OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 31, 2014, 04:29:11 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Not able to make the step  (Read 1802 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
PedalPusher
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Atlanta
Posts: 9


« on: December 20, 2009, 12:05:36 AM »

Okay, long story short: raised SBC (and still proud of my roots), converted to RCism in college.  Ignored my intuition to investigate EO at the time owing to the living situation (I was a student at a very good Catholic liberal arts college).  

Basically, I'm an evangelical at heart.  It's how I was raised, that a Christian should be in constant dialog with God and to be looking for the Lord everywhere and that he should be willing to be unabashed in proclaiming that Jesus is Lord despite his own failings.  RCism doesn't have this and after many years, I was left feeling pretty despondent about the factory-like processing that goes in Catholicism.  For whatever reason, I have this image of the RCC as a chicken processing factory...  Not healthy.  You won't get out of bed to go to this on Sunday morning.  And other things beside.  And no, I'm not bashing Catholicism, just relating that I've felt pretty dead and alone in RCism for so long.

This has been a challenge point for me to rethink things a bit.  I admire my evangelical friends very much.  When most RCs are busy falling away and living in ways not always consistent with the Gospels, through Facebook, I've discovered many childhood friends whom I admire for their living faith, their families and so on.  I'm pretty certain that Eastern Christianity has always been my home for many different reasons.  But, I worry *a lot* about the effect that liturgy has in creating mechanized, factory robots who know nothing about their faith.  Don't get me wrong:  Authentic liturgy can positively shape Christians in extraordinary ways, but I'm working with a history of 15 years as a RC wherein I saw a lot of stagnation, decay.  I dreaded going to a Latin Mass.  For years, I attended a Melkite liturgy and for the first time, I was pretty deep into my Catholicism.  For various reasons, I can't continue along this path, nor do I want to.  

If I had children, I'd never want them to be raised as RCs in a million years.  


« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 12:11:27 AM by PedalPusher » Logged
simplygermain
beer-bellied tellitubby
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA - Northwest, Baby!
Posts: 771


Zechariah 11:7


WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 12:28:57 AM »

Lord have mercy. + Now get thee to an Orthodox Priest! Wink
Logged

I believe, help Thou my unbelief!! - St. John of Krondstadt

http://Http://hairshirtagenda.blogspot.com

 Witega: "Bishops and Metropolitans and even Patriarchs have been removed under decidedly questionable circumstances before but the Church moves on."
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,378


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 01:38:28 AM »

Oooooh if you're in Atlanta, we've got to get you in touch with GreekChef! She's the Presbytera at one of the Orthodox parish's there!
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2009, 05:56:37 AM »

Good to hear from you! Tell us a little about what has been happening in your spiritual life since you last posted on Oct. 3. Have you attended any Divine Liturgies? I know in your other post you said that there is a parish within a couple miles of you. What is it that you're having trouble "pulling the trigger with" exactly? Acquiring the Orthodox mindframe? I will tell you, this certainly isn't done overnight! If you want to learn more about the Church, most parishes will let you attend catechesis sessions merely as an inquirer, not necessarily a catechumen. To me it does not seem that you are at some critical juncture where you must make a decision either way (I could be wrong); I say continue your investigation, ask questions here on the forums, and start to involve yourself in the worship of the Church and see how that goes.



Quote
Basically, I'm an evangelical at heart.  It's how I was raised, that a Christian should be in constant dialog with God and to be looking for the Lord everywhere and that he should be willing to be unabashed in proclaiming that Jesus is Lord despite his own failings.  RCism doesn't have this and after many years, I was left feeling pretty despondent about the factory-like processing that goes in Catholicism.  For whatever reason, I have this image of the RCC as a chicken processing factory...  Not healthy.  You won't get out of bed to go to this on Sunday morning.  And other things beside.  And no, I'm not bashing Catholicism, just relating that I've felt pretty dead and alone in RCism for so long.

