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Author Topic: I Need Immediate Counseling  (Read 864 times) Average Rating: 0
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JamesR
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« on: February 26, 2012, 06:49:23 AM »

I need counseling immediately. I do not know if I did the right thing or not. Tomorrow I am receiving my first Confession and I told my mother I have to stay longer at Church tomorrow and she asked why, and I lied to her and said I just need to talk to my sponsor about my upcoming Baptism. Was this right or not? I was scared she would not react positively to me receiving Confession and it might cause further tension between us as she is a Protestant and I converted to Orthodoxy much to her dismay. Should I be humble and keep the fact that I'm taking Confession to myself or tell her the truth and deal with whatever comes from it? I need an answer very fast. I'm in bed right now and I need to know by the morning before I leave.
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 06:59:39 AM »

I don't see any reason to hide the truth from her. If she objects to your confession just point to those Bible verses that tell us to confess to one another. This may or may not cause more tension but at least you are standing up for your beliefs. Over all, pray on it, ask your priest for his counsel, and go ahead and add it to your confession. It could be that if you put it out there that your priest can help to ease the tension that has built between you and your mother.
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 12:36:29 PM »

Smiley Welcome to the human race.  

Though seriously - there is an issue here, for both you and your mom . . .but as a Christian and as an Orthodox Christian at that, you can very well respect your mother's wishes no matter what they might be - and be right before Him.  The Church gives us a way to handle it with support - and it's excellent in it's design.  Love casts out all fear. . .

Lying manipulates the receiver into a reaction that is not real.  She does not have the truth, so she gave permission for something that does not exist.  But it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth in the face of fear - especially when it happens to be your parent - and you are dependent on your parent fully for your care and provision.  Permission to go to confession is still up to her - as God put her as your parent.  If she says 'no.' then she says 'no.'  Honor her, and let Him who Is give his perfect timing and place to what you want for your life.  He leads you through her. . .He is the one that chose to place you into her care.  You could say that this is a test in trust in Him.  Can you trust Him by honoring your mom?  

As far as confession goes - tell her what it means to you. Bring her into your world - know that she has her own fears, and this may give her the bridge to confront those fears and move a little closer to Him.  You can ask her if she ever did something she was ashamed of and needed to talk to someone about it, but was afraid to talk to someone who might tell someone else.  This is one of the things priceless about confession - you can pour out your heart in absolute safety.  

Ask her if she is willing to sit down with you and talk.  Tell her you have something important to talk to her about - remembering that she herself is also human and frail. . . and tell her the truth.  The worst that will happen is she may become upset - you know your mom more than we do. . . she may tell you you do not have permission.  What ever she does, give it to God in obedience and humble yourself to HIS direction through her.  If she agrees, then she agrees in the truth and is not manipulated. . . then you have the truth and it has set you free, regardless of what happens.  You are no longer under the yoke of this sin.  You might also reassure her that when you do something wrong, it is part of repentance to make things right - so coming to her and confessing to her to ask for her forgiveness when you disobey her is part and parcel of the package.

Then prove it to her by confessing to her that you lied, and being ready to accept her discipline in the matter.  In doing this, you protect your soul from the reward of other lies. . . repenting is such a perfect cure for this thing that can become a monster habit.

You may have a practice in patience before you - but He is faithful.  He will bring you to Him when it's time.  Who knows who else depends on His timing with you. . . your patience may prove to be the very thing that someone who steps into the church as a visitor needs to see in order for them to understand His great love for them.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 12:41:05 PM by quietmorning » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 08:29:30 PM »

Umm...quietmorning, I think you are wrong about him needing her permission.  Perhaps as a practical matter (say, getting to the Church), he needs her permission, but in NO way does he require her permission to actually receive confession, or any other sacrament.  If we can have saints who have run off to monasteries without even informing their parents, then I think we can have people take part of the sacraments necessary for salvation, without permission from parents.  God did put JamesR's mother as his parent, but God has also given people parents who kill them because they become Christians (such as some Muslim parents).  Does that mean God doesn't want those people to join His Church?  Of course not, it means that they must suffer through tense, difficult, family situations, or in some cases stop having any contact with their families.  Whoever does not hate his mother and father, wife and children, his brothers and sisters, is not Christ's disciple.  The day of salvation is now.

