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Author Topic: A close friend on her way to Christianity  (Read 1517 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dan the Man
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« on: April 15, 2011, 07:51:04 PM »

A very close friend of mine was raised without religion, to put things simply. Her mom was raised Catholic and her dad was raised Lutheran, but they never go to church, never did much to instill religious values in their kids, etc. Recently, however, this friend has expressed interest in Christianity, basically coming out and telling me that she "wants to start believing in God."

That was several months ago, around the same time that I converted (I use that term somewhat loosely: I believe completely in the principles of Orthodoxy but my parents won't allow me to make my actual catechumenate until I turn 18) to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism myself. When she broke the news, I told her I was very happy for her and that I will be here to support her if she needs any help. She had a fair bit of questions, most of which were quite common, and I was able to answer them with relative ease. However, there are still a couple of problems ahead that are making me a bit anxious for her sake.

First off, her boyfriend, who also happens to be my other best friend (and before anybody asks, yes, that makes things extremely awkward at times Tongue). He was raised in the Armenian Apostolic Church himself, but, in recent times, seems to be leaning more towards Evangelical Protestantism (though it's still unclear to me whether or not he's actually planning on becoming a Protestant). Now when I say he's getting into the Evangelical stuff, I mean really getting into it! I went over to his house a couple weeks ago and the three of us began discussing religion. He started, quite literally, Bible-thumping. Our friend (well, his girlfriend) had a few more questions about the faith and I did my best to give her answers based on common sense. He starts throwing out random Bible passages that he thought were relevant to the question, many of which simply weren't. I realize that a well-used Bible passage is often the most effective form of argument that one can use in a theological discussion, especially when trying to answer a new convert's questions, but remember this girl hardly knows anything about religion to begin with and has never even picked up a Bible let alone read one! My logic is, quite simply, that she has to walk before she can run. She needs the basic idea of the existence of God before she can start delving into the Bible itself. Now, the problem here is that I'm concerned she will get mixed messages because of his teaching of Protestantism and my teaching of Orthodoxy. (Though, I'm trying my best to stick to Christianity in its most basic sense at the moment, avoiding going in-depth on denominational differences. Like I said, she needs to walk before she can run.) I'm worried that, should it happen as I expect, she will get scared and/or confused, give everything up, and go back to agnosticism.

The second problem is that some of her political views contrast sharply with traditional Christian values. For example, she is a major crusader for the "day of silence," which took place today. For those of you who don't know, the day of silence is set up by LGBT activist groups as a protest every Spring, wherein the protesters take a vow of complete silence for the entire day. If there's one thing that her boyfriend and I can agree on as far as religion is concerned, it's traditional morality. I'm concerned that If we present these views to her and explain that they are a vital part of Christian teachings she might throw it all away and either A - return to agnosticism, or B - go for a more liberal form of Christianity. This problem is a bit more difficult than the first one because it's going to have to happen eventually, whereas the first one is more of a worst-case scenario.

So then, I'm extremely sorry for this massive wall of text (jeez, I never imagined it would be this long of a post! Tongue) but I need guidance in this matter (prayers would be absolutely wonderful as well, of course! Smiley). She looks at me as somebody who knows a lot about the faith (I honestly have no idea how I got that reputation, but I guess I'll take it! Tongue), and so a lot of responsibility for this falls onto my shoulders. I just want to lead her down the right path. Thank you so much to anybody who took the time to read  all the way through this, and may God bless you! Smiley

EDIT: I really hope this was the right place to post this thread.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 07:52:24 PM by Dan the Man » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 08:04:27 PM »

People within Orthodoxy cover the entire political spectrum, from the far left to the far right, so I wouldn't worry about it.
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 08:06:23 PM »

People within Orthodoxy cover the entire political spectrum, from the far left to the far right, so I wouldn't worry about it.

Duly noted, but the official church teachings take more of a conservative stance, do they not?
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2011, 08:17:53 PM »

People within Orthodoxy cover the entire political spectrum, from the far left to the far right, so I wouldn't worry about it.

