OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 20, 2014, 11:06:12 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: Left Pentecostal/Western Christianity, had renounced Jesus, now reconsidering  (Read 3501 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Yakov613
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Ex-Christian
Jurisdiction: Assemblies of God
Posts: 4


« on: December 26, 2009, 01:44:29 AM »

I suppose I need to introduce myself so I can help you others to relate to me a little better. I was born to a non-Christian mother who converted to Charismatic non-denominational Western Christianity. She did an extraordinary job of raising me to morally respect God's laws and learn the Bible.

I think somewhere around 16 I made the choice after what was basically a Charismatic youth retreat to give my life to Jesus and was baptized when i returned from the retreat. (Keep in mind I had been going since age 5)

In retrospect I think [ not feel ] that I was moved by music, and not by the Holy Spirit. I still believe in the Holy Spirit and desire it, but I think that if it exists in the Christian context, I never had it and I really think there was no salvation. Nothing in me changed. Yes I had values, but not compassion.

Around the age of 19 or 20 I begin to seriously doubt my faith. After High school my attendance in church fell sharply. I began college and worked part time. I made a return shortly after and reassessed my religious beliefs. For about a year I was okay but the more I began to study the old testament and the more I did, the farther I got from my religion.

It seemed like they spoke more about Money than Jesus, more about when the world was ending, who the antichrist was, speaking in tongues, etc etc etc. They would ramble for hours about feeling the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus and on and on. I could go into great detail about my hang ups and the flaws of the Pentecostal Christian Denominations and the Baptist movements.

To make a long story short, I left.


I met some Orthodox Jews and began to become interested in Judaism and Hebrew.  For the last two years I've been, basically learning Judaism.

 A few months ago I began going to an Orthodox Church to investigate the roots and Christianity and determine whether I was right in rejecting Jesus. The thing that attracted me to Orthodox Christianity was the emphasis on focusing on rational decisions as apposed to making decisions of faith based on emotion. To be perfectly honest I'm completely terrified of conversion but I can't escape the notion that I've been running from something that is so large, it would crush me and I think that something is God pursuing me.

Can anyone help me with this? I've been reviewing the Book of Isaiah and the verses protestants & Catholics claim to be messianic really don't seem to be when read in context. Does the church espouse the idea that the 53rd chapter is about Jesus?
Logged
Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,815


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2009, 01:48:24 AM »

Welcome to the forum! 
Logged

Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,815


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 01:55:31 AM »

Can anyone help me with this? I've been reviewing the Book of Isaiah and the verses protestants & Catholics claim to be messianic really don't seem to be when read in context. Does the church espouse the idea that the 53rd chapter is about Jesus?

I'm not at all a Biblical scholar, but I've heard that Isaiah 53 is about Christ.

If I were you, I would concentrate more on the Gospels, and less on Old Testament prophesy.  The Gospels are the most essential part of the Bible.  At least that is my understanding.

With regard to your Pentecostal background, I think you will find other members here who had experience with that movement before becoming Orthodox.  I think you will also find Orthodoxy to be less "based on emotion."
Logged

Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,815


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 02:12:02 AM »

In retrospect I think [ not feel ] that I was moved by music, and not by the Holy Spirit. I still believe in the Holy Spirit and desire it, but I think that if it exists in the Christian context, I never had it and I really think there was no salvation.

The Orthodox believe the Holy Spirit to be a "He" rather than an "it."   Smiley

He is a Person, rather than an impersonal force.  He loves you and can be loved by you.  You can pray to Him.  If fact, here is an ancient prayer to Him:

O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth; who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of blessings, and giver of life: come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

You might want to say it before you go to bed tonight, if you feel comfortable doing so.  It's a nice prayer.   Smiley
Logged

Yakov613
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Ex-Christian
Jurisdiction: Assemblies of God
Posts: 4


« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 02:18:55 AM »

I think I have a pretty firm understanding of the Trinity now that I've spoken with several priests, my issue is more of one with faith. The concept of a God with three persons with all the same divine nature pretty much sums up Orthodox Christianity from my understanding.

