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Author Topic: The right reasons to join Christianity  (Read 1807 times) Average Rating: 0
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Poppy
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« on: July 02, 2011, 12:29:15 PM »

Are there wrong reasons to join Christianity?? Or can the wrong reasons (if there is any) become right ones eventually or is that like buttoning up your top the wrong way at the bottom.... does it make everything else wonkey?? Jesus told stories about foundations being important.

examples here.....
someone who joins because they want to be a part of the social groups
or someone who just joins it because they like a girl or bloke who is already a Christian
or someone who wants to raise there kids with morals but doesn't rli care about God
or someone who thinks its sound to be joined and it will impress their mates

I asked this question before a few months back on the protestant (unmoderated)forums and they said that the person wouldnt be saved and that they wouldnt be a Christian. What is the Orthodox way of thinking about this??

Thanks Poppy
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2011, 12:50:06 PM »

Yes, there are wrong reasons - you've listed several excellent examples. And yes, wrong reasons can become right ones. That's what Jesus does: He transforms what's wrong into what's right. In fact, that's more or less how we Orthodox understand the word "salvation". It's all about our transformation from being the people we created ourselves to be into the people God created us to be.

Yes, at some point, there really does need to be some inkling of a positive choice. But its really quite amazing - if you stick with a habit long enough - like say going to church every Sunday - it soon becomes routine, a habit, and eventually just part of who you are. I do believe that God will honour that perseverance - especially if it lasts long after the original "wrong reason" has faded away.

And also, look at your examples: really, how "wrong" are they? "Part of a social group" - that's a very valid human need - we all need to know we belong somewhere; raising kids with morals - at least there is an acceptance of two things: morals are important, and the someone admits to not having any to pass along. I could go on, but see what I mean?

So even though the reasons may appear to be selfish at first glance, there is really an underlying assumption that there is something very right about the Christian faith. That gives God something to work with!

BTW, you gave examples of what you called wrong reasons for becoming a Christian. What, in your opinion, are some right reasons?
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2011, 02:20:34 PM »

Quote
BTW, you gave examples of what you called wrong reasons for becoming a Christian. What, in your opinion, are some right reasons?

ok first of.... how can i say what the right reasons are?? even if i can guess what the wrong ones are. If Orthodox Christianity is about right belief then my opinion don't matter because it would be wrong haha...when im trying for it to be right....get me??

BUT in my opinion only.... i would guess from what i think so far. The only reason is if you accept that bibleGod exists because if you do then the next thing you think is blinkinheck i am going to have to deal with that some day so i had better find out about it. Actually thats not a reason because allot of people still believe God exists and don't do anything or care. I don't know..... maybe the right reason is when you have sorted out if bibleGod is GOOD or not.....If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change. I don't know that's a hard question and probably you know the answer....so tell me it.
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2011, 05:12:21 PM »

Poppy,

I think your examples are good for showing mis-guided reasons, but God helps those who have an inkling of hope in something which compels him/her to go to Church and eventually that person can come to accept his/her life in the Christian faith.  Alot of times, the reason a non-Christian goes to see what's going on in a Church is because they have many questions about God.  We know that the initial reason would be for something mis-guided, like wanting to be closer to a guy/bloke.  But, if they really couldn't accept becoming baptised then they would eventually leave.  But, if they did eventually accept baptism then they are Christian in their hearts.  The part of not being saved is a Protestant thing.  We can't determine that during a lifetime, that comes at the end with Christ's judgement. We Orthodox see that many mistakes are made in life, but we can always make it right again.  So a non-Christian person that would come to the Orthodox Church, for example, for one of the reasons you listed, would need time to understand what it's all about.  We don't condemn them because they came for mis-guided reasons.  We see it as if God is helping them come to Him.  The judgement comes at the end of our lives.  In between there are ups and downs.  We just hope that when our time comes, it will be up.  Basically, the reason why a person came to Church is not as important as how he/she ends his/her life.  You don't know if you won or lost until you passed the Finish line.

Quote
If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change.

If you feel something then THAT IS what counts.  I can't convince you to become Christian if you don't "feel" ready.  All my explanations will mean nothing to you.  And the Holy Bible teaches that God gives us free will to choose Him.  He doesn't force us, but He does send us an invitation over and over and over again.  He never stops sending the invitations.  But, it does come down to feeling.  This may sound like I'm preaching, but the fact is that Jesus Christ is listening and all you have to do is say hi.  He created you so why wouldn't He care to listen to you?  If you say, Hello Jesus, He will say hi back.  Not out loud, but you will get the response, in some way that will mean something to you.

