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Author Topic: I am terrible at "converting" people  (Read 1957 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 05, 2012, 06:30:45 AM »

I don't believe I am alone when you first encounter the Orthodox faith you sort of get really enthusiastic and want to tell everyone the truth that you found. Then triumphalism creeps in when sharing it, unfortunately.

My dilemma is this. I know what convinced me but that may not work at all with other people. Where exactly does one start? I've completely failed at trying to connect truth and Orthodoxy because I sort of beg the question by saying you have to live out the faith to come to know the truth but why would you live the faith without knowing what truth is first?

Instead of trying to connect an Unmovable Mover to Christ, I've tried to explain God as incarnational but this hasn't be successful.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone online but rather in person. I've tried talking to a Protestant who knows her Bible way more than I do and I end up being interrogated. Seriously once they start throwing Bible verses at me and I can't come up with something in response, I pretty much "lose" the argument.

Sorry I'm going all over the place here, and then there are those that are so stubborn in their own ignorance that it would take an act of God for them to think with an open mind. One of those incidences became a shouting match and almost to blows (that was before I found Orthodoxy and it was against a Mormon).

I've taken a much more passive approach and slowly try to bring up Orthodoxy, and kind of let the flow of the conversation dictate what to appropriately say. But again it hasn't made much of an impact.

What do I do?
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 07:09:28 AM »

I don't believe I am alone when you first encounter the Orthodox faith you sort of get really enthusiastic and want to tell everyone the truth that you found. Then triumphalism creeps in when sharing it, unfortunately.

My dilemma is this. I know what convinced me but that may not work at all with other people. Where exactly does one start? I've completely failed at trying to connect truth and Orthodoxy because I sort of beg the question by saying you have to live out the faith to come to know the truth but why would you live the faith without knowing what truth is first?

Hi Achronos. I'd like to chime in, not to try to answer your question, but to say that I'm glad you're asking it. As a non-Orthodox, one thing I find very frustrating is when an Orthodox can't answer a question and instead says something to the effect of "You wouldn't understand b/c you're not Orthodox."
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 07:28:16 AM »

There are alot of questions I simply can't answer. Like the Protestant girl above, once she starts quoting the Bible and I can't refute it without parts from Scripture, I just say "I honestly don't know enough about the Bible to answer." I feel pretty awful because I don't feel I am being a good witness of the faith and ashamed I don't have all the answers.

Arguing and debating with people IRL is a whole different ballgame. You can't use Google as a crutch either.

"You wouldn't understand b/c you're not Orthodox." That's a bad response, and I'm sorry you have been told that.
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 07:50:36 AM »

...once she starts quoting the Bible and I can't refute it without parts from Scripture, I just say "I honestly don't know enough about the Bible to answer."

Why argue theology when one is not properly prepared? Why use counter-argument when finding a common round will work better, at least at a tactical level?
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 08:02:46 AM »

Here is a great video you can lead people to about the history of the Orthodox Church. The history is recorded in the book of Acts.
Also, the Eucharist is always a good point to make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laHcgdE55Mo

Saying that I don't have a problem with most Protestants, don't push them too hard and turn them off. I'd just lead them to the history and let them figure it out. You should spend more time working on unbelievers.

1Cr 12:12 - For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.
1Cr 12:18 -   But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 08:05:00 AM by Happy Lutheran » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 08:03:41 AM »

I've tried that but once I got the common ground, another Bible verse comes up to "refute" what I just said. Grin

I'm beginning to think Protestants are harder than atheists on sharing the faith from my personal experience.
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 08:09:50 AM »

Here is a great video you can lead people to about the history of the Orthodox Church. The history is recorded in the book of Acts.
Also, the Eucharist is always a good point to make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laHcgdE55Mo

Saying that I don't have a problem with most Protestants, don't push them too hard and turn them off. I'd just lead them to the history and let them figure it out. You should spend more time working on unbelievers.

1Cr 12:12 - For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.
1Cr 12:18 -   But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  

Ah I remember seeing that video long ago, it's a pretty decent high level overview of the history of the Church. Granted if we had our own ialmisry make it, I'm sure it would be in 152 parts  Grin

Those are some good verses but again Protestants can interpret any way they like to, so I think going towards a Scriptural approach maybe isn't the best thing. I don't know.

I've done some work with unbelievers as of late. I sympathize with them at first because I think it builds a good rapport. I hope that isn't being dishonest or showing some pretenses.
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 08:33:31 AM »

What do I do?

Pray, fast and love. Be a Christian. God does the rest.
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 08:44:16 AM »

I've tried that but once I got the common ground, another Bible verse comes up to "refute" what I just said. Grin

I'm beginning to think Protestants are harder than atheists on sharing the faith from my personal experience.

This made me chuckle.

You have to give up trying to convince anyone.  It.just.won't.work.

I, too am saddened that my friends are completely uninterested in Orthodoxy.                                            
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 05:18:42 PM »

What do I do?

Pray, fast and love. Be a Christian. God does the rest.

Amen!
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2012, 05:20:11 PM »

I've tried that but once I got the common ground, another Bible verse comes up to "refute" what I just said. Grin

I'm beginning to think Protestants are harder than atheists on sharing the faith from my personal experience.

This made me chuckle.

You have to give up trying to convince anyone.  It.just.won't.work.

I, too am saddened that my friends are completely uninterested in Orthodoxy.                                            

People may be uninterested in Orthodoxy, but that's fine. What other common interests are there? Many people have become Orthodox never having been interested in religion or spirituality.
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2012, 05:48:41 PM »

Give them books about Orthodoxy. Try to match the book to the other person's background. For instance, the person you mention is well-versed in the Bible, so give him a book written by a convert to Orthodoxy that anticipates the usual arguments and refutes them using the Bible. For someone who does not know the Bible well but practices some form of meditation, a book on the Jesus Prayer might be a better choice.
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 06:11:19 PM »

I don't believe I am alone when you first encounter the Orthodox faith you sort of get really enthusiastic and want to tell everyone the truth that you found. Then triumphalism creeps in when sharing it, unfortunately.

My dilemma is this. I know what convinced me but that may not work at all with other people. Where exactly does one start? I've completely failed at trying to connect truth and Orthodoxy because I sort of beg the question by saying you have to live out the faith to come to know the truth but why would you live the faith without knowing what truth is first?

