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Author Topic: OK Not to Go to Church if Unable to be Convinced ?  (Read 1379 times) Average Rating: 0
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Aaron M
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« on: December 18, 2011, 03:27:44 PM »

So what should one (I) do if no book (that I don't read Roll Eyes) can convince me of either the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, or the Oriental Orthodox or the Assyrian, as the "True" Church.  They can't convince me even though I don't read them... because I feel like I am of a nebulous cognitive/mental, and at least emotional, immaturity that, if I contrary to my preference (of laziness) read lots of one "side" to feign a "persuaded" mind towards one of these church bodies, I could (almost cynically, in a way) turn to read lots of the other, and then be convinced of *their* opposing side.  At the least, I know that I do not have a logical mind (I can't do match or science, one of the reasons I read Genesis more-or-less literally, in reference to that endearing unending thread continuing in Religious Topics) - this lack of ability in reason makes me decided in indecision, I guess.

I have gone to an Orthodox church in my town on-and-off for the better part of two years now.  That is recommended above books and study even for the types who can delve into all issues with logic and reason, but more certainly (I imagine) for types like me who fail at attaining or using these faculties well.  I have never yet sat down with a priest or gone to a class to hear their instruction, never expressed an interest in converting, and I don't know that I really have the desire to convert.  (Or, I would say that I do, but I can't be sure why the Orthodox is/should be better than the Catholic, given my lack of skill at reason, and it will take many years to just "feel" what is right, or might be more conducive to both a private and inter-personal devotional faith.)

So anyway, at this point I am so utterly confused, I don't want to go to either an Orthodox or a Catholic church.  It is the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Western tradition) and in my indecision I haven't gone anywhere.  (For the greater part of seven years, I would absolutely be sure to attend a church service every Sunday in Advent, so this (in)action feels kind of sad.)  The Protestant churches are out, the Evangelicals because their common worship style (loud praise music...) is a distraction and I really do love/prefer a liturgical setting, and the mainlines are also out because of their sold-out may-I-call-it "liberalism" or progressivism that is too close to discomfort for me in affirming homosexuality (just one of many issues - on that one, I used to.  I wanted to be a well-rounded liberal and tried to act like it, in what limited ways I could muster, when I chose to be baptized Episcopal.  Apologies beforehand to Keble and Ebor, if I sound offensive.)

I'm sorry for the mess... so is it OK not to go to any church, given a quandary?  Or perhaps is it best to suck it up and to go the church one most recently aligned with, in my case the Episcopal?
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 03:30:11 PM by Aaron M » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 04:03:46 PM »

the meaning of the church is all about the intimate relationship and communion of the believers, people of the same faith in a loving manner... the church is a communion of love,affection, giving and receiving of ministering one to another and yourself to Christ, a joining together with people and G-d, with Christ , His Body and the members of his Body... the purpose of the Church is the Eucharistic Communion.. Wheather it be the physical church or this physical church I don`t know... the purpose of the Church is familly.. the familly of Christ.. the familly of God.. a people of God..
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 04:05:39 PM »

an assembly for all that is good, an assembly for G-d..
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 04:07:35 PM »

I think one of the sayings of the Orthodox Church is that we are saved in communion and joined together with the whole body of Christ and not alone..
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 12:34:04 AM »

Dear Aaron my brother,
I pray that you may get the guidance you need. I pray the Holy Spirit gives you the grace you need, as He is the one who calls you, and demands that you be true to Him,yourself and others. Prayer is the key, the Lord will be found by those who sincerely seek Him. Pray like your life depends upon it, with humility, repentance, and be open about your thirst for Him. when you go the Liturgy, go with prayer so if it be His will ,you may truly see and taste what is hidden in plain sight from most. I can not say much more, I hope others will share their wisdom with you. May the Prayers of the Saints be with you!