BTW.  How are my quoting skills.  Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2011, 07:59:32 PM »

What comes to mind is the parable of the Sower. Someone joining for a social club or some similar reason would be like the seed sown on stony ground. Someone may flourish for a short while, then fall away, unless by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit their heart is opened.
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2011, 08:20:36 PM »

As far as I can tell, there's only one goal in Christianity: to be reconciled to God. That's why you become a Christian.

All other valid reasons devolve from this one idea. The point is not to be saved--worthy as that is--or to be assured that your enemies will suffer, or to meet people, or to live forever. No. The point is to reconcile yourself with God. If you are sincere, you will do everything within your power to eliminate whatever stands between yourself and God.  If you are sincere, God will help you, and you will manifest, in some way, His glory on earth.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 08:24:40 PM by sainthieu » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2011, 01:00:00 AM »

Are there wrong reasons to join Christianity?? Or can the wrong reasons (if there is any) become right ones eventually or is that like buttoning up your top the wrong way at the bottom.... does it make everything else wonkey?? Jesus told stories about foundations being important.

examples here.....
someone who joins because they want to be a part of the social groups
or someone who just joins it because they like a girl or bloke who is already a Christian
or someone who wants to raise there kids with morals but doesn't rli care about God
or someone who thinks its sound to be joined and it will impress their mates

I asked this question before a few months back on the protestant (unmoderated)forums and they said that the person wouldnt be saved and that they wouldnt be a Christian. What is the Orthodox way of thinking about this??

Thanks Poppy


I joined Christianity because I was mired in sin and had no way out except through Christ jesus.  Why did you join the Christianity?  

You don't need to answer - just think about why any of us are Christians.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 01:02:22 AM by wayseer » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2011, 01:55:41 AM »

Quote
If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change.

BTW.  How are my quoting skills.  Smiley

Coming along. If you want to attribute the quote to make sure everyone knows who you are responding to, especially if you "dissect" their quotes or just want to quote a snippet, then do the following:

Code:
[quote=SOURCE]Quoted material[/quote]

So if you wanted to make sure everyone knows the above quote you used was from Poppy, it woud look like this:

Code:
[quote=Poppy]If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change.[/quote]

Which woud look like this:

Quote from: Poppy
If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change.

Sorry if you already knew this. I am not sure why when the code tags are used, line wrap isn't rendered well. Sorry for the scroll.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 01:56:53 AM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2011, 01:59:13 AM »

Haha... your quoting skills are sound yep rli good.

The judgement day that you mentioned, what if you come to God  either late.... and your bad things outweigh the good things because you have no time??
OR
That you have had allot of time to do good thing and haven't because you keep on messing up and having to begin again??

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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2011, 07:26:13 AM »

Is fear of Hell a legitimate reason? When I was 14 I was "converted" via a friend's terrifying Lake of Fire lecture. For the next several years, I would believe that this is when I became a Christian.
However not long after I began to understand the Orthodox concept of God, Salvation, and damnation, I began to question my original "getting saved" moment; in fact, because my aforementioned decision was based on fear of Satan rather than love for Christ, I began to see it even as a form of Devil worship. I continued in this belief for at least several months. However one day an Orthodox Christian deacon told me that the "fire and brimstone" experience could in fact be used by the Lord to reach someone.
What are your thoughts?
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2011, 08:28:41 AM »

Quote
If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change.

BTW.  How are my quoting skills.  Smiley

Coming along. If you want to attribute the quote to make sure everyone knows who you are responding to, especially if you "dissect" their quotes or just want to quote a snippet, then do the following:

Code:
[quote=SOURCE]Quoted material[/quote]

So if you wanted to make sure everyone knows the above quote you used was from Poppy, it woud look like this:

Code:
[quote=Poppy]If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change.[/quote]

Which woud look like this:

Quote from: Poppy
If you get to that point then you might feel something about God and want to do something about it. But maybe not because it shouldnt be about feelings and how you feel because that will change.

Sorry if you already knew this. I am not sure why when the code tags are used, line wrap isn't rendered well. Sorry for the scroll.



Joasias question was pacifically addressed to me because we already had a discussion about this in pm so already knew it because i already told her a couple of different ways to do it. PLus it was a small ps to me down the bottom, not part of her main post on this topic, which you could see clearly.

