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Author Topic: Converts: Do people think you're weird?  (Read 3305 times) Average Rating: 0
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Russell
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« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2012, 05:28:43 PM »

Most people thought I was weird before I became Orthodox.

I think Orthodoxy has helped me become less weird.
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« Reply #46 on: January 06, 2012, 11:12:57 PM »

Hey Will.

I am seen as 'weird' however, most of the time it is not very negative. It is more in a curious way. For example, if I tell somebody about my conversion they are usually just so curious that they ask millions of questions about Orthodoxy and what it is and what led to my conversion etc. However, after finding out some of the answers many of them start to think I'm heretical or bad because of their common Protestant doubts to Orthodoxy. This also includes my own family, who, is not really too happy about my conversion but is trying to tolerate it. As for other adults in my life, some are pretty tolerant and some are not. I find that the older adults and Protestants are more tolerant and some have even encouraged my conversion. While the younger adults like the new, eager 24 year old Protestant pastors who just got their credentials are really annoying and bigoted at times. I also find I have more trouble with men than women. For example, some of the nicest, most tolerant and insightful people I know are old Baptist women, while some of the most arrogant, intolerant and annoying are young, trigger-happy Baptist men.
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« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2012, 11:36:08 PM »

My family who are Catholic just think it is Catholicism without a Pope. So they don't really care. My friends knowing that I am into traditional religion and liturgy think its normal for me.
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« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2012, 01:59:47 AM »

Whatever I do, people always find me awesome.

Sorry.

It's help to shake that whole weird thing by acting like a proper nominal Orthodox.

It's the last step of the Ladder of Divine Ascent that got lost in copying along the way and only kept in memory in certain remote villages in Romania.
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« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2012, 03:50:52 AM »

Whatever I do, people always find me awesome.

Sorry.

It's help to shake that whole weird thing by acting like a proper nominal Orthodox.

It's the last step of the Ladder of Divine Ascent that got lost in copying along the way and only kept in memory in certain remote villages in Romania.

augustin17 probably knows where they are and is unimpressed.
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« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2012, 09:13:06 PM »

Okay, I'll just come out and say it:

I ask because I'm deathly afraid of being a religious hipster. I want to be religious but I don't want to be weirdly religious. I sincerely believe that Orthodoxy is the truth, but how do I know I'm not just another manifestation of the "exotic religion" factor which has made so many of my friends "convert" to Islam, Buddhism or atheism?
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« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2012, 09:17:18 PM »

I think to counter any tendency to chase after the "exotic" aspect of Orthodoxy, you take a year or even more before converting, using the time to study and learn with your priest.
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« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2012, 09:28:10 PM »

I think to counter any tendency to chase after the "exotic" aspect of Orthodoxy, you take a year or even more before converting, using the time to study and learn with your priest.

yes, it takes a while before "the exotic" wears off, and you are simply left with "the real".
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« Reply #53 on: March 05, 2012, 10:32:13 PM »

How much effort did they have to put forth to become Muslim, Buddhist, or atheist?  How much effort have you had to put forth to become Orthodox?
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« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2012, 10:34:43 PM »

I'm beginning to think it was good for me to have to spend two years as a member of the parish before anything could move forward on conversion. It got me involved in the day to day life of the parish. Now I know more (so to speak) than I would if I had rushed it. It hasn't been easy, but I have a feeling it would have been worse had I pestered them for conversion early on.
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« Reply #55 on: March 06, 2012, 01:05:47 AM »

Well, outside of the community at the church I've visited, you guys, my parents, and a couple others, most don't really know I'm inquiring into Orthodoxy. For the most part, I've described myself as "on a spiritual journey" to most people lately, since I'm friends with many devout Protestants, Catholics, and atheists & agnostics, and I don't really want to bring faith/religion into the discussion. The non-Orthodox people who do know generally treat it as something they'd expect from me, what with all my quirks. My parents have remained non-judgmental at worst and supporting the idea of me finding things out on my own at best--something I'm truly thankful for. They probably see Orthodoxy as some relatively exotic religion that's sort of like Catholicism without a Pope or something.

