.  It's been almost 15 years now, and I'm not planning to go anywhere else. :-)

Offline mike

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #55 on: October 20, 2009, 03:14:04 PM »
Baptised and chrismated Eastern Orthodox Christian on 2nd day of my life. Taught faith by grandmother (in the childhood), friends and the internet (now).

Offline EmperorConstantine

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #56 on: October 21, 2009, 12:29:40 PM »
Baptized and raised Roman Catholic.  Sometime around 2004-05 when I was fourteen and fifteen I abandoned Catholicism and eventually religion altogether.  Looked into other religions and eventually started listening to Bob Marley and looked into Rastafarianism.  From there Ethiopian Orthodoxy caught my attention, but that didn't stick.  My stepmom has been Orthodox since 1987, my dad since 2005 and some time after he was chrismated I returned to Catholicism to spite everybody.  In 2006 I spent two months that summer in Miami surrounded by good Orthodox people while reading "The Orthodox Church" by Met. KALLISTOS (Ware) and was chrimated in August that year.

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #57 on: October 21, 2009, 12:33:18 PM »
but I love your signature line. :))))

I've always loved that quotation by Emerson too:  "The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide."
As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS

Offline scamandrius

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #58 on: October 21, 2009, 01:27:44 PM »
Though I voted Protestant, more accurately I came from the Lutheran church.  The term Protestant refers to those who did not accept the Diet of Spayer which said that the regions in the Holy Roman Empire would be Catholic or Lutheran depending on what their rulers were.  There was no provision set up for Calvinists and other radical reformers.  Hence, they protested earning their name Protestants.  Unfortunately, Lutheranism has been mixed up with them for a long time mainly because modern Lutheranism has adopted more Calvinisitic and fundamentalist trends on one side or more liberal and anti-dogmatic trends on the other.   Lutheranism is its own thing except it is becoming more and more Baptist or Methodist.
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2009, 07:33:46 PM »
Baptized Catholic but my parents were lapsed (and in an invalid marriage---they had to be wed by a Methodist minister because my father left his first wife for my mother).

When I was 3 my father became a Calvinist-type Baptist. Parents divorced when I was 5, and my only time going to church was to my father's Baptist church every other weekend.

In college I had a conversion, and after a brief Evangelical/charismatic period, I nearly became an Anglican. Then I came close to deciding to become Orthodox.

Ultimately I was called to the Catholic Church in my senior year. Been ever since, and always will be.

Offline Papist

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #60 on: October 28, 2009, 10:36:21 AM »
Baptized Catholic but my parents were lapsed (and in an invalid marriage---they had to be wed by a Methodist minister because my father left his first wife for my mother).

When I was 3 my father became a Calvinist-type Baptist. Parents divorced when I was 5, and my only time going to church was to my father's Baptist church every other weekend.

In college I had a conversion, and after a brief Evangelical/charismatic period, I nearly became an Anglican. Then I came close to deciding to become Orthodox.

Ultimately I was called to the Catholic Church in my senior year. Been ever since, and always will be.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2009, 10:59:19 AM »


Ultimately I was called to the Catholic Church in my senior year. Been ever since, and always will be.

So what was it specifically that turned you from Orthodoxy and called you back to the RCC?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 11:00:03 AM by Ortho_cat »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #62 on: October 29, 2009, 01:29:44 AM »
Fellows, please remember that this is the Faith Issues section, a section devoted to discussion of issues that pertain to the Orthodox Christian faith.  If you want to discuss why someone joined the Roman Catholic Church, I ask that you start a new thread for that on the Orthodox-Catholic Discussion board.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 01:30:04 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #63 on: October 29, 2009, 02:20:54 PM »
Jewish....Socialist Workers Party... Buddhist: Soka Gakkai ( briefly), Nichiren Shoshu, Kempon Hokke Shu and ordained Honmon Butsuryu Shu... Then Orthodox Catechuman in 2002, Baptised 2004.

Do I win ?
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #64 on: October 29, 2009, 05:04:00 PM »
Jewish... socialist... buddhist... stuff I don't even know... Orthodox catechumen for 2 years...

Yes, I think you win. Here's your smiley face! ;D
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline Marc1152

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2009, 06:31:49 PM »
Jewish... socialist... buddhist... stuff I don't even know... Orthodox catechumen for 2 years...

Yes, I think you win. Here's your smiley face! ;D

Yea !!!!