Im asking again POLITELY. Stop derailing my threads by posting about off topic stuff (BB code). And to stop quoting me.... you have nothing to say that i want to hear (which you already know) so you also know that quoting me just flames up the situation..... and yet you still keep purposefully being antagonising.
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2011, 02:47:06 PM »

I thought about whether to address this situation or not. Since, moderation and experience have not changed the issue, nor my ignoring, I am going to make clear my position on what has been going on "between us" and using this thread specifically.

You can then take it with whatever size piece of salt that you want, as I will not address this issue again.

The reason I am doing so publicly rather than responding to your PMs is simply so that the mods can point out to me, if I am in error.

- I have yet to use a single ad hominem against you. In fact, I've not written a single disparaging word concerning you, if I have, please show me where and I will apologize for it. And I think the ad hominem is at times legitimate, but the rules here are strict about it, so I avoid them.

- My post was not "derailing". Derailing is almost a natural law of any internet forum thread that goes on long enough and is often benign or fruitful. When it is a problem, typically is when a poster tries to steer many threads in a particular manner as to push a single idea. On this board, that could be: Papal infallibility, anti-Zionism, nationalistic or ethnic arguments, etc. And the poster does this over and over in many threads.

My post was a suggestion for someone on how to better use the board. It was not even directed toward you. And if joasia already knew the info, she and you are not the only ones reading this thread, so that info could be helpful to others.

Addressing that post of mine, actually is closer to derailing the thread as it could provoke responses on just this matter. This will be my only post directed on this issue here, as not to derail it. And I will be commenting on a post within this thread probably after this.

-Asking me not to participate in threads you start or responding to your posts: You like to be direct, so direct I shall be, this ain't your sandbox. If you were dealing with a matter of a personal nature that was delicate, I could see perhaps requesting only certain posters for advice, but then that would probably better handled via PMs. This is a discussion board open to all members who abide by the rules here, which I do. If I am not, I welcome the mods suggestions.

If not being able to control how threads develop bothers you, you will have a difficult time. That is just a statement of fact.

-Asking me politely: Not that asking politely would necessarily change my behavior, unless it were a personal matter, but you frankly have not. Your PMs are filled with insults as have been your posts toward me. I have not returned in kind, nor even responded to your PMs. Adding the word polite or please does not a polite request make.

-Flaming the situation: The only one who seems distressed by my passing comments is you. On my end there is truly no animus toward you. This is how I post here. Some people don't like my voice at times, fine. But I've rarely come close to being insulting toward a person here. In fact, I've had heated exchanges with folks here who I have nice PM exchanges with.

Sometimes I can see how my irony gets lost and can be taken the wrong way and I always address it, when it has been. I now use an emoticon to lessen the probably per a mod's suggestion. An ironic one though, I am sorta a pain, I know. //;=)

In full disclosure, Jim from Brooklyn (?) and Marc are the closest I think I have come to directly offending--over diet of all things. They had their point and I realized I should drop the issue with Jim due to his request, as the discussion was going nowhere anyway. But I did not exit the sandbox.

In short, if I have written a direct and explicit attack on your person, I apologize.

The above comments are not meant to be insulting, but rather to make clear how I understand the situation.

You were given the best advice if you don't like my posts: ignore them.

If you find I have insulted you, you can report the infraction easily and directly the mods, something I have never done here myself. But I've been playing internets for decades, so I am not easily offended.

Now I believe you will initially be angry with this, but I hope you consider my words and try to put this behind us, even if that means you simply pretend I don't exist here.

Again, this is the last time I will address this subject.

Forgive me, if I have written abusive comments toward you. There is absolutely no problem on my end.

Most of all, I hope that you do leave over my participation, that woud be truly regrettable.

Back to the meat of the discussion.



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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2011, 03:00:27 PM »

Is fear of Hell a legitimate reason?

Actually, I think it is a reason not to become a Christian, in a weird way.

This is something I struggled with and still do, as I am not yet in the Church.

Knowing the Bible and Gospel, I knew what Christians at a minimum are called to do (the stuff it is hard to argue about and yet I know I neglect and fail at the most), and it is rather frightening. Or at least I think so.

To the degree you come to know the Truth and not act on it, the worse off you are. Throughout the Gospels and St. Paul's letters we see this. If you come to know Christ as the Truth and you don't repent, all the more worse for you than someone who follows the Godly intuitions of their heart who have come to know the Truth.

This line of thinking runs through some of the Church Fathers, which I would fail at providing an account as I am just beginning to read through their writings and am not well versed.

But if you think my odd angle is without Scriptural merit, I could provide the passages which lend to my understanding.

