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Author Topic: Backing off  (Read 1923 times) Average Rating: 0
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gonefishing
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« on: July 11, 2012, 12:42:15 AM »

I've been wanting to go back to church (and basically just fumbling around blindly in the dark) for the past 3 years.  During that time, I attempted to rediscover the RC faith that I was raised in.  Went to a Baptist church a couple times with a friend and found they devote way too much time to saying how everything Catholics do is wrong.  Major doctrine wars.  Noise.  I attempted to look at it logically, and figured the first church has to be the right church.  So several months ago, I began looking into Orthodoxy.  I still think that's the only real Christian church, but I also think I just need to back off completely.  You go looking for God and instead, find people.  I'm tired of the noise.  I'm not looking for doctrine--it becomes more important than God whom it's supposed to serve.  I'm not looking for absolution--if that's the only reason people seek God, that's a self-serving quest.  I'm not looking to use God as a talisman or a rich Uncle Bob.  I just wanted to find peace and God, and after all this time, I've found neither.  I just can't stand the noise anymore. Everything we touch as individuals and as a species, we turn it into noise. 

No longer looking to convert, and as I'm not an active attendee of any church right now, I wouldn't really be converting from anything.  I wanted to find God and peace.  It seems I can't have both.  Then I'll settle for just the peace.
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 12:47:58 AM »

Was it noisy at your Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 12:49:54 AM »

People speaking, pushing and shoving their own perspectives on you, arguing to distraction, everyone saying they have the answer--think you've found the ultimate authority on anything and here come another 10 people trying to take you in the opposite direction, making it impossible to know what's what--that's noise.  All we are is noise.
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 01:01:12 AM »

That's unfortunate.  I was lukcy in that the couple who became my sponsors (godparents) did not shovel out more than I can handle at a time.  Whenever you feel up to it again, you could try just going to the Liturgy and appreciating the Liturgy for what it is.  And perhaps get out of coffee hour if that is where people are throwing too much at you.  Perhaps you can listen to some Internet Ligurgies after taking a break?
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 01:17:02 AM »

It sounds like a lot of inner conflict.  Stop thinking about it so much and just pray; when you're at church, don't listen to the logismoi and just pray.  During the work week, in between services, say the morning and evening prayers.  This is Satan working on you because He senses you're wanting to be serious about your soul.  Orthodoxy isn't the Prosperity Gospel nonsense, it's hard work.   
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 01:23:22 AM »

People speaking, pushing and shoving their own perspectives on you, arguing to distraction, everyone saying they have the answer--think you've found the ultimate authority on anything and here come another 10 people trying to take you in the opposite direction, making it impossible to know what's what--that's noise.  All we are is noise.

Just curious, what were the topics of discussion that generated such noise?  Were they political?  At coffee hour at my church, I do discuss Greek and American politics (only if someone brings up the topic) with some people but not with everyone.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 01:34:00 AM »

It sounds like a lot of inner conflict.  Stop thinking about it so much and just pray; when you're at church, don't listen to the logismoi and just pray.  During the work week, in between services, say the morning and evening prayers.  This is Satan working on you because He senses you're wanting to be serious about your soul.  Orthodoxy isn't the Prosperity Gospel nonsense, it's hard work.   


It's not Satan.  It's people.  Pure and simple.  No church.  I'll pray at home and read the bible at home.  I understand that's generally a Protestant approach to faith, but it's the only one that gets me out of the noise.  No more. I'm shot.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 01:41:06 AM »

It sounds like a lot of inner conflict.  Stop thinking about it so much and just pray; when you're at church, don't listen to the logismoi and just pray.  During the work week, in between services, say the morning and evening prayers.  This is Satan working on you because He senses you're wanting to be serious about your soul.  Orthodoxy isn't the Prosperity Gospel nonsense, it's hard work.   


It's not Satan.  It's people.  Pure and simple.  No church.  I'll pray at home and read the bible at home.  I understand that's generally a Protestant approach to faith, but it's the only one that gets me out of the noise.  No more. I'm shot.

OK, but at least be open to the possibility that Satan could be using people to push you away from the Church. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 01:42:28 AM »


OK, but at least be open to the possibility that Satan could be using people to push you away from the Church. 

