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Author Topic: I keep telling my wife I’m not becoming Orthodox...(1st post)  (Read 12861 times) Average Rating: 0
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DaveInCSA
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« on: November 14, 2009, 04:08:35 PM »

And yet I keep taking small steps.  Wink

Hello everyone!

My name is David. I’m 43 years old and currently reside in a small town in the Upstate of South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, NC.

A brief synopsis of my journey. On my 16th birthday I received a Bible from my Russian grandmother. I told her that “I would never read it” but one day sometime in my later teens and early twenties I did read it. I wasn’t raised in any church but became interested in End of the World type stuff and heard that the Bible had a book called Revelation in it. So I dusted off the Bible and attempted to read Revelations. Well as you can imagine, scrolls, churches, The Lamb, bowls, Angels, it didn’t make much sense. As clearly as I’m writing to you, in my thoughts I heard, “If you want to understand the end, you must understand the beginning”. So I flipped over to Genesis and started reading. I think somewhere around Numbers I got bogged down and decided to slip ahead to the New Testament where I encountered Jesus. I was BLOWN AWAY!! I had thought that the Bible was full of fortune cookie like sayings. But instead I encountered Jesus, the Son of God, who loved me and was laying his life down for me.

So I started attending an Evangelical Free church where I met my wife and for the last 20 years now we have been in various churches mostly nondenominational churches. Charismatic ones at first but lately I’ve stayed away from that. Along the way I’ve been an elder, worship leader at various churches and church plants. I was ordained at one church and was the associate pastor. That didn’t end well and we ended up broke and had to start all over again. That was all up in Connecticut. I’ve been in the Carolina’s now for 6 years.

So why am I here? Not sure. I guess it comes down to worship. We currently attend a non-denom church that’s loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist’s. There’s no reverence. There’s no awe. There’s no meeting with God! There’s no beauty. We meet in this warehouse like building. Tomorrow morning I will be up on the “platform” playing electric guitar on 5 songs with zero theological content. We have a light show and hey a smoke machine!!! I really can’t take it much more. I won’t attend a charismatic church any longer. I’ve seen way too many believers get wrecked over some untested prophetic words and too much weirdness explained away as the Holy Spirit. This article really rings true. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Wison-Narcissism-Goes-To-Church.php .

My wife just called wanting to know why an “Ancient Faith Radio” mug was came in the mail. Uh Oh!

We used to go to the Greek Festivals at the Greek Orthodox Church when we lived in CT and were struck by the sense of awe and reverence in the church. So that is drawing me.

I also just go done reading Luther’s biography, Here I stand which was very interesting. I love history so I decided to do a little more reading on the early church and have discovered some things that conflicted with my presumptions. I always thought that the early church was like a pot-luck home group meeting and all that ritual was introduced by the catholics. WRONG! They also didn’t think they were just having some symbolic bread and wine when having communion. That was a surprise! So I’m reading and find it all rather interesting.

I do not really want to drive an hour to church so that’s an issue. Plus it would be major church culture shock for my kids. This little journey has been mine. I’ve shared a little bit with my wife but she is not where I am. I was telling her the other day that I wondered why churches don’t point back to the Nicene Creed for their statement’s of faith. I received the usual protestant, evangelical response “Why would we need that, we have the Bible.”  That’s typical a typical response I’m getting when I mention some of these discoveries to people. I tell them the same people who decided the Books we have in the Bible came up with these Creeds! You would have thought that St. Paul was passing out complete New Testaments to his converts!! I have the usual issues with Mary. Sorry! That will take some time and further study to overcome if I can

So that’s a little of where I am. Not sure where I’ll end up. We are considering changing to a PCA Presbyterian Church that’s near by, so I’m also reading Reform stuff. I came across a statement last night about basing the church on the scripture. It seems almost backward to me now. This PCA church confesses creeds and scripture during their worship services. I like that. I don’t believe all of Calvinism so I would have issues to work through there as well.

That’s all.

Dave
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 04:42:12 PM »

Welcome to the forum!  Thanks for sharing your story.  I hope we can be of help to you if you need it, and feel free to stop by the prayer forum with any issues you are facing.  May God guide your steps and lead you toward his salvation.
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2009, 04:50:53 PM »

Welcome to the forum.   Smiley

There is a post or two which breaks down every phrase of the Nicene Creed to a Gospel passage.  If you find it, you may want to share that with your wife.   Smiley

I've been past Charlotte, NC and spent few days in Greenville, SC, very pretty country.  I haven't been to Columbia and I've been to Hilton Head, Charleston and Myrtle Beach on the Low Country - go figure.   Shocked
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2009, 05:36:55 PM »

Hi, Dave!  Love the username, by the way...  Grin

If you have trouble finding the Nicene Creed / Scripture Reference sheet, I can email you a copy.  PM me if you want me to send it to you.

Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like you're thinking this through.  I would definitely make sure you make a clear decision regarding embracing either TULIP or the patristic idea of salvation in the Church.  The two are pretty much polar opposites, in my opinion.

Again, good to have you here!
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2009, 05:51:51 PM »

Dave,

Maybe you were predestined to come here? Wink Sorry, that's such an obvious and lame joke. Welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2009, 06:00:50 PM »

Dave,

Orthodoxy is the fullness of the Christian Faith that Christ established. All other Churches/Denominations lack the the full Truth. Once you have discovered the Truth of Orthodoxy you are not going to be able to hide from it. I am sure you are well on your way. I hope it is a smooth journey but chances are the evil one will try to put stones in your way. Overcome them! BTW, driving a distance to an Orthodox church is very common in this country. I myself drive two hours, though I limit Sunday worship to ever yother week and feast days, but do not let the distance stop you. When I converted my wife had reservations as well. Although I am not a huge fan of Frederica Mathewes-Green a few of her writings did help sway my wife, see: http://www.frederica.com/facing-east-excerpt-1/

May God bless you and keep you.

Sinner Servant-Michael
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2009, 06:09:22 PM »

Hi, Dave!  Love the username, by the way...  Grin

If you have trouble finding the Nicene Creed / Scripture Reference sheet, I can email you a copy.  PM me if you want me to send it to you.

Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like you're thinking this through.  I would definitely make sure you make a clear decision regarding embracing either TULIP or the patristic idea of salvation in the Church.  The two are pretty much polar opposites, in my opinion.

Again, good to have you here!

Your the 1st person to figure it out on a number of forums.  Wink

My wife has no problem with the Creed. The worship leader at the church we were last at in Connecticut left and became Catholic. Most people our friends think he lost it and isn't "saved" anymore. I've been talking to him about this stuff and he warned me to go slow with my wife. His wasn't ready for the changes that happened once he made public his decision. For him it was also that darned church history that caused him to reconsider some things.

I think for both of us we want something rooted with doctrine and some link to history. As apposed to someone just deciding to start a church because they feel God has called them to. We are both more Arminian than Calvinistic.

I would love to take the drive to a OCA church in Charlotte but I need to work on her a little more.
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DaveInCSA
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2009, 06:11:42 PM »

Here's a question for you all.

Am I considered to be a Christian in your view???
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 07:06:00 PM »

Here's a question for you all.

Am I considered to be a Christian in your view???

You attempt to follow Christ, right? So yes.
The concept of "Orthodox Christian" by its definition implies that there are "not-Orthodox Christians".
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 07:20:42 PM »

Hi Dave,

If you wish, please PM me, let's talk - I might suggest some good Internet resources for you.

--G.
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 07:38:02 PM »

Here's a question for you all.

Am I considered to be a Christian in your view???

Dave,
If you are considering Orthodoxy I believe it is the best consideration you have made.  All I can say is I understand.  Been there done that!  I am grateful for making that right choice.  God always provides a way; be encouraged.
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 09:45:45 PM »

Hi, Dave!  Love the username, by the way...  Grin

If you have trouble finding the Nicene Creed / Scripture Reference sheet, I can email you a copy.  PM me if you want me to send it to you.

Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like you're thinking this through.  I would definitely make sure you make a clear decision regarding embracing either TULIP or the patristic idea of salvation in the Church.  The two are pretty much polar opposites, in my opinion.

Again, good to have you here!

Your the 1st person to figure it out on a number of forums.  Wink

 I just saw this and immediately got it.  I agree with DavidBryan.  Wink  Oh, and welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2009, 10:53:02 PM »

I looked up Charlotte, NC and found quite a few churches that are in Charlotte or near.

http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2009, 11:00:53 PM »

Welcome!
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 11:15:57 PM »

Your the 1st person to figure it out on a number of forums.  Wink

Yeah, that and the "Bapticostal" thing in your faith indicator.  I've been using that to describe what I was for years now.

As for the Christian question, ditto what everyone else has said.  Yes, you're a Christian.  "There's water in your glass."  In other words, if a guy's going through the desert and you give him the choice between a full canteen of clear water and a glass half full with backwash, well...he'll appreciate either one, ultimately, but you obviously want the "fullness."

Folks outside the Church may not have it all, but I think they have something.  More to the point, I think some wisely drink the half-glass they've got while others with a full canteen mess around with water fights, spilling their water on the arid ground in ways that ultimately hurt everybody (themselves most of all), or waste it like Dusty Bottoms in Three Amigos.  For me, it was about going to where the water was pure and plentiful, and trying to "take...drink" of it as best I could.  I do hope you'll one day do the same.  God be with you.
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2009, 01:36:28 AM »

I was telling her the other day that I wondered why churches don’t point back to the Nicene Creed for their statement’s of faith. I received the usual protestant, evangelical response “Why would we need that, we have the Bible.”  That’s typical a typical response I’m getting when I mention some of these discoveries to people.

Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan said something quite on target about this.  He basically said creeds are necessary cause the Bible is just too long and complicated- by which he was in no way discrediting the Bible. It's just commonsense.  If someone asked you "What do Christians believe?"  I think it's pretty far to say however you respond would be your creed whether you call it that or not.  I thank God for the creed.  Living in a country where people really don't know what Christians believe, it comes in very handy to have it memorized!

If your reading the early church stuff, may I recommend Jaroslav Pelikan's The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, as well as J.N.D. Kelley's Early Christian Doctrine and Henry Chadwick's The Early Church.  For primary texts Michael Holmes version of the Apostolic Fathers is great (he's even a Baptist- weird, I know. Go figure!), as is the Popular Patristics series from St. Vladimir's.

God bless you and your family on your journey!
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2009, 01:57:29 AM »

Welcome Dave!  Smiley

If I were to offer up some unsolicited advice  laugh, I would just say that it's important for you to be true to yourself and where you are at (although going outside your comfort zone a little bit is probably a good thing Wink) but also to always honestly do your utmost to attempt to discern in all honesty what the Lord is saying to you.  (I'm sure you're asking Him regularly to reveal Himself and His will for you.)  Of course, we all hope that you will rejoice in eventually finding a home in Orthodoxy.  Funny, now that I think of it, I think that many converts to the faith started out having lots of problems with certain elements of Orthodoxy (being very challenged by these elements) but also finding other things in the Orthodox Church to be strangely compelling.  Smiley  Wink  I hope you're successful in tracking down some Orthodox folks to connect with in your neck of the woods, as well as a church community when you feel ready.  Once again, welcome!
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2009, 02:02:15 AM »

Welcome to the forum. May God guide your path. Getting into that history stuff can be very dangerous!  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2009, 07:13:53 AM »

Quote
Folks outside the Church may not have it all, but I think they have something.  More to the point, I think some wisely drink the half-glass they've got while others with a full canteen mess around with water fights, spilling their water on the arid ground in ways that ultimately hurt everybody (themselves most of all), or waste it like Dusty Bottoms in Three Amigos.  For me, it was about going to where the water was pure and plentiful, and trying to "take...drink" of it as best I could.  I do hope you'll one day do the same.  God be with you.

Huh. That's a great interpretation/usage of a funny scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o
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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2009, 01:12:14 PM »

Quote
Folks outside the Church may not have it all, but I think they have something.  More to the point, I think some wisely drink the half-glass they've got while others with a full canteen mess around with water fights, spilling their water on the arid ground in ways that ultimately hurt everybody (themselves most of all), or waste it like Dusty Bottoms in Three Amigos.  For me, it was about going to where the water was pure and plentiful, and trying to "take...drink" of it as best I could.  I do hope you'll one day do the same.  God be with you.

Huh. That's a great interpretation/usage of a funny scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o


Thanks.
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2009, 05:56:34 PM »

Dave, I can relate your situation.  I was chuckling to myself when you mentioned that your wife found your Ancient Faith Radio coffee cup.  This morning my wife found the typed response from the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese I recently received in the mail.  I had inquired about the possibility of a church coming to area, and my wife asked me if I was going to start a church or something, and she has also asked me if I am going to convert to Orthodoxy.

Up to this point my response to her has been "No, I am still learning about church history or I am just interested in learning about the Orthodox Church".  Well, my last response was "I believe the fullness of the Christian Faith is held in the Orthodox Church".    Now, I may be ready to talk with her about the unstoppable draw to the Orthodox Church and future plans.

I pray everyday for the strength to follow the Will of God and I ask why I am being lead to study about the Orthodox Church.  Does He want me to become Orthodox?  It feels like I am being drawn to this Church and I cannot stop the momentum of what may happen.

I am continuing to study and read all my books about the Orthodox church I hope it is Gods Will that I and my family can become Orthodox.   With lots of PRAYER, studying, and TIME I am feeling more confident that the Orthodox Church is the one true Church.  I do not know how long it will continue to be before I commit to Orthodoxy but, the pull is strong and I do not think I can last much longer.  From my experience my advice for you is to Pray, study, ask questions, and seek un-biased historical correct answers.

On the point of having a spouse unsure of your motives I can recommend from previous and current experience to be open, honest, and take it slowly.  My wife is a devout, uneducated Catholic and she is not entirely open to moving to another church.  I use the word entirely because I have faith that this will change one day.  One more bit of advice is to heed the advice of Orthodox Christians and they here have helped me on my journey.

I hope I was able to help you throughout all my ramblings.


So, God Bless you in your Journey!

Caleb
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2009, 07:01:50 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

Caleb- sounds like we are in the same place. I was at work when I typed out my initial post and she called me in the middle of it with the "You ordered an Ancient Faith Radio Mug?!?!?!"

That's after receiving the 2010 Icon Calendar earlier in the week for making a donation. I asked her about the donation so she knew I was doing it.

My wife in a RN and usually works Sunday's. Last night I sent her that Frederica link that was posted above. She usually has her quiet time in the morning before leaving. She told me later that she was almost late because she was reading it so I'll have to see what she thought once she gets home and settles. The church we attend has Saturday night services so we usually go Saturday night together and then I go again Sunday AM's and play on the worship team.

This morning I printed out some of the morning prayers and the creed and found a corner of the sanctuary to read and pray. Then the smoke machine was turned on. LOL!!  Roll Eyes Gotta have smoke for all the expensive lighting to work better.  Roll Eyes

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte. If she's willing. Don't want to push it too hard. This would be a major change for us. I need the Holy Spirit to show her.

There is a real strong pull. I've told her that in my opinion, from what I've learned the Orthodox church is THE Early Church. I can't wait for the next message we hear with reference to the Early Church.
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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2009, 07:57:26 PM »

And yet I keep taking small steps.  Wink

Hello everyone!

My name is David. I’m 43 years old and currently reside in a small town in the Upstate of South Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, NC.

