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Super Apostolic Bros.
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« on: October 16, 2009, 12:40:22 AM »

I've made it clear on other posts that I am a Protestant, but over the months I've had a desire to learn more about Orthodoxy and perhaps even become a catachumen.

The problem is this. First of all, I'm somewhat of a loner. For me to integrate into any group requires a lot of internal coercion. The second part is that for the past two years I've been involved in a Protestant church. This particular church stresses membership, daily personal devotion and an ecclesiology that straddles the fence between high and low church. For one thing, they stress that discipline from the church is important. They are quasi-Calvinistic in theology (though I doubt they go as far as teaching dual predestination).

One week from now, they will have their "membership classes" (which I consider "catechism lite"... awwww.....) which, from what I hear, is followed up with a "membership" interview and a ceremony that involves holding up a certificate and answering "I will" to questions that the preacher asks. I was pondering going to the classes since I already almost finished one of the prerequisites for  becoming a member, that is, their "catechism lite" Sunday school classes, Fundamentals Of The Faith. But after devouring all I could about Orthodox Christianity (seriously, orthodoxwiki.org has replaced Tv Tropes as my favorite Wiki site), and after attending the Divine Liturgy, I was wondering if I should reconsider.

The problem is that I've spent two years making friendships in the church and I almost feel that trying to "become" Orthodox while still technically being a member would be an act of cuckoldry. Though, I have told some of my friends and acquaintances about my interest in Orthodoxy. This church also has a trait held in common with almost all Protestant confessions, that is, "Mariaphobia" and "Hagiophobia" (saint fear). They also believe that Communion is nothing but a symbol, do in only once a month (Huh) and yet somehow uphold that partaking with an impure heart is tantamount to eating and drinking damnation to yourself.

So my fear is giving something I've been working on in order to pursue something unfamiliar to me. Thoughts?
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 01:02:24 AM »

So my fear is giving something I've been working on in order to pursue something unfamiliar to me. Thoughts?

These decisions are always very difficult.  Take your time with it, but also listen to your gut if you think you need to hold off, either way.  He will show you the clear path if you knock.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 01:06:10 AM »

I've made it clear on other posts that I am a Protestant, but over the months I've had a desire to learn more about Orthodoxy and perhaps even become a catachumen.

The problem is this. First of all, I'm somewhat of a loner. For me to integrate into any group requires a lot of internal coercion. The second part is that for the past two years I've been involved in a Protestant church. This particular church stresses membership, daily personal devotion and an ecclesiology that straddles the fence between high and low church. For one thing, they stress that discipline from the church is important. They are quasi-Calvinistic in theology (though I doubt they go as far as teaching dual predestination).

One week from now, they will have their "membership classes" (which I consider "catechism lite"... awwww.....) which, from what I hear, is followed up with a "membership" interview and a ceremony that involves holding up a certificate and answering "I will" to questions that the preacher asks. I was pondering going to the classes since I already almost finished one of the prerequisites for  becoming a member, that is, their "catechism lite" Sunday school classes, Fundamentals Of The Faith. But after devouring all I could about Orthodox Christianity (seriously, orthodoxwiki.org has replaced Tv Tropes as my favorite Wiki site), and after attending the Divine Liturgy, I was wondering if I should reconsider.

The problem is that I've spent two years making friendships in the church and I almost feel that trying to "become" Orthodox while still technically being a member would be an act of cuckoldry. Though, I have told some of my friends and acquaintances about my interest in Orthodoxy. This church also has a trait held in common with almost all Protestant confessions, that is, "Mariaphobia" and "Hagiophobia" (saint fear). They also believe that Communion is nothing but a symbol, do in only once a month (Huh) and yet somehow uphold that partaking with an impure heart is tantamount to eating and drinking damnation to yourself.

So my fear is giving something I've been working on in order to pursue something unfamiliar to me. Thoughts?

Think of it like cold feet at a wedding.  Sometimes that's a good thing.

Is there a problem if you don't go the next step with the Protestants?

And of course, pray about it.
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 04:32:43 PM »

We were in a similar place a few months back (it about being time we become members at the church we'd attended for 3 years; having formed good relationships with the people there), but we couldn't deny that God was drawing us to the Orthodox church -- and we couldn't be duplicitous.  So we stopped going after talking to the pastor, and entered into attending the Orthodox mission full time.  I would find it very strange feeling to go up and become a member of a church when I knew that I was beginning to think differently about what "church" really is, and where church really is. 
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ms.hoorah
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 04:39:11 PM »

Church is a good place to meet people especially if you are a tad shy or a quiet person.  You made friends in the Protestant church. Can you see yourself making friends in another church?  If you don't go to membership classes and lose friends over it, were they really your friends? Should you worship where your soul or your social life is nourished?  

Do you desire to receive the Holy Eucharist?  Do you desire to worship and become closer to God by practicing the ancient faith of the Apostles and the Saints?  Will this Protestant church quench your soul’s spiritual needs?  Is it possible that this Protestant church will alter their theology, that you believe is assisting your soul, when the next minister comes to town or with the next politically correct idea?  

Praying for you,

ms.hoorah

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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 06:03:53 PM »

The longer I live as a convert to Orthodoxy (5 years plus 18 month catechmenate), the more in favor I am of a long (longer than my own), slow, calculated journey into Orthodoxy.

Take your time - maybe you don't have to join that church as an official member (most protestant churches have open communion) you can still be there with the friends you have made. But you can attend Saturday vespers regularly, occassionally visit on Sundays for Divine Liturgy; in 4 months or so there will be all kinds of additional services to attend at the Orthodox parish during Lent.

Maybe at the end of that period of time you will have a clearer picture of what to do.

You uncertain enough that you probably should take pause.
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 10:08:16 AM »

When I was first coming into Orthodoxy, I tried to straddle the fence, by attending Orthros and the Divine Liturgy and then leaving early to attend my Protestant church.
Needless to say, that didn't work, and after only a few weeks I gave it up to attend the Divine Liturgy. Even though my former church was full of friends of ten years or more (most of whom have not kept in contact with me), the contrast between the worship in the Divine Liturgy and the other worship service was almost painful.

Do you desire to receive the Holy Eucharist?  Do you desire to worship and become closer to God by practicing the ancient faith of the Apostles and the Saints?
That was where the rubber met the road, for me at least.

But you have to do what's right for you. The decision may make itself, however.
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 08:11:37 PM »

Super Bros.,

I totally understand your situation.  From the time I was 14, I wanted to become Orthodox.  I went back and forth, even leaving and going back to the Catholic Church after being made a catechumen.  It's very hard when you know you will be leaving everybody you have formed solid relationships and mentorships (priests).  My priest (now), told me you can't think of what you are loosing but what you will be gaining.  At the time, it didn't really help to much but now I understand.  He also, of course, instructed me to take my time and only make the decision once I was fully ready.  7 years later, this past Sunday, I was Chrismated.  You will know what you have to do if you continue to pray and even if you do go ahead with joining this Protestant church, continue reading about Orthodoxy and investigating.  May God bless you!
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