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Author Topic: Wrestling with Protestantism  (Read 5009 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: June 04, 2012, 07:32:55 PM »



They all claim to be the only ones who understand the Bible and that they interpret scripture 'literally.'  

All human judgements can err but the Scriptures cannot and do not err, therefore they themselves are the ultimate and final authority in matters of faith and practice.  You will say about this, that it leaves everyone to judge for themselves what the Scriptures mean, and so it is, by necessity. Even if someone chooses to believe that whatever the Church says must be correct, they have chosen what to believe. The question is, have they believed the right thing for the right reasons. The Church saying that the Church is right because the Church is right is not a reason.  And if someone says, you can’t know what the Scriptures are apart from the Church telling you what they are, I would need to ask, “What Church?” and “How do you know that?” If they say it is from the Scriptures, they have shown their argument to be circular and largely meaningless, because they would have needed to reference Scripture itself in order to know what Scripture was.

Sounds way too much like sola scriptura and is therefore flawed.  Scriptures don't err--those misinterpretations are all pilot errors.  Every single protestant who told me scriptures don't err then proceeded to bend, twist, wrangle, and skew their meanings so as to bear little if any semblance to the words on the page.  

Read "Sola Scriptura: an Orthodox Analysis of the Cornerstone of Reformation Theology" by Fr. John Whiteford.  This method is what has lured 'ten-percenters' into the delusion that they have the right to interpret scripture any way they see fit.  These people end up thinking they can just mold God and the Bible into not what it is but what they want it to be, and then run off and start a new sect.  I've seen numbers between 20,000 and 38,000 referring to how many Christian denominations there are.  Sola Scriptura is the battle axe of the disgruntled.
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« Reply #91 on: June 04, 2012, 07:34:22 PM »


Quote
[Scriptures] do not err

Says you.


That the Word of God is not self-justifying seems problematic, since it seems to be the methodology of Jesus.
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« Reply #92 on: June 04, 2012, 07:36:58 PM »

Between A) not reading the Bible at all and B) reading it but woefully misinterpreting and then misrepresenting it to others, I'd bet God would rather you choose option A and just go get hooked on Sudoku.
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« Reply #93 on: June 04, 2012, 07:42:59 PM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.

Like when I say the Marine Corps has the best looking uniforms out of all the branches of the US military.

FACT!

You can't challenge that statement, because I wrote "FACT!" at the end.  It's a FACT!
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« Reply #94 on: June 04, 2012, 07:49:20 PM »


Quote
[Scriptures] do not err

Says you.


That the Word of God is not self-justifying seems problematic, since it seems to be the methodology of Jesus.

What Scriptures did Jesus (or the Apostles) use? Greek Septuagint? Hebrew text? Aramaic Targums? And I speak as though there was one Septuagint, one Hebrew text, etc., which there were not.* And this also ignores that the Jewish Bible was not set in stone at the time Jesus lived anyway (nor, IMO, was it even set, as is sometimes claimed, at the later Council at Jamnia).

This is not to say that I necessarily disagree. For example, to "All human judgements can err" I said "Says you."  I actually agree with that one. My point is that you are throwing these chains of ideas out there as though they are self-evidently true, when they are not. In fact, I think you have some of them completely bass-ackwards.


*Actually that's a fairly amusing thing--that many of the "extra" books in the Septuagint were written after the traditional time/date for the creation of the Septuagint, putting an exclamation point on this collection of texts being a work on progress over the course of a couple centuries.
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« Reply #95 on: June 04, 2012, 07:52:19 PM »

  My point is that you are throwing these chains of ideas out there as though they are self-evidently true, when they are not. In fact, I think you have some of them completely bass-ackwards.


Mmkay, I wish we had a 'like' button in here.  Who wants to start a petition?
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« Reply #96 on: June 04, 2012, 08:55:58 PM »

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



They all claim to be the only ones who understand the Bible and that they interpret scripture 'literally.'  
The Church saying that the Church is right because the Church is right is not a reason. 

