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Author Topic: Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?  (Read 24134 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: December 02, 2011, 03:10:08 AM »

BTW since your Coptic I happened to see a local Coptic Priest shopping in Target a few days ago . It was wonderful to recieve his blessing . I have a lot of respect for the Coptic Church, thank God you keep the faith against Islamic Oppression bless you
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« Reply #271 on: December 03, 2011, 11:01:11 AM »

i bet the priest enjoyed meeting u too.
9 years! wow, that's ages, i've only been orthodox 3 years.
may God give u many years and may u continue to bless those around u as u shine yr light.
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« Reply #272 on: December 03, 2011, 11:01:12 PM »

Thank You, and you also . Being new yourself, just know never be dissuaded in your Journey. There is so much to learn and struggles. I remember my own naivete when I became an Orthodox convert, and then reality sets in . Discernment comes in time if you have not been gifted with it already.  Ive found out through a hard lesson the difference between sentimentalism and actual authentic Faith. Beware of those who claim to be Christian, even among the Orthodox.  Some keep a facade of personnel piety and religion, but this is not Faith. I struggle with the bitterness of this , God have mercy on me . My prayer currently is this, "God forgive those who spitefully use us and help me to forgive them. "

May the Lord Bless you in your struggles and shine on your Faith.

The Sinner Mark
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Ivanov
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« Reply #273 on: April 26, 2012, 02:43:09 PM »

I was a protestant (liberal & fundy)for the first 35 years of my life... a RC for the next 25+... and have finally turned the corner to hurry home (I've just entered the catachumenate in the Greek Orthodox Church). I would have turned the corner much earlier if I were not so pigheaded, ie, 'black or white'... "my reason reigns" oriented :>) And, since age 21, my 'asking, seeking and knocking' were the fruit of a real conversion... that is, I was not shopping or seeking to quell an overactive curiosity or immersed in spiritual romanticism (though I'm sure I stuck a toe or two in that romantic pond). I was desperate to find the House of God where Truth Himself reigns.

Now to answer your question simply, "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?"... I would say it is a direct result of God's goodness. One needn't seek difficulty where there is none. I only hope these protestant converts appreciate how much time has been saved and confusion avoided by this Goodness they have received.

It helps, when one is sincerely asking, to remember that the Church was without the great schism for 1000+ years. It would be a bit "partial" and embarrassing to assume publicly that the Orthodox owe their Divine Liturgy to Rome... but let me be quick to say that the Church has always understood and acknowledged the special place of Rome and it's bishops and (from my limited understanding) has done so without feeling in the least, from the beginning, the need to crown them with the infallibility that belongs only to Christ, Her Head.

Now a few quick questions about your Roman Catholic environment. What was the cause of the Pro Multis controversy (changing the words of the consecration of the Precious Blood) in the RCC? How about the latest on the SSPXr's and the Sedevacantists that arose after Vatican II? Does it concern you at all that both councils titled "Vatican Councils" have been profoundly problematic, the first not even concluded but abruptly ended (don't discount God's Providence), and also the outworkings of the second one, which I have witnessed very painfully up-close-and personal at ground level for a quarter of a century. Untold millions of Catholics, confused and scandalized, left... gone! So much for the "pastoralness" which the council forgers touted. I believe honesty requires a prayerful and courageous consideration of these things from an unbiased heart. I think we both know, you as a Catholic and I as a former Catholic, that the list and litany of horrors could go on and on... for me, despite the scandals and falsehoods, I still, overall,  longed for The House of God where Truth Himself reigns, and in retrospect give thanks for the usefulness of those post-Vatican I/II horrors that goaded me into hurrying along Home. I was not argued into faith in Christ (I fell in love), and we are not argued or debated into His Church either. Faith is not jettisoned for reason in this life, so I must be obedient. And still, The Lord Jesus says " All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out"... "This is the will of the Father Who sent Me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day". (John 6:37,39) Quoting these verses doesn't make me a Calvinist or a Catholic or an Orthodox... it makes me a 'quoter' and you a reader :>)

I'll just add in closing, that the words from Sacred Scripture I include below in my "signature" seem to strengthen me in what I've said here.

May The Living God, Most Holy Trinity, protect you and grant both you and I the helps we need to be true and at Peace, Himself.

Christ is Risen!

Ivanov
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« Reply #274 on: April 26, 2012, 02:58:13 PM »

I am converting to Orthodoxy because I believe, personally, that it is God's true church. I have looked into Catholicism, and it screams false to me. The infallibility of the Pope, the pervertedness of the priests, everything. I just can't come to agree with it. Yes, their practices are somewhat like Orthodoxy, but there are others that are not. I don't dislike the people, I just dislike some things of the beliefs.
Does Catholicism actually teach as doctrine that their priests are to fondle little boys?

According to South Park.

Good point, though. Moral failings in a particular church don't necessarily mean its doctrines are false. If it did, the Orthodox Church would not be the true Church either.
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« Reply #275 on: April 26, 2012, 04:35:16 PM »

Thank you, SamKim. I agree, regarding moral failures and this is why I said..." for me, despite the scandals and falsehoods, I still, OVERALL, longed for the House of God...". I understood, and understand, that moral failure can occur even in the context of correct doctrine... however a 25 year preponderance of scandals and cries of heresy and "sede vacante" does give one pause and cannot humanly be dismissed and ignored entirely.

