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Author Topic: No longer a catechumen  (Read 5519 times) Average Rating: 0
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Red A.
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« on: April 21, 2012, 11:40:11 PM »

I was upfront and honest. I am a member of alcoholics anonymous. I was firm when I said that I would continue helping drunks sober up and I would not leave my drunks behind.

Last Tuesday the priest said in the catechumen class that he doubted my dedication to the church. This hurt and infuriated me as I have thrown myself into the church, attending church three times a week, volunteering for menial jobs, setting aside AA commitments, helping others as I can. The truth came out in a phone call tonight when I expressed my hurt and bewilderment at being accused of not being committed to the church. The truth came out that I have been lied to for a year and a half and the obstacle to my becoming Orthodox in this church is my continued involvement in AA.

I was a homeless skid row drunk when AA reached out and helped me become human. Every thing I am and every thing I have, including my relationship with God I owe to alcoholics anonymous. I will not leave my drunks behind.

ps. Don't lie to an alcoholic. We're better at it that you are.


just to be clear, I don't hold this against the Orthodox church as this happened at a baptist church too.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 11:41:28 PM by Red A. » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 11:45:29 PM »

Is there a another Orthodox Church in the area that you might be able to go to? I don't know what the deal is with aa but I'm not Orthodox to answer for them I just wanted to show you support for helping others with this problem
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Red A.
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 11:52:38 PM »

There's one a bit further away I'm going to look at next week. Breaks my heart that I'll have to interrogate the next priest on this issue. I was so thrilled to find the Orthodox church in the first place that I failed to be as guarded about this issue as I should have. Too many clergy see AA as "the competition".
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 11:56:27 PM »

This is ridiculous.  However, do not give up Orthodoxy over this.  Orthodoxy is more than a jealous priest.  And good luck on your recovery.  But then again, it is not really luck is it.  Just pure hard work.  And no, do not give up those that rely on you to help them.  God sees and will reward you.
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 11:57:36 PM »

There's one a bit further away I'm going to look at next week. Breaks my heart that I'll have to interrogate the next priest on this issue. I was so thrilled to find the Orthodox church in the first place that I failed to be as guarded about this issue as I should have. Too many clergy see AA as "the competition".

I'm not sure you would have to interrogate any priest on the issue. A simple question should suffice: "Will my continued work with AA be an issue going forward?"
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 11:59:56 PM »

This seems rather odd as I know at least 3 Orthodox Christians who are active members of AA--one of whom is an Orthodox priest and one of whom was definitely in the program (and known to be by his priest) before his reception, not sure when the 3rd started at AA. Then there is Fr. Meletios Webber, a priest and abbot--who I don't know that he was ever actually in AA but I was under the impression that his book on Orthodoxy and AA (Steps of Transformation)came from personal experience. And finally, I know an individual who is one of AA's 'daughter' 12-step programs' who is there specifically because during his catechumenate an Antiochian priest sent him there.

So I am forced to think that either this is something very specific to your priest or that there is more to the story than can be conveyed in message board post. Either way, it might be appropriate to contact your priest's bishop to discuss what is happening; or, if there is another Orthodox church in the area to contact the priest there.


P.S.: It also might be helpful to you to try contacting Fr. Meletios who is very familiar with AA and Orthodoxy. If you are interested, I think I may have his e-mail around somewhere so PM and I'll take a look.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 12:01:10 AM by witega » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 12:00:11 AM »

That's absolutely ridiculous. I'm sorry to hear this happened to you! The Orthodox Church is usually very supportive of 12-step programs. I'm not sure why your former priest said what he said, but from what you've told us here...I would be upset, as well.

I hope you find a good parish that will nurture you in spirit and truth.
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 12:06:00 AM »

What jurisdiction was it? Try an OCA parish instead, I'm assuming it was an ethnic one.
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 12:09:12 AM »

On the contrary, the priest seems to be some loony hyperdox.
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Red A.
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2012, 12:16:36 AM »

So I am forced to think that either this is something very specific to your priest
Yep. This is it. I am in contact with two Orthodox priests that are in AA that have been helping me along my path so this is someone "going rogue" so to speak but it happens all over the place and too often in my opinion. That Baptist one offered me a spot as a deacon if I would drop AA. The dishonesty really bothers me and is the reason I need to be a bit more cagey in getting them to give their opinion of AA before I move forward working with them.

I hate that I have to be guarded about sending my AA sponsees off to go to church. AA recommends that we reestablish out membership at church but the fact is that these clergy are out there just waiting to kill one of my guys.

