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Author Topic: Looking at Orthodoxy  (Read 4642 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheTrisagion
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« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2013, 06:11:51 PM »

hello and welcome!
and welcome to jules_grant also, who is new (and who i suspect is not actually 13, as he writes like a 23 year old...)
 Wink
we oriental orthodox generally accept all the councils except chalcedon, and even then, chalcedon as expressed by the later councils is fine.
(i am sending another paragraph of info to you separately so i don't derail the thread).
generally it is best to get to know the people in the churches and then decide which church to go to. we are all orthodox and when you find an orthodox church that speaks your language and loves you, stick there.

on a less serious note, egyptian food is awesome, and no one can equal the delicious 'fool medammes' (slightly spicy fava beans) that you can get in many churches during fasting seasons, and also we make the best falafel in all of asia and africa (not made from a dry mixture, but from soaked, ground beans).
our music is cool (if a bit strange) and we sing along with great enthusiasm, even if we occasionally engage in other dodgy practices such as sitting in pews...
 Wink

HERESY!!!!  Wink

Please do not use this term, even if it is meant as a joke, in this forum, it may be confusing to inquiorers who are not "in" on the joke. Thank you,
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« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 08:33:07 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2013, 09:14:22 AM »

Hope you become a member of the True church.

Thank you Nikolaos, so do I! Cheesy
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« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2013, 09:15:44 AM »

I find that visiting churches for services first and then having conversations with priests is a better route than delving into reading--especially reading about Chalcedon and the councils. EO, OO--our faith does not exist in either tracts or histories or theological tomes, but in real life--and as such, one is far less distinguishable from the other than in books or on the Internet.

I appreciate the feedback Shanghaiski. And I agree, I really just need to go visit the parishes that are local to me. I do, though, want to come in being at least somewhat informed. Not coming from an Orthodox background, I feel some study is in order. Yet I am sure that once I am able to visit, things will become not only more clear, but more stable perhaps as well. That is my hope.
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"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
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« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2013, 09:17:15 AM »

hello and welcome!
and welcome to jules_grant also, who is new (and who i suspect is not actually 13, as he writes like a 23 year old...)
 Wink
we oriental orthodox generally accept all the councils except chalcedon, and even then, chalcedon as expressed by the later councils is fine.
(i am sending another paragraph of info to you separately so i don't derail the thread).
generally it is best to get to know the people in the churches and then decide which church to go to. we are all orthodox and when you find an orthodox church that speaks your language and loves you, stick there.

on a less serious note, egyptian food is awesome, and no one can equal the delicious 'fool medammes' (slightly spicy fava beans) that you can get in many churches during fasting seasons, and also we make the best falafel in all of asia and africa (not made from a dry mixture, but from soaked, ground beans).
our music is cool (if a bit strange) and we sing along with great enthusiasm, even if we occasionally engage in other dodgy practices such as sitting in pews...
 Wink

Thanks Mabsoota! I apprecaite your feedback. I replied to your PM as well.

Big falafel fan here!  Grin
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"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
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« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2013, 06:51:21 PM »

I am taking the plunge. I have contacted the priest of an Orthodox parish local to me. I plan on attending my first Divine Liturgy this Sunday, 29 December. I am both a bit nervous and excited at the same time. I still consider myself an inquirer at this point. This will be my first time attending an Orthodox service. In fact, this will be the first time I have ever even stepped inside of an Orthodox parish.
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"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Antonious Nikolas
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« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2013, 07:36:57 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Since this is my first post (I've been lurking here for a couple of years) I want to say "Hello" to everyone, and also provide a brief personal background.

I come from a nominally Protestant family, yet I was dissatisfied with the sectarianism of the Protestant churches. Believing in the One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church prompted me to investigate Orthodoxy. I have been attempting to balance my bookish tendencies (i.e. intellectual pursuits) with a prayerful life (i.e. a contemplative approach). I think both are important to cultivate.

I have been draw to both the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox communions. There are local parishes in my area from several jurisdictions and communions. I am currently not affiliated with an Orthodox parish, nor have I been baptized in an Orthodox church (though I was baptized as a child in a Protestant church). It is unclear at present where God will lead me. I am praying for discernment. Please consider remembering me in your prayers.

Going forward, I hope to participate in more dialog here on the forum.

Welcome to the forum, Antonious!  (Nice choice of name and avatar, by the way).  More importantly, welcome home to Orthodoxy!  May God guide you in your search.  Fast and pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.  Smiley

I'm glad you're taking the plunge and visiting, as Shanghaiski's post is right on the money.

I would highly recommend Eastern Orthodoxy because she has upheld the seven Ecumeunical Councils, and is relatively unchanged since the time of the apostles. Oriental Orthodoxy is an interesting faith, but doesn't uphold several of  the Ecumeunical Councils.

I have been listening to Deacon Michael Hyatt's podcast series on the Ecumenical Councils. Can anyone recommend additional sources for this topic? Suggestions for both online and/or print will be greatly appreciated. I have a general idea about the Councils, but want to study these more in depth. I am open to sources from both EO and OO. Thank you in advance.


