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Author Topic: what is holding me back from converting  (Read 1249 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mister Jim Dude
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« on: June 16, 2012, 08:08:11 AM »

Hi, everyone.
I started a podcast which is a companion to my blog. In my first episode I discuss what is holding me back from converting.  It is a short 8 minutes long. The link to the podcast is in my signature below. I won’t  put the link in the body of this message because the moderators don’t like that…  Grin
Please take a listen and give me your feedback.
Thanks,
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 11:35:17 AM »

No one would disagree that there are righteous Protestants. There are. I have known many in my life.

You said you could not imagine Christ abandoning those outside of the Church. Christ is always faithful to his Bride and does not abandon anybody. Truthfully, it is the founders of these countless breakaway sects who abandoned the Church, and by it, the faith Christ intended for them.

This does not mean Protestants are out of luck. The righteous Protestants I know never chose to reject the Church. They were born into a time and place where the Orthodox Church did not really exist, and never knew about the Orthodox Church, so they are blameless in the matter. Christ desires the salvation of all, and I believe he makes a way for them (we cannot know this for sure, but I believe it fits with God's character better than the alternative).

That being said, we do know for sure that the Church does in fact lead not only to righteousness, but holiness and God-likeness. While non-Orthodox people may stumble around in the weeds their whole lives and ultimately emerge before the pearly gates, we have a narrow paved road that leads right up to them. This way is certain, because it is the way given by Christ to the Apostles, and which the Apostles have passed down to us. There is no more searching for the next better thing, there is only living the life Christ told us to live, in the framework of the Church he has given us.

Another factor is communion. Of course there are some non-Orthodox people and preachers and communities that teach all the right things. But Orthodoxy is not just a set of beliefs. It is a physical communion that makes up a physical body. One could believe all the right things, but that does not make one a part of the communion of the Church. It may be accounted as righteousness, but the real thing is much better.

To the issue of your wife, I know lots of people who are in the same position. After much prayer and priestly direction (and longer-than-usual time as catechumens), in the end most of them converted without their spouses. Others are in a sort of limbo, unable to move in either direction. For those who part ways spiritually with their spouse, they felt it was more important to be in communion with the Church than to attend services with their spouse. In the passage about unequal yokes, the Apostle indicates that the prayers of a husband or wife who comes to Christ are powerful and has an effect on the other spouse.

It's not an easy position to be in. If you haven't already, you should meet with the priest of the parish you attend and tell him all these things. He is in a better position to help than any of us on the Internet. You may be able to become a catechumen if you want to continue pursuing this, and as the church continuously prays for the catechumens, you'll have extra support there.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 11:42:22 AM by age234 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 11:48:03 AM »

Nicely done podcast Jim, I enjoyed the different audio snippets you put in. Is that Freebird playing in the beginning of the podcast? What song is that?

Anyway Jim do believe salvation is possible outside of the Orthodox Church?
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Mister Jim Dude
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 06:35:56 AM »

Thank you, AGE234, for your very thoughtful answer. I do understand that it is more than just "believing" the right things. As I said in my podcast, the demons "believe" too.  I think I will take your advice and talk to my priest. I sense, though, through everything I have heard from Orthodox friends on the internet and from people from the parish, that I need to make the switch without the wife...that really saddens me  Embarrassed
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 06:46:38 AM »

Nicely done podcast Jim, I enjoyed the different audio snippets you put in. Is that Freebird playing in the beginning of the podcast? What song is that?

Anyway Jim do believe salvation is possible outside of the Orthodox Church?

Actually, Achronos, that is not Freebird. The name of that song is "Smooth Journey" and I got it from a website called "Jewelbeat" which sells music that can be legally used in podcasts. If I were to have used Freebird, that would have been illeagle, although I doubt anyone would have persured charges against me.  Cheesy Do you remember years ago when Napster users were being sued for file sharing songs? They were giving out hefty fines!

The audio snippits are all from the Movie, "the Man who shot Liberty Valance" with Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne. I wanted to have a West verse East theme so that worked out nicely Smiley

As for Salvation outside the Church....Well, I leave that up to God, although I strongly suspect that His Mercy is Greater than others would believe it to be! That of course doesn't get me off the hook...
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 09:16:07 AM »

Jim ( from another Jim)

We do not know where God is not, as Orthodox we only know where God is.  He can do what he will everywhere.