Really? You seem quite comfortable accepting "the Scriptures" as inerrant and perfect, and yet the very Scriptures you trust are only "the" Scriptures because of the Church saying these Scriptures are "the" Scriptures because the Church says so Wink

By the way, I seriously applaud your faith if you can live with only the Bible, that is remarkable.  No disrespect or sarcasm, I am serious.  You haven't been trolling, and you've been polite enough to read our responses and consider and reply.  Clearly you have faith in the authenticity of the Scriptures as miraculous, which they are.  However, and this is the meaning of life, when we become convinced by faith that the Scriptures are the word of God, we must then ask ourselves, "If these Scriptures are God speaking to me, where did they come from? Where can I get more of this?" The answer is the Church  Smiley

As for me, I came to Church exactly because of the Scriptures, but because the Scriptures come from the Church.  It is like reading any novels, if you enjoy a particular book, you look for more by that author.  In this case, if you love the Bible, you should come to the Church where the Bible comes from, because in the Church, we love the bible too!

stay blessed,
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« Reply #97 on: June 04, 2012, 09:01:14 PM »


 The Church saying that the Church is right because the Church is right is not a reason.  


Exactly, which is why I never could accept any Protestant denomination, because that's all you get.  "We're right because we say we're right."  Been there, done that, with just about all of them.
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« Reply #98 on: June 04, 2012, 10:07:09 PM »

  You haven't been trolling, and you've been polite enough to read our responses and consider and reply.  Clearly you have faith in the authenticity of the Scriptures as miraculous, which they are. 

Thank you.  I do have great love for the Scriptures.  I have been playing the devil's advocate, though, and arguing from a Protestant POV.  I just don't think I could ever make a good Lutheran, Anglican or Methodist even if I wanted to.  It seems that in the end I am stuck with Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #99 on: June 04, 2012, 10:13:01 PM »

  You haven't been trolling, and you've been polite enough to read our responses and consider and reply.  Clearly you have faith in the authenticity of the Scriptures as miraculous, which they are. 

Thank you.  I do have great love for the Scriptures.  I have been playing the devil's advocate, though, and arguing from a Protestant POV.  I just don't think I could ever make a good Lutheran, Anglican or Methodist even if I wanted to.  It seems that in the end I am stuck with Orthodoxy.

If you're feeling 'stuck,' then explore another faith.  If your heart's not in it, then in coming to church, you're only taking your body for a walk. 

I fault no one for considering other options.  Realize that every church on earth is armed with compelling arguments, and through all that, you have to sift through and find the truth.  It's like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles, and not just any needle will do.  You weren't responding to me but I'm Italian and female so I'm going to respond anyway--I can be just as wrong as the next guy.  You've got to make your own choices.
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« Reply #100 on: June 04, 2012, 10:59:52 PM »

  You haven't been trolling, and you've been polite enough to read our responses and consider and reply.  Clearly you have faith in the authenticity of the Scriptures as miraculous, which they are. 

Thank you.  I do have great love for the Scriptures.  I have been playing the devil's advocate, though, and arguing from a Protestant POV.  I just don't think I could ever make a good Lutheran, Anglican or Methodist even if I wanted to.  It seems that in the end I am stuck with Orthodoxy.

You don't have to be "stuck" with anything.  Some people create a hybrid of religions while worshiping no one - that's called Unitarian Universalists.

Quote
Our Unitarian Universalist faith has evolved through a long history, with theological origins in European Christian traditions. Today Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal faith which allows individual Unitarian Universalists the freedom to search for truth on many paths. While our congregations uphold shared principles, individual Unitarian Universalists may discern their own beliefs about spiritual, ethical, and theological issues.

source
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« Reply #101 on: June 04, 2012, 11:10:19 PM »

  You haven't been trolling, and you've been polite enough to read our responses and consider and reply.  Clearly you have faith in the authenticity of the Scriptures as miraculous, which they are. 

Thank you.  I do have great love for the Scriptures.  I have been playing the devil's advocate, though, and arguing from a Protestant POV.  I just don't think I could ever make a good Lutheran, Anglican or Methodist even if I wanted to.  It seems that in the end I am stuck with Orthodoxy.

You don't have to be "stuck" with anything.  Some people create a hybrid of religions while worshiping no one - that's called Unitarian Universalists.

