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Author Topic: Just another random newbie post...  (Read 2870 times) Average Rating: 0
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brandb
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« on: August 25, 2011, 08:05:35 PM »

Hi, I'm Brandy. I've been looking into Orthodoxy lately and have to
decided to seriously inquire into converting but I have a similar problem
to this poster:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32652.0.html

I'm 22, but until my sub-teaching job comes through, I'm entirely financially
dependent on my parents (I'm a poor college grad- I don't have my own vehicle). Tongue
In the meantime, I've decided to join this forum to help supplement the reading/
research/praying I've been doing. Don't think I'll post much as I'm not sure
I have anything relevant or important to contribute. Just wanted to say
"Hello" and introduce myself.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 08:08:41 PM by brandb » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 08:07:41 PM »

Nice to meet you! Welcome.   Grin
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2011, 08:12:18 PM »

Hello Brandy! You sound exactly like me when I was 22, a whopping 2 years ago. Currently unemployed, nondenominational, poor college grad, looking for something more and a church where I could feel at home at.

Orthodoxy hits you like a ton of bricks, so I wish you a great spiritual journey when you inquire. Orthodoxy is awesome.

And I don't know much but I managed to rack up this number of posts, so feel free to post wherever. There are a lot of random threads about nonsense while you're learning -- you can occupy yourself with those!
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2011, 08:13:08 PM »

Best of luck with work as well.  angel
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2011, 08:20:40 PM »

Welcome! 
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 08:38:58 PM »

welcome and may God bless your search.
actually your thoughts and experiences are very useful and important.
when i was becoming orthodox (3 years ago now! and i feel like it was forever...) i was really encouraged by reading other people's experiences.

i think because in most english speaking countries there are not many othodox Christians, so when we finally find out about orthodoxy it's something our friends and family find different and threatening.
humans usually feel threatened by things they don't understand and because we orthodox focus more on relationship with God and a spiritual lifestyle and regular prayer than we do on 'good preaching', Christians from other traditions worry that it's like some mystery cult or eastern religion (u know, meditation, levitation, say goodbye to your brain sort of thing).
so they don't realise that our theology is very clear and specific and that we are actually 'really Christian'!

so i found that by reading about orthodoxy online, i learnt lots and lots and it was great (still is great) to see other people having the same wonderful experiences of getting closer to God and finding peace.

remember that spiritual growth is never an overnight, fire-falling-from-the-sky experience, but takes time and patience and perseverence and this is what helps us to grow as mature Christians.
having said that, my first orthodox Holy Communion was almost like fire, it was really beautiful beyond words. i wish you all great blessing from God, and pray for me too, a sinner.
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 10:47:01 PM »

Thanks everyone!  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 03:42:10 PM »

And speaking of the sub job they finished my file today! I
get to be licensed soon! Cheesy Just an update from the first post. Wink
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 03:44:56 PM »

Congrats! Elementary school or high school?
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 04:20:17 PM »


Congratulations!

Welcome to the forum!

I know you will find this site very informative and friendly (usually).
Wink

Welcome!
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 04:50:42 PM »

Definitely Elementary. Once upon a time I was high school student, and
once is enough for me. Wink
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2011, 02:59:51 AM »

Have you looked into what kinds of Orthodox churches you have nearby?
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2011, 03:18:25 AM »

Have you looked into what kinds of Orthodox churches you have nearby?

Yes, but as I alluded to earlier, my parents, the fact that I don't own
a vehicle, and the fact that I only have $1 to my name (i.e., I can't get
a bus pass) are obstacles to me being able to actually attend a service.
I'm unfortunately stranded as an inquirer until I either a) move out
or b) buy my own car. Neither of which looks a possibility for the
next year. Sad

Which is extremely discouraging, because I'm not sure how much longer I can stand
going to church with my parents...
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 03:20:09 AM by brandb » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2011, 03:49:48 AM »


Yes, but as I alluded to earlier, my parents, the fact that I don't own
a vehicle, and the fact that I only have $1 to my name (i.e., I can't get
a bus pass)
Yikes... sell a radio or something on craigslist and get a bus pass! Tongue

I understand the situation, I hope you hang in there! If you have a printer, you might want to print out a copy of an icon to keep in your room, like the Theotokos of Vladimir:

http://www.theconnexionchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/theotokosvladimir.jpg

It's a great one to contemplate.




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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
brandb
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2011, 04:03:24 AM »

LOL Thanks! I hadn't thought of printing out an icon.
While I was away I remembered Matt. 5:6. So
I'm feeling a little less discouraged.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2011, 04:13:37 AM »

LOL Thanks! I hadn't thought of printing out an icon.
While I was away I remembered Matt. 5:6. So
I'm feeling a little less discouraged.  Smiley
angel

Are your parents totally closed off to the idea? You mentioned they were non-denominational. I know that some such churches are trying to reach out to older Christian traditions.
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2011, 04:31:28 AM »

I'm not sure exactly how my dad feels (other than he thinks it's
weird and I shouldn't go), but I know my mom doesn't really like it,
and I'm not good at explaining it, so she's passively discouraging me
by refuting Church teachings with Sola Scriptura and [/i]Sola Fide[/i],
and by telling me that I need to listen to more than just the Orthodox
Church's teachings (i.e., televangelists). She also wants me to become
more involved in her & my dad's church.

*Which brings up the other side of this issue; my sister & brother attend another,
extremely different extension of the same church. (The church has 5 extensions.)
So while by family already attends essentially 2 different churches, here I am
wanting to attend a third.*  Tongue



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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2011, 05:08:31 AM »

I'm not sure exactly how my dad feels (other than he thinks it's
weird and I shouldn't go), but I know my mom doesn't really like it,
and I'm not good at explaining it, so she's passively discouraging me
by refuting Church teachings with Sola Scriptura and [/i]Sola Fide[/i],
and by telling me that I need to listen to more than just the Orthodox
Church's teachings (i.e., televangelists). She also wants me to become
more involved in her & my dad's church.
Aww. Those kinds of arguments are always pretty draining on both parties.

*Which brings up the other side of this issue; my sister & brother attend another,
extremely different extension of the same church. (The church has 5 extensions.)
So while by family already attends essentially 2 different churches, here I am
wanting to attend a third.*  Tongue
Maybe hanging with your bro and sis at their church event thing would help your parents ease into... you making your own religious decisions.
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2011, 05:35:17 AM »

Maybe hanging with your bro and sis at their church event thing would help your parents ease into... you making your own religious decisions.

I did go with them for 10 years. My parents also went, but left for the other extension. Sometimes I still go.
But, their church is extremely charismatic (and careless), which makes it difficult to concentrate on
things like worship. Which is why my parents left, and I soon followed (largely due in part to college). However,
at my parents' church, I'm having a hard time with the doctrine. It's been this way looong before I found Orthodoxy
recently. It feels like a lose-lose situation; no matter where I go on Sunday I have to work extra hard to focus on
where God's truth is, as opposed to where it is not. I want to learn in church- I don't want to spend time having to
constantly discern what I already know to be false (though I know discernment is always important).