Duly noted, but the official church teachings take more of a conservative stance, do they not?
Typically on morality issues it errs on the side of conservative.  It may view homosexuality (well, practicing it at least) as sinful, but it also teaches about loving all human beings.  The Day of Silence began as a protest against bullying and the hate shown towards LGBT individuals; hardly sounds like something to steer someone away from.
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2011, 08:25:31 PM »

Dan, I agree with Entscheidungsproblem.

Let her learn who Christ is, and begin to love Him, what fits will stay, what doesn't will slowly and gently fall away.  

Silence is a thing of wisdom. . . who knows what kind of work He may do on her heart this day?  And the stance of it?  Wow. . .I'd be there.  Protest hate and bullying?  Yep. . . I don't care WHO is on the receiving end.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 08:26:25 PM by quietmorning » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2011, 08:34:49 PM »

No no no, I certainly never suggested it was a bad thing! Conservative though I may be, I certainly don't advocate bullying! I was just making a point that some of her views go against church views, but perhaps that wasn't the best example. I'll go ahead and edit that out to prevent confusion.

But still, thanks guys, I appreciate the advice! Smiley

EDIT: Okay...apparently I can't edit it anymore...just everybody rest assured that that was not what I intended to say at all! Tongue
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 08:42:12 PM by Dan the Man » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 12:00:56 AM »

Have you talked one-on-one with the boyfriend about easing her into dogmas?

If you get a "the Word speaks for itself, I'm just preaching the Word, we may not like it but it's the Word, I've got to witness to the Word, I'm ministering the Word, I'm just making discipleship through the Word" response from the boyfriend, then I suggest you politely switch the subject and work on teaching the girl about Christianity when she comes to you for questions.

I had a similar situation a few months ago, except involving a friend relationship instead of a romantic relationship. Inevitably, the inquirer into Christianity didn't want to discuss religion with the other friend anymore (a young, idealistic evangelical) and seems to be more open with me about matters of faith. The evangelical girl speaks in evangelical-speak (see example above involving "the Word") which sounds like a very aggressive foreign language to people who don't already know about evangelical Christianity.

My point is that when you get aggressive with someone, by thrusting forth dogmas or stances and then "defending them", in our post-modern world it often causes a complete shut-down.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 12:02:08 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 02:00:35 PM »

Have you talked one-on-one with the boyfriend about easing her into dogmas?

If you get a "the Word speaks for itself, I'm just preaching the Word, we may not like it but it's the Word, I've got to witness to the Word, I'm ministering the Word, I'm just making discipleship through the Word" response from the boyfriend, then I suggest you politely switch the subject and work on teaching the girl about Christianity when she comes to you for questions.

I had a similar situation a few months ago, except involving a friend relationship instead of a romantic relationship. Inevitably, the inquirer into Christianity didn't want to discuss religion with the other friend anymore (a young, idealistic evangelical) and seems to be more open with me about matters of faith. The evangelical girl speaks in evangelical-speak (see example above involving "the Word") which sounds like a very aggressive foreign language to people who don't already know about evangelical Christianity.

My point is that when you get aggressive with someone, by thrusting forth dogmas or stances and then "defending them", in our post-modern world it often causes a complete shut-down.


Indeed, he had actually called me at about 11:00 the night before I visited them basically asking me to come over and help him (he sounded extremely worried at the time. I guess he'd have to be to call me so late). We briefly discussed something like what you suggested but, also like you said, he launched into the classic evangelical dialogue. Something about being "saved two years ago," and other things to that end.

At any rate, I'm a little confused on what you mean by a complete shut-down. Do you mean that she'll stop listening to one of us, as the case was with your friend, or do you mean she'll stop listening to both of us like I'm worried about?
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 05:47:46 PM »

At any rate, I'm a little confused on what you mean by a complete shut-down. Do you mean that she'll stop listening to one of us, as the case was with your friend, or do you mean she'll stop listening to both of us like I'm worried about?
I can't know that, buddy, I'm not a prophet. Tongue

All I'm saying is, your job is to remain humble, non-judgmental and above all, give her the space to believe freely. It seems like you're already doing that. You might do well to give the girl the impression that not all Christians believe what the boyfriend does, so that she doesn't get a bad impression of the faith.

