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Author Topic: Becoming Orthodox = Loosing friends??  (Read 1327 times) Average Rating: 0
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RehamG
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« on: June 07, 2013, 01:49:25 PM »

Anybody dealt with this before?
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2013, 01:50:45 PM »

I still miss some friends from my old church. I guess it is inevitable from changing places and not seeing them anymore.
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2013, 01:56:41 PM »

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though, but it still stings. 90% of my friends were/are still Muslims so maybe I need new buddies....however I thought if people had known each other for 5-10yr it was because they enjoyed the person not their faith alone.

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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 02:00:34 PM »

I agree with biro. I don't think I've lost any friends who have written me off for my choice, but others have simply dwindled away because of less contact. In any chance meeting, I've found those from my former church to be pleasant and friendly.
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 02:23:17 PM »

My old pastor won't really talk w/ me anymore even though I run into him frequently.  We used to be pretty close.  I haven't been "shunned" by friends, but there is quite a bit of awkwardness in several friendships now.
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 02:47:48 PM »

Yes! I've dealt with this before.
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 06:02:36 AM »

No. Even contrary. Now I have much more friends - Orthodox ones (earlier I had very few of Orthodox friends, although I was attending church services, pilgrimages). And of course I get will with my old friends (Roman Catholics practicing and not-praciticng, some agnostics/atheists), because some of them I've known from my primary schools (2 even from nursery). With some old friends, as you mentioned, I have less contact, because e.g on Sundays I attend Orthodox students meetings after Liturgy, and it's more difficult to meet me on Saturdays evening because of the Vigil. But nobody has "rejected" me - because they knew that I was Orthodox in heart and brough up in this confession too; some of them even didn't know I was some time RC. Now even there is such advantage that e.g I can invite some of them for Pascha (if RC celebratewith us, then they meet with their families) Wink Only someitems I have small conflicts with one of my best friends, who is very pious RC, so I now see better how much Orthodox and Catholic perspectives are branching off...

So, to sum up my too long post, it depends on your old friends - their religion, attitued toward it, knowledge about Orthodoxy. And to make new, Orthodox friends, it's always good to attend some church meetings, parties, engaging into church activies (e.g I started writting for cerkiew.pl - the biggest Polish Orthodox website)...
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 07:06:46 AM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 10:27:54 AM »

It depends on how tolerant you and your friends are of people who live their lives in ways antithetical to your own. I couldn't really see myself being friends with someone who committed adultery, for example, and I have a hard time as it is bringing myself to chum around with all the people I know who are serial fornicators, blasphemers or drunks.
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2013, 12:34:14 PM »

Thank-you, Jonathan Gress for turning into my personal spelling Nazi.....typos happen....now if you tell me how to correct said typo in the main topic(since I'm a newbie and therefor ignorant) you'd be doing me a real favor Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 12:40:41 PM by rebecca.ann » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2013, 01:00:59 PM »

It depends on how tolerant you and your friends are of people who live their lives in ways antithetical to your own. I couldn't really see myself being friends with someone who committed adultery, for example, and I have a hard time as it is bringing myself to chum around with all the people I know who are serial fornicators, blasphemers or drunks.
I mean they can still do it without you even knowing . If you think you have to censure them for fornication or drunkeness .
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2013, 01:49:34 PM »

It depends on how tolerant you and your friends are of people who live their lives in ways antithetical to your own. I couldn't really see myself being friends with someone who committed adultery, for example, and I have a hard time as it is bringing myself to chum around with all the people I know who are serial fornicators, blasphemers or drunks.
I mean they can still do it without you even knowing . If you think you have to censure them for fornication or drunkeness .

I did not say anything about censuring.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2013, 06:50:14 PM »

rebecca.ann,

Without knowing the details of what you mean by "losing friends," it sounds like you're just transitioning to a new group of people in your life. NBD, although you may want to single out a couple of those old friendships and put energy into maintaining them. Down the road, it may pay off.

Some of the replies here are beyond gross. If people are losing real friends because of religion, then something is really wrong.
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2013, 12:33:48 AM »

rebecca.ann,

Without knowing the details of what you mean by "losing friends," it sounds like you're just transitioning to a new group of people in your life. NBD, although you may want to single out a couple of those old friendships and put energy into maintaining them. Down the road, it may pay off.

Some of the replies here are beyond gross. If people are losing real friends because of religion, then something is really wrong.

It's almost like religion is a real thing that affects how you perceive the world, how you live and how others perceive you and is not just a quaint trait as important as what type of breakfast cereal you like.