I think you can find many of the aspects that you look for within evangelicalism within Orthodoxy. (and many more!) Also, I feel that there is much more room for individualism within a person's faith than there is in say, Roman Catholicism. Coming from a SB background myself, the best comparision I can make from converting to EO is like walking from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end. The journey is a little scary and steep at times, but its a journey that I am becoming more and more comfortable with and appreciative of each day!
Logged
PedalPusher
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Atlanta
Posts: 9


« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2009, 08:00:27 AM »

Quote
Good to hear from you! Tell us a little about what has been happening in your spiritual life since you last posted on Oct. 3. Have you attended any Divine Liturgies? I know in your other post you said that there is a parish within a couple miles of you.

Going to Orthodox liturgy has been kind of a sticking point with me because despite the mutually loveless feelings RCism and I've had for each other, I *was* feeling like doing so would be a betrayal.  I've had more Catholics over the years say that they wish I wasn't one of them; or, wonder why I ever became Catholic since, as one woman put it to me, it's *so* hard.  Earlier this year, a Jesuit said I'd be better off as Greek Orthodox.  In a RC moral theology class, I had a woman start bawling because I said God made men and women to complement one another and that same sex activities went against the big plan.  (For all the talk about a paper magisterium that looks "tough" or "conservative," real life RCism is one of the most socially radical of any that I've ever seen.)

The wedding of Cana doesn't include our Lord saying anything about "in the beginning, God made these two dudes...".  That evoked one of those "OMG I wish you weren't one of us!" reactions. So, it's kind of like the spouse who keeps getting kicked in the head but has some weird version of the Stockholm syndrome, about working through the psychotic rages of his other half, thinking things are going to get better somehow. 

But, I'm all over that now so I plan to go the parish mentioned in the other post.  I'm looking forward to liturgy this morning!
Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2009, 08:46:10 AM »

Great! Let us know how it goes! Smiley
Logged
PedalPusher
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Atlanta
Posts: 9


« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2009, 01:47:41 PM »

I went to St. John's in Grant Park.  The people of this city have no clue what liturgical and spiritual treasures they have right in their midst.

Anyway, it was wonderful and I'm going to speak with Father about meeting with him.  I'm so, so, so glad that I went and I'm looking forward to the Royal Hours service on Thursday. 
Logged
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2009, 02:57:01 PM »

Just don't get disheartened when you run into the "socially radical" elements within Orthodoxy.  Tongue
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,530


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2009, 04:58:04 PM »

I don't get involved in conversions particularly online and I'm not an evangelical nor anti-Western Catholic for the most part but I think I know what you mean about the chicken-processing plant, the alienation and the widespread local problem of wannabe mainline Protestants taking over RC institutions semi-officially (it's been going on for more than 30 years!).

Lots of Orthodox go along with mainstream society's views (I mean, for example you'll never read or hear Tina Fey say that abortion and same-sex sex are wrong) but I don't think you'll find that institutionally in the Orthodox churches (certainly not in the liturgy!).

I like to say there are Bad Catholics and there are Modernists. Bad Catholics don't believe or practise, going along with mainstream society, but their attitude is 'I left the one true church; why should I waste my time with another one?' They don't waste their time trying to change their church either because they know on essentials it can't change. Modernists are like Protestants; they think they can change essentials so you have silly older people from the 1960s and 1970s like the pro-gay lady. There are lots of Bad Orthodox too but hardly any Orthodox Modernists.
Logged

PedalPusher
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Atlanta
Posts: 9


« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 05:19:37 PM »

Fogey makes a good point.

I've had lots of wonderful Catholic friends (and still do), but the common denominator is that they were all converts.  Seriously. 