Are you familiar with the RC doctrine "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" (Outside the Church there is no salvation)? And the teaching of the Council of Trent and other sources that if one is not subject to the Roman Pope and in communion with those who are subject to the Roman Pope, that one will not be saved. In the RC's fervor to circumscribe itself as the Ark and the Roman Pope as the very wood from which that Ark is fashioned, may it not imply in doing so that it has also circumscribed Almighty God Our Savior Himself. Let's have a chat with St. Dismas (the repentant thief) about that:>) If the correct identification of 'The Church' in these decrees is none other than (i.e. "only") the Roman Catholic Church, would this be correct doctrine, or scandal or both?

God Bless and keep you...

Ivanov


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« Reply #276 on: April 26, 2012, 07:45:12 PM »

That's pretty funny. I've heard plenty of Orthodox on this forum say that if you do not possess the Orthodox faith, you're not getting into Heaven when you die. And yet, they shake their heads when Roman Catholics say the same things about themselves. Why do they think they sound better, when in many cases, they don't even sound different?
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« Reply #277 on: April 26, 2012, 09:49:58 PM »

Hi Biro!!! Hope all is well with you.

I plead ignorance before Our Lord, but I have my predispositions :>) IMHO, in a world that surfs on the waves of indifference, relativism and syncretism, the need to proclaim a single Ark is obvious, if not obligatory. Here again, the horribleness of the Schism weighs heavily. The more I learn, the dumber I get... I hope that's a circular dilemma and not a linear one  laugh

Christ is Risen!

God be with you, dear friend!

Ivanov
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« Reply #278 on: April 27, 2012, 01:24:47 PM »

Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

Regarding 'Church-centric teaching, are you familiar with 'The St. Benedict Center' in New Hampshire (these RC's are sometimes referred to as 'Feeneyites', after their founder Fr. Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit)? They took/take the RC dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ('no salvation outside the church') quite seriously and literally, but were seriously disciplined by Rome for adhering to the logical conclusions/teaching that dogma invites. So apparently there is some amount of ambiguity around this dogma and its subsidiary decrees, ambiguity being the soup de jour for many years now since Vatican II.

In Christ The Lord,

Ivanov
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« Reply #279 on: April 27, 2012, 04:08:58 PM »

Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

You are correct. We are all in communion with the Ecumenical Patriach (as with every other Orthodox hierarch) because he is part of the Church. But only those Orthodox who are part of his patriarchate are actually subject to him. And if he begins to teach heresy, or puts himself into schism, then the Church will keep going without him as it had to do when Rome left.
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« Reply #280 on: April 28, 2012, 01:07:09 PM »

I do want to say that there are many things that I respect about the Catholic Church, and I believe as I grow in my Orthodox faith, I'll find that those very things were present pre-Schism for roughly the first 1000 years of the Church's history. As an ex-RC, it can be, if I let it, easy for me to point out firstly all the things that drove me away. Learning as I go, I believe the better path is to speak of the thiings I do respect (even some things I may miss after 25 years there) at the outset, and prayerfully address other not-so pleasant things as needful. I have failed to do this at times, and hope any and all I may have hurt or offended will forgive me.

To be honest with the originator of this thread, I must admit that early on I too wondered if a Protestant convert to Orthodoxy could really understand or empathize with a RC's conversion and the difficulties unique to the RC situation. I.e., if one comes from a non-RC Christian tradition which was already prejudicial or ignorant (or both) of the RCC, it might seem easier, at first blush, for that person to move to Orthodoxy.

At any rate, I am deeply thankful that The Living God had such mercy and compassion on me as to lead my feet and heart into the path of the Ancient and Orthodox Church. I do feel like that one whom The Good Samaritan took to the Inn to be cared for until He returned. Glory to God!

In Christ The Savior and Lord,

Ivanov
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« Reply #281 on: April 28, 2012, 01:46:28 PM »

Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

Regarding 'Church-centric teaching, are you familiar with 'The St. Benedict Center' in New Hampshire (these RC's are sometimes referred to as 'Feeneyites', after their founder Fr. Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit)? They took/take the RC dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ('no salvation outside the church') quite seriously and literally, but were seriously disciplined by Rome for adhering to the logical conclusions/teaching that dogma invites. So apparently there is some amount of ambiguity around this dogma and its subsidiary decrees, ambiguity being the soup de jour for many years now since Vatican II.

In Christ The Lord,

Ivanov
I have heard of this group. Are they in communion with Rome still?
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« Reply #282 on: April 28, 2012, 01:55:21 PM »

Hi Biro,

One thought did occur to me this morning re: our "conversation" here yesterday. I think a distinction should have been made re: my response to you. Although my experience is obviously limited at this point, nonetheless, I've not heard or read where anyone (Orthodox) has suggested that one must be subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and in communion with those subject to him, to be saved. By contrast, the RC official decrees are Pope-centric (above 'church-centric') in their statements and make salvation contingent upon adherence to those decrees. I'm not aware at this point of any Orthodox decrees or dogmatic expressions in this regard. I believe this is an important distinction.

Regarding 'Church-centric teaching, are you familiar with 'The St. Benedict Center' in New Hampshire (these RC's are sometimes referred to as 'Feeneyites', after their founder Fr. Leonard Feeney, a Jesuit)? They took/take the RC dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ('no salvation outside the church') quite seriously and literally, but were seriously disciplined by Rome for adhering to the logical conclusions/teaching that dogma invites. So apparently there is some amount of ambiguity around this dogma and its subsidiary decrees, ambiguity being the soup de jour for many years now since Vatican II.

In Christ The Lord,

Ivanov

I haven't heard of them, but I'll take your word for it.
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« Reply #283 on: April 28, 2012, 02:40:27 PM »

This thread is among the most interesting to read, it's like a direct personal and entirely subjective proposition with no meaningful answer, "why do Protestants convert...?"  I honestly could see myself converting to either Roman Catholicism (but knowingly to a traditionalist variety, like SSPX) or to Eastern Orthodoxy (by way of a more traditionalist jurisdiction) - a good number of years from now.

