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Author Topic: How much Orthodox is too much Orthodox?  (Read 2896 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 25, 2010, 09:41:21 PM »

Hello all!

My Chrismation was literally a few hours ago! I could not be happier. However, I want some opinions on a few general concerns.

My good friend in Roman Catholic, so when we go out and he sees me cross myself before I eat or do "Orthodox things" he is not really taken aback. However I converted from southern baptist, which is what my entire family is (with the exception of a few other random different protestants), basically none of them know anything about Orthodox. They "know"a bit about Roman Catholics and really have nothing good to say.

What I am wondering is how much Orthodox should I hide in their company (if any)?  I'm pretty versed enough to defend Orthodoxy but I want to avoid an argument and want to keep my faith as modest in appearance as possible without having to feel like I'm hiding it. 

Any opinions?

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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2010, 10:10:34 PM »

Congratulations on your chrismation.   angel
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 10:27:09 PM »

Hello all!

My Chrismation was literally a few hours ago! I could not be happier. However, I want some opinions on a few general concerns.

My good friend in Roman Catholic, so when we go out and he sees me cross myself before I eat or do "Orthodox things" he is not really taken aback. However I converted from southern baptist, which is what my entire family is (with the exception of a few other random different protestants), basically none of them know anything about Orthodox. They "know"a bit about Roman Catholics and really have nothing good to say.

What I am wondering is how much Orthodox should I hide in their company (if any)?  I'm pretty versed enough to defend Orthodoxy but I want to avoid an argument and want to keep my faith as modest in appearance as possible without having to feel like I'm hiding it.  

Any opinions?


During the normal course of life, the only time it will manifest itself as an issue (besides discussing religion  Tongue) is when you cross yourself before prayer and passing a Church. Test: how would you explain the making of the sign of the Cross?

Oh, and Many Years!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 10:27:41 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 11:58:25 PM »

Congratulations on your chrismation. My recommendation would be to practice your faith openly and respond when asked about your orthodox practices.

Thomas

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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 01:39:56 AM »

Congratulations, and many years! Grin
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 01:43:41 AM »

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for all who believe, first for the Jew and also for the Gentile." [Romans 1:16]


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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 03:16:05 AM »

Hello all!

My Chrismation was literally a few hours ago! I could not be happier. However, I want some opinions on a few general concerns.

My good friend in Roman Catholic, so when we go out and he sees me cross myself before I eat or do "Orthodox things" he is not really taken aback. However I converted from southern baptist, which is what my entire family is (with the exception of a few other random different protestants), basically none of them know anything about Orthodox. They "know"a bit about Roman Catholics and really have nothing good to say.

What I am wondering is how much Orthodox should I hide in their company (if any)?  I'm pretty versed enough to defend Orthodoxy but I want to avoid an argument and want to keep my faith as modest in appearance as possible without having to feel like I'm hiding it.  

Any opinions?


During the normal course of life, the only time it will manifest itself as an issue (besides discussing religion  Tongue) is when you cross yourself before prayer and passing a Church. Test: how would you explain the making of the sign of the Cross?

Oh, and Many Years!

What do the orthodox do when passing a church?
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 05:36:33 AM »

As A Orthodox Christian ,when i Pass a Church Be it Catholic Or Protestant ,ill look at the Architecture and say Nothing can Stand Up to Our Beautiful Byzantine Church Architecture.And move on......Western Church Architecture I Never Liked ............Even the Orthodox Churches that were converted from Protestant or Catholic ones I don't like....
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 05:39:30 AM »

I cross myself.I also cross myself when I hear a siren and say a prayer for the people it is for and for the safety of the LEOs/Firefighters/EMTs.
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 06:52:30 PM »

As A Orthodox Christian ,when i Pass a Church Be it Catholic Or Protestant ,ill look at the Architecture and say Nothing can Stand Up to Our Beautiful Byzantine Church Architecture.And move on......Western Church Architecture I Never Liked ............Even the Orthodox Churches that were converted from Protestant or Catholic ones I don't like....

I agree.  there is one Church I went to for pan-Orthodox vespers.  it was converted from an Assemblies of God parish.  it looked like your typical Protestant Church.  I was dissipointed, until I got inside and saw the icons.  but, it still looked like a Protestant Church.
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2010, 07:11:19 PM »

Hello all!

My Chrismation was literally a few hours ago! I could not be happier. However, I want some opinions on a few general concerns.

