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Thecla
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« on: December 20, 2011, 12:07:58 AM »

I’ve gone round and round about my options for over a decade and I’m no nearer any resolution. I’m fed up with the Episcopal Church—NOT because I find it too liberal, but because there is just no place for religion as such, for the holy.

I suppose the sensible thing to do would be—nothing.  I’m at a Catholic college: I can go to mass whenever the spirit moves me, and just maintain my religion belief. And that is likely what I’ll do—because my involvement in the church has burned me. I was deeply involved for number of years and was frustrated.

I wanted to get myself into a position where I could use my talents and knowledge. I saw Christianity declining, particularly in Western industrialized countries, especially amongst educated, upper middle class people, and it tore my heart out. I wanted to get into a position in the church to do something about it—to discuss the data, consider ways to address the issue, etc.

I tried for years to work my way into a position where I could do that. But just ended up stuck in the endless business of women’s groups: bake sales, rummage sales and, for entertainment, silent auctions at which women sold one another their junk jewelry. I couldn’t even do a decent job at this stuff because I’d be traveling or something else at my work interfered.

I’m now ducking mentally because I can hear you shouting that this is just foolish Pride. But I have something different to contribute.  I’m a philosophy professor and one of my research specialties is philosophical theology. I’ve written on the doctrine of the Trinity. I also have a journalistic gig for which I read extensively in sociology of religion. It may have been good for my soul to sit under a plastic canopy in front of Walmart for 6 hours selling baked goods, but was a waste. Whatever money I pulled in doing that I could, and would rather, just contribute that money.

Sometimes it seems the best I can do is cultivate my garden.  Find a church that feeds my religious needs, and not worry about the collapse of Christianity or try to become involved.

I appreciate this forum. I don’t feel able to discuss this with anyone on the ground in my own name. Which is not Thecla ;-)
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2011, 03:37:28 AM »

Quote
I was deeply involved for number of years and was frustrated.

I wanted to get myself into a position where I could use my talents and knowledge. I saw Christianity declining, particularly in Western industrialized countries, especially amongst educated, upper middle class people, and it tore my heart out. I wanted to get into a position in the church to do something about it—to discuss the data, consider ways to address the issue, etc.

In the case of Orthodoxy, one does not enter the Church for the primary reason of making use of their talents and abilities. One enters the Church from elsewhere for the salvation of one's soul, with a sincere and heartfelt belief in what the Church teaches and espouses. Period. Any personal talents and abilities are of secondary value. If they can be used in service to the Church, all well and good. But do not demand that they are.
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2011, 04:20:01 AM »

It seems to me that maybe what you're really starving for is a place to discuss these issues. You want real meat and gravy type Christianity and are sick of the shallow stuff so prevalent in The Faith?

However I can't also get past that, despite your recognizing the pride in yourself, you're not taking it seriously. Who cares if anyone understands the Trinity if they're not pursuing total devotion to God? One can know everything about a subject and yet not practice it. You say you have much to offer The Church, and undoubtedly you do, but Orthodoxy is not a career choice where you are feeling out for offers. So you are a philosophy professor - there are saints who were Russian peasants. I'm sure I could find one who couldn't even read if I searched.

We are more than happy to receive you as a sister, to answer questions and to provide guidance, but you must always remember: The Church exists to save us, not the reverse.
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2011, 05:12:51 AM »

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You want real meat and gravy type Christianity and are sick of the shallow stuff so prevalent in The Faith?

Do not presume that Orthodoxy is shallow, my dear Thekla. The riches of Orthodoxy are practically bottomless.

Quote
However I can't also get past that, despite your recognizing the pride in yourself, you're not taking it seriously.

You are indeed presumptuous. You know next to nothing about me. I do have a prestigious tertiary qualification, yet I think nothing of getting my hands dirty (very often literally) for the benefit of the Orthodox church communities I am involved with. You're welcome to PM me for more details.
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 05:46:20 AM »

I’ve gone round and round about my options for over a decade and I’m no nearer any resolution. I’m fed up with the Episcopal Church—NOT because I find it too liberal, but because there is just no place for religion as such, for the holy.