Instead of trying to connect an Unmovable Mover to Christ, I've tried to explain God as incarnational but this hasn't be successful.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone online but rather in person. I've tried talking to a Protestant who knows her Bible way more than I do and I end up being interrogated. Seriously once they start throwing Bible verses at me and I can't come up with something in response, I pretty much "lose" the argument.

Sorry I'm going all over the place here, and then there are those that are so stubborn in their own ignorance that it would take an act of God for them to think with an open mind. One of those incidences became a shouting match and almost to blows (that was before I found Orthodoxy and it was against a Mormon).

I've taken a much more passive approach and slowly try to bring up Orthodoxy, and kind of let the flow of the conversation dictate what to appropriately say. But again it hasn't made much of an impact.

What do I do?

Essentially, if you want to be convincing, you have to immerse yourself in all sorts of things, including philosophy (as the early apologists did, to varying degrees of success), history, the Church Fathers, and the Scriptures. If you cannot cite Scriptural passages which justify certain tenets of the Orthodox Faith (most especially for the veneration of icons, relics and the honor due to saints), then you are not yet fit to try to convince Protestants. They are not particularly hard to find, by the way, as the Church Fathers themselves cited these verses. If you are not familiar with the categories and terminology used by the Church Fathers (for a crash course on this, I would recommend reading St. John of Damascus' Philosophical Chapters from his work, The Fount of Knowledge), then you will be easy pickings for any Thomist, because they are able to (mis)interpret the Eastern Fathers to make them say things that we would contend they didn't mean to say. If you are not familiar with the history of the church, you will also wind up getting smoked by Catholics, who can make good historical arguments for the papacy.

If this sounds like hard work... well, it is. And that is why good, convincing arguments for any faith are incredibly rare, and not everybody is cut out for making them.
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 09:51:57 PM »


What do I do?

For starters, don't worry about it.  Conversion of the human heart is something only the Holy Spirit does.  For you to worry too much about whether you're doing enough is the wrong approach to take.
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 10:36:57 PM »

I am a recent convert from theRCC. As I started exploring chuch history I became convinced that Orthodoxy has fullness of faith. Whenever someone in the past has come on. Strong especially a street preacher asking " are you you saved" I always wondered why I should want to follow his lead when I didn't know him or how he led his life. One of the things I struggle with is , is my conversion to Orthodox working a change in my life so people will wonder what has changed me. That is why I love the concept of Theosis. It is like the six sigma of the Christian life--continual improvement and the slow and painful shedding of old bad habits so that you are changed so people will know you are a Christian not by your word but by your actions. I have along long way to go. But if people you associate with see you are different in ha way they would like to follow they will ask. Sorry for rambling , hope I made sense
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2012, 10:49:42 PM »

I've learned that no matter how many arguments I win or good points I make in hopes of trying to convert people; it does not work at all. The best way to convert someone is to give them a hands on demonstration; in other words, live the type of life an Orthodox Christian should live and win them over with your kindness. Then after they show an interest and desire to learn, you may teach them and make points.
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2012, 11:02:51 PM »

Since you cannot fight them on their own scriptural ground, then attack the source of their power. People always recommend finding 'common ground' but in reality that is a horrible debate tactic because it means stepping away from the fullness of your beliefs in order to accept certain premises from your opponent; do not do this. Stick to your guns. Protestants like to quote scripture, so explain to them why scripture alone is not sufficient, why you need guidance to interpret scripture and why just because something is not in the Bible does not mean that it is not forbidden. Once you do this--which can easily be done--you will pretty much invalidate any further argument she gives from scripture.
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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2012, 11:26:16 PM »

Since you cannot fight them on their own scriptural ground, then attack the source of their power. People always recommend finding 'common ground' but in reality that is a horrible debate tactic because it means stepping away from the fullness of your beliefs in order to accept certain premises from your opponent; do not do this. Stick to your guns. Protestants like to quote scripture, so explain to them why scripture alone is not sufficient, why you need guidance to interpret scripture and why just because something is not in the Bible does not mean that it is not forbidden. Once you do this--which can easily be done--you will pretty much invalidate any further argument she gives from scripture.

He might as well wave a white flag and concede defeat. There is simply no excuse not to be well-acquainted with the Scriptures. If one is not, then the solution is not blasphemously to attack the Sacred Scriptures, and to downplay their importance, but to read them and learn to interpret them correctly (and one may do this by supplementing the study of the Scriptures with the many writings of the Fathers), so that he will be immune from any sort of abuse of the scriptures against the Orthodox faith. It is to the great shame of a Christian man if he has no knowledge of the Scriptures (something that St. John Chrysostom attributes to slothfulness), but wishes only for discourse (by which St. John Chrysostom means homilies, although reading the Fathers without studying the Scriptures would under this category too) as St. John Chrysostom writes in his Third Homily on the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians:

Quote
What do I come in for, you say, if I do not hear some one discoursing? This is the ruin and destruction of all. For what need of a person to discourse? This necessity arises from our sloth. Wherefore any necessity for a homily? All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain. But because you are hearers for pleasure's sake, for that reason also you seek these things. For tell me, with what pomp of words did Paul speak? And yet he converted the world. Or with what the unlettered Peter? But I know not, you say, the things that are contained in the Scriptures. Why? For are they spoken in Hebrew? Are they in Latin, or in foreign tongues? Are they not in Greek? But they are expressed obscurely, you say: What is it that is obscure? Tell me. Are there not histories? For (of course) you know the plain parts, in that you enquire about the obscure. There are numberless histories in the Scriptures. Tell me one of these. But you cannot. These things are an excuse, and mere words. Every day, you say, one hears the same things. Tell me, then, do you not hear the same things in the theaters? Do you not see the same things in the race-course? Are not all things the same? Is it not always the same sun that rises? Is it not the same food that we use? I should like to ask you, since you say that you every day hear the same things; tell me, from what Prophet was the passage that was read? From what Apostle, or what Epistle? But you cannot tell me— you seem to hear strange things. When therefore you wish to be slothful, you say that they are the same things. But when you are questioned, you are in the case of one who never heard them. If they are the same, you ought to know them. But you are ignorant of them.