Quote
Our Unitarian Universalist faith has evolved through a long history, with theological origins in European Christian traditions. Today Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal faith which allows individual Unitarian Universalists the freedom to search for truth on many paths. While our congregations uphold shared principles, individual Unitarian Universalists may discern their own beliefs about spiritual, ethical, and theological issues.

source

Bunch of hacks.
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« Reply #102 on: June 04, 2012, 11:40:40 PM »

Even someone like Maximum Bob admits to at one time being honestly confident of his call to be a minister and various other paths.

Someone like?  Huh  Wink  I don't know that I used the word confident anywhere but it was a fair and accurate thing to imply from what I said.

Thank you.  I do have great love for the Scriptures. 

I share your love of the scriptures, though I do stand by my earlier points. But, I also agree that it doesn't help to broadly lambast all Protestants for proclaiming themselves to be the one true church or condemning to hell anyone who does not agree with them. The Church I left was one that held to a unity among Protestants. Even ironically Protestants that didn't share that view and would be all to happy to condemn them. I know some of that sort also.

I have been playing the devil's advocate, though, and arguing from a Protestant POV.  I just don't think I could ever make a good Lutheran, Anglican or Methodist even if I wanted to.  It seems that in the end I am stuck with Orthodoxy.

Well, that explains a few things.  Cheesy So is there any actual crisis of faith that we can help with?  Not that there has to be, of course, just wanting to be helpful if needed.  angel
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« Reply #103 on: June 04, 2012, 11:43:18 PM »

  You haven't been trolling, and you've been polite enough to read our responses and consider and reply.  Clearly you have faith in the authenticity of the Scriptures as miraculous, which they are. 

Thank you.  I do have great love for the Scriptures.  I have been playing the devil's advocate, though, and arguing from a Protestant POV.  I just don't think I could ever make a good Lutheran, Anglican or Methodist even if I wanted to.  It seems that in the end I am stuck with Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #104 on: June 05, 2012, 12:50:12 AM »





I'll bet everyone in here just stole that pic. 

I know I just did.   Wink
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« Reply #105 on: June 05, 2012, 12:56:50 AM »



You don't have to be "stuck" with anything.  Some people create a hybrid of religions while worshiping no one - that's called Unitarian Universalists.


source

Never heard of this group before in my life.  I clicked on the link above, and now regret those 3 minutes of my life which I will never get back.  I went into the site thinking "what is this all about?" 

And then I left the site still thinking that.

Um....
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« Reply #106 on: June 05, 2012, 03:19:07 AM »

Big Chris, judging from many of your recent posts and ideas, you seem to be stuck in a lucid state of doubt and uncertainty. If you do not mind my advice, I would recommend perhaps spending a period of time at a monastery or performing something ascetic like a solitary fasting period or something. Maybe it would help you clear out your mind and decide what you want to do.
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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« Reply #107 on: June 05, 2012, 04:04:17 AM »

 

I can't help but think of all the intelligent men, more experienced in Church history than any of us here, who lived and died as Protestants - men like Bruce Metzger, Henry Chadwick, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis Schaeffer, etc..  If it was good enough for them, why not me?


Do you know what everyone on the board knows? If not then how can you assume that the ones you named know more about Church history than everyone here? You do know that their are college professors as well as others here who either don't post as much or not at all, but they are here. I chatted with a couple through e-mail. Also, as a former protestant, I already know of alot of various protestant church history scholars from different protestant churches. Everything from the churches of christ, to Baptist, Anabaptist, to Methodist, to Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, Congregationalist to even Assembly of God. And so I already know about a number of them. I knew about a good chunk of them even way back in my protestant years.

And so there is nothing wrong in reading good secondary and Tertiary protestant sources when it comes to church history, but nothing beats reading the primary sources for yourselves. I personally do both! It's a hobby of mine since 1997/1998.


Quote
There's a large non-denominational church right down the road from me.

There is no such thing as non-denominational. Why not read history books about the various kinds of Protestantism?


I've noticed what you said about "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church". Do you know what the bishops of 381 A.D. believed about that? They believed it meant all those who were in communion with them at the time. That is what it originally meant. The nonsense of a lower "c" catholic is nothing more than a modern protestant concept that they read back into the text.

