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Author Topic: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?  (Read 23947 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: March 28, 2011, 06:36:50 PM »

Thank you for your patience.

I hope you're not leaving us?   Huh

No, I'm just trying to say "I'm sorry" for pre-judging Protestant converts to Orthodoxy.  I'm beginning to see that there are some very nuanced, thoughtful, and challenging reasons why Protestants chose Orthodoxy over Catholicism. 

Hi, Leap of Faith -- thanks for your awesome post.  Just a few things I want to touch on.

In the end, I could not get past:
1) Immaculate Conception because it seemed to me to change the humanity of Christ. That's a HUGE thing and straying from 100% man and 100% God isn't to be taken lightly. Yes, I've had it explained to me but it simply comes up short.
2) I struggled with the practice of indulgences, particularly for "annulments."  Which is closely related to my next point.
3) Although I understand and respect absolutely the sacrament of marriage, the RCC stand on divorce and the "unique" way that has been found to get out of the corner that I believe they have painted themselves into is...ummmm...odd.  It seems to be the equivalent of the Protestant stand on homosexuality.  Is the Church not supposed to be the Hospital of the Great Physician? 
4)  Liberalism and inconsistency of liturgies.  I tried and tried to make sense out of the coastal Roman Catholic mindsets that seemed in direct opposition. Even my Roman Catholic friends are distressed.
5) [...] the rationalization of the development of dogma which was spread over SUCH a vast amount of time [...]

I'm convinced that 1 through 5 (with 5 enveloping 1 though 4) are very astute criticisms of Catholicism today.  Catholic apologists are going to go berserk because a Catholic is backing up Orthodox observations, but Catholic brothers and sisters: hear me out.

Part of the reason why Rome is in such a mess today on certain issues is because of the western Christian tendency to place reason and intellectual development on the same level or even above divine revelation.  God has given human beings reason and thought to understand the natural world and salvation history.  We are thinking beings because our thoughts should always lead us not to infatuation with what we can create but a yearning for eternal life.  Difficulties arise when we humans think that we can understand all of God's mystery through our own intellectual study.  Revelation is always above human understanding. 

Let's take (4) and see how rationalism has ruined the Roman liturgy.  The current trainwreck that is post-Vatican II liturgy didn't just arise as a result of the philosophical and theological confusion of the 1960's.  For at least one hundred years previously, theologians (now often called "liturgists") tried to reconcile modern and postmodern philosophy, and social sciences in particular, with the apostolic Roman liturgy.  Really Bad Move.  Theologians of the 19th and 20th century dismissed the ancient Latin and ritual of the Mass as an impediment to "active participation".  Suddenly, theologians began to contend that Mass had to shift from the Holy Sacrifice and the Eternal Banquet, into a socio-anthropological transaction between priest and worshippers in "community".  The only real participation could happen through saying responses and "seeing what the priest is doing".  Mass now was to be tamed to serve our anthropological interests, and not lift our minds towards the holy-eternal-life-giving Sacrament.

I needn't tell any of you what has happened to the Roman Mass in the last 50 years.  If a Protestant became Orthodox simply out of confusion and disgust at what has happened to the Mass, I sympathize with them.  Fortunately the apostolic Roman liturgy, aka the "Tridentine Mass" or Extraordinary Form, is slowly regrowing and thriving in many places.  Still, there are many liturgists in diocesan chanceries that still believe that Mass exists as a psycho-therapeutic session rather than the union of heaven and earth in the unbloody re-presentation of the eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

Let the past 50 years of Roman liturgy illustrate the way in which the Roman tendency to rationalize the properly mysterious has gone horribly, horribly wrong.   
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« Reply #91 on: March 28, 2011, 07:26:04 PM »

I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".  

...Why not become Roman Catholic
In my own case that there is no trace of papal supremacy (primacy is not supremacy) or papal infallibility in the first Christian millennium (the latter first pronounced as an official dogma in 1870) was enough reason, although there were other reasons. Another biggie for me, with graduate background in philosophy, was the role medieval rationalism came to take from the middle ages onward, as alluded to in the previous post, which rather than leading to the firm foundation for God on the basis of reason it postulated/dogmatized, led instead to the Enlightenment, the Death of God, the collapse of Foundationalism in philosophy, the rise of postmodern relativistic skepticism etc.

Latin Catholicism as I saw it simply wasn't genuinely "apostolic" in the way Orthodoxy continued to be because of those and similar departures in the Latin tradition from historic Christianity as it existed during the first Christian millennium. Latin Catholicism and Protestantism seemed (and seem) to me two sides of the same coin that began with the Latins. As Orthodox often affirm: Latins added to the faith; Protestants took away. This judgment -though perhaps controversial to Latin Catholic ears- is quite reasonable from the perspective of critical historiography IMO.

If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.
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« Reply #92 on: March 28, 2011, 07:54:27 PM »

Fantastic post xariskai, I'm with you on all points however I did want to bring up something...

