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Author Topic: Why do some feel the need to convert and others not?  (Read 7559 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 28, 2009, 02:31:35 AM »

I know people who say the Holy Spirit led them into Catholicism, others Protestantism.  Let's keep it limited to Christianity for the purpose of the discussion. 

Yet some are led to Orthodoxy.  Perhaps it depends on the temperament of the individual, as in more emotional types tend to get religion and convert.  And perhaps more temperaments with an authoritarian personality convert to Orthodoxy? 

2 questions really:

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?

2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit? 

K
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 05:13:45 AM »

I am in the process of converting because of much research into history and the theology of the Orthodox Church. What started this journey? I was raised in a southern baptist church, and I started reading my bible.  The plan of salvation that I was being taught at church didn't line up with what I was reading in the gospels, and I was determined to find out what the truth was. This led me to discover what I really believed and why I believed it.
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2009, 05:53:27 AM »

Why did the majority of people in Israel in the time of Christ and the Apostles not convert when they had similar backgrounds to Christ and His Apostles?
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 06:15:52 AM »

This is a very good question and raises many interesting ideas.

There are some people who are spiritually 'switched on' and others who are spiritually dead. Some people simply feel nothing spiritual in their experience of life whatsoever, and no matter how hard they try they cannot find any special meaning or experience in anything religious or spiritual. This may be the result of their upbringing, or it could simply be the way they are. These people don't spend their time contemplating ideas of God, morality, salvation, divine guidance, etc. Therefore, they come in two forms: the satisfied theists, and the satisfied atheists. People who are born into a religious tradition, yet are spiritually dead or indifferent, often remain in that religious tradition simply because it feels normal and they accept it without much thought. They merely accept what is tought to them as children and don't think too hard about it. Others, because they don't find any value in spirituality, drift away from religion altogether because it either bores them, makes them uncomfortable or seems uncool.

There are others, however, who are very spiritually alive and aware. People who think constantly about God, faith, the afterlife, the meaning of life, morality, and other matters of philosophy and spirituality. These are the kind of people who convert. These are the spiritual thinkers, who think hard about matters of faith and work out independantly where they stand on certain theological issues. They are hungry for God, hungry for meaning, hungry for understanding and purpose and truth. Not all of them find it, many are misdirected and led, and find themselves converting to churches which might satisfy a certain need for those hungry searching individuals, but do not contain the fullness of Christ's Church on earth. Such people experience a very real spiritual hunger, and their search leads them to Protestantism, Catholicism, the Society of Friends, Islam, Buddhism, or whatever happens to satisfy the strongest aspects of their individual thirst. Others do find their way to the Church of Christ, and it is fortunate that they do. Others who are spiritually alive and spiritually conscious find the answers they are looking for right in front of them - such people are those born into the Church, and as they get older they appreciate it more and more.

Those who are spiritually alive find themselves asking, searching and thirsting. Many find what they are looking for in the Church they were raised in, others need to look elsewhere. Not all of them find the Truth, although their searches may be sincere nonetheless. Let us pray that all those who are genuinely thirsting for God may discover the Orthodox Church.

Personally, I discovered Orthodoxy after I had already found God and Christ. My searching and thirsting had been growing more intense with every day, and I felt myself drawn in a certain direction. When I finally fell down on my knees and prostrated before God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I still had not found Orthodoxy. I was considering becoming an Anglican. It was not long afterwards, however, that I learnt that the original Church of Christ is still alive and contains the spiritual fullness that I wanted in my Christian experience. I am glad that I found Orthodoxy, but had I not read certain books or looked at certain websites, or had I not studied early Christian history in high school, I very possibly could have become an Anglican or Quaker instead.
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 11:00:44 AM »

Read my answer in light of the fact that I'm not even in the first stages of formal conversion, but...

1). Orthodoxy is the framework that allows me to keep my Christian faith. It's not the authoritarian aspect of it (and if you want authoritarianism, you really need Roman Catholicism, because Orthodoxy in real world practice is a decentralized mess), but the fact that its doctrines and Dogmas are traceable to specific points in history, and from those points one can point back to the Apostles. No one else can really offer that, and that's why everyone I know from my background who has converted has done so.

I also know a few others who didn't convert because some of what Orthodoxy says is a hard pill to those who were raised outside of it (e.g. claims to being THE Church, etc.)

2). That's above my pay grade, except to say that if I hadn't been raised one way and worked my way through a couple of other Christian denominations I probably wouldn't have been led in this direction.
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2009, 01:02:42 PM »

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?
The reason the first group converts is obvious. They chose to, they believed that this is the truth. The question -technically- is "Why some people prefer to delude themselves and not convert?", I think. Usually, these are people who can't refute Orthodoxy, yet they don't want to convert either. Still, they may go on and carry a wide range of Orthodox beliefs - never converting though. This has to do with how you face God and the world around you. Some are afraid of abandoning their family's beliefs, their country's traditions and, generally, their non-Orthodox friends. The problem is social/psychological, not theological.

Quote
2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit?
Provided they have read the Spirit? By the way, what do you think about them? Are the Pope's followers controlled from the devil or all are denominations the same?
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009, 02:29:11 PM »

I know people who say the Holy Spirit led them into Catholicism, others Protestantism.  Let's keep it limited to Christianity for the purpose of the discussion.  

Yet some are led to Orthodoxy.  Perhaps it depends on the temperament of the individual, as in more emotional types tend to get religion and convert.  And perhaps more temperaments with an authoritarian personality convert to Orthodoxy?  

2 questions really:

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?

2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit?  

K

Answers:

1) Free will and man's stubborness to see and accept the truth.