But I'm going to continue taking my time in my inquiry.
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« Reply #56 on: March 06, 2012, 10:17:46 AM »

Okay, I'll just come out and say it:

I ask because I'm deathly afraid of being a religious hipster. I want to be religious but I don't want to be weirdly religious. I sincerely believe that Orthodoxy is the truth, but how do I know I'm not just another manifestation of the "exotic religion" factor which has made so many of my friends "convert" to Islam, Buddhism or atheism?

Weird
adjective
1. Belonging to; involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny. 
2. fantastic; bizarre; strange or unusual
3. Archaic . concerned with or controlling fate or destiny.
Holy
adjective
1. specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority.
2. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man.
3. saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life.
4. having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.
5. entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.

I obviously cannot comment specifically on the Orthodox aspect William, but by basic definition ‘weird’ and ‘Holy’ go hand in hand I think. Of this world is what the world considers normal. Belonging to God is outside of that normality that many will indeed consider ‘weird’. For me, the question becomes who do I belong to and who do I serve? It would be my personal hope, prayer, and desire to be considered ‘weird’ too! Will we be considered religious fanatics? Perhaps. Am I concerned with what man thinks of me or what my Lord God thinks of me? Ya know?

Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to hear what you would consider a Protestant make the claim that Orthodoxy is fundamental Truth. While there are many things I don't understand, thus may not agree with, I believe with all my heart Orthodoxy contains the Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ. How can you know you are not entering some form or manifestation of an ‘exotic religion’? I would begin with scripture of course to verify my path.
 
Matthew 5:10-12
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Speaking for only for myself cleavage and separation is a difficult task of my spirituality. May our Father grant us the provision of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, that shall strengthen and guide us from the darkness of this world into His Holy Light. To my understanding Matthew 5:11 would serve as an indicator of where we are at in this process.

God bless and keep you! If you or any of us are considered weird, fanatical, or even a hipster Wink realize it is only because others do not understand and I say Glory be to God!


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« Reply #57 on: March 06, 2012, 07:23:28 PM »

Okay, I'll just come out and say it:

I ask because I'm deathly afraid of being a religious hipster. I want to be religious but I don't want to be weirdly religious. I sincerely believe that Orthodoxy is the truth, but how do I know I'm not just another manifestation of the "exotic religion" factor which has made so many of my friends "convert" to Islam, Buddhism or atheism?

My fiancee (we both converted before having met each other) and I have talked about this. We possibly over-value uniqueness and, when we are honest, enjoy our reputation as "eccentrics". Orthodoxy, with it's exotic origins and unusual practices, could easily be just another part of our overall habit of being attracted to the obscure.

We both came to a way to combat this:

1) She enjoys the exotic primarily as sort of a rebellion against her parents (who are devout Evangelicals). In the case of Orthodoxy she thus postponed Chrismation until her parents were fine with it. Her catechumenate lasted 3 years because of that, but it definitely made it obvious, to herself and to them, that she was not doing this just to rebel.

2) I am naturally much more impulsive and philosophical. I figured God gave me the attraction to exotic stuff as part of being able to delight in my religion. I also struggle to practice sometimes I have yet to follow a prayer rule, even though that prayer rule is just "Say Evening Prayer every night." Morning prayer isn't even on the table yet. I'm not at every service, and I don't follow the strict fasts, or get concerned when I can't fast when visiting relatives. I always figured if I were just doing it for the exotic aspects I'd be more "in your face" with it. My catechumenate was only six months. I also hated leaving my old church. At the time of my conversion I thought I'd never be happy as an Orthodox, I just had to do it because papal infallability was proven wrong.

Ultimately it's all up to you. Even if God has given you a love for the exotic, and that what attracted you to Orthodoxy, that doesn't mean that's all there is to it. A spoonfull of sugar helps the medicine go down. Thank God for having given you something that attracts you so readily to what you are intellectually believing to be The Truth, and if you're still willing to adopt practices and disciplines that you really don't want to, then, IMO, it's deeper than an appreciation for Slavonic.
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« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2012, 01:46:19 AM »

Okay, I'll just come out and say it:

I ask because I'm deathly afraid of being a religious hipster. I want to be religious but I don't want to be weirdly religious. I sincerely believe that Orthodoxy is the truth, but how do I know I'm not just another manifestation of the "exotic religion" factor which has made so many of my friends "convert" to Islam, Buddhism or atheism?

