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Author Topic: What Led You To Orthodoxy?  (Read 6252 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheTrisagion
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« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2013, 09:35:44 AM »

I decided to prove to my RC friend why he should be a Baptist.  I went to a Protestant website that had a list of dozens of Church Father quotes that "disproved" RC and Orthodox doctrine.  After I looked up many of the quotes, I realized that every single one had been taken completely out of context and in many cases were actually supportive of the doctrines he was trying to disprove.  I contacted the website to tell them what I discovered and they responded that they knew that they were out of context but that it didn't really matter. That kind of messed with my head and I really delved into church history.

After that, I realized that all of protestantism is a crock and started looking at RC and Orthodoxy.  Orthodoxy just made more sense to me, so here I am. 
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« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2013, 11:19:26 AM »

While I am not a convert what struck my initial ‘interest’ was a football article. Don’t laugh Wink I’m a Steeler fan.

The best way to witness is the way we live our lives. Troy Polamalu strikes me as a man of peace, grace, and humility. One Google search to the next and I began to learn about Orthodox history, theology, found Orthodoxsermons.org, and this web site as well. I soon realized the ‘ancient Church’ John Wesley referenced and revered is very much still alive and doing well!!

As I continue to learn I continue to find appreciation and though I have not felt God has led me to convert at this point Orthodoxy has already made a wonderful difference in my (and my families) spiritual life. My daughter has recently become a catechuman in fact. Glory be to God.
Really? Because the prospect of sharing a religion with a Pittsburgh Steeler is one of the biggest obstacles in my study.

Hmmm… I was going to accuse you of being from Cleveland with that comment except a devout Browns fan wouldn’t even think about sharing the Gospel w/ a Steeler. I would say you’re a Raven who would deceptively share the Word, but they just won the Super Bowl. That leaves Cincinnati, yea, that’s it, hugh? You must be a too oft forgotten Bengals fan.  Wink
You're good. Or you've seen my other posts.  Whichever.
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« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2013, 03:25:24 PM »

I got drunk at my brother-in-law's house on a Saturday night and crashed on the couch because I couldn't drive home.

When I woke up on Sunday morning I knew that they were going to some weird Orthodox Church. I had basically written off Christianity after biblical-critical scholarship and studying world religions; kind of disaffected agnostic who still had a deep love for Jesus. Christian Agnostic is what I called myself. Anyway, I asked if I could tag along because Orthodoxy was the one part of Christianity that I didn't know very much at all about.

As it turned out, my studies of early Christian history made the first litugy make more sense, like people standing up the whole time. I just thought a lot of that stuff was over and done with; consigned to history books.

So to answer the OP, the thing that helped me take that first step into a church was my in-laws simply attending services. Just quietly being Orthodox really is a huge part of it. Of course the person also has to be looking for something.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 03:37:01 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2013, 03:29:55 PM »

wow, interesting stories.
i may invite more people over on saturdays and try the 'oh, look, you have drunk too much to drive home' technique!
 Cool
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« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2013, 11:42:51 PM »

-The Eastern Catholicism/Non-Catholic Religion forums on CAF (shout-out to Hesychios, Mickey, Cavaradossi, dcointin, Nine_Two and the rest of the CAF group)
-attending a Byzantine Catholic Church and serving at the altar for close to 2 years, reading The Orthodox Faith by Father Thomas Hopko (minus the history volume) as assigned reading for the high school level of our parish's ECF (Sunday school),
-reading Ladder of Divine Ascent, some other books like The Orthodox Faith and The Orthodox Way, among numerous other books,
-praying a lot,
-attending Vespers and the occasional Liturgy at the local ACROD mission,
-disagreement with several Roman Catholic dogmas that didn't jive well with Byzantine tradition or theology,
-just realizing that Orthodoxy is a spiritual home for me, and that Orthodox spirituality is what helps me to grow as a Christian, and that if I was to defend or promote any form of Christianity, it would be Orthodoxy, first and foremost.
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« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2013, 09:40:00 AM »

While I am not a convert what struck my initial ‘interest’ was a football article. Don’t laugh Wink I’m a Steeler fan.

The best way to witness is the way we live our lives. Troy Polamalu strikes me as a man of peace, grace, and humility. One Google search to the next and I began to learn about Orthodox history, theology, found Orthodoxsermons.org, and this web site as well. I soon realized the ‘ancient Church’ John Wesley referenced and revered is very much still alive and doing well!!