What I've noticed over the years is that it's best to read multiple protestant sources when it comes to church history for you won't get the full scope nor the full depth of everything if you just rely on one. But what I would like you to do is read the pre-nicene fathers, nicen fathers, and post nicene fathers for yourself, along with the protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox church historians.

Then compare them when it comes to the issues of:

1.) The Trinity, especially in regards to the role of the Father. Pay attention to the details and see who is more faithful to the original interpretation

2.) Christology, pay attention to the details, and see which group is more faithful to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Ecumenical councils and the theology behind those councils.

3.) The Church (Apostolic Succession included.....for you will see that when you read some of the fathers and witnesses), pay close attention to the details and see which group/groups is more faithful to the interpretations of the first 1,000 years.

4.) The Eucharist and Water Baptism, pay close attention to the details and see which groups are the closest to the interpretations of the first 1,000 years.

5.) Free Will, pay very close attention to the details and see which group is more faithful when it comes to this issue.



Do this and then you will understand why most protestant groups will be automatically crossed out when it comes to the issue of what is the Historic Christian Faith. What it always was and what it always will continue to be!



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« Reply #108 on: June 05, 2012, 10:15:27 AM »

Even someone like Maximum Bob admits to at one time being honestly confident of his call to be a minister and various other paths.

Someone like?  Huh  Wink  I don't know that I used the word confident anywhere but it was a fair and accurate thing to imply from what I said.

Honestly, I think you're the only person participating in this thread who intimately understands what I'm currently experiencing.  Perhaps that's for no other reason than you, too, have not yet fully committed yourself to Orthodoxy, or maybe it's because you're capable of seeing the good and unity among Protestants.

Quote
So is there any actual crisis of faith that we can help with?  Not that there has to be, of course, just wanting to be helpful if needed.  angel

What I should have said is that these last few posts I've been using some "strong" Protestant objections a la Christopher Neiswonger, a Protestant my own age whom I sort of envy for many reasons but mostly because he's thoroughly convinced of the Protestant dialectic and can defend such with great rhetorical skills.

There is definitely a crisis, though.  In my heart of hearts, I currently think Orthodoxy is the summit of my spiritual journey.  My faith in Christ has never been more stable.  Even as I've wrestled with thoughts of becoming Lutheran or Anglican, it's been Orthodoxy that has sustained my faith and my prayer life.  And my thoughts continually refer back to my OCA priest, whom I now regard as a spiritual father.  I don't think I'm so much worried about 'what if Protestantism is right' but rather 'what if Orthodoxy is wrong'.  While I truly am amazed that a respected scholar like James. D.G. Dunn can be Methodist or N.T. Wright can be Anglican, convinced as they might be of the invisible church rhetoric and other doctrinal matters, I can't see either Methodism or Anglicanism working for me, sustaining my faith.  Though I've read Luther, and even agreed with him and some 20th century Lutheran theologians on several points, becoming Lutheran still seems like a regression for me.  What I've realized from reading Luther is that I disagree with the ecclesial and doctrinal structure of Roman Catholicism - yet, the developments in Lutheranism since Luther are, if nothing, less than satisfactory.  They certainly haven't been stable.  I think the faith of Bonhoeffer closely resembles Orthodoxy more than Lutheranism these days.

Realizing this, though, two things concern me:  There was a time when I was thoroughly convinced that the RCC was the true, apostolic church.  However, I also now realize that the reason why I believed this is because Orthodoxy was barely on my radar, the mission church which I currently attend was then holding Liturgy in a hotel room, and I blindly accepted some apologist's claim that EO was schismatic.  Now, having read about the history of the churches much more thoroughly, having researched the ECF, and having become disaffected with the current abuses of the RCC, I am more convinced now that I can no longer remain RC and must seek shelter elsewhere.  However this is where my second concern comes in:  Convinced as I may be about the historical roots of EO and their connection to contemporary Orthodoxy, realizing that Orthodoxy is most likely the best soil to plant my roots, being an inquirer and having to go through the catechumenate process makes me feel alienated, homeless and in limbo.  I feel like a shipwrecked sailor clutching a piece of driftwood hovering over the abyss.  And it is for this reason that I'm grasping for any reason whatsoever not to become Orthodox.
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« Reply #109 on: June 07, 2012, 12:27:31 AM »

Even someone like Maximum Bob admits to at one time being honestly confident of his call to be a minister and various other paths.