I am not intellectually sophisticated enough to 'ascertain' and 'judge' the truth-claims of either, on say the papacy or the Councils, especially when there is so much wiggle-room in when papal infallibility applies to a Catholic perspective, or exactly which decrees (properly canons?) of the Ecumenical Councils are a "must-believe" to an Orthodox one.  The nuances claimed on each side for various things, in catchwords and phrases like "economy", "no salvation outside the Church" (anything less than this actually sounds like a deterrent to my 'trying' to convert at any point) muddle up my want for clear answers.  Representing an almost perfect caricature of a Bible-touting evangelical fundamentalist - the last word applies to my way of thinking - I fear that nuance in any doctrinal matter defeats the very purpose of acquiring a doctrinal belief, so therefore I should look only to the Scriptures for doctrinal truths, or for supporting doctrinal (dogmatic?) convictions.  I must have the emotional and possibly mental maturity (many times I think) of a 10- or 12-year old, even though I am 32.

So should I wing it by feeling - go to services of each, and perhaps of more churches, and just see what jives the most, resonates the most, with my subjective feelings?  Thinking about it in this moment (and at many other moments...) after reading Ivanov's posts above, I think that the traditional Latin mass represents (in what it translates to in English, not so much what it sounds like in Latin, audibly or inaudibly) about the most perfect summation of what should be a best well-rounded doctrinal and worshipful participation in the Truth of Christ, in sacramental form.  However, I do *not* think the same of the Novus Ordo mass, simplistically because I think this one lacks the sufficiently penitential character (and text) of the TLM.
     Now bringing the Orthodox in for a superficial comparison, if I were to look only at the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom, it would not quite have that "sufficiently penitential character" of the TLM and I would favor the Traditional Roman Catholics.  Since I have an Orthodox prayer book and have, at a few short periods in the last couple of years, read enough of the prayers in the days before Sunday to acquire a penitential and somber mindset that way, then all turns out to be perfect with the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, after all.

To me, the person of the Pope is ultimately not of fundamental importance, you could guess.  Or, at times, I can see the strong points of Catholics in favor of it, more often than I identify with criticism of it by the Orthodox.  Trying to believe what the Catholics claim about the papacy works, is my guess, very well when the Pope himself is most well-rounded traditionally, "economically", doctrinally and all that mix.  But I shudder and recoil at the thought of what might happen if a social-morality wise liberal Pope got elected, and changed all or very many of the long-held beliefs (contraception, gay sex, abortion, economic philosophy less likely but whichever) seemingly on a whim, time-wise.  Catholic apologists will say that can't happen, or that it wouldn't stick in the long-term, but I just can't know, and pessimistically doubt that it wouldn't.  In turn, then, my mind switches over to the Orthodox convictions on why the papacy is the wrong way to administer the church (or claim that it is the way the church is to be administered - as a wannabe traditionalist morally, how easily so many nay the majority of Catholics seem to dismiss the Vatican in all things except to acknowledge his nominal person i.e. "the Most Holy Father" is scandalous.)

This is getting too long and has a narcissistic feel to it, sounds like.  That is me and not the thread question though.  It is meant to be an intelligent reflection on solid theological reasons why Protestants convert to Orthodoxy, is it?  Or are subjective responses like mine (from one who hasn't converted to anything) fine?

What are the simpletons (or the simplifiers) to do with such questions when it is like a personal proposition that utterly confounds them?
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« Reply #284 on: April 28, 2012, 07:21:45 PM »

Hi Aaron,

I sincerely appreciate your honesty. Forums, after all, can leave you hanging by a 'thread' (pun intended) with nothing to show for the emotional currency you just spent. I trust in God's merciful providence and leading (even in spite of myself) and none of us could go back and piece together a coherent, clear and concise recitation of every single 'thing' that brought us to this point. I've done the fundamentalist thing (many flavors), Novus Ordo, SSPX (moved my family to the midwest on that one), back to the Novus Ordo (Fraternity of St. Peter as a sort of halfway house in between), in the hospital, at death's door, back to Novus Ordo, up against the wall... humbled by my own wickedness and pride, found the grace to take another step... surprised by this gift called Orthodoxy... peace... and nowhere left to go, literally. The one great and eternal 'dogma' with no "wiggle room" is The One Who Is. I know you and I both understand that "ask, seek and knock" are not a one-time exercise. They are part of the labor we are called to so that we might enter His rest. The one, overarching call in my conversion that continues to resonate is "Come and See"!

I hope that nothing I have poorly said has caused you any confusion or offense (in any of my posts). If so, please forgive me and understand that I would like to help, but more often than not, as a newbie, I should probably just post pleasant, edifying pictures and keep my 'mouth' shut :>)

Sincerely yours, in the Risen Christ...

Ivanov
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« Reply #285 on: June 11, 2012, 11:20:34 AM »

As a former Protestant who converted to Orthodoxy, I can tell you this; I studied Roman Catholicism for years before my conversion to Orthodoxy.  It was one of the FIRST things that I studied.  The problem was that Roman Catholicism is NOT Apostolic Christianity, but rather a heresy.  There are a number of Protestant denominations, including the one that I left, that are closer to Apostolic Christianity than Roman Catholicism.  So, if one were to be looking for Apostolic Christianity (as I was), the RC church is not an option.  In the end, I was left with only two options, Oriental Orthodoxy (which I nearly joined) and Eastern Orthodoxy.   