As I continue to learn I continue to find appreciation and though I have not felt God has led me to convert at this point Orthodoxy has already made a wonderful difference in my (and my families) spiritual life. My daughter has recently become a catechuman in fact. Glory be to God.
Really? Because the prospect of sharing a religion with a Pittsburgh Steeler is one of the biggest obstacles in my study.

Hmmm… I was going to accuse you of being from Cleveland with that comment except a devout Browns fan wouldn’t even think about sharing the Gospel w/ a Steeler. I would say you’re a Raven who would deceptively share the Word, but they just won the Super Bowl. That leaves Cincinnati, yea, that’s it, hugh? You must be a too oft forgotten Bengals fan.  Wink
You're good. Or you've seen my other posts.  Whichever.

Na, I'm not that good brother! I would have guessed Cleveland but indeed saw your post on the sports thread.  Roll Eyes  Wink

I typically go for the Bengals whenever you play the Browns or Ravens though!!



*edited because I can't even spell Cleveland
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 09:41:18 AM by alanscott » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2013, 02:14:05 PM »

I asked the question, "Why don't protestants have monastics?" While my question wasn't entirely an accurate one, it led me to the writings of Thomas Merton, who ultimately led me to the writings of Met. Kallistos Ware, and that convinced me to visit the Church.
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« Reply #52 on: February 23, 2013, 07:32:14 PM »

My tattoos, which caught the eye of my first Orthodox friend.
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« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2013, 07:43:29 PM »

Just quietly being Orthodox really is a huge part of it. Of course the person also has to be looking for something.

Thanks Alveus. This is something that gets repeated a lot but I was skeptical of it.
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« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2013, 06:09:30 PM »

When I learned that Orthodoxy was something to be experienced, and not just a dry, theoretical construct. That made a big difference from my understanding of Christianity under Catholicism, and also the kind of mentality that governs secular academia.

Also, the understanding of sin as essentially a sickness; a sickness with a moral nature, to be sure, but more than simply a matter of transgressing a bunch of rules. The mentality is so radically different that I feel it almost has to be true for that reason, as something new and wonderful.

I admit that the mentality of seeking to rationalize and come up with a theory of everything didn't leave me upon reception into the Church, but I certainly believe that being in the Church has helped me to overcome this gradually.

One thing in particular I didn't really "get" until recently was the need to overcome doubts by an act of will. In the rationalist mindset, doubts must be entertained as hypotheses and confirmed or rejected by various tests. Only after testing can you proceed. In Orthodoxy, faith is something more deeply grounded than the intellect, and therefore you should not let doubts cause you to swerve from action.

So in short, the emphasis on experiencing the Divine through praxis, rather than working out your theological system first, is what particularly impressed me. Given how inconclusive all the debates over religion, existence of God etc. have been, it is clear to me that faith is something you have to DO.
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« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2013, 07:17:08 PM »

In another thread:


We should do a census of what spurred the conversion non-Orthodox, to Orthodoxy.  Just what was that initial spark of interest.  Then we could light that same spark in others.

So without going into a whole essay about it or telling your "conversion story," just simply in a paragraph or two, what led you to Orthodoxy? (If possible try to keep in mind what would be relevant as far as how the results could be reproduced and help others.)

A visit to my Aunt led me to attend a Maronite Divine Liturgy with her and then meet the priest's wife.
I was a Roman Catholic at that time, and had just discovered my family roots.

Shortly after that, I came down with pneumonia and ended up in the hospital with a 105 degree fever. The doctor said that I might not make it, so I promised our Lord, that if He would save me, I would search out the Orthodox Church.  I survived.
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« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2013, 07:22:41 PM »

Cradle  RC, started looking in to the issue of authority based on history, mainly as a matter of apologetics to protestants, became convinced of the truth of Orthodoxy.

Interesting that some RCs, upon learning I have left the RCChurch (or communion with it, being EC for the last 2 years), ask me if someone didn't explain the faith well to me which is why I left.  I wonder how they would react if Orthodoxy was explained well to them.
I can answer that question.  Grin
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« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2013, 07:44:12 PM »

Cradle  RC, started looking in to the issue of authority based on history, mainly as a matter of apologetics to protestants, became convinced of the truth of Orthodoxy.