A brief synopsis of my journey. On my 16th birthday I received a Bible from my Russian grandmother. I told her that “I would never read it” but one day sometime in my later teens and early twenties I did read it. I wasn’t raised in any church but became interested in End of the World type stuff and heard that the Bible had a book called Revelation in it. So I dusted off the Bible and attempted to read Revelations. Well as you can imagine, scrolls, churches, The Lamb, bowls, Angels, it didn’t make much sense. As clearly as I’m writing to you, in my thoughts I heard, “If you want to understand the end, you must understand the beginning”. So I flipped over to Genesis and started reading. I think somewhere around Numbers I got bogged down and decided to slip ahead to the New Testament where I encountered Jesus. I was BLOWN AWAY!! I had thought that the Bible was full of fortune cookie like sayings. But instead I encountered Jesus, the Son of God, who loved me and was laying his life down for me.

So I started attending an Evangelical Free church where I met my wife and for the last 20 years now we have been in various churches mostly nondenominational churches. Charismatic ones at first but lately I’ve stayed away from that. Along the way I’ve been an elder, worship leader at various churches and church plants. I was ordained at one church and was the associate pastor. That didn’t end well and we ended up broke and had to start all over again. That was all up in Connecticut. I’ve been in the Carolina’s now for 6 years.

So why am I here? Not sure. I guess it comes down to worship. We currently attend a non-denom church that’s loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist’s. There’s no reverence. There’s no awe. There’s no meeting with God! There’s no beauty. We meet in this warehouse like building. Tomorrow morning I will be up on the “platform” playing electric guitar on 5 songs with zero theological content. We have a light show and hey a smoke machine!!! I really can’t take it much more. I won’t attend a charismatic church any longer. I’ve seen way too many believers get wrecked over some untested prophetic words and too much weirdness explained away as the Holy Spirit. This article really rings true. http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Wison-Narcissism-Goes-To-Church.php .

My wife just called wanting to know why an “Ancient Faith Radio” mug was came in the mail. Uh Oh!

We used to go to the Greek Festivals at the Greek Orthodox Church when we lived in CT and were struck by the sense of awe and reverence in the church. So that is drawing me.

I also just go done reading Luther’s biography, Here I stand which was very interesting. I love history so I decided to do a little more reading on the early church and have discovered some things that conflicted with my presumptions. I always thought that the early church was like a pot-luck home group meeting and all that ritual was introduced by the catholics. WRONG! They also didn’t think they were just having some symbolic bread and wine when having communion. That was a surprise! So I’m reading and find it all rather interesting.

I do not really want to drive an hour to church so that’s an issue. Plus it would be major church culture shock for my kids. This little journey has been mine. I’ve shared a little bit with my wife but she is not where I am. I was telling her the other day that I wondered why churches don’t point back to the Nicene Creed for their statement’s of faith. I received the usual protestant, evangelical response “Why would we need that, we have the Bible.”  That’s typical a typical response I’m getting when I mention some of these discoveries to people. I tell them the same people who decided the Books we have in the Bible came up with these Creeds! You would have thought that St. Paul was passing out complete New Testaments to his converts!! I have the usual issues with Mary. Sorry! That will take some time and further study to overcome if I can

So that’s a little of where I am. Not sure where I’ll end up. We are considering changing to a PCA Presbyterian Church that’s near by, so I’m also reading Reform stuff. I came across a statement last night about basing the church on the scripture. It seems almost backward to me now. This PCA church confesses creeds and scripture during their worship services. I like that. I don’t believe all of Calvinism so I would have issues to work through there as well.

That’s all.

Dave


Let your wife read some of the same stuff you are reading, and let her listen to some of the same stuff you are listenning to. That way, you will both grow in the same direction together, instead of growing apart.







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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2009, 08:07:00 PM »

Also, Vespers on Sat night might be a better intro to Orthodoxy than Divine Liturgy. It's shorter, communion is not served, and most converts find it easier to handle then jumping right into Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2009, 04:00:13 AM »

Also, Vespers on Sat night might be a better intro to Orthodoxy than Divine Liturgy. It's shorter, communion is not served, and most converts find it easier to handle then jumping right into Divine Liturgy.

I was just thinking the same thing as I got to the last posts (for now) on this thread.  Our first service was last year's Christmas Eve vigil (I think communion was served) but that was because we in a situation that presented itself in a town 2 hours from where we live.  But it was two months or so later that we made our own decision to go to the mission church in town -- and we started with a Saturday night Vespers service.  It was the two of us, and three others -- including the reader!  Very un-intimidating. 

Hi Dave, welcome.  I'm fairly new here myself ~ one of the many converts who has found their way to Orthodoxy in recent months.  Many things you wrote about sounded very familiar; that was our life about 6-8 months ago.  Not that we're "there" yet! We are still learning and growing; we did become catechumens in August and may be baptized sometime early next year.  And then it still goes on from there -- the learning and growing I mean! 

A couple of comments: I was the one in our family that first started reading about the Orthoodox church.  I chose to not say anything to my husband after the initial comments; I wanted God to work on him ~ not me, you know?  And within a couple of weeks he asked me "out of the blue" what book I'd suggest he read.  He's led the way ever since.  As for our kids, they LOVE Orthodoxy!  LOVE it.  We have seven between the ages of 1 and 16.  Now I know this is OUR situation and it obviously won't necessarily be yours; in fact we know a family right now in the serious inquirer stage, with more kids than we have, whose older children are not all that thrilled.  They just wonder what they're supposed to do with all their parents had taught them to the point right before they discovered Orthodoxy.  I do understand that. 

As for continuing to attend a non-Orthodox church ~ it gets harder!  In fact we found that once we attended that Vespers service that it was less than a month before we left the church we'd been attending.  One of the final straws for my husband was singing a song that said something about "God, overflow your river into my life."  He asked me, "Aren't we supposed to go to God and get into what He's doing?" 

Anyway, a bunch of words which -- when all boiled down -- say (again) "Welcome, and I hear where you're coming from. The journey is real and true." 
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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2009, 04:20:31 AM »

Then the smoke machine was turned on. LOL!!  Roll Eyes Gotta have smoke for all the expensive lighting to work better.  Roll Eyes

Don't forget that censers are the original smoke machines:

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« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2009, 11:13:16 AM »

Dave, I am a convert who attends at a Greek Orthodox parish in Charlotte (actually, closer to you via I-485 than you may think). Anwyays, I sent you a PM with some additional information.
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« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2009, 11:54:06 AM »

Our first service was last year's Christmas Eve vigil (I think communion was served) but that was because we in a situation that presented itself in a town 2 hours from where we live.  But it was two months or so later that we made our own decision to go to the

Many Parishes on Nativity or Pascha night serve not vigil (vespers+matins+1st hour) but midnight office+matins+hours+Divine Liturgy (it lasts usually more-less 4 hours altogether) so Eucharist is served.
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« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2009, 11:56:52 AM »

Dave,
Get the book "Facing East," by Frederica Mathewes-Green for your wife. When I picked up the book, I was a lifelong Lutheran in the discernment process for seminary and the ordained ministry. When I finished it, I was out the door looking for the nearest Orthodox Church!
Ok, it wasn't quite that quick, but in that little book I found that the Church I had always dreamed of, and never let myself believe existed actually did exist! And not only that, had existed for 2000 or so years, give or take.

I didn't want to become Orthodox. I had my future all planned and I didn't want my mother to cry or my family to be mad at me. I didn't want to leave all my friends to be a stranger in a new church - like being the new in-law at a family reunion who doesn't know how to make the potato salad the way they do or know the family jokes. I didn't want any part of it!

Unfortunately the more I read and studied, the worse it got. There was simply no way for me to walk away from the Truth - the Orthodox Church is the Church that Christ founded, the Church that contains the fullness of the Faith given by Christ to the Apostles, and if I was serious about following Him, it had to be in the Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2009, 01:57:20 PM »

Welcome Dave!