As for the boyfriend, you might try to explain that his language and evangelistic style is pretty much incomprehensible to non-Christians (although say it in a nicer way). You might send him this article: http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/28/a-catechmens-journey-from-hinduism/ which demonstrates in part how non-Christians cannot make sense of many evangelical pitches. If you get another brick wall from him, there's not much you can do except pray for them, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 05:52:25 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 06:46:44 PM »

At any rate, I'm a little confused on what you mean by a complete shut-down. Do you mean that she'll stop listening to one of us, as the case was with your friend, or do you mean she'll stop listening to both of us like I'm worried about?
It could go either way.  Brutal conversion tactics, like demeaning the person or aggressively spouting out useless biblical quotations (or quotes from church fathers), will just turn someone away completely (from Christianity or religion as a whole).  When people are first inquiring, a lot of how the judge an organisation or faith will be based on how they are treated by their members/adherents.
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 07:36:04 PM »

@ NicholasMyra - Interesting article, I'll definitely bookmark that one, I think it'll be just the thing I need! Thanks for it and the advice! Smiley

@ Entscheidungsproblem - Exactly, and that's precisely what I'm trying to avoid. In fact, the boyfriend was actually the one who brought up religion the last time I saw them. I knew we would talk about it sometime, so I brought my Bible with me and he had his as well (we were at his house). The minute he asked me to go get mine she...well...let's just say she didn't seem very pleased. I remember her kinda groaning and saying "Not both of you!" I don't know what goes on with them when I'm not around, but I have a feeling he's just constantly pounding her with Bible passages, like he did when I was there. Either way, I put the book down and simply did my best to answer the rest of her questions without it.
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2011, 08:03:07 PM »

If it's that bad, you might want to tell her in private that his brand of Christianity is one among many. Maybe mention that its focal point is the conversion experience and that there is an entire ethos and culture motivating his behavior. In fact, you could send *her* that article I posted Tongue
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 08:04:43 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2011, 08:10:36 PM »

If it's that bad, you might want to tell her in private that his brand of Christianity is one among many. Maybe mention that its focal point is the conversion experience and that there is an entire ethos and culture motivating his behavior. In fact, you could send *her* that article I posted Tongue

That's actually a really good idea! I'll do that the next time I speak with her! (which should be very soon, if I have anything to say about it! Tongue).
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2011, 08:20:08 PM »

If it's that bad, you might want to tell her in private that his brand of Christianity is one among many. Maybe mention that its focal point is the conversion experience and that there is an entire ethos and culture motivating his behavior. In fact, you could send *her* that article I posted Tongue

That's actually a really good idea! I'll do that the next time I speak with her! (which should be very soon, if I have anything to say about it! Tongue).
Yes. You don't want her to believe that she's simply not "getting" or "feeling" the Christian message because she cannot jive with her bf's witnessing.
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2011, 10:41:32 PM »

The second problem is that some of her political views contrast sharply with traditional Christian values. For example, she is a major crusader for the "day of silence," which took place today. For those of you who don't know, the day of silence is set up by LGBT activist groups as a protest every Spring, wherein the protesters take a vow of complete silence for the entire day. If there's one thing that her boyfriend and I can agree on as far as religion is concerned, it's traditional morality. I'm concerned that If we present these views to her and explain that they are a vital part of Christian teachings she might throw it all away and either A - return to agnosticism, or B - go for a more liberal form of Christianity. This problem is a bit more difficult than the first one because it's going to have to happen eventually, whereas the first one is more of a worst-case scenario.

Apparently you are finding yourself fit to judge the Day of Silence without really knowing what it's about.
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2011, 10:45:01 PM »

The second problem is that some of her political views contrast sharply with traditional Christian values. For example, she is a major crusader for the "day of silence," which took place today. For those of you who don't know, the day of silence is set up by LGBT activist groups as a protest every Spring, wherein the protesters take a vow of complete silence for the entire day. If there's one thing that her boyfriend and I can agree on as far as religion is concerned, it's traditional morality. I'm concerned that If we present these views to her and explain that they are a vital part of Christian teachings she might throw it all away and either A - return to agnosticism, or B - go for a more liberal form of Christianity. This problem is a bit more difficult than the first one because it's going to have to happen eventually, whereas the first one is more of a worst-case scenario.

Apparently you are finding yourself fit to judge the Day of Silence without really knowing what it's about.

