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Author Topic: Other converts from Orthodoxy to Protestantism?  (Read 1908 times) Average Rating: 0
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BAS
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« on: February 12, 2011, 03:29:55 PM »

I was born and raised in an OCA church, but in my early twenties began questioning many aspects of the Orthodox faith. My spiritual journey eventually lead me to the Presbyterian Church (USA), where I have found a wonderful, welcoming community and home; I have been a Presbyterian now for over a year.

While many of the friends I have made over this time period have come from other Protestant denominations, or from the Roman Catholic church, I've heard almost nothing about other former Orthodox Christians who now follow a different spiritual path. I am curious, and wanted to ask if there are others out there who share a similar journey in converting from Orthodoxy to another faith. Please share any stories you may have!
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JLatimer
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 03:39:05 PM »

Would you mind naming some of those "aspects" you questioned?
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 03:45:32 PM »

If there were why would they be posting on an Orthodox Christian forum?
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BAS
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011, 03:51:59 PM »

It seemed that there were a variety of faiths represented in this forum, which is why I thought I would ask. Besides, isn't this the Orthodox-Protestant discussion section? As previously mentioned, I'm just curious. I'm open to all dialogue though, and am certainly not anti-Orthodox.
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BAS
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2011, 03:57:29 PM »

Hi J,

It was a culmination of things over the years, mostly related to my shifting from a conservative to a liberal view of the world. I was raised in a very tight, conservative Christian household, one with a  " your-faith-is-this-and-you-do-not-question-it" mentality. As I grew older, I began to realize that this was not who I was, nor what I believed, and began a lot of self and soul searching.
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JLatimer
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2011, 03:57:42 PM »

It seemed that there were a variety of faiths represented in this forum, which is why I thought I would ask. Besides, isn't this the Orthodox-Protestant discussion section? As previously mentioned, I'm just curious. I'm open to all dialogue though, and am certainly not anti-Orthodox.

Let's be fair. You must be a little anti-Orthodox or you wouldn't have felt the desire to leave the Church.
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2011, 04:02:12 PM »

Hm. Well, I suppose that I would be anti-Orthodox in that I do not necessarily believe all of the Orthodox Church's teachings, which is why I was compelled to go elsewhere. But I certainly don't regard those who are Orthodox as heretics, or "evil" in any sense of the word. I believe that we are connected by commonalities in our faith, and through our humanity.   
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JLatimer
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011, 04:02:23 PM »

Hi J,

It was a culmination of things over the years, mostly related to my shifting from a conservative to a liberal view of the world. I was raised in a very tight, conservative Christian household, one with a  " your-faith-is-this-and-you-do-not-question-it" mentality. As I grew older, I began to realize that this was not who I was, nor what I believed, and began a lot of self and soul searching.

Conservative...liberal. Those terms are often not terribly helpful. Can you be more specific?

Who are you? What do you believe?
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
BAS
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 04:11:25 PM »

Ok, I guess I have to go into specifics don't I?  Tongue

I do not believe that the Orthodox Church is the True Church, but rather, that it is one of many branches of Christianity.
I believe that the sacrament of communion is not the actual body and blood of Christ, but rather a representation of Christ and his sacrifice. To me, it is not so much what the elements "are", but rather that we gather together to celebrate Christ's life and his teachings. It is going to mean different things to different people.
Several dear friends of mine as Jewish and Muslim, and I do not believe that either religion is a threat to Christianity, nor that either needs to be obliterated (this view of Jews and Muslims may have been more strictly related to the particular place I grew up).
I strongly support gay rights and gay marriage, as well as the ordination of women and gays.
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 04:19:11 PM »

we gather together to celebrate Christ's life and his teachings.

1 Corinthians 11:26 (KJV)
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

---

Can I ask a question? Which came first, your rejection of Orthodox doctrine about the Eucharist, or your rejection of Christian teaching on sexuality and gender?
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 04:28:34 PM »

I was born and raised in an OCA church, but in my early twenties began questioning many aspects of the Orthodox faith. My spiritual journey eventually lead me to the Presbyterian Church (USA)
BAS, do you adhere to the Calvinist doctrines of TULIP?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TULIP#Five_points_of_Calvinism

I hope we don't come across as "grilling"; you strike me as someone who may dislike being around those who strongly believe in absolute truth and who disagree with you on fundamental issues. Do your Muslim friends believe your religion is a lie, or satanic? Would you still be friends with them if they did, and have discussions with them on the subject?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 04:34:04 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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BAS
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 04:43:08 PM »

I have many close friends that identify as gay, so that one really came first. You have to understand though that while I was raised Orthodox, it was not necessarily something I believed. I went to church, to confession, to Sunday school, because I had no choice in the matter. It was either go, or face ridicule and rejection by my family. Over time, the services, the sacraments, and the teachings were not enough. I did not feel spiritually fulfilled; something was missing, and I had to seek that out on my own. Faith for me is a journey, not something I should be guilt tripped into, and it is an ongoing process. I still find Orthodox services, particularly the music, to be beautiful and uplifting, and I think I will always consider it to be so. It is not, however, the best place for me anymore.