They all say that.  That's a constant.  Nope, it's not Satan at all.  Sorry. 
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 01:44:04 AM »

I've been wanting to go back to church (and basically just fumbling around blindly in the dark) for the past 3 years.  During that time, I attempted to rediscover the RC faith that I was raised in.  Went to a Baptist church a couple times with a friend and found they devote way too much time to saying how everything Catholics do is wrong.  Major doctrine wars.  Noise.  I attempted to look at it logically, and figured the first church has to be the right church.  So several months ago, I began looking into Orthodoxy.  I still think that's the only real Christian church, but I also think I just need to back off completely.  You go looking for God and instead, find people.  I'm tired of the noise.  I'm not looking for doctrine--it becomes more important than God whom it's supposed to serve.  I'm not looking for absolution--if that's the only reason people seek God, that's a self-serving quest.  I'm not looking to use God as a talisman or a rich Uncle Bob.  I just wanted to find peace and God, and after all this time, I've found neither.  I just can't stand the noise anymore. Everything we touch as individuals and as a species, we turn it into noise. 

No longer looking to convert, and as I'm not an active attendee of any church right now, I wouldn't really be converting from anything.  I wanted to find God and peace.  It seems I can't have both.  Then I'll settle for just the peace.

Breaking news! Your search is a success! You just didn't see God in the persons you met as annoying and noisy as they may be. Prayers for your continued journey.
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 01:50:01 AM »


Breaking news! Your search is a success! You just didn't see God in the persons you met as annoying and noisy as they may be. Prayers for your continued journey.


Nope.  I know failure when I see it.  You speak as though it was only a select few people.  Not the case.  Noise, everywhere I go.  Not sure where you're seeing 'success.'
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 02:13:06 AM »


Breaking news! Your search is a success! You just didn't see God in the persons you met as annoying and noisy as they may be. Prayers for your continued journey.


Nope.  I know failure when I see it.  You speak as though it was only a select few people.  Not the case.  Noise, everywhere I go.  Not sure where you're seeing 'success.'

"Wherever two or three are gathered together, there I am in the midst of them."

The prophet heard all kind of noise, and it was not God.  The silent whisper was God, but it was in the midst of noise.   When avoiding the loud thunder, you are also avoiding the whisper in its midst. 
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 02:15:26 AM »


 When avoiding the loud thunder, you are also avoiding the whisper in its midst. 

If that's the only way to avoid the thunder, then so be it.  With all the loud thunder claps, I'd never hear a whisper through all that racket anyway, right?
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 02:30:30 AM »

I'm not looking for doctrine--it becomes more important than God whom it's supposed to serve.

Then what are you looking for? How can you know who and what God is and what His instructions to humanity are without doctrine? Doctrine is essential precisely because it brings us closer to God and instructs us in the right path. Likewise, while I appreciate your quest for truth, it is important to remember that submission and patience are two of the most important values in Orthodoxy. You have to be able to acknowledge the Church/Body of Christ's authority and really participate in the Orthodox lifestyle--even if it is difficult and you do not like it. Jesus said that He was the Truth, the Light and the Way. But He never said that the Way was easy.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 02:32:31 AM »


Then what are you looking for? How can you know who and what God is and what His instructions to humanity are without doctrine? Doctrine is essential precisely because it brings us closer to God and instructs us in the right path. Likewise, while I appreciate your quest for truth, it is important to remember that submission and patience are two of the most important values in Orthodoxy. You have to be able to acknowledge the Church/Body of Christ's authority and really participate in the Orthodox lifestyle--even if it is difficult and you do not like it. Jesus said that He was the Truth, the Light and the Way. But He never said that the Way was easy.

Everyone claims to have 'the right path.'  I'm sick and tired of trying to sort it out.  God is not doctrine.
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 02:36:28 AM »

Everyone claims to have 'the right path.'

And I think that you and me can agree that Orthodoxy does indeed have the right path.

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I'm sick and tired of trying to sort it out.  God is not doctrine.

No but doctrine is essential if you want to know God
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 02:39:35 AM »

Everyone claims to have 'the right path.'

And I think that you and me can agree that Orthodoxy does indeed have the right path.

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I'm sick and tired of trying to sort it out.  God is not doctrine.

No but doctrine is essential if you want to know God


You're not hearing me. EVERYONE claims to have the right path. Everyone.  I've had every denomination known to man tell me I'm going to hell because I'm not one of them.  

And God is not doctrine.

Here comes the noise.  Time to shut down for the night.  Noise, noise, noise.  You know, Jews and Muslims also have 'the right path,' to talk to anyone of them, and the 'fact' that I'm going to hell is part of their 'doctrine.'  Noise.  Apparently, only atheists have peace.

Go to youtube and find a video clip of that scene in "War Games" where Matthew Broderick's character David tries to teach the computer the futility of Tic Tac Toe.  Same, same.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 02:42:42 AM by gonefishing » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 03:02:01 AM »

If loud, obnoxious know-it-alls could truly keep us from God, then God wouldn't have made any loud, obnoxious know-it-alls. Yet here we all are.