Interesting that some RCs, upon learning I have left the RCChurch (or communion with it, being EC for the last 2 years), ask me if someone didn't explain the faith well to me which is why I left.  I wonder how they would react if Orthodoxy was explained well to them.
I can answer that question.  Grin

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« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2013, 07:50:36 PM »

I want one too. Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2013, 09:07:42 PM »

I was fed up with mainstream Protestantism and I was looking for the original Church. This idea was stuck in my head because I heard so many calls to get back to the original Church and shame at how far we have separated ourselves and have come closer to the world and worldly ways. Also, I was bored in Iraq. Came across some articles about Orthodoxy after remembering my father talking about one when we lived in Chicago. Visited one when I came home from Iraq and never looked back.

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« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2013, 11:34:08 PM »

I spent years studying Christian aplogetics with Ravi Zacharias.  Frustrated with the Methodist church, I took those principles and applied them within the walls of "Christendom."  The Protestant churches in which I was raised and educated failed the test, so I flew solo for a couple of years.  While participating on an apologetics forum, I got to know (and argue with) a cradle Orthodox.  I was more interested in finding the truth than I was in being right...so, I caved and found my way home.
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« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2013, 11:15:11 PM »

I am thankful very much to all of those who have shared their stories...they always inspire me...
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« Reply #62 on: March 06, 2013, 09:07:45 AM »

Over 30 years as an RC, discovered the East and switched to the UGCC canonical jurisdiction then realized I was becoming spiritually schizophrenic  and left for Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #63 on: March 06, 2013, 09:35:23 AM »

I've said it before, but I was doing aid work in Romania, became fascinated by the local history, was dragged into a monastery that we passing by a friend who told me that it held the incorrupt relics of St. John the New. We were overheard speaking English by one of the monks who came over, talked to me about what I was doing in Romania (back then there were practically no tourists whatsoever in Bucovina, so foreigners were unusual) and gifted me with a prayer book. He was so humble, sincere and welcoming - really Christian in a way I had rarely if ever seen - that I was inspired to find out more. Meeting that monk was the first step on my long journey to Orthodoxy and had I not met him, I doubt I'd ever have started it, so my short answer as to what led me to Orthodoxy would be: 'An anonymous monk in Suceava'.

I wish I was able to thank him.

James
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« Reply #64 on: March 06, 2013, 10:16:19 AM »

I spent years studying Christian aplogetics with Ravi Zacharias.  Frustrated with the Methodist church, I took those principles and applied them within the walls of "Christendom."  The Protestant churches in which I was raised and educated failed the test, so I flew solo for a couple of years.  While participating on an apologetics forum, I got to know (and argue with) a cradle Orthodox.  I was more interested in finding the truth than I was in being right...so, I caved and the Lord let me home.

(edited for poor word choice)

Oops.  Didn't mean to repost.  But...since I'm here... I enjoyed reading James' post, in particular.  While I studied the teachings of the Orthodox Church for quite a long time (like many others), it was in Her prayer books that I began to truly see Her beauty.
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« Reply #65 on: March 07, 2013, 05:36:27 AM »

I was mostly convinced due to history--the fact that it was historically established by the Apostles was sort of the winning point for me. Nevertheless, the "push" to finally convert came after a year of intense prayer that God would move me back to my hometown because I missed all my friends and a girl I liked at the time. I promised God that if He moved me back, then I would do whatever He wanted. It happened, miraculously, and so I followed through and converted. I still remember the moment when I found out that I was moving back, I opened my Bible and Mathew 15:28 came up, which said something like "Great is your faith!...let it be done as you desire!."
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« Reply #66 on: March 07, 2013, 10:46:52 AM »

One day, I asked myself why do Russian Churches look different.
Then I went to a Greek Fest.
Then I did a personal research project on why are all these branches of Christianity are different.  ( I had zero religious background).
Then I went back to the Greek Church and talked to the priest.
Been happy ever since.  Grin

I know it sounds shallow, but I think because I was exposed to a friendly enviornment, a wealth of information that answered all of my questions, and time to ponder without pressure, I opened up. 

Oh, and not once did anyone condemn my soul or try to scare me into accepting Orthodoxy.  That really helped especially coming from an athiest then agnostic background.
 Grin
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« Reply #67 on: March 07, 2013, 02:48:58 PM »

thanks for sharing.
one of my friends is a convert from an atheist background, she is really sweet and a lovely Christian.
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« Reply #68 on: March 15, 2013, 11:14:45 AM »

"Just what was that initial spark of interest.  Then we could light that same spark in others."

