OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 30, 2014, 01:50:21 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: best introduction of Christianity to non christian  (Read 1068 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Rdunbar123
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 161


« on: October 16, 2012, 10:06:36 AM »

My son who was raised RC like me has asked to accompany me to church(which I have been praying for)he has been away from church for a while. His girlfriend is supportive and will go but she is non christian(asian with no real belief system) . I would like some suggestions on some reading that would introduce here to Christ, the church ect. Remember she was raised with not even a concept of Christianity but is open to understanding. Thanks
Logged
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 9,605


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 10:07:59 AM »

That differs for every person. What's her personality like, is she interested in philosophy?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 10:08:31 AM by Cyrillic » Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
age234
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 555


« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 10:23:27 AM »

I can't offer much, but start with the very basics. Keep it to Christ, the incarnation, the resurrection, salvation/theosis, and the like.

Honestly, if she wants to know, I'd give her the Gospels of Luke and Mark, and be ready to answer the inevitable questions.

I personally like "God's Revelation to the Human Heart", the short book by Fr. Seraphim Rose. It is a beautiful explanation of the Christian life; although I don't know how it would play to someone with no Christian experience.

I would not even delve into matters of the Church at this point, especially for someone who does not even know who Christ is. After all, we are trying to convert hearts to Christ, not to the Church. And if Orthodoxy is her first exposure to Christianity, there is no sectarian debate to be had. The theology of the Church is important and must be discussed at some point, but I would not begin there by any means.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 10:25:41 AM by age234 » Logged
recent convert
Orthodox Chrisitan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian (N.A.)
Posts: 1,919


« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 10:54:34 AM »

Maybe you could say that this where we worship God who wanted us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, & minds and our neighbor as ourself & to treat each other so. That obviously we fail to do so in this world as evidenced by the suffering that is so evident around us & that God gave us His Son to cure us of our infirmities so we will not suffer in the afterlife like we do here. Our liturgy is a preview of the heaven promised to us & we must imitate this as much as possible in daily life by praying, fasting, & alms giving for others as well ourselves.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 10:54:53 AM by recent convert » Logged

Antiochian OC N.A.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,048


"My god is greater."


« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2012, 11:05:29 AM »

My son who was raised RC like me has asked to accompany me to church(which I have been praying for)he has been away from church for a while. His girlfriend is supportive and will go but she is non christian(asian with no real belief system) . I would like some suggestions on some reading that would introduce here to Christ, the church ect. Remember she was raised with not even a concept of Christianity but is open to understanding. Thanks

I think it's a good opportunity as she does not come with so much baggage as to what Christianity is supposed to be. Might I ask what her specific cultural background is? If she speaks/ reads Chinese there are lots of good catechetical resources here at the bottom of the page.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
witega
Is it enough now, to tell you you matter?
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,614


« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2012, 12:54:15 PM »

My son who was raised RC like me has asked to accompany me to church(which I have been praying for)he has been away from church for a while. His girlfriend is supportive and will go but she is non christian(asian with no real belief system) . I would like some suggestions on some reading that would introduce here to Christ, the church ect. Remember she was raised with not even a concept of Christianity but is open to understanding. Thanks

I would agree with age1234. Start with the Gospels of Mark and Luke (Matthew was written specifically for those with a Jewish background, John for those who had already been Christian for awhile). Meanwhile take her to Church and answer questions as they come up. Given that she starts with no real background, but also no preconceptions, the vast majority of books out there would just confuse the issue for her. You have the luxury of approaching her the way the missionaries originally approached Gentile/pagan societies. Just show her the Church and talk about Christ. If her interest grows then move on to the rest of the New Testament and then simpler Patristic works (On the Incarnation, St. Cyril of Jerusalem's 'On the Sacraments), depending on her English ability, but stay away from more polemical works (ancient or modern) because starting with no knowledge, she doesn't have any of the wrong ideas those works address.

(My wife was in the same situation when we first met. She had never rejected the general folk-religion of her Taiwanese upbringing and would vaguely describe herself as a Buddhist if asked, but she had never studied it nor felt any particular commitment to it. When she came into Orthodoxy, the process was completely different than my own conversion process, because while she had to learn a lot of things most Westerners would consider basic, she didn't have to *relearn* anything)
Logged

Ariel Starling - New album

For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great
genesisone
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 2,506



« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 01:09:47 PM »

Why is the girlfriend supportive? Does she see something in your son? Start there. Also, ask her what her questions are. You may overwhelm her otherwise. Take it slow.
Logged
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2012, 01:28:45 PM »

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


You may overwhelm her otherwise. Take it slow.