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers like yourself may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. We hope you will use it to learn the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. We try to provide direct and simple answers with sources if possible.

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« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2009, 02:01:10 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church


My wife has made some positive comments. Right now our schedules are a little crazy. I work in College Sports Media and she's a RN so we have opposite schedules on weekends so someone is home with the kids. A midweek Vespers service may work! I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does. We may avoid our church at Christmas this year. I can't take another year of rocked-out Christmas Carols. Sad
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« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2009, 02:18:51 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church

Here's an online catechism on the Orthodox Church in America's (OCA) website, which is one of the jurisdictions of the Church in America.
http://www.oca.org/OCorthfaith.asp?SID=2
It's commonly known as the rainbow series and was made by Fr. Thomas Hopko.
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« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2009, 02:48:13 PM »

I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does.

Boy, are you in luck! Generally speaking, except for special circumstances, pretty much all Orthodox Churches celebrate the Divine Liturgy at midnight on Christmas Eve.
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« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2009, 02:57:54 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church


My wife has made some positive comments. Right now our schedules are a little crazy. I work in College Sports Media and she's a RN so we have opposite schedules on weekends so someone is home with the kids. A midweek Vespers service may work! I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does. We may avoid our church at Christmas this year. I can't take another year of rocked-out Christmas Carols. Sad

If you haven't already, Timothy Ware's "The Orthodox Church" is a must-read primer on Orthodoxy. Originally an Anglican, Ware eventually converted to Orthodoxy and went on to become a Bishop in the Church. He is now known as +Metropolitan KALLISTOS. The book was written before all this took place.
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« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2009, 02:59:11 PM »

Also his "The Orthodox Way," which I actually liked better, even though I'm sort of a history geek.
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« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2009, 03:16:47 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

Caleb- sounds like we are in the same place. I was at work when I typed out my initial post and she called me in the middle of it with the "You ordered an Ancient Faith Radio Mug?!?!?!"

That's after receiving the 2010 Icon Calendar earlier in the week for making a donation. I asked her about the donation so she knew I was doing it.

My wife in a RN and usually works Sunday's. Last night I sent her that Frederica link that was posted above. She usually has her quiet time in the morning before leaving. She told me later that she was almost late because she was reading it so I'll have to see what she thought once she gets home and settles. The church we attend has Saturday night services so we usually go Saturday night together and then I go again Sunday AM's and play on the worship team.

This morning I printed out some of the morning prayers and the creed and found a corner of the sanctuary to read and pray. Then the smoke machine was turned on. LOL!!  Roll Eyes Gotta have smoke for all the expensive lighting to work better.  Roll Eyes

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte. If she's willing. Don't want to push it too hard. This would be a major change for us. I need the Holy Spirit to show her.

There is a real strong pull. I've told her that in my opinion, from what I've learned the Orthodox church is THE Early Church. I can't wait for the next message we hear with reference to the Early Church.

Here is another internet radio site: www.ourlifeinchrist.com

This is run by two converts and has an archive filled with the subjects Protestant Converts are most interested in. Their show is also on Ancient Faith Radio, but the archive has a long list of subjects that you may want to listen to. They have a very conversational tone and are easy to listen too.
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« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2009, 03:26:14 PM »

Here is another internet radio site: www.ourlifeinchrist.com

This is run by two converts and has an archive filled with the subjects Protestant Converts are most interested in. Their show is also on Ancient Faith Radio, but the archive has a long list of subjects that you may want to listen to. They have a very conversational tone and are easy to listen too.

Orthodox Christian Network (http://www.myocn.net/) also has a plethora of wonderful resources worth looking into.
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« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2009, 03:45:14 PM »

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte.

Don't know if anyone else has already mentioned this on the thread, but there is a beautiful community in Charlotte called St. Nektarios. Very active congregation, with many ministries and great people.

Several of my friends from seminary serve there.
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« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2009, 04:24:03 PM »

She and I need a Sunday home together where we can visit an Orthodox church in Charlotte.

Don't know if anyone else has already mentioned this on the thread, but there is a beautiful community in Charlotte called St. Nektarios. Very active congregation, with many ministries and great people.

Several of my friends from seminary serve there.

That is my parish. It is wonderful. I pm'd Dave about it. I just couldn't be more thrilled/happy with the community!
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« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2009, 05:56:27 PM »

What does everyone suggest I read?

The book we read out loud as a family, that pretty much sealed our journey for us, was Matthew Gallatin's Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells.  We read it in one day if I remember correctly.  I had also read Becoming Orthodox and another one I liked was Thomas Howard's Evangelical is not Enough (he eventually chose Roman Catholicism, but his description of our frustrations with evangelicalism were spot on and made me feel like I wasn't crazy!).  Another good book I liked is Common Ground: An Introduction To Eastern Christianity For The American Christian by Jordan Bajis. None of these I listed are deep theological books, but I'm not a deep theological person -- I just needed the basics to push me over the edge!   Smiley

Speaking of crazy, I've had that conversation with myself dozens of times in the last year, "Am I CRAZY?!" It's been awhile since I've asked myself that, though, because the Orthodox church is everything I longed for in a church for the 23+ years I was a Christian before attending my first Orthodox service. 
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« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2009, 01:15:17 PM »

A few weeks ago I finished reading: "Through Western Eyes: Eastern Orthodoxy A Reformed Perspective"

What does everyone suggest I read?
Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Church


My wife has made some positive comments. Right now our schedules are a little crazy. I work in College Sports Media and she's a RN so we have opposite schedules on weekends so someone is home with the kids. A midweek Vespers service may work! I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does. We may avoid our church at Christmas this year. I can't take another year of rocked-out Christmas Carols. Sad

I apologize for not welcoming you the first time around so Welcome Dave!  I was excited for you.
I am a fairly new convert.  One of the books you have listed by Peter Gilliquist "Becoming Orthodox" is one which I initially found most helpful; especially since you have been a pastor.  May God bless you in your journey. Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2009, 01:35:38 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.
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« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2009, 01:44:22 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.

Awesome...  Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2009, 01:51:17 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.

Wonderful news!  May the Lord continue to bless you both on this journey.
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« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2009, 03:50:20 PM »

pretty much all Orthodox Churches celebrate the Divine Liturgy at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Mine does at 2 o'clock Tongue
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« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2009, 04:08:20 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.

I would be careful about the Orthodoxy 101 class from that particular jurisdiction.

-Nick
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« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2009, 04:33:44 PM »

I would be careful about the Orthodoxy 101 class from that particular jurisdiction.

-Nick

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« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2009, 04:40:15 PM »

While I certainly don't speak for admiralnick, but I would imagine because ACROD are often viewed by some as "too Catholic" or "not Orthodox enough" thanks, in large part, to their liturgical peculiarities (leftovers from their Greek Catholic past).
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« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2009, 05:05:56 PM »

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions.

My wife surprised me last night when I got home from work. She had reached out to an old friend up in CT who is Greek Orthodox. I'm pretty sure her husband works for the Arch-Diocese of NY. She told her what is going on and we are going to exchange emails. She pointed us to this http://www.acrod.org/ . There is an online class Orthodoxy 101 that started last night. I missed the first class but signed up for it.

My wife is very supportive. She's just not feeling like we are supposed to leave where we are yet. We are trying to plan a visit somewhere soon.

I don't know if you realize but yesterdays class is available to listen to when you sign in to the online class. I was busy last night and couldn't watch it live so I plan on listening to it later tonight.
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« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2009, 05:10:35 PM »

While I certainly don't speak for admiralnick, but I would imagine because ACROD are often viewed by some as "too Catholic" or "not Orthodox enough" thanks, in large part, to their liturgical peculiarities (leftovers from their Greek Catholic past).