Don't give up so soon.

Like you, I don't find any peace listening to people at church (or anywhere, really, but it seems that your problem is at church) tell me that I should do this, or do that. Or this is true, and then that is true. Sure, they're of one mind during the liturgy, but outside? Forget about it! No way. They'll even argue amongst themselves for diametrically opposed points of view regarding everything from scripture to the saints to God until somebody gets tired of yelling and finally just asks Father what he thinks (at which point the conversation is generally considered to be over, thank God, because we respect our priests way more than each other). If I had to judge Orthodoxy by what goes on over the agape meal, I'd probably come away with all kinds of crazy impressions. I certainly wouldn't come away with the idea that I should be Orthodox.

But again, in the liturgy, none of that matters. We come together, not yelling at each other, but praising God with one voice. If we could carry that over to all other aspects of Church and life and never waver in it, then we'd already be in heaven. My only advice is that finding God and finding a bunch of clanging cymbals are not mutually exclusive situations. They're both in the Church. Your job is to bear one for the sake of the other.

"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:1-6)

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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 07:52:14 AM »

Remember we are in a fallen world. There is no one perfect, except Christ. Anyone telling you you are bound for Hell is misinformed.  We do not know any ones status with God, the best we can do is strive to improve ourselves in Christ.  We do know where God and fullness of faith is, we do not know were God is not.

My old priest used to say we go to heaven together to hell alone. Am I saying that you can not find God on your own. No, but the chances of error interpreting scripture by your self is great, and that is what lead to Denominationalism.

Also be aware that the bible is doctrine written for the church by the church and doctrine and truth matters.

When I first began in Orthodoxy the simple faith of the creed was enough. I began there, and over the years expanded my understanding more deeply.

I pray you do not let the "noise" discourage you. As stated above, attend Liturgy and let the small voice talk to you.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 07:53:03 AM by soderquj » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 09:21:39 AM »

Gonefishing,
It is clear that you don't want to go to church and that going makes you upset.  Don't go for a while.  Clear your head.  That being said, I will also say this:  When the problem is "EVERYONE" else, it is almost never everyone else. 
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2012, 09:25:04 AM »

Gonefishing,
It is clear that you don't want to go to church and that going makes you upset.  Don't go for a while.  Clear your head.  That being said, I will also say this:  When the problem is "EVERYONE" else, it is almost never everyone else

This.
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2012, 10:12:31 AM »

Gonefishing I understand where you're at. I was there for a very long time.

If you need a break, take one. If you are willing, God will lead you if you let Him.

A bit of advice. Dont hold grudges against these folks.

Quote
They all say that.  That's a constant.  Nope, it's not Satan at all.  Sorry
Satan gets alot of credit for stuff that he does not need to do. We screw things up all by ourselves alot of times. He does not need to do all this crap to us....alot of times, we just need a slight nudge so we can screw things up all by ourselves.

PP
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2012, 10:29:48 AM »

Gonefishing I understand where you're at. I was there for a very long time.

If you need a break, take one. If you are willing, God will lead you if you let Him.

A bit of advice. Dont hold grudges against these folks.

Quote
They all say that.  That's a constant.  Nope, it's not Satan at all.  Sorry
Satan gets alot of credit for stuff that he does not need to do. We screw things up all by ourselves alot of times. He does not need to do all this crap to us....alot of times, we just need a slight nudge so we can screw things up all by ourselves.

PP

Agreeing with this.

Gonefishing - if you need to back off then do so.  It makes sense sometimes.
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2012, 10:31:27 AM »

My church is quiet inside. But the influx of newborns over the last three years (to which I have contributed two children) has made the place a lot louder outside. But I never hear people arguing doctrine. Of course, I just leave when it's over.
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2012, 11:08:22 AM »

Being somewhat of an obnoxious opinionated loudmouth myself, it might be fun to find a church where people do argue a bit. Especially doctrine and politics. My dear ole daddy said that religion and politics are the only two subjects worth discussing. Too much peace and quiet and lovey dovey agreement gets on my nerves!
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« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2012, 02:49:45 PM »

It sounds like a lot of inner conflict.  Stop thinking about it so much and just pray; when you're at church, don't listen to the logismoi and just pray.  During the work week, in between services, say the morning and evening prayers.  This is Satan working on you because He senses you're wanting to be serious about your soul.  Orthodoxy isn't the Prosperity Gospel nonsense, it's hard work.   