I suppose the sensible thing to do would be—nothing.  I’m at a Catholic college: I can go to mass whenever the spirit moves me, and just maintain my religion belief. And that is likely what I’ll do—because my involvement in the church has burned me. I was deeply involved for number of years and was frustrated.

I wanted to get myself into a position where I could use my talents and knowledge. I saw Christianity declining, particularly in Western industrialized countries, especially amongst educated, upper middle class people, and it tore my heart out. I wanted to get into a position in the church to do something about it—to discuss the data, consider ways to address the issue, etc.

I tried for years to work my way into a position where I could do that. But just ended up stuck in the endless business of women’s groups: bake sales, rummage sales and, for entertainment, silent auctions at which women sold one another their junk jewelry. I couldn’t even do a decent job at this stuff because I’d be traveling or something else at my work interfered.

I’m now ducking mentally because I can hear you shouting that this is just foolish Pride. But I have something different to contribute.  I’m a philosophy professor and one of my research specialties is philosophical theology. I’ve written on the doctrine of the Trinity. I also have a journalistic gig for which I read extensively in sociology of religion. It may have been good for my soul to sit under a plastic canopy in front of Walmart for 6 hours selling baked goods, but was a waste. Whatever money I pulled in doing that I could, and would rather, just contribute that money.

Sometimes it seems the best I can do is cultivate my garden.  Find a church that feeds my religious needs, and not worry about the collapse of Christianity or try to become involved.

I appreciate this forum. I don’t feel able to discuss this with anyone on the ground in my own name. Which is not Thecla ;-)


People like you are necessary, a blessing, and well needed! You will find liberals and modernist christian hating borderline atheists and socialists here just like you saw in the episcopal world and sectors of the Roman Catholic world. You will find people here that will advocate things that made mainline protestantism the way it is today!


And so just know that if you come here, you will see some of the same things you didn't like in the Episcopal world. You will also find a number of members on this forum that will attack you, hate you, and make fun of you because of your traditional and conservative christian beliefs.

And so the art of persevering through suffering, pain and discomfort is absolutely necessary.


On the flip-side, you will also find traditional, conservative, and moderate christians here that will agree with you and will have sympathy for you as well as have your back. And so you are not alone! No place is perfect! And so no matter where you go, you will have to put up a fight and suffer. But don't be in despair for Christianity has always been in this struggle.


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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 05:52:38 AM »


 but you must always remember: The Church exists to save us, not the reverse.

People who say this always tend to say this to converts who are either traditional or conservative. They never say this to the convert or cradle who is borderline atheist or super liberal/modernist on issues. We have liberals within Orthodoxy who wish to change the church on a whole host of issues.

Where are the people telling them that the Church exist to save us, not the reverse? This cliche seems to be said to only one group of people! Thecla is a blessing and we need more people like her around!
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 05:58:16 AM »

Quote
However I can't also get past that, despite your recognizing the pride in yourself, you're not taking it seriously.

You are indeed presumptuous. You know next to nothing about me. I do have a prestigious tertiary qualification, yet I think nothing of getting my hands dirty (very often literally) for the benefit of the Orthodox church communities I am involved with. You're welcome to PM me for more details.

I realize that I posted while others were doing the same. My reply to the quote above is to a post by Joseph Hazan. However, the essence of my response stands.
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 06:42:07 AM »

Quote
However I can't also get past that, despite your recognizing the pride in yourself, you're not taking it seriously.

You are indeed presumptuous. You know next to nothing about me. I do have a prestigious tertiary qualification, yet I think nothing of getting my hands dirty (very often literally) for the benefit of the Orthodox church communities I am involved with. You're welcome to PM me for more details.

I realize that I posted while others were doing the same. My reply to the quote above is to a post by Joseph Hazan. However, the essence of my response stands.

Did you think I was talking to you (LBK)?
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 06:54:33 AM »

Where are the people telling them that the Church exist to save us, not the reverse? This cliche seems to be said to only one group of people! Thecla is a blessing and we need more people like her around!

I don't know where they are. Since I am not them and this is not a thread dealing with them, then why not go to one/ask them?