At the very least you could have posted a constructive comment instead of just a snide insult.
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 12:49:50 AM »

Anybody dealt with this before?

If this happens, they were never really your friend.
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2013, 12:52:24 AM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.

Really?  Do you feel smarter now?
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2013, 02:45:56 AM »

Anybody dealt with this before?

If this happens, they were never really your friend.
i dont know kerdy. when i went hyperdox for a short period of time i did alienate myself from a lot of people or them to me.

for some just living the gospel could be a radical change for a person and if you arent the way you used to be before how can you expect to keep certain friends that liked who you were?

but it goes back to the whole hating your father, mother, etc. add in friends too.
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2013, 04:40:02 AM »

I lost most of the people I knew back then and some at college...Maybe its in His plan. However, I've enjoyed finding people on forums for a least a romote connnection.
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2013, 07:02:08 AM »

Anybody dealt with this before?

If this happens, they were never really your friend.
i dont know kerdy. when i went hyperdox for a short period of time i did alienate myself from a lot of people or them to me.

for some just living the gospel could be a radical change for a person and if you arent the way you used to be before how can you expect to keep certain friends that liked who you were?

but it goes back to the whole hating your father, mother, etc. add in friends too.

Good point.
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2013, 11:50:15 AM »

When I left my Protestant denomination (and was considering Orthodoxy) I only had one friend that got mad, though that was more about what I was leaving behind than what I was going towards. We kissed and made up eventually. Oh, and I guess my mom was sort of weirded out when I mentioned monasticism to her as a potential path in life.  Grin
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2013, 03:54:32 PM »

Anybody dealt with this before?

No, but it has put me on the defensive a little bit whenever friends "inquire" about what and why I believe what I do.  several of my friends are pastors in the Lutheran tradition and so conversations about Christianity which start out friendly can get pretty heated with the inevitable regrettable phrase or insult uttered.  I have not lost any of them as friends (though my contact with them due to geography is primarily through facebook), but sometimes it can get touchy.  Tread lightly.
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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2013, 04:17:48 PM »

Anybody dealt with this before?

If this happens, they were never really your friend.

This can be part of it, and it goes to the very loose way that the word "friend" is used, especially by younger people.

Real friendships can nonetheless die for various reasons, so we can't make any assumptions about what's happening in rebecca.ann's RL. If it is just "friends" she is losing, i.e. the people she hangs around, I say it's NBD. But if she has some genuine close friendships with those people, I say she should look into the matter closely and make a serious effort to maintain at least some of them...again, just pontificating without knowing the details of her situation.

Sometimes friendships are based on a shared religion.
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2013, 04:59:35 PM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.

Unless of course it is meant to let one's friends go free, or to release one's friends from the bond of friendship. I indeed had to loose some friends when I converted to Orthodoxy, not due to my own choice, but due to their decisions, choices, and attitudes.
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« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2013, 05:22:09 PM »

most friends i 'lost' were due to moving house, but i think some people are less keen to get in touch with me than before because of leaving protestant Christianity for orthodox Christianity.
it hurts.
i think the best thing is to pray for them and try to stay in touch with as many as you can.

i expect (from my own experience of similar friends) that they are really scared that hanging out with you might make them look bad before God (Christians are 'dirty' to some of these people) and so they are struggling to balance their genuine affection for you as their friend with their fear of being 'contaminated' with Christianity.
also they may feel like you have done a big sin against your community by leaving it.
be patient with them, and as you give them time and space, perhaps many of them may return to be friends with you at a later stage, once they got over their shock.

may God guide you and bless you and give you patience and true friends.
 Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2013, 03:19:28 AM »

Dear OP,

Yes, I have had this happen to me.  Even when I was just interested in Orthodoxy it alienated some of my friends of a more evangelical background.  Since becoming Orthodox, I have had friends who were non-religious and it has always been difficult to be close with them.  I'm not against being better friends with them, but the reality is that our world-views divide us even if our relationship is amicable.

The good news is that I do have "good friends" whom I trust and can have deep relationships with, but these are all Orthodox.

Are you able to find Orthodox to hang out with?
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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2013, 06:36:29 AM »

I had one friend I grew up with from the time I was 8 years old.  We kept in contact with one another and when I would visit home, we would usually talk on the phone, email or meet for breakfast.  The instant he learned I was Orthodox, I have not heard one word from him.  I even went by his house and left word with his wife, face to face, and nothing.  Apparently, not a friend.  Everyone else is pretty much the same as before.
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2013, 07:21:20 AM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.