I believe that everyone should have that process of thinking about and questioning faith, that it is naturally a part of life. I don't know where this will all lead my in the end, but I intend to keep on this road. And in the end, I believe it will be for God alone to judge my life, and that it won't be so much the particular religion I belonged to as much as it will be the way I lived.
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2011, 04:46:17 PM »

And in regard to the Truth?
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2011, 04:50:08 PM »

I have many close friends that identify as gay, so that one really came first. You have to understand though that while I was raised Orthodox, it was not necessarily something I believed. I went to church, to confession, to Sunday school, because I had no choice in the matter. It was either go, or face ridicule and rejection by my family. Over time, the services, the sacraments, and the teachings were not enough. I did not feel spiritually fulfilled; something was missing, and I had to seek that out on my own. Faith for me is a journey, not something I should be guilt tripped into, and it is an ongoing process. I still find Orthodox services, particularly the music, to be beautiful and uplifting, and I think I will always consider it to be so. It is not, however, the best place for me anymore.

I believe that everyone should have that process of thinking about and questioning faith, that it is naturally a part of life. I don't know where this will all lead my in the end, but I intend to keep on this road. And in the end, I believe it will be for God alone to judge my life, and that it won't be so much the particular religion I belonged to as much as it will be the way I lived.

So you assumed what was missing was in the Church and not in you? That's not logical or spiritually wise. No offense. I'll lay off, because I'm not trying to hound you, but I think there is a lot of sloppy logic in how you are approaching things.
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »

You can't honestly think that people aren't going to just start debating you on all of this. There are no Orthodox converts to Protestantism that post on here.
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BAS
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2011, 04:59:38 PM »

Hi Nicholas,

As per the doctrines that you posted, I would have to say that no, I do not adhere to all of them. I have come to follow more closely the beliefs that are outlined by PCUSA in our Book of Order and our Book of Confession. Going back a bit to previous posts, one of the things I strongly agree with Prebyterians on is that our faith is always a work in progress, and that we live as part of this world and should be actively involved in it. This is why we have the General Assemblies every two year, to help us look at and evaluate out positions, and to work and pray for what will be the best course of action for us, as we do our best to understand and carry out God's will.

I'd also have to say that I'm not really a fan of "grilling"! In general, I don't like argument or confrontation - I dealt enough with that growing up, and I don't think it's healthy. I have my views, you have yours, and I am not here to try to convert you to mine. I simply would like to have open, honest, and caring dialogue.

As for my Muslim friends, our faith differences have never been an issue for us. I have been invited now for several years for a traditional open house that celebrates the end of Ramadan by one friend, and she and her family have been nothing but open and welcoming.
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2011, 05:03:56 PM »

I'd also have to say that I'm not really a fan of "grilling"! In general, I don't like argument or confrontation - I dealt enough with that growing up, and I don't think it's healthy. I have my views, you have yours, and I am not here to try to convert you to mine. I simply would like to have open, honest, and caring dialogue.
Dialogue between those who disagree is not really about conversion, it's about a very human search for truth; a truth that I believe exists and will exist regardless of my subjective analysis of it.   Wink
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 05:04:12 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2011, 05:08:43 PM »

Nicely put! I think I am going to remove this posting though, as I am not sure it was the place for it. Thank you for contributing though.
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2011, 05:13:27 PM »

Hi Nicholas,

As per the doctrines that you posted, I would have to say that no, I do not adhere to all of them. I have come to follow more closely the beliefs that are outlined by PCUSA in our Book of Order and our Book of Confession. Going back a bit to previous posts, one of the things I strongly agree with Prebyterians on is that our faith is always a work in progress, and that we live as part of this world and should be actively involved in it. This is why we have the General Assemblies every two year, to help us look at and evaluate out positions, and to work and pray for what will be the best course of action for us, as we do our best to understand and carry out God's will.

I'd also have to say that I'm not really a fan of "grilling"! In general, I don't like argument or confrontation - I dealt enough with that growing up, and I don't think it's healthy. I have my views, you have yours, and I am not here to try to convert you to mine. I simply would like to have open, honest, and caring dialogue.

