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Author Topic: Having an issue attenting a Protestant church this upcoming Sunday  (Read 3098 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 21, 2010, 04:50:20 PM »

Greetings to all,

As some of you know I have expressed a deep interest in becoming Orthodox, for me the appeal was it's theology (which is sound) and it's history. However since I am new to the Orthodox faith it is hard to fight against the Protestant prejudice that occurs within my family, many of them are very confused on why I approach things a certain way (For example I do not interprete the Bible on my own, but leave that to the Church since the Bible is supposed to be in the context of the Church).

This Sunday my father would like me to attend his church with him and his new wife, since his wife's dad will be preaching for the first time. My issue is I do not feel right at all in a protestant church anymore, it's just not where my heart is and I do not feel the presence of Christ. I feel as if I attend Sunday, I will be missing out on how important it is for me to attend my own Orthodox church Sunday.

It sounds selfish of me I know, but I don't know how to approach it. I know it may not be a big deal to miss one day, but it means way too much to me to miss it. I feel as though my communion with God is weakened if I miss a day of service, am I blowing this out of porportion too much?
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 05:02:01 PM »

Greetings in the Lord! I think that not going can be a strong lesson to your family. The common Protestant idea is to go to the "church" closest to your house. And hey, who cares what the denomination is. I drive 45 minutes to Church every Sunday and people are puzzled that I just don't attend the "church" 5 minutes down the road. It can be a witness to your family that Orthodoxy is not just another denomination, but THE Church. However, if it is just a one time thing to be courteous to your family, then perhaps go. I completely understand what you mean about the spiritual boost that you get from Liturgy. I went back to my old "church" one Sunday and the rest of the week I just felt a little "off".
My two cents. Your decision ultimately, and a good question to ask your Priest as well.
God Bless!
 
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 05:36:12 PM »

While I am aware that we are all in different situations, I would probably attend the Protestant service next Sunday for my family's sake. Be polite and respectful. You don't have to participate in everything, and of course, do NOT participate in Communion. Be sure to say your morning prayers before you get. And as another has said, get your priest's blessing. If he's familiar with those of us who have become Orthodox later in life (as he himself may be) he will understand.

Listen carefully to the sermon - you'll likely get quizzed on it since that's why you're being invited  Smiley.
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 05:47:10 PM »

While I am aware that we are all in different situations, I would probably attend the Protestant service next Sunday for my family's sake. Be polite and respectful. You don't have to participate in everything, and of course, do NOT participate in Communion. Be sure to say your morning prayers before you get. And as another has said, get your priest's blessing. If he's familiar with those of us who have become Orthodox later in life (as he himself may be) he will understand.

Listen carefully to the sermon - you'll likely get quizzed on it since that's why you're being invited  Smiley.

This is basically what my spiritual father told me when a similar question arose while in my catechumenate.  I go if it is *really* important to my family that I do so.  Like when my mother was baptized in her Protestant church, I went. 
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2010, 05:53:25 PM »

Greetings to all,

As some of you know I have expressed a deep interest in becoming Orthodox, for me the appeal was it's theology (which is sound) and it's history. However since I am new to the Orthodox faith it is hard to fight against the Protestant prejudice that occurs within my family, many of them are very confused on why I approach things a certain way (For example I do not interprete the Bible on my own, but leave that to the Church since the Bible is supposed to be in the context of the Church).

This Sunday my father would like me to attend his church with him and his new wife, since his wife's dad will be preaching for the first time. My issue is I do not feel right at all in a protestant church anymore, it's just not where my heart is and I do not feel the presence of Christ. I feel as if I attend Sunday, I will be missing out on how important it is for me to attend my own Orthodox church Sunday.

It sounds selfish of me I know, but I don't know how to approach it. I know it may not be a big deal to miss one day, but it means way too much to me to miss it. I feel as though my communion with God is weakened if I miss a day of service, am I blowing this out of porportion too much?
How new is the wife, and if I might be so bold, the circumstances of your father getting a new wife?
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 06:25:48 PM »

Appreciate the responses, but I have not approached the priest yet on becoming Orthodox. I have only visited my Church twice, and eagerly wanting to become one (I'm not sure if it is appropriate on Sunday to speak with the priest on becoming Orthodox, and this week there is no other Divine Liturgy or such to where I could have the oppurtunity to see the priest. Should I call the office and make an appointment?)

How new is the wife, and if I might be so bold, the circumstances of your father getting a new wife?

About a month. Well you see, and this is my speculation and I can neither confirm or deny it, but my father divorced his wife of 20 years citing that he blamed himself for making her unhappy because my mom wouldn't do much except sit in bed all day and watch tv. With the divorce, she got back on her feet again, went to school got her degree and my father tried to propose again but she didn't want to remarry.

However the wife he has now, he met at his work who he actually hired but my father was still with my mom at the time. I'm not sure if she was an influence on the divorce, I can only assume perhaps, but the new wife is a devout Christian (came from the Baptist side, their church no longer is Baptist but a 'Bible' Church) and I think she was kind of this helping hand on renewing his faith in Christianity.

He told me he was looking all over again for the right church, but I don't believe that because the Church he ended up at was the same one his new wife has always belonged to.
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2010, 06:48:05 PM »

Appreciate the responses, but I have not approached the priest yet on becoming Orthodox. I have only visited my Church twice, and eagerly wanting to become one (I'm not sure if it is appropriate on Sunday to speak with the priest on becoming Orthodox, and this week there is no other Divine Liturgy or such to where I could have the oppurtunity to see the priest. Should I call the office and make an appointment?)

