Author Topic: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories  (Read 7655 times)

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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2015, 04:51:59 PM »
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.

Good luck.

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Offline Alpo

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2015, 05:02:23 PM »
Lutheranism is a state church around here. Few people actually attend the services but something like 80% of the population are members. The number is constantly dwindling though. Anyway, I was baptized Lutheran as an infant but grew up Pentecostal since that's what my parents became when I was just few years old. Never really felt comfortable with it and rather attended Lutheran services when I got older. Did that few years somewhat regularly albeit never taking communion since around here Lutheran eucharist is officially speaking reserved only to other Lutherans and Anglicans through the Porvoo agreement and I wasn't neither. Nobody wouldn't have asked any questions about my affiliation or anything else for that matter but it just didn'seem right. I got interested in dogmatics at some point which pretty much inhibited me from actually becoming a Lutheran since it seemed fairly ahistorical once I started to dig up history. That and the fact I guess I never really found Sola Fide from the Bible. Pentecostalists areca bit ambivalent over it anyway so the Orthodox way didn't seem that dramatic that it might seem for a Lutheran or Calvinist for that matter.

Here's what local Lutheranism looks like in case anyone is interested. Could be fairly high church by American standards.

http://areena.yle.fi/tv/2491683
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 05:03:33 PM by Alpo »

Offline Ansgar

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2015, 05:23:15 PM »
Lutheranism is a state church around here. Few people actually attend the services but something like 80% of the population are members. The number is constantly dwindling though. Anyway, I was baptized Lutheran as an infant but grew up Pentecostal since that's what my parents became when I was just few years old. Never really felt comfortable with it and rather attended Lutheran services when I got older. Did that few years somewhat regularly albeit never taking communion since around here Lutheran eucharist is officially speaking reserved only to other Lutherans and Anglicans through the Porvoo agreement and I wasn't neither. Nobody wouldn't have asked any questions about my affiliation or anything else for that matter but it just didn'seem right. I got interested in dogmatics at some point which pretty much inhibited me from actually becoming a Lutheran since it seemed fairly ahistorical once I started to dig up history. That and the fact I guess I never really found Sola Fide from the Bible. Pentecostalists areca bit ambivalent over it anyway so the Orthodox way didn't seem that dramatic that it might seem for a Lutheran or Calvinist for that matter.

Here's what local Lutheranism looks like in case anyone is interested. Could be fairly high church by American standards.

http://areena.yle.fi/tv/2491683

Very nice. I wish danish priests would wear vestments more often.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2015, 05:30:16 PM »
The most fancily dressed is a bishop. But yes, Finnish priests probably vest more often than Danish ones. An alb, a stole and a chasuble is a standard for the celebrant of sunday mass nowadays. Other priests wear an alb and a stole while altar servers are wearing an alb. That wasn't always the case though. AFAIK regular use of vestments have made a sort of comeback during recent decades.

Offline Ansgar

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2015, 05:40:46 PM »
The most fancily dressed is a bishop. But yes, Finnish priests probably vest more often than Danish ones. An alb, a stole and a chasuble is a standard for the celebrant of sunday mass nowadays. Other priests wear an alb and a stole while altar servers are wearing an alb. That wasn't always the case though. AFAIK regular use of vestments have made a sort of comeback during recent decades.

Yeah, I have noticed too that the alb and the stole has made kind of a resurgence in recent years. I kinda hope it continues in that direction. 
Do not be cast down over the struggle - the Lord loves a brave warrior. The Lord loves the soul that is valiant.

-St Silouan the athonite

Offline Shamati

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2015, 07:31:31 PM »
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.

Good luck.


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..
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 07:37:09 PM by Shamati »

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2015, 07:53:02 PM »
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..

Not to mention the discovery of America was a major deus ex machina for Protestantism. The more idealistic Protestants (Roger Williams, etc.) who wouldn't have been able to get any kings or government officials on their side, would have had nowhere to go if this vast, sparsely populated new continent hadn't just been discovered where you could go and basically be left alone (at least, compared to if you had stayed in Europe). Also, many branches of Anabaptism might not have survived at all if it hadn't been for the New World.

I do think the Orthodox should probably be doing more to win over disaffected Lutherans in Scandinavia (of whom there are a lot, due to the recent stances the state churches have been taking on certain issues). Vagante groups like this one could easily be received into Orthodoxy as their doctrine and praxis is basically WRO. See, for example, this article on theosis from the NCC's website, which is not something you'll find either from the liberal established CoS/CoN, or from "confessional Lutheran" types in the USA whose theology is conservative but not catholic (small-c) or orthodox (small-o).
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 07:55:45 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2015, 10:19:21 PM »
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..

Not to mention the discovery of America was a major deus ex machina for Protestantism. The more idealistic Protestants (Roger Williams, etc.) who wouldn't have been able to get any kings or government officials on their side, would have had nowhere to go if this vast, sparsely populated new continent hadn't just been discovered where you could go and basically be left alone (at least, compared to if you had stayed in Europe). Also, many branches of Anabaptism might not have survived at all if it hadn't been for the New World.