As for my Muslim friends, our faith differences have never been an issue for us. I have been invited now for several years for a traditional open house that celebrates the end of Ramadan by one friend, and she and her family have been nothing but open and welcoming.

For someone so obviously concerned with openness, caring, love, etc., you seem to have a lot of anger under the surface about your childhood.

By the way, do you believe in the Virgin Birth?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 05:14:51 PM by JLatimer » Logged

1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
NicholasMyra
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2011, 05:14:06 PM »

Nicely put! I think I am going to remove this posting though, as I am not sure it was the place for it. Thank you for contributing though.
Well, BAS, this forum environment is geared towards those who want to "stick it through" tough discussions that challenge one's world view. People go through periods in their lives where this sort of "world-view challenging" is too unsettling to tolerate; that's perfectly alright.

I'd like to leave you with one thought, though. You said "And in the end, I believe it will be for God alone to judge my life". Christianity (especially Orthodox Christianity) isn't about doing the minimum amount required to "get into heaven". Also, nobody here believes you're damned.

We humans are designed to love truth, because all ultimate absolute truth accords with God through his Word and Spirit. Therefore, walking in the fullness of truth is to walk into ever-deepening communion with the fullness of God, something that is worth enduring conflict for. Christ did say he came to bring a sword.

If you would ever like to discuss this one-on-one instead of in the forum environment, you can PM me and I will give you my email address.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 05:16:42 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2011, 06:05:12 PM »

I was born and raised in an OCA church, but in my early twenties began questioning many aspects of the Orthodox faith. My spiritual journey eventually lead me to the Presbyterian Church (USA), where I have found a wonderful, welcoming community and home; I have been a Presbyterian now for over a year.

While many of the friends I have made over this time period have come from other Protestant denominations, or from the Roman Catholic church, I've heard almost nothing about other former Orthodox Christians who now follow a different spiritual path. I am curious, and wanted to ask if there are others out there who share a similar journey in converting from Orthodoxy to another faith. Please share any stories you may have!

There are plenty of people around here who have essentially de-converted from Orthodoxy to atheism, but I don't think that will help you much...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 06:21:22 PM by Ortho_cat » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2011, 06:15:48 PM »

I'd also have to say that I'm not really a fan of "grilling"! In general, I don't like argument or confrontation - I dealt enough with that growing up, and I don't think it's healthy. I have my views, you have yours, and I am not here to try to convert you to mine. I simply would like to have open, honest, and caring dialogue.

So you would rather dodge the question that I proposed? Obviously you don't think Orthodoxy is the Truth, and I would like to know why. To say "I wasn't spiritually uplifted" has no bearing on the Truth.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 06:18:07 PM by Aposphet » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2011, 11:45:32 AM »

For the Orthodox here, I'd highly suggest you look up PCUSA and their beliefs. If you're familiar with neo-Orthodoxy or the newest forms of it (often found in the 'Emergent Movement'), then that can accurately summarize the PCUSA.

To be honest, I - and many of my friends - are having the opposite calling. The more we study philosophy and its relation to Christianity and the more we look at conservative beliefs and ideals (from a theological standpoint), the more Orthodoxy makes sense...
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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2011, 02:24:44 PM »

Several dear friends of mine as Jewish and Muslim, and I do not believe that either religion is a threat to Christianity, nor that either needs to be obliterated (this view of Jews and Muslims may have been more strictly related to the particular place I grew up).

Yeah, that sounds like something related to wherever you grew up, not something specific to Orthodoxy.  I grew up in a place where that view of Jews and Muslims is common, including among Presbyterians.  When I moved to another region, there were Muslims trying to build a mosque in the community that sparked numerous protests from people claiming the Muslims were terrorists.  I joined counter-protests supporting the Muslims' right to build their mosque, and I certainly wasn't the only Orthodox Christian there.

It's also important to remember that while some people bring hateful views into Orthodoxy from outside the faith, other Orthodox have lived in areas where their neighbors and rulers used their own religion as an excuse to abuse them, and as a consequence, some Orthodox retain resentment towards these groups.  Plenty of Orthodox don't, though.  For example, my Arab Orthodox brethren with family in Palestine are angry that their family members are persecuted by the Israeli government, but they don't burn down synagogues or persecute Jewish people here. 

And for those who do hate, it's something to work on.  We won't lie to those people and tell them their hatred is healthy or normal.  Sin is something to be overcome, not redefined based on cultural norms.  Lying to people about what constitutes a sinful lifestyle is far more hateful than having some residual resentment to overcome.
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