"Soka Gakkai ( briefly), Nichiren Shoshu, Kempon Hokke Shu and ordained Honmon Butsuryu Shu... "

Those are Buddhist sects within the same school of Japanese Buddhism...



Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #66 on: October 29, 2009, 06:51:35 PM »
Quote
Those are Buddhist sects within the same school of Japanese Buddhism...

Ahh, thank you :)
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline StGeorge

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #67 on: October 30, 2009, 10:24:48 AM »
Latin Catholic for 20+ years.  Became involved with Byzantine Catholic church for two years, then became Orthodox.  Two years this January. 

Offline Mickey

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #68 on: October 30, 2009, 10:47:37 AM »
Latin Catholic for about 38 years.  Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic for about eight years.  Holy Orthodoxy for more than two years now.  :)

Offline StGeorge

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #69 on: October 30, 2009, 10:55:53 AM »
Latin Catholic for about 38 years.  Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic for about eight years.  Holy Orthodoxy for more than two years now.  :)

Haha, you're the time extended version of me. 

« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 10:56:09 AM by StGeorge »

Offline Mickey

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #70 on: October 30, 2009, 01:05:58 PM »
Latin Catholic for about 38 years.  Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic for about eight years.  Holy Orthodoxy for more than two years now.  :)

Haha, you're the time extended version of me. 




Yes, I noticed that!  :laugh:

Offline lubeltri

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #71 on: October 30, 2009, 02:35:05 PM »


Ultimately I was called to the Catholic Church in my senior year. Been ever since, and always will be.

So what was it specifically that turned you from Orthodoxy and called you back to the RCC?

Nothing turned me from Orthodoxy. I think you folks are great! I wish "1054" had never happened.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2010, 01:18:26 PM »
Started attending an Orthodox church in my mid 20's, almost joined but didn't cuz the priest was mean to me when my dad died. Became an Episcopalian at 28. Was a fairly devoted Episcopalian until 2004, became interrested in Orthodoxy and became Orthodox in about 2005. Realized that if Orthodoxy didn't work for me, Christianity and me weren't a good fit. When my sig. other started voicing doubts about his church, and expressing an interest in Judaism,  I said "sure". Plan to go to the mikvah in 6-8 weeks.

Tallitot,

I would very much like to hear your story, and how the conversion has been. Please don't worry about any negative comments.  I am sorry to hear that the Orthodox priest was mean to you.


One thing you can please help me with is whether there is prejudice in Judaism/the Jewish Community against those who were not born ethnically Jewish. Is this real or not? Or is it just in the State of Israel?

Quote
I recall a Greek Orthodox woman who converted to Judaism. One day, she confided to me how difficult it had been. On the one hand, there were still Jews who questioned her "authenticity," though her family was active in their Reform synagogue and their children had all had a Jewish education. On the other hand, given the deep link among family, church, and identity in Greek culture, her relatives couldn't quite accept her decision, creating permanent tension with people she loved.

Or take the case of a young woman who was the daughter of a European foreign minister. She was always interested in Judaism growing up, she said, and took the leap when she met an Israeli man. She converted through the Conservative movement in the US, but it wasn't good enough for the Jewish community back home [in Israel]. The minister called and asked for our help. He was flabbergasted. He couldn't grasp why, after all the intense study his daughter had gone through, she was still kept at arm's length by local Jewish leaders [in Israel]. Eventually, things worked out, but not before some ill feelings were created.

David Harris, In the Trenches: A welcome or a wall? , Jerusalem Post
http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/harris/entry/a_welcome_or_a_wall


Shalom. Peace. Salaam.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 01:28:42 PM by rakovsky »

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2010, 01:40:43 PM »
I was baptized in the RC parish of St. Raphael, went to catechism and had first communion and chrismation at the parish of Our Lady of Divine Love, then around 15 or 16 I turned to Allan Kardec's Spiritism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritism) which is rather common in Brazilian middle class.

When I lived in the UK, I was shocked by European dumb atheism and noticed that I was as prejudicial and ignorant towards Christianism as they were towards all kinds of religion. I had been poisoned at school and in my circle of friends about everything related to the Church and decided to learn about Christ from Christian authors. I read mainly C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel but also Augustin and a bit of Aquinas. While still in England I converted to "generic" Christianism.