My parents also regularly struggle with treating me like an adult and allowing me to make my own decisions as an adult,
even though I've finished college and I'm almost 23. That is the heart of the issue, and the bane of my existence.
I have had many conversations/discussions/arguments with my parents about this, yet they continue to make very little
progress in this area.  Undecided Which is why I'm thankful for this job opportunity. Smiley I would give *almost* anything to not be
financially dependent on my parents.

That's the rundown of my situation.  Grin

 
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2011, 08:03:45 AM »

Well, even if you are living at home you are an adult.  Have the completely refused to allow you to go?  Said something like "If you go to an Orthodox church you will not be able to live at home anymore." ?

One option is to see if you can catch a ride with someone from one of the local EO churches.  Perhaps go to one of the non-Sunday services like Vespers or mid-week Feast day service (there's one coming up next week if it's a new calendar church).

Anyway, glad to have you here.  I hope a solution comes soon for you.  Pray about it.  Ask your parents if they'd be willing to read a book on Orthodoxy just to see what you're being drawn to.
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2011, 08:27:16 AM »

Well, even if you are living at home you are an adult.  Have the completely refused to allow you to go?  Said something like "If you go to an Orthodox church you will not be able to live at home anymore." ?

One option is to see if you can catch a ride with someone from one of the local EO churches.  Perhaps go to one of the non-Sunday services like Vespers or mid-week Feast day service (there's one coming up next week if it's a new calendar church).

They haven't said that, but it's kind of challenging when I say I want to go and they leave no opportunities for me to use the one of
the cars (they do own the vehicles, after all). Or drudge up the same dreary questions about *why?!* I want to go, effectively making it impossible for me to simply grab the car keys and go. Still working on getting my mom to let me go to a non-Sunday service.

Anyway, glad to have you here.  I hope a solution comes soon for you.  Pray about it.  Ask your parents if they'd be willing to read a book on Orthodoxy just to see what you're being drawn to.


Thanks. My mom went and looked up Orthodoxy online w/o me knowing, and she "found out" about the icons & saints. That conversation didn't go well. She's still stuck on that point, as well the other points I mentioned. :/

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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2011, 08:40:38 AM »

Hmmm... well as a parent of college aged kids I would recommending sitting down with your parents for a nice discussion.  Not something where someone gets railroaded or has a "gotcha" moment.

Can you explain to them that your relationship to Christ is important to you and you're trying to figure it all out but that you would really like to *try* out an Orthodox church too, just to see.  You really can't know these things without actually doing research.  Ask them if they would be willing to let you use a car on Sunday mornings to just check things out.  Talk to them about what I would imagine is important to them as Evangelical Christians - your relationship to the Lord.  This is all part of your search to find God and to take ownership of your Christian walk.   That you don't want to be a Christian because your parents are.  Now you're an adult you want to find your own way to Christ.   

Surely they wouldn't want non-Christians to find out about Christianity through the internet (Main stream media, et al). Wouldn't they want someone to talk with a Christian and go to a Christian church?  Well... don't they think the same courtesy should be extended to Orthodox Christians?

What am suggesting is that you speak their language.   Avoid turning it into a debate about Orthodoxy. but keep it about *your* relationship with God and trying to find your own way to Christ.     You can even say "I don't want to debate Orthodoxy because I"m still trying to figure it all out myself." 

Just my 2cents worth
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2011, 08:51:38 AM »

^This. I've been dreading doing something like that, because my parents
are easily angered and become hostile rather quickly, and immediately I find
myself on the defensive. BUT this is my salvation we're talking about, so I will
prayerfully consider having this discussion with them. It's just scary. Hence
why I'm still in limbo...

I appreciate your suggestions, as well as the comments left by everyone else on
this thread (I honestly didn't think it would go anywhere!). Thank you all. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2011, 09:01:01 AM »

^This. I've been dreading doing something like that, because my parents
are easily angered and become hostile rather quickly, and immediately I find
myself on the defensive. BUT this is my salvation we're talking about, so I will
prayerfully consider having this discussion with them. It's just scary. Hence
why I'm still in limbo...

I appreciate your suggestions, as well as the comments left by everyone else on
this thread (I honestly didn't think it would go anywhere!). Thank you all. Smiley

If your parents are easily angered, then definitely do not attempt without first praying....lots of prayer.  

Try to contact a priest or two in your area by phone.  Explain to him your situation.  He may (or may not) be able to find you a ride.

In the meantime, listen to Ancient Faith Radio - especially the music.  It's quite varied and will give you an idea of what you'll hear in church.  When I was first inquiring (as an Evangelical too) I listened to the Divine Liturgy CD a lot to familiarize myself with it.  Going from a Evangelical non-liturgical service to an Orthodox service can be quite daunting and confusing.  I know I was very confused. Honestly, I didn't like the service very much at first because it was so different than what I was used to.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 09:04:39 AM by PrincessMommy » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2011, 09:09:38 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Brandy!

I think I understand your parents, especially when they want you to be more involved in a Heterodox (=non-Orthodox Christian) church activities. As a university teacher, I have seen some of my students, who are about your age, inquire about the Orthodox Church (which, of course, made my heart sing, and I did help them); but then, they were all "re-directed" either by their parents, or by their peers who found an "easier way": go to whatever Christian community is nearby and just do "activities." The typical American pluralist and pragmatic, "hands-on" approach. Which, by the way, does have its own positive side.  Shocked

It's never easy, I know. Maybe you and your folks (particularly your Mom) can reach some compromise. Maybe you can somehow participate in the charity work of that other church, and yet not attend their worship?

Other than that, my piece of advice: do your research, but be careful not to fall into what some people call "acute convertitis." There is no Pope in Orthodoxy, as you certainly know. Sometimes converts tend to take words uttered by some bishop, or decisions of some local Church council as the ultimate Gospel truth. I, personally, have had my share of this malaise when I was a catechumen and when I was just received into the Church. It's a bad disease; it has done a lot of harm to me, making me argumentative without need. I have overcome it though, to  large extent due to my priests and to the wonderful friends I met on this forum. Now, I sometimes look at some long and passionate discussions here, and smile, recognizing myself, as I was back in my "acute convertitis" days.

Happy trails, best of luck, God Speed!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 09:11:39 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2011, 09:40:42 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Brandy!