In Christ,
Hiwot
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 12:11:51 PM »

Aaron, Peace be with you brother. I have had, do have, and will have spiritual quandaries of my own to overcome. We all do. Hiwot's reply is right on in my humble opinion. May the Holy Spirit guide you to the perfect will that our Father has for you!

quote author=Aaron M link=topic=41751.msg682278#msg682278 date=1324236464]
... so is it OK not to go to any church, given a quandary? Or perhaps is it best to suck it up...  [/quote]
 I am not comfortable giving an answer to that question though the southern phrase 'keep on keeping on' does come to mind. It has served me well in times of spiritual drought and quandaries Wink
I heard an analogy once about the subject that went along the lines of a man trying to cure himself of an illness without taking advantage of God's blessing of a Dr. and hospital. Possible yes, but far more difficult and far more dangerous. As for my family and I, it is critical we go to Church as I am too easily distracted and lost without the love, wisdom, guidance, and Truth sourrounding me there.  

I hope I am not overstepping boundaries as I have no authority, but perhaps hearing a Protestant's opinion is an objective, unbiased view point, that might be helpful:
Orthodoxy IS the original Church founded by the apostles and to this day it's headship is our Lord Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy teaches the fundamental Truth in a practical, nonjudgmental way and has done so for over two thousand years. Scripture utilized is based on the original Hebrew and Greek, as opposed to the Latin Vulgate. They rightly do not teach salvation by faith or works alone but through God's Grace, and the living word of Jesus Christ. This would only be scratching the surface in my humble opinion. There is so much more beauty and Truth in Orthodoxy to be found or so a fool like me has come to believe. Again Aaron, it is important to know I have NO authority to speak this but sometimes an objective opinion helps and who more objective than a Protestant such as I?

God bless, and be of good cheer Aaron!
  
"For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve..." Acts 27:23
(Again I feel Hiwot's reply is Truth, Understanding and a critical element to finding your answer)

** May God forgive me for any misunderstandings, or mis-impressions I have offered of the Orthodox faith. I am counting on you all to correct any misstatement I made.  
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 12:20:09 PM by alanscott » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 12:31:31 PM »

I suggest you go to the place that you think most genuinely worships God and offers Him due praise.  Forget the feelings... they change.

So what should one (I) do if no book (that I don't read Roll Eyes) can convince me of either the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, or the Oriental Orthodox or the Assyrian, as the "True" Church.  They can't convince me even though I don't read them... because I feel like I am of a nebulous cognitive/mental, and at least emotional, immaturity that, if I contrary to my preference (of laziness) read lots of one "side" to feign a "persuaded" mind towards one of these church bodies, I could (almost cynically, in a way) turn to read lots of the other, and then be convinced of *their* opposing side.  At the least, I know that I do not have a logical mind (I can't do match or science, one of the reasons I read Genesis more-or-less literally, in reference to that endearing unending thread continuing in Religious Topics) - this lack of ability in reason makes me decided in indecision, I guess.

I have gone to an Orthodox church in my town on-and-off for the better part of two years now.  That is recommended above books and study even for the types who can delve into all issues with logic and reason, but more certainly (I imagine) for types like me who fail at attaining or using these faculties well.  I have never yet sat down with a priest or gone to a class to hear their instruction, never expressed an interest in converting, and I don't know that I really have the desire to convert.  (Or, I would say that I do, but I can't be sure why the Orthodox is/should be better than the Catholic, given my lack of skill at reason, and it will take many years to just "feel" what is right, or might be more conducive to both a private and inter-personal devotional faith.)

So anyway, at this point I am so utterly confused, I don't want to go to either an Orthodox or a Catholic church.  It is the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Western tradition) and in my indecision I haven't gone anywhere.  (For the greater part of seven years, I would absolutely be sure to attend a church service every Sunday in Advent, so this (in)action feels kind of sad.)  The Protestant churches are out, the Evangelicals because their common worship style (loud praise music...) is a distraction and I really do love/prefer a liturgical setting, and the mainlines are also out because of their sold-out may-I-call-it "liberalism" or progressivism that is too close to discomfort for me in affirming homosexuality (just one of many issues - on that one, I used to.  I wanted to be a well-rounded liberal and tried to act like it, in what limited ways I could muster, when I chose to be baptized Episcopal.  Apologies beforehand to Keble and Ebor, if I sound offensive.)