Okay, really? Read a few posts back please, I already explained that I didn't mean to imply anything like that! I attempted to edit the OP so that people wouldn't go and make the mistake you did but for some reason it wouldn't let me. I apologize for any confusion, I DO NOT advocate bullying for any reason or against anybody, whether they're gay or straight, it was just a poor example!
For God's sake though, does nobody take the time to read the rest of the thread before they post something?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 10:48:44 PM by Dan the Man » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2011, 11:01:23 PM »

For God's sake though, does nobody take the time to read the rest of the thread before they post something?

But if we all did that, how could we misconstrue and misinterpret what you say? I mean, you don't actually expect us to UNDERSTAND you or something? Do you?  Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2011, 11:07:26 PM »

For God's sake though, does nobody take the time to read the rest of the thread before they post something?

But if we all did that, how could we misconstrue and misinterpret what you say? I mean, you don't actually expect us to UNDERSTAND you or something? Do you?  Tongue

You, my friend, just made my day!  laugh
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2011, 11:13:04 PM »

I don't see how you could possibly suggest that I misinterpreted what you said. I might find it believable that you didn't express yourself properly, but not that I misinterpreted. You presented her participation in the Day of Silence as an example of where she diverges from "traditional morality". That's pretty straightforward.
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2011, 11:59:37 PM »

I don't see how you could possibly suggest that I misinterpreted what you said. I might find it believable that you didn't express yourself properly, but not that I misinterpreted. You presented her participation in the Day of Silence as an example of where she diverges from "traditional morality". That's pretty straightforward.

Please read over my original response to you again. I already said that it was a bad example and I had meant to change it. Little did I know that previous posts cannot be edited on this forum (even though they can on most other forums), so the OP has to stand as it is, there's simply nothing I can do about it! I never even implied that you misinterpreted it in the first place! What I asked was that you please rewind a few posts and read the explanation on that particular section that I gave to Entscheidungsproblem and quietmorning, which details everything that I already told you twice now.
Can we please move on now? This thread is sinking like the Titanic...
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 12:02:56 AM by Dan the Man » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2011, 09:29:43 PM »

The second problem is that some of her political views contrast sharply with traditional Christian values. For example, she is a major crusader for the "day of silence," which took place today. For those of you who don't know, the day of silence is set up by LGBT activist groups as a protest every Spring, wherein the protesters take a vow of complete silence for the entire day. If there's one thing that her boyfriend and I can agree on as far as religion is concerned, it's traditional morality. I'm concerned that If we present these views to her and explain that they are a vital part of Christian teachings she might throw it all away and either A - return to agnosticism, or B - go for a more liberal form of Christianity. This problem is a bit more difficult than the first one because it's going to have to happen eventually, whereas the first one is more of a worst-case scenario.

Don't worry about this aspect -- conformity with the church's moral teachings will follow the conviction that Christ is the true God and the church his mystical body.

There are certain Christians who tend to reduce Christianity to conformity with the church's moral teachings. I'm not suggesting you're falling into that trap, I'm just saying it is not uncommonly fallen for!
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2011, 12:30:21 PM »

The second problem is that some of her political views contrast sharply with traditional Christian values. For example, she is a major crusader for the "day of silence," which took place today. For those of you who don't know, the day of silence is set up by LGBT activist groups as a protest every Spring, wherein the protesters take a vow of complete silence for the entire day. If there's one thing that her boyfriend and I can agree on as far as religion is concerned, it's traditional morality. I'm concerned that If we present these views to her and explain that they are a vital part of Christian teachings she might throw it all away and either A - return to agnosticism, or B - go for a more liberal form of Christianity. This problem is a bit more difficult than the first one because it's going to have to happen eventually, whereas the first one is more of a worst-case scenario.

Don't worry about this aspect -- conformity with the church's moral teachings will follow the conviction that Christ is the true God and the church his mystical body.

There are certain Christians who tend to reduce Christianity to conformity with the church's moral teachings. I'm not suggesting you're falling into that trap, I'm just saying it is not uncommonly fallen for!

Sorry for my delayed response. I can understand what you're talking about and I've seen it before, but doesn't being a member of the church mean you have to comply with its dogma?

