Since my EO inquirer period I've struggled in my faith and I am starting to feel a pull towards OO.
What would you suggest to someone inquiring about Orthodoxy in general, but leaving OO as an option to pursue?
Do what I did - talk to a priest.
What sort of dialouge should I have with a priest, and should it be from EO and OO?
I would visit whatever Orthodox churches are in your area (both OO and EO) and see which one feels the most comfortable.
It's interesting you raise this because do you feel that the differences between the OO and EO are negligible and one must accept either based upon how one feels? Regardless of how Chalcedon was conducted and the aftermath of that council?
Or do you say such because of my sem-recent terrible polemics regarding the OO interpretation of Chalcedon?
Not that I have any dog in this fight, but I am curious about your inclinations toward OO. Would you care to explain this pull? I don't mean to draw this into a debate; I just find it interesting.
Some of my favorite posters here are OOs and probably the best witness I've seen for considering such move, if I were to.
If you don't want to discuss it publicly, I understand.
FWIW, I know there a few OOs who come to our parish and some folks who are inquiring, whether due to impending nuptials or like, go back and forth from our EO parish to an OO each weekend trying to discern what they wish to do, while discussing the matter with both parish priests.
It's interesting because you brought up a week or so ago that people like HabteSelassie and Gebre exhibit tremendous Christian charity and love. One of the things that really convinced me of Orthodox Christianity was the way a priest acted in my Cathedral; he was one of the holiest people I've ever met and I truly can see how the Gospel has transformed his life. There's that saint quote where if you act out your faith thousands around you can be saved (horrible paraphase but that's the jist).
Anyway my moment was like "I want to be like that, I want to be able to experience the love that God has for me" and then I went through an existential crisis which I unfourtantley put this forum under stress to lift me up from. I have moved away from it and accepted Christianity as the truth but now I struggle with the praxis.
I haven't answered your question as to why the pull. Put simply I am getting more and more convinced of the Alexandrian interpreation of Scripture and theology than I am of the Antiochian side. It may seem like splitting hairs, but the way they use allegory, foreshadowing more so than a literalistic approach. That's not to say the EO don't embrace the same approach, however I feel as though the Oriental Orthodox accept a more deeper spiritual understanding. I wish I could give examples on why I feel as such but I can't at the moment, I would like to see one day the EO and OO uniting to have just one Orthodox Church but until then I will continue to probe both churches.
Perhaps I also think joining the OO church I can be better focused on Orthodox practice, and seeing some of the fellow OO posters here I wonder if that is the path for my salvation. That's not to undermine the EO posters as well, whom many here I have encountered to be very pious people, but I feel that I am being highly subjective at this point and perhaps engaging in a sin just mentioning this
I will say that whatever happens on my journey I will hold truth as the absolute, so if I find that OO is the truth than so I will go. i just hope I can discern between objective and subjective truth, or if joining EO or OO is completely subjective.
Please pray for me.
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The question to ask through a prayerful effort is, "what about Oriental Orthodox specifically is drawing me as opposed to Eastern Orthodox?"
Is it the feeling of the chanting and prayer? Is it the theological differences and the Christological debate? Is it a cultural matter? Find out what about your heart is being attracted towards Oriental Orthodox in particular, and that might be able to assist your walk along the Way of the Fathers. It is important to always stay connected in your heart to what brings you into Orthodox so as not to get entangled in all the politics, polemics, history, and drama which is wrought in Orthodox.
These are excellent points and I will keep these in mind for the now and future.
[qutoe]For me, I have experienced a certain feeling of sincerity and piety amongst the Oriental Orthodox parishioners from across the Churches, from Coptic to the Syrians, Armenians and of course the Ethiopians and Eritreans. Our Orthodox living is a bit more grounded in our ontological approach to reality, and so we seem to really live deeper in Orthodox, where from my experience many EO have been a bit more successful and straddling the fence between modern life and the ancient Faith. We in the Oriental Orthodox, while surely living equally in the modern world (most of the Ethiopians I know are engineers, upper management, and working scientists) we seem to be more so grounded in the past, something akin to how Hindus in India seem to live so far in the past while still maintaining a presence in the modern future.[/quote]
I believe this is where I am standing as well, as I told orthonorm above I felt that the connection between the spiritual is sensed more deeply in OO and as you said there is a disconnect between the modern life and the ancient faith. EO I don't feel has successfully seamlessly merged both to help parishoners engage the modern world but also carrying out their faith. Before ialmisry slams his sledgehammer on a possible Jerome-ism, I feel if you want that in the EO you would have to be a monk. If that statement is out of line, please correct me.
I honestly don't know what exact advice to give you. I would say talk to Orthodox priests from both communions and pray and ask God to guide you. I know it sounds like a cliché answer, but, that's all I can tell you for sure. But do not let Chalcedon be a road bump on your spiritual life. If you want to research the council to get an equally balanced perspective on it from both OOs and EOs that's fine, but it will seriously hinder your spiritual life if you get too fixated on it. Most OO Priests consider the EOs Orthodox, and many EO clergymen reciprocate this view towards the OOs (not all do mind you). But trust me, as someone born [Oriental] Orthodox, I'll tell you that if you obsess over Chalcedon too much you'll find yourself ignoring prayer and spirituality in exchange for reading through countless polemical posts about how non-Chalcedonians are heretical and vice-versa. May our Lord lead you to Orthodoxy, whether Eastern or Oriental.
Yes I have heard the fair warning from Salpy that people have lost their faith engaging in polemics over Chalcedon, but it honestly won't be a road bump for me. I am not even well versed in Orthodox theology to even plumbing the depths of that council or even hold an opinion in regards to it. I'll have to study, weigh in the arguments and go from there.