Homily III on Second Thessalonians
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/23053.htm

If one cannot beat a Protestant in a debate with the Scriptures, then this simply shows that he has some studying to do. There is nothing in the Orthodox faith which is inconsistent with the Scriptures.
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« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2012, 12:23:29 AM »

Since you cannot fight them on their own scriptural ground, then attack the source of their power. People always recommend finding 'common ground' but in reality that is a horrible debate tactic because it means stepping away from the fullness of your beliefs in order to accept certain premises from your opponent; do not do this. Stick to your guns. Protestants like to quote scripture, so explain to them why scripture alone is not sufficient, why you need guidance to interpret scripture and why just because something is not in the Bible does not mean that it is not forbidden. Once you do this--which can easily be done--you will pretty much invalidate any further argument she gives from scripture.

He might as well wave a white flag and concede defeat. There is simply no excuse not to be well-acquainted with the Scriptures. If one is not, then the solution is not blasphemously to attack the Sacred Scriptures, and to downplay their importance, but to read them and learn to interpret them correctly (and one may do this by supplementing the study of the Scriptures with the many writings of the Fathers), so that he will be immune from any sort of abuse of the scriptures against the Orthodox faith. It is to the great shame of a Christian man if he has no knowledge of the Scriptures (something that St. John Chrysostom attributes to slothfulness), but wishes only for discourse (by which St. John Chrysostom means homilies, although reading the Fathers without studying the Scriptures would under this category too) as St. John Chrysostom writes in his Third Homily on the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians:

Quote
What do I come in for, you say, if I do not hear some one discoursing? This is the ruin and destruction of all. For what need of a person to discourse? This necessity arises from our sloth. Wherefore any necessity for a homily? All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain. But because you are hearers for pleasure's sake, for that reason also you seek these things. For tell me, with what pomp of words did Paul speak? And yet he converted the world. Or with what the unlettered Peter? But I know not, you say, the things that are contained in the Scriptures. Why? For are they spoken in Hebrew? Are they in Latin, or in foreign tongues? Are they not in Greek? But they are expressed obscurely, you say: What is it that is obscure? Tell me. Are there not histories? For (of course) you know the plain parts, in that you enquire about the obscure. There are numberless histories in the Scriptures. Tell me one of these. But you cannot. These things are an excuse, and mere words. Every day, you say, one hears the same things. Tell me, then, do you not hear the same things in the theaters? Do you not see the same things in the race-course? Are not all things the same? Is it not always the same sun that rises? Is it not the same food that we use? I should like to ask you, since you say that you every day hear the same things; tell me, from what Prophet was the passage that was read? From what Apostle, or what Epistle? But you cannot tell me— you seem to hear strange things. When therefore you wish to be slothful, you say that they are the same things. But when you are questioned, you are in the case of one who never heard them. If they are the same, you ought to know them. But you are ignorant of them.

Homily III on Second Thessalonians
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/23053.htm

If one cannot beat a Protestant in a debate with the Scriptures, then this simply shows that he has some studying to do. There is nothing in the Orthodox faith which is inconsistent with the Scriptures.
I'd just like to suggest that "winning" Or "beating a protestant in a debate" Really isn't going to be helpful. Once you engage on that level it becomes an ego based I'm right therefore you're wrong competition, everyone digs in their heels and no one wins there.

One thing I have observed in my conversion to orthodoxy is that Orthodoxy takes a slight but very different opinion of the Scriptures from the very beginning. It's just a slight change, but as scripture unfolds and thus doctrine unfolds it takes on a quite different meaning. I have found that when discussing scripture with a protestant, sometimes we are just talking past each other.  Common ground is sometimes scarce.
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« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2012, 12:32:46 AM »

Since you cannot fight them on their own scriptural ground, then attack the source of their power. People always recommend finding 'common ground' but in reality that is a horrible debate tactic because it means stepping away from the fullness of your beliefs in order to accept certain premises from your opponent; do not do this. Stick to your guns. Protestants like to quote scripture, so explain to them why scripture alone is not sufficient, why you need guidance to interpret scripture and why just because something is not in the Bible does not mean that it is not forbidden. Once you do this--which can easily be done--you will pretty much invalidate any further argument she gives from scripture.

He might as well wave a white flag and concede defeat. There is simply no excuse not to be well-acquainted with the Scriptures. If one is not, then the solution is not blasphemously to attack the Sacred Scriptures, and to downplay their importance, but to read them and learn to interpret them correctly (and one may do this by supplementing the study of the Scriptures with the many writings of the Fathers), so that he will be immune from any sort of abuse of the scriptures against the Orthodox faith. It is to the great shame of a Christian man if he has no knowledge of the Scriptures (something that St. John Chrysostom attributes to slothfulness), but wishes only for discourse (by which St. John Chrysostom means homilies, although reading the Fathers without studying the Scriptures would under this category too) as St. John Chrysostom writes in his Third Homily on the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians:

Quote
What do I come in for, you say, if I do not hear some one discoursing? This is the ruin and destruction of all. For what need of a person to discourse? This necessity arises from our sloth. Wherefore any necessity for a homily? All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain. But because you are hearers for pleasure's sake, for that reason also you seek these things. For tell me, with what pomp of words did Paul speak? And yet he converted the world. Or with what the unlettered Peter? But I know not, you say, the things that are contained in the Scriptures. Why? For are they spoken in Hebrew? Are they in Latin, or in foreign tongues? Are they not in Greek? But they are expressed obscurely, you say: What is it that is obscure? Tell me. Are there not histories? For (of course) you know the plain parts, in that you enquire about the obscure. There are numberless histories in the Scriptures. Tell me one of these. But you cannot. These things are an excuse, and mere words. Every day, you say, one hears the same things. Tell me, then, do you not hear the same things in the theaters? Do you not see the same things in the race-course? Are not all things the same? Is it not always the same sun that rises? Is it not the same food that we use? I should like to ask you, since you say that you every day hear the same things; tell me, from what Prophet was the passage that was read? From what Apostle, or what Epistle? But you cannot tell me— you seem to hear strange things. When therefore you wish to be slothful, you say that they are the same things. But when you are questioned, you are in the case of one who never heard them. If they are the same, you ought to know them. But you are ignorant of them.

Homily III on Second Thessalonians
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/23053.htm

If one cannot beat a Protestant in a debate with the Scriptures, then this simply shows that he has some studying to do. There is nothing in the Orthodox faith which is inconsistent with the Scriptures.
I'd just like to suggest that "winning" Or "beating a protestant in a debate" Really isn't going to be helpful. Once you engage on that level it becomes an ego based I'm right therefore you're wrong competition, everyone digs in their heels and no one wins there.