It's not Satan.  It's people.  Pure and simple.  No church.  I'll pray at home and read the bible at home.  I understand that's generally a Protestant approach to faith, but it's the only one that gets me out of the noise.  No more. I'm shot.

If kids read Dr. Seuss then they wouldn't have these problems as adults.  Sad
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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 02:52:04 PM »


If kids read Dr. Seuss then they wouldn't have these problems as adults.  Sad

I did read it.  And it really doesn't fix this.  If you think about it.

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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 02:55:36 PM »


If kids read Dr. Seuss then they wouldn't have these problems as adults.  Sad

I did read it.  And it really doesn't fix this.  If you think about it.


I think it does.

After all, if your god of private readings is not powerful enough to allow you to endure the words of the sons of men, perhaps ours could be of service.

Think about it; does not the psalmist say:

"Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation."

Yet these same men conquer you with their mighty, mighty words, they drive you out. They are stronger than the god of private readings, because he cannot drive them off.

If a Dr. Seuss book can teach you to overcome what the god of private readings cannot, then perhaps it's time to upgrade to the Living God.
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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2012, 03:06:50 PM »

My favorite story from the Desert Fathers is not some stoic tale of a monk happily giving up all his possessions, or some 'mystical' word of wisdom. Instead, it is this one:

St. Anthony was struggling in the desert when a vision came to him, and said: "Anthony, there is one greater than you."

It drove him from the desert into Alexandria, to the house of a carpenter. St. Anthony, eager to learn from this holy man, asked him what he did to sanctify himself.

The man replied, "I don't do much of anything. I give away a small bit of the money I make, I have a wife and children, I labor some in the day and then retire at night."

The Holy Father was scandalized at how worldy this supposed holy man was. He pressed the man to discover what it was that singled him out. Eventually, the carpenter told him this:

"I look out my window while I work, and know that all those I see are saved, and I alone am lost." And he really meant it.

Then St. Anthony knew that this carpenter truly surpassed him.

Try doing that (I know, right?), while not asking yourself how things make you feel. Asking yourself how you feel is the best way to feel like crap.

The first thing is really hard for everybody, so maybe just the second thing. Sometimes I manage to pull the second thing off.
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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2012, 03:22:04 PM »

Some of this comes down to developing emotional/mental skills to deal with difficult people.    We all need to find a quiet place within ourselves no matter where we are or who we are with.  I know I've wasted too much time expecting others to be how I wanted them to be, or to acknowledge me in a way I felt I needed to be acknowledged.  Now I basically feel, "so what?".  Yeah, I've been in church settings where there was squabbling, or a bad vibe.  But, I've found an awesome Orthodox mission church where the gospel is just coming alive and people are very friendly. It's not all bad. Actually, there is a lot of good out there!  But what always helped when there was a contentious environment was to just find a way to serve, such as working in the soup kitchen or visiting the elderly, etc.  If you are engaged in this, you can feel you are on a more important mission and above engaging in squabbles.
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« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2012, 04:43:30 PM »

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

(a) I hate to say it, but you are trying to avoid noise, please stay away from this forum.  It isn't the noisiest Orthodox forum on the web to be sure, but in all honesty, while I've learned a lot and enjoyed discussing deep Orthodox history and culture and theology here, there is also a lot of ugly stuff.  Noise so loud and ugly it has challenged my faith, and even pushed me away from the Church too!  So if noise bothers you, come here more sporadically then other places more tangibly related to the Church.

(b) Only God gave grant that inward peace of heart, period.  God is in the Church, He is of course everywhere, but most of all, He is in the Church.  He as agreed with us for our own sakes to meet us half-way there at the Church, during Divine Liturgy.  That being said, try your best to overlook the noise and the politics and just enjoy the moment of prayer.  You can attend a Church without knowing a soul (I did for several years by the way) and simply go to services to stand in prayer.  If you want to avoid the noise and political chatter, skip coffee hour, go to Mass right as it begins bright and early, and leave just after Communion is dispensed.  You will find all the Grace, and avoid all the noise.  As God assists you by His Grace in time, you will be strengthened to get deeper in the community.  The Church is filled much more so with good people than noisy ones, but much like with excrement and garbage, things that stink often smell stronger and overpower the sweet smell of even the finest rose bushes Wink

Once your nose gets used to the smell, you will be able to enjoy the roses again, but the first things first, you have to desensitize the nose, and you do this by attending Divine Liturgy.  Just go there to pray and be nearer to God, and don't worry about other people until you've got yourself straightened out.  God will help you, I promise, just give Him the chance from time to time by taking every opportunity.  You will not find that peace on your own, the more we dive into our own heads, the louder the noise actually gets, and the trash only seems to get stinkier.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2012, 04:59:22 PM »

I know I've wasted too much time expecting others to be how I wanted them to be, or to acknowledge me in a way I felt I needed to be acknowledged. 