And then there are those whose trajectories were the same as your own, seeking the faith of the Apostles and they are now in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church.

The question that I find fascinating is what makes the difference:  The faith?:  Or the person who studies the faith for so long and hard?
I was reading this forum, and I would just like to say that a response like Punch's was exactly the one that I was looking for. It's impossible to judge a response like that, one that is based off of a person's personal experience and opinion. As a teenage "cradle" Eastern Orthodox Christian, I feel as though, while I am incredibly passionate about my faith, I cannot make an appropriate comment about what one should and should not choose. Roman Catholics and Orthodox alike should just try to profess their faith in the best way that they can. Listen to those who have a testimony as to their own story of converting, but do not force the doctrines of your faith upon them and challenge their choices. Smiley
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« Reply #286 on: June 11, 2012, 02:19:01 PM »

As someone who has been in the process of trying to decide between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy for the past year or so I thought I would give my two cents.

I was raised Mormon (a non-protestant religion) that has a few things in common with protestant denominations that are applicable to this topic. There is an anti-Catholic sentiment in the Mormon faith, although it may not be as pronounced as it is in other denominations. I grew up with a minor "us and them" attitude towards other faiths, which was difficult to overcome after initially losing my faith about four years ago.

I first began to attend an Episcopalian church because it fit my progressive political ideologies of the time. I was blessed to have two professors, one who had converted to RC a decade prior and one who has recently converted to RC from Mormonism, who were willing to counsel me in my spiritual journey. They helped me realize that rather than looking for a religion that fits who I am, I should instead look for a religion that stands up to the test of history and philosophy. Consequently, I soon began attending RCIA which I found to be a well structured educational group that never once taught heresy:) The first year or so of my spiritual journey (2008-2009) I had no idea what Eastern Orthodoxy was. I had seen pictures of Russian Orthodox churches and clergy, but I thought they were Roman Catholics. It was in the fall of 2009 in college that I gained a brief week long exposure to the Orthodox faith in a "Introduction to World Religions" course. We watched a documentary about Orthodox Christianity in the USSR. Eventually I took a two hour trip to experience the DL for the first time, and since then I have been tied up trying to figure things out. I have read numerous books from authors on both sides, and have surrendered to the reality that it may be many years still before I finally have a spiritual home.

I like the strong history of philosophy in the RCC and, although it may be due to the EOC's more limited prevalence in the west, I tend to be more fond of Roman Catholic figures like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, Edward Feser, Peter Kreeft, and G.K. Chesterton. I often wonder why the three latter figures chose the RCC over the EOC.

That being said, I prefer the liturgy and theology of the EOC. I have yet to read anything that convinces me that the doctrine of papal infallibility is  legitimate. However, I am open to having my mind changed, and am currently discussing this issue with a close RC friend.

If I convert to the EOC it will not be because of anti-Pope sentiments.
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« Reply #287 on: June 11, 2012, 04:06:32 PM »

houseofGod, i agree with yr post.
i spent a lot of time attending catholic and protestant churches and studying church history before becoming orthodox.
so, technically, the orthodox church is doing things right in my opinion.
but i have seen catholics (and protestants) with a true and living faith showing God to the people around them, so i don't knock their faith.
recently, when traveling, i had a lovely discussion about faith with a catholic priest. he is a man who is so full of love (for God and for people) that is shows easily and i was very blessed by the meeting. he is blessing a lot of people where he is, doing what he does.

truthseeker32, i think the most important thing is to progress in your spiritual journey. visit churches near you and get to know the people there, so u can benefit by knowing how their faith affects their daily life.
when u find a church where people love and obey God and show u how to use the tools of prayers, fasting and the sacraments to become more like God then stick with it until u are sure.
pray and ask God to show u who He is, and study the Bible to learn more about Him.
personally i think the orthodox church has more things right (there is no perfect church until we are in heaven!) but i have seen enough examples of 'orthodox Christians' putting people off their faith to know that this is not always the best church to go to in all parts of the world on all occasions.
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« Reply #288 on: June 11, 2012, 04:07:53 PM »

truthseeker32:
I pray for you to have strength in your journey. Just keep working at it, you'll find your way home. For me, Orthodoxy is definitely mine. But while I believe that the Orthodox Church is right-on in terms of doctrine and spirituality (and a lot of other things Smiley ), I strongly believe that sometimes different people need different churches. As long as you find your way to Jesus Christ and have a strong personal relationship with Him, that's all that really matters Smiley
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« Reply #289 on: June 11, 2012, 07:58:21 PM »

I can only speak for myself, but I became Orthodox because I honestly feel it is the ancient church built by the Apostles.  I studied Roman Catholicism for a couple of years in high school while dating a wonderful Catholic girl.  (On a side note, I was a horrible boyfriend.)  I was young and arrogant and found reasons NOT to like the Roman Church.  As you can imagine, the relationship didn’t last long.  But that is fine because I found my dream girl and she has shaped me just the way she likes me.  laugh

As an adult and realizing Protestantism’s problems, I took another look at the Roman Church.  I was surprised to find the things I chose not to like as a teen were actually things I found incorrect as an adult.  I was completely unaware of the Orthodox Church for the most part at this time.  I spent well over a year talking to Roman Catholics and asking questions.  I liked many things about the Roman Church and I very much wanted to be able to accept all of her teachings, but in the end, I simply could not.  I then started to study Luther and the Reformers and realized I was headed right back to where I was attempting to leave.