How new is the wife, and if I might be so bold, the circumstances of your father getting a new wife?

About a month. Well you see, and this is my speculation and I can neither confirm or deny it, but my father divorced his wife of 20 years citing that he blamed himself for making her unhappy because my mom wouldn't do much except sit in bed all day and watch tv. With the divorce, she got back on her feet again, went to school got her degree and my father tried to propose again but she didn't want to remarry.

However the wife he has now, he met at his work who he actually hired but my father was still with my mom at the time. I'm not sure if she was an influence on the divorce, I can only assume perhaps, but the new wife is a devout Christian (came from the Baptist side, their church no longer is Baptist but a 'Bible' Church) and I think she was kind of this helping hand on renewing his faith in Christianity.

He told me he was looking all over again for the right church, but I don't believe that because the Church he ended up at was the same one his new wife has always belonged to.
Given that it is not proven that the new wife caused the divorce (especially given your mother's reaction to the divorce, and the rejection of the proposal. I take it when you say "was still with my mom" you mean technically) and they say it is the father's first time preaching, I'd be inclined to go, if your relationship with your step mother is OK and you want to keep it that way.
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2010, 08:52:42 PM »

I have a question then, should I explain to my father how important Orthodoxy is to me and that once I do become Orthodox I can no longer be assocaited with the other denominations (I don't consider Orthodoxy a denomination BTW)?

And once I do become Christmated as an Orthodox I can no longer be 'allowed' sort of speak to go to another denomation right?
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2010, 09:07:13 PM »

I have a question then, should I explain to my father how important Orthodoxy is to me and that once I do become Orthodox I can no longer be assocaited with the other denominations (I don't consider Orthodoxy a denomination BTW)?

And once I do become Christmated as an Orthodox I can no longer be 'allowed' sort of speak to go to another denomation right?

You should explain how important Orthodoxy is to you now. You shouldn't be associated with a denomination now (i.e. no communion, membership etc.).

That doesn't mean, for instance, if you father gets baptized, for instance, that you can't go IMHO. But you won't be able to participate.  If, for instance, depending how you feel about it, I'd cross myself when you go this Sunday.  If they ask, tell them that's what you do when you pray. If they ask why, you ought to be prepared to answer.

If they ask why you don't want to go to their church evey Sunday, tell them what you said above about not fearing at home in a Protestant church, and add that you want to go to the Church with an unbroken chain of celebration since the Upper Room in Jerusalem.
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2010, 09:33:35 PM »

I have a question then, should I explain to my father how important Orthodoxy is to me and that once I do become Orthodox I can no longer be assocaited with the other denominations (I don't consider Orthodoxy a denomination BTW)?

And once I do become Christmated as an Orthodox I can no longer be 'allowed' sort of speak to go to another denomation right?
What I said in an earlier post describes my behaviour now as an Orthodox Christian whose family are all Protestant (except for an RC daughter-in-law). I will attend occasional services that have some importance to the person involved. I'm glad when events like that don't take me away from my own services. In all cases, I discuss the matter with my priest, who is very supportive. He also knows that I have found out that each time I visit a Protestant church (and my family are members of different churches - all of the contemporary non-charismatic sort) I come away even more glad to be an Orthodox Christian!

As far as what to tell your father (and others), it depends on your age and whether or not you are living in the same home.

I will tell you that I still have many friends in my former denomination with whom I visit regularly. It is possible, though of course all formal ties with the organization have been cut. I'm not sure what you mean by "associated with the other denominations".
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2010, 09:51:42 PM »

You should explain how important Orthodoxy is to you now. You shouldn't be associated with a denomination now (i.e. no communion, membership etc.).

That doesn't mean, for instance, if you father gets baptized, for instance, that you can't go IMHO. But you won't be able to participate.  If, for instance, depending how you feel about it, I'd cross myself when you go this Sunday.  If they ask, tell them that's what you do when you pray. If they ask why, you ought to be prepared to answer.

If they ask why you don't want to go to their church evey Sunday, tell them what you said above about not fearing at home in a Protestant church, and add that you want to go to the Church with an unbroken chain of celebration since the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

I apologize for my ignorance for I am still trying to learn about the Orthodox ways.

I don't live with my folks anymore, I guess me going Sunday would be out of respect for my father. But when I do go to this church Sunday, should I remain seated throughout the duration, including when they stand up to sing? Of course I will reject communion if it is offered.

Again I know it sounds selfish, but I honestly do not want to go. My heart and head are telling me no, and I know where the truth is. The only reason I'll go is out of respect for my father, like I said, which for me on a spritual level is tough because I'll be missing what I find so vital in my life. Am I making sense?
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2010, 10:22:00 PM »

You should explain how important Orthodoxy is to you now. You shouldn't be associated with a denomination now (i.e. no communion, membership etc.).

That doesn't mean, for instance, if you father gets baptized, for instance, that you can't go IMHO. But you won't be able to participate.  If, for instance, depending how you feel about it, I'd cross myself when you go this Sunday.  If they ask, tell them that's what you do when you pray. If they ask why, you ought to be prepared to answer.

If they ask why you don't want to go to their church evey Sunday, tell them what you said above about not fearing at home in a Protestant church, and add that you want to go to the Church with an unbroken chain of celebration since the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

I apologize for my ignorance for I am still trying to learn about the Orthodox ways.

nothing to apologize for.