Another biggie for me, with graduate background in philosophy, was the role medieval rationalism came to take from the middle ages onward, as alluded to in the previous post, which rather than leading to the firm foundation for God on the basis of reason it postulated/dogmatized, led instead to the Enlightenment, the Death of God, the collapse of Foundationalism in philosophy, the rise of postmodern relativistic skepticism etc.
One of my primary reasons why I'm not Roman Catholic. Would you be the opinion of rationalism and the usage of future logic rock, and perhaps destroy, the foundation of the Catholic Church teaching?
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« Reply #93 on: March 28, 2011, 08:36:28 PM »


If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?

And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

M.
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« Reply #94 on: March 28, 2011, 08:39:09 PM »

Although I was baptized as an infant into the Orthodox Church, in many ways I am a convert. My mother was raised by two devout Polish Catholic parents, and attended Catholic schools (yet surprisingly knows little about the meaning behind Catholic doctrine.) My father was raised Orthodox. When they married, they married in the Orthodox Church, and my sister and I were subsequently baptized in the Orthodox Church.

When my parents divorced, my mother became an Evangelical Protestant.

As a child, I was at a different church every other weekend. Weekends with Dad were Orthodox, weekends with Mom were Baptist. (FUN!)

As an adult, I had to figure out what I believed and why. I knew I believed in the Trinity, in Christ and His Resurrection. I thus began exploring every denomination of Christianity. I attended services read books. Furthermore, I had just about every sect of Christianity represented within my extended family.

I never felt a hostility towards Catholicism because it was the faith of my maternal grandparents. I had attended Midnight Mass with them many times. My Grandmother even had an audience with Pope John Paul II when her parish went to Rome in 1990. I still have her icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa in my bedroom.

The reasons I didn't become Catholic were many. Here are a few:

1) Since the 8th Ecumenical Council, Orthodox doctrine has remained the same. Once the basic tenets of the faith were established, the Patriarchs didn't feel the need to issue a statement on every granular level of faith. In the Catholic Church doctrine and dogma have changed throughout the years. The Mass has changed throughout the years. The last major revision to the Liturgy the Orthodox Church experienced was in the 4th Century. As recently as last year, The College of Cardinals were still tinkering with the Mass.

If God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why must His Church, which He promised would withstand the Gates of Hades, constantly change her doctrine and form of worship?

2) The Papacy. This topic has been beaten to death, so I'm not going to go over it again.

3) Rome doesn't understand "economia." The fact that my mother would have had to gotten an annulment to receive communion in the Church after her divorce from my father is ridiculous. Rome likes to write rules, but doesn't understand how they apply to real people. The Orthodox Church sees herself as a "Hospital for Sinners" where each individual prescription for theosis is different for each individual. Why? Because God made each of us different.

4) Original Sin. Really? I'm Ukrainian on my father's side. Ukrainians inherit guilt from their Grandmother's. Not from Adam.  Wink (Grandma: "Why didn't you come over this week?" Me: "I didn't know you wanted me to come over." Grandma: "But I made you dinner!" Me: "But you didn't tell me!" Grandma: "It doesn't matter, you should have come over! I'm 92! I'm cooking and you don't come over! What's wrong with you?!")

5) The Immaculate Heart of Mary. So let me get this straight. For almost 2,000 years, the dogma of the Immaculate Heart and the Immaculate Conception didn't exist, then all of the sudden God reveals this little tid-bit almost 2 millenia after His Resurrection? Also, it just seemed like a way to continue with St. Augustine's strange views on Original Sin. (See Ukrainian Grandmother.)

6) The formal Canonization process for picking Saints. In the Orthodox Church, if a Holy person dies and is locally venerated by the faithful, and miracles occur, that's enough for people to recognize him/her as a saint. In Rome, you need a tribunal, there is an investigation. Only God has the authority to choose who is and is not a saint. Not a pontiff.

7) Orange shag carpet. Also known as the Vatican II Council. Almost two millenia worth of beautiful architecture, music, liturgy, and worship thrown away in the name of being politically correct. Again, if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why are you changing?

After Vatican II it seemed like the Church had lost her identity. I see videos on Youtube of Masses with dancing and modern rock music, and then there is talk of bringing the SSPX back into the fold. Instead of the faithful conforming to Christ and His Church, His Church is conforming to the people. The Anglicans have tried that, and they are in quite a mess as a result.

So, I returned back the Orthodox Church. As we sing after receiving communion each Sunday, "We have seen the true light. We have received the Heavenly Spirit. We have found the true faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity, who has saved us."
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« Reply #95 on: March 28, 2011, 08:42:57 PM »


If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?

And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

M.

Our father among the saints, St. Gregory Palamas rejected the idea of eastern scholasticism, and as a result, so did the East. We embraced mysticism instead.

The faith one chooses (or chooses to reject) is a very personal matter. I think it is presumptuous for anyone to assume why anyone would choose any path of faith.