Ain't it the truth!

That was a hard lesson for me also!
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« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2012, 10:18:51 PM »

Either I'm not explaining myself well or my posts aren't being read all the way through.  This has nothing to do with Dr Seuss and I'm not just talking about 'difficult people.' I'm sick and tired of the noise coming from all people.  You can make an analogy of anything in the world--that doesn't mean it's valid.  I'm rejecting the analogy.  No wonder we look like cluster fudge to atheists--constantly arguing and in-fighting, christians condemning other christians, everyone claims to have the truth and yet all these 'truths' lie in direct conflict of each other.  Fed up with it.  I just wanted to go to church.  If that's not possible, then hell with it. 

Go ahead and tell yourselves it's some weakness or stubbornness on my part that I just won't come around.  I was told I'm not "open to it"--by a Baptist.  I'm sick and tired of trying to make sense of this, and then when I ask myself why it's even important, I have no answer.  That's because it's not important.  I could be devoting all this energy to something that matters or to just sitting there, trying to find peace.

There are estimated to be 35,000-38,000 christian denominations.  God doesn't know that?  He needs to be realistic and expect an extremely high failure rate.  Every single one of them threatens you with the fires of hell if you're not one of them.  Why would Orthodoxy be any different?  Telling me this is Satan and that I'm going to hell--that will compel me to no course of action whatsoever, logically, because it's the exact same thing everyone else says.  I'm going to burn in hell because I'm not Orthodox.  I'm also going to burn in hell because I'm not Protestant.  And Baptist.  Only the Baptists go to heaven.  And the Jehovah's Witnesses.  If you're not JW, you're going to hell.  Or Presbyterian.  If only I was Presbyterian, I'd have a chance at salvation and heaven itself.  Darn the luck.  Of course, Lutherans will tell you only Lutherans go to heaven and I'm pretty sure I'm not Lutheran.  Or Methodist.  Or Catholic.  If God doesn't understand the cluster-fudgedness of this, then He has unrealistic expectations.  I can be forgiven murder, rape, pederasty, fraud, theft, child porn--anything at all under the sun except choosing the wrong church/faith?  Hear the noise yet?

The bible is, cover to cover, a moral code, and yet I'm told not only do morals not matter--just affiliation--but that even trying is a sin, as though I think I can earn it.  So I'm supposed to go around doing whatever deviant, immoral, unethical thing I want because that glorifies God (yeah, I was told that) and that God is only going by affiliation alone.  Get in the right church or burn for eternity.  Noise, noise, noise.  God didn't say what He meant or mean what He said, He was just talking to hear himself talk.  There's nothing to judge at all--it's all about affiliation. 

Sick of it.  Fed up.  So I am going to do just exactly what I want to do.  I'm going to stay the hell away from people.  No more arguments or endless, mindless discussions dissecting 'doctrine' that doesn't mean a damn thing.  No more.  No wonder atheists laugh at us.  We're a mess.

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« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2012, 10:24:07 PM »

Why are you here, gonefishing? What are you looking for?
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« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2012, 10:25:11 PM »

Why are you here, gonefishing? What are you looking for?

I know what I was looking for when I got here--to convert to Orthodoxy.  All I found was more noise.  How is Orthodoxy different?  It's not.  Just another denomination.
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« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2012, 10:25:58 PM »

Why are you here, gonefishing? What are you looking for?

I know what I was looking for when I got here--to convert to Orthodoxy.  All I found was more noise.  How is Orthodoxy different?  It's not.  Just another denomination.

OK.

But right now. What is it that you're looking for?
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« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2012, 10:57:33 PM »



OK.

But right now. What is it that you're looking for?

An exit.  Taking it.  Have fun, everybody.  Talk amongst yourselves.  Nice site.  I'm taking a walk.  Wish you all well.
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« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2012, 11:00:35 PM »

Either I'm not explaining myself well or my posts aren't being read all the way through.  This has nothing to do with Dr Seuss and I'm not just talking about 'difficult people.' I'm sick and tired of the noise coming from all people.  You can make an analogy of anything in the world--that doesn't mean it's valid.  I'm rejecting the analogy.  No wonder we look like cluster fudge to atheists--constantly arguing and in-fighting, christians condemning other christians, everyone claims to have the truth and yet all these 'truths' lie in direct conflict of each other.  Fed up with it.  I just wanted to go to church.  If that's not possible, then hell with it. 