Quote
I don't live with my folks anymore, I guess me going Sunday would be out of respect for my father.

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  (which is the first commandment with promise)"

You do, however, realize that there is limits, as Our Lord states "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." So going because of some important event in his wife's life is OK, but him expecting you to attend regularly would be out of bounds, even if her father becomes the pastor.


Quote
But when I do go to this church Sunday, should I remain seated throughout the duration, including when they stand up to sing? Of course I will reject communion if it is offered.
I usually play it according to what the lyrics are. Amazing Grace is fine. Blessed Assurance is out. With growing into the Church, these questions will be answered naturally.  Right now, just do your best with what you feel comfortable with.

Quote
Again I know it sounds selfish, but I honestly do not want to go. My heart and head are telling me no, and I know where the truth is. The only reason I'll go is out of respect for my father, like I said, which for me on a spritual level is tough because I'll be missing what I find so vital in my life. Am I making sense?
Perfect sense. And it doesn't strike me as particularly selfish.
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2010, 11:21:19 PM »

Thanks for your response, I agree with what you have said.

Should I make an appointment with the priest to get started on becoming Orthodox?
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2010, 11:38:53 PM »

Thanks for your response, I agree with what you have said.

Should I make an appointment with the priest to get started on becoming Orthodox?
Yes.
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2010, 11:45:46 PM »

Should I contact his office or in person? If in person, when should the appropriate time to do so?
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2010, 12:52:59 AM »

Should I contact his office or in person? If in person, when should the appropriate time to do so?
You have been to Church already, no? Call and talk with the priest about seeing him. ASAP
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2010, 01:04:57 AM »

Yes I have been to the Church twice, but our parish is huge and I do not want to interrupt anything he may have going on after the Divine Liturgy. I'll go ahead and make the call, but I am extremely nervous. Nervous in the aspect that I don't feel worthy to be in his presence, for I am full of sin outside and in. I've been in two different parishes, and everytime I don't even feel worthy to be in the presence of Christ, can we ever be truly worthy?
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2010, 01:18:28 AM »

Yes I have been to the Church twice, but our parish is huge and I do not want to interrupt anything he may have going on after the Divine Liturgy. I'll go ahead and make the call, but I am extremely nervous. Nervous in the aspect that I don't feel worthy to be in his presence, for I am full of sin outside and in. I've been in two different parishes, and everytime I don't even feel worthy to be in the presence of Christ, can we ever be truly worthy?
Don't worry: the priest and everyone else isn't worthy either. They just are in on the cure for that.

There are things the priest must attend after DL, but call during the week and see about when he thinks is the best time for introducing yourself.
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2010, 02:02:38 AM »

At the risk of bucking the trend of the thread, I might suggest going to church with your father and saying nothing of your reservations about it. Be a loving child and a kind person. Christ is not interested in you acting legalistically; He is interested in you being kind and loving. Christ tells us to forgive others to an infinite degree. What could be more Orthodox than practicing this kind of forgiveness?

You don't have to feel comfortable or engaged at a Protestant church: you know who you are.  Pursue your membership in the Orthodox Church, but be kind to those who don't understand your interest in it. If you are intent on observing legalism of any kind, be aware that it is not in the spirit of Orthodox Christianity.
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2010, 02:17:33 AM »

Ialmisry's advice about contacting the priest is the most important point. (Edit: Began writing before Sainthieu posted.  Also wonderful advice and in line with how it was explained to me).

I would like to pass along some information (from priests I have spoken with) related to this topic.  First, while you may be extremely captivated with Orthodox Christianity and plan to become a Catechumen, you are not Orthodox at this point; certain rules do not apply to you.  To clarify that statement, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't participate in activities and begin orienting yourself in that direction.  Or, the reverse, that this licenses you to do whatever you want.  However, certain Orthodox practices, such as fasting and strictly avoiding non-Orthodox activities (particularly when involving your family) should not be started without recommendation and supervision of a priest, assigned mentor, instructions from an inquiry class, etc.  

One reason given for this is that some of these actions, without supervision, can become prideful.  Please take no offense at this, but someone who has attended 2 Divine Liturgies, attends a Protestant service, but refuses to stand for prayers, whether done with the best intentions, would come across this way.  If you feel that you cannot marginally participate, e.g. stand but do not pray, then I would recommend not going.

Contact the priest, see if there is an inquirer's class of some sort, or if you can gain further guidance on the process.  Then, as your learning more about the faith, implement these rules as directed.  The process can seem frustratingly slow, but we cannot become Orthodox without the living Church's guidance.

 
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2010, 02:38:12 AM »

That's fair Cognomen, no offense taken at all. I understand what you are saying. Yes it seems like it is quite a slow process, which to me is a good thing because there is so much to learn about it that even after some of the books I have read on Orthodoxy still have me confused.

I definietly can see how it can be taken as prideful, basically be taken it as "What this guy thinks he is better than us?". I don't want to give off that image, so I may participate since like you said I'm not an orthodox member.

sainthieu-Yeah you are right, I should have stepped back and looked at what kind of message I would be sending out. If I was to be more like Christ, I should practice kindess and loving.
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2010, 03:08:43 AM »

Thanks for understanding the intent of my message, Achronos. I hope the priests' advice helps; I believe it has helped me. 