Then, I began to talk to some Orthodox Christians.  WOW!  What a wonderful discovery and experience!!!  I honestly cannot put into words the excitement and joy I felt at that point in my life.  It was not about trying NOT to be Catholic, it was about finding the true and original church, and I had found it!!!  My journey to where I am now has provided me an understanding and appreciation for Roman Catholics I never had as a Protestant.  My “rejection” of the Catholic Church was not out of vitriol for anything “Rome”, it was in search of home.

I do; however, understand your (original poster) frustration as many people have those feelings for the Catholic Church.  I am unsure if this is what swayed them to the Orthodox Church, but Protestants (not all) really do have an aversion to Rome.  It’s odd.
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« Reply #290 on: June 12, 2012, 12:34:52 AM »

Kerdy:
I wish you continued success in your faith. God bless you.
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« Reply #291 on: June 12, 2012, 12:50:35 AM »

truthseeker32, i think the most important thing is to progress in your spiritual journey. visit churches near you and get to know the people there, so u can benefit by knowing how their faith affects their daily life.
when u find a church where people love and obey God and show u how to use the tools of prayers, fasting and the sacraments to become more like God then stick with it until u are sure.
pray and ask God to show u who He is, and study the Bible to learn more about Him.
personally i think the orthodox church has more things right (there is no perfect church until we are in heaven!) but i have seen enough examples of 'orthodox Christians' putting people off their faith to know that this is not always the best church to go to in all parts of the world on all occasions.
truthseeker32:
I pray for you to have strength in your journey. Just keep working at it, you'll find your way home. For me, Orthodoxy is definitely mine. But while I believe that the Orthodox Church is right-on in terms of doctrine and spirituality (and a lot of other things Smiley ), I strongly believe that sometimes different people need different churches. As long as you find your way to Jesus Christ and have a strong personal relationship with Him, that's all that really matters Smiley
I appreciate your kind words. I would love to attend an Orthodox parish more regularly, but the closest one is 60 miles away, through a canyon, and I don't have a car. This alone has made me wonder if I should put extra effort into building faith in the Roman Catholic Church since there is one just a few blocks from where I live. It is much more accessible.
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« Reply #292 on: June 13, 2012, 10:16:23 PM »

truthseeker32, i think the most important thing is to progress in your spiritual journey. visit churches near you and get to know the people there, so u can benefit by knowing how their faith affects their daily life.
when u find a church where people love and obey God and show u how to use the tools of prayers, fasting and the sacraments to become more like God then stick with it until u are sure.
pray and ask God to show u who He is, and study the Bible to learn more about Him.
personally i think the orthodox church has more things right (there is no perfect church until we are in heaven!) but i have seen enough examples of 'orthodox Christians' putting people off their faith to know that this is not always the best church to go to in all parts of the world on all occasions.
truthseeker32:
I pray for you to have strength in your journey. Just keep working at it, you'll find your way home. For me, Orthodoxy is definitely mine. But while I believe that the Orthodox Church is right-on in terms of doctrine and spirituality (and a lot of other things Smiley ), I strongly believe that sometimes different people need different churches. As long as you find your way to Jesus Christ and have a strong personal relationship with Him, that's all that really matters Smiley
I appreciate your kind words. I would love to attend an Orthodox parish more regularly, but the closest one is 60 miles away, through a canyon, and I don't have a car. This alone has made me wonder if I should put extra effort into building faith in the Roman Catholic Church since there is one just a few blocks from where I live. It is much more accessible.

OR start a mission.  You don't have to be a priest to do that, you just have to get one, eventually.  Most of the parishes in this country were not started by clergy, but by laity.  You have to be catechized of course...  well, just pm me
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« Reply #293 on: August 15, 2012, 11:02:45 PM »

I can respond to this post since I recently converted to Orthodoxy and not to Catholicism.  I won't speak on specifics but will point out the corruptive history of the Catholic church and the mishandling of children who've been assaulted.  That was the biggest turn off to me.  I mean no offense to our Catholic friends here and know that most Catholics are good and decent people and do not approve of the history I mentioned.
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« Reply #294 on: August 24, 2012, 04:39:41 AM »

I didn't convert to Orthodoxy yet, but the reason that I ruled out Catholicism was that I couldn't see how the Pope had the right to appoint and depose bishops in the Netherlands or the US at will. I don't think that the Pope had the right to do that sort of things in the first millenium.

Papal Infallibility I can't find in the ECF's either except for one isolated quote of Cyprian and a bit from Irenaeus of which the original Greek was lost and of which we only have a latin translation.
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« Reply #295 on: August 31, 2012, 04:49:17 PM »

Last week I discovered this website while Googling a specific issue that was covered within another thread in this forum. I randomly chose to read this thread after and have been fascinated with the thoughtful and informative responses here. I'm an older cradle Orthodox (Greek) and am delighted to have found, rather stumbled upon, this forum.

Here is a link which may be of interest to those of you who live a great distance from an Orthodox church and would like to view live church broadcasts. It's off the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website:

http://www.goarch.org/chapel/live  
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« Reply #296 on: October 17, 2012, 11:47:08 AM »

As a Protestant who recently started exploring the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) but then became interested in the Orthodox Church (due to serious issues in the RCC), I might be able to shed some light on the OP.

I was very enthusiastic about the RCC for about 4-5 months as I explored it and got involved, but recently I became gravely concerned with some of its teachings, namely:

  • paragraph 847 of the Catechism (blatant contradiction of previous teachings)
  • papal infallibility (because of the contradictions just mentioned)
  • its view that Muslims worship and adore the same God that we do (absolutely false)
  • its excesses in Marian devotion
  • its teaching about ongoing justification by faith plus works

I know that last teaching listed is what the Orthodox hold to as well, so I am still far from joining the OC, as justification is a huge issue for me. But what appealed to me about the OC is its emphasis on preserving and handing on apostolic teaching rather than constantly developing doctrine. The latter has led to excesses and contradictions in RCC teaching. I know Catholics here will disagree, but I've been doing research on it, and it's unlikely I'll be dissuaded.