I'm sorry - Thecla's post reads to me as like the individual in Lewis' "The Great Divorce" who demands that if they do decide to go to Heaven they will find "a wider sphere of influence" and "a greater appreciation for my talents". The Church doesn't work that way. There are things that need to be countered in The Church, you're perfectly correct, and without a doubt if tempered by humility and love for how Christ would use her and not how she wishes to be used she could do amazing things for His Church. She may already posses both, I don't know, all I have to go on is one post of hers. I may be mis-reading her and undoubtedly some of what I'm reading into her tone is her frustration from a decade of trying to do something very important and finding herself foiled at every turn, but what I am saying I stand by: If Thecla pursues Orthodoxy simply searching for an outlet for the talents she possesses she is in it for the wrong reasons. If she is trying to save her soul and just happens to be expressing frustration with the way things are done elsewhere, and is willing to accept Orthodoxy on its own terms and realize that through that faith Christ will judge and re-arrange her then, as I said before, we welcome her with open arms and would be ecstatic to have her.
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 07:18:13 AM »

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If Thecla pursues Orthodoxy simply searching for an outlet for the talents she possesses she is in it for the wrong reasons.

Exactly.

Quote
If she is trying to save her soul and just happens to be expressing frustration with the way things are done elsewhere, and is willing to accept Orthodoxy on its own terms and realize that through that faith Christ will judge and re-arrange her then, as I said before, we welcome her with open arms and would be ecstatic to have her.

The bolded words are the crux. If one is willing to accept the faith, then one will realize that fulfilling one's talents, real or perceived, is not the be-all and end-all. If there is a use for them, they will be used. But it is not up to anyone to expect or demand their talents and abilities be used.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2011, 07:43:09 AM »

welcome to the forum Thecla.  I can't really add much to what has been said here.  I hope you will join in the discussion.
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 08:57:12 AM »

Welcome, Thecla! I hope that we can help you out in some shape or form on this forum.
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 09:20:38 AM »

I wanted to get myself into a position where I could use my talents and knowledge. I saw Christianity declining, particularly in Western industrialized countries, especially amongst educated, upper middle class people, and it tore my heart out. I wanted to get into a position in the church to do something about it—to discuss the data, consider ways to address the issue, etc.

Well, St John Chrysostom said to acquire the Holy Spirit. I don't know you and am not making a judgement call on your spiritual condition, only saying that following God's lead and producing the fruit of the Spirit and avoiding the worls of the flesh in order to be confirmed to Christ should be your top priority, and then any additional work that you may called to do will be more fruitful. Also, try to listen for and not dictate what what you may or may not be called to do. I know we are called to be good stewards of the talents given to us, but sometimes the places that we are called to apply our talents are not always the places we are looking to apply them.

Just a few thoughts.
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 10:29:11 AM »

If you are looking to Orthodoxy for a soap box, you have unfourtantley come to the wrong religion. The more and more I am exposed to Orthodoxy, the more I see two groups. Those that convert who are very intellectual or those that were born in the Church and use it to define themselves ethically.

It still amazes me how little the Orthodox Church evangelizes in America. It is precisely 0. I know you want to battle the fall of Christianity in the West, but the Orthodox Church is not the answer. The reason for this is too many people are caught up in a very relativistic society. That doesn't mean people's belief in God will become non-existant, but rather far too many people could careless about any spiritual/religious truth. Christianity seems wholly unnecessary, and I would say I speak for my generation.

The Orthodox Church has alot of internal problems it needs to work on. And you might be disappointed hearing this, but I don't believe the Orthodox Church has any inclinations on turning around industrialized countries to Orthodoxy. It's a "not of this world" mentality.
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 10:34:21 AM »

Thecla, where and how in your story did/does Orthodoxy come into the picture? 
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 10:48:58 AM »

I’ve gone round and round about my options for over a decade and I’m no nearer any resolution. I’m fed up with the Episcopal Church—NOT because I find it too liberal, but because there is just no place for religion as such, for the holy.

I suppose the sensible thing to do would be—nothing.  I’m at a Catholic college: I can go to mass whenever the spirit moves me, and just maintain my religion belief. And that is likely what I’ll do—because my involvement in the church has burned me. I was deeply involved for number of years and was frustrated.