I think I understand your parents, especially when they want you to be more involved in a Heterodox (=non-Orthodox Christian) church activities. As a university teacher, I have seen some of my students, who are about your age, inquire about the Orthodox Church (which, of course, made my heart sing, and I did help them); but then, they were all "re-directed" either by their parents, or by their peers who found an "easier way": go to whatever Christian community is nearby and just do "activities." The typical American pluralist and pragmatic, "hands-on" approach. Which, by the way, does have its own positive side.  Shocked

It's never easy, I know. Maybe you and your folks (particularly your Mom) can reach some compromise. Maybe you can somehow participate in the charity work of that other church, and yet not attend their worship?

Other than that, my piece of advice: do your research, but be careful not to fall into what some people call "acute convertitis." There is no Pope in Orthodoxy, as you certainly know. Sometimes converts tend to take words uttered by some bishop, or decisions of some local Church council as the ultimate Gospel truth. I, personally, have had my share of this malaise when I was a catechumen and when I was just received into the Church. It's a bad disease; it has done a lot of harm to me, making me argumentative without need. I have overcome it though, to  large extent due to my priests and to the wonderful friends I met on this forum. Now, I sometimes look at some long and passionate discussions here, and smile, recognizing myself, as I was back in my "acute convertitis" days.

Happy trails, best of luck, God Speed!

Hi! The funny thing is, I spent my time leading Bible studies and other "activities" in college, which totally strengthened my faith
(InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, 5 years). However, my parents aren't understanding that I don't just want to be "involved"
anymore; I want to actually be a "part" of the Church; and it's not their "church". Le sigh.

If, God forbid, they ultimately decide to ban me from EO, then not attending their gatherings is out of the question. They will force me to "go to church" or they will say I don't "love Jesus" anymore. Tongue

LOL thanks. I've read/heard scores about Convertitis. Doing my best to avoid the potholes and pitfalls. Wink

Thanks again.

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« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2011, 11:15:28 AM »

Ah, yes... parents trying to be helpful and keep their 'child' from straying. 

As a parent, I can relate.  However, as you know, their tactics are not always the most helpful for their cause.

I hope that your exploration of Orthodoxy does not become a cause for alienation, because that is not what the Church is about.  Yes, our Lord speaks of not loving our parents more than Him (Mt 10:37), and that belief in Him will cause family members to betray one another (Mk 13:11-13), but this does not mean we should be disrespectful or even lack compassion for their own suffering.  We parents suffer with concern and worry for our children out of love which can become selfish very quickly if that love is not divinely inspired.

So, you have to walk a 'tight rope,' being compassionate towards your parents while you search for the truth.  Try not to provoke their insecurities and fears.  Always remember their love for you.

Forums are a dangerous place in many respects, in large part because you are dealing with the mask of anonymity.  Do not become attached to the 'masks' here, but try to look at the information being provided.  The masks can be a distraction, and becoming attached to the masks does not mean you are forming meaningful relationships.  After all, the whole premise of the TV show 'To Catch a Predator' is that people can form an attachment to a chatroom mask that is not a child but a cop (I always root for the cops), and will end up forming a 'real' bond to a false identity that will eventually lead them to throw away their families, reputations and careers.

So, be careful here.  The same thing can happen in a religious sense.  You can become drawn to a person with wacko ideas, or repulsed from the Church by similar wacko ideas that are untrue or misrepresentations.  Look for the big picture.

Always check your sources and find corroborating evidence from another source before you believe anything.

Orthodoxy does not have a centralized catechism system, not even a universally-recognized book.  Learning about the Church is kind of like admiring a mosaic: the pieces individually look odd or even crude, but when you step back far enough you can see how it all works together to create something beautiful.  The mistake is to get hung up with a single piece and forget the bigger picture.

You may find yourself being a 'secret Christian' for a while.  Well, our Church has lots of experience with that!  You may not have the freedom you want to openly practice and explore, but this does not mean that you cannot explore what is most important: your inner self.

Pray.

Pray some more.

Pray: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'  That's the Jesus Prayer.  It does not take much to do that.

One thing is certain: things will be totally different for you in a year.

If you are within walking distance of a library, then you have everything you need: a place to request books (I.L.L.) and peace to read without being interrogated.  Perhaps you can obtain a bike with the right amount of begging your parents.

Welcome to the forum!


Welcome to the forum, Brandy!

I think I understand your parents, especially when they want you to be more involved in a Heterodox (=non-Orthodox Christian) church activities. As a university teacher, I have seen some of my students, who are about your age, inquire about the Orthodox Church (which, of course, made my heart sing, and I did help them); but then, they were all "re-directed" either by their parents, or by their peers who found an "easier way": go to whatever Christian community is nearby and just do "activities." The typical American pluralist and pragmatic, "hands-on" approach. Which, by the way, does have its own positive side.  Shocked

It's never easy, I know. Maybe you and your folks (particularly your Mom) can reach some compromise. Maybe you can somehow participate in the charity work of that other church, and yet not attend their worship?

Other than that, my piece of advice: do your research, but be careful not to fall into what some people call "acute convertitis." There is no Pope in Orthodoxy, as you certainly know. Sometimes converts tend to take words uttered by some bishop, or decisions of some local Church council as the ultimate Gospel truth. I, personally, have had my share of this malaise when I was a catechumen and when I was just received into the Church. It's a bad disease; it has done a lot of harm to me, making me argumentative without need. I have overcome it though, to  large extent due to my priests and to the wonderful friends I met on this forum. Now, I sometimes look at some long and passionate discussions here, and smile, recognizing myself, as I was back in my "acute convertitis" days.

Happy trails, best of luck, God Speed!

Hi! The funny thing is, I spent my time leading Bible studies and other "activities" in college, which totally strengthened my faith
(InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, 5 years). However, my parents aren't understanding that I don't just want to be "involved"
anymore; I want to actually be a "part" of the Church; and it's not their "church". Le sigh.

If, God forbid, they ultimately decide to ban me from EO, then not attending their gatherings is out of the question. They will force me to "go to church" or they will say I don't "love Jesus" anymore. Tongue

LOL thanks. I've read/heard scores about Convertitis. Doing my best to avoid the potholes and pitfalls. Wink

Thanks again.


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« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2011, 04:20:26 PM »

Oh yes, I'm acquainted with the Jesus Prayer. It's very powerful...
And the library is the one place I know my parents will always allow me in
because they know how much I LOVE books. (I just finished The Orthodox Church
by Timothy Ware recently.)

Father Giryus, thank you for your wisdom.  Smiley   We'll see where the road takes me.
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« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2011, 09:28:58 PM »

I spoke too soon.  Sad

I asked my mother when I would be able to use the car to visit a nearby church...
...which launched "The Conversation." It did not go well.

My parents are officially refusing to allow me to attend an Orthodox parish and they have denounced the Church as “not the true church” and “a cult”.

When am I independent of them I will be allowed to attend, but they won’t approve of it. I insisted that I did not want to debate Orthodox teachings (due my lack of a more complete understanding- the whole point of visiting a church in the first place) but they grilled me anyway. And they are refusing to do any further investigation of the matter like reading books, or teachings of the Church fathers, or even talking to a priest.
My mother still feels that an acceptance of Orthodox teachings = a rejection of everything she has ever taught me. My Dad thinks I don't see Christ as "The Way" anymore. I was unable to get my parents to see that neither of these things were true.