I'm sorry for the mess... so is it OK not to go to any church, given a quandary?  Or perhaps is it best to suck it up and to go the church one most recently aligned with, in my case the Episcopal?
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2011, 03:12:11 AM »

1.If you come to the Eastern Orthodox Church, The Church, this is for life and leaving is a great sin and leaving it for Protestantism or anything else can lead you to Hell, as departing from truth. There is no Church closer to truth than Eastern orthodox Church.

The Church in Heaven is Eastern orthodox Church. One example, Apostle Luke was painter of icons and iconoclasm of Protestantism is not going to be in Heaven, for one.

John 6:53-54 tells you that for immortality you need body and blood of Christ.

Evangelicals can give you symbols.
Eastern orthodox Church gives you what you need for immortality.

You need to ask yourself if immortality is important for you at all, then make the decision accordingly.

Also you need to think why would you not go to the Church established by Jesus in year 33 and settle for a Church appearing after 1500 established by a man?

Why? Because Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth, 1 Timothy 3:15. Evangelicals appeared from breakaway Church appearing from breakaway Church appearing from... appearing from Breakaway Church breaking away from the Eastern orthodox Church, the foundation and pillar of truth.

 Breaking away probably was done because the breaking away Church would not support the truth and go for errors. Breaking away from breaking away was done because more errors had to be introduced and less errors were not supported.

To put it bluntly, more people had to be sent to Hell like unbaptized Protestant Children that die unbaptized because of doctrinal errors. Looks like even Thomas Aquinas from RC did not make it to Heaven being found together with unbaptized babies.

Anyhow in after life, you will become Eastern Orthodox since you'll know the truth.

Also confession was let for cleaning sins. Well Protestantism did renounce confession I don't know why. So if you sin, you may need confession.

If you wash your clothes, think at the cloth of soul that is washed through confession. Would you want to let this unwashed for years because of doctrinal errors?

I suggest you go to the place that you think most genuinely worships God and offers Him due praise.  Forget the feelings... they change.

So what should one (I) do if no book (that I don't read Roll Eyes) can convince me of either the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, or the Oriental Orthodox or the Assyrian, as the "True" Church.  They can't convince me even though I don't read them... because I feel like I am of a nebulous cognitive/mental, and at least emotional, immaturity that, if I contrary to my preference (of laziness) read lots of one "side" to feign a "persuaded" mind towards one of these church bodies, I could (almost cynically, in a way) turn to read lots of the other, and then be convinced of *their* opposing side.  At the least, I know that I do not have a logical mind (I can't do match or science, one of the reasons I read Genesis more-or-less literally, in reference to that endearing unending thread continuing in Religious Topics) - this lack of ability in reason makes me decided in indecision, I guess.

I have gone to an Orthodox church in my town on-and-off for the better part of two years now.  That is recommended above books and study even for the types who can delve into all issues with logic and reason, but more certainly (I imagine) for types like me who fail at attaining or using these faculties well.  I have never yet sat down with a priest or gone to a class to hear their instruction, never expressed an interest in converting, and I don't know that I really have the desire to convert.  (Or, I would say that I do, but I can't be sure why the Orthodox is/should be better than the Catholic, given my lack of skill at reason, and it will take many years to just "feel" what is right, or might be more conducive to both a private and inter-personal devotional faith.)

