Okay, I've encountered another Orthodox Christian who has left the Church for a Protestant denomination due to the fact that the person cannot understand anything in his respective Church due to that Church having the vast majority of services in another language. (and he is in a majority English speaking country)
All it means is that the person you are referring to wasn't really an Orthodox Christian.
That seems to me to be, quite ironically, a very Protestant way of looking at the situation. It reminds me of the OSAS crowd that claims if a person "falls away" or "backslides" they never really were "saved" to begin with.
He left for a Protestant denomination - not for Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Old Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, etc. It speaks for itself.
It doesn't "speak for itself" to me. First many OO have the exact same problem Devin is refering to, often much worse. (though it just depends) Or maybe there was no OO Church anywhere near this person? Byzantine Catholic Churches can be more ethnic than EO. Again it just depends. Some aren't. Some are. But then they would be Catholic. Perhaps the person didn't join the Catholic Church because he simply cannot buy into some of their dogmas about the Pope, the Virgin Mary or something else, who knows?
Granted an Anglo-Catholic Church would be a pretty logical alternative, and would probably be my choice if I were not Orthodox, yet technically speaking they too are "Protestant". (though I personally don't think of High Church Anglicanism as "protestant", maybe that's how you are looking at it?)
However I don't think we should be judging whether someone was "truly" Orthodox. I also know people were have for the most part left Orthodoxy because they feel like the Church has basically failed them. We say the Church is a hospital for sinners, but many people, including converts often feel like the doctors and nurses are all permanently out to lunch. What good does it do to go to a hospital to get help if no help is available? (or if the help speaks a different language than you do and you cannot understand their instructions?) When I say language I mean much more than the spoken words, I mean cultural language as well. The way people look at the world etc. Many a times I've asked priests questions and they had no idea how to answer it. Not because they didn't know the answer but because they didn't even understand the question. It was not a part of their religious and cultural world view and it wasn't their fault. They just don't think the same way I do. But that is seriously one of the major, major problems with Orthodoxy in America. It's a complete disconnect from the culture and way of "being Christian". Even in parishes that use mostly English, if a former southern Baptist convert goes to their priest and asks, "how can I better follow James's advice and control my tongue?" a priest who grew up say in Eastern Europe may not even understand that type of question. It's not that they are stupid, it's just that that is not how they grew up or were taught in Seminary.
A friend of mine at a Serbian Church once tried to get a "prayer group" going where they would study books like St. Theophan etc... and the priest just did not "get it". He didn't even comprehend the concept of why someone would want to have a prayer group when "we have the Liturgy". Not his fault. He's an awesome priest, a fun guy, and tries hard, but just cultural differences and the "languages of Christianity" are radically different.
Sometimes this is just too much for people to deal with and it is one of the big reasons you see a lot of intellectuals, and armchair theologians, or people who are interested in some historical aspect of Christianity convert to the Church, but you rarely see a parish full converts who are soy bean farmers, or mechanics, factory workers, loggers etc. Why is this? I think, at least in part it is because we don't know how to "talk" to these people, and if the very lines of communicating the Christian message, and more importantly the instruction on how one is to live their Christian life from day to day simply break down what are these people supposed to do? It's not their fault.
Whatever I think of Protestantism, I have come to admit, begrudgingly, that I know many people who I could never try to convince to become Orthodox. Christ has changed their lives, and while I cannot stand some of my friends charismatic left behind obsession, I know that Orthodoxy just does not have the ability (in my part of the country) to equip them with the tools to live as successful of a Christian life as they do now. This pains me to say to the point of wanting to cry. But it is the reality. One person I know in particular is a radically different person than he was 15 years ago, but he doesn't care about theology, or history, or mystical theology, he cares about loving Christ and living the best life he can. I'm sorry to say that Orthodoxy has a long way to go to translate this into a "language" that most Americans can really sink their teeth into. Protestants are just better at that generally
It is sad, but it is a reality I think we as Orthodox Christians really need to deal with and not pretend it is not a problem. It is a problem, at least in some parts of the country, maybe not all. And in the end even if it isn't as a big of a problem as I think it is, isn't it enough that it's a problem for a few people like Devin knows? (or like the ones I know?) It's even a problem I've dealt with so I speak from experience as well. I do not begrudge someone going to a Church that helps them live better Christian lives if their Orthodox parish is simply not helping them. Yes I realize those people then don't have the Liturgy and the Eucharist, but the Eucharist is not magic. It doesn't automatically make someone a better Christian. If it did we'd be a Church full of Saints.
For some people it's just better to go to a first year med student who's in the office than a full blown MD with 4 phD's who is out to lunch 6 days a week. That's how I try to think about it when I hear these stories, and I think that's how those who leave are thinking about it. I'm sure if the "language" issue were resolved they'd come back. It's not a decision most people take lightly. I sympathize with them deeply and it pains to know that I don't have an answer for them.
Anyways I've rambled enough . . . .
Not trying to argue just toss in my POV here.