My good friend in Roman Catholic, so when we go out and he sees me cross myself before I eat or do "Orthodox things" he is not really taken aback. However I converted from southern baptist, which is what my entire family is (with the exception of a few other random different protestants), basically none of them know anything about Orthodox. They "know"a bit about Roman Catholics and really have nothing good to say.

What I am wondering is how much Orthodox should I hide in their company (if any)?  I'm pretty versed enough to defend Orthodoxy but I want to avoid an argument and want to keep my faith as modest in appearance as possible without having to feel like I'm hiding it.  

Any opinions?


During the normal course of life, the only time it will manifest itself as an issue (besides discussing religion  Tongue) is when you cross yourself before prayer and passing a Church. Test: how would you explain the making of the sign of the Cross?

Oh, and Many Years!

What do the orthodox do when passing a church?

The Orthodox cross themselves. When passing an Orthodox Church.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 07:11:52 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2010, 08:00:36 PM »

Hello all!

My Chrismation was literally a few hours ago! I could not be happier. However, I want some opinions on a few general concerns.

My good friend in Roman Catholic, so when we go out and he sees me cross myself before I eat or do "Orthodox things" he is not really taken aback. However I converted from southern baptist, which is what my entire family is (with the exception of a few other random different protestants), basically none of them know anything about Orthodox. They "know"a bit about Roman Catholics and really have nothing good to say.

What I am wondering is how much Orthodox should I hide in their company (if any)?  I'm pretty versed enough to defend Orthodoxy but I want to avoid an argument and want to keep my faith as modest in appearance as possible without having to feel like I'm hiding it. 

Any opinions?

I've had this issue a lot too.

I would suggest modesty before your Orthodox brethren, boldness (gently) before non-Orthodox.

First, beware of being ashamed of Christ; and the second, beware of hypocrisy. If people falsely accuse you of being a Pharisee, the problem is them, not you.
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2010, 08:32:12 PM »

Thanks to everyone!

I'm just concerned with arguing, I'm very sick of it. I have no problem in explaining Orthodox to anyone who is curious, but debating sucks.

I actually had lunch with my new God family today and was able to cross myself with having to worry about a possible debate. I guess its just hard coming from a rigid protestant family, but its whatever.

It will be ok though. I've got great Orthodox role models now!
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2010, 08:26:17 AM »

Thanks to everyone!

I'm just concerned with arguing, I'm very sick of it. I have no problem in explaining Orthodox to anyone who is curious, but debating sucks.

I actually had lunch with my new God family today and was able to cross myself with having to worry about a possible debate. I guess its just hard coming from a rigid protestant family, but its whatever.

It will be ok though. I've got great Orthodox role models now!

Are you still living at home?  Are you under or over 18?  Please forgive my intrusive questions - but both make a big difference on how to handle lovingly parents who are freaking out due a youngster finding their way to the One God.  

Scratch that - I see saw your age on your profile - thank you for posting it.  Smiley

I try to keep in mind when dealing with my parents - as I DO love them and I DO respect them, that they cannot answer to my God for me, only I will stand before Him on the day of judgement.  I will allow them to have their say, then often thank them for their words and tell them I will think about it, then honestly think and pray about it. . .but then follow my Father in Heaven.  

As far as arguments, I learned a long time ago that if I don't want to be in a power struggle, I simply drop the rope and walk away.  "Mom, I love you, but I don't want to become angry with you, so I'm going to cool down for a bit". . . exit stage right - even if it's to my bedroom with the door closed.  I would come back at a later time and attempt to talk again, or give room for the say, but the condition was that I would talk as long as the conversations did not become agitated and controlling - otherwise I would take a break - for the sake of peace.
 
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2010, 02:03:54 AM »

"I'm just concerned with arguing, I'm very sick of it. I have no problem in explaining Orthodox to anyone who is curious, but debating sucks."

Saint Paul specifically forbids you from arguing about religion: “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” This Christian friend is, presumably, not "warped and sinning, being self-condemned", but a good soul who has not really been exposed to Orthodox theology. You must not be too hard on them.

My priest was once asked by a Protestant friend--a minister--why he should consider becoming Orthodox. He responded by saying that if he personally did not demonstrate all the virtues of Orthodox Christianity, then there was no reason for his friend to consider becoming Orthodox. In other words, you must personify Orthodoxy before any of your friends can understand or accept it. Words mean nothing; the reality and truth of your own spiritual transformation means everything. Stop arguing. Deeds count more than words.