The best we can do is pray that the Lord will have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #96 on: March 28, 2011, 08:58:16 PM »

If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

You're quite right.  Many intelligent Protestant scholars have converted to Orthodoxy after reasonable and principled examination.  I apologize (and have apologized) for insinuating that "a great many" Protestants choose Orthodoxy because of anti-Catholic prejudice in some Protestant circles.  mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, ideo precor ...  I've served many Masses.  I can say the Confiteor in under nine seconds :-)

7) Orange shag carpet. Also known as the Vatican II Council. Almost two millenia worth of beautiful architecture, music, liturgy, and worship thrown away in the name of being politically correct. Again, if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why are you changing?

That description of postmodern Roman liturgical insanity trumps my paragraphs of ranting.  Thanks Handmaiden! 

We traditional Romans are holding onto our ancient apostolic liturgy by our fingernails.  I could "jump ship" and become Orthodox, but I'm praying that Catholicism can be saved from its desire to destroy itself.  From the looks of it right now, it seems that many Catholics are willing to sell the entire faith down the river for a "happy clappy", feel good, no committment, therapy hour version of Catholicism.  I'd like to know why we Catholics are changing.  I never signed up for the changes. 
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« Reply #97 on: March 28, 2011, 09:09:00 PM »

What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?
Doesn't happen because Orthodoxy exists in this mystical realm outside of human fallible logic.

Quote
And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

Nowhere in that post does he say ANYTHING about "intelligent converts", let's look at that quote again:

Quote
thoughtful and well-educated
When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.
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« Reply #98 on: March 28, 2011, 09:14:05 PM »

Okay, sticking my hand into the piranha tank on this one.

While I sincerely believe that most Protestants convert to Orthodoxy out of personal conviction, I am convinced that a small number of Protestants (especially those from non-mainline, evangelical Protestantism) convert to Orthodoxy mainly because they wish to belong to an apostolic church that's simply "not Rome".   

There have been many evangelical Protestants that have happily converted to Roman Catholicism.  Also, there is now an ordinariate for Anglican converts.  There are not a few ex-Anglican priests and ex-Lutheran pastors now serving as Roman priests under dispensation. 

Nevertheless, I cannot shake the suspicion that some evangelicals will not even consider Rome when considering a move to apostolic Christianity.  What particularly galls me are the Protestants who convert to "Western Orthodoxy" and hear the Tridentine Mass in English.  Why not become Roman Catholic and hear Mass within the Church that is built around this liturgy?  It's all rather insulting.  I also think it's rather petty that someone would become Orthodox simply because they do not want to be perceived as Roman Catholic.

Yes, this post is inflammatory.  Nevertheless, I do have some strong biases about this issue.  I suspect that a number of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy often take a hard apologetic tack against Roman Catholicism out of historical prejudices and not a reasoned stance against Rome.


Not to be to blunt, it is because RCism is not Apostolic due innovations and wandering away from Holy Tradition.
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« Reply #99 on: March 28, 2011, 09:52:12 PM »



We traditional Romans are holding onto our ancient apostolic liturgy by our fingernails.  I could "jump ship" and become Orthodox, but I'm praying that Catholicism can be saved from its desire to destroy itself.  From the looks of it right now, it seems that many Catholics are willing to sell the entire faith down the river for a "happy clappy", feel good, no committment, therapy hour version of Catholicism.  I'd like to know why we Catholics are changing.  I never signed up for the changes. 

20 years ago, I was in the same situation as you are.

An Orthodox Priest told me to put the schizophrenia aside of trying to be a traditionalist (Orthodox) Catholic under Rome and come East.
I took his advice and have never looked back. I am now part of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, and I love her.
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« Reply #100 on: March 28, 2011, 09:58:09 PM »

Thank you for your patience.

I hope you're not leaving us?   Huh

No, I'm just trying to say "I'm sorry" for pre-judging Protestant converts to Orthodoxy.  I'm beginning to see that there are some very nuanced, thoughtful, and challenging reasons why Protestants chose Orthodoxy over Catholicism. 

Hi, Leap of Faith -- thanks for your awesome post.  Just a few things I want to touch on.

In the end, I could not get past:
1) Immaculate Conception because it seemed to me to change the humanity of Christ. That's a HUGE thing and straying from 100% man and 100% God isn't to be taken lightly. Yes, I've had it explained to me but it simply comes up short.
2) I struggled with the practice of indulgences, particularly for "annulments."  Which is closely related to my next point.
3) Although I understand and respect absolutely the sacrament of marriage, the RCC stand on divorce and the "unique" way that has been found to get out of the corner that I believe they have painted themselves into is...ummmm...odd.  It seems to be the equivalent of the Protestant stand on homosexuality.  Is the Church not supposed to be the Hospital of the Great Physician? 
4)  Liberalism and inconsistency of liturgies.  I tried and tried to make sense out of the coastal Roman Catholic mindsets that seemed in direct opposition. Even my Roman Catholic friends are distressed.
5) [...] the rationalization of the development of dogma which was spread over SUCH a vast amount of time [...]