2) Maybe they were never listening to begin with. Some have seen the truth and turned away because "well, that just doesn't line up with what I want/like to do."
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 02:47:44 PM »


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Is not our conscience a guide to the law of God? Are we not all urged and chided by God? For He favors His creation and wishes us to be in Him and with Him.
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 04:23:59 PM »

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?
The reason the first group converts is obvious. They chose to, they believed that this is the truth. The question -technically- is "Why some people prefer to delude themselves and not convert?",

How is not chosing to convert, which as you wrote is chosing to believe that the claims of the EO are the truth, being deluded please?  That is a judgement with perhaps some bias, I submit, on the mental state of the person who is not convinced by the claim of the EO.   Undecided  


Quote
Usually, these are people who can't refute Orthodoxy, yet they don't want to convert either. Still, they may go on and carry a wide range of Orthodox beliefs - never converting though. This has to do with how you face God and the world around you. Some are afraid of abandoning their family's beliefs, their country's traditions and, generally, their non-Orthodox friends. The problem is social/psychological, not theological.

Perhaps for some, but not for others.  


Quote
Quote
2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit?

Provided they have read the Spirit? By the way, what do you think about them? Are the Pope's followers controlled from the devil or all are denominations the same?

Well, what fruits of the Spirit are shown, one might ask.  

With respect,

Ebor
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2009, 04:27:25 PM »

I know people who say the Holy Spirit led them into Catholicism, others Protestantism.  Let's keep it limited to Christianity for the purpose of the discussion.  

Yet some are led to Orthodoxy.  Perhaps it depends on the temperament of the individual, as in more emotional types tend to get religion and convert.  And perhaps more temperaments with an authoritarian personality convert to Orthodoxy?  

2 questions really:

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?

2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit?  

K

Answers:

1) Free will and man's stubborness to see and accept the truth.

2) Maybe they were never listening to begin with. Some have seen the truth and turned away because "well, that just doesn't line up with what I want/like to do."

Or maybe for many they have never had EO to "turn away" from because there isn't any representation where they are.  Another possibility is that what they might have seen did not present matters in a good light.

No offense intended...
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2009, 10:16:33 PM »

Some people don't convert because they don't want to.
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2009, 10:41:08 PM »

Some people don't convert because they don't want to.
LOL! profound.  Lips Sealed
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2009, 03:17:56 AM »

Some people don't convert because they don't want to.

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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2009, 04:43:43 AM »

Some do no not convert because they are not convinced. Everyone has their own spiritual journey, and I believe that each case is unique. Just as we all are unique in our own way. I for one still wrestle with some issues, and I am sure many have felt the same way as their quest for truth progressed. But it is a journey in search of truth, yet where will it end? Only God knows. Remember, some converts have, on occasion, reverted to their former faith.
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2009, 04:19:01 PM »

How is not chosing to convert, which as you wrote is chosing to believe that the claims of the EO are the truth, being deluded please?
Notice that I said that you may end up carrying certain beliefs, not everything. Any Westerner who has checked out Orthodoxy has definitely been influenced a little bit by it, much more someone who has actually explored it because he thought of converting. So, there may be cases where people know that Orthodoxy is true, but do not convert for various other reasons. Still, deep inside, they know that they should.
But my Psychology bachelor is still a couple of years away, so I think I'll pass. Tongue

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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2009, 05:46:12 PM »

Or maybe for many they have never had EO to "turn away" from because there isn't any representation where they are.  Another possibility is that what they might have seen did not present matters in a good light.

No offense intended...

Regarding your first point, obviously if someone has never heard of the Orthodox Church, I can't expect them to convert. I made my statement under the assumption that a person had investigated the different branches of Christianity and chosen another branch over Orthodoxy.

Regarding your second point, this is also true. In some parts of the US, the only EO parish available may be an "ethnic ghetto" of sorts that could turn people off. I have heard of people who are attracted to Orthodox theology, but have been hesitant to even broach the steps of an Orthodox church, for fear of being stigmatized because they don't fall within a particular ethnic group.

I also know some others that have said, "I don't care if they don't like me because I am not ______. I am here for Christ; not their culture."
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2009, 06:57:08 PM »

I know some people who will never convert because it seems as if the only way to become Orthodox in America is to either marry a Greek or be bookish.
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2009, 08:19:34 PM »

I know people who say the Holy Spirit led them into Catholicism, others Protestantism.  Let's keep it limited to Christianity for the purpose of the discussion.  

Yet some are led to Orthodoxy.  Perhaps it depends on the temperament of the individual, as in more emotional types tend to get religion and convert.  And perhaps more temperaments with an authoritarian personality convert to Orthodoxy?  

2 questions really:

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?

2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit?  

K


1.) For those who don't, I will say:

They love the culture they were raised in
They love the ethnic group and friends they were raised in
They love the group they were raised in
They love the songs they sang in their group
They loved the sermons in their group
They loved clapping their hands, stomping their feet, screaming, and running around the church

They love doing things their way
They love being independant
They love their pet doctrines, tv preachers, radio preachers........or peculiar doctrines of the group they are in
They love the politic stance of their group
They love the sense of family in their group

They are scared of Mary and Icons
And they are scared of what their family and friends will think if they become EO



2.) Go back to # 1










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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2009, 09:04:21 PM »

I know some people who will never convert because it seems as if the only way to become Orthodox in America is to either marry a Greek or be bookish.

This is a myth that we as Orthodox Christians must work to dispel.

Of course, as someone who tends to be bookish, I'm not so good at dispelling the latter... Wink
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2009, 09:13:54 PM »

I know some people who will never convert because it seems as if the only way to become Orthodox in America is to either marry a Greek or be bookish.

This is a myth that we as Orthodox Christians must work to dispel.

Of course, as someone who tends to be bookish, I'm not so good at dispelling the latter... Wink

 laugh
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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2009, 10:22:40 PM »

I know some people who will never convert because it seems as if the only way to become Orthodox in America is to either marry a Greek or be bookish.