That said, be Orthodox in all humility. Don't make ostentatious displays of devotion if it means making loved ones uncomfortable. Bows, genuflections, crossings--these are not performed for God, but for you. God needs not a single one of them. These are spiritual exercises that you perform on your own behalf. God wants you to be kind, not dogmatic.
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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2010, 10:05:52 AM »

Great question!  Some of my family and friends have been very supportive of my conversion, some have been fairly indifferent, and a few have been openly against it.  People will do what they do.  Those that have been supportive are generally supportive, those that are indifferent are generally indifferent, and unfortunately, those that are argumentative are generally argumentative so I do my best to let them be.  As sainthieu pointed out, "God wants you to be kind, not dogmatic", so when I am at family functions I will cross myself discreetly on my forehead or while the rest of the family has their eyes closed and heads bowed.  My family and friends know who and what I am.  I don't need to make a spectacle of myself.  (That is not to say that the temptation is not there though.   Grin )
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2010, 11:44:51 AM »

I do not know a Christian who does not do something physical when in prayer.  People bow their heads, join their own hands, join each other's hands, stand up, etc. We Orthodox cross ourselves, among other things. I do not see anything objectionable in any of these ritualistic expressions.
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2010, 12:54:01 PM »

I do not know a Christian who does not do something physical when in prayer.  People bow their heads, join their own hands, join each other's hands, stand up, etc. We Orthodox cross ourselves, among other things. I do not see anything objectionable in any of these ritualistic expressions.

Nor do I, but it looks "catholic" and thats a big deal to some.
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2011, 07:02:54 AM »

As A Orthodox Christian ,when i Pass a Church Be it Catholic Or Protestant ,ill look at the Architecture and say Nothing can Stand Up to Our Beautiful Byzantine Church Architecture.And move on......Western Church Architecture I Never Liked ............Even the Orthodox Churches that were converted from Protestant or Catholic ones I don't like....
Pride...
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2011, 10:15:01 AM »

Proud of Our Beautiful Byzantine Orthodox Architecture....... Grin



As A Orthodox Christian ,when i Pass a Church Be it Catholic Or Protestant ,ill look at the Architecture and say Nothing can Stand Up to Our Beautiful Byzantine Church Architecture.And move on......Western Church Architecture I Never Liked ............Even the Orthodox Churches that were converted from Protestant or Catholic ones I don't like....
Pride...
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2011, 11:20:12 AM »

All that is Gold, dos not glitter... Cave Monasteries of Cappadocia.
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2011, 11:40:31 AM »

All that is Gold, dos not glitter... Cave Monasteries of Cappadocia.


Thank you my friend.
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2011, 11:47:51 AM »

I do not know a Christian who does not do something physical when in prayer.  People bow their heads, join their own hands, join each other's hands, stand up, etc. We Orthodox cross ourselves, among other things. I do not see anything objectionable in any of these ritualistic expressions.

Nor do I, but it looks "catholic" and thats a big deal to some.

Grace and Peace,

Have you explained why you cross yourself? Have you explained what it means when you bring together those three fingers and the other two bow low into your palm? When you do so with reverence to Our Lord and Saviour in humility I feel it will move hearts.
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2011, 11:48:42 AM »

I have to agree the caves are Beautiful with Byzantine fresco's written on the walls ,from floor to ceiling.... Grin police

All that is Gold, dos not glitter... Cave Monasteries of Cappadocia.

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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2011, 12:29:31 PM »

Proud of Our Beautiful Byzantine Orthodox Architecture....... Grin



As A Orthodox Christian ,when i Pass a Church Be it Catholic Or Protestant ,ill look at the Architecture and say Nothing can Stand Up to Our Beautiful Byzantine Church Architecture.And move on......Western Church Architecture I Never Liked ............Even the Orthodox Churches that were converted from Protestant or Catholic ones I don't like....
Pride...

Apparently beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2011, 04:21:09 PM »

As A Orthodox Christian ,when i Pass a Church Be it Catholic Or Protestant ,ill look at the Architecture and say Nothing can Stand Up to Our Beautiful Byzantine Church Architecture.And move on......Western Church Architecture I Never Liked ............Even the Orthodox Churches that were converted from Protestant or Catholic ones I don't like....
Pride...