I'm convinced that 1 through 5 (with 5 enveloping 1 though 4) are very astute criticisms of Catholicism today.  Catholic apologists are going to go berserk because a Catholic is backing up Orthodox observations, but Catholic brothers and sisters: hear me out.
etc.

While none of us, presumably, like to hear that sort of thing, sometimes it's necessary to hear it. (Of course, the Orthodox also don't like to hear criticisms of themselves, but that's beside the point.) With that in mind, I'd like to add a thought of my own what's already been said (by you and by others): I think that we modern RCs have too much of a tendency to define ourselves in terms of what we're not, for example, the-less-Protestant-you-are-the-more-Catholic-you-are mentality.
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« Reply #101 on: March 28, 2011, 10:12:13 PM »

When I was a Catholic, nuns and priests often gave the following advice: "Do not try to be holier than the Pope."
That was the "mark" of a good Catholic.

In Orthodoxy, we are called to "put on Christ."
We are urged to cleanse our tarnished icon of Christ with our tears of repentance.

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« Reply #102 on: March 28, 2011, 10:17:24 PM »

While none of us, presumably, like to hear that sort of thing, sometimes it's necessary to hear it. (Of course, the Orthodox also don't like to hear criticisms of themselves, but that's beside the point.) With that in mind, I'd like to add a thought of my own what's already been said (by you and by others):


Sorry about the long post/rant/vent.  Sometimes I forget to take the Haldol on time.

I think that we modern RCs have too much of a tendency to define ourselves in terms of what we're not, for example, the-less-Protestant-you-are-the-more-Catholic-you-are mentality.

Not sure what you mean by this, Peter.  Do you mean the low church/high church/tridentine divisions in Roman Catholic liturgy?  Are you talking about a spectrum between Protestant belief and Catholic belief?  In my parent's RC diocese there's everything from "charismatic Catholics", to liturgically Protestant low church Novus Ordo, to Solemn Tridentine Mass and Vespers.   
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« Reply #103 on: March 28, 2011, 10:32:29 PM »

When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?
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« Reply #104 on: March 28, 2011, 10:39:22 PM »

Ah so now you really want to pick fights, okay then...

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.
So the Gospel is relative then, nobody can profess the Gospel accurately or truthfully.

Quote
lulz @ objective.
lulz @ relativism

Quote
These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.
Better be equipped with the facts than being stunned with the question "Well where did the Bible come from?" or "How can I trust your Bible?".

And just so you know we aren't dealing with people on this board who are merely people on the street so your comment is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

Quote
One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?
I got evangelized by "the confines of an LCD screen" and it happens all the time. For some people who are in depth with Church History, it's easier to pull up sources to support the argumentation on the differences between both churches.

Quote
How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

5 people so far, and that's all on message boards.
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« Reply #105 on: March 28, 2011, 10:43:47 PM »

If some apologetic RC come along wanting to debate these points I'll say for the record I'm really not interested right now; I'm just saying -agree or disagree with the reasoning, but reasoned reflection rather than sheer prejudice can certainly lead a thoughtful and well-educated convert to choose Orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism (cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, Richard Swinburne and others!); frankly I find the assumption in the OP that such a move must surely be likely to stem from some kind of "anti-Catholic prejudice" as presumptuous as it is insulting.

You're quite right.  Many intelligent Protestant scholars have converted to Orthodoxy after reasonable and principled examination.  I apologize (and have apologized) for insinuating that "a great many" Protestants choose Orthodoxy because of anti-Catholic prejudice in some Protestant circles.  mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, ideo precor ...  I've served many Masses.  I can say the Confiteor in under nine seconds :-)
Thanks; I respect your retraction and your character for making it.


What if some Orthodox scholar-monks want to take you on...or maybe give you a lesson in eastern scholasticism...Think you might be ready for that?
Doesn't happen because Orthodoxy exists in this mystical realm outside of human fallible logic.

Quote
And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?  Do you really think that is a realistic assertion?

Nowhere in that post does he say ANYTHING about "intelligent converts"
Thanks Aposphet; that should be apparent to the careful reader.

And don't you think it is a tad inflammatory to suggest that the only intelligent converts from the Protestant and evangelical worlds have chosen Orthodoxy?
It might have been if someone had suggested that. My point was that the presumption conversions to Orthodoxy surely indicate widespread unthinking prejudice is in play is inflammatory. I hadn't noticed that jordanz had kindly retracted earlier, so I will in turn apologize for beating down a dead horse on my own part ;-) -albeit in my defense it was in the OP  Cheesy

Do intelligent converts adept at logic and history chose correctly -ipso facto? There are *intelligent* Latin Catholics, Orthodox, atheists, pantheists, and serial killers. Faith is a component of living mercy and divine disclosure directed toward a repentant heart, not simply the conclusion of a syllogism held by the Rationally Superior Man, nor is it the indication of a rationally inferior man (Jn 3:19-21). Triumphalist apologists, foundationalists, and verificationalists might suppose the former; over-confident atheists might suppose the latter. 'God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom" -1 Cor 1:21 There are those who rationally suppose they know God but don't, and others who might suppose rationally they don't know who are being drawn by the living God in all and through all things who is nearer to each of us than our own life.