I wanted to get myself into a position where I could use my talents and knowledge. I saw Christianity declining, particularly in Western industrialized countries, especially amongst educated, upper middle class people, and it tore my heart out. I wanted to get into a position in the church to do something about it—to discuss the data, consider ways to address the issue, etc.

I tried for years to work my way into a position where I could do that. But just ended up stuck in the endless business of women’s groups: bake sales, rummage sales and, for entertainment, silent auctions at which women sold one another their junk jewelry. I couldn’t even do a decent job at this stuff because I’d be traveling or something else at my work interfered.

I’m now ducking mentally because I can hear you shouting that this is just foolish Pride. But I have something different to contribute.  I’m a philosophy professor and one of my research specialties is philosophical theology. I’ve written on the doctrine of the Trinity. I also have a journalistic gig for which I read extensively in sociology of religion. It may have been good for my soul to sit under a plastic canopy in front of Walmart for 6 hours selling baked goods, but was a waste. Whatever money I pulled in doing that I could, and would rather, just contribute that money.

Sometimes it seems the best I can do is cultivate my garden.  Find a church that feeds my religious needs, and not worry about the collapse of Christianity or try to become involved.

I appreciate this forum. I don’t feel able to discuss this with anyone on the ground in my own name. Which is not Thecla ;-)

It is notup to us to singlehandedly save Western Christianity. Principally because I can't think of anyone who was argued into faith. Before I became Orthodox , I probably would have sounded a lot like you. I turned up my nose at "women's work", not realizing that I had the honor of working with women who were pretty close to saints and excellent role models in the faith.
This arrogance is one of the many things that I regret, since through confession, I have had to own up to my deadly pride and intellectual arrogance. I have since learned that the beginning of true wisdom is the realization that there is at least a theoretical possibility that I'm not nearly as clever and gifted as I think I am, and that the yiayias who have worked hard all their lives, and never had a degree, are far more faithful and wise than I am.
It is a privilege to serve the Church in any capacity, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
Also, it seems to me that any choice of a Church on the grounds that it serves our needs is doomed.
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 11:02:24 AM »

You would do well to follow the example of Thekla the Protomartyr.
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2011, 11:34:18 AM »

Thecla, where and how in your story did/does Orthodoxy come into the picture? 

I suppose like most serious Anglicans I’m a Latin who wants to be a Greek. If I hadn’t gone into philosophy I would have gone for patristics. I’m also a Byzantine history buff (and a citizen of Byzantium Novum). Right now I’m working (again) on Greek so I can do more on the Greek Fathers of the Church. But this is just what I do for my job—and what got me interested. I’m mentioning it because you asked.  I don’t think it serves the Church in any way or that it’s something I have to offer.

I’m interested in Orthodoxy because I am sick of frustration, sick of biting the bullet, sick of fighting. With rare exceptions I’ve discovered when traveling, there isn’t an Episcopal church I can enter without having my teeth set on edge. The whole aim of lots of these churches seems to be to make church less churchy, to eliminate any sense of the holy, and to see to it that the numinous is strictly rationed and restricted to 5 minutes around Communion.

I tried to get involved, tried to get a voice, to get it across that people don’t want or need this.  People are looking for “spirituality” but the church is giving them a boring social event. Of course not all people are after that, but those who are wander aimlessly, sheep without a shepherd, poking around into eastern religions or New Age crap, because the church has failed them.

Sometimes, because like most serious Anglicans I am deeply romantic about Greek Christianity, I think: let me just go where I can connect with the liturgy, where I won’t be endlessly angry and frustrated, where I can just be religious. Let me forget about the collapse of Christianity in Europe and the coming collapse in the US (yes, I have the statistics) and just cultivate my garden.

Well I appreciate all the comments. It’s easy enough to learn about history and doctrine, but not so easy to get a sense of how things are on the ground. The range of comments has given me some notion of the diversity of opinion, but also of the preponderance of opinion.  I don’t know how representative a sample this is but I confess I’m somewhat unnerved. I’m burnt out with the Episcopal Church and I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to cope with more anger and frustration.

I will certainly read and think about these issues further. Thank you all for your comments.
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2011, 11:49:36 AM »

Hi, Thecla, good to see you here. There are some interesting articles on this site, which may help you. You can find the link at the very top of the page, or just here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=14&Itemid=2.