So. I guess that's it then? IDK.
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« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2011, 11:10:09 PM »

You may want to think about getting a job, any job, that gets you a little more independence.

At least they have not cut off your internet access!


I spoke too soon.  Sad

I asked my mother when I would be able to use the car to visit a nearby church...
...which launched "The Conversation." It did not go well.

My parents are officially refusing to allow me to attend an Orthodox parish and they have denounced the Church as “not the true church” and “a cult”.

When am I independent of them I will be allowed to attend, but they won’t approve of it. I insisted that I did not want to debate Orthodox teachings (due my lack of a more complete understanding- the whole point of visiting a church in the first place) but they grilled me anyway. And they are refusing to do any further investigation of the matter like reading books, or teachings of the Church fathers, or even talking to a priest.
My mother still feels that an acceptance of Orthodox teachings = a rejection of everything she has ever taught me. My Dad thinks I don't see Christ as "The Way" anymore. I was unable to get my parents to see that neither of these things were true.

So. I guess that's it then? IDK.
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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2011, 11:18:43 PM »

I'm filling out paperwork for the substitute teacher position (which means it's 90% guaranteed
that I'll be hired), so that's a plus. Smiley
However my parents do frown upon my use of my computer...  police  Lawl.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 11:19:54 PM by brandb » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2011, 11:26:55 PM »

Sorry to hear about your situation, Brandy. I'll pray for you.

It can be very difficult. When I was inquiring into Orthodoxy I had many arguments with my wife about it. Eventually she came to believe as well but it took a while. You should keep praying the Jesus prayer and reading Orthodox materials when you are able. Pray for your parents as well. You can pray saying, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on my mother/father."
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« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2011, 12:15:55 AM »

Sorry to hear about your situation, Brandy. I'll pray for you.

It can be very difficult. When I was inquiring into Orthodoxy I had many arguments with my wife about it. Eventually she came to believe as well but it took a while. You should keep praying the Jesus prayer and reading Orthodox materials when you are able. Pray for your parents as well. You can pray saying, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on my mother/father."

I agree.  So sorry this did not go well.   Keep praying.   Do you have a room to yourself?  Add a simple prayer rule to your daily routine and be faithful to it.  Try to honor, love, and forgive your parents.   There are stories of saints who had to hide their faith from family members for a time.  St. Theodora (9th century) is one that comes to mind. 

Also, know that you're not alone in this struggle.  Most of us have also had struggles and hurdles in our pursuit of Orthodoxy.  Don't lose hope... as someone said earlier: In a year from now your situation can be totally different. 

I hope you get that job.
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« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2011, 12:18:33 AM »

There are a lot of random threads about nonsense

we should have this as our oc.net logo!  

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« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2011, 12:28:21 AM »

I'm also inquiring into orthodoxy and I grew up Protestant. I don't know if your parents are Protestant or not, but if they are just be prepared to put up with all sorts of nonsense. You'll get it from your friends too. I'm dealing with some of the same stuff. I'm to the point now where I just try to keep it to myself amongst Christians of other denominations. As a priest told me in a recent meeting, you don't want to cause anymore division between Christians. When they argue with you, just say 'Christ Have Mercy' and move one. Just keep praying!
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« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2011, 01:21:43 AM »

Sorry to hear about your situation, Brandy. I'll pray for you.

It can be very difficult. When I was inquiring into Orthodoxy I had many arguments with my wife about it. Eventually she came to believe as well but it took a while. You should keep praying the Jesus prayer and reading Orthodox materials when you are able. Pray for your parents as well. You can pray saying, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on my mother/father."

I agree.  So sorry this did not go well.   Keep praying.   Do you have a room to yourself?  Add a simple prayer rule to your daily routine and be faithful to it.  Try to honor, love, and forgive your parents.   There are stories of saints who had to hide their faith from family members for a time.  St. Theodora (9th century) is one that comes to mind. 

Also, know that you're not alone in this struggle.  Most of us have also had struggles and hurdles in our pursuit of Orthodoxy.  Don't lose hope... as someone said earlier: In a year from now your situation can be totally different. 

I hope you get that job.

Thanks for the encouragement, I appreciate it. I will pray about the situation as well as for my parents.


I'm also inquiring into orthodoxy and I grew up Protestant. I don't know if your parents are Protestant or not, but if they are just be prepared to put up with all sorts of nonsense. You'll get it from your friends too. I'm dealing with some of the same stuff. I'm to the point now where I just try to keep it to myself amongst Christians of other denominations. As a priest told me in a recent meeting, you don't want to cause anymore division between Christians. When they argue with you, just say 'Christ Have Mercy' and move one. Just keep praying!

Yes, my parents are non-denominational [Protestant]. I'm trying to drop the subject, but my mom has been coming back all day and telling me how the Church is causing me to fall away from God and disregard her teaching. Tongue
And I haven't even thought about what my friends' reactions might be!  Shocked

Lord, have mercy.
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« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2011, 03:39:15 AM »

Back, and in tears from a "meeting" with my parents (which was called by my dad).
Apparently, they don't want me reading any Orthodox materials anymore. My dad thinks
I'm lost, and my mom thinks I don't love her anymore.  Cry

Though they frown on my internet use, they cannot strip me of my computer as I bought
it, with my own money and as such am the rightful owner of it. I will not leave OC.net.

*heads over to the prayer forum*
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« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2011, 04:02:10 AM »

Back, and in tears from a "meeting" with my parents (which was called by my dad).
Apparently, they don't want me reading any Orthodox materials anymore. My dad thinks
I'm lost, and my mom thinks I don't love her anymore.  Cry

Though they frown on my internet use, they cannot strip me of my computer as I bought
it, with my own money and as such am the rightful owner of it. I will not leave OC.net.

*heads over to the prayer forum*
Brandy,

Fr. Thomas Hopko said "live a day, and a part of a day, at a time". I think it's time to pull back from trying to push your parents on your Orthodox interest for a while. Let things cool down, pray in your room, wait it out.

Your patience will win the day. It won the day for St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. You are evidently an industrious young lady and will make it work in time.
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« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2011, 04:12:20 AM »

Brandy,

Fr. Thomas Hopko said "live a day, and a part of a day, at a time". I think it's time to pull back from trying to push your parents on your Orthodox interest for a while. Let things cool down, pray in your room, wait it out.

Your patience will win the day. It won the day for St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. You are evidently an industrious young lady and will make it work in time.

