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Author Topic: How we treat non-Orthodoxy  (Read 759 times) Average Rating: 0
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jerry
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« on: August 16, 2012, 08:40:12 PM »

I'm a converted protestant and I'm pleased to be Orthodox now as it has blessed me tremendously in many ways.  One thing that frustrates me, however, is I hear so much discussion of belittling of other faiths.  Not just in the forum but in Orthodox churches as well.  I believe one key to leading others to our faith is humility.  My wife who is still protestant, and whom I've been trying to lead to Orthodoxy, sees posts in the forums I go into and hears conversations and her perception of us is one of arrogance.

The non-Orthodox and those who are not of any faith at all can sometimes be offensive and have beliefs that we all know are wrong.  But where we often fail is that we sometimes judge them and their beliefs and sometimes can be down right condescending.  I truely believe that love, patience and acceptance is crucial in converting people to Orthodoxy.  If someone were to come here outside our faith, all they should see from us is a love and caring or a"Christ-like" attitude.

I hope I haven't offended anyone with this rant.  I love all my Orthodox family and I'm grateful for the help that's been given to me here.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 08:41:44 PM by jerry » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 08:57:29 PM »

whatever you do, dont at like message boards are what people are really like, because of the "Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory" (Im making a direct quote, hence my use of language) (and http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/greater-internet-fuckwad-theory)

people in real life ae much nicer, even the us internet denizens
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 09:32:53 PM »

This is one of the things that has turned my husband off to Orthodoxy in the past.  He would get very offended when people would start Protestant bashing... whether it was in a simple conversation at coffee hour or from a visiting speaker (priest, Heirarch).  I could see the wall go up.  Anyway, the only advice I would give is to gently point out that your beloved spouse is not Orthodox and that you find their conversation hurtful.  Sometimes people are SO happy with where they are they don't realize their over enthusiasm actually offends others.  And, if they're not in a mixed marriage they are clueless about the land mines we have to walk around when trying to live in a 2 faith family.


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jerry
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 09:39:04 PM »

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Sometimes people are SO happy with where they are they don't realize their over enthusiasm actually offends others.

I didn't think about that.  I'll definitely watch that myself.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 09:40:07 PM by jerry » Logged
Nephi
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 10:07:41 PM »

Triumphalism is an easy hole to fall into, and converts often fall into it at some point or another (in any faith). Since so many online are converts, it's inevitable to see this type of behavior come up.

For example, look at a lot of the converts from X to Y. They're very vocal in their enthusiasm against their previous faith, when they were "in the dark." They are among the most seemingly anti-X in defense of Y. Etc. Replace X and Y with anything, including Orthodoxy.
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jerry
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 10:10:16 PM »

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Triumphalism is an easy hole to fall into, and converts often fall into it at some point or another (in any faith). Since so many online are converts, it's inevitable to see this type of behavior come up.

It isn't just converts though.  Its a mix of everyone.
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Nephi
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 10:14:42 PM »

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Triumphalism is an easy hole to fall into, and converts often fall into it at some point or another (in any faith). Since so many online are converts, it's inevitable to see this type of behavior come up.

It isn't just converts though.  Its a mix of everyone.

While they're not only converts, converts do make up a majority in my experience. The internet is also a major factor. I never see anti-Protestant/Catholic triumphalism in real life, only online.

Further, what do you mean by "belittling other faiths?"
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 10:15:55 PM by Nephi » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 10:19:19 PM »

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Triumphalism is an easy hole to fall into, and converts often fall into it at some point or another (in any faith). Since so many online are converts, it's inevitable to see this type of behavior come up.

It isn't just converts though.  Its a mix of everyone.

While they're not only converts, converts do make up a majority in my experience. The internet is also a major factor. I never see anti-Protestant/Catholic triumphalism in real life, only online.

Further, what do you mean by "belittling other faiths?"