James, the following advice may be off base, and I really recommend you speak to your priest about this.  However, I not long ago finished reading Wounded by Love, and it has a whole auto-biography, in a sense, of Elder Porphyrios (who many consider a saint).  When he went to the Holy Mountain, he was actually younger than you are required to be to even gain entrance.  However, when an older monk of the Mountain saw him on the ferry, he sat down next to Elder Porphyrios, and they spoke briefly.  The older monk, who became the Elder's spiritual father, told him that when they got to the Mountain, if anyone questioned them about the boy, they would tell such a person that Elder Porphyrios was the monk's nephew.  It happened to be that, for a few moments right after getting off the ferry, the monk had gotten a little ways away from the boy who would become Elder Porphyrios.  An officer of the Holy Mountain's security force stopped the boy and asked him how old he was, he said the truth, and the officer was about to escort him back onto the ferry, when the monk noticed what was going on.  He then came over and told the officer that the boy is with him, the officer said he is too young to be on the Mountain, and the monk told him that the boy is his nephew, and that his parents just died and so he must come to live with the monk.  Through that lie, Elder Porphyrios was able to become a monk at a very young age.  His spiritual father explained to him that this lie, this lie that was told out of a desire to do God's will, would be seen by God as the truth, and was therefore not truly a lie.

Again, speak to your priest, but if you would be unable to confess if your mother knew what you were going to do, misinforming her may be acceptable.
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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 01:37:12 PM »

James:

I realize that this is late, but I would suggest that you enter the Church on a higher moral note: 

Do not lie to your mother.

As a minor (16), you are still in your mother's care, and you are committed to respecting her decisions until such time as you are legally of age and fully responsible for your own behavior. Regardless of what anyone else may suggest about it being in some cases okay for you to do otherwise, do not listen to them. It is less important for you to enter any church than it is to honor your mother. God likes the idea---He even has a commandment about it. The Church is not going anywhere, and your mother deserves better from you. Apparently, she is kindly allowing you to join the church; let that be sufficient. If you start lying to her, and the act of joining the church makes you behave dishonorably, she'll regret her decision and further doubt the wisdom of your conversion. She didn't raise you to be the kind of man who lies. Let not the Orthodox Church encourage you to be that kind of person.
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 01:46:23 PM »

i hope u sorted it out coz obviously it is late now, but i think it's best not to lie, but u don't have to tell her everything.
i pray God will lead u. i certainly decided i was adult by the age of 16, and it's not as if u r about to break the law and get her into trouble, so try to find a middle way between respecting her and also trying to get closer to God through the church.
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« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 04:17:36 PM »

James:

I realize that this is late, but I would suggest that you enter the Church on a higher moral note: 

Do not lie to your mother.

As a minor (16), you are still in your mother's care, and you are committed to respecting her decisions until such time as you are legally of age and fully responsible for your own behavior. Regardless of what anyone else may suggest about it being in some cases okay for you to do otherwise, do not listen to them. It is less important for you to enter any church than it is to honor your mother. God likes the idea---He even has a commandment about it. The Church is not going anywhere, and your mother deserves better from you. Apparently, she is kindly allowing you to join the church; let that be sufficient. If you start lying to her, and the act of joining the church makes you behave dishonorably, she'll regret her decision and further doubt the wisdom of your conversion. She didn't raise you to be the kind of man who lies. Let not the Orthodox Church encourage you to be that kind of person.

I'm sorry, but if parents oppose a decision of even their dependent children to join the Church, I can find no justification for that at all, especially not in our tradition. Honor to parents does NOT overrule worship given to God. If it did, many of our martyrs, like St. Barbara, would not be among the saints. What one tells another about one's personal spiritual business depends on the circumstances. His mother does not have to know what exactly he is doing. His confession is none of her business, and if she is going to be uncomfortable with it and potentially cause problems, it is better this detail not be mentioned. Children are not the property of their parents. Each child has a rational soul, his own conscience, and a responsibility to save his soul.
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2012, 05:01:49 PM »

James:

I realize that this is late, but I would suggest that you enter the Church on a higher moral note: 

Do not lie to your mother.

As a minor (16), you are still in your mother's care, and you are committed to respecting her decisions until such time as you are legally of age and fully responsible for your own behavior. Regardless of what anyone else may suggest about it being in some cases okay for you to do otherwise, do not listen to them. It is less important for you to enter any church than it is to honor your mother. God likes the idea---He even has a commandment about it. The Church is not going anywhere, and your mother deserves better from you. Apparently, she is kindly allowing you to join the church; let that be sufficient. If you start lying to her, and the act of joining the church makes you behave dishonorably, she'll regret her decision and further doubt the wisdom of your conversion. She didn't raise you to be the kind of man who lies. Let not the Orthodox Church encourage you to be that kind of person.