Back in Rio de Janeiro, I started looking for which church I would join, since I understood noone could be a Christian alone. At this point I examined as much material from each confession as I could. An Anglican friend asked if I knew the Orthodox Church and that had been the only one I hadn't read anything about. On the Internet I found Bishop Alexander's missionary website with partial translations of many important works (http://www.fatheralexander.org/ ). These readings were the means for my final conversion to the Church. In 2005 I was chrismated in the Antiochian Church in Rio. The whole process had started around 2002.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2010, 02:00:20 PM »
One thing you can please help me with is whether there is prejudice in Judaism/the Jewish Community against those who were not born ethnically Jewish. Is this real or not? Or is it just in the State of Israel?

Shalom. Peace. Salaam.

I should clarify- Is there prejudice in the non-Reformed Jewish religious community against converts to Judaism.

"Progressive" Jews are more secular, somewhat analogous to liberals in Christianity

Quote
You might consider starting a new thread on the more general Religious Topics board, since dialogue with Judaism is technically outside the scope of Faith Issues.

Thanks for heads-up.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 02:04:09 PM by rakovsky »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #75 on: July 19, 2010, 02:02:19 PM »
One thing you can please help me with is whether there is prejudice in Judaism/the Jewish Community against those who were not born ethnically Jewish. Is this real or not? Or is it just in the State of Israel?

Shalom. Peace. Salaam.

I should clarify- Is there prejudice in the Jewish religious community against converts to Judaism.
You might consider starting a new thread on the more general Religious Topics board, since dialogue with Judaism is technically outside the scope of Faith Issues. ;)
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #76 on: July 19, 2010, 02:10:20 PM »
Tallitot,

I invite you to continue the conversation on your thread "Went to the Mikvah Yesterday"
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25031.msg455267.html#msg455267

Hal

Offline Jetavan

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #77 on: July 19, 2010, 03:05:42 PM »
I was baptized in the RC parish of St. Raphael, went to catechism and had first communion and chrismation at the parish of Our Lady of Divine Love, then around 15 or 16 I turned to Allan Kardec's Spiritism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritism) which is rather common in Brazilian middle class.
Since Kardec's Spiritism is explicitly communicative in teaching about reincarnation, how did you, or how do you, view reincarnation now that you are Orthodox?
If you will, you can become all flame.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #78 on: July 19, 2010, 04:52:33 PM »
I was baptized in the RC parish of St. Raphael, went to catechism and had first communion and chrismation at the parish of Our Lady of Divine Love, then around 15 or 16 I turned to Allan Kardec's Spiritism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritism) which is rather common in Brazilian middle class.
Since Kardec's Spiritism is explicitly communicative in teaching about reincarnation, how did you, or how do you, view reincarnation now that you are Orthodox?

Well, there are cases that suggest reicarnation. But that's it: they suggest. Reincarnation could be the best explanation under a universe where there is no Fall and no Resurrection. Once you understand the Fall, the Incarnation of God and His Resurrection, the reicarnationist paradigm simply stops being explanatory. Those same cases have to be explained by the other alternative possibilities, from trance induced higher perceptions to outright fakes and going through even demonic intervention.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 04:53:08 PM by Fabio Leite »
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #79 on: July 19, 2010, 05:03:43 PM »
I was baptized in the RC parish of St. Raphael, went to catechism and had first communion and chrismation at the parish of Our Lady of Divine Love, then around 15 or 16 I turned to Allan Kardec's Spiritism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritism) which is rather common in Brazilian middle class.
Since Kardec's Spiritism is explicitly communicative in teaching about reincarnation, how did you, or how do you, view reincarnation now that you are Orthodox?

Well, there are cases that suggest reicarnation. But that's it: they suggest. Reincarnation could be the best explanation under a universe where there is no Fall and no Resurrection. Once you understand the Fall, the Incarnation of God and His Resurrection, the reicarnationist paradigm simply stops being explanatory. Those same cases have to be explained by the other alternative possibilities, from trance induced higher perceptions to outright fakes and going through even demonic intervention.
I don't see how reincarnation is inherently incompatible with a resurrectionist theology. The Hasidic Jews accept reincarnation.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Quinault