Triumphalism, for that matter.
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« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2011, 04:26:10 PM »

There's no such thing as too Orthodox   Grin
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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2011, 04:44:51 PM »

There's no such thing as too Orthodox   Grin

Well, if you start growing out the hair in front of your ears, abstaining from pork, and wearing a yarmulke you might have gone just a little bit too far.  Wink
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« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2011, 05:14:09 PM »

with a non-Orthodox family you always want to be hospitable and accept their hospitality.
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« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2011, 05:14:37 PM »

There's no such thing as too Orthodox   Grin

Well, if you start growing out the hair in front of your ears, abstaining from pork, and wearing a yarmulke you might have gone just a little bit too far.  Wink
Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2011, 05:20:58 PM »

Well, if you start growing out the hair in front of your ears, abstaining from pork, and wearing a yarmulke you might have gone just a little bit too far.  Wink
Love it!  Cheesy Quote of the day.
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« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2011, 05:44:53 PM »

There's no such thing as too Orthodox   Grin

Well, if you start growing out the hair in front of your ears, abstaining from pork, and wearing a yarmulke you might have gone just a little bit too far.  Wink

what's that? I can't hear you...all this darned hair in front of my ears...  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2011, 05:56:38 PM »

Probably it's too much Orthodoxy if you have to ask, "Is THIS too much?"
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« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2011, 06:11:07 PM »

Most of Our Priest ,Monks Grow there Hair, Including The sideburns tie them into Knot behind their head .......Would that be Called Too Much Orthodox....... Grin



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« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2011, 06:51:05 PM »

My grandmother, who would be 105 today if still with us, crossed herself. She was Baptist, and said it was common when she was growing up for most Christians to cross themselves, not just the Catholics.
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« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2011, 09:00:56 PM »

yeah, just be discrete. if you're with other Christians say a small prayer before meals (or invite them to) and do a small cross before eating.
if you happen to see a lovely icon in your boss' office, venerating it is probably going too far...
(oops, should have checked how observant - or not - he was first!)
 Wink
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« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2011, 02:23:55 AM »

My grandmother, who would be 105 today if still with us, crossed herself. She was Baptist, and said it was common when she was growing up for most Christians to cross themselves, not just the Catholics.

very interesting...
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« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2011, 08:57:42 AM »

I know how you feel.  my family (my mom and sister, whom I live with) is pretty non-religous.  they can even be anti-religious at times.  But, they call themselves Christians.

when I am eating with them, I make a quick sigh of the cross on my forhead with my thunb, or make the sign with my eyes.  (that is, when I'm faithful enough to remember too.  Undecided  )

making the sign of the cross would be crossing the line.  when I told her we do that, she said "But Trevor, Catholics do that!".    With protestants, if you don't want to upset them, you can't be too "Catholic" as they are very opposed to nearly everything that resembles Catholicism.  they even go so far as to call the Roman Cathollic Church the "whore of Babylon". 

you could explain that you are Catholic in the full sence of the word, an Orthodox Christian, belonging to the One Holy Catholic and Apostalic Church, but that would just make them even more "PO'd"

if you know it will start a confrentation, and you don't (like myself) have the knowledge to back up everything we do (you'd have to consult your priest or your books), I say just use desgression. 

I know that Baptists think we're idol worshippers, so don't start talking about that icon you just had written or anything like that...

you could, however, talk about the saints and some of their lives that are rather more up lifting. it seems by their literature, Protestants love anything or anyone who is "inspirational. 

I wish you good luck!
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« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2011, 07:57:58 PM »

When I feel the need to explain why I cross myself, part of the explanation is that: You don't mind that crosses are placed on books (Bible, prayer books), jewelry, altars,  and any number of things. Why not put the sign of the cross on YOURSELF?
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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2011, 08:14:38 PM »

When I feel the need to explain why I cross myself, part of the explanation is that: You don't mind that crosses are placed on books (Bible, prayer books), jewelry, altars,  and any number of things. Why not put the sign of the cross on YOURSELF?
Thats actually a great point! Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2011, 03:20:30 AM »

If you dream your in church that's a good thing, right?  laugh
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« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2011, 11:42:52 AM »

If you dream your in church that's a good thing, right?  laugh
Depending on the context.  Shocked LOL joking!

I'd like that kind of dream!
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« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2011, 01:27:07 PM »

If you dream your in church that's a good thing, right?  laugh
Depending on the context.  Shocked LOL joking!

I'd like that kind of dream!
Even if at first you're a layman sitting in the pews (or standing in the absence of pews) and then things flash and you're a priest beginning to distribute the Eucharist and you're in nothing but your underwear?  Grin
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« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2011, 01:46:34 PM »

 Shocked I'm okay with not having that dream!