I don't expect perfection and I'm okay with people being more socially in-tune with society.  I know, that sounds awful.  I understand we live in a broken world.  We all have things we can do to improve as Christians.  The thing that Orthodoxy has that RCism does not is a strong liturgical tradition which cannot be easily changed at the whim of, oh say, a Pope of Rome.  So, Tina Fey can believe whatever; it doesn't show up in liturgy.  As a Christian, I value liturgical worship and prayer a lot and I don't see very much of the "social justice" activism which has supplanted Catholic life in this country in Orthodoxy.  Yeah, I'm sure it's there lurking around, but let's face it:  Orthodoxy is numerically small in this country, so the temptation to meddle in politics is not as great as it is with Catholicism.  The word that came to my mind at worship this morning was "ego-less."  As in, this liturgy isn't about anybody or their causes.

The parish I went to serves the homeless regularly; I doubt I'll ever be bored to death by another "social justice" activist sermon; the kind which are nothing more than covers for more big government and more confiscation of wealth from working people like myself.

Real charity is volunteering and donating freely; it's not having activist prelates trying to influence legislation to force unjust laws down the throats of Christians who are already giving quite a bit.  Sorry for the rant, but I think all Christians do much better when they aren't trying to find a proxy to be what they themselves are called to be. 
Logged
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,378


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 05:39:56 PM »

Worry about working out your own salvation with fear and trembling under the guidance of your Spiritual Father and let everyone else worry about themselves.

How can I call someone else a "bad Orthodox," "bad Catholic," or "bad fill-in-the-blank" when I myself am in great need of God's mercy?
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
PedalPusher
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Atlanta
Posts: 9


« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 10:46:01 PM »

Hope I didn't come across as calling anyone bad -- I didn't.  I simply related some frustrations I've had for many years and my experiences with RCism as an institution and what I personally perceived as deficiencies in the way it shapes Christians. 

My apologies if I came across as judging other Christians.  This a forum for converts, et. al. and their issues.  I have issues Smiley
Logged
Shlomlokh
主哀れめよ!
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Bulgarian
Posts: 1,220



« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 11:04:37 PM »

Hope I didn't come across as calling anyone bad -- I didn't.  I simply related some frustrations I've had for many years and my experiences with RCism as an institution and what I personally perceived as deficiencies in the way it shapes Christians. 

My apologies if I came across as judging other Christians.  This a forum for converts, et. al. and their issues.  I have issues Smiley
Haha, don't we all have issues!  Wink

I was born and raised in the Worldwide Church of God (a pseudo-Christian cult although they recently adopted Trinitarian theology to conform to mainline evangelicalism) until I was 8 and then my family became United Methodist. When I was 17 I investigated my Italian roots and came into contact with Roman Catholicism and fell in love with it. There was a structure to it, tradition to draw from and a belief in the Eucharist. I didn't give Orthodoxy a fair shake because I just saw it as "ethno-centric out-of-touch-with-the-present Christianity." Sad I soon began to grow disillusioned for the reasons you mentioned. I found the RCC to be hyper-protestantized. Make no mistake, I have met wonderful Catholics and I am friends with many Catholics, but I just did not like the direction the RCC was going. I sought out Eastern Catholicism, but found it to be a dead-end.

However, 3 years later and I am preparing for baptism in the Holy Orthodox Church. Feel free to PM me anytime. I know what you're going through (I attend a Catholic institution in SW Florida) and I'd be more than happy to talk about it.

In Christ,
Andrew
Logged

"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos
Bogoliubtsy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,268



« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2009, 11:21:14 PM »



The parish I went to serves the homeless regularly; I doubt I'll ever be bored to death by another "social justice" activist sermon; the kind which are nothing more than covers for more big government and more confiscation of wealth from working people like myself.