After a lifetime of wandering through the wilderness seeking truth and giving up on 'church' yet still yearning fellowship with Christians, a fellow Christian offered that third door possibility (not protestant, non Roman Catholic). A lot of questions I looked up on the internet led me to this forum, and prompted me to join here, also. After a year of visiting other jurisdictions, finally decided to attach myself to ROCOR.
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« Reply #69 on: March 15, 2013, 05:12:16 PM »

welcome, martyr eugenia, may God bless your sojourn and give peace to your soul.
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« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2013, 01:17:05 PM »

"Randomly" stumbling on http://www.goarch.org/
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« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2013, 07:49:52 PM »

I was raised a LCMS Lutheran, and my father became a pastor in the LCMS as I was becoming a teenager.  After moving away from my home, I joined the WELS Lutherans and eventually became Chairman of the Elders and was responsible for teaching Adult Bible Study as well as conducting the service and giving the sermon when the pastor was absent.  I read most of the commentaries by Lenske, as well as Christian Dogmatics by Pieper, and I kept reading about these "Eastern Catholics".  Also, reading Luther's works, I would read about "Eastern Catholics" and how Luther believed that they had kept the original Apostolic Faith much closer than the Pope.  That put the seed in my mind.  Then I started reading the writings of the Early Church Fathers, and found that I agreed with them completely.  One day I happened to notice that the Church that I drove passed every Sunday to get to my Church was an Orthodox Church, so I attended a Liturgy there.  After that, I was hooked.  I had a lot of doubts at first because I really did not see the things that I read about.  After some searching (and a couple of dreams and one vision), I made contact with a ROCOR Priest.  Through our discussions, I became more solid in the Faith and was eventually Baptizsed into the ROCOR.  That was about 17-18 years ago.  Time flies.
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« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2013, 07:57:03 PM »

"Randomly" stumbling on http://www.goarch.org/

"Randomly" stumbling into a Greek parish for me.
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« Reply #73 on: March 21, 2013, 08:59:11 PM »

I grew up in the Baptist Church. My father was a deacon. Home life was bad. The family fell away from the church, I tried to stay but fell away as well. As home became worse, I eventually left to join the military. I acquired quite a drinking problem that tried to destroy me.

 I wound up a homeless drunk on skid row, as far away from god as I could get. I wound up in AA, began building a life and proceeded to try to re-establish a church life as is suggested in AA.

 I went back to the baptist church. It was flat. I was engaged in a spiritual journey that AA had sent me on and the shallow emotionalism and faux piety wore thin. I tried several churches but felt sad for the members there. This went on for several years.

 I eventually tried the methodist church, it was a bit better, but I wanted more. I was sure there was more out there.

 I was listening to an AA speaker online and he spoke briefly about the Philokalia, the desert fathers and the Jesus prayer. I took note and checked them out briefly. A few weeks later I bought an AA based recovery book called "the spirituality of imperfection" and it referenced the desert fathers many times.

 I decided to take a better look at this Philokalia thing and ordered it online.

 I was blown away. So much of what I saw when I read the bible was expressed there by these wonderful men. I was stoked.

 I was also flummoxed. While I had been wishy washy about church, I had long been serious about biblical study and these guys were never once on my radar before now.

 I began "googling" to try to find someone, anyone out there that had heard of these guys and followed their tradition of teaching. The Roman Catholic church seemed to like them but considered their teachings "over the heads of common folk" as far as I could find, but then I found ancient faith radio and began listening to their talks there.

 I was home.

 The teachings there spoke to me as never before. My disagreements with original sin, and once saved always saved and the whole legalism I found so disturbing were affirmed and expanded on in a way that I only wish I could have done.

 I immediately got online and found the nearest Orthodox church.
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« Reply #74 on: March 22, 2013, 10:36:00 AM »

I was baptized when I was a baby and grew up in the Bulgarian Church in Istanbul, Turkey. My father was initially the Secretary and chief chanter of  our churches in Istanbul, and later became a priest in the United States. So, I grew up in the Church but was never catechized. When I turned 18, my father said "Son, you have grown up in the Church but you need to decide for yourself if (a) God exists, (b) if you want to be a Christian, and (c) if you want to continue to be an Orthodox Christian." So, I started at ground zero. I read the Bible, with many commentaries and concordances; survey books on comparative religion, mainly Catholicism and Protestantism, and even attended different Christian churches when I was assigned 100+ miles from any Orthodox church. Aside from the Holy Bible, here are the authors and works that influenced me the most :

--C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity convinced me that God exists and that Christianity is the way to go.

--Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware)'s The Orthodox Church convinced me that Orthodoxy has the fullness of faith.

--Father Alexander Schmemann thought me the best approach to living a fully Orthodox praxis, primarily through For the Life of the World, Great Lent and Of Water and the Spirit.

I suppose I was predisposed to Orthodoxy anyway, but I now regard myself as a converted cradle anyway.
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« Reply #75 on: March 22, 2013, 11:02:48 AM »

I was baptized when I was a baby and grew up in the Bulgarian Church in Istanbul, Turkey. My father was initially the Secretary and chief chanter of  our churches in Istanbul, and later became a priest in the United States. So, I grew up in the Church but was never catechized. When I turned 18, my father said "Son, you have grown up in the Church but you need to decide for yourself if (a) God exists, (b) if you want to be a Christian, and (c) if you want to continue to be an Orthodox Christian." So, I started at ground zero. I read the Bible, with many commentaries and concordances; survey books on comparative religion, mainly Catholicism and Protestantism, and even attended different Christian churches when I was assigned 100+ miles from any Orthodox church. Aside from the Holy Bible, here are the authors and works that influenced me the most :

--C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity convinced me that God exists and that Christianity is the way to go.

--Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware)'s The Orthodox Church convinced me that Orthodoxy has the fullness of faith.

--Father Alexander Schmemann thought me the best approach to living a fully Orthodox praxis, primarily through For the Life of the World, Great Lent and Of Water and the Spirit.

I suppose I was predisposed to Orthodoxy anyway, but I now regard myself as a converted cradle anyway.

Your father sounds like a very wise man.  I don't think many parents would have the courage to approach their children that way and challenge them to review things for themselves.
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« Reply #76 on: March 22, 2013, 11:21:08 AM »

Great stories, all; thanks for the inspirations.   I was a cradle RC, altar boy in the 1950's who learned Latin for Mass, went to a Catholic high school, and then joined the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in my soph year... I got my first push to Orthodoxy from an eastern rite Jesuit in our novice year 7-day retreat in 1963.  We were studying the Acts of the Apostles, and I asked where was that church today: he said quietly, the Orthodox Church.  The answer stuck with me but I didn't act on it until my wife and I moved in 1996 to Naples FL for a job move.  While we were driving to Naples, we stopped in St Augustine' St Photios Shrine, and I bought a copy of Met. Kallistos' book on Orthodoxy, which moved us closer to the East.  We found an Antiochian mission growing fast, found our home there and the rest is history.  Also started the St Stephens course but seven job related moves broke up the rhythm of that process, so I read and sing as needed. As many have said, it is good to be home.
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« Reply #77 on: March 22, 2013, 11:54:26 AM »

I was baptized when I was a baby and grew up in the Bulgarian Church in Istanbul, Turkey. My father was initially the Secretary and chief chanter of  our churches in Istanbul, and later became a priest in the United States. So, I grew up in the Church but was never catechized. When I turned 18, my father said "Son, you have grown up in the Church but you need to decide for yourself if (a) God exists, (b) if you want to be a Christian, and (c) if you want to continue to be an Orthodox Christian." So, I started at ground zero. I read the Bible, with many commentaries and concordances; survey books on comparative religion, mainly Catholicism and Protestantism, and even attended different Christian churches when I was assigned 100+ miles from any Orthodox church. Aside from the Holy Bible, here are the authors and works that influenced me the most :

--C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity convinced me that God exists and that Christianity is the way to go.

--Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware)'s The Orthodox Church convinced me that Orthodoxy has the fullness of faith.

--Father Alexander Schmemann thought me the best approach to living a fully Orthodox praxis, primarily through For the Life of the World, Great Lent and Of Water and the Spirit.

I suppose I was predisposed to Orthodoxy anyway, but I now regard myself as a converted cradle anyway.

Your father sounds like a very wise man.  I don't think many parents would have the courage to approach their children that way and challenge them to review things for themselves.