Go ahead and tell yourselves it's some weakness or stubbornness on my part that I just won't come around.  I was told I'm not "open to it"--by a Baptist.  I'm sick and tired of trying to make sense of this, and then when I ask myself why it's even important, I have no answer.  That's because it's not important.  I could be devoting all this energy to something that matters or to just sitting there, trying to find peace.

There are estimated to be 35,000-38,000 christian denominations.  God doesn't know that?  He needs to be realistic and expect an extremely high failure rate.  Every single one of them threatens you with the fires of hell if you're not one of them.  Why would Orthodoxy be any different?  Telling me this is Satan and that I'm going to hell--that will compel me to no course of action whatsoever, logically, because it's the exact same thing everyone else says.  I'm going to burn in hell because I'm not Orthodox.  I'm also going to burn in hell because I'm not Protestant.  And Baptist.  Only the Baptists go to heaven.  And the Jehovah's Witnesses.  If you're not JW, you're going to hell.  Or Presbyterian.  If only I was Presbyterian, I'd have a chance at salvation and heaven itself.  Darn the luck.  Of course, Lutherans will tell you only Lutherans go to heaven and I'm pretty sure I'm not Lutheran.  Or Methodist.  Or Catholic.  If God doesn't understand the cluster-fudgedness of this, then He has unrealistic expectations.  I can be forgiven murder, rape, pederasty, fraud, theft, child porn--anything at all under the sun except choosing the wrong church/faith?  Hear the noise yet?

The bible is, cover to cover, a moral code, and yet I'm told not only do morals not matter--just affiliation--but that even trying is a sin, as though I think I can earn it.  So I'm supposed to go around doing whatever deviant, immoral, unethical thing I want because that glorifies God (yeah, I was told that) and that God is only going by affiliation alone.  Get in the right church or burn for eternity.  Noise, noise, noise.  God didn't say what He meant or mean what He said, He was just talking to hear himself talk.  There's nothing to judge at all--it's all about affiliation. 

Sick of it.  Fed up.  So I am going to do just exactly what I want to do.  I'm going to stay the hell away from people.  No more arguments or endless, mindless discussions dissecting 'doctrine' that doesn't mean a damn thing.  No more.  No wonder atheists laugh at us.  We're a mess.

All I got from that was "protestantism is stupid".
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« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2012, 11:02:53 PM »


All I got from that was "protestantism is stupid".

Like I said, not reading the posts all the way through.  Or maybe just not understanding what you did read?
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« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2012, 11:08:34 PM »

Atheist laugh at people of faith because it makes them feel better about being atheist, they foolishly believe themselves wise.  If you want to get away from noise, visit a monastery for a few weeks.  Very quiet.  I would encourage you to stop looking for excuses and people to blame and look inward.  I have learned most of my problems are there.  When I see that, its easier to find God.  By the way, regardless of the topic, EVERYONE thinks they are right.  It's your job to look at the evidence and decide for yourself.  Sometimes we become discouraged when we find what we are looking for, but it isn't how we expected it to be.
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« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2012, 11:13:25 PM »



OK.

But right now. What is it that you're looking for?

An exit.  Taking it.  Have fun, everybody.  Talk amongst yourselves.  Nice site.  I'm taking a walk.  Wish you all well.

And Scene.

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« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2012, 11:13:38 PM »


All I got from that was "protestantism is stupid".

Like I said, not reading the posts all the way through.  Or maybe just not understanding what you did read?

I'm sorry, but the things you complain of have the stamp of contemporary, Anglophone protestantism (especially evangelicalism) all over them.

If it helps you to think me unsubtle or incapable of comprehension, you are welcome to that thought.

I am sorry for your obvious pain, but I wonder what you hoped to accomplish by posting these things other than to feel better than the rest of us who are caught up in the system you describe?
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« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2012, 11:14:40 PM »

Atheist laugh at people of faith because it makes them feel better about being atheist, they foolishly believe themselves wise.  If you want to get away from noise, visit a monastery for a few weeks.  Very quiet.  I would encourage you to stop looking for excuses and people to blame and look inward.  I have learned most of my problems are there.  When I see that, its easier to find God.  By the way, regardless of the topic, EVERYONE thinks they are right.  It's your job to look at the evidence and decide for yourself.  Sometimes we become discouraged when we find what we are looking for, but it isn't how we expected it to be.