My problem is, without a foundation of scripture to validate the Identity of a potential messiah, I end up feeling empty.

Do you mean to say that just the gospels by them selves should be sufficient to inspire faith?
Logged
Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,815


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 02:27:26 AM »

I'm saying the Gospels are the most important scripture.  In my Church, only the Gospels are put on the altar.  (I'm not sure how it is done in other Orthodox Churches.)

The Old Testament is definitely important and it does speak of Christ, like in Isaiah 53.  I guess what I was saying was that you don't want to become too fixed on Old Testament prophecy.  I've known people who do that and who have ended up very confused.  The prophesies came to life in the Gospels, so I tend to just concentrate on the Gospels.   Smiley  Other people may have other approaches.
Logged

Salpy
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Armenian Church
Posts: 12,815


Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2009, 02:56:30 AM »

Just to be clear, I'm not saying people shouldn't read anything other than the Gospels.  I'm just saying they are the most important part of the Bible, and they are what I personally like to concentrate on. 

I also love the Psalms.  I was reading Psalm 42 today and it was beautiful. 
Logged

bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2009, 04:01:08 AM »

I would recommend a careful and prayerful reading of Matthew, Hebrews, and James, as they were written more with a Jewish audience in mind and discuss prophecy.

As for the Old Testament, it is the Orthodox position that the New Testament interprets the Old, which may sound counterintuitive. In the Orthodox understanding of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ is foreshadowed in many places, both in formal prophecy (like Isaiah 53) and elsewhere (he being in different respects the New Adam, the New Moses, the New Joshua, etc).
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2009, 10:00:47 AM »

Christ is born!

Dear Yakov613,

Welcome to the forum!

I believe the first order of business, when you are considering Orthodoxy, is to get in touch with an Orthodox priest near you (phone, e-mail, personal meeting if possible).

May the Lord bless your path to the Truth!
Logged

Love never fails.
Michael L
Priest Michael
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 240



« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2009, 10:28:47 AM »

Perhaps, this podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko will help.

Jesus - The Suffering Servant
What was the nature and purpose of the death of Christ as depicted in the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah? Get your Orthodox Study Bible out and follow along as Fr. Thomas teaches us verse by verse.

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/namesofjesus/noj_2009-09-10.mp3

Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2009, 11:23:11 AM »

I think I have a pretty firm understanding of the Trinity now that I've spoken with several priests, my issue is more of one with faith. The concept of a God with three persons with all the same divine nature pretty much sums up Orthodox Christianity from my understanding.

My problem is, without a foundation of scripture to validate the Identity of a potential messiah, I end up feeling empty.

Do you mean to say that just the gospels by them selves should be sufficient to inspire faith?

Just as the whole of the OT is based on the Pentateuch, the whole of the NT (in fact the whole Bible) is based on the Gospel.

On Isaish 53, the accepted Jewish Targum of it identifies "my servant the Messiah."

I'm saying the Gospels are the most important scripture.  In my Church, only the Gospels are put on the altar.  (I'm not sure how it is done in other Orthodox Churches.)

That is what is done in EO Churches, and IIRC the Coptic and Syriac Churches.  The reason is that the whole OT serves as the Gospels prologue, and the rest of the NT the Gospel's epilogue.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 11:25:31 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2009, 12:17:16 PM »

I think I have a pretty firm understanding of the Trinity now that I've spoken with several priests, my issue is more of one with faith. The concept of a God with three persons with all the same divine nature pretty much sums up Orthodox Christianity from my understanding.

My problem is, without a foundation of scripture to validate the Identity of a potential messiah, I end up feeling empty.

Do you mean to say that just the gospels by them selves should be sufficient to inspire faith?