Sad thing is, if a religion were to make a concerted effort to reach out to AA and it's members here in the states they would easily gain huge numbers of AA members that simply don't feel they are welcome in anyones church.
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Red A.
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 12:16:58 AM »

What jurisdiction was it? Try an OCA parish instead, I'm assuming it was an ethnic one.
That's the one I'm looking at next.
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 12:34:20 AM »

Yeah, I've noticed that for some conservatives, the idea that mental health care is some sort of atheist fakery to draw people away from the Church can be found across organizational boundaries.
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 02:23:44 AM »

Wow, I'm really sorry to hear that. I agree with all here that this certainly isn't standard but rather a lone wolf (from my experiences anyway). In fact, the guy that was my priest for about 10 years came out a few years ago about his alcohol problem, started going to AA, and now talks at AA stuff, lets AA use the church for meetings, uses his issue with alcohol to help get across certain spiritual lessons to his congregation, regularly invites people with similar problems to services (and gives them rides if necessary)... anyway, so I have to say that I'm completely taken aback by what you experienced.
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 02:33:29 AM »

I feel so bad for you. What if you were to recommend some of your AA friends to your parish and the congregation and Priest was mean to them? Most of these people already do not feel welcomed. They need a place that cares for them and will accept them with open arms. I hate to generalize since I've never been one and so I do not know what it is like for the AA kind, but judging from the people I have met, most ex-alcoholics and addicts who are involved in programs like the AA tend to be some of the most humble, good-hearted people in all of the Church. I know this one man who is a recovering drug addict with very little money and when I first started attending my parish he was one of the first people to actually make an effort to greet me and show me kindness; he even gave me his own personal Orthodox prayer book seeing that I did not have one and comes to Church on his bike all the time. Very nice man. He is actually my God-brother if that is even a term; his godparents are going to be my godparents also. Folks like him do well for the Church and I'm sure that the folks who are recovering from addictions and alcoholism could use the Church; I know my father did. Now if only it was an Orthodox Church...
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 02:34:57 AM by JamesR » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 01:17:13 PM »

Thanks everybody for your support. After sleeping on it I find myself rather depressed. I thought I had found in Orthodoxy something that was "a cut above" "something just a bit better". Really questioning why I should drive 25 miles for a church what I have churches just a few doors down if I'm just going to get more of the same. The doctrine may be better but what does that matter if the results are the same.
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2012, 01:25:34 PM »

Thanks everybody for your support. After sleeping on it I find myself rather depressed. I thought I had found in Orthodoxy something that was "a cut above" "something just a bit better". Really questioning why I should drive 25 miles for a church what I have churches just a few doors down if I'm just going to get more of the same. The doctrine may be better but what does that matter if the results are the same.

I'm sorry this has happened to you.  Embarrassed Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2012, 03:18:55 PM »

I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience with this single priest. 12 step programs are encouraged by many Orthodox Christians in the US and abroad by different ethnic jurisdictions at least from what I found with Google searches.
I encourage you to continue as a catechumen at an Orthodox Church wherever that is possible.
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2012, 03:23:14 PM »

Thanks everybody for your support. After sleeping on it I find myself rather depressed. I thought I had found in Orthodoxy something that was "a cut above" "something just a bit better". Really questioning why I should drive 25 miles for a church what I have churches just a few doors down if I'm just going to get more of the same. The doctrine may be better but what does that matter if the results are the same.

It has not changed for me in the 16 years that I converted.  Your last sentence expresses the thought that I struggle with the most.  Events on this list and withing my parish in the last 24 to 48 hours have almost put a fork in my being Orthodox.
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2012, 06:22:07 PM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2012, 06:42:46 PM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating
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Red A.
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2012, 07:05:38 PM »


I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church?
This was how he framed his problem with my AA membership. When I started in his church I was going to 2 and sometimes three meetings a week. In addition to that I had was speaking monthly at a drug and alcoholism treatment center plus the occasional speaking engagement at other places. I had cut that down to just one meeting a week and occasionally another I would get to on the way home from the Tuesday church classes. I was attending Church three days a week almost constantly for a year and a half.