Someone like?  Huh  Wink  I don't know that I used the word confident anywhere but it was a fair and accurate thing to imply from what I said.

Honestly, I think you're the only person participating in this thread who intimately understands what I'm currently experiencing.  Perhaps that's for no other reason than you, too, have not yet fully committed yourself to Orthodoxy, or maybe it's because you're capable of seeing the good and unity among Protestants.
Well, while I thank you, I would like to think that resigning my ministerial credential and leaving the church I went to for 20 years would show I was rather committed to Orthodoxy (unless you mean "the less than a Catechumen" part of my faith statement), so lets assume this is about seeing the good and unity among Protestants.

If so, that is true. I have said before my leaving Protestantism was less about leaving and more about coming, to Orthodoxy. I don't hate Protestantism and while I think there are some mistakes in how the Protestant churches view things, as previously noted, I also do see much sincerity in those Churches as well. I know a lot of these people. I've seen what some are trying to do, from the inside. I don't see it as all show. I know there are people in Protestantism who are sincerely trying to follow God with all their hearts. On this forum I have criticized Protestantism but I've also defended it. In this, however, let me say I'm not alone on the forum, there are many who have been here much longer than I who have done the same.
 
Quote
So is there any actual crisis of faith that we can help with?  Not that there has to be, of course, just wanting to be helpful if needed.  angel


There is definitely a crisis, though.  ... I don't think I'm so much worried about 'what if Protestantism is right' but rather 'what if Orthodoxy is wrong'.  
Okay, so there is a confidence issue here, that's understandable. It seems to me that it's part and parcel of such a change. Having once been confident of something when we loose that and go to something else it's doubly hard to gain that confidence again, after all we were wrong before...


Realizing this, though, two things concern me:  ... There was a time when I was thoroughly convinced that the RCC was the true, apostolic church.  However, I also now realize that the reason why I believed this is because Orthodoxy was barely on my radar,...
For me too but not the RCC rather the Protestant church I was part of. I have spent much time as noted studying the EOC, but also some studying the RCC, the Oriental Orthodox church, the Assyrian Church of the East, splinters from  these and even many of the Protestant cults. I can say with some confidence now that I don't think there's anything flying below my radar, but then we don't know, what we don't know, do we. I think at some point we just have to let go of the unknown and operate on faith, that God want us more than we want him and will guide us to truth if we seek it.

...this is where my second concern comes in:  Convinced as I may be about the historical roots of EO and their connection to contemporary Orthodoxy...being an inquirer and having to go through the catechumenate process makes me feel alienated, homeless and in limbo.  I feel like a shipwrecked sailor clutching a piece of driftwood hovering over the abyss.  And it is for this reason that I'm grasping for any reason whatsoever not to become Orthodox.
So I think I hear you saying here that your tempted to reject Orthodoxy before it rejects you. Rather to truly argue those opposite positions to see them fail so they're not hanging over your head as things that might be, or simply as a very human defence mechanism I don't' know.

Either way your about as patient as I am I see.  Grin The one word that concerns me though is "alienated", don't know if there's much there or not but it makes me wonder if you feel welcome and at home with the people of your church. That is a boon, I feel lucky to have the people of our new church have definitely shown us love.

I wish you well my friend and pray God's mercy and grace be upon you.  Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: June 07, 2012, 08:48:00 AM »

 However this is where my second concern comes in:  Convinced as I may be about the historical roots of EO and their connection to contemporary Orthodoxy, realizing that Orthodoxy is most likely the best soil to plant my roots, being an inquirer and having to go through the catechumenate process makes me feel alienated, homeless and in limbo.  I feel like a shipwrecked sailor clutching a piece of driftwood hovering over the abyss.  And it is for this reason that I'm grasping for any reason whatsoever not to become Orthodox.