I do remember that when I was an altar server, I would have nightmares of dropping the crucifix and watching it clatter on the floor. I was terrified to hold the crucifix!

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« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2011, 10:33:01 AM »

Congratulations on your chrismation.

One should stand up for one faith; but also remember that one converting to another faith then he held at one time could be a touchy subject with family or friends.

My father is one that I could use as an example. My father and I were at a McDonalds’ and he purchased two breakfast sandwiches that had meat and I didn’t want to start something with my father so I eat it. So I did what would be called (When in Rome do as the Rome’s do).. I pick what fights I want to fight and one that I don’t want too; but that is up one own views in life. My priest at my Church wouldn’t have handle it a different way; but I felt it was the best way I could handle it with my own father.
Each one own family problems are different to family to family.

When comes to friends you just explain what you are doing and that would be that.

The statement I just gave may not be an Orthodox Christian view, but it is my view on the best way to handle this subject.
I hope this statement helps.
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« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2011, 10:55:32 AM »

When I feel the need to explain why I cross myself, part of the explanation is that: You don't mind that crosses are placed on books (Bible, prayer books), jewelry, altars,  and any number of things. Why not put the sign of the cross on YOURSELF?

That is a good response. 
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« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2011, 04:17:02 PM »

In fact our priest has said it is better, more loving, more Christian, to just eat what is placed in front of you than to call attention to it, refuse it, etc.
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« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2011, 04:43:52 PM »

I agree that sometimes it is better to not call attention to our behavior, because let's admit it, at times it is perhaps because we WANT the other person to see us being Orthodox. "Look at me, I'm Orthodox! I want you to ask about it!"

And that's not an evil thought in itself, if you really want to share your faith with someone else. But we have to be careful that we are not doing the sign of the Cross or any other practices for show. Sometimes I cross myself or I say, "Lord have mercy!" without realizing it. Sometimes, when I'm with friends, I am so eager to discuss Orthodoxy that I want to blurt out something about my fast or try to weave it into whatever we're talking about. That's not a bad thing but it can come off as very prideful (not to mention that I'm not actually giving them my full attention).

My husband and I went out with some friends this weekend, and we were discussing beforehand how we didn't want to bring up the subject of fasting. However, we are meat lovers, and some friends were confused about why we were ordering vegetable dishes. They asked us, and we answered their questions and let the flow of the conversation continue as it did.

While we are so excited about these new discoveries, we want our friends to be naturally curious because of the light in our eyes, the smiles on our faces, the hope in our hearts -- we don't them to ask because we are consciously integrating Orthodox traditions and behaviors into everything we do, making it obvious.

Some friends wanted to know more about the faith and we told them. Others didn't really want to hear about it. God may present an opportunity for the latter, or He won't. But I'm not going to push it by shoving my faith in their faces and forcing them to discuss it.
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« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2011, 04:45:38 PM »

In fact our priest has said it is better, more loving, more Christian, to just eat what is placed in front of you than to call attention to it, refuse it, etc.  

When we had this discussion in the parish a few years ago, I was asked the question:  "does that include other Orthodox Christians"?  I asked, "why, have you been in the situation where they have invited you over and given you meat?"  The answer was yes (on a Wednesday, no less).  
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« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2011, 04:53:24 PM »

In fact our priest has said it is better, more loving, more Christian, to just eat what is placed in front of you than to call attention to it, refuse it, etc.

I truly think this is the best thing.  My in-laws, for example, God bless them, are not the most thoughtful of people, especially in matters of food.  My mother-in-law is Italian and she thinks like Aunt Voula from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (What do you mean he don't eat no meat?  Oh, that's okay. I make lamb!").  They sometimes do remember not make a meat dish or to at least prepare some extra vegetable dishes for me when they invite us over for dinner at fasting times, but, for the most part, it just slips their mind.  On more than one occasion I've had to stop my wife from picking a fight about it because, in the end, that would be a far more embarrassing and sinful thing to happen than for me to eat a small portion of meat enough to be polite.

There have been times when they've checked themselves upon noticing that I'm eating less than usual or whatever.  They then profusely apologize about it as if I were a Muslim and they've just served me pork sausage without telling me.  That's just as bad, I think. 

For the most part, they've gotten better through trial and error, but I am a firm believer in not making a fuss over it unless I have complete control over the menu, which only happens in a restaurant known for vegan cuisine (they like to eat out, too) or if I'm cooking at home.
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