If you go, best wishes for the service, and thanks for posting those concerns.
I managed to get a free and much needed reminder from Sainthieu (thank you, as well)
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2010, 05:15:46 AM »

My feelings about your dilemma; and they are just that, the impressions of another lay Orthodox Christian.  Attending the church is analogous to going to a restaurant that serves a type of food you don't like, but you'll go out of family obligation, partaking of what you can.  Likewise with the heterodox church.  I would look at it as an academic exercise, listening to what they have to say; you may actually grow in your Orthodoxy by challenging your mind to where they error or what truth they preach.  While you are not worshiping, I do believe if it is a Trinitarian faith, Christ may be present.  You can always pray silently too, if you wish.  You're not substituting your participation in the Divine Liturgy; it's as if you're vacationing, away, and cannot attend the Divine Services of our church. You also could think of it as watching a secular movie about Christianity. If they peach the Gospel, it's likely you will get some benefit from it.  And whatever you hear that you think may be contrary to Orthodoxy, check it out with your parish priest.  Also, the idea of letting your Dad know what a sacrifice you feel you are making out of your respect for his wishes, will also serve as a firm witness to our faith, and should make an impression upon him.
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2010, 07:14:52 AM »

Just to continue a bit with what I've said already. Someday you may want to invite your Protestant friends and relatives to an Orthodox service that has special meaning for you - for example your chrismation. How would you want them to behave? Now is the time for you to show how much you care for your father and his family. During the service, as I said earlier, be respectful. Stand when they stand. Behave otherwise as far as you are comfortable. Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Smile and be friendly.

When they do ask you about the service (especially the sermon  Smiley) be as positive as you can be. Without pressing the matter, you may be able to say something like, "You know I've been attending some Orthodox services lately. I've noticed that they also speak about .... by saying...." Keep the discussion simple and move on. Remember, it's not your day.
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2010, 10:14:34 AM »

Just to continue a bit with what I've said already. Someday you may want to invite your Protestant friends and relatives to an Orthodox service that has special meaning for you - for example your chrismation. How would you want them to behave? Now is the time for you to show how much you care for your father and his family. During the service, as I said earlier, be respectful. Stand when they stand. Behave otherwise as far as you are comfortable. Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Smile and be friendly.

I very much agree with this. I will attend a Protestant service when really necessary. For instance my nephew was baptised awhile back (my husband and I were still catechumens at the time), and it was important to our family that we be there. We still ran it by our priest and he advised that these situations will come up and it's important to be there for your family. Of course we would not have partaken in Communion (had it been offered) and we also did not participate in the (non-Bible) readings/prayers. We refrained from singing because there is often so much heterodox theology in the songs, and it just really didn't feel right anyway. We were very nonchalant about all this and I don't think that anyone noticed our non-participation.

Despite all that, we were there to support our family. My husband stayed the entire time though I ended up leaving early because my 1 yo old son could not sit quietly through a 40 minute sermon. Smiley I mention all that because some of these same family members left their first Divine Liturgy quite early (one after the homily, the other during the Nicene Creed). It was a little upsetting that they didn't show us the same respect we had shown them.
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2010, 10:21:30 AM »

Just to continue a bit with what I've said already. Someday you may want to invite your Protestant friends and relatives to an Orthodox service that has special meaning for you - for example your chrismation. How would you want them to behave? Now is the time for you to show how much you care for your father and his family. During the service, as I said earlier, be respectful. Stand when they stand. Behave otherwise as far as you are comfortable. Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Smile and be friendly.

I very much agree with this. I will attend a Protestant service when really necessary. For instance my nephew was baptised awhile back (my husband and I were still catechumens at the time), and it was important to our family that we be there. We still ran it by our priest and he advised that these situations will come up and it's important to be there for your family. Of course we would not have partaken in Communion (had it been offered) and we also did not participate in the (non-Bible) readings/prayers. We refrained from singing because there is often so much heterodox theology in the songs, and it just really didn't feel right anyway. We were very nonchalant about all this and I don't think that anyone noticed our non-participation.

Despite all that, we were there to support our family. My husband stayed the entire time though I ended up leaving early because my 1 yo old son could not sit quietly through a 40 minute sermon. Smiley I mention all that because some of these same family members left their first Divine Liturgy quite early (one after the homily, the other during the Nicene Creed). It was a little upsetting that they didn't show us the same respect we had shown them.

To be fair, in the Early Church they would have been told to leave around that point. And most Protestants aren't used to that lengthy standing, even if the service is in English.
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2010, 10:23:34 AM »

Quote
To be fair, in the Early Church they would have been told to leave around that point. And most Protestants aren't used to that lengthy standing, even if the service is in English.

They had been seated. Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2010, 11:07:45 AM »

I'm not Orthodox yet either and had a similar situation this past summer.  I was home visiting, left my driver's license back in Japan and my Dad said if I went with them to my sister's church the first Sunday with the family, then he would go with me to the Orthodox church the next Sunday.  I put up no fight and went.  I attended the Sunday class that my brother-in-law and my sister were running and I sat by my Dad.  They asked me to pray and I laughed it off and said, "Ask Dad.  He's better at it."  And that was that.  I stood up during the songs and prayers but I didn't sing and I didn't pray with them.
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2010, 03:38:40 PM »

Thanks again for the responses, very much appreciated. Yes I believe the right thing to do will be to go with my father this Sunday, even-though it may go against my spiritual wishes. Like it has been mentioned, I'm not Orthodox or even a catchumen yet so I shouldn't have a problem for right now.