If you're not ready to stop in at a church yet, there are some Orthodox websites where churches post video or audio of their liturgies every week. Here's one: http://goarch.org/multimedia/live. Go there and you can pick from a few.

I hope you enjoy being here. It's lots of fun.   Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2011, 11:51:21 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Thecla. My advise is to find a Orthodox Church close by, go the liturgy, talk to the priest, and interact with the parishners. Internet forums are certainly not the place where you will find much of anything "Holy" to relate to. Smiley Don't be unnerved by the responses you have gotten. The Orthodox Church is the Church and it certainly shouldn't leave you frustrated.  Go and meet people on the ground. (literaly)  Grin
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2011, 03:35:36 PM »

I don’t know how representative a sample this is but I confess I’m somewhat unnerved. I’m burnt out with the Episcopal Church and I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to cope with more anger and frustration.

I think it's fairly representative of this forum. But I also think just about everybody would agree that the forum is not representative of actual parish life. A webforum is, by its very nature, largely a mental exercise. Actually attempting to live as an Orthodox in community is a much more holistic affair.
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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2011, 04:37:17 PM »

Thecla, where and how in your story did/does Orthodoxy come into the picture? 

I suppose like most serious Anglicans I’m a Latin who wants to be a Greek. If I hadn’t gone into philosophy I would have gone for patristics. I’m also a Byzantine history buff (and a citizen of Byzantium Novum). Right now I’m working (again) on Greek so I can do more on the Greek Fathers of the Church. But this is just what I do for my job—and what got me interested. I’m mentioning it because you asked.  I don’t think it serves the Church in any way or that it’s something I have to offer.

I’m interested in Orthodoxy because I am sick of frustration, sick of biting the bullet, sick of fighting. With rare exceptions I’ve discovered when traveling, there isn’t an Episcopal church I can enter without having my teeth set on edge. The whole aim of lots of these churches seems to be to make church less churchy, to eliminate any sense of the holy, and to see to it that the numinous is strictly rationed and restricted to 5 minutes around Communion.

I tried to get involved, tried to get a voice, to get it across that people don’t want or need this.  People are looking for “spirituality” but the church is giving them a boring social event. Of course not all people are after that, but those who are wander aimlessly, sheep without a shepherd, poking around into eastern religions or New Age crap, because the church has failed them.

Sometimes, because like most serious Anglicans I am deeply romantic about Greek Christianity, I think: let me just go where I can connect with the liturgy, where I won’t be endlessly angry and frustrated, where I can just be religious. Let me forget about the collapse of Christianity in Europe and the coming collapse in the US (yes, I have the statistics) and just cultivate my garden.

Well I appreciate all the comments. It’s easy enough to learn about history and doctrine, but not so easy to get a sense of how things are on the ground. The range of comments has given me some notion of the diversity of opinion, but also of the preponderance of opinion.  I don’t know how representative a sample this is but I confess I’m somewhat unnerved. I’m burnt out with the Episcopal Church and I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to cope with more anger and frustration.

I will certainly read and think about these issues further. Thank you all for your comments.
I understand how you feel and have been where you are. If you take Orthodoxy's claims at face value, there is a genuine spiritual power involved in the Church and her mysteries which can powerfully confirm themselves to your heart in a manner that the mind cannot of by itself grasp or communicate -presence to presence. The thing I would strongly recommend would be to connect with a priest for a personal chat and attend a Divine Liturgy if you have not done so. There is much to gain and little to lose.

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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2011, 05:55:28 PM »

I’m burnt out with the Episcopal Church and I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to cope with more anger and frustration.


One of the greatest gifts that the Church has given me is just the kind of peace that passes all understanding. One of the reasons that I became disillusioned was that sincere and pious Christians disagree (vehemently and sometimes violently  Wink) over what the same Scripture means. So how do you know what to believe? This is, of course, the problem with Protestantism in general.
While I love a good theological arm-wrassling as well as the next person, it was a great relief to understand that, in the Orthodox Church, all this had been settled for centuries, and it wasn't up to me anymore.
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"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2011, 02:28:49 AM »

Thecla, where and how in your story did/does Orthodoxy come into the picture?  