I have 4 men that I sponsor with less than 2 years of sobriety and I need to connect with them on a regular basis.  I have even brought three of them to church with me, one just because I wasn't able to sit down with him any other time and I wanted to be at church the only day he was able to see me. He attended church with me and we did our AA stuff sitting in the church parking lot after church. (for the 12 step people he did his 5th step there in the church parking lot)
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2012, 07:15:57 PM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating

 The church should be your one connection to the Lord. Period. You cry ego and yet your the one who gets pissed off when the priest questions you and you storm off and basically say "I quit." Your defensive about AA. Plain and simple.  Almost like a cult member. Before you cry 'ego' show some humility and try obeying your priest.
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Red A.
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2012, 07:38:56 PM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating

 The church should be your one connection to the Lord. Period. You cry ego and yet your the one who gets pissed off when the priest questions you and you storm off and basically say "I quit." Your defensive about AA. Plain and simple.  Almost like a cult member. Before you cry 'ego' show some humility and try obeying your priest.
Fair enough. I was honest from the beginning. I used the words "I will not leave my drunks behind", exactly. The hammer was dropped on my after I had invested a year and a half of my time and money. Honesty is not too much to ask from clergy no matter what church they belong to.
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2012, 07:54:39 PM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating

 The church should be your one connection to the Lord. Period. You cry ego and yet your the one who gets pissed off when the priest questions you and you storm off and basically say "I quit." Your defensive about AA. Plain and simple.  Almost like a cult member. Before you cry 'ego' show some humility and try obeying your priest.

God wants us to be humble, not stupid.  The Church has not made any prohibition to AA.  Maybe this priest should get in line with the Church.  If we start the blind obedience to our clergy that is often suggested here, we will end up like the RC who's altar boys blindly bent over.
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2012, 07:56:37 PM »

we will end up like the RC who's altar boys blindly bent over.

Children can be scared into silence quite easily by an abuser. I was, anyway. I assume others can be as well.
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« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2012, 09:47:43 PM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating

 The church should be your one connection to the Lord. Period. You cry ego and yet your the one who gets pissed off when the priest questions you and you storm off and basically say "I quit." Your defensive about AA. Plain and simple.  Almost like a cult member. Before you cry 'ego' show some humility and try obeying your priest.
The type of obedience you suggest is also cultish. I do not know enough about AA but from the data we have it seems that priest is a control freak. If they do this catechumen stuff it probably wouldn't hurt if it were more standardized, and a more terrestrial affair too, so that it would cut on the spiritual pomposity of some of the clergy.
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« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2012, 11:20:16 PM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating

 The church should be your one connection to the Lord. Period. You cry ego and yet your the one who gets pissed off when the priest questions you and you storm off and basically say "I quit." Your defensive about AA. Plain and simple.  Almost like a cult member. Before you cry 'ego' show some humility and try obeying your priest.

I'm not willing to throw Red A.'s priest under the bus based on a stranger's account on the internet -- assuming I knew who Red A.'s priest was, which I don't as Red A. is wisely not giving any identifying information as the priest is not around to give his side of the story. I'm certainly open to the possibility that there is more going on than Red A. has told us--including that there is something relevant Red A. hasn't told us because he doesn't know it himself.

BUT...
Based on what he has told us, your criticism doesn't really seem called for. If anything is 'cultish', it would be a priest requiring a person to stop doing a good thing (helping others overcome a addictive sin is definitely a good thing) in order to dedicate even more time to the church when he's already attending 3 times a week.
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« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2012, 12:05:46 AM »

Here's one priest actively promoting 12-step.

http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com/

He links to several programs including:

http://addictions.sthermanseminary.org/

http://www.ortodoxantidrog.ro/en/start.html

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« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2012, 12:15:12 AM »

On the contrary, the priest seems to be some loony hyperdox.

Agreed. Most ethnic priests are fine with the Mason rings in my experience, who who cares about some recovery program? Although good luck staying sober around the Serbs when the plum brandy is flowing...
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« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2012, 12:32:22 AM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating

 The church should be your one connection to the Lord. Period. You cry ego and yet your the one who gets pissed off when the priest questions you and you storm off and basically say "I quit." Your defensive about AA. Plain and simple.  Almost like a cult member. Before you cry 'ego' show some humility and try obeying your priest.

I've seen parents get defensive about their children. That doesn't make them cult members. Saying that being defensive about something makes you even remotely similar to a cult member is laughable and insulting.
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« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2012, 10:50:59 AM »

My Experience in dealing with this oacross jurisdictions is that the mainline orthodox jurisdictions encourage the use and adaptation of the 12 steps within your individual Orthodox spirtual journey. The 12 steps were based upon a religous based program that evolved into a "power greater than myself" basis. Orthodoxy of course wishes that as you grow in the orthodox Church you will understand "the power greater than myself becomes the God as the Orthodox Church understands him.

Thomas
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« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2012, 02:55:48 PM »

Well that was a fun little temper tantrum.

The fact is that I saw warning signs. A friend and mentor pointed out a few things that I should have paid more attention to. The situation is that I feel I should have seen this coming and avoided it.

Bottom line, I think I am smarter than I am. I think I can make things work just because i want them to work. I hate when I am reminded otherwise.