Coincidentally, (yes I know there are no coincidences) I've also been reading Confessions by St. Augustine. Smiley Thanks for the encouragement.
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« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2011, 04:26:48 AM »

It really is a shame that your parents have responded this way. It's not a good look for them and very stressful for you. You are actually old enough to make up your mind on an issue such as this, but I think that as you live under their roof, you should remember that they responding in fear. You are their baby. And while they are acting kind of irrationally at the moment, they actually do fear that you have fallen into the clutches of a brainwashing, heretic cult and are in risk of losing your Salvation.

Might be time to "smile and nod" - especially as you are still in the early stages of learning about Orthodoxy and have no real assurances to give them. Assure them that you will consider all their warnings and seriously take some time to consider what you do as you proceed with your inquiries. The Church isn't going anywhere and it's early days yet. Lots of water to go rushing under the bridge before you make that final step of membership. If you are in a position to move out in a year or so, in one sense you will have the freedom to do as you wish, but unless you do this correctly, without you adding to the mountain of ill-feeling that can come of this, you will always have tension between you and your parents. You don't want that, either.

Take time to assure them that you will be careful and prayerful.

(Oh, and it's probably not too early to start ignoring your Mum's emotional manipulation! Hug her and tell her that you love you, but don't let her use emotional flim-flammery to control you.)
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« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2011, 04:54:10 AM »

It really is a shame that your parents have responded this way. It's not a good look for them and very stressful for you. You are actually old enough to make up your mind on an issue such as this, but I think that as you live under their roof, you should remember that they responding in fear. You are their baby. And while they are acting kind of irrationally at the moment, they actually do fear that you have fallen into the clutches of a brainwashing, heretic cult and are in risk of losing your Salvation.

Might be time to "smile and nod" - especially as you are still in the early stages of learning about Orthodoxy and have no real assurances to give them. Assure them that you will consider all their warnings and seriously take some time to consider what you do as you proceed with your inquiries. The Church isn't going anywhere and it's early days yet. Lots of water to go rushing under the bridge before you make that final step of membership. If you are in a position to move out in a year or so, in one sense you will have the freedom to do as you wish, but unless you do this correctly, without you adding to the mountain of ill-feeling that can come of this, you will always have tension between you and your parents. You don't want that, either.

Take time to assure them that you will be careful and prayerful.

(Oh, and it's probably not too early to start ignoring your Mum's emotional manipulation! Hug her and tell her that you love you, but don't let her use emotional flim-flammery to control you.)

Trust me, they made me swear up and down that I would pray about this (even though I already am/have been). They're hoping God will miraculously tell me "NO" and I will eventually come back and tell them how "deluded" I've been. Trying to be careful about not driving them away, but they keep saying that my "new" beliefs are causing division in the family. I've made up my mind to calmly cooperate with them while continuing on with Orthodoxy in secret.

My mom's manipulation tactics lost their effectiveness a looooong time ago. Wink
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« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2011, 04:59:07 AM »

It really is a shame that your parents have responded this way. It's not a good look for them and very stressful for you. You are actually old enough to make up your mind on an issue such as this, but I think that as you live under their roof, you should remember that they responding in fear. You are their baby. And while they are acting kind of irrationally at the moment, they actually do fear that you have fallen into the clutches of a brainwashing, heretic cult and are in risk of losing your Salvation.

Might be time to "smile and nod" - especially as you are still in the early stages of learning about Orthodoxy and have no real assurances to give them. Assure them that you will consider all their warnings and seriously take some time to consider what you do as you proceed with your inquiries. The Church isn't going anywhere and it's early days yet. Lots of water to go rushing under the bridge before you make that final step of membership. If you are in a position to move out in a year or so, in one sense you will have the freedom to do as you wish, but unless you do this correctly, without you adding to the mountain of ill-feeling that can come of this, you will always have tension between you and your parents. You don't want that, either.

Take time to assure them that you will be careful and prayerful.

(Oh, and it's probably not too early to start ignoring your Mum's emotional manipulation! Hug her and tell her that you love you, but don't let her use emotional flim-flammery to control you.)

Trust me, they made me swear up and down that I would pray about this (even though I already am/have been). They're hoping God will miraculously tell me "NO" and I will eventually come back and tell them how "deluded" I've been. Trying to be careful about not driving them away, but they keep saying that my "new" beliefs are causing division in the family. I've made up my mind to calmly cooperate with them while continuing on with Orthodoxy in secret.

My mom's manipulation tactics lost their effectiveness a looooong time ago. Wink

Actually, it's not your "new" beliefs that are causing division, but their inability to accept a decision they don't like. Gosh, parents can be stupid at times! But still understandable, I guess. Of course, this might happen a lot of times in your life. Your life partner might not be a choice they would make.  laugh Anyway, try to handle it well and you will at least keep the damage minimal. Wink
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« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2011, 06:01:18 AM »

Haha thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2011, 12:47:04 PM »

hey, brandb,
i think yr doing all the right things and the advice here is good.
remember the benefits of being dragged off to church with your parents.
yes there are some!  Wink
you will get the chance to make lots of friends with protestants, and later on, you will be able to tell them all about orthodoxy. if u never hang out with protestants, you can't do that. how else will they hear if they don't have an orthodox friend?
also you can have a cup of tea before heading off to church (no fasting before communion for them) so enjoy that, soon sunday breakfasts will be a thing of the past!
also u can show yr parents u respect them and they can see your spiritual progress as you get closer to God through the orthodox Christians. maybe they will never acknowledge that but it will subconsciously make them think twice about what they believe.

if fact they are probably very insecure in their beliefs, maybe that is why they feel threatened by yours.
i still don't have any orthodox relatives, and i still have to face lots of difficult questions about why i am 'off the rails' and going to the wrong church.
don't worry, you eventually get used to it. focus on things you can enjoy together (i don't know, like fishing, listening to rap, going cycling or whatever, ideally not all 3 at the same time, or you'll just compose a funky song about how u drowned!) and make a point of being grateful for what they taught you.
i actually thanked my mum for giving birth to me recently. it felt really corny, but i wanted to acknowledge that she had suffered for my sake (i think this may be somewhere in the 'wisdom of sirach' deuterocanonical book).

about the finance side of things, i hope and pray God gives you that job soon so u can catch a bus. until then, is it safe in your area to hitch-hike? can u do some casual work to get a few dollars for the bus? u could try to go to a service that's not on sunday, so it doesn't cause so much hassle.
i spent about a year being a regular visitor at saturday services before i took the plunge and started regularly missing the sunday services in the other church i had been in. are u close enough to any orthodox churches to go by bicycle?