So anyway, at this point I am so utterly confused, I don't want to go to either an Orthodox or a Catholic church.  It is the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Western tradition) and in my indecision I haven't gone anywhere.  (For the greater part of seven years, I would absolutely be sure to attend a church service every Sunday in Advent, so this (in)action feels kind of sad.)  The Protestant churches are out, the Evangelicals because their common worship style (loud praise music...) is a distraction and I really do love/prefer a liturgical setting, and the mainlines are also out because of their sold-out may-I-call-it "liberalism" or progressivism that is too close to discomfort for me in affirming homosexuality (just one of many issues - on that one, I used to.  I wanted to be a well-rounded liberal and tried to act like it, in what limited ways I could muster, when I chose to be baptized Episcopal.  Apologies beforehand to Keble and Ebor, if I sound offensive.)

I'm sorry for the mess... so is it OK not to go to any church, given a quandary?  Or perhaps is it best to suck it up and to go the church one most recently aligned with, in my case the Episcopal?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 03:45:27 AM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2011, 03:16:16 AM »

1.If you come to the Eastern Orthodox Church, The Church, this is for life and leaving is a great sin and leaving it for Protestantism or anything else can lead you to Hell, as departing from truth. There is no Church closer to truth than Eastern orthodox Church.

John 6:53-54 tells you that for immortality you need body and blood of Christ.

Evangelicals can give you symbols.
Eastern orthodox Church gives you what you need for immortality.

You need to ask yourself if immortality is important for you at all, then make the decision accordingly.

Also you need to think why would you not go to the Church established by Jesus in year 33 and settle for a Church appearing after 1500 established by a man?

Why? Because Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth, 1 Timothy 3:15. Evangelicals appeared from breakaway Church appearing from breakaway Church from...from Breakaway Church from the Eastern orthodox Church, the foundation and pillar of truth.


I suggest you go to the place that you think most genuinely worships God and offers Him due praise.  Forget the feelings... they change.

So what should one (I) do if no book (that I don't read Roll Eyes) can convince me of either the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, or the Oriental Orthodox or the Assyrian, as the "True" Church.  They can't convince me even though I don't read them... because I feel like I am of a nebulous cognitive/mental, and at least emotional, immaturity that, if I contrary to my preference (of laziness) read lots of one "side" to feign a "persuaded" mind towards one of these church bodies, I could (almost cynically, in a way) turn to read lots of the other, and then be convinced of *their* opposing side.  At the least, I know that I do not have a logical mind (I can't do match or science, one of the reasons I read Genesis more-or-less literally, in reference to that endearing unending thread continuing in Religious Topics) - this lack of ability in reason makes me decided in indecision, I guess.

I have gone to an Orthodox church in my town on-and-off for the better part of two years now.  That is recommended above books and study even for the types who can delve into all issues with logic and reason, but more certainly (I imagine) for types like me who fail at attaining or using these faculties well.  I have never yet sat down with a priest or gone to a class to hear their instruction, never expressed an interest in converting, and I don't know that I really have the desire to convert.  (Or, I would say that I do, but I can't be sure why the Orthodox is/should be better than the Catholic, given my lack of skill at reason, and it will take many years to just "feel" what is right, or might be more conducive to both a private and inter-personal devotional faith.)

So anyway, at this point I am so utterly confused, I don't want to go to either an Orthodox or a Catholic church.  It is the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Western tradition) and in my indecision I haven't gone anywhere.  (For the greater part of seven years, I would absolutely be sure to attend a church service every Sunday in Advent, so this (in)action feels kind of sad.)  The Protestant churches are out, the Evangelicals because their common worship style (loud praise music...) is a distraction and I really do love/prefer a liturgical setting, and the mainlines are also out because of their sold-out may-I-call-it "liberalism" or progressivism that is too close to discomfort for me in affirming homosexuality (just one of many issues - on that one, I used to.  I wanted to be a well-rounded liberal and tried to act like it, in what limited ways I could muster, when I chose to be baptized Episcopal.  Apologies beforehand to Keble and Ebor, if I sound offensive.)