I'm not a parent, but it seems like in this day and age, the best thing a faithful parent can do is raise the child with a healthy exposure to the faith, but ultimately respect the free will of the child when he or she becomes an adult. If the child leaves the faith, the parent should pray for the child but in no way shun or coerce them "back into the fold." The parent should continue to live the faithful life with love and compassion for those who do not.

I think of the parable of the prodigal son. The father did not tell the son when he left, "I disown you, go to hell." Rather, he let the son experience fully his own spiritual struggle. When he came back, the father wouldn't even let the son finish his apology before embracing him.
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« Reply #78 on: March 22, 2013, 06:17:16 PM »

I was baptized when I was a baby and grew up in the Bulgarian Church in Istanbul, Turkey. My father was initially the Secretary and chief chanter of  our churches in Istanbul, and later became a priest in the United States. So, I grew up in the Church but was never catechized. When I turned 18, my father said "Son, you have grown up in the Church but you need to decide for yourself if (a) God exists, (b) if you want to be a Christian, and (c) if you want to continue to be an Orthodox Christian." So, I started at ground zero. I read the Bible, with many commentaries and concordances; survey books on comparative religion, mainly Catholicism and Protestantism, and even attended different Christian churches when I was assigned 100+ miles from any Orthodox church. Aside from the Holy Bible, here are the authors and works that influenced me the most :

--C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity convinced me that God exists and that Christianity is the way to go.

--Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware)'s The Orthodox Church convinced me that Orthodoxy has the fullness of faith.

--Father Alexander Schmemann thought me the best approach to living a fully Orthodox praxis, primarily through For the Life of the World, Great Lent and Of Water and the Spirit.

I suppose I was predisposed to Orthodoxy anyway, but I now regard myself as a converted cradle anyway.

I have read most of those, but not all.  I will look for the other books.  Thanks for providing the titles.
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« Reply #79 on: May 02, 2013, 05:27:10 AM »

Being a 'jazz' music enthusiast learned that the 'African' Orthodox Church made John Coltrane a 'saint'.
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« Reply #80 on: May 02, 2013, 06:44:18 AM »

Since this thread has devolved into a conversion story thread, I'll add my pathetic story. It's all work in progress, though. Sorry for the tl;dr  angel

I was baptized when I was a baby in the Dutch Reformed church and I was raised in a very liberal protestant family. We never went to church, but we did have customary prayers before warm meals. I was sent to a Protestant state-funded school because that's what has been done in my family for generations. There they taught me some biblical stories and especially the more pious teachers started and ended the day with a prayer. Back then I thought it was nonsense and would lip-sync the prayer or mock it altogether and I was basically an atheist, openly proclaiming that there is no life after death and mocking christians. Then, when I became a little older, I read the Bible. I thought that Christ had been a wise teacher, but mortal and quite like Socrates, who too had died for his sage teachings. The miracles in the gospels, I thought, were all old wives' tales and completely made up.

When I was 15, perhaps 16, years old, waiting for class to begin in one of the study rooms in school, a verse suddenly came up in my mind: "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile." Christianity, it suddenly dawned upon me, is an everything-or-nothing deal. I can't pretend that Christ is a wise man if He wasn't raised from the dead and hasn't been the Son of God. And at that moment I made a crazy choice, wholly unexpected and which, to this day, I haven't been able to understand. Christ had risen from the dead, I suddenly thought. The bell for the next hour went and I walked into class, full of thoughts. While walking through the door I said to myself: "But if he has risen from the dead, then what makes me think that the other miracles are false?". A feeling of unspeakable joy filled me and I don't think that I paid attention during any of the subsequent lessons, yet that was the day I learnt the most in school.

Another problem, however, quickly arose. You had Protestants on the one hand and Catholics on the other hand claiming to be "True Christianity™" I first went back to the Calvinistic Protestantism of my ancestors and with a great fervour I embraced Calvin's bizarre teachings. Yet, I could never be fully convinced of OSAS. I might have said that I believed it at the time, but deep inside I knew that I wasn't merely "saved" from my sins by intellectual assent to Christianity at one point in time.  Thus I was deeply worried about my salvation and so I sought arguments against the Roman Catholics. But then I wanted to read the Church Fathers because I was sure that they were some sort of proto-protestants.