God will guide u. remember he has yr best interests at heart (hence the cross!) and also he cares about yr family and friends more than u ever could.
as our last coptic patriarch cyril (kyrillos) 6th said; 'be very, very assured, and leave it the hands of the one who holds all things in his hands'
also remember the pearl of great price is obtained at a price!
may God continue to give u peace and grace.
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« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2011, 04:10:45 PM »

hey, brandb,
i think yr doing all the right things and the advice here is good.
remember the benefits of being dragged off to church with your parents.
yes there are some!  Wink
you will get the chance to make lots of friends with protestants, and later on, you will be able to tell them all about orthodoxy. if u never hang out with protestants, you can't do that. how else will they hear if they don't have an orthodox friend?
also you can have a cup of tea before heading off to church (no fasting before communion for them) so enjoy that, soon sunday breakfasts will be a thing of the past!
also u can show yr parents u respect them and they can see your spiritual progress as you get closer to God through the orthodox Christians. maybe they will never acknowledge that but it will subconsciously make them think twice about what they believe.

if fact they are probably very insecure in their beliefs, maybe that is why they feel threatened by yours.
i still don't have any orthodox relatives, and i still have to face lots of difficult questions about why i am 'off the rails' and going to the wrong church.
don't worry, you eventually get used to it. focus on things you can enjoy together (i don't know, like fishing, listening to rap, going cycling or whatever, ideally not all 3 at the same time, or you'll just compose a funky song about how u drowned!) and make a point of being grateful for what they taught you.
i actually thanked my mum for giving birth to me recently. it felt really corny, but i wanted to acknowledge that she had suffered for my sake (i think this may be somewhere in the 'wisdom of sirach' deuterocanonical book).

about the finance side of things, i hope and pray God gives you that job soon so u can catch a bus. until then, is it safe in your area to hitch-hike? can u do some casual work to get a few dollars for the bus? u could try to go to a service that's not on sunday, so it doesn't cause so much hassle.
i spent about a year being a regular visitor at saturday services before i took the plunge and started regularly missing the sunday services in the other church i had been in. are u close enough to any orthodox churches to go by bicycle?

God will guide u. remember he has yr best interests at heart (hence the cross!) and also he cares about yr family and friends more than u ever could.
as our last coptic patriarch cyril (kyrillos) 6th said; 'be very, very assured, and leave it the hands of the one who holds all things in his hands'
also remember the pearl of great price is obtained at a price!
may God continue to give u peace and grace.

LOL, I've thought about Sunday mornings, but I don't usually eat before service anyway (it's too early in the morning for me). And my parents are forbidding me to visit an Orthodox church. So that's not really an option...
I've resolved to grow more in my faith so that my "light will shine" so to speak. I'm really trying to cooperate with my parents without furthering anymore drama.

*Sniffles* But I thought the pearl of great price was FREE!  Cry Just kidding. I realized I've suffered a lot in my life but I've rarely faced adversity for my faith. Ironically, the pastor at my parents' church today taught about the adversity Nehemiah faced when rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. I was highly encouraged. But yes, I will try not to "grow weary in well doing."
Thank you. I will continue to pray that the Lord will have mercy on me, a sinner, and also on my parents.
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« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2011, 04:16:49 PM »

it seems like if your parents would do even a MINIMAL amount of research, a lot of their concerns would go away. a lot of protestants certainly squirm a little when they hear "Roman Catholic" but Orthodoxy is different!!!

I still think its sad when people turn their nose up at the RC church too.  Its kinda funny when protestants try to decide whats right and whats wrong when they clearly havent done any research... but i guess theyve always done that!
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« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2011, 04:23:28 PM »

you are on the right track.
nehemiah felt down too, but still built the wall  Smiley
your parents can't 'forbid' you, you are not under 18, so what you do in your own time is not something they can forbid.
we can see you respect them and go to church with them; this is enough.

i find nothing in the Bible that says 'you don't have to practise your faith when your family forbid you.'
indeed, Jesus said 'a man's enemies shall be in his own house'.
so you are allowed to 'disobey' them to go to church.
in order not to start an argument, you can go to church (like maybe a saturday meeting) without saying exactly what you are doing. don't lie, but no-one forces you to tell them everything either.
start building boundaries to limit their influence so you can have a bit of space to breathe.
may God have mercy on you, and please pray for me too, a sinner.

timon, may God guide u too, i hope and pray you are finding the answers you need.  Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2011, 04:54:00 PM »

it seems like if your parents would do even a MINIMAL amount of research, a lot of their concerns would go away. a lot of protestants certainly squirm a little when they hear "Roman Catholic" but Orthodoxy is different!!!

I still think its sad when people turn their nose up at the RC church too.  Its kinda funny when protestants try to decide whats right and whats wrong when they clearly havent done any research... but i guess theyve always done that!

My thoughts exactly. My parents refuse to do research, and what little research my mom has done she refuses to show me so I can look at it and go over it with her! Tongue

you are on the right track.
nehemiah felt down too, but still built the wall  Smiley
your parents can't 'forbid' you, you are not under 18, so what you do in your own time is not something they can forbid.
we can see you respect them and go to church with them; this is enough.

i find nothing in the Bible that says 'you don't have to practise your faith when your family forbid you.'
indeed, Jesus said 'a man's enemies shall be in his own house'.
so you are allowed to 'disobey' them to go to church.
in order not to start an argument, you can go to church (like maybe a saturday meeting) without saying exactly what you are doing. don't lie, but no-one forces you to tell them everything either.
start building boundaries to limit their influence so you can have a bit of space to breathe.
may God have mercy on you, and please pray for me too, a sinner.

It would be very weird if I asked to take the car to randomly go somewhere...  Shocked But I get what you're saying. Wink It's hard for me to set up boundaries b/c my parents (especially my dad) can be very intimidating and manipulative. That being said, while I won't risk chaos to attend a parish, I will most certainly continue to pray & fast and seek more knowledge about the faith during this trial. Thank you for you prayers. Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2011, 04:57:08 PM »

i was saying, get some money and go without the car.
or walk long distances, if you have a functioning body.
many Christians in less developed countries walk for hours to get to church.
i have also seen photos of people in the arctic circle being baptized through holes in the ice,
but check with your physician before trying this one!
 Wink
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« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2011, 05:01:25 PM »

Hello and welcome - I'm fairly new myself. Hope you find some interesting reading as do I.

~ Dyhn
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« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2011, 05:25:42 PM »

i was saying, get some money and go without the car.
or walk long distances, if you have a functioning body.
many Christians in less developed countries walk for hours to get to church.
i have also seen photos of people in the arctic circle being baptized through holes in the ice,
but check with your physician before trying this one!
 Wink

Oh yeah, I missed that then. And the baptism thing- Lord knows I would be so happy to get (re)baptized,
but that's crazy! Rofl. Cheesy

Hello and welcome - I'm fairly new myself. Hope you find some interesting reading as do I.