If you never want to hear about social justice issues (and actually be surrounded by people who are actively against any involvement in social justice issues), and would feel more comfortable in a church that will most likely never accept same sex relationships as being anything other than an act of defiance against the divine plan or, if you're looking for converts with real zeal, then the Orthodox Church is probably a good next step for you. You will, however, have to deal with the one politicized issue in the Orthodox Church, which is abortion. Still, that's minimal- you really only see it expressed in an occasional pro-life parade banner near the white house or semi-annual statements from one of the hierarchs- pretty innocuous.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2009, 11:25:09 PM by Bogoliubtsy » Logged

"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA (Old Calendar)
Posts: 6,789



« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2009, 11:57:05 PM »

You will, however, have to deal with the one politicized issue in the Orthodox Church, which is abortion. Still, that's minimal- you really only see it expressed in an occasional pro-life parade banner near the white house or semi-annual statements from one of the hierarchs- pretty innocuous.

Isn't the Ecumenical Patriarch fine with abortion?

Anyway, to PedalPusher, don't look into Orthodoxy looking to escape something else.  You'll be just as disappointed with the realities of Orthodoxy as with anything else.  If you do, I fear that Holy Orthodoxy will simply be your last step before leaving Christianity altogether.  This has happened with many others on this forum, but hopefully things will change for them, as their lives are not over yet!

Come in to the Church facing forward, arms outstretched and singing, not looking backward and shaking your fist.  May God forgive us all!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 12:00:43 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
DavidH
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 531



WWW
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2009, 12:38:52 AM »

You will, however, have to deal with the one politicized issue in the Orthodox Church, which is abortion. Still, that's minimal- you really only see it expressed in an occasional pro-life parade banner near the white house or semi-annual statements from one of the hierarchs- pretty innocuous.

Isn't the Ecumenical Patriarch fine with abortion?

Anyway, to PedalPusher, don't look into Orthodoxy looking to escape something else.  You'll be just as disappointed with the realities of Orthodoxy as with anything else.  If you do, I fear that Holy Orthodoxy will simply be your last step before leaving Christianity altogether.  This has happened with many others on this forum, but hopefully things will change for them, as their lives are not over yet!

Come in to the Church facing forward, arms outstretched and singing, not looking backward and shaking your fist.  May God forgive us all!

Alveus' statement reminded me of Brother Cadfael who counseled a young man who wanted to become a monk for the wrong reasons. The gist of it was not to do it in order to run away from something but to run towards Someone. Love that series!
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Posts: 29,374



« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2009, 01:02:06 AM »

Quote
It's how I was raised, that a Christian should be in constant dialog with God and to be looking for the Lord everywhere and that he should be willing to be unabashed in proclaiming that Jesus is Lord despite his own failings.  RCism doesn't have this and after many years, I was left feeling pretty despondent about the factory-like processing that goes in Catholicism.

This reminded me of a passage in the works of St. Gregory the Theologian...

"For we ought to think of God even more often than we draw our breath; and if the expression is permissible, we ought to do nothing else.  Yea, I am one of those who entirely approve that Word which bids us meditate day and night, and tell at eventide and morning and noon day, and praise the Lord at every time" - Oration 27, 5

Of course, I'm sure the Roman Catholics would say "Hey! We consider Gregory a saint of our Church! Besides, I am not like the people described by this fellow, and true Catholicism is not like that either!" Having never been Catholic (despite them baptizing me), I wouldn't know. I find many things attractive about Catholicism... though ironically it's the same things that I find attractive which would prevent me from ever being Catholic.

Well, anyway, good luck, and I hope you find what you're looking for. I'm pretty sure you will--I think we all do. Smiley
Logged

St. Basil is great!

Wonder if he drank goat's milk . . .

Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA (Old Calendar)
Posts: 6,789



« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 01:16:47 AM »

I find many things attractive about Catholicism... though ironically it's the same things that I find attractive which would prevent me from ever being Catholic.

Can you elaborate?  You peaked my interest.  You can reply in a PM if you want so as not to get the thread off track.
Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2009, 06:53:37 AM »



Isn't the Ecumenical Patriarch fine with abortion?


I'd have to see something official in writing to believe this.
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.08 seconds with 46 queries.