On your journey, don't worry to much, by your example, your life in Christ, will do more than anything it influence your wife.  It take time but God works wonders.  I have seem it when my sons wife after a few years converted.
No one tried to influence her in anyway, she decided that what we had was something she wanted.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 09:16:37 AM by soderquj » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 03:58:50 PM »

Jim ( from another Jim)

We do not know where God is not, as Orthodox we only know where God is.  He can do what he will everywhere.

On your journey, don't worry to much, by your example, your life in Christ, will do more than anything it influence your wife.  It take time but God works wonders.  I have seem it when my sons wife after a few years converted.
No one tried to influence her in anyway, she decided that what we had was something she wanted.

Thank you. That is very encouraging!  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 04:48:58 PM »

Thank you, AGE234, for your very thoughtful answer. I do understand that it is more than just "believing" the right things. As I said in my podcast, the demons "believe" too.  I think I will take your advice and talk to my priest. I sense, though, through everything I have heard from Orthodox friends on the internet and from people from the parish, that I need to make the switch without the wife...that really saddens me  Embarrassed

I have officially been Orthodox one year this past Pascha.  I used to be a Baptist youth minister.  My wife is still Baptist.  It was extremely difficult at first, but after about six months after my conversion, things eased up a bit.  Now she attends Liturgy on occasion and even does prayers with the kids when asked from their prayer books. 
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 06:04:59 AM »

 
 

 
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I  have officially been Orthodox one year this past Pascha.  I used to be a Baptist youth minister.  My wife is still Baptist.  It was extremely difficult at first, but after about six months after my conversion, things eased up a bit.  Now she attends Liturgy on occasion and even does prayers with the kids when asked from their prayer books   

thanks...that sounds pretty encouraging! Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2012, 02:29:41 PM »

I enjoyed listening to that Jim. Thanks!

While I am not where you are exactly I can certainly relate to a couple of the issues you mentioned. I got the impression you came across Orthodoxy prior to joining the Church you now attend. I am assuming the Church you mentioned is the Church of the Nazarene you have listed under faith. Forgive me if this is going to far off topic but I have a couple of questions...

1) To what extent, if at all, has John Wesley influenced your inquiring and future conversion to Orthodoxy?

2) To what extent does the Nazarene Church you attend adhere to the teachings of Wesley? 'Take communion upon every occasion', Infant Baptism, Patristic teachings referenced in service, Sin remaining in the heart of believers, Faith without works is dead, etc.?

I once attended a Nazarene Church that was great for my family at the time. In retrospect a little watered down I guess one might say. The Church I pray at now is much closer to a 'true' Wesleyan doctrine though it is starting to seem like it lacks the 'fullness' as they say when compared to what I read from Wesley, and certainly from what I am learing of Orthodoxy.   

May our Lord be with you in your journey and may your wife follow beside you wherever God leads.
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 06:10:43 AM »

I enjoyed listening to that Jim. Thanks!

While I am not where you are exactly I can certainly relate to a couple of the issues you mentioned. I got the impression you came across Orthodoxy prior to joining the Church you now attend. I am assuming the Church you mentioned is the Church of the Nazarene you have listed under faith. Forgive me if this is going to far off topic but I have a couple of questions...

1) To what extent, if at all, has John Wesley influenced your inquiring and future conversion to Orthodoxy?

2) To what extent does the Nazarene Church you attend adhere to the teachings of Wesley? 'Take communion upon every occasion', Infant Baptism, Patristic teachings referenced in service, Sin remaining in the heart of believers, Faith without works is dead, etc.?

I once attended a Nazarene Church that was great for my family at the time. In retrospect a little watered down I guess one might say. The Church I pray at now is much closer to a 'true' Wesleyan doctrine though it is starting to seem like it lacks the 'fullness' as they say when compared to what I read from Wesley, and certainly from what I am learing of Orthodoxy.   

May our Lord be with you in your journey and may your wife follow beside you wherever God leads.