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #80 on: July 19, 2010, 06:44:42 PM »
My parents divorced when I was about 2, so I had two spiritual upbringings thereafter. I grew up church hopping various AG/Pentecostal/Charismatic churches with my mom, in the  Shaker /Pentecostal churches(read American Indian Shaker, not the furniture Shaker) off and on with my biological father and grandmother. My father practiced transcendental meditation for awhile. The Shaker church is kind of a non-church church, so it is sort of anything goes. He was a man of faith and spirituality. But he destroyed the left side of his brain as a teen and lost all impulse/emotional control, so he was like my mother in that he skipped from faith to faith. His leaps were seemingly larger at the time. Only later did I realize that the leaps my mother made were much larger. She once told me that I can "honor" her white/christian cultural heritage with my kids by participating in Passover, she isn't Jewish and NEVER has taken part in a single Passover. She gave me a VERY Jewish first name, that his her only connection to Judaism. She is convinced she is a crypto-Jew, but there is no immigration that could account for that. I think we attended a Mormon temple for awhile, a JW temple for awhile and attended innumerable "home groups" and such. She desires a faith/religion in which she is the authority, so whenever she didn't have a personal line to the pastor we changed churches.

My husband and I followed her leaps the first two years of dating because we had to. After that we attended a mega church in Salem, OR (that later made headlines for having an attendee set on fire during a service). The ran a contemporary Christian concert series called "Jesus Northwest." We moved to Seattle the year after we married and tried to find a church fit via asking for doctrinal statements. My husband started reading about Orthodoxy after reading a book by a local Catholic writer. I was unwilling to be anything other then protestant at the time. We found Mars Hill when it was a tiny congregation renting a space in the evenings at a larger church. We became involved in the worships teams (I playes bass/sang and my husband played guitar) and volunteered whenever we could. We taught a class on Francis Schaeffer's "How then shall we live?" The book really glosses over Orthodoxy, so we had the class attend a divine liturgy with us to see what they type of worship was like. When my husband and I attended for the first time we were transfixed, it was so beautiful. At the time MH tried very much to be liturgical like. The services were candlelit and there was always incense. After we had our eldest child we quit being as involved because my husband was working two jobs and we didn't have a car. To continue to be as involved as we had been would have been a disaster for our marriage.

My husband joined the military and was deployed for a over a year. I had little assistance from MH during that time since either people thought we should be HAPPY that he is serving his country, or they labeled us conservative baby killing warmongers. I had an early 2nd trimester loss of twins while he was in basic and an early 1st trimester loss while he was in AIT, that really shook my faith to the core. Since MH held to the "imputation of adam's sin" they were not of much comfort- the babies are burning in hell according to them. When he returned he had pretty severe PTSD. He started to see a counselor who suggested that he try meditation. He was unwilling to do any meditation that would be outside of the Christian faith. He remembered his interest in Orthodoxy, particularly contemplative prayer and started researching it. We were still attending Mars Hill, but they had become a bit of a monster. We were getting monthly reminders to tithe and constant harassment to volunteer time and talent. I was unwilling to leave Mars Hill because we had two children and I didn't want them to grow up hopping from church to church like I did. My husband couldn't attend because of his work schedule.

The contemplative prayer helped him tremendously. Soon my husband was grabbing every Orthodox book he could find, starting with the Philokalia compilations. I started to be interested in Orthodoxy at this point simply because of the peace it brought my husband. We hoped to bring some of this to Mars Hill so that we could have the "best" of both worlds. Our third child was born and some family tension erupted with my older brother. He also attended Mars Hill and we were seeking help from the church because he was telling everyone how we were abusing him (not the issue of tension, just a side effect). During that time we helped a woman at MH that was having domestic violence issues and saw how that was handled (BADLY).

The church had a bb much like this one. On it there were many theological debates. I participated a great deal in them. A certain topic came up that was the last straw. MH is a very sola scriptura kind of church. Everything has to come from the bible and no where else. The debate started as a discussion on the ethics of egg/sperm donation, which turned into a debate about abortion and sanctity of life. Someone asked what specific scriptures address abortion particularly. I quoted Fr. Thomas Hopko  and linked to an article by him. I pointed out that we can't rely only on scripture and that church tradition is vital in this area. An elder's wife became very offended that I would say that scripture is not enough. She brought her husband into the debate. He locked the thread, called me a heretic and accused me of promoting abortion because I quoted a passage in the Old testament (can't recall it at the moment) that spoke of "bitter waters" that obviously induced a miscarriage. I was saying that this passage has been used in the past by many pro-choice people to say abortion is OK. I pm-ed that elder and asked to clarify my position rather then keep the public declaration that I was a heretic up. He refused and said I had to submit to his spiritual authority, it didn't matter what I meant, it mattered what he thought of what I said.