I'm sorry for the mess... so is it OK not to go to any church, given a quandary?  Or perhaps is it best to suck it up and to go the church one most recently aligned with, in my case the Episcopal?
Pasadi, have you seen this post yet? http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40968.msg685022.html#msg685022 If so, when are you going to read it and reply to it?
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2011, 09:53:07 AM »

aaron m, just go to any church, or go to all of them, just don't sit at home waiting to get old!
if u missed new calendar Christmas, u can still go to an old calendar Christmas (russian, coptic, ethiopian and eritrean orthodox and some others i apologise to for missing them out).
as a priest in my church said recently, first you have to enjoy church, they you realise the deeper meanings of church.
also you don't have to understand orthodoxy in order to live it, you live it in order to understand it.
so feel free to go to the social events, chat with people, come in sometimes for services and don't feel you have to make any commitment at this stage.
we welcome visitors, including regular visitors, and we hope you will fell part of the family before too long.
 Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2011, 09:56:07 AM »

Is there a Coptic or other Oriental Orthodox Church near you. Just visit and join in the worship as sincerely and honestly as you can, praying that God will grant you wisdom and knowledge of His perfect will.
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2011, 11:10:16 AM »

Sitting home and waiting to be convinced is exactly what the devil wants us to do.
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2011, 03:42:45 PM »


Aaron, go to church.

However, don't just go and stand there.

Go and participate. 

Go out and do what Christ has taught - go and help someone.  Do charity work...get down and dirty.

It's great to attend Vespers or Divine Liturgy, but, that isn't the end all.  You have to "live" the life, not just "watch" it.

You will find Christ faster if you go out among His people and do His work.



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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2011, 03:44:42 PM »

aaron m, just go to any church, or go to all of them, just don't sit at home waiting to get old!
if u missed new calendar Christmas, u can still go to an old calendar Christmas (russian, coptic, ethiopian and eritrean orthodox and some others i apologise to for missing them out).
as a priest in my church said recently, first you have to enjoy church, they you realise the deeper meanings of church.
also you don't have to understand orthodoxy in order to live it, you live it in order to understand it.
so feel free to go to the social events, chat with people, come in sometimes for services and don't feel you have to make any commitment at this stage.
we welcome visitors, including regular visitors, and we hope you will fell part of the family before too long.
 Smiley

I did go to the Old Calendar parish for the Nativity service this past January.  I may go again next year (or in 11 days), but it feels kind of fake (on my part) to keep going - at hit-and-miss intervals - to an Orthodox church where my mind is not ready to decide for it finally.  I do not practice any degree of fasting, which in this year is even more suggestive of indecision than the last, when I tried to go vegan for just a week prior to Christmas to try out the discipline.  Then it was easy enough, but 40 days is a lot more than 7.  (How much you all know that already, sorry.)

To others - don't discourage pasadi97 much.  His hard-line take is actually more favorable to me, even in my non-conviction, than what my simplistic mind might regard as obfuscation or *buzzword* - ecumenism.  It is most often the most conservative elements of any given Christian group that appeals to me, because if you believe you have the Truth of Christ - especially if that Truth of Christ is intimately tied with the supposedly One and Apostolic Church that He founded - then I would think that you would firmly stand by that Truth (Church) to both insiders and outsiders.  If could-be inquirers/catechumens go to an Orthodox church many times and are not sufficiently "convinced" or otherwise spiritually drawn to convert to that church, than from the perspective of the Orthodox Church, at some point does it become dangerous for that person to keep "just visiting" that church?

Aaron
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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2011, 03:50:43 PM »

Dont confuse hard line with conservative. They are not necessarily the same at all.
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« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2011, 04:11:48 PM »

Sitting home and waiting to be convinced is exactly what the devil wants us to do.
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Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Note: Assembling: The assembly of the OT (Heb. Koheleth) is translated ekklesia in Greek, which we translate as "church." God instructs the faithful not to forsake assembling as the church. Corporate worship on a daily basis, such as morning prayers or Matins, increase our expectation of the day, the coming of the Kingdom.