Alan,
thanks for listening to my podcast! Yes, I am a member of the Church of the Nazarene and I became interested in Orthodoxy after I was already Nazarene.  Before joining that church, my wife and I were Lutherans for over ten years but we felt "led" to join the Nazarene church.  As a Lutheran, I was a staunch believer in the Sacraments but I feared  the Nazarenes would make me "renounce" my Sacramental views regarding Eucharist, infant baptism, ect. Turns out they had no problem with anyone holding those beliefs so I could join in good conscience.  This has to do with their Methodist roots, no doubt but, as a matter of fact, even though they have a "high church" heritage, most Nazarene churches are nothing more than Evangelical, Baptist style churches....somewhat of a disappointment to me.  So it was really the Nazarene's Sacramental views and not Wesley's Holiness views that attracted me.

From what little I know of Wesley, ~a faithful Anglican priest till his death, I am told~ I think he would be horrified if he walked into a Nazarene Church today. My pastor, a godly man, doesn't even talk about entire sanctification anymore, at least not as a point of doctrine.

Thanks again for listening and taking the time to post your comments!

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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 09:26:18 AM »

Hi, everyone.
I started a podcast which is a companion to my blog. In my first episode I discuss what is holding me back from converting.  It is a short 8 minutes long. The link to the podcast is in my signature below. I won’t  put the link in the body of this message because the moderators don’t like that…  Grin
Please take a listen and give me your feedback.
Thanks,

If you plan on converting alone then you should try and make friends with those at the local parish you are visiting right now. For you will need someone to talk to and gel with in the long run. But if your plan is to wait till your wife is ready then why not also talk to other non-Orthodox individuals that you may know or run into about your interests in regards to Orthodoxy. Maybe you can hold a Bible study or church history study (or both) at your house with you, your wife, and some others.......etc. That way, when your wife is ready to make that jump, you all as a group can do so together.

It will be easier for you to survive in the long run with friends around you.
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 11:52:40 AM »

If this helps in your decision process:

Several years ago a cousin of mine converted to Orthodoxy when she married (her husband was Greek…still is). Our extended family generally speaking were raised Southern Baptist so it was a little bit shocked…but got over it. A little shy of 20 years later I too converted to Orthodoxy and I too had questions about devout but departed relatives who had never heard of Orthodoxy much less ever considered conversion.  My cousin shared a couple of stories of her experience with me about our very devout long suffering, godly and loving Southern Baptist grandmother who had passed away in the early 80s.

When my cousin's son was still a baby he fell out of their car onto a sidewalk and busted his head open…lots of blood, …freaked out mommy. She was a nurse and had a good sense of how bad the injury might be. My cousin said at that moment she very clearly heard Grandma's voice say, "I can't be doing this every time, but don't worry, it will be okay." Once the baby was cleaned up the "wound" that had seemed so grievous on the sidewalk had become no more than a bump and a scratch.  On another occasion a couple of years later when my cousin had a second child she was out for a walk with the kids in a double stroller.  Just as she started to cross the road at an intersection she heard my Grandmother in a very urgent tone, "Get those babies back on the sidewalk, right now!" It startled my cousin and she jumped back on the sidewalk with the stroller. That instant a drunk driver ran the red light and raced through right where they had been standing a split second before.

So for me the question of Christ and the Christ loving heterodox departed was answered of me in the affirmative.  Beyond that, the question became pretty simply…what is true…and its corollary, what is my responsibility to the truth.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 11:53:33 AM by Seraphim98 » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 07:21:53 PM »

Hi, everyone.
I started a podcast which is a companion to my blog. In my first episode I discuss what is holding me back from converting.  It is a short 8 minutes long. The link to the podcast is in my signature below. I won’t  put the link in the body of this message because the moderators don’t like that…  Grin
Please take a listen and give me your feedback.
Thanks,


The word that comes to mind when listening to your podcast is - catholicity.  

Just a thought.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 07:22:21 PM by wayseer » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2012, 03:20:22 PM »


 

 
Quote
I  have officially been Orthodox one year this past Pascha.  I used to be a Baptist youth minister.  My wife is still Baptist.  It was extremely difficult at first, but after about six months after my conversion, things eased up a bit.  Now she attends Liturgy on occasion and even does prayers with the kids when asked from their prayer books  

thanks...that sounds pretty encouraging! Smiley

As a matter of fact, she has twice brought the children to liturgy with me this month ( to include today) and even woke me up this morning to get ready.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2012, 03:21:07 PM by Kerdy » Logged
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