I wonder what I'll find at the OCA parish.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 02:58:57 PM by Red A. » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2012, 03:04:20 PM »

Well that was a fun little temper tantrum.

The fact is that I saw warning signs. A friend and mentor pointed out a few things that I should have paid more attention to. The situation is that I feel I should have seen this coming and avoided it.

Bottom line, I think I am smarter than I am. I think I can make things work just because i want them to work. I hate when I am reminded otherwise.

I wonder what I'll find at the OCA parish.

might as well check it out, no way you'll find out otherwise Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2012, 03:16:16 PM »

I wonder what I'll find at the OCA parish.

I think you'll enjoy it. I've been going to a tiny OCA parish and my Priest even has Church programs to help recovering addicts and Church services just for them sometimes.
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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2012, 03:54:23 PM »

Well that was a fun little temper tantrum.

The fact is that I saw warning signs. A friend and mentor pointed out a few things that I should have paid more attention to. The situation is that I feel I should have seen this coming and avoided it.

Bottom line, I think I am smarter than I am. I think I can make things work just because i want them to work. I hate when I am reminded otherwise.

I wonder what I'll find at the OCA parish.
I have to mimic what others have said. Definitely do not give up on the Church because of one priest. Something tells me that he has brought a personal opinion about AA over into his pastoral administration. I'm not a huge fan of AA personally, but there is no doubt that it has helped people.

Remember, priests are people too. They can have biases, and be wrong about things too.

PP
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« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2012, 10:04:39 AM »

Praise God for leading you out of the darkness of alcoholism.

God bless you for the work you do with AA and the lives you save!

Glory to God for the awesome encouragement and support, the Body of Christ, I have just read in reply to your post.

My knowledge of AA is limited to supporting others. I have a few family members that would claim AA has saved their lives. I know some that claim AA has led them to God. I have been to a couple of open meetings and be there no doubt that God was mentioned, referenced, and held as the foundation to recovery. One of these rooms ended each meeting with the Lords Prayer.  However, I also understand that each AA meeting room is independent and self governed. While some are centered on ‘God’ others strongly prefer the term ‘higher power’ and I’m told there are some that truly do not welcome our Lord God Jesus Christ into their program. (Interesting as the AA program is based on Christianity?)

My point being if one does not know from experience, or first hand knowledge, many inaccuracies or inconsistencies could become perception. Perception can become reality. Perhaps this Priest was not being ‘dishonest’  in his vague reply, but simply does not have a true understanding of AA and has formed a perception based on some isolated cases that would not be cohesive to the path of finding Christ? He may have been vague because he has nothing concrete to offer in reply to your question. To be fair AA can become almost a ‘brotherhood’ of sort and that seems to come across in your post. Not saying that is a bad thing necessarily. There are some teachings in the program that could easily be misunderstood such as ‘nothing can stand between you and your sobriety’. Now, you know that does not mean put God second but if you don’t know first hand it could be a concern. I think I remember the idea of ‘you must be selfish’ about your sobriety. That phrase could be very easily misunderstood as a conflict to the teachings of our Lord Christ. Is it possible that the Priest in question was not trying to deceive you per say, but out of ignorance based on misperception, as opposed to ego, jealousy, or anything like that, he was more so trying to lead and protect you? IDK of course, it came to mind, just thought I should throw the possibility out there.

Whatever the case glad to hear your trying that other OC. Why on earth would this make you go elsewhere when as you said the animosity toward AA can be found in Protestant Churches too! If you have chosen Orthodoxy for spiritual reasons, would you recommend someone turn away from that because of worldly circumstances? Just food for thought brother.  Keep in mind I’m not even Orthodox.  Wink

Peace & Grace!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 10:21:19 AM by alanscott » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2012, 11:22:34 AM »

This seems rather odd as I know at least 3 Orthodox Christians who are active members of AA--one of whom is an Orthodox priest and one of whom was definitely in the program (and known to be by his priest) before his reception, not sure when the 3rd started at AA. Then there is Fr. Meletios Webber, a priest and abbot--who I don't know that he was ever actually in AA but I was under the impression that his book on Orthodoxy and AA (Steps of Transformation)came from personal experience. And finally, I know an individual who is one of AA's 'daughter' 12-step programs' who is there specifically because during his catechumenate an Antiochian priest sent him there.

So I am forced to think that either this is something very specific to your priest or that there is more to the story than can be conveyed in message board post. Either way, it might be appropriate to contact your priest's bishop to discuss what is happening; or, if there is another Orthodox church in the area to contact the priest there.