Also, the idea of letting your Dad know what a sacrifice you feel you are making out of your respect for his wishes, will also serve as a firm witness to our faith, and should make an impression upon him.

This is going to be a dumb question, but how exactly do I tell him the sacrifice that I am making? As far as my own faith being weakened? I'm not sure I understand, sorry.
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2010, 03:45:06 PM »

I don't really like the idea of letting people know that you are making a sacrifice for them - seems like a guilt trip. Plus I'm not sure if it's really a sacrifice anymore if you let everyone know that it's a sacrifice!

IMO a conversion makes impression enough.
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2010, 05:13:46 PM »

Greetings to all,

As some of you know I have expressed a deep interest in becoming Orthodox, for me the appeal was it's theology (which is sound) and it's history. However since I am new to the Orthodox faith it is hard to fight against the Protestant prejudice that occurs within my family, many of them are very confused on why I approach things a certain way (For example I do not interprete the Bible on my own, but leave that to the Church since the Bible is supposed to be in the context of the Church).

This Sunday my father would like me to attend his church with him and his new wife, since his wife's dad will be preaching for the first time. My issue is I do not feel right at all in a protestant church anymore, it's just not where my heart is and I do not feel the presence of Christ. I feel as if I attend Sunday, I will be missing out on how important it is for me to attend my own Orthodox church Sunday.

It sounds selfish of me I know, but I don't know how to approach it. I know it may not be a big deal to miss one day, but it means way too much to me to miss it. I feel as though my communion with God is weakened if I miss a day of service, am I blowing this out of porportion too much?

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

To honor one's mother and father is such an important precept that even Our Lord followed it, and as it was written went with Joseph and Mary back to Nazareth and was subject unto them.  Imagine, God himself in the flesh submitting as a child to the human, potentially even capricious will of human parents! The lesson in humility is stark, and I believe central to the very purpose of the Incarnation, that God is teaching us by direct example, how to operate within His divine economy.

That being said, what your father is asking does not seem excessive to me, if anything to defy him on a simple request would seem to be a bit more troubling.  I can relate to your feelings about wanting to religiously attend Liturgy services, I also make it a point to never miss a Liturgy, as to be standing in the Real Presence is the very center of my life, and I also missed a lot of family gatherings at Protestant services out of this passionate devotion to the Liturgy BUT considering that your father has asked this out of a special occasion, and in honor of the precepts, I would advise you to attend the Protestant services.  If your father was pressuring you away from Orthodox routinely that is one thing, but if it is just the one service in honor of a special, family occasion you should go.  Orthodox does not want to harm your family, rather your participation in the Holy Tradition can become a gift your family, but if you rarely take the opportunities to share it with them, how will the gift yield fruit? Further, I would go gleefully, as perhaps God is inviting you to bring an evangelical spirit into that church, as I am sure your father has discussed your Orthodox with others before.  Look to it as a positive, edifying opportunity to be an Apostolic witness of our Faith to those who fellowship outside of our Tradition. At the best, you will be greatly satisfying your father, who might be sending out a bit of an olive branch, or at the least a feeler dove to test for security of dry land.  My mom did not handle my conversion well at first either, but now she was rather enthusiastic about it, even though she is not interested in Orthodox in the slightest.

It anything, please consult your spiritual Father about this matter.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2010, 05:48:22 PM »

I don't really like the idea of letting people know that you are making a sacrifice for them - seems like a guilt trip. Plus I'm not sure if it's really a sacrifice anymore if you let everyone know that it's a sacrifice!

IMO a conversion makes impression enough.
I would agree. As I said earlier, keep as positive as you can. Going out of your way to please others is like fasting or going to confession - you just do it without comment to others.
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2010, 06:01:05 PM »

I don't really like the idea of letting people know that you are making a sacrifice for them - seems like a guilt trip. Plus I'm not sure if it's really a sacrifice anymore if you let everyone know that it's a sacrifice!

IMO a conversion makes impression enough.

+1  Now probably isn't the right time to have that conversation.  If someone in your family or at the protestant church asks you where you go to church go ahead and tell them that you have been checking out the Orthodox church.  If they ask follow up questions just tell them that you find it quite interesting and that you intend to explore it further.  When you get further along in the process of conversion then you would want to have a conversation with close family members to let them know that you are joining the Orthodox church.  lizzyd is correct that conversion makes the best impression.  When I set a date for my baptism I called my parents to let them know and their response was, "Oh, we figured you already did that."
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« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2010, 01:48:06 AM »

What about the whole holding hands during prayer before eating at a table?

I find that uncomfortable to begin with, but how do the Orthodox do prayer before eating a meal?
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« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2010, 06:01:17 AM »

I would probably go if it was really important and show some love. I grew up in a very Pentecostal Church and would be hesitant to go back to that particular type of a setting though (I would find the whole environment and "spirit" very creepy now) so I can sympathize with your quandary to some degree.
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« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2010, 01:19:56 PM »

What about the whole holding hands during prayer before eating at a table?

I find that uncomfortable to begin with, but how do the Orthodox do prayer before eating a meal?

I have no problems with that or with any other reverential expression done for the right reason. As to how we pray before a meal, here is a guide (I got it at http://www.antiochian.org/occasional-prayers#table):

PRAYERS AT THE TABLE

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Then

O Christ our God, bless the food and drink of thy servants, for thou art Holy always; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Or

They that hunger shall eat and be satisfied, they that seek after the Lord shall praise him; their hearts shall live forever. Amen.