On a different note, we have a bit of an update: I did speak to my friend on Sunday night, and I asked her if there had been any new developments in her journey, to which she replied that she "hadn't thought much about it recently." I really don't know what to think of this. On the optimistic side, it might mean that all of her issues have been resolved and that she can go forward on her own, or even that the battle has completely been won, though I highly doubt that option. However, from a more pessimistic angle, I can't shake this feeling that she's losing her fervor, in a sense. Maybe she's not taking it as seriously as she was before, or maybe she really wasn't taking it seriously at all from the beginning!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 12:31:15 PM by Dan the Man » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2011, 01:22:37 PM »

hi, i think you should just concentrate on being her friend and take it easy.
it can be scary for people when they are surrounded by Christians! a friend said to me once, 'it's not fair, in my new job my boss is a Christian, all my close friends are Christian and now my wife has become a Christian!' he was (is) a close friend so i sympathised with him and assured him we would always be friends no matter what he believes. but i couldn't help adding, 'but maybe God's trying to tell you something...'  Wink

with people like that, i talk about my faith when it's relevant, eg. 'how do you cope working with that awful person?' 'i pray for him and remember God created him and then he's not so annoying after that. who knows, maybe he's stressed...'
but if someone asks me what i did at the weekend, i will say 'it was great, we went to church, then we went for a walk in the park', so the other person can either talk about church, or talk about the walk in the park if they want to avoid the subject.
if i think a friend knows nothing about God, i might say more, but i chill out when they get fed up.
but remember you can't stop some friends leaving you if they hate your faith. the best thing is to keep being nice to them, share your faith when relevant and let them decide. also you are not responsible for her boyfriend's actions. try to mediate if things get complicated but remember it's up to them whether they fall out over this. you just keep being friends with both of them, openly and honestly.

basically i think you're doing fine, keep it up and may God bless you  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2011, 02:24:15 PM »

I wo9nder how much of this is tied up with the romantic relationship between this girls and her boyfriend/your best friend. On the one hand, it may be that your best friend feels a bit jealous of you giving her advice rather than himself. On the other hand, she may feel that her relationship with her boyfriend is more important right now than any disagreements about religion. I think everybody should take a deep breath and attend Paschal Liturgy!
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2011, 04:02:04 PM »

hi, i think you should just concentrate on being her friend and take it easy.
it can be scary for people when they are surrounded by Christians! a friend said to me once, 'it's not fair, in my new job my boss is a Christian, all my close friends are Christian and now my wife has become a Christian!' he was (is) a close friend so i sympathised with him and assured him we would always be friends no matter what he believes. but i couldn't help adding, 'but maybe God's trying to tell you something...'  Wink

with people like that, i talk about my faith when it's relevant, eg. 'how do you cope working with that awful person?' 'i pray for him and remember God created him and then he's not so annoying after that. who knows, maybe he's stressed...'
but if someone asks me what i did at the weekend, i will say 'it was great, we went to church, then we went for a walk in the park', so the other person can either talk about church, or talk about the walk in the park if they want to avoid the subject.
if i think a friend knows nothing about God, i might say more, but i chill out when they get fed up.
but remember you can't stop some friends leaving you if they hate your faith. the best thing is to keep being nice to them, share your faith when relevant and let them decide. also you are not responsible for her boyfriend's actions. try to mediate if things get complicated but remember it's up to them whether they fall out over this. you just keep being friends with both of them, openly and honestly.

basically i think you're doing fine, keep it up and may God bless you  Smiley
Thank you very much! Smiley I think you're absolutely right! At the very beginning of this whole event I remember talking to my mom about it and the first thing that she reminded me of is that people are converted through love, not arguments. I think you're getting around to about the same point she was.
I wonder how much of this is tied up with the romantic relationship between this girl and her boyfriend/your best friend. On the one hand, it may be that your best friend feels a bit jealous of you giving her advice rather than himself. On the other hand, she may feel that her relationship with her boyfriend is more important right now than any disagreements about religion.
I can't really see why he'd feel jealous. He actually asked me for help with this early on. Although, now that you mention it, she did tell me about her wanting to become a Christian before she told him...that's probably just circumstance though. The second option would make a lot of sense though, I think. I guess I just have trouble identifying with her not thinking about God because it's something I've been raised to do. It must be different for somebody coming from a non-religious background. I just reminded her (hopefully not in a badgering manner, I definitely tried as much as possible not to make it sound that way) that it's important to always make time for God.
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I think everybody should take a deep breath and attend Paschal Liturgy!
Someday my friend, someday. And hopefully someday soon at that! Smiley By the way, it's not like I'm panicking over this or anything. Tongue I just thought you guys must deal with a lot of converts on this forum, so it would be the best place to get guidance in a matter like this, besides prayer of course.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 04:03:34 PM by Dan the Man » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2011, 07:33:07 PM »

