The whole concept of "cradle vs convert" is ridiculous. It comes from two false presumptions; 1) that your Baptism on its own saves you, and 2) that there are no Christians outside of the Orthodox Church. There are people who were Baptized Orthodox as children and who have lived holy and God fearing lives. There are others who were Baptized Orthodox that will not be seen anywhere withing a five mile radius of a Church unless it is Christmas, Easter, or some cultural event being sponsored by the Church. Both are "cradles".
And what about the "other sheep have I that are not of this fold, and them I go to also"? What about the person who grew up in a Protestant sect where they teach you the Scriptures, and where through the Scriptures and prayer and love for God, and the understanding that Jesus Christ is his Savior, he one day discovers the True Church and becomes united with it? Is he something less than the so-called "cradle" that comes to Church twice a year? I know that this is going to upset some people, but I believe that what most "cradles" have against many "converts" is that many of them have lived the life that the Church requires even before they were part of the Church. Having been raised in a culture that promotes separation between the Church and State, many Protestants (particularly Fundamentalists) have a healthy distrust for any government organ. And what is the "Church" in former Communist countries other than another organ of the Communist State? Are the KGB Bishops of the Patriarchate true "cradles"? Those Bishops, clergy and faithful who died in the Gulags sure are! But then again, those that survived and came over here are not the ones that I have found that have problems with "converts".
In addition, many Protestant converts come from a tradition of frequent Church attendance, at least every Sunday and even during the week. They are used to attending Bible Studies, many on a weekly basis. Many are used to reading the Scriptures daily, and some even have a tradition of morning and evening prayers. Among the Lutherans that I grew up with, daily "devotions", including Bible readings, prayer, and a small homily, were very common. Also common among them was education in Christian schools rather than secular schools. Of course these people are on fire when they join the Orthodox Church. They were on fire when they were members of their old congregations! So, what are they supposed to do when they become Orthodox, throttle back? I can tell you that I have spoken to many converts that came to the Orthodox Church because their studies showed it to be the True Church, only to be scandalized by the fact that the churches they left LIVED Christianity to a far higher level than the Orthodox parish they now attend. And many of those people were also put off when they tried to help and were brushed aside because they were just "converts".
I heard a sermon from a Russian Orthodox Priest (ROCOR) who said the following:
We, as Orthodox Christians, have the fullness of the Faith. However, there is no reason for us to be proud or haughty about it. Because much has been given us, much will be expected. An Orthodox Christian who bungles through life living less than 20% of his faith will be judged far more harshly on the last day than those heterodox Christians who did not have the full Faith, but lived what they had to the fullest extent.
Yes, this priest, too, was a convert - as was the priest who first brought me into the Church, and as was the Monk who is my Godfather. Maybe what he said was not Orthodox (it certainly flies in the face of much of what I have heard from so called "cradles"), but I believe it. That is why I don't worry about the "cradle / convert" matter anymore. There are those who are trying to unite with God, and those that don't care. Both the "cradles" and the "converts" contain both kinds of people, and a lot more that are somewhere in between. When I run into another Orthodox Christian, I don't even care how long he has been Orthodox. This is the Body of Christ and not a Union; seniority means little for your Salvation.