One thing I have observed in my conversion to orthodoxy is that Orthodoxy takes a slight but very different opinion of the Scriptures from the very beginning. It's just a slight change, but as scripture unfolds and thus doctrine unfolds it takes on a quite different meaning. I have found that when discussing scripture with a protestant, sometimes we are just talking past each other.  Common ground is sometimes scarce.

It really depends on the type of Protestant. The ones who think that the Scriptures are plain and in no need of interpretation are a) boring and b) not possible to convince, on account of their foolishness. Conversations with the other kind, however, are not always so fruitless.
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« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2012, 12:54:10 AM »


Pray, fast and love. Be a Christian. God does the rest.

That's the best advice.  With Protestantism, the only way they know to argue is to quote scripture.  Problem is 1) it's taken completely out of its context, and that's usually so that 2) the meaning is skewed to the point it bears little or no resemblance to what the isolated verse means.  And once you excise it from its context, it's much easier to bend it in any direction you need to make it mean what you want.

I've read books that Orthodox and Catholics alike are frustrated by this 'tactic' and it's called "proof-texting."  I just had a Baptist proof-text me to death and beyond for the past 3 years.  You'll likely lose all arguments with Protestants of all sects--they do not know what the verses means and never bothered to try to understand them.  They let others of their faith tell them what those verses mean without anything else to back it up, and all they know to do is proof-text.  Matthew 7:15  "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."  Thing is, we always think we'll see them coming.  Not so--if they weren't good at what they do, everyone would see them coming.  It's not going to be obvious.

In another video I was watching, St John is portrayed by Dean Jones, and says in character (as to what was going on with the Romans) "They preferred their kingdom to God's."  Okay, if God gives man a church, and then man says no, I'm going to go to this other church started not by God but rather some man, isn't he creating his own kingdom?

I wouldn't even bother trying to convert anybody.  If they're actually looking for the truth, they'll find it.  If they're only looking for "truth" that reflects their own wants, then they'll find the lies they were really looking for in the first place.
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« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2012, 01:00:40 AM »


Pray, fast and love. Be a Christian. God does the rest.

That's the best advice.  With Protestantism, the only way they know to argue is to quote scripture.  Problem is 1) it's taken completely out of its context, and that's usually so that 2) the meaning is skewed to the point it bears little or no resemblance to what the isolated verse means.  And once you excise it from its context, it's much easier to bend it in any direction you need to make it mean what you want.

I've read books that Orthodox and Catholics alike are frustrated by this 'tactic' and it's called "proof-texting."  I just had a Baptist proof-text me to death and beyond for the past 3 years.  You'll likely lose all arguments with Protestants of all sects--they do not know what the verses means and never bothered to try to understand them.  They let others of their faith tell them what those verses mean without anything else to back it up, and all they know to do is proof-text.  Matthew 7:15  "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."  Thing is, we always think we'll see them coming.  Not so--if they weren't good at what they do, everyone would see them coming.  It's not going to be obvious.

In another video I was watching, St John is portrayed by Dean Jones, and says in character (as to what was going on with the Romans) "They preferred their kingdom to God's."  Okay, if God gives man a church, and then man says no, I'm going to go to this other church started not by God but rather some man, isn't he creating his own kingdom?

I wouldn't even bother trying to convert anybody.  If they're actually looking for the truth, they'll find it.  If they're only looking for "truth" that reflects their own wants, then they'll find the lies they were really looking for in the first place.

The above advice which you quote sounds good and pious but is nonsense frankly.

Cavardossi's posts are tip top.

If St. Paul hadn't "proof texted" or went out and suffered and argued just not with those who wanted to proof text him wrong but also with those who wanted to kill and torture him, who knows where Christianity would be today.

St. Paul and countless numbers like him during that period of Christianity and since are why people can have the chance to play the piety card.
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« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2012, 01:08:56 AM »



The above advice which you quote sounds good and pious but is nonsense frankly.

Cavardossi's posts are tip top.

If St. Paul hadn't "proof texted" or went out and suffered and argued just not with those who wanted to proof text him wrong but also with those who wanted to kill and torture him, who knows where Christianity would be today.

St. Paul and countless numbers like him during that period of Christianity and since are why people can have the chance to play the piety card.

I don't recall that I was arguing against Cavardossi's posts, and I don't consider my opinion to be nonsense.   You can't argue scripture in bits and pieces, and with Protestant sects, they cherry pick through the bible, quoting the same few over and over and over again.  That's not nonsense.  You have a church started by Jesus Christ and then you have over 20,000 churches all started by men who didn't like the rules.  Sounds like "they preferred their kingdom to God's" to me.  That's not nonsense either.
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« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2012, 01:11:15 AM »

What do I do?

Pray, fast and love. Be a Christian. God does the rest.
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« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2012, 01:12:25 AM »

If St. Paul hadn't "proof texted" or went out and suffered and argued just not with those who wanted to proof text him wrong but also with those who wanted to kill and torture him, who knows where Christianity would be today.

St. Paul and countless numbers like him during that period of Christianity and since are why people can have the chance to play the piety card.

But on the other hand most of us aren't Sts. Peters and Pauls. By arguing most of us don't end up converting people but looking a like a idiot and giving a bad picture of Orthodoxy. I'm not agaist proof-texting and all but I don't think that should be done by new converts in most cases. We tend to have a tendency of being fairly zealous in the bad sense.
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« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2012, 01:55:01 AM »

It really depends on the type of Protestant. The ones who think that the Scriptures are plain and in no need of interpretation are a) boring and b) not possible to convince, on account of their foolishness. Conversations with the other kind, however, are not always so fruitless.

There is also a third type: "the scriptures require interpretation, yes, but any person sincerely seeking the truth will be led to the correct interpretation by the action of the Holy Spirit".

... (which is really just a variant of the first type and equally maddening) ...
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« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2012, 02:30:16 AM »

Jumping in blindly:

Only God can change the hearts of others and lead them to repentance.

On our part: We must acquire the Holy Spirit as St. Seraphim of Sarov suggests, so that thousands around us will be saved.
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« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2012, 08:33:43 AM »


Pray, fast and love. Be a Christian. God does the rest.