After much thought and prayer my husband and I realized that MH was really our last gasp at Protestant Christianity. Neither of us could see attending another protestant church in Seattle (the ones we could agree with doctrinally were daughter churches of MH, and the ones that weren't were really liberal). I told my husband that he needed to take the next Sunday off and that we would attend a liturgy with the three kids and I. I was terrified of changing to Orthodoxy. I knew I would be on my own with our children each Sunday at liturgy. I had seen a liturgy, I didn't know how I could so it with a 3 month old, 2 year old and 6 year old alone. My husband could attend Vespers with us, but Sundays I was on my own.

We attended our first liturgy at St. Paul the first Sunday in October 2007 and our first inquirers class the following Monday. We were welcomed with open arms. Two weeks later we were notified that my husband was mobilizing for Iraq (which later was switched to Afghanistan). Our plans were further complicated when my husband herniated a disc in a car accident at work just a week later. This turned out to be a slight blessing in that it allowed my husband to have Sundays off while he worked alternative work duty during recovery. We informed Fr. James that we were still very much interested in Orthodoxy, but that my husband would be leaving by July for deployment. He spoke to us later and said that he wanted to bring us into the Orthodox church Lazarus Saturday so that we would be Orthodox before the deployment. We offered to wait, but he said that waiting during all the stress of deployment would be very difficult and that being Orthodox would help and that the parish would better be able to help as well.

We are quite happy to be in the Orthodox church. We know it was a real blessing/gift to be brought in so quickly. We were, to quote our priest "a special case." We knew a little about Orthodoxy before we even attended St. Paul, but I don't think one can know much in a lifetime. We have found that Orthodoxy is really a continuation of many beliefs/views we have always had as American Indians (and had to really struggle with in Protestant churches). So we may not have been cradle Orthodox, but i think the seed was always there waiting to germinate.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 06:58:52 PM by Quinault »

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #81 on: July 19, 2010, 07:57:21 PM »
I was baptized in the RC parish of St. Raphael, went to catechism and had first communion and chrismation at the parish of Our Lady of Divine Love, then around 15 or 16 I turned to Allan Kardec's Spiritism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritism) which is rather common in Brazilian middle class.
Since Kardec's Spiritism is explicitly communicative in teaching about reincarnation, how did you, or how do you, view reincarnation now that you are Orthodox?

Well, there are cases that suggest reicarnation. But that's it: they suggest. Reincarnation could be the best explanation under a universe where there is no Fall and no Resurrection. Once you understand the Fall, the Incarnation of God and His Resurrection, the reicarnationist paradigm simply stops being explanatory. Those same cases have to be explained by the other alternative possibilities, from trance induced higher perceptions to outright fakes and going through even demonic intervention.
I don't see how reincarnation is inherently incompatible with a resurrectionist theology. The Hasidic Jews accept reincarnation.

If we take resurrection as an isolated phenomenon, it is not. A spirit could, theoretically, be born again in a new body *and* as another phenomenon, another spirit could simply go back to its reconstructed body.

There are two things in the Orthodox Christian theology that undermine that theory though.

First, we learn that there is no inherent separation of spirit and body. In fact, they exist separately just as in abstraction the shape and color of an object are not the same thing, and yet, concretely, they one in the real object. If you destroy a blue ball, you don't see its "blueness" and its "sphericity" parting ways from the actual ball. Human spirit remains alive after death *miraculously* by the Grace of God and not because of any inherent trait.  And because this spirit and its body are one and the same thing, going to another body is simply an inherent impossibility like saying that a sphere can be born as a cube.

Second, the Fall and final Salvation imply our own incapacity of changing our own natures. It means that there is no such a possibility of "burning" past mistakes, or of "evolving" spiritually as Kardecism preaches with the concepts of "world of expiation" and "world of regeneration"(*). There is growth and development, but we don't evolve substantially. We don't cease to be humans to become something else. Our betterment is conditional to the presence of the Energies of God, but it's not ontological.