EXACTLY  Cheesy

My son who was raised RC like me has asked to accompany me to church(which I have been praying for)he has been away from church for a while. His girlfriend is supportive and will go but she is non christian(asian with no real belief system) . I would like some suggestions on some reading that would introduce here to Christ, the church ect. Remember she was raised with not even a concept of Christianity but is open to understanding. Thanks

If she has no real background and is willing to check it out, I say don't tell her anything but be sure to be engaging and encouraging, and answer any questions she may seem to have while also taking the point to explain certain things if she looks even remotely interested. If you recommend a certain Gospel reading or another, you may come across as preachy.  Our ontology is to be hospitable first, preachy later.  So just be nice, welcoming, and inviting.  Let the experience speak for itself.  Just remind her to be polite to our conservative culture and to limit any kinds of public affection for outside of the Church setting, and remind her and your son it is nothing personal or mean-spirited against them, just a matter of cultural respect Smiley

If she seems more interested afterwards or begins to ask your son questions to understand his Faith, perhaps you can recommend a good catechism text from your jurisdiction?  There are several good websites out there with such information also readily available.  Teenagers like to be empowered more so than lectured, so if you can find away to present the information to her in a way that puts the pall in her court, that would be best.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 01:29:19 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Rdunbar123
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 161


« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 03:06:05 PM »

Her mother was Cambodian refugee her father was Vietnamese and met her in camp. She says she is neither Buhdist or RC which would be my first guess. As someone pointed out my first interest is introducing her to Christ .
Logged
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,536



« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 04:00:10 PM »

Why is the girlfriend supportive? Does she see something in your son? Start there. Also, ask her what her questions are. You may overwhelm her otherwise. Take it slow.

[/thread]
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Posts: 9,605


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 04:05:29 PM »

Her mother was Cambodian refugee her father was Vietnamese and met her in camp. She says she is neither Buhdist or RC which would be my first guess. As someone pointed out my first interest is introducing her to Christ .

 Smiley

Take it easy, dad.
Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2012, 04:40:43 PM »

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

Her mother was Cambodian refugee her father was Vietnamese and met her in camp. She says she is neither Buhdist or RC which would be my first guess. As someone pointed out my first interest is introducing her to Christ .

Chances are she is more interesting in attending your parish to (a) get cool points with y'all parents and (b) to get closer to your son.  That being said, I'd focus more on the hospitality at this point, keeping in mind that this girl is probably attending to get to know you, not necessarily Jesus.  I would wait a little while until she gets to know y'all a little better before getting into any kind of proselytizing.  The girl probably wants you to appreciate her for her as his girlfriend, and not as a potential convert member of the parish Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
age234
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 555


« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 04:47:36 PM »

I'd focus more on the hospitality at this point, keeping in mind that this girl is probably attending to get to know you, not necessarily Jesus.

Indeed. Proselytizing directly rarely works unless a person is already truly interested (I wasn't sure if that was the case when I replied earlier). The person's heart must be prepared in order for seeds to grow.

The best way to introduce people to Christ is to BE Christ to them.
Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,763


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2012, 05:12:24 PM »

Read them all those stories of genocide in the Old Testament sanctioned by Yahweh and then try to convince them that God is all-good and loving.

Okay, just joking & trolling.

In reality, why not start with the Gospels? The character of Jesus along with His sayings should probably be a good area to start with.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Rdunbar123
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 161


« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 06:55:06 AM »

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

Her mother was Cambodian refugee her father was Vietnamese and met her in camp. She says she is neither Buhdist or RC which would be my first guess. As someone pointed out my first interest is introducing her to Christ .

Chances are she is more interesting in attending your parish to (a) get cool points with y'all parents and (b) to get closer to your son.  That being said, I'd focus more on the hospitality at this point, keeping in mind that this girl is probably attending to get to know you, not necessarily Jesus.  I would wait a little while until she gets to know y'all a little better before getting into any kind of proselytizing.  The girl probably wants you to appreciate her for her as his girlfriend, and not as a potential convert member of the parish Smiley

I still have trouble quoting so I hope this comes out right

We have known Jenny for over three years. She needs no points with us. She is very hard working and has a,kind heart. I never push people into religion. I have never brought it up unless she asked. My wife is still RC and helps with my fast. I hope she follows me into the church but that is her decision. When we were married she was Church of Christ and only became RC after 8 year of marriage.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
[/quote]
Logged
WeldeMikael
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Posts: 506


« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2012, 07:12:40 AM »

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

Her mother was Cambodian refugee her father was Vietnamese and met her in camp. She says she is neither Buhdist or RC which would be my first guess. As someone pointed out my first interest is introducing her to Christ .

Chances are she is more interesting in attending your parish to (a) get cool points with y'all parents and (b) to get closer to your son.  That being said, I'd focus more on the hospitality at this point, keeping in mind that this girl is probably attending to get to know you, not necessarily Jesus.  I would wait a little while until she gets to know y'all a little better before getting into any kind of proselytizing.  The girl probably wants you to appreciate her for her as his girlfriend, and not as a potential convert member of the parish Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I agree.
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.072 seconds with 43 queries.