I think that a good way to evaluate your "religious hipster level" is to put yourself in a hypothetical situation of a classmate asking you about your faith, and see how you would respond to them. Embarrassingly enough, a year ago I would have been the first example verbatim. My belief in Orthodoxy was not the result of religious hipsterism/elitism, but how I expressed it to others definitely was.

Hipster:
Classmate: So what religion are you?
Self: I'm Orthodox [Christian].
Classmate: So you're Christian? I don't like Christianity.
Self: Oh I am, but I'm not at all like those Western Christians you've been exposed to.

Non-Hipster:
Classmate: So what religion are you?
Self: I'm Orthodox [Christian].
Classmate: So you're Christian? I don't like Christianity.
Self: Yes, I'm Christian. Why don't like you like Christianity?
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« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2012, 04:14:34 PM »

After ten years, my parents still think I'm Jewish.

Blatantly not keeping kosher doesn't help, because "some Jewish people eat pork, you know".   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #60 on: March 09, 2012, 04:34:11 PM »

My friends could not care less. My Wife is on the fence whether to convert. My other family believes Im joining a group that are not Christian  Roll Eyes

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« Reply #61 on: March 09, 2012, 07:00:00 PM »

After ten years, my parents still think I'm Jewish.

Blatantly not keeping kosher doesn't help, because "some Jewish people eat pork, you know".   Roll Eyes

Have you told them you believe Jesus is God/Messiah? I'm just curious as to how they'd still justify your Jewishness in light of that.  Tongue
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« Reply #62 on: March 09, 2012, 07:15:56 PM »

After ten years, my parents still think I'm Jewish.

Blatantly not keeping kosher doesn't help, because "some Jewish people eat pork, you know".   Roll Eyes

Have you told them you believe Jesus is God/Messiah? I'm just curious as to how they'd still justify your Jewishness in light of that.  Tongue

"Some Jewish people believe in Jesus, you know."

(Thanks a lot, Jews for Jesus.)
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« Reply #63 on: March 09, 2012, 08:00:25 PM »

After ten years, my parents still think I'm Jewish.

Blatantly not keeping kosher doesn't help, because "some Jewish people eat pork, you know".   Roll Eyes

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Pure class, this post.
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« Reply #64 on: March 09, 2012, 08:20:39 PM »

After ten years, my parents still think I'm Jewish.

Blatantly not keeping kosher doesn't help, because "some Jewish people eat pork, you know".   Roll Eyes

Have you told them you believe Jesus is God/Messiah? I'm just curious as to how they'd still justify your Jewishness in light of that.  Tongue

"Some Jewish people believe in Jesus, you know."

(Thanks a lot, Jews for Jesus.)

You should inform them, then, that they too are Jews, since evidently anyone can be a Jew these days.
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« Reply #65 on: March 09, 2012, 08:23:07 PM »

My friends could not care less. My Wife is on the fence whether to convert. My other family believes Im joining a group that are not Christian  Roll Eyes

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i know the feeling, buddy...
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« Reply #66 on: March 09, 2012, 10:21:48 PM »

You should inform them, then, that they too are Jews, since evidently anyone can be a Jew these days.

It's all the rage; everybody's doing it!
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« Reply #67 on: March 10, 2012, 06:50:02 AM »

They don't think I'm weird, they just don't particularly care.
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« Reply #68 on: March 10, 2012, 08:20:44 AM »

I struggled at first, there is a lot biased attitude with the priests regarding none Greek people, they tend to ignore you. but since I have been seen talking with the Archbishop of Athens they have changed slightly, more open.

Most of my friends now I was a devout Catholic, they just think this is the next step up the ladder.

I have had a lot of encouragement from lots of people once they found I was converting, they seem more ready to accept me as a local.

The big test will be when I eventually move back to the UK, most people there now me a Catholic and now nothing about orthodoxy, so time will tell.

My family don't bother, My wife who is Catholic thought I was selling out, so I have left the Divine liturgy in Greek / English open and the Prayer books. she is coming round, as I think she has been reading them.

I talk about my conversion to her, and most people, but do it σιγα σιγα, maybe one day she will convert also.

it is the beginning of a new life and spiritual journey, be proud of your faith and what you have done to come this far.

Jesus told us to pick up our crosses and follow him, so don't be worried about those that turn there backs on you, you are part of a new spiritual family.

God bless us all on our Journey.
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