Really?  That surprises me.
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Nephi
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 10:22:04 PM »

While they're not only converts, converts do make up a majority in my experience. The internet is also a major factor. I never see anti-Protestant/Catholic triumphalism in real life, only online.

Further, what do you mean by "belittling other faiths?"

Really?  That surprises me.

Maybe going to an Antiochian parish may have something to do with it.
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jerry
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 10:26:04 PM »

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While they're not only converts, converts do make up a majority in my experience. The internet is also a major factor. I never see anti-Protestant/Catholic triumphalism in real life, only online.

Maybe you have to be a former protestant to be sensitive to it, I don't know but i hear comments almost every time I go to church and especially on any theological discussion.

Quote
Further, what do you mean by "belittling other faiths?"

I hear people talk about their beliefs, protestants, and sometimes they make jokes or laugh at their beliefs.  I agree that many of their beliefs are wrong but my wife and kids are still protestant and it makes me feel like their attacking my family or making fun of them.
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 10:35:30 PM »

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While they're not only converts, converts do make up a majority in my experience. The internet is also a major factor. I never see anti-Protestant/Catholic triumphalism in real life, only online.

Maybe you have to be a former protestant to be sensitive to it, I don't know but i hear comments almost every time I go to church and especially on any theological discussion.

Quote
Further, what do you mean by "belittling other faiths?"

I hear people talk about their beliefs, protestants, and sometimes they make jokes or laugh at their beliefs.  I agree that many of their beliefs are wrong but my wife and kids are still protestant and it makes me feel like their attacking my family or making fun of them.

I do come from a Protestant background, but there's not often theological discussion at my church and other faith-groups are hardly mentioned. The only time I've heard discussion about them is when I ask other converts about their backgrounds, and even then they never belittle their previous faiths.

Since your experience is obviously quite different I don't think anything I can say would be of help.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 10:36:18 PM by Nephi » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2012, 10:43:12 PM »

You do have a point. We should try to at least be more humble and less triumphialistic, lest we drive potential converts away from the forum. I see this attitude everywhere. I see it on the forums and I see it among Greek people at my Church and I even see it among myself all the time. However, it is also fair to mention that Protestantism/Roman Catholicism are not entirely innocent either. Most Protestant/Mainstream Christians in America have an anti-Catholic discposition that in many cases applies to the Orthodox as well, seeing that they always group us as Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2012, 11:44:53 PM »

whatever you do, dont at like message boards are what people are really like, because of the "Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory" (Im making a direct quote, hence my use of language) (and http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/greater-internet-fuckwad-theory)

people in real life ae much nicer, even the us internet denizens

But are they more honest?
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 12:18:36 AM »

I try not to say anything offensive or rude, but know that I do fail at times. If I do so feel free to shoot me a PM (or respond publically) saying that I've crossed a line I shouldn't have.
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 01:00:05 PM »

Well non-Orthodoxy should be less lousy then, shouldn't it?

There is bound to be some natural triumphalism (it's somewhat intrinsic, seeing as we believe that we are God's Church and God's Body, but others are not).  But mine is kept in check by realizing how many excellent Xtians there are outside of the Church, and by how many lousy Xtians (myself included) are within the Church.
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2012, 06:19:12 PM »

I think the mistreatment comes with vanity and boasting.   "I'm so right and everything else is fake".

I've been both a victim and sinner in this.
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jerry
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2012, 07:57:54 PM »

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I try not to say anything offensive or rude, but know that I do fail at times. If I do so feel free to shoot me a PM (or respond publically) saying that I've crossed a line I shouldn't have.

I like your humility.  I hope I can achieve the same.
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 08:22:22 PM »

We were greeted once pretty rudely and mostly cold because my wife and daughter were wearing Mennonite cape dresses with head coverings.  My youngest daughters full length dresses, and my sons and I button down shirts and pants.

It was pretty sad.  Things were less tense when they learned I was baptized & raised Orthodox.   But my wife had many bad looks from women who were dressed way less conservatively than the bible mandates.  The irony was wild.