Big Chris,

I have been following this thread and think I also know what you are going through. I left a denomination that considered itself as the only correct religion and all others as heretic and bound for perdition (they do not express this as much now).  When I left and after looking into the other faiths I was bound and determined to never join another organized religion. I did not want to get burned again.

After a few years I found Orthodoxy. As a former Spiritual Father expressed to me; "Orthodoxy is Catholicism without additions and Protestantism without subtractions". There is truth in every faith but the orthodox church has the fullness of the faith handed down of the Apostles.

If you are comfortable with some one at you parish, ask them be you sponsor. Use them as your sounding board, they may even accompany you in you journey as a catechumen.  You do not have to do this alone.  I was lucky mine was my wife.

This is just my humble opinion and very simplistic but it worked for me.
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« Reply #111 on: June 07, 2012, 11:08:25 AM »

So I think I hear you saying here that your tempted to reject Orthodoxy before it rejects you.

If you are comfortable with some one at you parish, ask them be you sponsor. Use them as your sounding board, they may even accompany you in you journey as a catechumen.  You do not have to do this alone.  I was lucky mine was my wife.

The only person I currently feel comfortable talking to at my parish is my priest, yet I am reluctant to express any feelings of doubt to him because I fear that will only delay my ability to join the catechumenate and ultimately become Orthodox.  I expressed some doubt to him once before and he was quick to nearly dismiss me.  While I do understand the importance of being fully open with our spiritual fathers, I think much of what I'm currently experiencing will resolve itself in time.  Within the span of this thread alone, I have flip-flopped many, many times.  If I had burdened my priest with these thoughts, I think an inaccurate cariacture would have been formed.

When my fiance attended DL with me for the first time, everybody was very gracious to us.  Since then, as I've attended by myself (because she has been unable to), I almost have to pull teeth to get some friendly interaction.  Perhaps people have become more comfortable with my presence, but, even so, no relationships are being formed no matter how hard I try to engage conversation.  The last DL I attended a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting during Matins to rest my lower back, and this woman walks again and stands right in front me, not even one foot away, like I wasn't even there even though the whole church was practically empty.  In a couple more weeks, my fiance will start attending DL with me on a regular basis, and I bet you anything that suddenly these people will become interested again.  Single men are strange, but couples are received warmly.
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« Reply #112 on: June 07, 2012, 11:15:33 AM »

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The only person I currently feel comfortable talking to at my parish is my priest, yet I am reluctant to express any feelings of doubt to him because I fear that will only delay my ability to join the catechumenate and ultimately become Orthodox
Given your wrestling, I'd slow it down and make sure its what you want, and what is comfortable for you. The LAST thing you want is to be a Catechumen and be Chrismated or baptised doubting all the way.

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I expressed some doubt to him once before and he was quick to nearly dismiss me
I think that is the wrong way to approach it. Casting you out does not help you grow spiritually. Seems to me that he just needs to spend more time addressing your concerns.

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While I do understand the importance of being fully open with our spiritual fathers, I think much of what I'm currently experiencing will resolve itself in time
Possibly, but time alone wont do it. Voicing your concerns and having them addressed will help give you peace about them.


Quote
When my fiance attended DL with me for the first time, everybody was very gracious to us.  Since then, as I've attended by myself (because she has been unable to), I almost have to pull teeth to get some friendly interaction.  Perhaps people have become more comfortable with my presence, but, even so, no relationships are being formed no matter how hard I try to engage conversation.  The last DL I attended a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting during Matins to rest my lower back, and this woman walks again and stands right in front me, not even one foot away, like I wasn't even there even though the whole church was practically empty.  In a couple more weeks, my fiance will start attending DL with me on a regular basis, and I bet you anything that suddenly these people will become interested again.  Single men are strange, but couples are received warmly
I personally think that this is more of a perception thing, but I'd definitely bring that to your priest's attention.

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« Reply #113 on: June 07, 2012, 12:15:03 PM »

Perhaps people have become more comfortable with my presence, but, even so, no relationships are being formed no matter how hard I try to engage conversation. 