Or

Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts of which we are about to partake, for thou art blessed and glorified; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

After Meals

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Then

Blessed is God, who is merciful unto us and nourisheth us from His bounteous gifts by His grace and compassion, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Or

We thank thee, O Christ our God, that thou hast satisfied us with thy earthly gifts, deprive us not of thy Heavenly Kingdom; but as thou entered into the midst of thy disciples, O Saviour, and gave them peace, enter also among us and saves us. Amen.

Or

We thank thee, O God, the Giver of all good things, for these gifts and all thy mercies, and we bless thy Holy Name, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

PS: We usually pray standing up. In the case of the Lord's Prayer, we always stand up.
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« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2010, 07:02:51 AM »

I don't know if I can do it guys, it just doesn't feel right in my heart at all. I have been praying about it, but I don't think I could handle it. I just want to say I'm going to be sick on Sunday to get out of it. I dunno what to do.
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« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2010, 07:39:56 AM »

Even though you have not approached the Priest at the parish you have attended a few times could you tell him of your interest in Orthodoxy and request his help in guiding you through this?
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« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2010, 07:42:41 AM »

I don't know if I can do it guys, it just doesn't feel right in my heart at all. I have been praying about it, but I don't think I could handle it. I just want to say I'm going to be sick on Sunday to get out of it. I dunno what to do.

If you don't go do try to be as polite as possible and handle the whole thing in a spirit of love. If you decide not to go out of respect for God and maintain a spirit of love with your family then I suppose God will bless your decision either way and I wouldn't obsess to much or beat myself up over it too much either way.
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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2010, 08:01:04 AM »

I don't know if I can do it guys, it just doesn't feel right in my heart at all. I have been praying about it, but I don't think I could handle it. I just want to say I'm going to be sick on Sunday to get out of it. I dunno what to do.
I wish I could find a kind way to convince you to go. You're doing it for them not for yourself. Will lying about being sick really be a better option?
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« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2010, 08:46:02 AM »

I don't know if I can do it guys, it just doesn't feel right in my heart at all. I have been praying about it, but I don't think I could handle it. I just want to say I'm going to be sick on Sunday to get out of it. I dunno what to do.
I wish I could find a kind way to convince you to go. You're doing it for them not for yourself. Will lying about being sick really be a better option?
I thought I'd add another post. I have attended weddings and funerals at mostly Roman Churches but would do so at Protestant ones as well (as long as, like I said in my earliest post in this thread, they were totally wacky or handled snakes or whatever Smiley ) and I am pretty sure most Priests would advise the same. I agree with Achronos to think about whether you are doing it for them or as an act of selflessness. God bless you and your family and your decision. Let us know what you end up doing and how things went ok?
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« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2010, 11:58:43 AM »

I don't know if I can do it guys, it just doesn't feel right in my heart at all. I have been praying about it, but I don't think I could handle it. I just want to say I'm going to be sick on Sunday to get out of it. I dunno what to do.

I think you are obsessing about this.  If you were to lie about being sick you would only dishonor yourself and disrespect your father.  You are only being asked to show up and be respectful.  When I visit family I will usually go to church with them.  If for no other reason than I grow to know my family better.  I meet their friends and see the community they belong to.  I have a better context in which to relate to them.  I certainly don't commune with them and I don't participate in the service really.  It is not difficult for an observant person to guess that I am not "one of them".  But I am there and respectful.  Do I miss the Liturgy and my parish?  Of course.  But one of the beauties of Orthodoxy is that it is not about me.  The liturgy goes on without me and in a spiritual sense not being there doesn't mean I am not there.  I am being prayed for and in my heart I am praying with the rest of my parish and with all Orthodox Christians.  My humble layman's opinion is that you need to get over it.  Just my two cents though.
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« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2010, 12:53:16 PM »

Does your dad know about your interest in Orthodoxy?

If so, could your stepmom's dad be preparing an attack on Orthodoxy as a cult?

I ask this as this has happened before, and would put you in a very vulnerable position to defend your faith after his sermon. That would not be polite of them at all.

If your dad knows of your interest in Orthodoxy, now would be a good time to tell him that it would go against your conscience to attend a Protestant church, and that later on, you might be able to pay a visit, but right now, you need to go and pray at the Orthodox Church.


My prayers.

p.s. My parents also wanted me to visit their church because they felt that the Orthodox Church was a cult.
I sent them some information about Orthodoxy along with an Orthodox Study Bible. After listening to some videos and reading the OSB, they realized that Orthodoxy was not a cult. I also sent them the book by Father Peter Gilquist on Becoming Orthodox.
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« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2010, 12:54:19 PM »

Know that I am praying for you.

When you are stronger in the faith, then perhaps you can visit their church when an official occasion warrants your presence like a wedding, baptism, or funeral. However, this is not a wedding, baptism, or funeral. Therefore, your presence is NOT mandatory.

Follow your heart. If you suffer from anxiety, going to a Protestant church might cause an attack.
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« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2010, 01:29:58 PM »

"I don't know if I can do it guys, it just doesn't feel right in my heart at all. I have been praying about it, but I don't think I could handle it. I just want to say I'm going to be sick on Sunday to get out of it. I dunno what to do."