Just as the whole of the OT is based on the Pentateuch, the whole of the NT (in fact the whole Bible) is based on the Gospel.

On Isaish 53, the accepted Jewish Targum of it identifies "my servant the Messiah."
Targum Jonathan to the Prophets By Pinkhos Churgin
http://books.google.com/books?id=lwMMAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA84&dq=Targum+Jonathan+to+the+prophets+Messiah&cd=2#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
searn77
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Old Calendarist
Jurisdiction: Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas & the British Isles
Posts: 240


St. Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York


« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2009, 12:42:34 PM »

St. Justin Martyrs dialogue with Trypho might be of some interest to you. St. Justin talks to a group of Jewish people trying to prove Christianity is the fulfillment of the Law and that Jesus is Christ.
http://www.bombaxo.com/trypho.html

Also St. Athanasius work on the Incarnation might be of interest to you as well. I haven't read it yet as I just got it as a gift but this may help you out with your questions.

Finally, the book Surprised by Christ: My Journey from Judaism to Orthodox Christianity by Fr. A. James Bernstein might help you out as well as he is coming from an Orthodox Jewish background. I haven't read this yet but I have heard good things about it.
http://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Christ-Journey-Orthodox-Christianity/dp/1888212950/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261845258&sr=8-1
Logged

Let us the faithful now come together to praise our father, protector and teacher the pillar of the Orthodox faith and firm defender of piety even the wondrous hierarch Philaret and let us glorify our Saviour Who has granted us his incorrupt relics as a manifest sign of his sanctity.
Punch
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Body of Christ
Posts: 5,697



« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2009, 01:02:37 PM »

Yakov,

You have been given some good advice on what to read.  You evidently believe in God, or you would not be seeking Him through another religion.  In addition to reading, as you are doing, do not cease to pray to Him as often as you are able.  The scriptures tell us that he who asks shall receive, he who seeks shall find, and he who knocks shall have the door opened unto him.  This is a promise made to us by God Himself.  What we must do is be open to Him so that He can show us His Truth.  In my years of dealing with people seeking God, I have seen often that God uses whatever means you understand the best to show Himself to you.  One of my favorite stories is the conversion of Sadhu Sundar Sing to Christianity from the Religion of the Sikhs.  Pray to God to show Himself to you through the Old Testament if that is what you are most comfortable with.  He showed Himself to the Early Church through the LXX, and there is no reason that He cannot show Himself to you, too.  But also try to read the the writings suggested by searn77.  They may answer your questions as they were written at a time when the Old Testament in the form of the LXX were THE Scriptures of the Church, and while the Gospels and Letters were in existence, they had not been compiled into the Bible as we know today.

May God Bless you in your seeking!
Logged

I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,649


WWW
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2009, 03:30:23 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Yakov613.   Smiley
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2009, 05:52:30 PM »

Welcome!
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2009, 06:05:31 PM »

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Welcome to the Forum!
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
Rafa999
Warned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Latin Rite
Posts: 1,600


« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2009, 08:32:50 PM »

Yakov, read the fathers of the Assyrian Church of the East, especially Mar Ephem and Aphrahat the Persian Sage. I also suggest you read on the Aramaic NT (website link next to my avatar) since it, if not the original untampered scripture (my personal belief), is at the very least the full expression of the Semitic Christianity prevalent in the middle East before Mohammed and his ilk appeared. Further, I suggest you read the Babylonian Peshitta Tanakh of the Assyrian Church of the East which is also the Torah used by the oldest continuing Judaism I have encountered (that of Iraq). In it you will see what Jews believed in before the Messianic controversy (this Tanakh contains a vowel pointer system predating that of the MT, it was finalized in the first century so nobody can say "the Christians changed the Torah" as a defense of their views), you will see that all of these "disputed Messianic verses" were unquestionably Messianic before a few European rabbis like Rashi said to the contrary. Read also the Targums as recommended, especially that of Onkelos who studied with Paul. The Targum of Onkelos is at the website next to my avatar.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 08:33:40 PM by Rafa999 » Logged

I am NOT a representative of the ACOE. Ignore my posts
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2009, 10:54:54 PM »

I suppose I need to introduce myself so I can help you others to relate to me a little better. I was born to a non-Christian mother who converted to Charismatic non-denominational Western Christianity. She did an extraordinary job of raising me to morally respect God's laws and learn the Bible.