"Your fountain, Lord, is hidden from the person who does not thirst for You." -St. Ephrem the Syrian (Faith 32:2-3)

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." -1 Cor 2:14  

Conversion is a very personal issue that I tried to rationalize into an anthropological question.  I'm an academic, so everything in my world is rather unemotional and analytical.  Roman Catholicism is also very scholastic, abstract, rationalist, and legalist, so perhaps this is why I find Catholicism particularly compelling.
This is an interesting comment; I'm very academic as well, however the scholastic, abstract, rationalist, and legalist aspects are precisely why I find Latin Catholicism isn't compelling. I view it not only historiographically late (and that I regard it as an theological innovation is important), but building upon sand that has in large measure responsible for the likes of Protestantism and Atheism as counter-reactions to what I feel are overblown claims about the power of Rationality. We do not know God as a function of autonomous reason; no one can know God except insofar as they love Him, and their brother (1 Jn); even demons "knew" Jesus Christ was the Son of God; many modern critical historians claim to know darn well on the basis of Reason that He isn't. A Calvinist friend of mine gives the very same reason for why he finds Calvinism so compelling, it is "logical" -that appeals to him; he cannot fathom Barth's statement that systemetization is the enemy of true theology (also important in Eastern Christian mystical and apophatic theology). It is Reason that has led to a multitude of disparate though exegetically and logically grounded human certainties that seldom converge to much less than total chaos. It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.
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« Reply #106 on: March 28, 2011, 10:51:24 PM »

This is an interesting comment; I'm very academic as well, however the scholastic, abstract, rationalist, and legalist aspects are precisely why I find Latin Catholicism isn't compelling. I view it not only historiographically late (and that I regard it as an theological innovation is important), but building upon sand that has in large measure responsible for the likes of Protestantism and Atheism as counter-reactions to what I feel are overblown claims about the power of Rationality. We do not know God as a function of autonomous reason; no one can know God except insofar as they love Him, and their brother (1 Jn); even demons "knew" Jesus Christ was the Son of God; many modern critical historians claim to know darn well on the basis of Reason that He isn't. A Calvinist friend of mine gives the very same reason for why he finds Calvinism so compelling, it is "logical" -that appeals to him; he cannot fathom Barth's statement that systemetization is the enemy of true theology (also important in Eastern Christian mystical and apophatic theology). It is Reason that has led to a multitude of disparate though exegetically and logically grounded human certainties that seldom converge to much less than total chaos. It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

That answered my previous question on both of us holding to the same degree of the rejection of this flawed philosophy of holding reason alone and rationalism. Excellent post.
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« Reply #107 on: March 28, 2011, 11:00:02 PM »

Quote
lulz @ objective.
lulz @ relativism

*sigh* Keeping coming back.
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« Reply #108 on: March 28, 2011, 11:01:58 PM »

When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. When you don't know any better, you don't search for more. But Protestants are often in a perpetual search of historicity and accuracy, and that is where they often find the Church.

So, don't knock people who are initially converted by historical arguments. It cannot stop there—it must grow into a love for the Church for what it is—but if that's what God can use to hook people, then it's good.
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« Reply #109 on: March 28, 2011, 11:04:11 PM »

When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. When you don't know any better, you don't search for more. But Protestants are often in a perpetual search of historicity and accuracy, and that is where they often find the Church.

So, don't knock people who are initially converted by historical arguments. It cannot stop there—it must grow into a love for the Church for what it is—but if that's what God can use to hook people, then it's good.

Didn't knock it. Tone and exclusivity is the point.
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« Reply #110 on: March 28, 2011, 11:07:03 PM »

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. .

Couldn't agree more.
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« Reply #111 on: March 28, 2011, 11:07:58 PM »

I thought that True Church thread of ozgeorge did away with all these arguments?  Huh  Tongue
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« Reply #112 on: March 28, 2011, 11:12:05 PM »

It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  
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« Reply #113 on: March 28, 2011, 11:21:14 PM »

It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  

A fairly recent thread to rid the last of that notion: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29606.0.html

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« Reply #114 on: March 28, 2011, 11:43:20 PM »

When one becomes educated enough in historical Christianity, you must denounce Protestantism and Roman Catholicsm as the bearers of the Truth. One must look into the history of Christianity, objectively speaking, and thus when one does you'll find the original Church of Christ that was retained the Tradition and Faith of the Apostles for 2000 years unchanged; neither subsituted nor added. And I'm sure xairskai said thoughtful in regards to using the intellect in the pursuit of the Church and looking at historiography objectively.

Forget that whole Gospel thing. History trumps the Good News and the Movement of the Holy Spirit.

And I am sure St. Paul served St. Basil Liturgy in Corinth.

lulz @ objective.

These sorta holier, or more accurately, historically than thou statements are probably non-starters with nearly everyone you will meet in the street.