That's the best advice.  With Protestantism, the only way they know to argue is to quote scripture.  Problem is 1) it's taken completely out of its context, and that's usually so that 2) the meaning is skewed to the point it bears little or no resemblance to what the isolated verse means.  And once you excise it from its context, it's much easier to bend it in any direction you need to make it mean what you want.

I've read books that Orthodox and Catholics alike are frustrated by this 'tactic' and it's called "proof-texting."  I just had a Baptist proof-text me to death and beyond for the past 3 years.  You'll likely lose all arguments with Protestants of all sects--they do not know what the verses means and never bothered to try to understand them.  They let others of their faith tell them what those verses mean without anything else to back it up, and all they know to do is proof-text.  Matthew 7:15  "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."  Thing is, we always think we'll see them coming.  Not so--if they weren't good at what they do, everyone would see them coming.  It's not going to be obvious.

In another video I was watching, St John is portrayed by Dean Jones, and says in character (as to what was going on with the Romans) "They preferred their kingdom to God's."  Okay, if God gives man a church, and then man says no, I'm going to go to this other church started not by God but rather some man, isn't he creating his own kingdom?

I wouldn't even bother trying to convert anybody.  If they're actually looking for the truth, they'll find it.  If they're only looking for "truth" that reflects their own wants, then they'll find the lies they were really looking for in the first place.

Hi gonefishing. I don't want to tell y'all how to do your job, but quite frankly, when I hear Orthodox talk this way, it just makes you sound close-minded and myopic.
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« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2012, 10:05:09 AM »


Hi gonefishing. I don't want to tell y'all how to do your job, but quite frankly, when I hear Orthodox talk this way, it just makes you sound close-minded and myopic.

Sorry for being closed-minded and myopic.  It's not my job to try to convert people who are already convinced they're right.  My job is to sit in a cubicle every day answering phones. 

If all I'm going to catch in this thread and on this site is insults, I'll slink off quietly.
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« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2012, 10:14:15 AM »

I'm actually with gonefishing here.

I still have to convert myself before I can really try to convert anyone else.
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« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2012, 10:51:28 AM »

a
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« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2012, 10:52:07 AM »


Hi gonefishing. I don't want to tell y'all how to do your job, but quite frankly, when I hear Orthodox talk this way, it just makes you sound close-minded and myopic.

Sorry for being closed-minded and myopic.  It's not my job to try to convert people who are already convinced they're right.  My job is to sit in a cubicle every day answering phones. 

If all I'm going to catch in this thread and on this site is insults, I'll slink off quietly.

I don't think you were being closed-minded or myopic at all. I've had very bad luck arguing about faith matters. For me, it's not worth it. It's certainly not something everyone should do, and even people who can do it should sometimes not do it. We only come to know God by experience, when He reveals Himself. When we leave off doing our work of repentance and try to do God's job of enlightenment without ourselves being enlightened we fail, and often bring about serious harm to others spiritually.
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« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2012, 10:53:05 AM »

I'm actually with gonefishing here.

I still have to convert myself before I can really try to convert anyone else.

This is SO important to keep in mind.
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« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2012, 10:58:22 AM »

I'm actually with gonefishing here.

I still have to convert myself before I can really try to convert anyone else.

You're talking about Reply #20, right? I mean this one:


Pray, fast and love. Be a Christian. God does the rest.

That's the best advice.  With Protestantism, the only way they know to argue is to quote scripture.  Problem is 1) it's taken completely out of its context, and that's usually so that 2) the meaning is skewed to the point it bears little or no resemblance to what the isolated verse means.  And once you excise it from its context, it's much easier to bend it in any direction you need to make it mean what you want.

I've read books that Orthodox and Catholics alike are frustrated by this 'tactic' and it's called "proof-texting."  I just had a Baptist proof-text me to death and beyond for the past 3 years.  You'll likely lose all arguments with Protestants of all sects--they do not know what the verses means and never bothered to try to understand them.  They let others of their faith tell them what those verses mean without anything else to back it up, and all they know to do is proof-text.  Matthew 7:15  "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."  Thing is, we always think we'll see them coming.  Not so--if they weren't good at what they do, everyone would see them coming.  It's not going to be obvious.

In another video I was watching, St John is portrayed by Dean Jones, and says in character (as to what was going on with the Romans) "They preferred their kingdom to God's."  Okay, if God gives man a church, and then man says no, I'm going to go to this other church started not by God but rather some man, isn't he creating his own kingdom?

I wouldn't even bother trying to convert anybody.  If they're actually looking for the truth, they'll find it.  If they're only looking for "truth" that reflects their own wants, then they'll find the lies they were really looking for in the first place.
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« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2012, 11:05:42 AM »


Hi gonefishing. I don't want to tell y'all how to do your job, but quite frankly, when I hear Orthodox talk this way, it just makes you sound close-minded and myopic.

Sorry for being closed-minded and myopic.  It's not my job to try to convert people who are already convinced they're right.  My job is to sit in a cubicle every day answering phones.  

If all I'm going to catch in this thread and on this site is insults, I'll slink off quietly.

I don't think you were being closed-minded or myopic at all. I've had very bad luck arguing about faith matters. For me, it's not worth it. It's certainly not something everyone should do, and even people who can do it should sometimes not do it. We only come to know God by experience, when He reveals Himself. When we leave off doing our work of repentance and try to do God's job of enlightenment without ourselves being enlightened we fail, and often bring about serious harm to others spiritually.

What does that have to do with statements like

Quote
You'll likely lose all arguments with Protestants of all sects--they do not know what the verses means and never bothered to try to understand them.  

and

Quote
They let others of their faith tell them what those verses mean without anything else to back it up, and all they know to do is proof-text.

? (Those are both from the post I was responding to -- which you didn't quote.)
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« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2012, 11:13:18 AM »

Since you cannot fight them on their own scriptural ground, then attack the source of their power. People always recommend finding 'common ground' but in reality that is a horrible debate tactic because it means stepping away from the fullness of your beliefs in order to accept certain premises from your opponent; do not do this. Stick to your guns. Protestants like to quote scripture, so explain to them why scripture alone is not sufficient, why you need guidance to interpret scripture and why just because something is not in the Bible does not mean that it is not forbidden. Once you do this--which can easily be done--you will pretty much invalidate any further argument she gives from scripture.