I think somewhere around 16 I made the choice after what was basically a Charismatic youth retreat to give my life to Jesus and was baptized when i returned from the retreat. (Keep in mind I had been going since age 5)

In retrospect I think [ not feel ] that I was moved by music, and not by the Holy Spirit. I still believe in the Holy Spirit and desire it, but I think that if it exists in the Christian context, I never had it and I really think there was no salvation. Nothing in me changed. Yes I had values, but not compassion.

Around the age of 19 or 20 I begin to seriously doubt my faith. After High school my attendance in church fell sharply. I began college and worked part time. I made a return shortly after and reassessed my religious beliefs. For about a year I was okay but the more I began to study the old testament and the more I did, the farther I got from my religion.

It seemed like they spoke more about Money than Jesus, more about when the world was ending, who the antichrist was, speaking in tongues, etc etc etc. They would ramble for hours about feeling the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus and on and on. I could go into great detail about my hang ups and the flaws of the Pentecostal Christian Denominations and the Baptist movements.

To make a long story short, I left.


I met some Orthodox Jews and began to become interested in Judaism and Hebrew.  For the last two years I've been, basically learning Judaism.

 A few months ago I began going to an Orthodox Church to investigate the roots and Christianity and determine whether I was right in rejecting Jesus. The thing that attracted me to Orthodox Christianity was the emphasis on focusing on rational decisions as apposed to making decisions of faith based on emotion. To be perfectly honest I'm completely terrified of conversion but I can't escape the notion that I've been running from something that is so large, it would crush me and I think that something is God pursuing me.

Can anyone help me with this? I've been reviewing the Book of Isaiah and the verses protestants & Catholics claim to be messianic really don't seem to be when read in context. Does the church espouse the idea that the 53rd chapter is about Jesus?

You might be interested in this podcast!

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/frederica/from_pentecostal_to_orthodox (From Pentecostal to Orthodox)

Also, I wouldn't be too worried about the issue of "context" in regards to the interpretation of scripture, for what you may see as "context" may not be according to 1st century Judaism. The style of Biblical hermeneutics was different back then to modern day literalism / historical grammatical method......as well as different from modern day higher-criticism.

The ancient Jews around that time made use of alot of Allegory and Typology, and so it was common for a text to have more than just one meaning. You can see this with early Christianity, as well as with the Jews at Qumran (the dead sea scroll commentaries and other writings) And if you read the New Testament, then you will see that even the Pharisees, and teachers of the Law agreed with the method of Allegory for they often agreed with how Jesus interpreted the Old Testament......in many places.

And so, I wouldn't be hung up on that issue. What is needed is a balance of both "Reason and Mystery"..........we shouldn't throw one away for the sake of the other.


Welcome to the Board!







ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: December 26, 2009, 10:58:13 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

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



« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2009, 12:54:12 AM »

To the OP:

Here is something that you might be able to relate to and perhaps benefit from.

This is a link to an interview on AF radio where Kh. Fredericka Matthews-Green interviews Dn Barnabas Powell, who was a former Pentecostal pastor who worked with Dr Charles Stanley, and is now a Seminarian at Holy Cross.

