Don’t stress over it, just enjoy the journey. It’s a once in a lifetime event so soak it all in slowly, deliberately and experience the Church, not just learn about her.
I will try and take heed of this advice, to take it slowly.
Catechumens are Christians.
I am listening to an AFR podcast, Transforming Our Lives in Christ, Apr 16, part 5 episode. It is interesting that I keep hearing two different definitions of what a Christian is. Maybe it is another confusion of terms. Here is my transcript of a definition of Christian (at around 30minutes into the podcast):
"Annointed one is usually used in the OT to represent a priest, prophet or a king and they were literally annointed by oil to signify that they had been chosen or elected by God for a specific role or purpose. In the church we do the same thing, when we baptize you we annoint you. What is Christ annointed in? The Holy Spirit. When we chrismate you we say, "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit." The sealing with chrism. But Christ received the Holy Spirit himself. When we say you're a Christian, that means you are an annointed one in the Holy Spirit, that is an activity that occurs by grace, not by right. You dont own the Spirit, Jesus does."
So I hear what Iconodule states all the time, catechumens are Christian. I also hear some Orthodox people say that the (Orthodox)Church acknowledges that some Christians exist outside of the (Orthodox)Church. The definition above of Christian is that you are chrismated/sealed with the Holy Spirit. And that that occurs by grace, no one owns the Holy Spirit, Jesus does. So does Jesus bestow this annointing/Holy Spirit/chrismation without the Church? If not, how do you know? What if Jesus does? Something else puzzling, so outside of the Orthodox church, what is a Christian? What do you consider those people in a non-canonical or outside of the mainstream Orthodox jurisdictions? Through no fault of their own, their 'leadership' makes decisions that leave them outside of the loop. That is how I feel. One day you think of yourself as a 'Christian' and then you find out you are not...technically. Someone has put up confusing stumbling blocks in your path.
We both are suffering from 'confusion'.
Beginning to doubt if this Orthodox church is truly of God.
But the part I put in bold is what I want to address. Why would you want to enter a church you weren't certain was of God?
I started traveling many, many years ago, when I found something that glaringly contradicted the Bible, I moved on. I will give Orthodoxy the same chance I gave all the other 'churches'. I always felt comfortable (maybe the devil's trick) in other places I DONT FEEL COMFORTABLE in an Orthodox church. "I" want it to be "THE" church. But what "I" want is irrelevant. If this isnt His Church, there is no church on earth.