I find this somewhat ironic, since "Evangelical" Protestantism is all about one big book, the Bible.  It's all about getting together and reading the good book, thumping the book, quoting the book, translating the book and spreading the contents of the book to the ends of the earth.  Protestants are as "bookish" as one can get.
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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2009, 01:09:13 AM »

I know people who say the Holy Spirit led them into Catholicism, others Protestantism.  Let's keep it limited to Christianity for the purpose of the discussion. 

Yet some are led to Orthodoxy.  Perhaps it depends on the temperament of the individual, as in more emotional types tend to get religion and convert.  And perhaps more temperaments with an authoritarian personality convert to Orthodoxy? 

2 questions really:

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?

2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit? 

K

Often it's people with library cards.
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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2009, 01:12:52 AM »

I know some people who will never convert because it seems as if the only way to become Orthodox in America is to either marry a Greek or be bookish.

My Priest is an Anglican Convert, my Godfather is Chinese and converted from Evengelical  Protestantism, my Godmother converted from being a Southern Baptist and I'm a Jew.

Not a Greek in the whole woodpile.
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2009, 01:18:39 AM »

... and I'm a Jew.


 Hey Marc, I'm not trying to be contentious or difficult, but I've never understood how a person can be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.  Could you help me understand this?  And if we need to Mods, can we create a new thread?  Thanks!
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2009, 01:24:31 AM »

He means that he is ethnically Jewish.  That's how there are atheist Jews.  A more interesting question would be if he was ever a religiously practicing Jew, which I would guess he was not.

I have know a fair amount of Catholic Jews in my life, who were ethnically Jewish, but followed Latin rite Catholicism with no Jewish interpolations.
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« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2009, 01:32:09 AM »

I see.  Well that kinda makes sense.  But the 'ethnicity' aspect is also confusing because there are black Ethiopian Jews, white Ashkenazi Jews, and brown Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2009, 02:31:03 AM »

I see.  Well that kinda makes sense.  But the 'ethnicity' aspect is also confusing because there are black Ethiopian Jews, white Ashkenazi Jews, and brown Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews.

And then there's the fact that ethnicity and religious orientation are traditionally inextricable.  We like everything in neat and tidy categories, but the real world is a messy place.  Ethnicity almost has no meaning in North America anymore.  "What's your ethnicity?"  "White!"
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2009, 02:42:00 AM »

I guess i am an emotional person. I first converted to Holy Orthodoxy because I thought the divine liturgy is so beautiful and the proper way to praise God. After that I began looking into the History's of RC an OC and found that Orthodoxy is the true Apostolic Church. I was baptised RC in 2000 and after about a year began to question the Changes that had happened to the Church since Vatican II then in 04 I went to a Latin Mass and began to think that if the RC was willing to change the Mass and everything else it was a crock so I started looking for the true Church which ultimately led me to Holy Orthodoxy and away from the Roman Heresy.
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2009, 06:08:48 AM »

People do not convert because they are happy with their present denomination. People need to face some kind of crisis before they start to question their theology. Without a crisis they retain the gut feeling that their faith is good enough.
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2009, 09:41:27 AM »

... and I'm a Jew.


 Hey Marc, I'm not trying to be contentious or difficult, but I've never understood how a person can be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.  Could you help me understand this?  And if we need to Mods, can we create a new thread?  Thanks!

It's an ethnic designation.. When I was a member of Sein Fein, was I Irish?  If a Greek is Jewish, isnt if fair to also say he is Greek?

I don't practice Judaism. I am a Christian. But I am not a Gentile.


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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2009, 09:50:00 AM »

He means that he is ethnically Jewish.  That's how there are atheist Jews.  A more interesting question would be if he was ever a religiously practicing Jew, which I would guess he was not.

I have know a fair amount of Catholic Jews in my life, who were ethnically Jewish, but followed Latin rite Catholicism with no Jewish interpolations.

No, just the minimal brisket Judaism.. I did work in a Kosher Restaurant and was around very Orthodox Jews there. I was in a Jewish Fraternity in High School ( AZA ). I have suffered from anti-semitism. But I know more about Buddhism than Judaism.
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2009, 07:30:56 PM »

Would you like to know from a Catholic's perspective, why some of us don't convert? The answer will be very general and won't be a detailed description of Catholic Apologetics.
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« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2009, 08:06:21 PM »

People do not convert because they are happy with their present denomination. People need to face some kind of crisis before they start to question their theology. Without a crisis they retain the gut feeling that their faith is good enough.

Exactly, it took me seeing all the traditions the Catholic Church threw away and how after Vatican II it essentially became a new religion and then I dug deeper and saw thats what Catholicism is all about changing every hundred years or so and throwing in a new heresy for good measure.
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2009, 11:02:31 PM »

... and I'm a Jew.


 Hey Marc, I'm not trying to be contentious or difficult, but I've never understood how a person can be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.  Could you help me understand this?  And if we need to Mods, can we create a new thread?  Thanks!

It's an ethnic designation..


Wikipedia seems to agree with you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group
"An ethnic group is a group of humans whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage that is real or assumed.
Ethnic identity is further marked by the researcher Seng Yang in the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness and the recognition of common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioural traits as indicators of contrast to other groups."

So, then, if that's the case, Christian's are an ethnic group.  
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2009, 11:11:32 PM »

So, then, if that's the case, Christian's are an ethnic group.  
FINALLY! Someone gets it!
So can we now stop the nonsense about "ethnic Churches" in the US?
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« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2009, 12:07:26 AM »

... and I'm a Jew.


 Hey Marc, I'm not trying to be contentious or difficult, but I've never understood how a person can be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.  Could you help me understand this?  And if we need to Mods, can we create a new thread?  Thanks!

It's an ethnic designation..