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/frederica/from_pentecostal_to_orthodox
Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,948



« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2009, 01:28:33 AM »

Welcome to the forum!
Logged
Yakov613
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Ex-Christian
Jurisdiction: Assemblies of God
Posts: 4


« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2009, 02:18:46 AM »

Yakov, read the fathers of the Assyrian Church of the East, especially Mar Ephem and Aphrahat the Persian Sage. I also suggest you read on the Aramaic NT (website link next to my avatar) since it, if not the original untampered scripture (my personal belief), is at the very least the full expression of the Semitic Christianity prevalent in the middle East before Mohammed and his ilk appeared. Further, I suggest you read the Babylonian Peshitta Tanakh of the Assyrian Church of the East which is also the Torah used by the oldest continuing Judaism I have encountered (that of Iraq). In it you will see what Jews believed in before the Messianic controversy (this Tanakh contains a vowel pointer system predating that of the MT, it was finalized in the first century so nobody can say "the Christians changed the Torah" as a defense of their views), you will see that all of these "disputed Messianic verses" were unquestionably Messianic before a few European rabbis like Rashi said to the contrary. Read also the Targums as recommended, especially that of Onkelos who studied with Paul. The Targum of Onkelos is at the website next to my avatar.

Well for starters I want to not ride the fence,

If Judaism is correct, I will convert, i feel strongly about it.

But If Christianity is correct I won't Judaize because it would be to feed the flesh and inflate my pride.

Where do I locate a hard copy of the Aramaic/English Syriac Orthodox New Testement, and where to get a copy of the non-Art Scroll or JPS Aramiac Tanakh?

I already own the Stone Edition Chumash and JPS Tanakh and want a Aramaic Tanakh.

Logged
Rafa999
Warned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Latin Rite
Posts: 1,600


« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2009, 02:50:27 AM »

The Peshitta Tanakh is not the targum, its a different text. Also the Peshitta and Peshitta Tanakh are two different works, and there is a Western Peshitta and an Eastern one used by my church. Also, you were asking for the Semitic origins of the Christian faith and its theology, just helping. You can purchase I think Peshitta Tanakh here:

http://www.aramaicbooks.com/default.php?cPath=38

The Syriac New Testament is partially translated at the website at my avatar, peshitta.org, it is an interlinear to be specific and is being completed by the deacon Paul Younan. This is an interlinear of the Eastern Syriac Khabouris, the Orthodox Syriac church has its own version of the manuscript which has a few notable differences from the Peshitta New Testament of the Assyrian Church (due to some Christological arguments which influenced the way the text was redacted by the scribes). The website I mentioned also has the famous Targum of Onkelos with an interlinear. For a complete translation of the Eastern Peshitta go here:

http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/aramaic_nt_resources.htm

Note: I don't subscribe to the views of that webmaster, nor do I think he is qualified enough to teach about the Syriac NT, but it is a great resource nonetheless so credit to him. Also I'm glad you don't want to sit in the fence I have the same attitude in matters of faith.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 02:51:36 AM by Rafa999 » Logged

I am NOT a representative of the ACOE. Ignore my posts
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,827



« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2009, 10:03:39 AM »

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Dear Yakov613, Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum!

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum. This fortum is a good place to begin if you are trying to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. We try to provide, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.


In response to your request pertaining to Isaiah Chapter 53, I would suggest that you discuss this also with a local Orthodox Priest who should be able to guide you through your journey to truth. The  Orthodox Study Bible which includes the English Translation of the Septuagint (Hebrew scriptures commonly used by the Jewish people during the time of Christ) also has unique notes from the early Church Fathers illuminating early Christian belief about what the scriptures  are saying, may also be helpful to you. It is important to understand that the canon of Hebrew Scriptures at the time of Christ was larger than the one currently used by Jewish people. The current Jewish canon evolved after Christ as a way to dispute Christianity and as a result many precious teachings have been lost to the modern Jewish community.

Again, Welcome to the Forum!