I can not believe you are going to conk out on your father over such a trifling matter. Being Orthodox is not a call to set yourself apart from other human beings; it is a call to be a servant to them and a martyr for them, if required.  What did Christ say in the garden of Gesthemane -- "Sorry, Dad, I don't think I can handle it"?
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« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2010, 02:17:17 PM »

I think we should let the guy make his own decision here, otherwise, we are failing to mind our own business, and that folks is also a sin.

He knows his dad. This is NOT an important occasion like a wedding, baptism, or funeral. Surely his stepmom's dad will have an occasion to preach at an important event that is worthy of his attendance.

I have been in similar situations, and sometimes it is best to avoid near occasions of sin where you know that you cannot handle the situation.
Sometimes avoidance is best.

I will pray for him and for his family. That is the proper Christian response.


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« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2010, 02:32:33 PM »

I can't advise you on whether it is right or wrong to skip tomorrow, but I can say that there are times when you will need to be present at non-Orthodox events, for the sake of the relationship with your family. And again, how can you expect them to go to Divine Liturgy even just once if you will no longer step foot in their church?

I've been to a Protestant church exactly one time since becoming a catechumen. It was for a family event and our presence had been requested. Our family was very glad to have us there, it would have created hurt feelings to skip especially if we had done so under the pretense of "sorry we're Orthodox now, and can no longer associate with you."

What doesn't "feel right" about attending? What does it say about these feelings if lying about being sick feels "right" but attending their church doesn't?
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« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2010, 04:37:06 PM »

If you are secure in your faith, this is not a problem.
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« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2010, 03:36:05 PM »

So I went. It was like having an affair with a mistress.

They are all about teaching "God's Word" systematically, but as we know God's Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:1). They break it down verse by verse, and always in the back of my mind was how do I know he has the accurate interpretation. It was a sermon on humility and I think it was done very good overall, it had a good message behind it.

One thing I did chuckle on was their usage of "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", acting as if there church was the original one to be included.

I feel off, but in a sort of sense I am glad to go because I have much more appreciation of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2010, 03:39:12 PM »

So I went. It was like having an affair with a mistress.

They are all about teaching "God's Word" systematically, but as we know God's Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:1). They break it down verse by verse, and always in the back of my mind was how do I know he has the accurate interpretation. It was a sermon on humility and I think it was done very good overall, it had a good message behind it.

One thing I did chuckle on was their usage of "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", acting as if there church was the original one to be included.

I feel off, but in a sort of sense I am glad to go because I have much more appreciation of Orthodoxy.

Glad to hear this.
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« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2010, 03:58:36 PM »

So I went. It was like having an affair with a mistress.

They are all about teaching "God's Word" systematically, but as we know God's Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:1). They break it down verse by verse, and always in the back of my mind was how do I know he has the accurate interpretation. It was a sermon on humility and I think it was done very good overall, it had a good message behind it.

One thing I did chuckle on was their usage of "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", acting as if there church was the original one to be included.

I feel off, but in a sort of sense I am glad to go because I have much more appreciation of Orthodoxy.

Nice. Glad to hear you were able to go and that you were also able to take the sermon etc in stride and find a way to appreciate Orthodoxy at the same time and maybe some of your family will feel inclined some day to come to Church with you, who knows Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2010, 03:58:53 PM »

It had a courtroom presece sort of, it had a bit of a tinge of condemning those that are not good with God's Word, something I disagree with.
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« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2010, 04:38:04 PM »

Well done.
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« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2010, 05:14:19 PM »

I have a question then, should I explain to my father how important Orthodoxy is to me and that once I do become Orthodox I can no longer be assocaited with the other denominations (I don't consider Orthodoxy a denomination BTW)?

And once I do become Christmated as an Orthodox I can no longer be 'allowed' sort of speak to go to another denomination right?

I'd just like to add my own two cents.  first of all, your right.  Orthodoxy is not a denomination, it's pre-denominational.  it's OK for you to go to another Church, as long as you don't participate in communion or un-Orthodox prayers/hymns (denying the trinity, etc.)
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« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2010, 05:30:12 PM »

So I went. It was like having an affair with a mistress.

They are all about teaching "God's Word" systematically, but as we know God's Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:1). They break it down verse by verse, and always in the back of my mind was how do I know he has the accurate interpretation. It was a sermon on humility and I think it was done very good overall, it had a good message behind it.

One thing I did chuckle on was their usage of "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", acting as if there church was the original one to be included.

I feel off, but in a sort of sense I am glad to go because I have much more appreciation of Orthodoxy.
I'm happy for you!
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« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2010, 05:33:21 PM »

So I went. It was like having an affair with a mistress.
Well, you will appreciate Christ's Bride more. Anyways, I hope your father appreicated it.

Quote
They are all about teaching "God's Word" systematically, but as we know God's Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:1).

Actually better to say Jesus Christ is God the Word.

They break it down verse by verse, and always in the back of my mind was how do I know he has the accurate interpretation. It was a sermon on humility and I think it was done very good overall, it had a good message behind it.

One thing I did chuckle on was their usage of "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", acting as if there church was the original one to be included.

I feel off, but in a sort of sense I am glad to go because I have much more appreciation of Orthodoxy.
[/quote]
See. Everybody's happy.
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« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2010, 05:44:42 PM »

I'm glad you went, and that you found something positive, including a greater appreciation for Orthodox worship.

