Author Topic: Backing off  (Read 7456 times)

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Offline KBN1

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Re: Backing off
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2012, 11:22:34 PM »
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 11:28:57 PM by KBN1 »

Offline Seraphim98

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Re: Backing off
« 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 »

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Backing off
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2012, 12:19:09 AM »
So because people disagree and it's annoying, nobody can actually be right? ???

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.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:19:52 AM by dzheremi »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Backing off
« 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 »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline gonefishing

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Re: Backing off
« 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."

+ Fr. G.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Backing off
« 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. :) 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.
get rekt, nerd

Offline Mokek Kwe

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Re: Backing off
« 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. :)
Baptized with my husband and our four year old daughter on May 4, 2013

Offline Didymus

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Re: Backing off
« 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 8)
...because I was not with you when the Lord came aforetime.
...because I am blind and yet I see.

Offline Azul

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Re: Backing off
« 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..
Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi

Offline JoyceV925

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Re: Backing off
« 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.

Offline Peter J

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Re: Backing off
« 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.
- Peter Jericho

Offline jewish voice

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Re: Backing off
« 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.