Fellowship is good for faith, spirit, and perseverance. We were made for it. Pick, the best that you can and hang in there as best you can for a few years. Your views may start to shift more into alignment with those at that church.

As someone raised Protestant and who is not yet a catechumen, my thoughts would be that God wants us to pursue Him with diligent fervor even more than He wants us to have a perfect doctrinal understanding. One is a state of the soul that will influence the mind, the other is merely an achievement of the mind. He will vomit out the lukewarm, but He will give wisdom to those who seek it. Ask God where he wants you to go, then listen attentively to what He shows you and go there with openness and honestly, seeking fellowship in a communion of God, and keep listening to the divine conversation.
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« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2011, 04:12:30 PM »

Is there a Coptic or other Oriental Orthodox Church near you. Just visit and join in the worship as sincerely and honestly as you can, praying that God will grant you wisdom and knowledge of His perfect will.
Like. Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2011, 05:05:35 PM »

To others - don't discourage pasadi97 much.  His hard-line take is actually more favorable to me, even in my non-conviction, than what my simplistic mind might regard as obfuscation or *buzzword* - ecumenism.  It is most often the most conservative elements of any given Christian group that appeals to me, because if you believe you have the Truth of Christ - especially if that Truth of Christ is intimately tied with the supposedly One and Apostolic Church that He founded - then I would think that you would firmly stand by that Truth (Church) to both insiders and outsiders.
Please don't confuse Pasadist with conservative, either. It seems that he invents half his material and the other half he won't substantiate when questioned. That's not traditionalism; that's imagination and obfuscation.

If could-be inquirers/catechumens go to an Orthodox church many times and are not sufficiently "convinced" or otherwise spiritually drawn to convert to that church, than from the perspective of the Orthodox Church, at some point does it become dangerous for that person to keep "just visiting" that church?
Yes, the danger is that you might eventually become convinced. Wink
« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 05:07:09 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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Kyrie eleison


« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2011, 05:12:53 PM »

good comments from everyone.
i especially liked 'God wants us to pursue Him with diligent fervor even more than He wants us to have a perfect doctrinal understanding.'
and as for father peter's comment that hard liners are not necessarily the same as conservative people, i laughed out loud!
 Cheesy
i have met plenty of hard line Christians in every type of church and i sometimes think they would not be able to change their mind even if Jesus himself appeared to them!

go for nativity, we don't mind that u r not fasting, we don't expect people who are not chrismated church members to fast.
(i say this nibbling my vegan mince pie and trying not to look at the other sweets in the room that are not mine!)
but fasting is definitely easier as a church member with regular input from the priest, i wouldn't expect it from anyone else.

if u feel bad going to the same church, go to another one. just seek until you find.
 Smiley
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mabsoota
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Kyrie eleison


« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2011, 05:13:34 PM »

'Yes, the danger is that you might eventually become convinced. Wink'
ha ha, so true!
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2011, 05:24:06 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I have gone to an Orthodox church in my town on-and-off for the better part of two years now.  That is recommended above books and study even for the types who can delve into all issues with logic and reason, but more certainly (I imagine) for types like me who fail at attaining or using these faculties well.  I have never yet sat down with a priest or gone to a class to hear their instruction, never expressed an interest in converting, and I don't know that I really have the desire to convert.  (Or, I would say that I do, but I can't be sure why the Orthodox is/should be better than the Catholic, given my lack of skill at reason, and it will take many years to just "feel" what is right, or might be more conducive to both a private and inter-personal devotional faith.)


There are two thing which stood out most to me in this post.  Firstly, that even without a sense of conviction or conversion the OP has still been attending Divine Liturgy to some degree for two years now, even without any kind of social reinforcement like knowing the priests or having made friends in the parish or having had any kind of informative instruction like what attracts most converts.  Converts always come in reading books, and yet the OP has stuck it out sans the studying, and in many respects, that is simply admirable and even miraculous!!