Wikipedia seems to agree with you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group
"An ethnic group is a group of humans whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage that is real or assumed.
Ethnic identity is further marked by the researcher Seng Yang in the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness and the recognition of common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioural traits as indicators of contrast to other groups."

So, then, if that's the case, Christian's are an ethnic group.  

I have heard prayers that mention "The Christian Race". But it's not really common useage. I think having Jewish ethnicity is more commonly understood. I think you would need to have a pretty broad idea of what "Heritage" means to say Christians all belong to the same ethnic group. I would think it would be more about common ancestry, like being Irish or Greek or a Jew.
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« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2009, 12:45:22 AM »

... and I'm a Jew.


 Hey Marc, I'm not trying to be contentious or difficult, but I've never understood how a person can be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.  Could you help me understand this?  And if we need to Mods, can we create a new thread?  Thanks!

It's an ethnic designation..


Wikipedia seems to agree with you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group
"An ethnic group is a group of humans whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage that is real or assumed.
Ethnic identity is further marked by the researcher Seng Yang in the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness and the recognition of common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioural traits as indicators of contrast to other groups."

So, then, if that's the case, Christian's are an ethnic group.  

I have heard prayers that mention "The Christian Race". But it's not really common useage. I think having Jewish ethnicity is more commonly understood. I think you would need to have a pretty broad idea of what "Heritage" means to say Christians all belong to the same ethnic group. I would think it would be more about common ancestry, ...

 But we do have a common ancestry. 
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« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2009, 02:31:51 AM »

But we do have a common ancestry. 
Didn't stop Cain from killing his brother.


As for the OP... I've been thinking about converting for... months now. The biggest draw for me is a return to a more traditionally, liturgically oriented praxis. However, my biggest personal obstacle is fear of alienating others. Notably friends I've made in my current church (which is reflexively anti-Catholic... One night the pianist sheepishly apologized for a hymn that was composed by a Catholic) and my parents. My father doesn't seem to have any concern, even though he renewed his devotion to his Catholicism, but my mother thinks I'm slipping into an empty ritualism and away from "true" Christianity... whatever that is....
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« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2009, 02:48:36 AM »

FINALLY! Someone gets it!  So can we now stop the nonsense about "ethnic Churches" in the US?

I seem to recall that in the prayers to the Theotokos in my prayerbook, she is the protection of the Christian race.  This often gets translated as Christian people, but if I remember correctly the early Christians considered themselves a separate and unique race among humanity.
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« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2009, 12:48:56 PM »

Would you like to know from a Catholic's perspective, why some of us don't convert? The answer will be very general and won't be a detailed description of Catholic Apologetics.
I would like to, please!
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« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2009, 12:52:02 PM »

FINALLY! Someone gets it!  So can we now stop the nonsense about "ethnic Churches" in the US?

I seem to recall that in the prayers to the Theotokos in my prayerbook, she is the protection of the Christian race.  This often gets translated as Christian people, but if I remember correctly the early Christians considered themselves a separate and unique race among humanity.

The concept of race that the ancients had is vastly different from the one we engender today.  In Roman times, a citizen of the Empire was a member of the "Roman race," even if he didn't speak Latin or Greek.  

See my comments on this thread http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23194.0.html from this past September.
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« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2009, 01:03:04 PM »

Would you like to know from a Catholic's perspective, why some of us don't convert? The answer will be very general and won't be a detailed description of Catholic Apologetics.
I would like to, please!
The reason that I don't convert to Eastern Orthodoxy is that I don't find the arguements in favor of Eastern Orthodoxy to be as convincing as the arguements in favor of Catholicism.

Futher, I think that the internal logic of Catholicism is more consistent and reasonable than the internal logic of Eastern Orthodoxy.

On an existential level, (the weakest of all arguements) I don't really experience the presence of Jesus Christ as powerfully in an EO Church as I do in a Catholic Church. Others may, but I don't. I have this sense that to leave the Catholic Church would be, for me, to leave Jesus Christ.

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« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2009, 02:44:18 PM »

... and I'm a Jew.


 Hey Marc, I'm not trying to be contentious or difficult, but I've never understood how a person can be a Jew and a Christian at the same time.  Could you help me understand this?  And if we need to Mods, can we create a new thread?  Thanks!

It's an ethnic designation..


Wikipedia seems to agree with you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group
"An ethnic group is a group of humans whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage that is real or assumed.
Ethnic identity is further marked by the researcher Seng Yang in the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness and the recognition of common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioural traits as indicators of contrast to other groups."

So, then, if that's the case, Christian's are an ethnic group.  

I have heard prayers that mention "The Christian Race". But it's not really common useage. I think having Jewish ethnicity is more commonly understood. I think you would need to have a pretty broad idea of what "Heritage" means to say Christians all belong to the same ethnic group. I would think it would be more about common ancestry, ...

 But we do have a common ancestry.  

Perhaps long ago your ancestors raped my ancestors  Smiley

Past that possability, I think what normally passes for ancestory is be'ing Italian or Irish or Greek or a Jew. Anything else is innovative by todays common usage.
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« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2009, 03:21:11 PM »

But we do have a common ancestry. 
Didn't stop Cain from killing his brother.


As for the OP... I've been thinking about converting for... months now. The biggest draw for me is a return to a more traditionally, liturgically oriented praxis. However, my biggest personal obstacle is fear of alienating others. Notably friends I've made in my current church (which is reflexively anti-Catholic... One night the pianist sheepishly apologized for a hymn that was composed by a Catholic) and my parents. My father doesn't seem to have any concern, even though he renewed his devotion to his Catholicism, but my mother thinks I'm slipping into an empty ritualism and away from "true" Christianity... whatever that is....
My Mom's a staunch baptist. She used to hold the same opinions about Catholocism and Orthodoxy. Until she came to my Baptism! Then she wore a head covering out of respect, I gave her an icon of the Last Supper for Pascha and she hangs it on her wall with pride. yah, she's coming around. Becoming firm in your faith can lead others you never would have thought, to begin to question their own.
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« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2009, 05:17:19 PM »

Futher, I think that the internal logic of Catholicism is more consistent and reasonable than the internal logic of Eastern Orthodoxy.


