I am so happy that this helps you! The AofG congregation that my mother currently attends is "not happy" with me at all. The pastor doesn't seem to mind much, and is actually a very "cool" guy. But a couple of the women in my mother's Bible Study have actually asked if they could help her "confront me".....(My mother is totally supportive of me ....she has no problem with it at all.) I have also "lost" a very good friend, a Baptist, over my conversion.
Here's what I've noticed: most people aren't scholars, so they're not going to raise the objections which Mr. Negrut presents in his article. It's been my experience that most Protestants and specifically AG's, get upset over the following :
Intercession of Saints
Mary's prominent role
"meditative practices" (remember the paranoia about "eastern" or "mysticism" here.)
Here's how I have had to explain these and I hope these simplistic statements help anyone else:
Theosis: well, God has to have some purpose in mind. If we stay "human" in heaven, it would be an extraordinary waste of everyone's time and opportunity. This does not mean we become gods. It means that by His Grace, we can participate in divinity and fully glorify Him.
Intercession of saints: What are we supposed to do in Heaven, but pray???
If my mother died tomorrow, there is no doubt in my mind, she is going straight to Heaven.... I would have absolutely no problem sitting at her grave, pouring out my problems and asking her to pray to God for me, since she's already in God's presence and is physically closer to him than I am, on earth.
Also, Protestantism has lost it's "Heroes". In this day and age of falsity, falsehood, blatant lies, immorality, disgustingly secularization, etc., the Saints present for us, a wonderful "blue print" of how to live a Christian life. The Protestants actually have done the same thing to a lesser degree with it's Christian writers. Christianity needs heroes for its people to follow and emulate...or would you rather we all start following Barry Bonds or Darryl Strawberry??? How 'bout Janet Jackson as a role model for your daughters???
Mysticism and "eastern" things: If they deny the reality of mystical Christianity, as found in Orthodoxy, they are in effect condemning every Christian in history, peasant or royal or inbetween, to hell. Does that make any sense??? Nobody was "saved" until the Reformation?
"Eastern" religions have stolen many things from Orthodoxy: prostration, meditative prayer, and so on.
"Canned" prayers: They're only canned if you think they are, and who the heck are "you" to decide that another's prayers are "meaningless"
Anyway, these are just my own worthless thoughts....sometimes they helped to explain my thoughts about Orthodoxy and other times, they're probably just drivel.....
But we all have to do the best we can....
The friend that decided she couldn't be friends with me anymore asked me this:
"Even if all this is true, why do you have to convert??? Why do you have to do this? Can't you just keep it to yourself so we can stay friends?"
My answer was: Of course, I can keep it to myself. I haven't asked you to convert also. But you have hinged our friendship on my decision.
(then she asked again why I had to convert).
My final answer was: Because I believe that the whole of my Christian expereince has led me to this and it requires a response from me. Also, and I know this sounds a little crazy, but my cells remember Orthodoxy. My physical existence, my teeth, my hair, my eyes, my nose, all the things that make my physical body have retained a "memory" of this. This is the faith of my ancestors and I can literally feel it.
Besides, it's just plain true, historically, objectively, and logically.
She wasn't happy one bit and decided on her part to give up the friendship. Very sad.
Sorry for rambling and possibly hijacking this thread.