Thomas
Convert Issues Forum Moderator


« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 10:13:33 AM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
Rafa999
Warned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction: Latin Rite
Posts: 1,600


« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2009, 07:36:17 PM »

ahem, I also suggest the forum of the Assyrian Church of the East:

Link to competing forum removed.--YtterbiumAnalyst
 You've been warned before about linking to a competing forum. Don't do it again.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 02:51:13 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

I am NOT a representative of the ACOE. Ignore my posts
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

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



« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2009, 08:44:48 PM »

ahem, I also suggest the forum of the Assyrian Church of the East:

Link to competing forum removed.--YtterbiumAnalyst


I don't think this is the appropriate place to advertise your Church or it's associated forum, no offense.

Edited only to reflect changes in above post--YtterbiumAnalyst
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 02:51:57 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged
Seraphim98
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 566



« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2010, 12:15:35 AM »

Dear Yakov,

Might I also suggest looking away from the Scriptures as you search for an answer.  Orthodox do not start with scripture and then reason our way to various doctrines and practices. Scripture grew out of the living context of the Church in its relationship to God together with its associated practices.  Thus the Scriptures are understood in light of the Church not vis versa...like St. Paul said, the Church is the pillar and bulwark of all truth.

Try this as well...an old test I'm sure you've heard of...the fruit test.  Trees should be able to reproduce after their kind. Bad fruit=bad tree. Good fruit = good tree.  But how do you evaluate given the variability in human behavior...you might have a good tree but a few wormy apples...which worms are not the fault of the tree.  So do this look at the very best fruits the traditions you are investigating provide...especially close to our own time and not in some distant near legendary era.  See who among the claimants actually produce men and women of an apostolic era caliber...men and women whose depth and clarity of faith and purity of life could stand shoulder to shoulder with the apostles and saints of that earliest generation. Basically...which groups that claim to be the Church actually are able to reproduce in kind.  Find those souls; study their lives and faith, then go back to history and the Scriptures, and you will know which path if follow can get you to where they were...and are.

On the Orthodox side let me suggest a few lives from the last 200 years as a beginning:

St. Seraphim of Sarov reposed 1833 (a portion of his life you might find interestin: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/wonderful.aspx)

St. Herman of Alaska reposed 1837 (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/herman.htm)

St. John of Kronstadt, reposed 1908 (http://orthodoxwiki.org/John_of_Kronstadt)

St. Silouan of Mt. Athos, reposed 1938 (http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/siluan_e.htm)

Elder Cleopas, (1998) (http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/counselromanianelders.aspx)

Elder Pasios: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Paisios_(Eznepidis)

Elder Porphyrhios: (1991) http://orthodoxwiki.org/Porphyrios_(Bairaktaris)_the_Kapsokalivite

Elder Sophrony: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Sophrony_(Sakharov)

Mother Gabrielia: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Gabrielia_(Papayannis)

That's a beginning. Follow some of the associated links for further information. If any of them intrigue you, look for books on their life and sayings.  How do they compare with the great lives you see in the NT? And having done that...see if you can find souls like them in other traditions. 

Speaking for myself, though I have encountered many wonderful souls in other faith traditions...I find nothing like the depth and consistency that find in the Orthodox tradition in this regard.  And in my opinion, those in other traditions who came closest to these souls are those whose faith practice had a lot in common with theirs.

The cinch for me was St. Seraphim of Sarov.  At the time I was a 21 year Charismatic and I'd never encountered anyone like him for all the big talk and claims I had heard.  He could have stepped off the pages of the NT in my opinion. So I figured since the type of life and faith that he had was the type I wanted, it made sense then if I had any expectation of even minimal success to believe and practice as he did. 

Without belaboring the point, it has been challenging, and a cause of constant wonder...like the walled garden in Narnia that was bigger within than without, with even bigger gardens, one within the other at its heart...glory to glory, as it were.  It's not been flashy, not easy, but beautiful and demanding and fulfilling in ways never touched upon in my protestant life.

The best advice I ever received on this point, or that I can give is simply taste and see. If and when it is time for you to be united to Orthodoxy, that's the Holy Spirit's job.
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 0.112 seconds with 54 queries.