The second problem is that some of her political views contrast sharply with traditional Christian values. For example, she is a major crusader for the "day of silence," which took place today. For those of you who don't know, the day of silence is set up by LGBT activist groups as a protest every Spring, wherein the protesters take a vow of complete silence for the entire day. If there's one thing that her boyfriend and I can agree on as far as religion is concerned, it's traditional morality. I'm concerned that If we present these views to her and explain that they are a vital part of Christian teachings she might throw it all away and either A - return to agnosticism, or B - go for a more liberal form of Christianity. This problem is a bit more difficult than the first one because it's going to have to happen eventually, whereas the first one is more of a worst-case scenario.

Don't worry about this aspect -- conformity with the church's moral teachings will follow the conviction that Christ is the true God and the church his mystical body.

There are certain Christians who tend to reduce Christianity to conformity with the church's moral teachings. I'm not suggesting you're falling into that trap, I'm just saying it is not uncommonly fallen for!

Sorry for my delayed response. I can understand what you're talking about and I've seen it before, but doesn't being a member of the church mean you have to comply with its dogma?

Yes, but just remember it takes a minute to form a born-again, but a lifetime to form an Orthodox Christian. laugh
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2011, 09:09:39 PM »

The second problem is that some of her political views contrast sharply with traditional Christian values. For example, she is a major crusader for the "day of silence," which took place today. For those of you who don't know, the day of silence is set up by LGBT activist groups as a protest every Spring, wherein the protesters take a vow of complete silence for the entire day. If there's one thing that her boyfriend and I can agree on as far as religion is concerned, it's traditional morality. I'm concerned that If we present these views to her and explain that they are a vital part of Christian teachings she might throw it all away and either A - return to agnosticism, or B - go for a more liberal form of Christianity. This problem is a bit more difficult than the first one because it's going to have to happen eventually, whereas the first one is more of a worst-case scenario.

Don't worry about this aspect -- conformity with the church's moral teachings will follow the conviction that Christ is the true God and the church his mystical body.

There are certain Christians who tend to reduce Christianity to conformity with the church's moral teachings. I'm not suggesting you're falling into that trap, I'm just saying it is not uncommonly fallen for!

Sorry for my delayed response. I can understand what you're talking about and I've seen it before, but doesn't being a member of the church mean you have to comply with its dogma?

Yes, but just remember it takes a minute to form a born-again, but a lifetime to form an Orthodox Christian. laugh

Hahaha, that's definitely the truth!  laugh
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2011, 12:23:17 AM »

Dan, this is OT (and maybe addressed elsewhere) but would your parents allow you to become "engaged to" (a catechumen in) the Church but not actually "marry it" (get baptized) until you're 18? 
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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2011, 09:19:39 AM »

Dan, this is OT (and maybe addressed elsewhere) but would your parents allow you to become "engaged to" (a catechumen in) the Church but not actually "marry it" (get baptized) until you're 18? 

Basically no: My parents are not anti-Orthodox in the slightest, they're just simply too pro Catholic! Tongue My mom (who works as a secretary at the Latin parish I currently attend) has even gone as far as to ask my favorite priest there to convince me to stay. So, as you could probably guess, they will not allow me to make my catechumenate until I turn 18 (frankly, I'm not even sure if a priest would allow me to do so as a minor anyway, though I could be very wrong in assuming that). However, I did find an OCA parish about 20 minutes from where I live that is offering inquirer's classes on Wednesday evenings and they've at least agreed to allow me to go to those when summer starts. Other than that, I can't imagine seeing them budging as far as to let me get "engaged to" the church.
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Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
    Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
    the Lord will be my light.
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