He might as well wave a white flag and concede defeat. There is simply no excuse not to be well-acquainted with the Scriptures. If one is not, then the solution is not blasphemously to attack the Sacred Scriptures, and to downplay their importance, but to read them and learn to interpret them correctly (and one may do this by supplementing the study of the Scriptures with the many writings of the Fathers), so that he will be immune from any sort of abuse of the scriptures against the Orthodox faith. It is to the great shame of a Christian man if he has no knowledge of the Scriptures (something that St. John Chrysostom attributes to slothfulness), but wishes only for discourse (by which St. John Chrysostom means homilies, although reading the Fathers without studying the Scriptures would under this category too) as St. John Chrysostom writes in his Third Homily on the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians:

Quote
What do I come in for, you say, if I do not hear some one discoursing? This is the ruin and destruction of all. For what need of a person to discourse? This necessity arises from our sloth. Wherefore any necessity for a homily? All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain. But because you are hearers for pleasure's sake, for that reason also you seek these things. For tell me, with what pomp of words did Paul speak? And yet he converted the world. Or with what the unlettered Peter? But I know not, you say, the things that are contained in the Scriptures. Why? For are they spoken in Hebrew? Are they in Latin, or in foreign tongues? Are they not in Greek? But they are expressed obscurely, you say: What is it that is obscure? Tell me. Are there not histories? For (of course) you know the plain parts, in that you enquire about the obscure. There are numberless histories in the Scriptures. Tell me one of these. But you cannot. These things are an excuse, and mere words. Every day, you say, one hears the same things. Tell me, then, do you not hear the same things in the theaters? Do you not see the same things in the race-course? Are not all things the same? Is it not always the same sun that rises? Is it not the same food that we use? I should like to ask you, since you say that you every day hear the same things; tell me, from what Prophet was the passage that was read? From what Apostle, or what Epistle? But you cannot tell me— you seem to hear strange things. When therefore you wish to be slothful, you say that they are the same things. But when you are questioned, you are in the case of one who never heard them. If they are the same, you ought to know them. But you are ignorant of them.

Homily III on Second Thessalonians
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/23053.htm

If one cannot beat a Protestant in a debate with the Scriptures, then this simply shows that he has some studying to do. There is nothing in the Orthodox faith which is inconsistent with the Scriptures.

I just want to say Amen to that. listen to St. John Chrysostom ROAR about it  Grin he is just so Awesome!!! Grin
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« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2012, 11:33:22 AM »

I've been insulted now 4 times on this site.  Okay, I have no opinions whatsoever and just agree with everybody. 
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« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2012, 01:44:31 PM »

I've been insulted now 4 times on this site.  Okay, I have no opinions whatsoever and just agree with everybody. 

Hang in there...  Undecided
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« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2012, 02:53:50 PM »

I've been insulted now 4 times on this site.  Okay, I have no opinions whatsoever and just agree with everybody. 

In one of Pope Shenouda's famous poems, he says "I have no opinions in anything". I get the shivers everytime cause it's coming from the most powerful man in our generation. 
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« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2012, 03:44:19 PM »

I've been insulted now 4 times on this site.  Okay, I have no opinions whatsoever and just agree with everybody.  

I am sorry that you feel insulted by criticisms of your views. I myself would have been invigorated by such critiques and delved into the subject deeper. But, different strokes for different folks....

In any case, while it is indeed important for all Christians to know the Scriptures, particularly the New Testament, we are not bound by heterodox rules of debating. Let me give you some "tricks of the trade" if you get involved in such debates again:

- Communion: I love the way y'all take the Holy Bible so seriously--just like we do. But, I simply do not understand why you place differing levels of importance on certain passages. For example, in the matter of communion, you emphasize that it is but an ordinance to be done as a symbolic gesture once a month may be, while in John 6, it is a matter of life and death.

- Praying to the Saints: I love the way you take the injunction to intercede for each other so seriously, just as we do. However, I am mystified that you restrict that to the living saints. What is wrong with asking those who have departed before us to intercede for us; does having passed on, like the Mother of God, make one less capable of such intercession?

- "Worshiping" icons: I agree with you that worshiping anyone other than the Triune God is absolutely wrong. What makes you think that we are worshiping icons or the persons that they represent? I have got to tell you that it is completely wrong; we are venerating, not worshiping,saints through the icons that are the windows to them. This is much like loving, venerating and honoring our mothers and fathers; Do you not kiss them? Do you not sometimes kiss their picture after they have passed on?

The point is to acknowledge where you agree with them and then point out where they fall short. Indeed, you should close by re-emphasizing the agreed upon points so that you do not close their mind with a blunt counter-argument. After all, they will decide for themselves and the only thing that you can do is to open up new possibilities and to take away their certainty.
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« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2012, 01:15:35 AM »



I am sorry that you feel insulted by criticisms of your views. I myself would have been invigorated by such critiques and delved into the subject deeper. But, different strokes for different folks....



I don't feel insulted by criticisms.  I feel insulted by insults--I've been called 'dumb,' 'closed-minded,' and 'myopic.'  I can tell the difference between insults and criticisms.  Saying I was something I was not is the very reason I didn't need to bother reading the rest of that post.

If my opinions mean I'm dumb, closed-minded, and myopic, then this is just another cabal.  I could have stayed in the cabal I was already in.  Going from one cabal to another cabal is a lateral move, right?


You can NOT win an argument with a Protestant.  Period. In order to win an argument with a Protestant, you must interpret scripture the exact same way they do, or from get-go, the presumption is that you are wrong.  End up somewhere far away from Protestant interpretation, and you're as far away from being Protestant as you can get, and the less Protestant you are, the more wrong you are.  To win an argument with a Protestant, you must arrive at Protestant conclusions.  If you arrive at any other conclusions, you are automatically wrong.  If you arrive at Protestant conclusions, you are right, which means the Protestant is still right because now you have agreed with them.  If that doesn't sound completely insane, then go back and read it again and again and again, because completely insane is exactly what that is.  There is NO way to win a scriptural or doctrinal argument with a Protestant.  That's not dumb, closed-minded, or myopic.  It's reality. 

As to whoever it was who said converting others was somehow my job, no.  Period.  I didn't undertake to convert to Orthodoxy in order to subject myself or be subjected by others to more stress, anxiety, and mindless noise than already exists in my life. People choose their own paths.  I started attending Orthodox liturgy in order to find God and find peace, not to get into pointless, un-winable verbal battles with sheep grazing in other fields.  Not my job.  Has never been my job.  Will never be my job.  Period.  End of story.