I tell my the kids in my class we don't read the bible, or have our structured lessons, or recite from prayer books to study these in the same sense that we study for a math or history exam. These are manifestations of "spiritual exercise" which Paul recommends.  We are not learning in our minds from these activities, we are growing in our experience and relationship with the Holy Spirit (ie, GOD).  So it really isn't important to study so much as to pray, and if studying is prayer than they compliment, but it study is its own distraction then it is not spiritual exercise.  That being said, for a person to continue to be brought by the Spirit to the Divine Liturgy, aside from rationalizing or studying to convince, that is remarkable.  I pray that the OP stick with it in God's Grace.

To the OP, the truth is that ALL of us in Orthodox, cradles and converts alike, go through these spiritual struggles.  The Church is a social institution, and we are bound to have all the same gripes and grievances with our Mother the Church that we have with other institutions like school, work, the DMV, or even our earthly mothers.  Conflict is human, resolution is Divine.  Attending the Liturgy, especially for "no particular rational, conviction, or conversion" I would say is then all the more Divine, considering that for at least in that moment of prayer our internal conflicts are temporarily resolved by our standing there in Faith.  Sometimes I have come to Liturgy with a lot of gripe or grief on my heart, and have found myself anger, bitter, jaded, standing there saying to myself (cursing more likely Wink ), "Why I am still standing here? Just leave, just walk out the door.." and yet I never have once, and instead God has reconciled all my pain and fear while standing there before His Holy Body and Bloody.  That is the most important gift the Church offers, not just Baptism, or Chrismation, or Marriage, or even to receive the Holy Communion, but simply to be able to stand in what the Lutherans call "The Real Presence"

I tell non-Orthodox Christians about the Liturgy, "Listen, we are all Christians right? We read the Bible sometimes maybe, and we would like to meet and know Jesus right? Well, as hard is it is to believe, Jesus Christ is PHYSICALLY in the building during Divine Liturgy, and where else in the world could we possibly want or have to be if not standing there momentarily before our Lord in the Flesh and Blood?"  

Jesus Christ may be a "pie-in-the-sky" God to a lot of Christians, a God who is coming back at some inevitable date in the future to heal us if we can just hold on, Orthodox stands to proclaim the Sacramental Truth that Jesus Christ simply never left us, and we know like clockwork where we can find Him if we simply pray and do not take it for granted Smiley

That being said, to the OP, stick with it.  You've answered your own question:
Quote
is a distraction and I really do love/prefer a liturgical setting
[/quote]

It is the Liturgy which has caught you in the Spirit, so why go anywhere else? Stick with the Divine Liturgy, be it Catholic or Orthodox, where ever God brings you from yours and His Heart, but stick with the Liturgy.  The prayers and songs of the Liturgy are literally the Kingdom of God momentarily brought to us on the lowly Earth, so where else would you want to go pray? Why go to any other Church out there, if Jesus Christ is already bringing to Himself directly?  I pray that we all have as much faith as you do, to stick it out beyond reason, beyond conviction, that is Faith!! My brother simply allow this strong Faith of yours to grow on its own, like the Gospels say,"

Quote
"Thus is the Kingdom of God: As if ever a man should be casting seed on the earth, and he may be drowsing and then rousing night and day, and the seed may be germinating and lengthening, as he is not aware.  Spontaneously then the earth is  bearing fruit, first the blade, thereafter the ear, thereafter the full grain."

We may do the planting and reaping, but it is God who always give the increase, spontaneously as it were, while we are drowsing, like David the Psalmist sang, "While the Lord gives as much to His people while they sleep!"

stay blessed,
habte selassie

« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 05:37:31 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Knee V
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« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2011, 02:54:53 PM »

As Mr. Kenobi would say, "You must do what you feel is right, of course".

That said, I would agree with everyone else here and encourage you to go somewhere. If the purpose of the Christian life is to more fully engage God, then it would probably be good to go and engage God.

I hope you find your answer.
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