One thing to get nerdy on an internet board, but how does evangelism work outside the confines of an LCD screen?

How many folks are brought into at least one service because of your witness, much less make a strong commitment to joining the EO Church?

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

This is because, at least in my life, the activity of the Holy Spirit was undeniable as a Protestant. It was not what it is now that I'm Orthodox, but the Good News and the Holy Spirit are already a part of a Protestant's life, in some form. When you don't know any better, you don't search for more. But Protestants are often in a perpetual search of historicity and accuracy, and that is where they often find the Church.

So, don't knock people who are initially converted by historical arguments. It cannot stop there—it must grow into a love for the Church for what it is—but if that's what God can use to hook people, then it's good.

Didn't knock it. Tone and exclusivity is the point.

Fair enough. Apologies if I jumped to concussions.  Smiley
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« Reply #115 on: March 28, 2011, 11:52:50 PM »

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

You might have answered this in another post that I didn't see. Do you have access to a traditional RC parish?
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« Reply #116 on: March 29, 2011, 12:25:26 AM »

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

You might have answered this in another post that I didn't see. Do you have access to a traditional RC parish?

Ever since I got my driver's license I stopped going to the Novus Ordo except on vacations and when I just couldn't avoid it.  Back where I'm originally from I had my pick of three or four (usually high) Latin Masses on Sunday, and weekday Low Masses also.  The only option I have here in my new place is the SSPX, and I'm not down with their prejudice.  Now I worship with the Ukrainian Greek Catholics.  I really miss Latin Mass though.  It is home for me.
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« Reply #117 on: March 29, 2011, 07:26:43 AM »

The Holy Spirit can use whatever pretext He wants to bring people into the Church. Some people couldn't care about historicity less. Others are convinced by the historical evidence, and the rest comes along later. Every path to the Church is a legitimate one.

Aposphet has indicated history was the hook for him, and it happens to have been for me as well. I know several other people personally, including an entire family whose father is now a priest, who had that same path. Actually, history was a primary factor for all the converts I know.

It was huge for me.  As you note, we were converts, believers who were seeking the Church.  Once we had reason to look outside our own tradition, history was an enormous factor in settling such issues as Papal jurisdiction and prayer to the saints.  I can't overstate the impact studying Church history had on our conversion.
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« Reply #118 on: March 29, 2011, 12:02:16 PM »

Once we had reason to look outside our own tradition, history was an enormous factor in settling such issues as Papal jurisdiction and prayer to the saints. 

I understand that Westerners and Easterners pray for the intercession of the saints differently.  What is it about the Eastern understanding of intercession that drew you to Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #119 on: March 29, 2011, 01:11:34 PM »

Once we had reason to look outside our own tradition, history was an enormous factor in settling such issues as Papal jurisdiction and prayer to the saints. 

I understand that Westerners and Easterners pray for the intercession of the saints differently.  What is it about the Eastern understanding of intercession that drew you to Orthodoxy?

I don't know that it was a difference in understanding (I'm sure there is one, but I'm not articulate enough to state it).  I didn't mean history settled every issue in favor of Orthodoxy over and against Rome.  Obviously, Papal jurisdiction was settled that way, but prayer to the saints was more of an historical issue with the whole Church, and in fact the fact that both the Eastern and Western Churches hold to this practice was huge for me, as a Protestant.
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« Reply #120 on: March 29, 2011, 02:22:41 PM »

When I was a Catholic, nuns and priests often gave the following advice: "Do not try to be holier than the Pope."
That was the "mark" of a good Catholic.

In Orthodoxy, we are called to "put on Christ."
We are urged to cleanse our tarnished icon of Christ with our tears of repentance.

I grew up Catholic, but I never once heard "Do not try to be holier than the Pope" until 3 or 4 years ago, when I heard (well, read) it on an internet discussion forum.
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« Reply #121 on: March 29, 2011, 02:29:48 PM »

When I was a Catholic, nuns and priests often gave the following advice: "Do not try to be holier than the Pope."
That was the "mark" of a good Catholic.

In Orthodoxy, we are called to "put on Christ."
We are urged to cleanse our tarnished icon of Christ with our tears of repentance.

I grew up Catholic, but I never once heard "Do not try to be holier than the Pope" until 3 or 4 years ago, when I heard (well, read) it on an internet discussion forum.

I was under Cardinal Mahony at that time. He has since retired.
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« Reply #122 on: March 29, 2011, 02:31:49 PM »

While none of us, presumably, like to hear that sort of thing, sometimes it's necessary to hear it. (Of course, the Orthodox also don't like to hear criticisms of themselves, but that's beside the point.) With that in mind, I'd like to add a thought of my own what's already been said (by you and by others):


Sorry about the long post/rant/vent.  Sometimes I forget to take the Haldol on time.

No need to apologize. I'm glad you shared your concerns and criticisms.

I think that we modern RCs have too much of a tendency to define ourselves in terms of what we're not, for example, the-less-Protestant-you-are-the-more-Catholic-you-are mentality.