Interesting. I'll have to ask my wife's friends husband. He's involved in someway.

They sure have a great website!
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« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2009, 05:16:42 PM »

Yes, they certainly do!  They joined the 21st century in website design just earlier this year and made a fantastic leap forward. 

I have a soft spot for ACROD because of the music they use.  If there was a parish nearby, I'd be there in a heartbeat Smiley

Don't let the naysayers fool you, either.  They're as Orthodox as the rest of us...they just do things a bit differently.
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« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2009, 06:46:22 PM »

Yes, they certainly do!  They joined the 21st century in website design just earlier this year and made a fantastic leap forward. 

I have a soft spot for ACROD because of the music they use.  If there was a parish nearby, I'd be there in a heartbeat Smiley

Don't let the naysayers fool you, either.  They're as Orthodox as the rest of us...they just do things a bit differently.

What do you mean they do things differently?

Edit: I don't wish to derail the thread so someone can reply to me via PM.
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« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2009, 06:59:53 PM »

Yes, they certainly do!  They joined the 21st century in website design just earlier this year and made a fantastic leap forward. 

I have a soft spot for ACROD because of the music they use.  If there was a parish nearby, I'd be there in a heartbeat Smiley

Don't let the naysayers fool you, either.  They're as Orthodox as the rest of us...they just do things a bit differently.

What do you mean they do things differently?

Edit: I don't wish to derail the thread so someone can reply to me via PM.

I also wouldn't mind knowing the differences.
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« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2009, 11:13:32 AM »

I'm listening to these podcast's :http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy

VERY good stuff in there!!

If you went to the average nondenominational church and asked your members about this information you would get blank stares. That's always bothered me.

I would say that I've always have seen theosis in the scripture. We are supposed to put off the old man and "put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." We are supposed to be changed and transformed for the power of the Holy Spirit.

The church we have been attending for the last 5 years has seen some explosive growth over the last 2 years. We baptized this year so far 197 people and that's not including Christian's who are coming and staying. It's the 'come to Jesus and be saved message' that concerns me. There's no teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Actually the Holy Spirit is never really mentioned or talked about. It's Father, Son and the Holy Book.
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« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2009, 12:00:37 PM »

They sure have a great website!

Made by the dudes at the GOA Internet Ministries on Holy Cross's campus.
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« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2009, 12:16:33 PM »

They sure have a great website!

Made by the dudes at the GOA Internet Ministries on Holy Cross's campus.

I believe one of those dudes is the husband of my wife's old friend. He's supposed to 'Friend' me on Facebook so we can chat.
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« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2009, 12:37:25 PM »

I'm listening to these podcast's :http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy

VERY good stuff in there!!

I hadn't seen this series before (probably because it's so new and I'm still behind on the other AFR shows I listen to!).  I will definitely give this a shot, if only to help me explain the various differences of theology to people.  Thanks for the heads up!


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The church we have been attending for the last 5 years has seen some explosive growth over the last 2 years. We baptized this year so far 197 people and that's not including Christian's who are coming and staying. It's the 'come to Jesus and be saved message' that concerns me. There's no teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Actually the Holy Spirit is never really mentioned or talked about. It's Father, Son and the Holy Book.

Interesting.  Now that you mention it, I really don't remember hearing the Evangelical Protestants I know talk about the Holy Spirit, at least the way Orthodox and Catholics do, as a "full-fledged" person of the Trinity. 
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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2009, 01:01:13 PM »

I'm listening to these podcast's :http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy

VERY good stuff in there!!

I hadn't seen this series before (probably because it's so new and I'm still behind on the other AFR shows I listen to!).  I will definitely give this a shot, if only to help me explain the various differences of theology to people.  Thanks for the heads up!


Quote
The church we have been attending for the last 5 years has seen some explosive growth over the last 2 years. We baptized this year so far 197 people and that's not including Christian's who are coming and staying. It's the 'come to Jesus and be saved message' that concerns me. There's no teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Actually the Holy Spirit is never really mentioned or talked about. It's Father, Son and the Holy Book.

Interesting.  Now that you mention it, I really don't remember hearing the Evangelical Protestants I know talk about the Holy Spirit, at least the way Orthodox and Catholics do, as a "full-fledged" person of the Trinity. 

It would probably depend on what the person believes about the gifts of the Spirit. If they believe the sign type gifts passed away with the Apostles then the Holy Spirit is there in the life of the believer but in the background. If they believe that tongues and prophecy are for today, then you would hear a lot about the Holy Spirit and the need to be filled or baptized in the Holy Spirit.

It breaks down even further. Some hold that when you come to Christ or 'Born Again' and regenerated that you get all of the Holy Spirit. Other's believe in a 2nd experience with the Holy Spirit or a '2nd Blessing'.
My son has started to attend an Assemblies of God youth group where he's hearing alot about the need to be 'baptized in the Holy Ghost' (2nd experience). We looked through Acts together and I told him my position that I couldn't say yes or no if there was a 2nd experience. In Acts we have Peter preaching to Cornelius's household and before he's done speaking the Holy Spirit falls on them. Yet we also see instances when some disciples were found somewhere and they were asked 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit since you have believed?' and they replied they hadn't heard about that. I think Peter was sent to them to lay hands on them. So my answer to him was 'I'm not sure'. I just told him not to let people, in their enthusiasm, make him say or do something that's not genuine.
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« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2009, 01:15:55 PM »

It breaks down even further. Some hold that when you come to Christ or 'Born Again' and regenerated that you get all of the Holy Spirit. Other's believe in a 2nd experience with the Holy Spirit or a '2nd Blessing'.

In the Orthodox Church, after an individual has been immersed in water three times "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," the priest annoints the individual with holy chrism (oil) and prays for the Holy Spirit to descend upon and dwell within the person. Thus a person is baptized and chrismated in the Orthodox Church.

Here is where you can find more information regarding Baptism and Chrismation:

Information on Holy Chrism:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8420

Great article on the Sacraments, including Baptism and Chrismation:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7105

Article on Infant Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

The Service of Holy Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/baptism
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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2009, 03:45:56 PM »

It breaks down even further. Some hold that when you come to Christ or 'Born Again' and regenerated that you get all of the Holy Spirit. Other's believe in a 2nd experience with the Holy Spirit or a '2nd Blessing'.

In the Orthodox Church, after an individual has been immersed in water three times "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," the priest annoints the individual with holy chrism (oil) and prays for the Holy Spirit to descend upon and dwell within the person. Thus a person is baptized and chrismated in the Orthodox Church.

Here is where you can find more information regarding Baptism and Chrismation:

Information on Holy Chrism:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8420

Great article on the Sacraments, including Baptism and Chrismation:
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7105

Article on Infant Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7067

The Service of Holy Baptism
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/baptism

May I add Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism by Father Alexander Schmemann and published by the St Vladimirs Seminary Press (March 1, 1997)? It is available from multiple venues, including our seminaries and Amazon, and is most inspiring and enlightening.
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« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2009, 04:17:33 PM »

There's no teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Actually the Holy Spirit is never really mentioned or talked about. It's Father, Son and the Holy Book.

Another product of the filioque heresy.  It just goes to show that no matter how far from the Roman Catholic Church they think that they are, they are still her offspring, working with her erroneous concepts as the backbone to their theology.

This of course is not true of the "Pentecostal" movement, but their reaction to the filioque heresy is overdone and without proper guidance in the correction.  They are overcompensating for a lack of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of miracles in the overly rational West, but in reaction they have ushered in total disorder and prelest (spiritual delusion).

I would be very cautious letting your son attend one of those groups.  There are too many dangers and demons floating around waiting to deceive those who are spiritually open.  The charismatic movement has synthesized mediumism and Christianity, but there's never any way to be certain who or what they are channeling.
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« Reply #61 on: December 26, 2009, 10:31:50 AM »

Well here's an update.