Well... you got us there Smiley
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« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2009, 05:19:37 PM »

Futher, I think that the internal logic of Catholicism is more consistent and reasonable than the internal logic of Eastern Orthodoxy.


Well... you got us there Smiley
I am not so much talking about apophatic theology because as a Catholic, I accpet a certain form of this. Read my signature. What I am talking about is how we determine what is dogma and what is not. Of course, I am not arguing this position point by point at this moment, just pointing out my general view.
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« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2009, 09:22:56 AM »

Futher, I think that the internal logic of Catholicism is more consistent and reasonable than the internal logic of Eastern Orthodoxy.


Well... you got us there Smiley
I am not so much talking about apophatic theology because as a Catholic, I accpet a certain form of this. Read my signature. What I am talking about is how we determine what is dogma and what is not. Of course, I am not arguing this position point by point at this moment, just pointing out my general view.

Oh I understand.. It's almost a right brain, left brain sort of preference. My personal impression though is that this process within the Roman Church has been rather messy. I have Vatican One particularly in mind.

I considered becoming Catholic but I was attracted to Orthodoxy for the strong element of mystical process and aphophatic reasoning which I was already used to as a Buddhist.  "Not red nor green. Not up or down. Neither standing or sitting. No coming. No going"      etc  Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2009, 09:59:28 PM »

Futher, I think that the internal logic of Catholicism is more consistent and reasonable than the internal logic of Eastern Orthodoxy.


Well... you got us there Smiley
I am not so much talking about apophatic theology because as a Catholic, I accpet a certain form of this. Read my signature. What I am talking about is how we determine what is dogma and what is not. Of course, I am not arguing this position point by point at this moment, just pointing out my general view.

Oh I understand.. It's almost a right brain, left brain sort of preference. My personal impression though is that this process within the Roman Church has been rather messy. I have Vatican One particularly in mind.

I considered becoming Catholic but I was attracted to Orthodoxy for the strong element of mystical process and aphophatic reasoning which I was already used to as a Buddhist.  "Not red nor green. Not up or down. Neither standing or sitting. No coming. No going"      etc  Smiley

I totally understand where you are coming from with regard to mysticism. That's why I love Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.
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« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2009, 09:20:23 PM »

How is not chosing to convert, which as you wrote is chosing to believe that the claims of the EO are the truth, being deluded please?
Notice that I said that you may end up carrying certain beliefs, not everything. Any Westerner who has checked out Orthodoxy has definitely been influenced a little bit by it, much more someone who has actually explored it because he thought of converting. So, there may be cases where people know that Orthodoxy is true, but do not convert for various other reasons. Still, deep inside, they know that they should.
But my Psychology bachelor is still a couple of years away, so I think I'll pass. Tongue

 Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian?  

Quote
Quote
Well, what fruits of the Spirit are shown, one might ask.
Every Christian Church has some nice people, but that doesn't mean that they are the true Church. Still, only the Orthodox Church has true Saints; people who have dragged the limits of chastity to the very end.

Could you please expand in this a bit?  Chastity is the defining quality of a saint?  Not "caritas"?  Not "Greater love hath no man then hi give up his life..." for examples?

With respect,

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« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2009, 09:32:22 PM »

Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian? 

The EOC has never claimed they are the only way to heaven, we just claimed to have the fullness of the faith. Just because one is Orthodox does not gaurantee a ticket to heaven. Just because one is not Orthodox does not mean one is going to hell.

I think (personal opinion here) as long as one believes in the tenents expressed in the Nicene-Constantinople creed, then one is a Christian. Now one does not have to recite it every week to agree with it (i.e. the Baptist Church I used to attend did not recite the creed, but agreed with the statements in the creed.)

I don't know why more people do not convert to Orthodoxy. I've tried speaking to my mother about the faith many times, and she refuses to see it as anything but antiqueted and ethnic. (Even though I've taken her to a "convert friendly" English-speaking parish.) She doesn't care about Early Church Fathers or history or Apostolic Succession. Give her a happy-clappy service and that's her idea of worship.

Do I think my mother is going to hell as a result? No. That's not for me to judge. I know she loves Christ, I know she prays, I know she reads the scriptures.

That's more than many of us do.

May God have mercy on us all!
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« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2009, 09:38:47 PM »

Could you please expand in this a bit?  Chastity is the defining quality of a saint?  Not "caritas"?  Not "Greater love hath no man then hi give up his life..." for examples?
The only inhabitants of Jericho who were spared it's destruction were the prostitute Rahab and her family. And this prostitute was an Ancestor of Our Lord Jesus Christ who said: ""I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did."
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« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2009, 04:49:21 PM »

Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian? 

The EOC has never claimed they are the only way to heaven, we just claimed to have the fullness of the faith. Just because one is Orthodox does not gaurantee a ticket to heaven. Just because one is not Orthodox does not mean one is going to hell.

Yet on this forum a poster replied to me that if I did not get an EO baptism I would go to hell.  A person opinion, one would think, but written as definite. 

Quote
I think (personal opinion here) as long as one believes in the tenents expressed in the Nicene-Constantinople creed, then one is a Christian. Now one does not have to recite it every week to agree with it (i.e. the Baptist Church I used to attend did not recite the creed, but agreed with the statements in the creed.)

There have been some who claimed to be EO (though to be fair they were members of groups that referred to most EO jurisdictions as "World Orthodoxy" and not really EO either) who have said that to not be their particular "brand" is to not be Christian.  Again their personal opinion or that of their leader.