This was the first thing I discussed with my Priest. I basically said, I've come to know that the Gospel is the Truth and I believe it is best kept in the Orthodox Church and knowing that I am afraid to follow on my conviction, lest I condemn myself to an even greater degree by becoming even more close to the Truth by entering the Church.

But I am rather neurotic, so perhaps this doesn't go through many folks minds.

I just know that the Gospel is hard words. And through pastoral counseling, getting involved in the Parish, this website, prayer, etc. I've gotten over that fear as a stumbling block, but I still have perhaps a healthy dose of it.

FWIW.

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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2011, 03:07:20 PM »

Haha... your quoting skills are sound yep rli good.

The judgement day that you mentioned, what if you come to God  either late.... and your bad things outweigh the good things because you have no time??
OR
That you have had allot of time to do good thing and haven't because you keep on messing up and having to begin again??

If you come to Orthodoxy, you will get baptised which will wipe out all your bad things.  Christ will clean your slate.   Not your memory, which you need to remind yourself not to do them again.  From that point on, you try to walk the way with Christ (His teachings).  So, there is no too late issues, since it becomes a new beginning of life. Someone can even get baptised on his death bed.  He doesn't have time to DO anything except totally believe in Christ. And he will have very little sins.  It's more of a: just in the nick of time.  But, he has to mean it, not do it as a way out, because iif he gets better, as a miracle, he will then need to start living his Christian life.

As for having alot of time, I'll refer to the time after you're baptised.  If you still keep messing up (which we always do), you have Holy Confession which is where God will wipe out those sins you confess and give you a fresh start again.  So there's no loosing situation.  But, being outside the Church, is more dangerous because you don't have these two wonderful medicines.  As long as you're still alive, you have a chance.
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Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

The proper activity of the intellect is to be attentive at every moment to the words of God.   (Philokalia 2: p. 308 - # 30) - St. Thalassios
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2011, 03:12:54 PM »

Quote from: Orthonorm
Most of all, I hope that you do leave over my participation, that woud be truly regrettable.

You mean don't...I think.

Thanks for the instructions.   Smiley

« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 03:13:42 PM by joasia » Logged

Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

The proper activity of the intellect is to be attentive at every moment to the words of God.   (Philokalia 2: p. 308 - # 30) - St. Thalassios
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2011, 03:25:04 PM »

Quote from: Orthonorm
Most of all, I hope that you do leave over my participation, that woud be truly regrettable.

You mean don't...I think.

Thanks for the instructions.   Smiley



ACK! Too late to modify! Can a mod possibly do it for me?

As mentioned before, typing remains the most acute lingering problem I had from some serious head trauma. I drop words, type heterographs, wrong prepositions, etc.

Doesn't happen during speech anymore nor in handwriting.

Sigh, sorry Poppy!

Thanks joasia. I re-read that post three times and overlooked the worse possible mistake!
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2011, 04:49:32 AM »

Quote
I thought about whether to address this situation or not. Since, moderation and experience have not changed the issue, nor my ignoring, I am going to make clear my position on what has been going on "between us" and using this thread specifically.

You can then take it with whatever size piece of salt that you want, as I will not address this issue again.

The reason I am doing so publicly rather than responding to your PMs is simply so that the mods can point out to me, if I am in error.

- I have yet to use a single ad hominem against you. In fact, I've not written a single disparaging word concerning you, if I have, please show me where and I will apologize for it.

And I think the ad hominem is at times legitimate, but the rules here are strict about it, so I avoid them.

What other possible reason could you have to point out the fact that i have made a tonne of ad homs and you havent other than to provide proof of your innocents ...which it doesnt. All it shows is the obvious, that you have more education than me and i lack the language skills you do in written form. The reason it don't prove your innocents is because you can be more subtle in your ability to flame a situation knowing that while i might be undereducated but i am bright, so i will pick up on your subtleties.


Quote
My post was a suggestion for someone on how to better use the board. It was not even directed toward you. And if joasia already knew the info, she and you are not the only ones reading this thread, so that info could be helpful to others.

Then you could easily post it in the technical area and post Joasia a link to it rather then sidetracking a thread with a BB code post


Quote
Addressing that post of mine, actually is closer to derailing the thread as it could provoke responses on just this matter. This will be my only post directed on this issue here, as not to derail it. And I will be commenting on a post within this thread probably after this.
-Asking me not to participate in threads you start or responding to your posts: You like to be direct, so direct I shall be, this ain't your sandbox.