Over Christmas we went to a number of services.

At our current church the pastor used dialogue from the "Legend of Ricky Bobby" as his inspiration for the service. He did end up getting serious but the message part was for maybe 8 minutes out of a 30 minute service. No communion. We barely ever celebrate it.

We then ended up at the 10PM service at an Anglican Church that's part of the new ACNA. Service was 2 hours.
My wife LOVED it!
LOVED it as in there's where she wants to go.
 Undecided

I've been talking about Orthodoxy with her. She's supportive and got me a few books I wanted and a Russian Orthodox cross for Christmas. But she doesn't want to attend a church (OCA) that is an hour plus away. There is a Greek Orthodox Church (40 minutes away) that we visited last weekend to see a Christmas presentation. My wife and daughters all enjoyed that. The Byzantine music though was very hard to sing along with.

So that's where I am. I told her I have to attend a liturgy at the Greek Orthodox church at least once.

The Anglican church seemed to be Presbyterian-like but with priests and all the ceremony. I'm not sure if I should keep my Orthodox beliefs to myself and just go along. It looks like this new Anglican Church in North America still has a number if issues to sort out including the ordination of women which I do not support.

 Undecided

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« Reply #62 on: December 26, 2009, 10:42:49 AM »

I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does.

Boy, are you in luck! Generally speaking, except for special circumstances, pretty much all Orthodox Churches celebrate the Divine Liturgy at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Hm that's odd, I was told on another thread that this was an anomaly in the OC. Oh well...
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« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2009, 11:49:49 AM »

We then ended up at the 10PM service at an Anglican Church that's part of the new ACNA. Service was 2 hours.
My wife LOVED it!
LOVED it as in there's where she wants to go.
 Undecided



Shame that the closest WRO Church to you seems to be the one in Lynchberch, 4 hours away.

ACNA, is that the group that Met. Jonah spoke to?
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« Reply #64 on: December 26, 2009, 11:51:59 AM »

I also know that for Christmas eve we want something more formal and I can't find a protestant\evangelical church near us that has a midnight service so I'm hoping to find an Orthodox church that does.

Boy, are you in luck! Generally speaking, except for special circumstances, pretty much all Orthodox Churches celebrate the Divine Liturgy at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Hm that's odd, I was told on another thread that this was an anomaly in the OC. Oh well...

I think the Slavs have compline Christmas Eve, and then Liturgy Christmas Day.  I know with the Arabs (and He was born in Palestine!) Midnight DL is usual: I've never heard otherwise (btw, it's that way with the Copts too).
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« Reply #65 on: December 26, 2009, 01:02:00 PM »

We then ended up at the 10PM service at an Anglican Church that's part of the new ACNA. Service was 2 hours.
My wife LOVED it!
LOVED it as in there's where she wants to go.
 Undecided



Shame that the closest WRO Church to you seems to be the one in Lynchberch, 4 hours away.

ACNA, is that the group that Met. Jonah spoke to?

Yes it is. The Priest asked how we found them and I mentioned that.
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« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2009, 04:13:51 PM »

Quote
You attempt to follow Christ, right? So yes.
Really? Just because one is 'sincere', means they are on the correct path? I don't think so.
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« Reply #67 on: December 29, 2009, 04:53:55 PM »

Quote
You attempt to follow Christ, right? So yes.
Really? Just because one is 'sincere', means they are on the correct path? I don't think so.

Could you define the virtue of piousness as it was understood in the early Church? I ask because if we recognize the a sincere or earnest pursuit of the virtues, of which piousness is one, we might understand what DaveInCSA is speaking... No?
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« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2009, 05:41:20 PM »

Well here's an update.

Over Christmas we went to a number of services.

At our current church the pastor used dialogue from the "Legend of Ricky Bobby" as his inspiration for the service. He did end up getting serious but the message part was for maybe 8 minutes out of a 30 minute service. No communion. We barely ever celebrate it.

We then ended up at the 10PM service at an Anglican Church that's part of the new ACNA. Service was 2 hours.
My wife LOVED it!
LOVED it as in there's where she wants to go.
 Undecided

I've been talking about Orthodoxy with her. She's supportive and got me a few books I wanted and a Russian Orthodox cross for Christmas. But she doesn't want to attend a church (OCA) that is an hour plus away. There is a Greek Orthodox Church (40 minutes away) that we visited last weekend to see a Christmas presentation. My wife and daughters all enjoyed that. The Byzantine music though was very hard to sing along with.

So that's where I am. I told her I have to attend a liturgy at the Greek Orthodox church at least once.

The Anglican church seemed to be Presbyterian-like but with priests and all the ceremony. I'm not sure if I should keep my Orthodox beliefs to myself and just go along. It looks like this new Anglican Church in North America still has a number if issues to sort out including the ordination of women which I do not support.

 Undecided

Here is my opinion, FWIW:

See if the Greek Orthodox (GOA) parish has Vespers on Saturday nights. If they do, attend Vespers on Saturdays with your family (if they are willing to go) and then go to the Anglican Church on Sundays. If your family is not willing to go with you, ask your wife if she minds if you go by yourself. (Maybe on alternating weekends?)

Get to know the priest at the GOA parish and seek his advice. Also seek out the advice of the priest at the Anglican parish. Anglicans are generally not hostile to Orthodox, so he may actually be more helpful than you think. Smiley

I know plenty of people personally and elsewhere that used the Anglican Church as a stepping stone to Orthodoxy. (I actually know of one family who decided to pursue Orthodoxy two days after the husband was ordained an Anglican priest!)

Things are not as grim as you think they are. Pray, have faith, and ask for the intercessions of St. Monica.
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« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2009, 05:48:25 PM »

I don't know if it's been recommended already, but you may want to take a look at "Facing East" by Frederica Mathewes-Green.

Khouria Frederica's husband was an Anglican priest when he got the "bug" for Orthodoxy. Initially she was against it, but came around, and now her husband is a priest in the Antiochian Orthodox Church. ("Khouria" is the title given to priest's wives in Antiochian parishes.)

This book talks about their journey from Paganism to Anglican Christianity to Orthodox Christianity. You and your wife may find it interesting.

It can be purchased here: http://www.archangelsbooks.com/proddetail.asp?prod=HARMATHEW%2D02
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« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2009, 06:52:35 PM »

Quote
You attempt to follow Christ, right? So yes.
Really? Just because one is 'sincere', means they are on the correct path? I don't think so.

But, if one is sincere, one cannot fake faith. So, even if you would wish to convert, you can't pretend to a faith that isn't there, however good the arguments of those 'on the correct path' are.
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« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2009, 07:32:52 PM »

Quote
You attempt to follow Christ, right? So yes.
Really? Just because one is 'sincere', means they are on the correct path? I don't think so.

Way to chop context and distort it out of all recognition.

I didn't say anything about his sincerity. I also didn't say he was 'on the correct path'. What I said was:
Quote
The concept of "Orthodox Christian" by its definition implies that there are "not-Orthodox Christians"
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« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2009, 08:37:48 PM »

Well here's an update.

Over Christmas we went to a number of services.

At our current church the pastor used dialogue from the "Legend of Ricky Bobby" as his inspiration for the service. He did end up getting serious but the message part was for maybe 8 minutes out of a 30 minute service. No communion. We barely ever celebrate it.

We then ended up at the 10PM service at an Anglican Church that's part of the new ACNA. Service was 2 hours.
My wife LOVED it!
LOVED it as in there's where she wants to go.
 Undecided

I've been talking about Orthodoxy with her. She's supportive and got me a few books I wanted and a Russian Orthodox cross for Christmas. But she doesn't want to attend a church (OCA) that is an hour plus away. There is a Greek Orthodox Church (40 minutes away) that we visited last weekend to see a Christmas presentation. My wife and daughters all enjoyed that. The Byzantine music though was very hard to sing along with.