Another thread had a poster repeatedly writing that I personally was "afraid" (and someone used this as a reason above as well as being "afraid' of icons I think) and that is why I have not become EO.  He would not explain why he thought this even though I replied more then once that I am not "afraid", but said that I thought I wasn't afraid.  Undecided  I should hope that I have greater knowledge of my own emotional states than someone whom I have never met, but apparently my own words did not fit with some set idea of what people who do not convert are really like. 

I apologize for bringing in a personal note.  If it is inappropriate, I ask that the moderators remove what should not be here. 

With respect,

Ebor
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« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2009, 04:57:26 PM »

Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian? 

The EOC has never claimed they are the only way to heaven, we just claimed to have the fullness of the faith. Just because one is Orthodox does not gaurantee a ticket to heaven. Just because one is not Orthodox does not mean one is going to hell.

Yet on this forum a poster replied to me that if I did not get an EO baptism I would go to hell.  A person opinion, one would think, but written as definite. 

Quote
I think (personal opinion here) as long as one believes in the tenents expressed in the Nicene-Constantinople creed, then one is a Christian. Now one does not have to recite it every week to agree with it (i.e. the Baptist Church I used to attend did not recite the creed, but agreed with the statements in the creed.)

There have been some who claimed to be EO (though to be fair they were members of groups that referred to most EO jurisdictions as "World Orthodoxy" and not really EO either) who have said that to not be their particular "brand" is to not be Christian.  Again their personal opinion or that of their leader.

Another thread had a poster repeatedly writing that I personally was "afraid" (and someone used this as a reason above as well as being "afraid' of icons I think) and that is why I have not become EO.  He would not explain why he thought this even though I replied more then once that I am not "afraid", but said that I thought I wasn't afraid.  Undecided  I should hope that I have greater knowledge of my own emotional states than someone whom I have never met, but apparently my own words did not fit with some set idea of what people who do not convert are really like. 

I apologize for bringing in a personal note.  If it is inappropriate, I ask that the moderators remove what should not be here. 

With respect,

Ebor

I don't think it's inappropriate. I think it's a fair statement.

If anything, I think this entire thread (to a degree) says more about human behavior than anything.

I have always said you can take ten people of the same race, religion, and socio-economic class, put them in a room, and they will find a way to cause division. (It's the blue eyes against the brown eyes!)

In my experience as an Orthodox Christian, I've never heard a priest or Bishop say that Christians of other faith groups were going to hell because they were not Orthodox. (I have heard priests say that your soul is in danger if you do not believe in Christ, but as you and I are both Christians, I think we can agree with that statement.)

This is different from my experience in the Evangelical community, where it has been widely preached that if you don't believe in their particular brand of Christianity, you are going to hell.

You mentioned that you have had similar experiences on this forum. As your statement seems to limit this experience to an internet forum, that does not surprise me, as that is sort of par for the course for the internet.

If you told me an Orthodox priest told you in person that you were going to hell, that would really surprise me.

In any case, no one should be telling anyone that they are going to hell, especially when they don't know the state of their own soul.
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« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2009, 04:59:04 PM »






There have been some who claimed to be EO (though to be fair they were members of groups that referred to most EO jurisdictions as "World Orthodoxy" and not really EO either) who have said that to not be their particular "brand" is to not be Christian. 

That should have tipped you off right there. Wink Grin
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« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2009, 05:12:54 PM »






There have been some who claimed to be EO (though to be fair they were members of groups that referred to most EO jurisdictions as "World Orthodoxy" and not really EO either) who have said that to not be their particular "brand" is to not be Christian. 

That should have tipped you off right there. Wink Grin

I assure you that their viewpoint was quite clear.  It's one that I have read in a number of places from a variety of Churches and religious bodies.

 
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« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2010, 09:26:17 PM »

I know people who say the Holy Spirit led them into Catholicism, others Protestantism.  Let's keep it limited to Christianity for the purpose of the discussion. 

Yet some are led to Orthodoxy.  Perhaps it depends on the temperament of the individual, as in more emotional types tend to get religion and convert.  And perhaps more temperaments with an authoritarian personality convert to Orthodoxy? 

2 questions really:

1) Why do people convert and others (especially with similar backgrounds) not?

2) Are all those who feel led into Protestantism and Roman Catholicism misreading the Spirit? 

K

in my opinion, the answers to 1 and 2 are the same.  not enough prople know about Orthodoxy to convert!  my priest was talking today in his sermon about how 80% of converts would not have converted to Orthodoxy had they not been invited to church.  In my case, I would not have known that Orthodoxy existed had I not been invited by myfriend.
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« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2010, 09:46:38 PM »

Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian? 

The EOC has never claimed they are the only way to heaven, we just claimed to have the fullness of the faith. Just because one is Orthodox does not gaurantee a ticket to heaven. Just because one is not Orthodox does not mean one is going to hell.

Yet on this forum a poster replied to me that if I did not get an EO baptism I would go to hell.  A person opinion, one would think, but written as definite. 

I'm not surprised. One sees this Medieval scare tactic employed all too frequently. Even amongst those of the same faith such threats are commonplace. Of course, it really amounts to nothing more than "If you don't agree with me, you will suffer the consquences!" It highlights, IMO, the delusion a person has regarding their own state of spiritual wellness that they even imagine that they can make such claims.



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« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2010, 10:24:24 PM »

Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian? 

The EOC has never claimed they are the only way to heaven, we just claimed to have the fullness of the faith. Just because one is Orthodox does not gaurantee a ticket to heaven. Just because one is not Orthodox does not mean one is going to hell.

Yet on this forum a poster replied to me that if I did not get an EO baptism I would go to hell.  A person opinion, one would think, but written as definite. 