~ Dyhn

Hi! Yep, that's what I usually do. Scroll through search and read various posts. I'm hesitant to start new topics because of all
"you need to check the search engine before you post" comments. Wink
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brandb
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« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2011, 11:43:18 PM »

Actually, I have a question. What should I do when I attend my parents' church during worship?  Huh
I don't feel right doing a lot of the theatrics but if I don't then my parents (they're on the worship team Tongue)
will critique every aspect of what I do and tell me I "wasn't worshiping sincerely enough". Idk what to do.
If there is a relevant thread please post the link (I found nothing in the search engine).
All of the other threads are about people who are already Orthodox worshiping with their Heterodox families...
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« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2011, 12:39:14 AM »

I don't feel right doing a lot of the theatrics but if I don't then my parents (they're on the worship team Tongue)
will critique every aspect of what I do and tell me I "wasn't worshiping sincerely enough".
Good lord.

Uh...

What happens to you if your parents don't think you're worshipping sincerely enough?
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brandb
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« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2011, 12:47:40 AM »

Good lord.

Uh...

What happens to you if your parents don't think you're worshipping sincerely enough?

(It's a killer, isn't it?) They try to start arguments and they tell me I'm not a good Christian... just
a long list of intimidation/manipulation tactics, I could go on forever. If I wasn't financially dependent
on them, none of this would be an issue- I would've already been out and living on my own. The thought
of picking and leaving now is way too scary. Tongue
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Tgebar
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« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2011, 01:57:42 AM »

In what manner are you financially dependent upon your parents?

*EDIT* Ooph, it appears that I am very unobservant. How long do you have to wait before you're hired?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 01:59:06 AM by Tgebar » Logged

Smiley
brandb
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« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2011, 02:10:07 AM »

In what manner are you financially dependent upon your parents?

*EDIT* Ooph, it appears that I am very unobservant. How long do you have to wait before you're hired?

They pay my credit card bill (which they used, hence why they pay it) & my phone bill. Without them I don't
have food/shelter/transportation.
I've no idea how long it'll take my paperwork to be processed, but I'm betting on early-mid October.
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« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2011, 02:46:52 AM »

ok, pass the credit card into their name and get a new card for yourself.
a debit card is a good idea coz u can only take out what is in your account.
start cutting the apron strings and, step by step, become independant.

the idea of teenage life, is that you say 'yeah, whatever' when they get too manipulative.
u seem to have not completed this phase yet, it is important that you do.
i mean, seriously, if they tell a (nearly) 23 year old 'how to worship sincerely' that is way too personal.

i know it can be hard, i got married at 22 and my folks tried to get me to tell them every little detail about my personal life. they acted like i was still 15. i did not resist enough and it took years to scrape back the privacy i needed. seriously, start now, and you will be glad you did it later. i still love my folks and i talk to them often and we share jokes and even discuss theology occasionally (this is uncomfortable, but i love them enough to want to gently tell them what i have found).
they will tell u you don't love them and all that, but, keep in touch, don't talk about your taboo subjects (you have to have some!) and be a great house-mate (be tidy, do housework, be polite to guests, but don't feel you have to spend your whole evening with their guests), change from 'child' into 'nice flat-mate'.
u say u don't like the idea of moving out.
if life is too cosy for u, with u not doing yr share of the cooking, cleaning etc and lapping up their financial support, then it WILL be hard. but you have to change, i mean even if you believed in the same sort of Christianity as them, you would still have to build some personal barriers between you.

until u start to 'move out' in your emotions, u can never move out in real life.
please start this now.
as for 'worshipping sincerely', ask them where in the Bible it says you have to wave your hands and fall over to be a sincere worshiper. the original use of raising the hands is in prayer (not while singing) so there is no compulsion to do that, and the usual time to fall over is when confronted face to face with a heavenly being. so sitting or standing peacefully and in awe of God is perfectly ok. and if they say not, remember the 'yeah, whatever'!
 Wink
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brandb
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« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2011, 03:12:34 AM »



Um, I love the idea of moving out; I hate the idea of being 'kicked out' and forced to live in poverty. I do share in the cooking and cleaning and all that jazz. Actually, I do MOST of the house chores regularly. I have a debit card, as well as a 2nd credit card which I paid off myself. I want my parents to own up and pay off my other card since they used it. How else will they learn that my finances are not at their disposal? I lived on my own in college until I graduated and returned home. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself, as long as I am employed. Once I have saved enough funds I will leave my parents' home. I plan to do so within 1-2 years. I always stick to my plans whenever possible.

I'm not a slacker/moocher. That is NOT is the case.

It is true that I am in a stage of life that should have been completed much earlier, but I am fully aware of this and I have fought my parents tooth and nail for the few freedoms/boundaries I now have. My parents are extremely controlling and this a very difficult situation from which I am unable escape without drastic consequences (or at least my fear of drastic consequences- I'm in no position to see my fears validated).

Except I'm tired of fighting them, and I don't see the point of using worship as a way to start contention which would/might lead to my eventual impoverishment. I just wanted to know if I should blend in and do things their way for right now & if I should wait until I find an Orthodox church to start worshiping the right way.  Then again, I may have answered my own question.

Thanks for the advice. Wink
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 03:13:12 AM by brandb » Logged
Tgebar
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« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2011, 04:37:01 AM »

Perhaps you can make your plans much more immediate. You can consider cheap housing and move up from there as you become established in your new career. If things with your planned career are going slowly then maybe you can find work at some lesser job until the ball is rolling. You can even start working while at your parents until you have enough money for the down payment, first months rent, deposits for bills, some food to start out, and then some at a small apartment. Maybe your parents will even help you out, thinking that you're just trying to establish your own life. After this you can tell them that you're making your own decisions.
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« Reply #59 on: September 05, 2011, 04:37:40 AM »

Personally, I don't think there is any need for you to extract yourself from your family situation and face poverty. To the best of my knowledge, the Orthodox Church doesn't preach extraction evangelism; cutting yourself off from your past and your family situation, possibly to your detriment; although if you choose to do so, that is of course, your prerogative.

For a moment, think about Naaman's situation. After his conversion to the True God, he was going back to pagan Aram. Before he did, he expressed concern to Elisha that he would be in the temple of Rimmon and that when the king of Aram, Naaman's master, bowed to Rimmon he was going to be holding Naaman’s arm, causing him to bow down before Rimmon too. Elisha knew that worship isn't necessarily about where you are, but in Naaman's case, for the forseeable future it was going to be a matter of the heart. Your parents aren't pagans, they are Christians, albeit Christians you are very likely going to disagree with. So your situation isn't quite so dire. Still, I think that you can take Elisha's advice to Naaham and “go in peace” even though you find yourself in a place and with a style of worship that you are no longer comfortable.
  
Be patient with your situation. The time will come that you will have autonomy and can turn your back on your parents' ways, if that is what you choose to do.

God be with you in this difficult time.
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brandb
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« Reply #60 on: September 05, 2011, 05:06:55 AM »

Personally, I don't think there is any need for you to extract yourself from your family situation and face poverty. To the best of my knowledge, the Orthodox Church doesn't preach extraction evangelism; cutting yourself off from your past and your family situation, possibly to your detriment; although if you choose to do so, that is of course, your prerogative.