I wasn't asking you not to address me directly in posts out of any obligation but out of courtesy because you and me don't get along and i think it is sensible for us not to respond directly TO each other. I have got no intrest in what you have to say on topics so its better that if you want to comment on my words you do it generally.
Its easy to do, comment generally, odd that you refuse isn't it.


Quote
If you were dealing with a matter of a personal nature that was delicate, I could see perhaps requesting only certain posters for advice, but then that would probably better handled via PMs. This is a discussion board open to all members who abide by the rules here, which I do. If I am not, I welcome the mods suggestions.

Im not saying you cant post anywhere you like, i am saying one small thing.... dont answer ME directly, posting TO me about what ive said as if we are in a discussion. Its best we dont talk directly TO each other. Interesting that you refuse to do this one thing isnt it even though you know it would help the situation you and me are in.


Quote
If not being able to control how threads develop bothers you, you will have a difficult time. That is just a statement of fact.
I dont mind how threads develop at all. Other people post all sorts of stuff on them and it don't bother me one bit. What i mind is you continually posting off topic on threads that i start. Your predictable, i start a thread and BAM a few posts in and you will make either a long post about something tangental or a short personal jab about me, like you did on this recent thread.

YOU said....."She" (meaning me) started this thread because of a "caustic" remark i made elsewhere

When i corrected you about that, and said i didn't, you replied further down the thread....

YOU said...."Since i started this thread...."

That is antagonistic and basically making me out a liar because your not accepting my words that i didn't start it for that reason. Subtle flaming and unnecessary comments from you knowing that i don't get along with you.
You're right, you don't ad hom but it is plain to see your not all innocent like you are trying to make out.


Quote
-Asking me politely: Not that asking politely would necessarily change my behavior, unless it were a personal matter, but you frankly have not. Your PMs are filled with insults
Not true, when i was here only one week and you had already accused me of not typing English properly.... to which i told you i had dyslexia, then you critisized my post errors again after that.... and then and i flipped, yeah i did flip out. BUT i did PM you asking for us to sort this out in that same week.
You refused. You knew you had upset me about it, i was a visitor to the forums only here a week and you wouldn't sort it out with me. Weird huh??


Quote
I have not returned in kind, nor even responded to your PMs. Adding the word polite or please does not a polite request make.
Yeah and saying you dont ad hom does not a innocent person make either


Quote
-Flaming the situation: The only one who seems distressed by my passing comments is you.

Yep, comments that either constantly try to derail my threads or when you quote me trying to talk to ME directly knowing how volatile the situation is between us.


Quote
On my end there is truly no animus toward you.

Good if thats the case you will be kind enough not to try and talk to ME directly in threads then.


Quote
This is how I post here. Some people don't like my voice at times, fine. But I've rarely come close to being insulting toward a person here.

Yeah i'd be able to avoid it too if i had your subtle skill with words


Quote
Sometimes I can see how my irony gets lost and can be taken the wrong way and I always address it, when it has been.
No you don't that's a lie. You just finished saying how you had been ignoring my requests to sort this out weeks ago. Make up your mind. Here's your quote "Since, moderation and experience have not changed the issue, nor my ignoring..."


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In short, if I have written a direct and explicit attack on your person, I apologize.
IF??? That is no apolagy. That doesn't own to anything. Several people have told me when i have stepped over the line and i have apolagised to them, im good at it, i have had a tonne of practice. It goes something like this.
"I'm sorry" FULL STOP.... no ifs... no buts.... no justifying

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Now I believe you will initially be angry with this,
Why would you believe that?? I can see this for what it is and its nothing more then i expected from you.

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but I hope you consider my words and try to put this behind us,

That will be easy if you agree to stop addressing me personally in threads. I doubt you will stop though.

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Forgive me, if I have written abusive comments toward you.
IF...

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There is absolutely no problem on my end.
Yeah so you keep saying

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Most of all, I hope that you do leave over my participation, that woud be truly regrettable.
As my granma used to say "truth will out "
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2011, 03:48:21 PM »

I'm not so sure there are any "wrong" reasons. Everyone's motives are mixed, if we're honest with ourselves, and I think God comes to each one of us individually and invites us in a personal individual way.
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"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
kodiak
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2011, 03:20:26 PM »

George Costanza converted to "Latvian" orthodox all because of a woman.  By the way, remember to memorize which apostle Latvius was the son of for your conversion test.   laugh laugh laugh

To me I think it's probably a universal understanding that if you are seeking to convert to spite someone/something else, that's usually not a good sign.  I think if you just use common sense you'll be ok.
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