I'm not surprised. One sees this Medieval scare tactic employed all too frequently. Even amongst those of the same faith such threats are commonplace. Of course, it really amounts to nothing more than "If you don't agree with me, you will suffer the consquences!" It highlights, IMO, the delusion a person has regarding their own state of spiritual wellness that they even imagine that they can make such claims.




ah, Yes.  this old issue.  reminds me of when my parents were first married, my Catholic grandmother said that their marriage would not be blessed by God if they did not get married in a Catholic church.  she also aid that I would go to hell if I was not baptized Catholic  (I was baptized Presbyterian.)
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« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2010, 11:10:59 PM »

Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian? 

The EOC has never claimed they are the only way to heaven, we just claimed to have the fullness of the faith. Just because one is Orthodox does not gaurantee a ticket to heaven. Just because one is not Orthodox does not mean one is going to hell.

Yet on this forum a poster replied to me that if I did not get an EO baptism I would go to hell.  A person opinion, one would think, but written as definite. 

I'm not surprised. One sees this Medieval scare tactic employed all too frequently. Even amongst those of the same faith such threats are commonplace. Of course, it really amounts to nothing more than "If you don't agree with me, you will suffer the consquences!" It highlights, IMO, the delusion a person has regarding their own state of spiritual wellness that they even imagine that they can make such claims.




ah, Yes.  this old issue.  reminds me of when my parents were first married, my Catholic grandmother said that their marriage would not be blessed by God if they did not get married in a Catholic church.  she also aid that I would go to hell if I was not baptized Catholic  (I was baptized Presbyterian.)

Yep. I haven't come across a group of people who don't have some in their number that try threats to keep people towing the line that they have established; for whatever reason. That's not to say there isn't a right path, or that one shouldn't strive to find that path and stay on it, but we don't all come to the same conclusions about religious matters, especially in the messy world of Christendom. We simply don't have the authority to declare or even imply that anyone (Christian or otherwise) is going to hell because they haven't come to the same conclusions as we have.
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« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2010, 11:17:51 PM »

Smiley  OK. And what of some who think that EO is not the only way to be Christian? 

The EOC has never claimed they are the only way to heaven, we just claimed to have the fullness of the faith. Just because one is Orthodox does not gaurantee a ticket to heaven. Just because one is not Orthodox does not mean one is going to hell.

Yet on this forum a poster replied to me that if I did not get an EO baptism I would go to hell.  A person opinion, one would think, but written as definite. 

I'm not surprised. One sees this Medieval scare tactic employed all too frequently. Even amongst those of the same faith such threats are commonplace. Of course, it really amounts to nothing more than "If you don't agree with me, you will suffer the consquences!" It highlights, IMO, the delusion a person has regarding their own state of spiritual wellness that they even imagine that they can make such claims.




ah, Yes.  this old issue.  reminds me of when my parents were first married, my Catholic grandmother said that their marriage would not be blessed by God if they did not get married in a Catholic church.  she also aid that I would go to hell if I was not baptized Catholic  (I was baptized Presbyterian.)

Yep. I haven't come across a group of people who don't have some in their number that try threats to keep people towing the line that they have established; for whatever reason. That's not to say there isn't a right path, or that one shouldn't strive to find that path and stay on it, but we don't all come to the same conclusions about religious matters, especially in the messy world of Christendom. We simply don't have the authority to declare or even imply that anyone (Christian or otherwise) is going to hell because they haven't come to the same conclusions as we have.
I wish more people thought that way....the world would be a better place. Smiley
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« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2010, 12:21:47 AM »

When the prophets and the apostles were in contact with God, they saw how Good is Him, and wanted everyone to know Him and receive Him who is everything to all of us.

This is exactly what happens to me, a christian, who is one with Christ, I want everyone to know God, and entre His Heavenly Kingdom, our motherland.

On the other hand, there are people who are indifferent to God, they are not with Him, they haven't converted yet, and that's why they can't convert others.

The desire to enlighten others comes from being enlightened ourselves, this is why the unenlightened do not have this gift.
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« Reply #61 on: January 04, 2010, 04:06:42 AM »

When the prophets and the apostles were in contact with God, they saw how Good is Him, and wanted everyone to know Him and receive Him who is everything to all of us.

This is exactly what happens to me, a christian, who is one with Christ, I want everyone to know God, and entre His Heavenly Kingdom, our motherland.

On the other hand, there are people who are indifferent to God, they are not with Him, they haven't converted yet, and that's why they can't convert others.

The desire to enlighten others comes from being enlightened ourselves, this is why the unenlightened do not have this gift.

I agree, an enlightened person wants to enlighten and convert; but not place stumbling blocks in the path of the lost. Trying to frighten people onto our side makes for poor converting techniques as most people in this day and age simply aren't going to be coerced or terrified into playing on our team; and rightly so. Such tactics are more off-putting than thought-provoking. A person comes to God because of longing and awe, and their own understanding that they are themselves flawed and utterly reliant on the mercy of God; not because some other flawed being told them that they would fry in hell because they didn't swallow everything that flawed being uttered.
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« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2010, 05:32:55 PM »

Dear Riddikulus,

What you explained is exactly what happens in false churches, and what is done by false teachers, because they serve the devil and they pick up the vices of their master: Pride, falsehood, lust for power, vainglory, lust for material things, etc. Being guided by him, they use his very same weapons terror, charming, seduction, coercion, hardening of the hearts, blocking intellectual activity, etc. and work for the achievement of the same goal: To keep people away from God and systematically destroy them.

We, as true christians, we know that from us only comes evil and sin, we know that it is the Lord who called us to Himself, He has chosen us, not us Him, and if He wants to bring others to Himself, He personally inspire us, instruct us, and guide all our words and thoughts, in such a way, that no one is able to gainsay us. Be one with Him, we have His authority, and gifts, and His sheep hear His voice.