That could be the case I know in our Parish after someone has been there few times they become "a common sight". I fear that some try not to press this person, while others just dismiss the need to reach out.  I know I have (to my sham) been one to not want to press the visitor.  I would welcome the opportunity to be a supporter/guide if asked. 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 12:17:24 PM by soderquj » Logged

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« Reply #114 on: June 07, 2012, 12:51:17 PM »

I just want to throw this out there, as well, but not necessarily in response to anyone in particular...

During Lent, a young couple in our parish lost their newborn infant only moments after it was born.  My heart truly went out to them, and I prayed for them.  As is typical, the Psalter was chanted during the all-night vigil.  Being capable of chanting the Psalms myself, I wanted to share in their sorrow by helping to chant the Psalms but I'm not allowed to because I'm not Orthodox - and that just seems ridiculous to me.  You need to have passed through the initiatory clubhouse rites before chanting the Psalter in a time of need??  The sign-up list of volunteers for the chanting was practically empty and I would have been glad to have chanted from 3 AM to 5 AM, but no - I am not allowed.  So, it's almost like my non-christmation is standing in the way of forming any relationships.
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« Reply #115 on: June 08, 2012, 08:22:22 AM »

I do not know if this correct or not but I was told that the chanter is an actual position in the church and therefore requires one to be of the body.  I do not know if there is any special blessing or ritual needed to performed to become a chanter.
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« Reply #116 on: June 08, 2012, 08:58:20 PM »

I have seen non-orthodox families being allowed to read from the Psalter in honor of their Orthodox family member, especially in convert parishes and small missions. I believe it is based upon the charism of the priest to determine if he will allow it for such a situation. Apparrently the parish priest either felt he could not or was encouraging members of the church family to step up and do their last duty to the child.

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« Reply #117 on: July 02, 2012, 02:28:02 AM »



I can't help but think of all the intelligent men, more experienced in Church history than any of us here, who lived and died as Protestants - men like Bruce Metzger, Henry Chadwick, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis Schaeffer, etc..  If it was good enough for them, why not me?

Whilst these are very smart men, I think that if you take a step back and question the Protestant paradigm/ideology itself, you would find that it leaves a lot to be desired - particularly philosophically. Many Calvinists like the late Francis Schaeffer are very smart. But they operate within a system of thought that they have accepted from the start. To be an very good apologist for an ideology such as Calvinism says nothing about its goodness. I happen to believe that the philosophical foundations of Calvinism are so barren that you almost have to believe that God is something close to being simply wicked to accept it. But once you accept Calvinism, then yes, you kind make all sorts of clever arguments in support of it.

Those Protestants that know intuitively that there is something utterly wrong with the fundamentalists often end up being liberals who compromise on some of the most important doctrines or they leave the faith altogether. Think of Bart Ehrman. A fiercely intelligent man. He rejected Christianity because the foundations of the fundamentalist positions he once believed in are philosophically untenable. E.g. Inerrancy of Scripture (as formulated by fundamentalist Protestants) and so on. Being a textual scholar, he knew that the inerrancy position of fundamentalists is simply wrong. And he's right about that. Unfortunately, because he is a child of the Enlightenment, he can't think outside the sort of scholastic tradition that he is accustomed to. In other words, concepts that are central for Orthodox Christians ar like "mystery" are simply incomprehensible to people like Ehrman.

I would also add that in the history of Christendom, those who come from a high church tradition have been, by far, the most intellectually convincing. In modern times think of high church Anglicans such as CS Lewis and NT Wright. Roman Catholics such as Chesterton and Tolkien. Eastern Orthodox such Dostoevsky, Richard Swinburne and Pelikan. These intellectuals are not only great apologists for their respective denominations, but are very highly regarded across Christendom and by secularists also. The Protestant intellectuals you name above are really only big names in the evangelical sub culture in America. Men like Dostoevsky and Lewis are able to transcend sectarian boundaries. I think this is because there is truth in what they are saying. Intelligent people intuitively know that the god of modern evangelicalism is based on legal fictions (e.g. penal substitutionary atonement). Ontologically, Protestant fundamentalism is indefensible. It can not stand up to scrutiny beyond the boundaries of evangelical sub culture. That is why fundamentalist evangelicals have retreated from secular universities and have to set up their own institutions. They have simply lost the intellectual argument and are now fearful the outside world.
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