Thank you for that whole "blame yourself" perspective but I've seen it before.  I am blaming people.  And this thread is proof.  Atheists laugh at people of faith because we're ridiculous.  I'm not looking for excuses.  I'm sick of the noise.  That noise is external, not internal.  Sorry, but no, it's not my fault.  I'm too old and too tired to put up with endless, mindless noise.  There is no evidence when everyone is able to produce it and all that evidence conflicts.  I'm sick and tired of trying to figure it out.
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« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2012, 11:16:22 PM »



I'm sorry, but the things you complain of have the stamp of contemporary, Anglophone protestantism (especially evangelicalism) all over them.



Then why did I put Orthodoxy into the pot with all the others?  Is Orthodoxy protestantism?
 
Like I said...
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« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2012, 11:20:31 PM »

Atheist laugh at people of faith because it makes them feel better about being atheist, they foolishly believe themselves wise.  If you want to get away from noise, visit a monastery for a few weeks.  Very quiet.  I would encourage you to stop looking for excuses and people to blame and look inward.  I have learned most of my problems are there.  When I see that, its easier to find God.  By the way, regardless of the topic, EVERYONE thinks they are right.  It's your job to look at the evidence and decide for yourself.  Sometimes we become discouraged when we find what we are looking for, but it isn't how we expected it to be.

Thank you for that whole "blame yourself" perspective but I've seen it before.  I am blaming people.  And this thread is proof.  Atheists laugh at people of faith because we're ridiculous.  I'm not looking for excuses.  I'm sick of the noise.  That noise is external, not internal.  Sorry, but no, it's not my fault.  I'm too old and too tired to put up with endless, mindless noise.  There is no evidence when everyone is able to produce it and all that evidence conflicts.  I'm sick and tired of trying to figure it out.

I'll pray for you.
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« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2012, 11:22:34 PM »

nevermind.
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« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2012, 11:24:52 PM »

Well, I wish you well as you try to find some peace and ultimately some answers.

Years ago I got fed up with the noise of where I was at…the type of Christianity I thought was "it"…after 21 years of believe it was "it"…"it" just didn't seemed to matter anymore…abc gum popped for the thousandth time.  I still believed…more or less, but just didn't care… oddly enough that was when I bumped into Orthodoxy…and after my initial research I decided I wanted to join…and was told "no."  It took three years for the doors to open for me…during that time I had plenty of opportunity to discover that gold coins can be held in some very earthen vessels.  

As for going to hell for not being Orthodox…since my late devout Southern Baptist Grandmother has worked at least 2 miracles for her other Orthodox grandchild (and grandchildren), I sorta don't think that's quite the case.  So I don't know who informed you that not being Orthodox would send you to hell but it's not what I was taught coming in. Rather I was taught that before heaven and hell are places, they are conditions of being. We go to heaven because we have become heaven within to greater or lesser degree. We go to hell for the same reason…namely that we have become or remained hell in our lives.  Christ through His Church offers Himself to us that we might through His grace, become heaven.

It's not my place to offer much in the way of advice, but if I may offer a suggestion. Perhaps it would be helpful to read something by a contemporary ascetic who knew the silence and peace you long for…Maybe someone like Elder Porphyrios "Wounded by Love" or Mother Gavriella's Aescetic of Love, or Elder Zachariah's, "Enlargment of the Human Heart…or even St. Nicholai Velimirovic's Prayers by the Lake.

It the meantime it might be good to remember several of the saints have said that the language of heaven is silence. May God be gracious to you in your journey. I recall the Scriptures say of Christ that He would not extinguish a smoking flax. It sounds like you are in or near such a state. Our God and Judge is gracious and is not out to destroy us. May God grant His breath revive your soul…and as Elder Cleopas used to say…Why do you listen to me, a rotten old man…May paradise consume you."
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 11:28:33 PM by Seraphim98 » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2012, 12:19:09 AM »

So because people disagree and it's annoying, nobody can actually be right? Huh

Think about it this way: For all the denominations that have turned Christianity into a joke (and I agree that they have), if it hadn't been for the Protestant movement, which was in its time entirely confined to the Western/Latin/Roman Church, there would be essentially four main forms of Christianity: Chalcedonian Orthodox, Chalcedonian Latins, non-Chalcedonian Orthodox, and Nestorians. So if you discount the possibility of Protestantism or any particular Protestant sect being right (which it would make sense to do, as if it were otherwise that would mean that the other 34,999 or however many sects founded upon essentially the same operating principle and with the same authority as the right one are nevertheless somehow wrong), you can at least get back to a reasonable number of choices. You can be Latin, you can be Eastern Orthodox, you can be Oriental Orthodox, or you can be Nestorian (assuming they take converts these days and you can actually find a church/are outside of Chicago, IL). That's kind of it, as far as Christianity is concerned.