P.S.: It also might be helpful to you to try contacting Fr. Meletios who is very familiar with AA and Orthodoxy. If you are interested, I think I may have his e-mail around somewhere so PM and I'll take a look.

I agree.  I know of two people in my parish who are active in AA.  I've never remotely heard that this is a problem.  Sounds like your priest has issues, Red. 
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« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2012, 02:39:48 PM »

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I wonder what I'll find at the OCA parish.

People….mostly.

God willing more kind and Godly people than not.
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« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2012, 10:06:53 PM »

Update;


Well the OCA parish I tried at first turned out to be a Dying Serbian Orthodox parish. The OCA has been loaning them Priests to keep it going. Nice people and beautiful church but with no regular priest it is a no go. Next one I tried is another OCA parish that is much further. I was sent there by one of the "on loan" priests. He and I have much in common so we have become friends pretty easily. I sat back and checked it out for a while. I talked to the Parish Priest this last thursday and now I am a Catechumen at this new parish. It is a much better fit. Many of the issues I was worried about beyond what I posted above were put to rest.

I have to say that  was very disheartened. If there were another option I probably have taken it. I am Orthodox at heart so nothing else will do. I was bouyed by the guidance of my friend and mentor out in California. I am back on track and feel like a load has been lifted.

To properly introduce myself to the Parish I smoked up 30lbs of pork loin and served it during coffee hour today. 220 degrees for six hours does wonderful things to a pork loin!
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« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2012, 11:02:36 PM »

Update;


Well the OCA parish I tried at first turned out to be a Dying Serbian Orthodox parish. The OCA has been loaning them Priests to keep it going. Nice people and beautiful church but with no regular priest it is a no go. Next one I tried is another OCA parish that is much further. I was sent there by one of the "on loan" priests. He and I have much in common so we have become friends pretty easily. I sat back and checked it out for a while. I talked to the Parish Priest this last thursday and now I am a Catechumen at this new parish. It is a much better fit. Many of the issues I was worried about beyond what I posted above were put to rest.

I have to say that  was very disheartened. If there were another option I probably have taken it. I am Orthodox at heart so nothing else will do. I was bouyed by the guidance of my friend and mentor out in California. I am back on track and feel like a load has been lifted.

To properly introduce myself to the Parish I smoked up 30lbs of pork loin and served it during coffee hour today. 220 degrees for six hours does wonderful things to a pork loin!


Glad you stuck with it and the pork loin sounds great!
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« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2012, 11:56:08 AM »

Dear Red A.

I am glad to learn that you think nothing else will do and have been persistent, like the widow who pestered the unjust judge.

Love,
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« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2012, 03:58:14 PM »

thanks for keeping us updated, may God bless u and guide you.
 Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2012, 10:18:38 AM »

sometimes I'm a bit slow Roll Eyes. so can you explain why he feels that way.
I mean does he think AA is taking time away you could be spending in church? im very curious.
also,  your heart is correct, follow it and don't be discuraged by one priest!
it IS worth it to travel to go to the correct church!!!!
o be honest, I am just guessing about problems clergy have had with AA. I ask but I don't think I have ever gotten an honest answer. What I do get are a few vague "well i heard this bad thing or that" about AA that is always very off base. This last time he said he heard that we couldn't talk about God or Jesus in meetings (I and many others do often). I had one Baptist preacher that thought that when we pray in AA we pray to a deity called "Higher power". Some have expressed a problem with the concept of "God as I understand God".

I personally think it's an ego thing. They want to be the only source of the persons connection to God and AA is not under their control so it scares them a bit. But again I'm just speculating

 The church should be your one connection to the Lord. Period. You cry ego and yet your the one who gets pissed off when the priest questions you and you storm off and basically say "I quit." Your defensive about AA. Plain and simple.  Almost like a cult member. Before you cry 'ego' show some humility and try obeying your priest.
The type of obedience you suggest is also cultish. I do not know enough about AA but from the data we have it seems that priest is a control freak. If they do this catechumen stuff it probably wouldn't hurt if it were more standardized, and a more terrestrial affair too, so that it would cut on the spiritual pomposity of some of the clergy.

I agree. (Must have gotten colder in hell.)
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« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2012, 11:51:38 PM »

If I could chime in.

I believe once you fully grasp the depth and teaching of the Orthodox faith, AA will mean nothing.
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« Reply #44 on: July 13, 2012, 11:56:41 PM »

If I could chime in.

I believe once you fully grasp the depth and teaching of the Orthodox faith, AA will mean nothing.
Are you saying alcholism is a spiritual matter or AA is just unnecessary if you follow the faith of the Orthodox Church? Or both?
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