Not sure what you mean by this, Peter. 

I'm afraid I don't have good examples in mind.
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« Reply #123 on: March 29, 2011, 02:39:52 PM »

I was under Cardinal Mahony at that time. He has since retired.

OT: Did Cardinal Mahony ever have any semblance of normalcy during his episcopacy, or was he simply crazy whack from the beginning?  That bishop did more damage to American Catholicism than we'll ever know.
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« Reply #124 on: March 29, 2011, 02:50:02 PM »

It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  

At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.
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« Reply #125 on: March 29, 2011, 02:54:19 PM »

It seems to me that many evangelicals and Catholics are what they are because of a concern for Rational Certainty stemming from an age which was obsessed with the Rational Foundation; the evangelical finds it in an Inerrant Book; the Roman Catholic in an Infallible Man.

Brilliant observation, xariskai.  When a person believes that he or she possesses the ability to understand the Holy Mysteries entirely through philosophical and theological inquiry, he or she might no longer be Christian.  I fear to say that many of my fellow Romans have advanced beyond this line.  It is quite evident wherever I look, both at the New Mass and the way in which apologists for the new liturgy fall back on anthropocentric justifications for the abrupt revolution in Catholic worship and piety.

I don't like this board because it's bringing to the fore what I've always suspected: I'm sort of ambivalent about conversion to Orthodoxy.  Maybe that's why I visited this board.  

I'm not bothered at all about dropping the filioque.  I'm not wedded to Augustinianism. The Orthodox "analogues" for Augustinian thought are not disagreeable and are certainly Patristic, if not Western Patristic.  Similarly, I'm not wedded to the IC, even though I have a deep veneration for the Divine Maternity.  That veneration could easily be explained through Orthodoxy.    

My main problems are: I love the Latin Mass (only in the original Latin, not an inaccurate WRO translation), the Latin plainchant tradition, and all of the venerations and devotions that go along with being Latin such as sung Benediction (can't be done with the leavened Eucharist).  I love Low Mass, especially because of the silence and deep meditation.  I've tried a prayer rope, but I love the Rosary more.  I've tried venerating the Theotokos in the Eastern style, but I prefer to call her "My Lady" and sing Latin hymns in praise of her.  I read koine Greek and can follow the Divine Liturgy in Greek fairly well, but Latin prayer is much easier for me.  Part of the reason why I came in all gung-ho about my prejudices about Protestant converts and Orthodoxy is because I thought that the only people who convert to Orthodoxy are evangelical Protestants.  I was just trying to justify my fears by saying that "oh, Romans don't convert."

Maybe I need to sit and reflect on this a bit.  Prying me away from the Tridentine tradition would be heart-wrenching, but seeing the way things are going in Roman Catholicism, I might have to leave just to receive the spiritual nourishment that I need.

Okay, again for the Haldol-ish rant.  I should get back to my paperwork.  

At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

I agree wholeheartedly!!  I am very close to any number of Catholics who were devastated by the changes coming out of the hijacking of the Second Vatican Council.   But these people have actually done something about it and in large part their untiring work within the boundaries of the canonical Church have begun to turn things around.  They did not waste time pooping in their own nest.

I think perhaps Jordon needs a cool change!

M.
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« Reply #126 on: March 29, 2011, 02:58:42 PM »

I was under Cardinal Mahony at that time. He has since retired.

OT: Did Cardinal Mahony ever have any semblance of normalcy during his episcopacy, or was he simply crazy whack from the beginning?  That bishop did more damage to American Catholicism than we'll ever know.

Under Cardinal Mahony's reign, I knew a quite a few Catholics who joined the Orthodox Church.

Roger Cardinal Mahony actually told me to stay at home and pray because I was allergic to the lemon scented air conditioner filters that permeated all of his parishes. He told me that someone had graciously donated the funds for all these lemon scented filters, and that he was not about to offend that person, so I joined the Melkite Church where no such filters were used. The Priest at the Melkite Greek Catholic Church said that the lemon scent would interfere with the incense, so I would not find such a filter in his church. If a person were to ask about making a donation toward scented filters, he would suggest that they donate a pound of incense instead. When I visited an Orthodox Church, they did not use these filters either.

Ultimately, it was the joke about change that started me on my journey toward Orthodoxy:

Q: How many Orthodox Christians are needed to change a light bulb?
A: Change, what is this word "change?"


« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 03:05:44 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #127 on: March 29, 2011, 03:04:17 PM »


If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there. About one month later, I told him that our family would like to be received as catechumens.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 03:09:47 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #128 on: March 29, 2011, 03:07:31 PM »

At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

This is a very good point.  I once knew a man who is a political refugee from Iraq.  He greatly misses Iraq.  Living in Canada is just not the same as his homeland and birthplace.  However, as a Canadian citizen he's free to express himself, worship according to his conscience, go to university, and build the life he'd like to live.  That doesn't take away the pain of exile, but he'll be the first to tell you that he's glad that Canada has given him a safe home.