Was there any follow-up at home afterwards? Did you get quizzed about anything? If it should come up, stay positive.
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« Reply #57 on: November 28, 2010, 06:25:21 PM »

Nah no going home afterwards, I had to go to work which I'm at right now. But I didn't go into too much detail, just said he did really good.
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« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2010, 06:40:42 PM »

Nah no going home afterwards, I had to go to work which I'm at right now. But I didn't go into too much detail, just said he did really good.
Well done. You won't go unrewarded.
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« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2010, 08:51:13 PM »

I'll probably be seeing my folks this week, maybe I could shed some more light into what I believe?

I asked my pops last week how he knew the Bible was true, couldn't give me an answer to it. I just feel maybe I could shed some light on the faith itself? Or should I hold off until I actually go through the conversion process and some time has been spent. I feel I know quite a bit and know enough why Orthodoxy is the correct faith, but I dont know how I should approach it. Trevor said its a Christians job to lead one unto Orthodoxy, I have to agree.
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« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2010, 09:06:50 PM »

I am glad that everything worked out.

Regarding telling your family, I would take it slow and easy. I feel like my husband and I really rushed into telling other people everything we knew and that we overwhelmed them. When you find something so great it is easy to assume that others will have the same reaction. By all means, feel free to talk about it. But don't feel like you should lay out every bit of evidence or make ever compelling argument. Nice and easy, and with a spirit of humility.
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« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2010, 09:10:18 PM »

I'll probably be seeing my folks this week, maybe I could shed some more light into what I believe?

I asked my pops last week how he knew the Bible was true, couldn't give me an answer to it. I just feel maybe I could shed some light on the faith itself? Or should I hold off until I actually go through the conversion process and some time has been spent. I feel I know quite a bit and know enough why Orthodoxy is the correct faith, but I dont know how I should approach it. Trevor said its a Christians job to lead one unto Orthodoxy, I have to agree.
Trevor is right: lead one into Orthodoxy - don't push or drag them in  Smiley. Most of us converts tend to be a little over-enthusiastic at the beginning and have made mistakes in sharing our faith. IMHO, the best course of action is simply to live a quiet Orthodox life. Let others ask questions. Opportunities will come to you. Be prepared.
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« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2010, 09:10:56 PM »

I'll probably be seeing my folks this week, maybe I could shed some more light into what I believe?

I asked my pops last week how he knew the Bible was true, couldn't give me an answer to it. I just feel maybe I could shed some light on the faith itself? Or should I hold off until I actually go through the conversion process and some time has been spent. I feel I know quite a bit and know enough why Orthodoxy is the correct faith, but I dont know how I should approach it. Trevor said its a Christians job to lead one unto Orthodoxy, I have to agree.

This is an "ask your priest" question.

It is best to grow in the faith silently rather than inserting the foot into your mouth.

Also if you feel inclined to gift your parents and relatives some Orthodox books, please ask your priest. I made the mistake of gifting some items to my parents and it turned them against Orthodoxy. If I had known to ask my priest, they might have been spared some unappreciated rhetoric from Frankie Schaeffer. His conversion video was a real turnoff for them.
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« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2010, 09:16:50 PM »

I'll probably be seeing my folks this week, maybe I could shed some more light into what I believe?

I asked my pops last week how he knew the Bible was true, couldn't give me an answer to it. I just feel maybe I could shed some light on the faith itself? Or should I hold off until I actually go through the conversion process and some time has been spent. I feel I know quite a bit and know enough why Orthodoxy is the correct faith, but I dont know how I should approach it. Trevor said its a Christians job to lead one unto Orthodoxy, I have to agree.

This is an "ask your priest" question.

It is best to grow in the faith silently rather than inserting the foot into your mouth.

Also if you feel inclined to gift your parents and relatives some Orthodox books, please ask your priest. I made the mistake of gifting some items to my parents and it turned them against Orthodoxy. If I had known to ask my priest, they might have been spared some unappreciated rhetoric from Frankie Schaeffer. His conversion video was a real turnoff for them.
and look where he is now.
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« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2010, 09:52:13 PM »

What do you mean ialmisry?
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« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2010, 11:39:18 PM »

Greetings to all,

As some of you know I have expressed a deep interest in becoming Orthodox, for me the appeal was it's theology (which is sound) and it's history. However since I am new to the Orthodox faith it is hard to fight against the Protestant prejudice that occurs within my family, many of them are very confused on why I approach things a certain way (For example I do not interprete the Bible on my own, but leave that to the Church since the Bible is supposed to be in the context of the Church).  

Hehe funny.

knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation 2 Peter 1:20

I personally interpret 2 Peter 1:20 to mean that I can personally interpret scriptures.

Apparently everyone has their own interpretation of this one.

LOLZ
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« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2010, 12:46:15 AM »

So I went. It was like having an affair with a mistress.

They are all about teaching "God's Word" systematically, but as we know God's Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:1). They break it down verse by verse, and always in the back of my mind was how do I know he has the accurate interpretation. It was a sermon on humility and I think it was done very good overall, it had a good message behind it.

One thing I did chuckle on was their usage of "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.", acting as if there church was the original one to be included.

I feel off, but in a sort of sense I am glad to go because I have much more appreciation of Orthodoxy.

When I used to go to a Protestant church (both recently and when I was younger) I always felt there was a kind of disconnect with the original word of God. I didn't understand how these modern day churches could be so happy and talking about wealth and money when people like Job and Paul had to suffer and endure so they could maintain a relationship and understanding with God.

I could easily connect with the suffering and enduring while the megachurches were disconnected from the experience, but because I was able to find a connection to it, I turned to Orthodoxy. I hope this makes sense. Iam a bad writer lol
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