If someone can't state their opinions without calling other posters names, then they're just never going to be able to tell the difference between insults and criticisms, in which case I'll just take a hike and then no one on this board has to worry about any more of my opinions.
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« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2012, 01:44:55 AM »

I hear you Achronos, and as evidenced by my thread on a related theme over on the Prayer forum, I obviously agree with some of the others that prayer is a big part of things. I can also say it's good to keep my ego out of it, though I struggle with that many times. I need to continue to remind myself, it is the Holy Spirit who converts.

I also agree that reading and knowing the Bible is good. I would even say it's essential to the Christian life. However, at least from my story arguing the Bible with the Protestants isn't the way to go. I would say that it is not what's in the Bible that needs to be learned but what's not. That these things they don't know are what will make the point, or give the pause for thought. What's in the Bible may then back it up.

As an example regarding the Eucharist, consider the writtings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, which most Protestants will know nothing of, and his unequivocal support for the real presence. Showing that he was a disciple of the Apostle John and became a bishop before even several of the New Testament books were likely written. This gives a credible demonstration as to what the early Christians believed about the Eucharist. Then one can go to the Biblical passages that tell how the bread and wine are truly the body and blood and it becomes possible to see why the verses the Protestant has seen so many times should be understood differently than most Protestants have always understood them.
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« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2012, 08:22:26 AM »

You'll likely lose all arguments with Protestants of all sects--they do not know what the verses means and never bothered to try to understand them. They let others of their faith tell them what those verses mean without anything else to back it up, and all they know to do is proof-text.

You can NOT win an argument with a Protestant.  Period. In order to win an argument with a Protestant, you must interpret scripture the exact same way they do, or from get-go, the presumption is that you are wrong.  End up somewhere far away from Protestant interpretation, and you're as far away from being Protestant as you can get, and the less Protestant you are, the more wrong you are.  To win an argument with a Protestant, you must arrive at Protestant conclusions.  If you arrive at any other conclusions, you are automatically wrong.  If you arrive at Protestant conclusions, you are right, which means the Protestant is still right because now you have agreed with them.  If that doesn't sound completely insane, then go back and read it again and again and again, because completely insane is exactly what that is.  There is NO way to win a scriptural or doctrinal argument with a Protestant.  That's not dumb, closed-minded, or myopic.  It's reality. 

Again, it's blanket statements like these that make it sound like Orthodox are close-minded.

Notice that I didn't say "An Orthodox cannot be open-minded. Period." I'm not making blanket generalizations here, I'm just pointing out how those statements sound.


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« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2012, 10:31:41 AM »

You'll likely lose all arguments with Protestants of all sects--they do not know what the verses means and never bothered to try to understand them. They let others of their faith tell them what those verses mean without anything else to back it up, and all they know to do is proof-text.

You can NOT win an argument with a Protestant.  Period. In order to win an argument with a Protestant, you must interpret scripture the exact same way they do, or from get-go, the presumption is that you are wrong.  End up somewhere far away from Protestant interpretation, and you're as far away from being Protestant as you can get, and the less Protestant you are, the more wrong you are.  To win an argument with a Protestant, you must arrive at Protestant conclusions.  If you arrive at any other conclusions, you are automatically wrong.  If you arrive at Protestant conclusions, you are right, which means the Protestant is still right because now you have agreed with them.  If that doesn't sound completely insane, then go back and read it again and again and again, because completely insane is exactly what that is.  There is NO way to win a scriptural or doctrinal argument with a Protestant.  That's not dumb, closed-minded, or myopic.  It's reality. 

Again, it's blanket statements like these that make it sound like Orthodox are close-minded.

Notice that I didn't say "An Orthodox cannot be open-minded. Period." I'm not making blanket generalizations here, I'm just pointing out how those statements sound.




And it's not my responsibility to be open-minded.  That's kinda what got us in this mess to begin with.  Open your mind too much, and your brain falls out.  I never claimed to be open-minded and that has never been a goal of mine.  Everybody has to be open-minded??  Who's making all these arbitrary rules so we're all marching in step the exact the same way?  I don't have to be open-minded.  And I'm not.  Next question? 
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« Reply #44 on: June 07, 2012, 11:47:44 AM »

Converting people who are not interested in converting is like trying to sell ice to penguins.

I have more inquirers and visitors 'disappear' than stay, though we do get a fair amount who do convert (even spouses who come unwillingly at first).  I don't convert them: they convert themselves.  God sends the ones that are hungry, but they will not be hungry for more Bible quotes.

You don't need to give them more rules.  What they need is an example of peace and love.  If they see in you what they don't have, they will listen to you.  From you description, it sounds like you are dealing with fundamentalists of a kind, and they have lots of rules but little spirituality.  They need to be exposed to the Spirit, and you are the vessel of the Spirit.  Let the Spirit work through you through the Virtues, remembering that 'Bible memorization' is not listed as a virtue in the Scriptures.

If they ask for 'proofs' that you don't feel comfortable giving, point them towards reliable texts and leave it at that.  Books like The Orthodox Church are very helpful in that respect.  We keep a stock of them to give out to inquirers.

Hope this helps.


I don't believe I am alone when you first encounter the Orthodox faith you sort of get really enthusiastic and want to tell everyone the truth that you found. Then triumphalism creeps in when sharing it, unfortunately.

My dilemma is this. I know what convinced me but that may not work at all with other people. Where exactly does one start? I've completely failed at trying to connect truth and Orthodoxy because I sort of beg the question by saying you have to live out the faith to come to know the truth but why would you live the faith without knowing what truth is first?

Instead of trying to connect an Unmovable Mover to Christ, I've tried to explain God as incarnational but this hasn't be successful.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone online but rather in person. I've tried talking to a Protestant who knows her Bible way more than I do and I end up being interrogated. Seriously once they start throwing Bible verses at me and I can't come up with something in response, I pretty much "lose" the argument.

Sorry I'm going all over the place here, and then there are those that are so stubborn in their own ignorance that it would take an act of God for them to think with an open mind. One of those incidences became a shouting match and almost to blows (that was before I found Orthodoxy and it was against a Mormon).

I've taken a much more passive approach and slowly try to bring up Orthodoxy, and kind of let the flow of the conversation dictate what to appropriately say. But again it hasn't made much of an impact.