Unless of course it is meant to let one's friends go free, or to release one's friends from the bond of friendship. I indeed had to loose some friends when I converted to Orthodoxy, not due to my own choice, but due to their decisions, choices, and attitudes.

Possibly, but the word in that sense is rather archaic and the OP does not seem like the archaizing type.
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2013, 07:22:48 AM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.

Really?  Do you feel smarter now?

Do you?
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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2013, 07:24:21 AM »

Thank-you, Jonathan Gress for turning into my personal spelling Nazi.....typos happen....now if you tell me how to correct said typo in the main topic(since I'm a newbie and therefor ignorant) you'd be doing me a real favor Roll Eyes

Anytime. As long as you recognized the typo and didn't think that was actually how one spelled "losing". Smiley

I think you'd have to ask the moderator to change it.
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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2013, 07:25:00 AM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.

Really?  Do you feel smarter now?

Do you?
Is this where we keep asking each other questions without answering any of them?
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2013, 08:20:24 AM »

Anybody dealt with this before?

I come from a long line of Roman Catholics, so when I converted they were puzzled.  They asked me " Is this a Catholic Faith",  to which I said "yes".  After that they were fine with it.....
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2013, 08:25:37 AM »

Well, I still have some from my old stomping grounds, but many look at me like Im an apostate, going from a "Christian" church to a "non christian" faith.
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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2013, 09:19:09 AM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.

Really?  Do you feel smarter now?

Do you?
Is this where we keep asking each other questions without answering any of them?

Is it? Cheesy
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« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2013, 09:35:24 AM »

Any change in life means we will have people who stay and people who go. Both stay and go can happen for good or bad reasons (when we change for worse those who stay because they support it are actually part of the problem). Others stay because they don't actually care about religion at all - even if they claim to have one.

I don't support the idea that friends always support us. God should be our model in everything. He is our greatest friend and He deliberately retreats and turns His face at our sinful decisions. He sure is there waiting for our return, but He does not support us there.

Some people may honestly think our conversion is a bad decision. We can just pray and live a life that will, hopefully and in time, show that's not the case.
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« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2013, 11:11:19 AM »

Well, I lost all my "church friends" - people that I had gone to church with for years and years, and friends from cursillo.
They just dropped me like a hot rock.
If we do run into one another, they tend to act as if Orthodoxy was a mental aberration, and I'll come to my senses sooner or later.
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« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »

90% of my friends were/are still Muslims so maybe I need new buddies..
Losing friends is difficult and sometimes painful.  But in your case, it was inevitable because you were a convert both times.  Converts tend to initially take their faith very seriously, adopting it as a complete way of life and identity.  That being the case, you will have little in common now with your Islamic friends.  This doesn't necessarily mean you cannot or will not be friends with them, but really, what do you have in common with them now?  As you begin to mature in Christianity and attend services more and more, God will send you new friends that can and will encourage you in your faith. 

..however I thought if people had known each other for 5-10yr it was because they enjoyed the person not their faith alone.
It's probably similarly painful for them as well to see their friend become a 'kafir'/apostate.  Because Christianity and Islam are so diametrically opposed, it will be next to impossible to remain friends, at least good friends, if you want to grow in Christ.

When I left Islam for the same reason as you, I lost friends too.  I understood at the onset that this was probably inevitable (although that didn't make it any easier.) 

The way I looked at it might help you out as well.  You and I now have a price on our heads and make no mistake that there are Muslims who would love to cash in and kill us.  The less I have to do with them, the less chances there are for some Islamic zealot finding out about me. 

I hope this has helped you a little bit anyway.  I will pray for you for I know it is not easy to lose friends.

Also- talk with your priest about this!  Smiley 
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« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2013, 09:07:13 PM »

It's spelled "losing" these days.

Really?  Do you feel smarter now?

Do you?
Is this where we keep asking each other questions without answering any of them?

Is it? Cheesy
What do you think? Grin
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« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2013, 02:00:25 AM »

As someone else has said that happened for them, it should cause you to have more friends, or at least bring you closer to all people since we are to love our neighbor. What would change would be the way you interact with people; in other words, your way of life would become purer. Sure, you can also lose friends, but hopefully it is not because of the way you practice Orthodoxy -- in a segregationist way as many do, unfortunately (they view themselves as some sort of chosen people who are above the others who are "lost").
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