So that's where I am. I told her I have to attend a liturgy at the Greek Orthodox church at least once.

The Anglican church seemed to be Presbyterian-like but with priests and all the ceremony. I'm not sure if I should keep my Orthodox beliefs to myself and just go along. It looks like this new Anglican Church in North America still has a number if issues to sort out including the ordination of women which I do not support.

 Undecided

Here is my opinion, FWIW:

See if the Greek Orthodox (GOA) parish has Vespers on Saturday nights. If they do, attend Vespers on Saturdays with your family (if they are willing to go) and then go to the Anglican Church on Sundays. If your family is not willing to go with you, ask your wife if she minds if you go by yourself. (Maybe on alternating weekends?)

Get to know the priest at the GOA parish and seek his advice. Also seek out the advice of the priest at the Anglican parish. Anglicans are generally not hostile to Orthodox, so he may actually be more helpful than you think. Smiley

I know plenty of people personally and elsewhere that used the Anglican Church as a stepping stone to Orthodoxy. (I actually know of one family who decided to pursue Orthodoxy two days after the husband was ordained an Anglican priest!)

Things are not as grim as you think they are. Pray, have faith, and ask for the intercessions of St. Monica.

Thanks for the advice!

This Sunday we are going to the Anglican Church. We have to get our oldest back to college next weekend. The weekend after that I plan on attending a OCA church by myself and hopefully spend some time after service talking to a priest.
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« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2009, 09:18:23 PM »

We then ended up at the 10PM service at an Anglican Church that's part of the new ACNA. Service was 2 hours.
My wife LOVED it!
LOVED it as in there's where she wants to go.
 Undecided



Shame that the closest WRO Church to you seems to be the one in Lynchberch, 4 hours away.

ACNA, is that the group that Met. Jonah spoke to?

Did you mean Lynchburg, VA? I need to get to that mission myself (I'm only an hour west of Lynchburg). Someone from my church visited there and loved it. I heard that Fr. Alban was a very well-known Anglican bishop before he led his flock to Orthodoxy.

DavidInCSA, which state in "Dixie" are you?  Tongue If you ever find yourself near Roanoke, VA, I attend a lovely little mission in Salem. It's in the Bulgarian diocese but everyone is a convert (except for Father's children  Grin)

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« Reply #74 on: December 29, 2009, 09:55:48 PM »

I'm in South Carolina outside of Charlotte NC.
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« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2009, 10:21:08 AM »

I'm in South Carolina outside of Charlotte NC.

Oddly enough, there are several Orthodox parishes near you. I say oddly because this is not always the case in the South! I know several of the local clergy personally and all of them are good priests!
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« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2009, 09:27:52 PM »

Did you mean Lynchburg, VA? I need to get to that mission myself (I'm only an hour west of Lynchburg). Someone from my church visited there and loved it. I heard that Fr. Alban was a very well-known Anglican bishop before he led his flock to Orthodoxy.

From what I know (because a bishop of the Anglican Communion swimming either the Tiber or the Bosporus is news amoungst us) the then Bishop Robert Weggener was not "Anglican" as in part of the Anglican Communion.  He was a member of a "continuing" group.

Ebor
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« Reply #77 on: December 31, 2009, 01:16:15 AM »

Did you mean Lynchburg, VA? I need to get to that mission myself (I'm only an hour west of Lynchburg). Someone from my church visited there and loved it. I heard that Fr. Alban was a very well-known Anglican bishop before he led his flock to Orthodoxy.

From what I know (because a bishop of the Anglican Communion swimming either the Tiber or the Bosporus is news amoungst us) the then Bishop Robert Weggener was not "Anglican" as in part of the Anglican Communion.  He was a member of a "continuing" group.

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« Reply #78 on: December 31, 2009, 01:21:30 AM »


Distinction without a difference for us me.

I fixed that for you Wink
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« Reply #79 on: December 31, 2009, 01:54:02 AM »


Distinction without a difference for us me.

I fixed that for you Wink
Do fix the service books, as I don't see the difference for reception of "Anglican converts" from reception of "Continuing converts" in them.
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« Reply #80 on: December 31, 2009, 12:04:13 PM »


Distinction without a difference for us me.

I fixed that for you Wink
Do fix the service books, as I don't see the difference for reception of "Anglican converts" from reception of "Continuing converts" in them.

Well that's an interesting argument. So if I can find situations where the method of reception is the same for various forms of heresy, schism and division in the Church, then according to your argument, I should equate the heresies, schisms or divisions as being the same because the method of reception is the same. So, there really is no difference between, say, Catholics and Anglicans, if my jurisdiction happens to receive them in the same way?
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« Reply #81 on: December 31, 2009, 12:14:09 PM »


Distinction without a difference for us me.

I fixed that for you Wink
Do fix the service books, as I don't see the difference for reception of "Anglican converts" from reception of "Continuing converts" in them.

Well that's an interesting argument. So if I can find situations where the method of reception is the same for various forms of heresy, schism and division in the Church, then according to your argument, I should equate the heresies, schisms or divisions as being the same because the method of reception is the same. So, there really is no difference between, say, Catholics and Anglicans, if my jurisdiction happens to receive them in the same way?

As I understood it the reception of a Roman Catholic 'is' different than that of say a Baptist or an Anglican. We are to deny certain errors of our prospective traditions... Is this not correct? This is what was outlined to me by an OCA Parish Priest.
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« Reply #82 on: December 31, 2009, 12:20:26 PM »

 
Glory to Jesus Christ


I was told that we would have to renouce what the Orthodox view as heretical in the Catholic Church and then be Chrismated as a way of reception.


peace to all
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« Reply #83 on: December 31, 2009, 12:22:51 PM »


Distinction without a difference for us me.

I fixed that for you Wink
Do fix the service books, as I don't see the difference for reception of "Anglican converts" from reception of "Continuing converts" in them.

Well that's an interesting argument. So if I can find situations where the method of reception is the same for various forms of heresy, schism and division in the Church, then according to your argument, I should equate the heresies, schisms or divisions as being the same because the method of reception is the same. So, there really is no difference between, say, Catholics and Anglicans, if my jurisdiction happens to receive them in the same way?

As I understood it the reception of a Roman Catholic 'is' different than that of say a Baptist or an Anglican. We are to deny certain errors of our prospective traditions... Is this not correct? This is what was outlined to me by an OCA Parish Priest.

Well, I was just using that as an example, but you make a good point. I suppose I could have said Anglicans and some other group. My point, of course, was that there are countless different Christian religious groups, and Orthodox jurisdictions don't do in-depth analyses about each of 10,000* different groups and form different methods for receiving all 10,000. Receiving two groups in the same way doesn't give one the right to assume that they must be the same in belief/practice, and frankly it's silly to imply that it does. But to answer your question, I think you are correct, and I probably should not have said Anglican/Catholic, because the method for Catholics probably is a bit different in that they have to deny certain beliefs like that someone that was an Anglican wouldn't. Someone who recently converted from Catholicism would probably have a better idea of what exactly must be rejected (filioque, papal supremacy and infalliblity perhaps?)

*Obviously a ball park figure

EDIT--I left a word out which completely changed the meaning of a sentence--so I inserted the bolded not above
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« Reply #84 on: December 31, 2009, 12:28:15 PM »


Distinction without a difference for us me.

I fixed that for you Wink
Do fix the service books, as I don't see the difference for reception of "Anglican converts" from reception of "Continuing converts" in them.

Well that's an interesting argument. So if I can find situations where the method of reception is the same for various forms of heresy, schism and division in the Church, then according to your argument, I should equate the heresies, schisms or divisions as being the same because the method of reception is the same. So, there really is no difference between, say, Catholics and Anglicans, if my jurisdiction happens to receive them in the same way?

