I havent converted to orthodoxy but I've been self-studying eastern orthodox works on asceticism & philosophy/theology for some couple of years.
I could never take lutheranism seriously after taking an actual interest in Christian teaching because I feel it's a creed that excludes asceticism as a consequence of it's basic creed. So spiritual life outside of the Reading of the Bible seems pointless if I were to take lutheranism really seriously. I believe in synergy.
I did give it the benefit of doubt though because it's My heritage but it was obvious that the church itself didnt take either lutheranism or christianity seriously. The archbishop'ess (a Woman btw) recently said that she wouldnt say that Jesus was more important for the church than Mohammed. They also perform homosexual Wedding ceremonies in the churches with priests or priestesses & since the church allowed female priestesses, almost all priests in the church are now females. I dont have any gripe against women, but it just seems alot more like paganism to me than the church of Christ when there are fully vested women in Mitre & with bishop staff's blessing the wedding of homosexual individuals. I asked the local priestess about these issues; what about the design of God? What about Sodom & Gomorrah? Were they just collateral damage? She said it was 'complicated' & that God was unconditional Love. I just couldnt bring myself to trust that they wholeheartedly believed the Bible was the Word of God or in christianity as I understood it from the letters of St Paul..
It's sad to see the church in such a state, although I disagree with it's theology, this is the state church & the only available option for most people here. It's understandable why it's losing members expontentially & new-age'ism is gaining ground as a new 'folk-religion'.
Pray for me that God may guide me onto His path.
You are absolutely right about ascesis. Though the Lutheran Confessions say that there is nothing wrong with ascesis, as long as they are not mandated nor compulsory, their practice says the opposite. Even though some monasteries came over to the Lutheran fold, they are all gone now except for a few in Sweden. In his responses to the Lutherans at Tuebingen in the 1560s, Patriarch JEREMIAS II called them out for saying that though they applaud good works, the Lutherans have stripped away fasting, monasteries, feast days, etc. basically, any discipline to mortify the flesh is seen as nothing more than us trying to get right with God rather than be dependent on God's grace. Of course, we Orthodox do. Ot teach that such works are to get us right with God or save us or are necessary for salvation, but that they demonstrate that we too must work out our salvation. But, diehard Lutherans are not going to listen.
As far as the other stuff you mentioned, it sounds like you are really considering swimming the Bosphorus. I am just curious: have you talked to your Lutheran pastor about this? He/she may try to do everything to prevent you from going forward, but you should at least let him/her know first.
I never had a steady contact with a single priest or pastor since My confirmation. It's very unusual for people to have a spiritual Father or Mother over here, people basically go to see psychologists over existential matters. The church exists merely for "hatching, matching & dispatching" as they say
lutheranism in Scandinavia looks pretty much like catholicism, especially after the catholics started holding Mass in vernacular. Theres still a eucharist & the great churches were all built during the catholic days & they still have Icon-screens above the altar, paintings etc. But it just feels like it's completely pointless since the catechism of Lutheranism claims that we are completely powerless to affect our own state. He (Luther) actually believed we humans were a "big pile of cow dung" & that is believing in the atonement of Jesus Christ gave us a 'covering' of His righteousness; but inside our human nature was completely corrupt & evil. Therefore it doesnt matter wether I fast, wether I pray, wether I raise a good family or give money to the poor or sell all that I have & goes to a monastery since it's only the act of belief in the atonement that gives man 'access' to the 'covering' (grace) which makes the completely corrupted, fallen human to be able to pass God's righteous judgement.
I cant accept this theology & I've told the local priest this but the ones I spoken to about this aspect of the church have said that these days it doesnt matter. Officially, we're lutheran still, but anything is as valid theologically. These gripes of mine give me doubts about the legitimacy of the anything about the church because it seems to me to be based on a faulty view of mankind that resembles gnosticism.
It's very hard for the benedictine monks of the lutheran church to explain why they're monks while keeping to the lutheran creed. There was also a lutheran movement called pietism which tried to reconcile the must for good works with basic lutheranism but it becomes very complicated to do so & seems more honest to just admit that there is synergy between God & Man, even though "synergism" was condemned by reformers.
I think history has been tragic for the protestant part of christianity. I honestly dont think the movement would've gotten anywhere if it wasnt for the protestant teaching on the Absolute Divine right of kings because i dont think any monarch would find it beneficial for the spiritual health of the nation to impose such a strange dead-end theology on the nation.
I've been thinking about becoming orthodox for a time, but the church is a large part of the national heritage both in Scandinavia & orthodoxy..