Our Church is being severely persecuted, being the Moscow Patriarchate, and the rest of World Orthodoxy our most frenzied and cruel persecutors, they make people affraid of us by calling us  ignorants, fanatical, radical, crazy, and they make their attacks public, to terrorize others who want to join us.

Last year, we went on a pilgrimage to Kolima in Siberia, to serve a panikhida (memorial) on a common tomb where some new martyrs were buried after they were tortured and killed in the sorrounding gulags. It is a public place, everyone can entre. When we were celebrating the panikhida, a group of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, accompanied by police, and some other persons, stormed, held the Bishop by his wrists, and started attacking all of us, telling us to leave. As many others, I refused, and told them it was a public place, and we have the right to be there, unless it was closed. One of the police officers said that we were breaking the law by performing an illegal religious service. I said it was not illegal to pray int he open for the death, but they wouldn't listen, they kept pushing us, hitting us, and yelling like demons, trying to terrorize us and make us run away.

This sort of things tell us who is with Him, and who is with the enemy of salvation. Why do they need to resource to violence if they think they are right?  Can servants of the Prince of peace be so violent?












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« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2010, 11:33:42 AM »

How do you know they were representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, especially since you were in Serbia?
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« Reply #64 on: January 05, 2010, 05:18:41 PM »

When the prophets and the apostles were in contact with God, they saw how Good is Him, and wanted everyone to know Him and receive Him who is everything to all of us.

This is exactly what happens to me, a christian, who is one with Christ, I want everyone to know God, and entre His Heavenly Kingdom, our motherland.

On the other hand, there are people who are indifferent to God, they are not with Him, they haven't converted yet, and that's why they can't convert others.

The desire to enlighten others comes from being enlightened ourselves, this is why the unenlightened do not have this gift.

There is an old saying. Anyone who says he is enlightened, isn't.  Smiley
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« Reply #65 on: January 05, 2010, 07:43:25 PM »

How do you know they were representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, especially since you were in Serbia?

We all do mistakes Smiley I said Siberia, no offense.

How do I know? Because some of the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate used to go out of their "monastery" from time to time, and be present at some of our services, they were neighbours of our community in the area.

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« Reply #66 on: January 06, 2010, 10:34:19 AM »

Ah, so you did.  My bad.  Carry on. Smiley
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« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2010, 12:16:45 PM »

Going back to the subject on this thread.

There are some religious persons who act as politicians, seeking fans, so to speak, to gain power, make them work for them, give them money, etc. This sad fact was used by the theorists of socialism as a basis for their ideology.

There are other persons who, having limited skills, or simply being lazy, call people to themselves, to create a sort of business in the guise of religion.

Finally, there are people who, out of fear to their leaders, or being under mind control mechanisms, frenetically carry on the task of getting as much people as they can.

On the other hand, there are people who do not want to convert others, because they are forbidden by their leadership, which signed agreements with other religious groups, in which they assure each other that none of them would promote conversions.

In some cases, people is very afraid not to be political correct, of being judged by others, losing their jobs and having their careers ruinned, being ostracized, having enmity with others,  and other social and legal repercussions. 

The motives for people wanting to convert others, or not, are very complex and diverse, it's not an easy subject, and it's not black and white, each person is a whole world, and only God knows the hearts of men.







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« Reply #68 on: January 06, 2010, 12:52:07 PM »

Dear Riddikulus,

What you explained is exactly what happens in false churches, and what is done by false teachers, because they serve the devil and they pick up the vices of their master: Pride, falsehood, lust for power, vainglory, lust for material things, etc. Being guided by him, they use his very same weapons terror, charming, seduction, coercion, hardening of the hearts, blocking intellectual activity, etc. and work for the achievement of the same goal: To keep people away from God and systematically destroy them.

We, as true christians, we know that from us only comes evil and sin, we know that it is the Lord who called us to Himself, He has chosen us, not us Him, and if He wants to bring others to Himself, He personally inspire us, instruct us, and guide all our words and thoughts, in such a way, that no one is able to gainsay us. Be one with Him, we have His authority, and gifts, and His sheep hear His voice.

Our Church is being severely persecuted, being the Moscow Patriarchate, and the rest of World Orthodoxy our most frenzied and cruel persecutors, they make people affraid of us by calling us  ignorants, fanatical, radical, crazy, and they make their attacks public, to terrorize others who want to join us.

Last year, we went on a pilgrimage to Kolima in Siberia, to serve a panikhida (memorial) on a common tomb where some new martyrs were buried after they were tortured and killed in the sorrounding gulags. It is a public place, everyone can entre. When we were celebrating the panikhida, a group of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, accompanied by police, and some other persons, stormed, held the Bishop by his wrists, and started attacking all of us, telling us to leave. As many others, I refused, and told them it was a public place, and we have the right to be there, unless it was closed. One of the police officers said that we were breaking the law by performing an illegal religious service. I said it was not illegal to pray int he open for the death, but they wouldn't listen, they kept pushing us, hitting us, and yelling like demons, trying to terrorize us and make us run away.

This sort of things tell us who is with Him, and who is with the enemy of salvation. Why do they need to resource to violence if they think they are right?  Can servants of the Prince of peace be so violent?
So, the Zars were servants of the devil in persecuting the Old Ritualists? Where does that leave you?

Btw, why weren't you arrested?  I've tried to find a newstory on the incident you claim happened in Kolma in 2009 (for nothing else, to get the name of a bishop you claim as yours), but didn't find anything.
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« Reply #69 on: June 25, 2010, 11:41:38 PM »

I did work in a Kosher Restaurant and was around very Orthodox Jews there. I was in a Jewish Fraternity in High School ( AZA ). I have suffered from anti-semitism.

I am sorry to hear you suffered from anti-semitism.
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