That was one of the few times my wife was open to check out Orthodoxy.  Just remember that when folks show up, they are there for a reason.   Also when one questions, it is often a concern.
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2012, 09:00:50 PM »

We were greeted once pretty rudely and mostly cold because my wife and daughter were wearing Mennonite cape dresses with head coverings.  My youngest daughters full length dresses, and my sons and I button down shirts and pants.

It was pretty sad.  Things were less tense when they learned I was baptized & raised Orthodox.   But my wife had many bad looks from women who were dressed way less conservatively than the bible mandates.  The irony was wild.

That was one of the few times my wife was open to check out Orthodoxy.  Just remember that when folks show up, they are there for a reason.   Also when one questions, it is often a concern.

It really is sad to hear that.

On a related note, it seems like a lot of Christian groups are biased against Mennonite and Holiness/Pentecostal styles of dress. I think they interpret it as a "holier-than-thou" statement, and feel judged by not dressing to such standards. Similar to how working women sometimes feel judged by housewives, even without the slightest hint of condemnation from the housewife.

Have you been treated similarly elsewhere?
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2012, 09:03:16 PM »

I like the monastic approach of seeing yourself as the worst among sinners. Everyone is more deserving than you. At rock bottom is where the struggle begins.
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2012, 09:09:59 PM »

Back when I first found out about Orthodoxy years ago I was net-friends with a guy from Waco (Baylor Philosophy/Theology major). He said that he and his wife drove to the only Orthodox Church that he knew about, which was an hour away (though there was apparently one in Waco he didn't know about), and according to him they were basically given dirty looks by everyone and purposely made to feel unwanted. This completely shut him (and especially his wife) off to Orthodoxy, and I'm sorry that such things do happen sometimes.

Thankfully I have never experienced this type of reaction at any of the dozen or so parishes or several monasteries that I have visited, so based on my experience it seems to be on the rare side.
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jerry
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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 09:11:18 AM »

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I like the monastic approach of seeing yourself as the worst among sinners. Everyone is more deserving than you. At rock bottom is where the struggle begins.

I like this approach as well.  Well said.
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2012, 04:31:10 PM »

We were greeted once pretty rudely and mostly cold because my wife and daughter were wearing Mennonite cape dresses with head coverings.  My youngest daughters full length dresses, and my sons and I button down shirts and pants.

It was pretty sad.  Things were less tense when they learned I was baptized & raised Orthodox.   But my wife had many bad looks from women who were dressed way less conservatively than the bible mandates.  The irony was wild.

That was one of the few times my wife was open to check out Orthodoxy.  Just remember that when folks show up, they are there for a reason.   Also when one questions, it is often a concern.

It really is sad to hear that.

On a related note, it seems like a lot of Christian groups are biased against Mennonite and Holiness/Pentecostal styles of dress. I think they interpret it as a "holier-than-thou" statement, and feel judged by not dressing to such standards. Similar to how working women sometimes feel judged by housewives, even without the slightest hint of condemnation from the housewife.

Have you been treated similarly elsewhere?

Well we have only gone between EO and various Mennonite churches.   The EO churches in the general Dallas area (one in particular had a very poor reception), one was mediocre, and one was just poor reception.  We gave up after that.

One woman wearing slacks was questioning my wife on her dress, and my wife began to quote scripture....  She did NOT like it and walked away.   My wife started with the scriptures commanding women not to adorn the clothes of men, dressing modestly... By that time the woman walked.
Later another woman started asking about her head covering (which surprised me because in other Orthodox churches some women wear them).  It was picky picky.

The Mennonite churches do not do this to visitors as I have witnessed.   For them the ones who are baptized into Christianity are those who are required to follow the church rules. 

We found the opposite that the Orthodox women presented the holier than thou attitude.  It was a "we're Orthodox, we are right, you are not" type of attitude.   It was really sad.  HOWEVER, this is probably the bad apples spoiling the bunch.  The negative one can spoil the entire experience.
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