(*)Just to update those who are not familiar with the concept, Kardecism defends the idea that human nature can actually change overtime due to efforts of self-improvement morally and spiritually. Earth is just one of many planets that exists, existed and will exist, wherein spirits - the self-conscious form of life and intelligence -incarnate to evolve. In its most primitive non-individualized stages, intelligence manifests in the most primitive life beings. Technically, all bacteria are just one "bacteria life" manifested in different cells. In time, this life starts to evolve and aglutinate, getting more and more individualized, forming microbes, basic multicellullar beings, complex plants, animals and men. But it doesn't stop at that. The human being is not the first form of self-conscious intelligent life, but a very primitive one. We can still evolve spiritually to a superior form of Mankind, to angels, to a Christ-like state and even more after that. Jesus would be a highly evolved spirit who is responsible for this planet. At his level of evolution he would be able to create an entire planet and "sheperd" it and the young spirits in it while at same time evolving to even more developed stages himself. Our lot in life is to fight our primitive tendencies, expiate each evil that we have done in the past, in this or previous life, and grow in wisdom, love and knowledge. Because we still have to expiate things, this is called a planet of expiation. Once we reach the level of beings who, although still imperfect, have already made a irrevocable commitment to love, we can migrate to a "planet of regenaration". Earth itself would one day become one such a planet, when all the unevolved spirits would be expelled to anoher planet adequate to their level and those who had learned would stay.

Many energies, three persons, two natures, one God, one Church, one Baptism.

Offline Altar Server

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #82 on: July 19, 2010, 09:42:42 PM »
I was born Roman Catholic but two years ago when I was 14 I became extremely disatisfied with the Post Vatican II liturgy during wich time I studied the diffrent liturgies of the church discovering the Byzantine rite I began to study eastern theology wich lead me to orthodoxy I became a Catechumen after Pascha this year and hope to go from there.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #83 on: July 19, 2010, 09:51:27 PM »
I was born Roman Catholic but two years ago when I was 14 I became extremely disatisfied with the Post Vatican II liturgy during wich time I studied the diffrent liturgies of the church discovering the Byzantine rite I began to study eastern theology wich lead me to orthodoxy I became a Catechumen after Pascha this year and hope to go from there.

Best regards. A majority of OCA is Byzantine Rite/Ukrainian Catholics who returned home to Orthodoxy. You Should feel at home too.

Offline Andrew Crook

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #84 on: July 16, 2011, 11:26:16 PM »
Was raised as a Southern Baptist, as time grew I became increasingly disillusioned and flirted with Islam off and on between the age of 14 and 22; I also got into New Age stuff quite a bit as a teenager, and became obsessed with a cultish group based on channeling Jesus from about 18 to 23 (also explored a denomination called Unity School of Christianity, and became a member of that church).. then began growing more into my Christian (Protestant) convictions,  tried going Baha'i for about 6 months and that didn't work out either..  my Mom started exploring Catholicism so that made me inquire into Church history..

I am 25 now and I was received into the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on April 10, 2011.  I feel that I am finally home now, and don't plan on going through the spiritual desert that I've been through ever again...
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Offline celticfan1888

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #85 on: July 17, 2011, 12:07:50 AM »
I want to get a good representation of our Orthodox community...Vote away!  :)

I was baptized and raised Roman Catholic, but never confirmed. I went throught the confirmation program later on with my girlfriend, but we dropped out when we discovered Orthodoxy and not long after we entered into the catechumenate at the local OCA church.  :angel:
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #86 on: July 17, 2011, 12:19:06 AM »
I started out Protestant.  Not too long before leaving Christianity behind I adopted Seballianism.  Then I adhered to no religion, though seriously considered joining several, until I found Orthodoxy (by way of the Catholic Answers Forum).
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Offline Margaret S.

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #87 on: July 17, 2011, 05:41:25 PM »
Anglo-Catholic. I suppose as a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church I should have clicked 'Protestant' in the poll but memories of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and singing the Salve Regina deter me.

Margaret.

Offline David Garner

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #88 on: July 17, 2011, 08:39:52 PM »
Southern Baptist >>>> Lutheran (LCMS) >>>> Lutheran (WELS) >>>> Orthodox

Offline akimori makoto

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Re: What was your previous religious background? (poll)
« Reply #89 on: July 17, 2011, 09:04:48 PM »
Raised in the Orthodox faith, tired of the superstitious folk religion of my elder relatives and not being able to understand a word of the Divine Liturgy during my teens and returned to the Church in my early twenties.

I thank God I was nerdy and bookish enough to read about Orthodoxy online and to teach myself to read and passably understand Greek -- if I hadn't, I might still be some vaguely Christian, quasi-agnostic as I was and my contemporaries remain. Lord, have mercy!
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.