And yes, they do teach to varying degrees some conflicting doctrines. If they didn't, there'd be even fewer choices that you'd have to make. But this is where your own inquiries, powers of deduction, etc. come in and you can deal with individual claims separate from the loudness of the people making them. It strikes me that there are an awful lot of people in the same situation as the OP, who not only desire to find the "right" church, but also desire that this church be somehow demonstrably right with such obvious force that any counterclaim is immediately annihilated and thrown into some kind of alternate dimension where nobody can ever mention it again. Sadly, that's not how things work. Most "new" religions or sects are nothing but old heresies in new packages: Many evangelical sects embrace things like Chiliasm and a kind of reworked Montanism; Islam is what you get when Judaizing sects like the Ebionites and Arianism have a baby; modern Roman Catholicism takes the "intellectualism as theology" idea of Barlaam of Calabria and runs with it; etc. These things don't simply go away.

So, unfortunately, the noise will always be there. There was never a time in the history of Christianity (or, indeed, of all religion) when it wasn't there. If there is any religious group in which such dissent or contradiction is not possible, that's the one you really want to stay away from, because it's very likely quite dangerous. But in Orthodoxy at least, there are things that are essentials on which we are agreed (they may vary based on the communion you find yourself in, but each communion has their own set: 3 councils, 7 councils, etc.), and then there is everything else, in which you are likely to not find agreement among people who are otherwise agreed in the essentials. That's just life. I am sorry that the OP has gotten tangled up in such things. It is understandable, but not really necessary. We work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, and there are no shortcuts.
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« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2012, 12:43:33 AM »

That noise is external, not internal.  Sorry, but no, it's not my fault.  I'm too old and too tired to put up with endless, mindless noise.  
What makes you different from everyone else then? Why can we put up with it but not you?

Let me run a scenario so we can better understand what you mean.

So, you're going to church. You get out of the car or you walk, either way. You encounter your first people of the day either in the narthex or outside the church, and they're talking about stuff. Is that stuff secular politics? Is it church politics? Is it a debate about the nature of Christ? Church comparison? Is it small talk about their lives?

I mean, we can generalize that it's all "noise", but it's gotta be *something*, sentences made up of words. Can we have an example of a sentence that pains you?

How does it affect you when you experience the noise? Does it cause a physical migraine? Does it cause you to just "check out"? Are some days better than others? If so, what is different about those days?

These are the sort of questions that need to be asked, or else we're just throwing generalizations at each other.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:47:41 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: July 12, 2012, 02:24:18 AM »

I'm going to hell anyway.  Might as well enjoy myself.  I've had it with the Jesus Christ taffy pull.  I'm tired.
 Banned as a duplicate account to "newtoorthodoxy."

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« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2012, 02:34:11 AM »

I've felt that way. Sometimes I feel that way twice in one hour about three different religions. Smiley I'm not going to say it gets better, so I'll just say ... there's nothing wrong with taking a break, but try to go back eventually and take another look. If you reject Christianity let it be because you soberly decide against it, not because it's frustrating.
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« Reply #51 on: July 14, 2012, 01:40:26 AM »

I read a few of the comments, but not all.
I'll say this.
I think sometimes we just need to take a break from searching. Maybe it will find you someday, or whatever. Just rest and enjoy time away from the noise. It may be possible that you will want to search later, or not. Whatever. Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2012, 02:39:59 AM »

Peace mate,

Haven't read all of this but I went through the Coptic Orthodox catechumanate three times over 2 and half to three years while still Protestant (specifically, Seventh Day Baptist [SDB]) then went interstate for Pascha/Easter without telling anyone for some time to clear my thoughts and visit an Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Was baptised about a month thereafter. Please feel free to message if you like though not on here too often these days.

May the Lord guide your search and peace be with you as you seek God in truth Cool
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« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2012, 08:36:40 PM »

well you can find God and find peace but by looking within yourself not without.. 0.00000000000000000001 cents..
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« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2012, 12:12:54 PM »

What does it even matter that all the denominations think they are the "Truth"? In the end, God alone judges.
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« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2012, 02:35:08 PM »

gonefishing, I notice you've change your profile to say "Faith: None".

I'm sorry that Christianity hasn't been a very positive experience for you. I hope you'll give it another try after, as you say, backing off for a while.
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« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2012, 03:58:00 PM »

My I suggest you try fishing when the noise gets bad. Grab the old Cain pole head on out to the creek, stop off along the way grab yourself a few cold ones whatever your taste maybe I suggest Coors light. Toss the old line pop the top and listen to the birds sing and grab a blade of grass and stick in your lips all the noise just melts away.
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