Just wanted to answer the OP.

Jeremy

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« Reply #297 on: October 17, 2012, 12:00:38 PM »

I'm not sure ... the RC priest does stop taking individual cases and instead wants to convert the whole classroom/audience.
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« Reply #298 on: October 20, 2012, 07:41:53 PM »

I know that last teaching listed is what the Orthodox hold to as well, so I am still far from joining the OC, as justification is a huge issue for me. But what appealed to me about the OC is its emphasis on preserving and handing on apostolic teaching rather than constantly developing doctrine. The latter has led to excesses and contradictions in RCC teaching. I know Catholics here will disagree, but I've been doing research on it, and it's unlikely I'll be dissuaded.

Jeremy, have you looked into recent scholarship and e.g. the so-called New Pauline Perspective on justification? The following article which I posted on my blog might help you to see that major contemporary scholarship has very strongly adopted views on justification which both call strongly into question medieval developments and converge very well with paleo-orthodox and Orthodox soteriology.

http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/dikaiosyne-theou-the-righteousness-of-god-in-contemporary-biblical-scholarship/

The emphasis of the eastern church from the pre-Augustinian period of the apostolic fathers to the present has always been upon theosis rather than justification. Justification for the eastern church, not unlike emphases found in the NPP, is a restoration to covenant relationship, but with a much larger aim in view, our being remade in the image of Christ and to literally become partakers of the divine nature. From an Eastern Christian perspective abstracting justification as something isolated and unparalleled in importance, e.g. viewing justification as "more central" than sanctification and so on is a distortion of scripture; life in Christ viewed from the perspective of eternity is actually an indivisible whole. Election, for example, is related to foreknowledge of sanctification in Peter's first epistle rather than justification; in Romans those who are justified are also conformed to the likeness of Christ and glorified. Glorification, sanctification, conformation to the likeness of Christ and so on, rather than being of lesser importance, are in reality what justification restores us for; apart from this it is reduced to a legal fiction.

Also related, cf.  http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/did-luther-get-it-wrong-most-major-contemporary-pauline-scholars-say-yes/ which amounts to not only a critique of Luther, but the medieval paradigm stemming from Anselm which Luther was reacting against and which by his time had become dogmatically entrenched in the Roman Catholic tradition.
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« Reply #299 on: October 21, 2012, 10:27:07 AM »

I know that last teaching listed is what the Orthodox hold to as well, so I am still far from joining the OC, as justification is a huge issue for me. But what appealed to me about the OC is its emphasis on preserving and handing on apostolic teaching rather than constantly developing doctrine. The latter has led to excesses and contradictions in RCC teaching. I know Catholics here will disagree, but I've been doing research on it, and it's unlikely I'll be dissuaded.

Jeremy, have you looked into recent scholarship and e.g. the so-called New Pauline Perspective on justification?

I'm aware of the New Perspective on Paul. From what I understand, it teaches (among other things) that when Paul spoke of "works of law," he was referring only to ceremonial works of the law, such as circumcision, and not the moral aspects of the law, such as love for God and neighbor. I have doubts about that view, however, based on Gal. 3:10 and Acts 15. Gal. 3:10 speaks of the necessity to keep the whole law, with no distinction between moral and ceremonial; and in Acts 15 the Jerusalem council stood against the Pharisees' demand that Gentiles be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. The Pharisees mentioned both of those things explicitly: circumcision and the law of Moses. If by the law of Moses they meant only ceremonial laws, there would have been no need to mention circumcision separately and by name.

Quote
The following article which I posted on my blog might help you to see that major contemporary scholarship has very strongly adopted views on justification which both call strongly into question medieval developments and converge very well with paleo-orthodox and Orthodox soteriology.

http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/dikaiosyne-theou-the-righteousness-of-god-in-contemporary-biblical-scholarship/

Thanks. I've started it.
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« Reply #300 on: October 22, 2012, 12:12:16 AM »

I'm aware of the New Perspective on Paul. From what I understand, it teaches (among other things) that when Paul spoke of "works of law," he was referring only to ceremonial works of the law, such as circumcision, and not the moral aspects of the law, such as love for God and neighbor. I have doubts about that view, however, based on Gal. 3:10 and Acts 15. Gal. 3:10 speaks of the necessity to keep the whole law, with no distinction between moral and ceremonial; and in Acts 15 the Jerusalem council stood against the Pharisees' demand that Gentiles be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. The Pharisees mentioned both of those things explicitly: circumcision and the law of Moses. If by the law of Moses they meant only ceremonial laws, there would have been no need to mention circumcision separately and by name.

Thanks. I've started it.

The threefold systematic division of the law into ceremonial/civil/moral is actually a Reformed/Calvinist position of confessional status in the Westminster Standards (it is explicitly found in Calvin, Francis Turretin, the Westminister Confession, and the 1689 Baptist Confession). Some Calvinist writers attempt to trace it to Aquinas, however Aquinas's moral category specifically denoted *natural law* which Reformed scholars reject (arguing instead for natural revelation; Orthodox Christians typically reject the dogmatic status of Aquinas's natural theology natural law theory as medieval innovations not elevated to dogmatic status until 1871/Vatican I in Roman Catholicism, and which were considered suspect by many Roman Catholics from the medieval period to Vatican I, as pointed out by Fr. Copleston in his book on Aquinas).