For a moment, think about Naaman's situation. After his conversion to the True God, he was going back to pagan Aram. Before he did, he expressed concern to Elisha that he would be in the temple of Rimmon and that when the king of Aram, Naaman's master, bowed to Rimmon he was going to be holding Naaman’s arm, causing him to bow down before Rimmon too. Elisha knew that worship isn't necessarily about where you are, but in Naaman's case, for the forseeable future it was going to be a matter of the heart. Your parents aren't pagans, they are Christians, albeit Christians you are very likely going to disagree with. So your situation isn't quite so dire. Still, I think that you can take Elisha's advice to Naaham and “go in peace” even though you find yourself in a place and with a style of worship that you are no longer comfortable.
  
Be patient with your situation. The time will come that you will have autonomy and can turn your back on your parents' ways, if that is what you choose to do.

God be with you in this difficult time.

^This. Thank you so much for this. I've never paid much attention to what Naaman said/did after his healing (Protestants usually focus on the healing & Gehazi's part of the story). But that helps me see things in a different way. That's all I really wanted- a way to find a measure of peace in this situation.
Thanks again.  Smiley

P.S. I'm currently studying Esther and how she made decisions in the environment she lived in. Wink

And "Thank You" everyone who's responded! I truly appreciate it.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 05:07:59 AM by brandb » Logged
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« Reply #61 on: September 05, 2011, 05:27:01 AM »

You are very welcome. Smiley
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« Reply #62 on: September 05, 2011, 06:02:13 AM »

ok, sorry, i can see i misunderstood yr situation.
u r working hard on doing all the right things, but your folks are fighting back hard.
may God give u peace.
still i think that naaman's situation is/ should be unusual, and while i am not suggesting sitting in church looking grumpy, maybe God will help u to find some middle way so u are not the most active in 'worship' but not the grumpy guy either.

keep us informed, we care for u
 Smiley
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brandb
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« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2011, 06:52:56 AM »

It's okay, thanks for understanding. ♥
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« Reply #64 on: September 05, 2011, 12:52:20 PM »

Actually, I have a question. What should I do when I attend my parents' church during worship?  Huh
I don't feel right doing a lot of the theatrics but if I don't then my parents (they're on the worship team Tongue)
will critique every aspect of what I do and tell me I "wasn't worshiping sincerely enough". Idk what to do.
If there is a relevant thread please post the link (I found nothing in the search engine).
All of the other threads are about people who are already Orthodox worshiping with their Heterodox families...

This is just sad.  I'm sorry Brandi.  I know you're in the tough spot.  But, how you worship is really none of their business.  IF they give you a hard time, tell them you were meditating on the Lord (which you probably were doing).  Remind them that God looks at the heart and not the outward experience.  Sheesh.

As to your other question about where to post these questions.  Just start a new post in convert issues. 

I understand totally about theatrics.  I used to hate that.   I used to be on worship team and  remember some people being very judgmental about outward appearances.  Sigh.

The hardest thing to do is to not judge them.  Pray during worship.  Especially pray the Jesus Prayer. 
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brandb
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« Reply #65 on: September 05, 2011, 03:50:40 PM »

I understand totally about theatrics.  I used to hate that.   I used to be on worship team and  remember some people being very judgmental about outward appearances.  Sigh.

The hardest thing to do is to not judge them.  Pray during worship.  Especially pray the Jesus Prayer. 

That really is the hardest thing not to do. I'm finding that showing them what Orthodoxy looks like through how I live
means not arguing with them about it. 'Tis a most difficult step.
I'm working on establishing a *very small* prayer rule involving the Jesus Prayer. Nothing too serious (as I have no spiritual parent).
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #66 on: September 05, 2011, 04:05:23 PM »


I'm working on establishing a *very small* prayer rule involving the Jesus Prayer. Nothing too serious (as I have no spiritual parent).
If your parents don't stalk your emails, you could email a priest.
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #67 on: September 05, 2011, 05:16:30 PM »


I'm working on establishing a *very small* prayer rule involving the Jesus Prayer. Nothing too serious (as I have no spiritual parent).
If your parents don't stalk your emails, you could email a priest.

Lawl  laugh (But no seriously, they leave my computer alone.) I've thought about that, but I'm not making any major moves yet.
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« Reply #68 on: September 06, 2011, 03:24:37 AM »

ok, sorry, i can see i misunderstood yr situation.
u r working hard on doing all the right things, but your folks are fighting back hard.
may God give u peace.
still i think that naaman's situation is/ should be unusual, and while i am not suggesting sitting in church looking grumpy, maybe God will help u to find some middle way so u are not the most active in 'worship' but not the grumpy guy either.

keep us informed, we care for u
 Smiley

I imagine that Naaman's situation was replicated thousands-fold throughout the Roman Empire when the Christian slaves and wives of any non-believing Pater Familias made daily sacrifices to the household gods.
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« Reply #69 on: September 06, 2011, 05:08:36 AM »

good point, but there were other Christians who saw people being taken off and killed and rushed to join them so they, too would receive the spiritual blessings.
example here: http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/12_26.html
i think that there is no 'rule' on how to behave, and i have heard many contemporary stories of people who remained secret Christians for a few years (in adverse circumstances) until the right time to declare their faith.
so we should not take this as some kind of 'easy option', but as long as someone's intention is pure, God will understand.
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brandb
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« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2011, 12:33:17 AM »

Update!

I'm hired (as a substitute teacher)! So that's step one... Wink
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2011, 12:37:06 AM »

Update!

I'm hired (as a substitute teacher)! So that's step one... Wink
Congrats!
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2011, 12:59:30 AM »

Update!

I'm hired (as a substitute teacher)! So that's step one... Wink

Good news, and good luck Smiley
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brandb
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« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2011, 01:08:48 AM »

Thanks.  Smiley 

I'm also thinking of hightailing it to Boston once I'm able to move, but we shall see.
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« Reply #74 on: September 21, 2011, 02:36:20 AM »

All the best! Smiley
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« Reply #75 on: September 21, 2011, 02:53:14 AM »

I'm glad to hear you got hired!
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #76 on: September 21, 2011, 03:08:48 AM »

Thanks.  Smiley 

I'm also thinking of hightailing it to Boston once I'm able to move, but we shall see.
That'll put you in the vicinity of a lot of churches.  Wink
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #77 on: September 21, 2011, 03:14:01 AM »

Thanks.  Smiley 

I'm also thinking of hightailing it to Boston once I'm able to move, but we shall see.
That'll put you in the vicinity of a lot of churches.  Wink

Oh yesss, I'm very aware.  Cool
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« Reply #78 on: September 21, 2011, 06:49:57 AM »

great news!  I hope something turns into a long-term position.
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