Maybe I'll eventually view Orthodoxy that way.  No, it's not my Roman birthplace.  It may never be familiar to me.  It might well be where I need to go to serve God and be conformed to Him through theosis.  Maybe, like my friend, I need to take refuge in a foreign place for my own (spiritual) safety and well-being.     
   
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 03:07:59 PM by jordanz » Logged
Maria
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« Reply #129 on: March 29, 2011, 03:13:10 PM »

At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

This is a very good point.  I once knew a man who is a political refugee from Iraq.  He greatly misses Iraq.  Living in Canada is just not the same as his homeland and birthplace.  However, as a Canadian citizen he's free to express himself, worship according to his conscience, go to university, and build the life he'd like to live.  That doesn't take away the pain of exile, but he'll be the first to tell you that he's glad that Canada has given him a safe home.

Maybe I'll eventually view Orthodoxy that way.  No, it's not my Roman birthplace.  It may never be familiar to me.  It might well be where I need to go to serve God and be conformed to Him through theosis.  Maybe, like my friend, I need to take refuge in a foreign place for my own (spiritual) safety and well-being.      
  

I had a good Catholic friend who converted to Orthodoxy with me. She always viewed herself as a refugee.
Later, she joined a schismatic Traditional Catholic Church under Bishop Sebastian in Los Angeles.
When this renegade bishop upset a lot of parishioners, she left that church and went somewhere else.
As far as I know, she is still searching.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 03:14:28 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #130 on: March 29, 2011, 03:28:11 PM »

At some point you have to ask yourself "Am I holding on to aesthetics or am I holding on to truth?"

If you feel that the Roman Catholic Church is THE Church that Christ established, and you feel that she is the truth, then you should remain Catholic.

But to remain in her just for aesthetics is not only unfair to her, but it will eventually damage your relationship with God.

No one is going to force you to stop referring to the Theotokos as "My Lady," and you can always listen to plainchant CD's at home.

Pray and seek the truth.

That is where you must be.

This is a very good point.  I once knew a man who is a political refugee from Iraq.  He greatly misses Iraq.  Living in Canada is just not the same as his homeland and birthplace.  However, as a Canadian citizen he's free to express himself, worship according to his conscience, go to university, and build the life he'd like to live.  That doesn't take away the pain of exile, but he'll be the first to tell you that he's glad that Canada has given him a safe home.

Maybe I'll eventually view Orthodoxy that way.  No, it's not my Roman birthplace.  It may never be familiar to me.  It might well be where I need to go to serve God and be conformed to Him through theosis.  Maybe, like my friend, I need to take refuge in a foreign place for my own (spiritual) safety and well-being.      
  

I had a good Catholic friend who converted to Orthodoxy with me. She always viewed herself as a refugee.
Later, she joined a schismatic Traditional Catholic Church under Bishop Sebastian in Los Angeles.
When this renegade bishop upset a lot of parishioners, she left that church and went somewhere else.
As far as I know, she is still searching.

There are two, at least two, excellent lessons to be found in your story and in your friend's story.  Thanks very much for sharing them here.
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« Reply #131 on: March 29, 2011, 04:16:03 PM »

for me it was the history, and the doctrine.
i once asked a catholic priest if i could become catholic if i believed only 95% of the doctrine.
he was horrified. i tried explaining that only 1 or 2 of his parishioners we more catholic than i was, but he didn't buy it!
i found that in the orthodox church i could accept 100% of the doctrine.
that's what nailed it for me, even as a protestant i struggled to accept all the doctrines (especially as there were so many 'flavours'!).

by the way the british orthodox church has some awesome plainchant.
i think you can find some on you tube if you search under 'british orthodox'.
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« Reply #132 on: March 29, 2011, 07:05:00 PM »

Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there.

I think what that priest said makes a lot of sense.

But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?
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« Reply #133 on: March 29, 2011, 07:07:45 PM »

Exactly, this is what my Orthodox Priest told me when I was inquiring. He advised me to stay Catholic until I could no longer in good conscience receive Holy Communion there.

I think what that priest said makes a lot of sense.

But it also reminds me of something I've sometimes wondered about: whether there are a lot of Catholics who, let's say, feel that they can in good conscience receive Holy Communion in a Melkite Catholic Church but not in a Latin (Roman-Rite) Catholic Church?

I am curious about what you mean by "in good conscience"?

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« Reply #134 on: March 29, 2011, 09:15:27 PM »

Growing up a Protestant, schooled by Protestants my issues with the Roman Catholic Church were things such as the worship of Mary and the saints, refusal to rely on the Word of God, and the suppression of individual revelation. (I put them in the most polemical language because that is how I would have phrased it)

Anyone who spends two minutes looking at the Orthodox Church will see these exact same things. While I admit that I also had an issue with the Office of Pope, if one can set aside everything else, that shouldn't be hard either.

For myself personally I rejected protestantism several years before I even attended an Orthodox service. Both faiths were certainly on equal ground when I started looking at the Early Church.
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