Actually the NPP is regarded by Reformed scholars who defend the threefold division as a major challenge to their position. The rejection by the NPP of merit soteriology also represents a major challenge to the whole range of development of Latin Catholic and Protestant theologies of merit -from condign merit to congruent merit in the Christian West- see further here and here ). Paleo-orthodoxy, i.e. patristic theology of the entire first Christian millennium, as I mentioned briefly before, had little use for categories like merit, and satisfaction was completely unheard of.

I may say more on the question of the law in the Pauline letters in a bit, but for the present I will say that like you I see no need to employ late Reformed systematic divisions of the law to explain Paul's reply to his Judaizing opponents as found in Acts 15 and in Galatians.



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« Reply #301 on: December 25, 2012, 05:01:43 PM »

   I explored Orthodoxy years ago and actually I was first drawn to Roman Catholicism and explored that alot first.  But Orthodox theology appealed more to me, and I just don't understand how Rome's reading of the Papacy rings of truth.   In more retrospect, I view alot of the spiritual crisis of the West due to the failure of the Papacy- it is simply too authoritarian and lacks real spiritual power.

  As it is now, I feel like Eastern Orthodoxy is basicly right about many things but its steeped in a premodern mindset that is anti-intellectual to a disturbing degree- examples of anti-Western and anti-gay demonstrations of "Orthodox" people in Western Europe are good examples of how Eastern Orthodoxy has failed to speak Good News in the face of modern challenges, where marginalized groups will not stay silent in the face of unquestioned traditions.   I really do believe many things about faith are a mystery, and not open to Scholasticism, but how you treat your fellow human beings, ethics, should be grounded in shared human experience and scientific data, not religious authority.  It is here I prefer Anglicanism, it is like Orthodoxy in many ways but gives a higher priority to human reason  and doesn't reduce the Christian life to mere mysticism.  I have a new respect for Roman Catholic moderates and liberals as well, though  I doubt I could ever convert to that church.
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« Reply #302 on: December 27, 2012, 01:53:20 PM »

   I explored Orthodoxy years ago and actually I was first drawn to Roman Catholicism and explored that alot first.  But Orthodox theology appealed more to me, and I just don't understand how Rome's reading of the Papacy rings of truth.   

That's largely our fault: we generally don't present the papacy very well, in my opinion.
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« Reply #303 on: December 27, 2012, 10:58:30 PM »

That's largely our fault: we generally don't present the papacy very well, in my opinion.

  I'm not anti-Catholic, actually I have alot of respect for Roman Catholics .  I just never really understood how Papal Infallibility is intelligible or helpful, and I don't think Roman Catholics realize how alienating this can be to your average non-Catholic (often times the Papacy for non-Catholics comes across as "listen to me because I'm authoritative. Full stop no mystery no argument", seeming to go against the rationality that Roman Catholicism prizes, and the fact millions of Christians, who seem to be thoughtful and rational too, disagree).   There is alot good about the Roman Catholic church, but the institution has a poor presentation and I don't think all of it can be laid on the feet of secular hatred of religion.   And that bit really turned me off.  I just accepted that the Papacy's claims were uncertain for me and decided to try to pursue an Apostolic faith tradition.
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« Reply #304 on: January 11, 2013, 04:28:47 PM »

Quote
Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?


I don't know ... location and ease of access?..
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« Reply #305 on: January 11, 2013, 04:41:16 PM »


Quote
Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?


Less legalistic
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« Reply #306 on: January 24, 2013, 11:42:52 PM »

I know this thread is "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?", but I've always (or at least, for quite a few years) felt like the real question is "Why do Protestants convert to Catholicism rather than Orthodoxy?"

Recently (in the last year or two) I feel like I've started to get a handle on that question, but I'm still reluctant to try to explain it to others. Anyone else care to answer it?
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« Reply #307 on: January 30, 2013, 04:53:23 PM »

Because I wanted to fullness of the faith and in my research the RC's kept falling short on that. I was reading Acts one day, and said to myself "I want to be in this Church, where is this Church? It has to still exist!" Like all roads lead to Rome, it always lead back to Orthodoxy in my search. Everything I felt and believed fit perfect with Orthodoxy, like it was some sort of inherited understanding of what the faith should be. There were many things that didn't sit right with me in Roman Catholic and in Protestant teachings and practice. It wasn't like that with Orthodoxy, it fit perfectly, like a missing puzzle piece.

(Keep in mind I grew up in a non religious home and I had to find the right path on my own. It took many many years, but after all that time searching, I know where I am now is home!)
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« Reply #308 on: January 30, 2013, 05:27:11 PM »

I know this thread is "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?", but I've always (or at least, for quite a few years) felt like the real question is "Why do Protestants convert to Catholicism rather than Orthodoxy?"

Recently (in the last year or two) I feel like I've started to get a handle on that question, but I'm still reluctant to try to explain it to others. Anyone else care to answer it?

This really should be its own thread, Peter, but I don't think it's a bad question. I also don't think it takes too much time to understand, though. For a Protestant to come to Orthodoxy is to abandon more of his presuppositions than for that same Protestant to become Catholic. Protestants and Catholics share essentially the same worldview (such that Protestantism arose out of the Western/Catholic world and not the Eastern Christian world; it was a response to uniquely Catholic ideas and views), and so accepting Catholicism can be seen as a sort of knocking down of a few (very well entrenched) roadblocks or barriers, rather than a fundamental change. I've watched enough episodes of the "The Journey Home" on ETWN to know the story: "I was raised in a hardcore Baptist (or some other Protestant) home, and we were always taught that the Pope was the antichrist and his followers were deluded rubes...so imagine my surprise to find one day a co-worker who was Catholic, and explained to me how the Pope WASN'T the antichrist, and that to be a Catholic you don't have to believe that he's right about every little thing...well, then I figured maybe I've had it wrong this whole time! It really opened up my eyes and blahblahblahblah..."