What do I do?
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« Reply #45 on: June 07, 2012, 11:48:08 AM »

I never claimed to be open-minded

That's true. What you said is that it's an insult to say that your statements make Orthodox sound closed-minded.
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« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2012, 11:21:36 AM »

I have a question, because it was brought up earlier, do you really need to be immersed in philosophy to convert someone? Is philosophy even needed when it comes to Christianity?
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« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2012, 11:34:59 AM »


Hi gonefishing. I don't want to tell y'all how to do your job, but quite frankly, when I hear Orthodox talk this way, it just makes you sound close-minded and myopic.

Quote
What you said is that it's an insult to say that your statements make Orthodox sound closed-minded

Okay, first I sound closed-minded and then I'm making Orthodox sound closed-minded?  Which is it?  I'm speaking for all of Orthodoxy now?  I've been to one Liturgy.  How did I get to wield that kind of power?

That first post is where you directed those statements to me, not my opinions or to anyone else.  That's what is known as an insult. Another said my opinions were 'nonsense.'  In another thread, I was called 'dumb.'   What are YOU making Orthodox sound like??

You're on my butt like a spider monkey.  Get off.  Stop insulting people and stop riding someone's butt when they disagree with you.  You're wrong.  Get over it.
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« Reply #48 on: June 08, 2012, 12:45:10 PM »

Okay, first I sound closed-minded and then I'm making Orthodox sound closed-minded?  Which is it?

Well, I can't speak for anyone else; all I know is that what I said is that Orthodox sound close-minded and myopic when they make statement like those. As you can see:

Hi gonefishing. I don't want to tell y'all how to do your job, but quite frankly, when I hear Orthodox talk this way, it just makes you sound close-minded and myopic.

(Possibly I should have repeated the word "y'all" since "you" is prone to misunderstanding, since it could seem like I had switched from plural to singular.)

I'm speaking for all of Orthodoxy now?  I've been to one Liturgy.  How did I get to wield that kind of power?

That first post is where you directed those statements to me, not my opinions or to anyone else.  That's what is known as an insult. Another said my opinions were 'nonsense.'  In another thread, I was called 'dumb.'   What are YOU making Orthodox sound like??

You're on my butt like a spider monkey.  Get off.  Stop insulting people and stop riding someone's butt when they disagree with you.  You're wrong.  Get over it.

I really don't appreciate the way your talking to me. (Actually, I don't much care for your attitude toward non-Orthodox in general, but that seems unnecessary to say at this point.)
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« Reply #49 on: June 08, 2012, 12:49:08 PM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".
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« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2012, 12:53:34 PM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".

I wonder what they did when the Disciplina Arcani was still in force  Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2012, 01:31:54 PM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".

That's both anti-biblical and anti-traditional. But hey, how else would Orthodoxy remain the "best kept secret"?  police
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« Reply #52 on: June 08, 2012, 03:12:31 PM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".

I wonder what they did when the Disciplina Arcani was still in force  Smiley

come and not see (or come and see part of the time)? Wink
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« Reply #53 on: June 08, 2012, 03:15:09 PM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".

That's both anti-biblical and anti-traditional. But hey, how else would Orthodoxy remain the "best kept secret"?  police

As laypeople, we will most often end up misportraying the church or the faith if we do much else (as is often done on internet forums). Best for us just to get them there, and have them talk to the priest if they have questions/issues about the faith.
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« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2012, 03:25:50 PM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".

That's both anti-biblical and anti-traditional. But hey, how else would Orthodoxy remain the "best kept secret"?  police

As laypeople, we will most often end up misportraying the church or the faith if we do much else (as is often done on internet forums). Best for us just to get them there, and have them talk to the priest if they have questions/issues about the faith.

I can't answer that without sounding like a prideful know-it-all, so... ok, nevermind  Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2012, 03:54:33 PM »

I have a question, because it was brought up earlier, do you really need to be immersed in philosophy to convert someone? Is philosophy even needed when it comes to Christianity?

I don't think so. I was converted more-or-less by having been everywhere else first, so that when I found Orthodoxy myself (not without first having been exposed to EO'xy in person, so I knew that was out there and didn't fit me), I had the necessary background to be able to tell that it this was something truly different than everything else, even months (years?) before I was able to actually attend a liturgy. I wouldn't rely on this method across the board, though...some people probably do need to be intellectually convinced, though that doesn't mean that it's any particular person's job to do so. For most, I would assume that there might be a few specific issues that they would assurances on (e.g., icons, the Pope, etc.), but these probably don't need an in-depth philosophical treatise for each question. For instance, I had some questions about the particulars of confession in the Coptic Church (not problems with it, just things I wanted to know to make sure that I could get the most out of it), and so Father just took maybe 5 or 10 minutes before we began to describe how it's generally done. Bam. Lesson imparted and question answered. I've found everything similarly digestible thus far: You have a question? Oh, here's how we actually deal with that when it comes up. Then if you want to know more about it, you can bring in the philosophy and books and all that. No need to bury someone who is so new to the whole deal in a bunch of intellectual tomes or arguments if you can make the same point using language you don't need to study to understand. That can come later, when the person is more well-rooted in the faith.
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« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2012, 06:30:48 PM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".

That's both anti-biblical and anti-traditional.

I think you're taking that "only ... " too literally.
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« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2012, 12:17:47 AM »


I really don't appreciate the way your talking to me. (Actually, I don't much care for your attitude toward non-Orthodox in general, but that seems unnecessary to say at this point.)

I didn't appreciate at all the way you were talking to me.  Pretty sure that's what started this whole thing.   If you offend someone, they have every right to be offended and will pretty much say they're offended.  Don't insult people in the course of stating your opinions.  That'll fix it.
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« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2012, 12:23:05 AM »

only line an Orthodox evangelist needs to know: "come and see".

That's both anti-biblical and anti-traditional.

I think you're taking that "only ... " too literally.


I know, I know... but someone has to stand up for the large, silent grey majority  Cool
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« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2012, 09:28:24 PM »

Here is a great video you can lead people to about the history of the Orthodox Church. The history is recorded in the book of Acts.
Also, the Eucharist is always a good point to make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laHcgdE55Mo

Saying that I don't have a problem with most Protestants, don't push them too hard and turn them off. I'd just lead them to the history and let them figure it out. You should spend more time working on unbelievers.

1Cr 12:12 - For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.
1Cr 12:18 -   But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  
Thanks so much for that link! That's a very nice video.  Smiley
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