I'm sorry, but if parents oppose a decision of even their dependent children to join the Church, I can find no justification for that at all, especially not in our tradition. Honor to parents does NOT overrule worship given to God. If it did, many of our martyrs, like St. Barbara, would not be among the saints. What one tells another about one's personal spiritual business depends on the circumstances. His mother does not have to know what exactly he is doing. His confession is none of her business, and if she is going to be uncomfortable with it and potentially cause problems, it is better this detail not be mentioned. Children are not the property of their parents. Each child has a rational soul, his own conscience, and a responsibility to save his soul.
I would agree with that. however, the ends do not justify the means. Dont lie to your mother.

PP
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« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 05:12:16 PM »

James:

I realize that this is late, but I would suggest that you enter the Church on a higher moral note: 

Do not lie to your mother.

As a minor (16), you are still in your mother's care, and you are committed to respecting her decisions until such time as you are legally of age and fully responsible for your own behavior. Regardless of what anyone else may suggest about it being in some cases okay for you to do otherwise, do not listen to them. It is less important for you to enter any church than it is to honor your mother. God likes the idea---He even has a commandment about it. The Church is not going anywhere, and your mother deserves better from you. Apparently, she is kindly allowing you to join the church; let that be sufficient. If you start lying to her, and the act of joining the church makes you behave dishonorably, she'll regret her decision and further doubt the wisdom of your conversion. She didn't raise you to be the kind of man who lies. Let not the Orthodox Church encourage you to be that kind of person.

I'm sorry, but if parents oppose a decision of even their dependent children to join the Church, I can find no justification for that at all, especially not in our tradition. Honor to parents does NOT overrule worship given to God. If it did, many of our martyrs, like St. Barbara, would not be among the saints. What one tells another about one's personal spiritual business depends on the circumstances. His mother does not have to know what exactly he is doing. His confession is none of her business, and if she is going to be uncomfortable with it and potentially cause problems, it is better this detail not be mentioned. Children are not the property of their parents. Each child has a rational soul, his own conscience, and a responsibility to save his soul.
I would agree with that. however, the ends do not justify the means. Dont lie to your mother.

PP

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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 05:27:41 AM »

There have been some debates here on if exactly not telling the truth in every instance is a sin. One of the most famous instances of this was Rahab from the Bible who was said to be justified because of her lie. Then there was at least one saint who, after having a vision (I believe), said "Nothing" when another person asked him what he had experienced. Or what about those who hid Jews during the Holocaust?

I believe it was St. Augustine who argued that a lie is only sinful if there is malicious intent involved (such as, for example, denying to your wife that you are cheating when you actually are, or lying to cover up the fact that you are embezzling from your company). St. Augustine is certainly not the final arbiter of what is and isn't a sin, but it's food for thought, I think.

Though I could be wrong. I didn't do my usual amount of research here to back it up (I apologize). Merely going by memory.

EDIT: Found two of the threads from here on the subject: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24065.0.html

And http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9743.0.html

Of course, I am not a competent authority on this subject to judge if what any single poster or group of posters said in those threads was right. All I do is research & compile knowledge and then write it down (I'm a historian, it's what I do for a living Tongue )
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 06:47:51 PM »

James:

I realize that this is late, but I would suggest that you enter the Church on a higher moral note: 

Do not lie to your mother.

As a minor (16), you are still in your mother's care, and you are committed to respecting her decisions until such time as you are legally of age and fully responsible for your own behavior. Regardless of what anyone else may suggest about it being in some cases okay for you to do otherwise, do not listen to them. It is less important for you to enter any church than it is to honor your mother. God likes the idea---He even has a commandment about it. The Church is not going anywhere, and your mother deserves better from you. Apparently, she is kindly allowing you to join the church; let that be sufficient. If you start lying to her, and the act of joining the church makes you behave dishonorably, she'll regret her decision and further doubt the wisdom of your conversion. She didn't raise you to be the kind of man who lies. Let not the Orthodox Church encourage you to be that kind of person.

The Church isn't going anywhere, but he very well could be.  He could die tomorrow, or today, or in a week.  Does that not matter anymore?  Is reception of Eucharist completely and totally unimportant in the scheme of salvation?  I think it is rather important.

To place honor of parents above honor of God is to be an idolater.

What if a country set their age of majority at 50?  Or perhaps didn't have one and essentially treated children as their parents property until the parent dies?  In that case would you still say "The Church will still be there, do as your parents please" or would you say "Do as God commands."  And, frankly, under your interpretation of "Honor your father and your mother" you would be required to not join the Church EVER if that is what they wanted, because God does not say "until you reach the age of majority," at the end of that commandment.  He makes no indication that we should ever stop honoring our parents, and so any honor and respect we pay them as children should continue to be paid as adults.

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