The doctrine of the Eucharist surely has been made in the Middle Ages, I thought. Then I started to read the Epistles of Ignatius. That was truly shocking. He taught, in the first century, that the Eucharist was the Body and Blood of Christ and that there should be ordained bishops in the Church. I started to read some more of the Church Fathers, so I read St. Cyril of Jerusalem's Cathechetical Lectures and he taught the same things as St. Ignatius. Besides, the arguments of St. John of Damascus in favor of the veneration of icons convinced me of the folly of iconoclasm.

The whole world seemed upside-down. I was sixteen at the time. So back then I resolved to convert to Roman Catholicism, because they alone seemed to have held to the apostolic faith.  I signed up on CAF to inquire how this would work. There I stumbled on something called the Eastern Catholic forum and I became a regular poster there. Gradually, thanks mostly to Cavaradossi, I moved towards Orthodoxy, a position I hadn't even considered before. After some months there and after continued reading of the Fathers I was convinced that Orthodoxy, and not Roman Catholicism, has preserved the apostolic faith. A travel through Greece and a visit to the monastery of Hosios Loukas only helped to confirm those sentiments. I was sixteen at the time.

Then came the last problem. I found out that in my city, which has roughly 120.000 inhabitants, has not a single Orthodox parish and that the nearest one is at least an hour away on the bike. Besides, my parents were never very enthousiastic about it. So this is where I've been stuck for 1,5-1 year now. However, in the Netherlands university students can travel for free with train and bus, so that would take care of my travel problem. My parents never liked me anyway and have been telling me for years that I should move as soon as possible, so I am now trying to find my own appartment and it is going quite well. Becoming Orthodox is not the only reason for moving though. Getting my own appartment would solve the last problem. I hope to have a nice appartment by september or october and I hope to become a catechumen around the same time. I hope that one of the Orthodox parishes would be willing to have me as a member of their parish.
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« Reply #81 on: May 02, 2013, 09:44:48 AM »

In my case, it is not true to say that anything led me to Orthodoxy. God led me to Orthodoxy. But there is a history of the things that have happened in a certain order, until I realized that I am not seeking something, that I don't need something, but God Himself who is Life.
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« Reply #82 on: May 02, 2013, 10:31:35 AM »

I studied the history of the churches, of the theological discussions and developments and saw that with the exception of the Orthodox church the changes in the others were actual ruptures even when they thought to be something else. The changes in Orthodoxy were merely exterior and cultural with no change in communion or faith.
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« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2013, 04:17:46 AM »

thanks for sharing everyone.
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cyrillic, your story is very precious.
certainly God looks after the lonely people and the people with difficult families in the church (see psalm 26[27]).
may God give u peace on your journey.
i know a family in your country who sound similar to your family and am praying for them to find also God's love and His church.
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« Reply #84 on: May 07, 2013, 01:10:14 AM »

I thought I already explained my story somewhere but I will do it quickly here too..

I found the protestant church lacking, it is not unified in any regard there are hundreds of differing opinions in those churches. so, I looked around. What was the One True Church then? I always enjoyed the Catholic Church, with its bishops and its traditions. But I found out they threw away most of their traditions over the past 200 years especially and it became clear they were not the One True Church. So I looked into the pre schism church, and read many writings of the holy fathers and thought, whatever church follows the words of these holy men is the true church.

So, I found the Orthodox church and it seemed they fit the bill. Well, mostly. They do not seem to follow all the words of the holy fathers anymore, and seems to become less loving to tradition the further time goes on, as the catholic church did. Besides also it seems to no longer believe in all the canons from so called infallible ecumenical councils.

Anyway,it seems to be the closest church to the original and I would say it is. Just, it must be said at the same time it having some troubles combating modernism and cannot really seem to fix in other areas such as in the new world.
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« Reply #85 on: July 25, 2013, 03:03:45 PM »

I met warriors, in the literal sense, who were Orthodox while searching out the RCC in inquiry. Good men, good stories of faith. Went to St. George Parish and never looked back. Catechism starts in September.
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« Reply #86 on: July 30, 2013, 03:54:32 PM »

Byzcath.org and the beauty of the Divine liturgy(as opposed to the NO Mass)
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« Reply #87 on: July 30, 2013, 04:17:25 PM »

New Testament, the Fathers and the Councils.
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« Reply #88 on: July 30, 2013, 04:19:44 PM »

An irish person on a dubious imageboard and the sign of the cross.
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« Reply #89 on: July 30, 2013, 04:37:46 PM »

The Orthodox way of life and seeking the authentic & genuine Christianity
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