Sure, that's a change, alright...from one position on the Roman Pope to another position on the Roman Pope (or from one position on Mary to another position on Mary, or whatever their pet issue is). But it is not a fundamental change in being Christian comparable to coming to Orthodoxy. It is, at best, (re)considering one issue and then another issue and then another, until the Protestant convert "sees the light", realizes that what they'd always believed about RCism is not true, and converts (as though having been wrong about RCism in the past therefore means RCism is right in the present...I know a few converts who seem to think it is). By contrast, I have found that coming to Orthodoxy was much less about being convinced on an issue-by-issue basis (i.e., I did not convert to OO'xy out of a hatred of Chalcedon, though that seems to be a popular assumption about OO converts), and more about a rediscovery of what was ancient common practice and ancient common belief, which is really what I affirm by my acceptance of baptism, such that when I was asked during a celebration of my baptism by a man from the church in which I was baptized (not my home parish, as we don't have the proper facilities) why I had converted to Coptic Orthodoxy, I told him "I didn't; I converted to Orthodoxy...you guys just happen to already be here."  Grin

Short answer: It's easier. Wink
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« Reply #309 on: January 31, 2013, 12:05:40 AM »

Quote
I know this thread is "Why do Protestants convert to Orthodoxy rather than Roman Catholicism?", but I've always (or at least, for quite a few years) felt like the real question is "Why do Protestants convert to Catholicism rather than Orthodoxy?"

I would have to agree that the switch from Protestantism to Catholicism does not (generally) involve a fundamental shift in one's thinking.  If one reads anything written by Scott Hahn or Jimmy Akin it still reads like something an evangelical Protestant would write.  Ironically, I don't think Catholicism is very good at attracting mainline Protestants (excluding Anglicans) because it has been influenced so much by former evangelicals. 

Personally, I left RCIA because I found Catholicism to be too... Protestant.  But for evangelicals it seems like a perfect fit.  The theology is not too different and there is no longer the awkward pause between Augustine and Luther.
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« Reply #310 on: January 31, 2013, 12:39:09 AM »

This really should be its own thread, Peter, but I don't think it's a bad question. I also don't think it takes too much time to understand, though. For a Protestant to come to Orthodoxy is to abandon more of his presuppositions than for that same Protestant to become Catholic. Protestants and Catholics share essentially the same worldview (such that Protestantism arose out of the Western/Catholic world and not the Eastern Christian world; it was a response to uniquely Catholic ideas and views), and so accepting Catholicism can be seen as a sort of knocking down of a few (very well entrenched) roadblocks or barriers, rather than a fundamental change. I've watched enough episodes of the "The Journey Home" on ETWN to know the story: "I was raised in a hardcore Baptist (or some other Protestant) home, and we were always taught that the Pope was the antichrist and his followers were deluded rubes...so imagine my surprise to find one day a co-worker who was Catholic, and explained to me how the Pope WASN'T the antichrist, and that to be a Catholic you don't have to believe that he's right about every little thing...well, then I figured maybe I've had it wrong this whole time! It really opened up my eyes and blahblahblahblah..."

Sure, that's a change, alright...from one position on the Roman Pope to another position on the Roman Pope (or from one position on Mary to another position on Mary, or whatever their pet issue is). But it is not a fundamental change in being Christian comparable to coming to Orthodoxy. It is, at best, (re)considering one issue and then another issue and then another, until the Protestant convert "sees the light", realizes that what they'd always believed about RCism is not true, and converts (as though having been wrong about RCism in the past therefore means RCism is right in the present...I know a few converts who seem to think it is).
It goes back to that oft-quoted idea that "Protestants and Catholics give different answers to the same questions, whereas Orthodox ask different questions altogether."

Although, in some ways I'm not sure exactly how accurate this is since it increasingly seems like Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox are much more (theologically) similar than we'd often like to admit. Spirituality is where it seems like the real differences lie, at least between most Protestants and Orthodox.


Quote
I told him "I didn't; I converted to Orthodoxy...you guys just happen to already be here."  Grin
+1

Honestly if a OO parish had been closer, I probably would've entered it instead of the further (an hour's drive) EO one.
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Peter J
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« Reply #311 on: January 31, 2013, 12:28:37 PM »

Short answer: It's easier. Wink

You mean like

Everything I felt and believed fit perfect with Orthodoxy,

?

(Kidding,  Wink mostly.)

But seriously, I agree with you in large part: when I hear converts' reasons for choosing Catholicism over Orthodoxy, oftentimes I feel they are "all the wrong reasons".*

On the other hand, there also seem to quite a lot of Catholic ex-protestants who never really chose Catholicism over Orthodoxy, if you know what I mean.

* Any Tom Petty fans here?
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« Reply #312 on: January 31, 2013, 12:29:38 PM »

Short answer: It's easier. Wink

You mean like

Everything I felt and believed fit perfect with Orthodoxy,

?

(Kidding,  Wink mostly.)

But seriously, I agree with you in large part: when I hear converts' reasons for choosing Catholicism over Orthodoxy, oftentimes I feel they are "all the wrong reasons".*

On the other hand, there also seem to quite a lot of Catholic ex-protestants who never really chose Catholicism over Orthodoxy, if you know what I mean.

* Any Tom Petty fans here?
They don't come around here no more.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
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In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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