I suppose like most serious Anglicans I’m a Latin who wants to be a Greek. If I hadn’t gone into philosophy I would have gone for patristics. I’m also a Byzantine history buff (and a citizen of Byzantium Novum). Right now I’m working (again) on Greek so I can do more on the Greek Fathers of the Church. But this is just what I do for my job—and what got me interested. I’m mentioning it because you asked.  I don’t think it serves the Church in any way or that it’s something I have to offer.

I’m interested in Orthodoxy because I am sick of frustration, sick of biting the bullet, sick of fighting. With rare exceptions I’ve discovered when traveling, there isn’t an Episcopal church I can enter without having my teeth set on edge. The whole aim of lots of these churches seems to be to make church less churchy, to eliminate any sense of the holy, and to see to it that the numinous is strictly rationed and restricted to 5 minutes around Communion.

I tried to get involved, tried to get a voice, to get it across that people don’t want or need this.  People are looking for “spirituality” but the church is giving them a boring social event. Of course not all people are after that, but those who are wander aimlessly, sheep without a shepherd, poking around into eastern religions or New Age crap, because the church has failed them.

Sometimes, because like most serious Anglicans I am deeply romantic about Greek Christianity, I think: let me just go where I can connect with the liturgy, where I won’t be endlessly angry and frustrated, where I can just be religious. Let me forget about the collapse of Christianity in Europe and the coming collapse in the US (yes, I have the statistics) and just cultivate my garden.

Well I appreciate all the comments. It’s easy enough to learn about history and doctrine, but not so easy to get a sense of how things are on the ground. The range of comments has given me some notion of the diversity of opinion, but also of the preponderance of opinion.  I don’t know how representative a sample this is but I confess I’m somewhat unnerved. I’m burnt out with the Episcopal Church and I don’t want to get into a situation where I have to cope with more anger and frustration.

I will certainly read and think about these issues further. Thank you all for your comments.

You need to come on home! Don't mind the nay sayers on this thread! They don't talk this way to cross-dressers who come into the Church. They don't talk this way to seekers who are struggling with same sex attractions. Nor do they talk this way to intellectual egg-heads who think science is the only infallible authority!

And so they shouldn't talk this way to you! We all have a cross that we must carry! Non of us our perfect. And so they shouldn't be pointing out your flaws like that. If you are able to persevere through suffering then let's go! Come on in!

Talk to a local Orthodox Priest immediately!


Come home now!




I wanted to be honest with you because I believe converts should know the truth. the reality they may face on the ground in real life parishes and theo-boards like this one. There isn't anywhere you can go to hide from liberalism completely. It's everywhere, but it's not as bad here as it is in most other places. Especially protestant places. But it does exist here and you need to know that.

You also need to know that the Eucharist really exist here as well! And you need the Eucharist! You need the Divine Mysteries! You need a place to rest your head! A place to plant roots!


This is what you need and you know it! Visit a Divine Liturgy a number of times and talk to a local Orthodox Priest. And don't let the liberals here scare you away! Be strong and understand that we all don't think the same way on politics, economic theories, scientific theories, as well as a whole host of other things.

When you visit an Orthodox Church, just soak in it, and if you do decide to convert. Convert for what you found right about Orthodoxy and not what you found wrong about other communions.  If I can survive here as a conservative African American. Then anyone can survive here!

Anyone!


Including you!


SO COME HOME NOW! What ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 02:57:26 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2011, 09:00:56 AM »

Dear Thecla,

Orthodoxy is blessedness. 

Lord have mercy on your daughter.
Most Holy Theotokos save us.
Saint Anthony intercede for us.

love,
elephant
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2011, 07:31:33 PM »

Dear Thecla,

With respect to working in your garden:

Fr. Amphilochios, the geronta or "elder" on the island of Patmos when I first stayed there, would have been in full agreement. "Do you know," he said, "that God gave us one more commandment, which is not recorded in Scripture? It is the commandment "love the trees." Whoever does not love trees, so he believed, does not love God. "When you plant a tree," he insisted, "you plant hope, you plant peace, you plant love, and you will receive God's blessing."

—Taken from an essay by Bishop Kallistos
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