As I understood it the reception of a Roman Catholic 'is' different than that of say a Baptist or an Anglican. We are to deny certain errors of our prospective traditions... Is this not correct? This is what was outlined to me by an OCA Parish Priest.

Well, I was just using that as an example, but you make a good point. I suppose I could have said Anglicans and some other group. My point, of course, was that there are countless different Christian religious groups, and Orthodox jurisdictions don't do in-depth analyses about each of 10,000* different groups and form different methods for receiving all 10,000. Receiving two groups in the same way doesn't give one the right to assume that they must be the same in belief/practice, and frankly it's silly to imply that it does. But to answer your question, I think you are correct, and I probably should have said Anglican/Catholic, because the method for Catholics probably is a bit different in that they have to deny certain beliefs like that someone that was an Anglican wouldn't. Someone who recently converted from Catholicism would probably have a better idea of what exactly must be rejected (filioque, papal supremacy and infalliblity perhaps?)

*Obviously a ball park figure

Yes, I think there are about 6 different things that are either denied or accepted. I went over these last year with a local Orthodox Parish Priest so I don't recall exactly the number or the details. Papal Supremacy and Infallibility was in there though.
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« Reply #85 on: December 31, 2009, 12:31:50 PM »

I'm sure the Immaculate conception would be in there too.
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« Reply #86 on: December 31, 2009, 12:37:45 PM »

I'm sure the Immaculate conception would be in there too.

Yes it is I remember that and we spoke about it at length because at the time I wasn't in agreement with the Orthodox view of Mary Ever-Virgin.
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« Reply #87 on: January 02, 2010, 11:15:20 PM »

Just a word about travel time. While we explored Orthodoxy we visited a large, established church just a few minutes away. Our reception was not very warm and it seemed so "foreign". Then on another Sunday we drove an hour to a little mission church and felt a wonderful warmth there, sensing the quiet, peaceful, presence of God through the people. I could not see myself going anywhere else. Our many trips now that we are members are a part of our service to God, not as a spiritual discipline, but time well-spent on the ride over, listening to Orthodox music, silently praying and preparing for the liturgy. So please don't dismiss a church and settle for something "less" because it is convenient. Have a blessed journey!
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« Reply #88 on: January 05, 2010, 02:14:53 PM »

Part of Schultz's reply is correct, their liturgical practices are kind of hodgepodge. I like to call it Orthodoxy for liberals because they have a very laid back attitude to the practices of the church. Now I can only speak for the parish I was born and baptised in and was a member of for 22 years, but some of the issues are:

1) Pascal Matins are served on Holy Saturday evening with Liturgy being served on Sunday morning.
2) Very rarely if ever is vespers served and never matins (except the afore mentioned Holy Saturday)
3) Confession is required only once a year (yes I know, there is nothing wrong with that)
4) The general idea with Sunday liturgy is lets get through this so we can do downstairs and socialize.
5) Communion is routinely given to all who approach the chalice without regard to their religion. (I've seen this a number of times personally)
6) Their Metropolitan is very similar to a pope with absolute control and no one to answer to. Of course the Metropolitan doesn't actually run the diocese, rather the Chancellor does.
7) The promotion of priests is based on whether or not you are a favorite of the Metropolitan. Kind of fishy when you have a 2 year experienced priest who is a Very Reverend Protopresbytr while a 30 year experienced priest is still just a Reverend.
8 ) If you aren't from the East Coast, your opinion is worthless even at the diocesan Sobor (annual meeting of the diocese)
9) Decisions of the Sobor are able to be over turned by the Metropolitan without explanation and without appeal.


That's the ones I rememeber off the top of my head, if I can think of any others, I will post them.

-Nick
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« Reply #89 on: January 05, 2010, 08:52:03 PM »

I'm sure the Immaculate conception would be in there too.

Yes it is I remember that and we spoke about it at length because at the time I wasn't in agreement with the Orthodox view of Mary Ever-Virgin.
Are you now?
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« Reply #90 on: January 05, 2010, 10:16:07 PM »

I'm sure the Immaculate conception would be in there too.

Yes it is I remember that and we spoke about it at length because at the time I wasn't in agreement with the Orthodox view of Mary Ever-Virgin.
Are you now?

It may be the case that I am past the point of conversion to another Tradition like Eastern Orthodoxy. The anecdotal stories, the doctrinal argumentations, and the shallow polemics seem to loose their luster with age. At my height of disgust with the American Roman Catholic Church I found many of these things very appealing but as I studied and begun to turn my eyes more upon my own failings I've begun not to measure my holiness by external things... which Parish I attend, what language the Liturgy is in or how many individuals genuflect or prostrate or cross themselves more than others. Yes, these acts of piety have value but not in the self-consciousness way which many, including myself, might think.

But to return to your actual question concerning my belief of Mary Ever-Virgin... I don't agree with St. John Maximovitch's work "The Orthodox Veneration of Mary The Birthgiver of God". I also don't agree with the Orthodox view of the role of the Roman Pontiff either. Clearly if I did I would already be Orthodox by now.

With all this said I continue on my journey of faith. I don't know wear I will eventual end but I know that I seek after righteousness and if such a pursuit is achievable through a particular Tradition or another I am willing to sit down and discuss it. I have a life in the Roman Catholic Church, I can't say that is is prefect or that it is them most nourishing life I can have for myself and my family but it is what it is. If can learn to pursue the virtues with greater clarity and be a better Christian, Spouse and Father then I will count my efforts as very fruitful indeed.

I am largely of a Western Mindset and a bit of a literalist when it comes to the Sacred Texts but I am also open to the possibilities that the Greek Fathers have a valuable role to play in the growth of the Latin Church in our day.
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« Reply #91 on: January 06, 2010, 06:22:22 PM »

Did you mean Lynchburg, VA? I need to get to that mission myself (I'm only an hour west of Lynchburg). Someone from my church visited there and loved it. I heard that Fr. Alban was a very well-known Anglican bishop before he led his flock to Orthodoxy.

From what I know (because a bishop of the Anglican Communion swimming either the Tiber or the Bosporus is news amoungst us) the then Bishop Robert Weggener was not "Anglican" as in part of the Anglican Communion.  He was a member of a "continuing" group.

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Well, one might hope it would make a difference to know that they are not in the same Church as that which as been a target recently.  Smiley
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« Reply #92 on: January 16, 2010, 12:17:22 PM »

I thought I should post a follow up on what has happened.

We officially left our Non-Denominational church and are going to be joining an Anglican Church. My wife was not interested at all in becoming Orthodox. So at least I'm closer than I was before.
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« Reply #93 on: January 16, 2010, 02:15:14 PM »

Nobody can force you to convert. It's against the human rights. Wink
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« Reply #94 on: January 16, 2010, 02:22:04 PM »

I thought I should post a follow up on what has happened.

We officially left our Non-Denominational church and are going to be joining an Anglican Church. My wife was not interested at all in becoming Orthodox. So at least I'm closer than I was before.

Welcome! So are you still hoping your wife will eventually show more interest in becoming Orthodox?
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« Reply #95 on: January 16, 2010, 08:24:56 PM »

I thought I should post a follow up on what has happened.

We officially left our Non-Denominational church and are going to be joining an Anglican Church. My wife was not interested at all in becoming Orthodox. So at least I'm closer than I was before.

Welcome! So are you still hoping your wife will eventually show more interest in becoming Orthodox?

I don't think so. We really like the Priest and the Anglican Church we found.
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« Reply #96 on: January 18, 2010, 01:56:58 AM »

small steps, my friend... Wink Cheesy
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« Reply #97 on: January 18, 2010, 02:26:30 AM »

I don't think so. We really like the Priest and the Anglican Church we found.

Good to hear things are working out well! Smiley
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