I do think the Orthodox should probably be doing more to win over disaffected Lutherans in Scandinavia (of whom there are a lot, due to the recent stances the state churches have been taking on certain issues). Vagante groups like this one could easily be received into Orthodoxy as their doctrine and praxis is basically WRO. See, for example, this article on theosis from the NCC's website, which is not something you'll find either from the liberal established CoS/CoN, or from "confessional Lutheran" types in the USA whose theology is conservative but not catholic (small-c) or orthodox (small-o).

I see that the Nordic Catholic Church (glad i hit the link. I thought you were referring to the National Council of Churches and knew that had to be a mistake ) identifies as an Old Catholic Church.  Many old catholic churches do not accept Vatican 1 (let alone 2) and also ordain women.  For many old catholics, women's ordination is their raison d'ĂȘtre.  They will accept pretty much every other doctrine and dogma, but i doubt they would become Orthodox if that meant giving up the female priesthood.

Edit:  is it scary if i see that their page on beliefs and principles is blank?  :D
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 10:20:43 PM by scamandrius »
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Offline Regnare

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2015, 10:24:39 PM »
I see that the Nordic Catholic Church (glad i hit the link. I thought you were referring to the National Council of Churches and knew that had to be a mistake ) identifies as an Old Catholic Church.  Many old catholic churches do not accept Vatican 1 (let alone 2) and also ordain women.  For many old catholics, women's ordination is their raison d'être.  They will accept pretty much every other doctrine and dogma, but i doubt they would become Orthodox if that meant giving up the female priesthood.

Edit:  is it scary if i see that their page on beliefs and principles is blank?  :D
The Nordic Catholic Church is part of the Union of Scranton (together with the Polish National Catholic Church), which is effectively the Old Catholic version of Continuing Anglicanism. That is, they have separated from the other Old Catholic Churches specifically because they do not ordain women or marry homosexual couples, and generally avoid liberalism. (The NCC itself is not originally Old Catholic, but a breakaway faction from the Scandinavian Lutherans that joined up with the PNCC and established the Union.)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 10:34:16 PM by Regnare »

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2015, 10:57:26 AM »
... these days it doesnt matter. Officially, we're lutheran still, but anything is as valid theologically.

Yeah, that's pretty much the answer I got from my former American Lutheran pastor, when I went to him with my questions. One of the most difficult aspects of my conversion was my German Lutheran heritage, both cultural and religious. My entire family has been Lutheran for centuries - I think one of them supplied the nails for Luther to post his 95 Theses  ;) . It was so much a part of me, especially the music, that it was very difficult to let go. But the Lutheran Church of my ancestors and the one that I grew up in, sadly does not exist today.
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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2015, 01:08:57 PM »
the Union of Scranton

What an interesting place, that Scranton...
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Offline steido01

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #56 on: February 19, 2015, 11:52:29 AM »
Just read through this thread, and I'm impressed. I've been posting on a Catholic forum for some time, and I don't think our Roman friends have one-half-of-a-half as much understanding about Lutheranism and the various Lutheran communions as you Orthodox seem to. I'm trying to figure out if that's because there are former Lutherans who've made the swim, or if the Orthodox simply catechize better, or something else...
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #57 on: February 19, 2015, 11:58:10 AM »
Just read through this thread, and I'm impressed. I've been posting on a Catholic forum for some time, and I don't think our Roman friends have one-half-of-a-half as much understanding about Lutheranism and the various Lutheran communions as you Orthodox seem to. I'm trying to figure out if that's because there are former Lutherans who've made the swim, or if the Orthodox simply catechize better, or something else...
Well, that may be because many people here are converts from Lutheranism. I've never been Lutheran, so I know little about it, but I could tell you all about Independant Baptists which is where I hail from.  :P
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Lutheran to Orthodox Converts: Share Your Stories
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2015, 11:27:20 PM »
Just read through this thread, and I'm impressed. I've been posting on a Catholic forum for some time, and I don't think our Roman friends have one-half-of-a-half as much understanding about Lutheranism and the various Lutheran communions as you Orthodox seem to. I'm trying to figure out if that's because there are former Lutherans who've made the swim, or if the Orthodox simply catechize better, or something else...

I think that there are a greater amount of Lutherans actually swimming Bosphorus than the Tiber at least in this country.  I know a fair share of LUtherans who became Orthodox, including myself.  Many have come from the ELCA but a good many have also come from the LCMS.  For many Lutherans, the one thing holding them back from going back to their "mother church" so to speak was the papacy, which, of course, was one of the big things that Martin Luther loved to decry and so Orthodoxy became the choice.  Also, I think that for many Lutherans who were trying to escape the "feel-good-ism" of modern Lutheran worship believe that they would not have found any solace in modern Catholic worship, which has also been infiltrated heavily by the same "feel-good-ism" that is practiced in many Catholic parishes.
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