Yes, especially in light of the post above which erroneously indicates that Oriental Orthodoxy is in some way lacking the fullness of the Faith or has changed more than Eastern Orthodoxy since the time of the Apostles (it isn't and hasn't), I wouldn’t recommend that you make this decision without reading The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined by Fr. V.C. Samuel.

Hope you become a member of the True church.

Me too.

Antonious, let us know how your visits go.  May God bless your search.
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« Reply #51 on: December 24, 2013, 10:28:47 PM »

Thank you Antonious Nikolas! I will definitely let you know how my visits go. I am planning on going to one parish by my house this Sunday, and another close by in the near future as well. One is ROCOR/ROCA and the other is Coptic Orthodox. I don't like the idea of "shopping around" as if the church was a supermarket for me to pick what I like, but I do want to give both communities a chance, and then continue to pray for discernment. I appreciate your kind feedback.

Yes, my screen name here is not my given name, but I do draw a lot of inspiration from Saint Anthony!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 10:29:30 PM by Antonious » Logged

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
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« Reply #52 on: December 25, 2013, 12:46:27 AM »

I used to be a Methodist but it felt more like a social club. I could communicate with nice people elsewhere. I was searching for a CHURCH that would help me to connect with God, not just people. Eventually I had to convert to Pravoslavie ("the Right Word", Eastern Orthodoxy)

What was so convincing about Eastern Orthodoxy vs. other Christian religions and sects? Its fruits, its Saints. A great number of sinful people achieved enlightenment, overcame their fallen nature, produced miracles...

Congratulations to you, Antonious!

I hope you will enjoy listening to this man. He is brilliant.

Why I Converted To Eastern Orthodoxy by Frank Schaeffer
http://youtu.be/9-CJhPlmznA
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 12:47:17 AM by Fire-Bird2014 » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: December 25, 2013, 11:42:52 AM »

Thank you Antonious Nikolas! I will definitely let you know how my visits go. I am planning on going to one parish by my house this Sunday, and another close by in the near future as well. One is ROCOR/ROCA and the other is Coptic Orthodox. I don't like the idea of "shopping around" as if the church was a supermarket for me to pick what I like, but I do want to give both communities a chance, and then continue to pray for discernment. I appreciate your kind feedback.

Yes, my screen name here is not my given name, but I do draw a lot of inspiration from Saint Anthony!

You have the right attitude of humility and sincerity.  May God guide you and the prayers of St. Anthony be with you.  Smiley
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« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2013, 03:20:21 PM »

I used to be a Methodist but it felt more like a social club. I could communicate with nice people elsewhere. I was searching for a CHURCH that would help me to connect with God, not just people. Eventually I had to convert to Pravoslavie ("the Right Word", Eastern Orthodoxy)

What was so convincing about Eastern Orthodoxy vs. other Christian religions and sects? Its fruits, its Saints. A great number of sinful people achieved enlightenment, overcame their fallen nature, produced miracles...

Congratulations to you, Antonious!

I hope you will enjoy listening to this man. He is brilliant.

Why I Converted To Eastern Orthodoxy by Frank Schaeffer
http://youtu.be/9-CJhPlmznA


Thank you Fire-Bird2014. While I was baptized in the Methodist church as an infant, I was raised more or less in a secular manner. My father is agnostic, and my mother self-identifies as Christian but does not attend a church. I have studied philosophy and comparative religion for most of my life. It is only within the last few years that I have taken an interest in Orthodoxy. Today was the first time I ever went to an Orthodox parish. I was there for Divine Liturgy. It was quite beautiful! I plan on going back again, and also asking if they hold classes for inquirers such as myself.

I am familiar with Schaeffer. I watched some of his videos in the past. I like some of them, specifically when he is talking about his conversion to Orthodoxy. I dislike some of his other videos though, like the ones on politics and such. Thanks for sharing. I also read a lot. Right now I am reading "Orthodox Christianity" Volumes 1 and 2, written by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev). I have also read "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church" by Vladimir Lossky, and several other books on Orthodoxy, as well as Christian history and theology.
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« Reply #55 on: December 29, 2013, 03:21:46 PM »


You have the right attitude of humility and sincerity.  May God guide you and the prayers of St. Anthony be with you.  Smiley

Thanks again Antonious Nikolas. Peace to you, and God bless.
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« Reply #56 on: December 29, 2013, 03:59:32 PM »

i am glad u attended liturgy
 Smiley
did you talk to anyone there?
remember the people there may be shy, so stay around after liturgy to give them chance to say hello.
in most churches, they love to invite everyone for a tea or coffee after the service, look for a church like this, so you can get to know people.
may God guide u and bless u
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« Reply #57 on: December 29, 2013, 04:21:14 PM »

i am glad u attended liturgy
 Smiley
did you talk to anyone there?
remember the people there may be shy, so stay around after liturgy to give them chance to say hello.
in most churches, they love to invite everyone for a tea or coffee after the service, look for a church like this, so you can get to know people.
may God guide u and bless u

Thank you Mabsoota. You have been very kind to me in the past, and I am grateful for that. You know, it was me that was the shy one today. I stood in the back, and left shortly after Liturgy without hanging around to meet the other parishioners. Though I do plan on going back, and will go to coffee hour after service (I did hear from the priest that this is offered).  Grin
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"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
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« Reply #58 on: December 30, 2013, 04:24:34 PM »

don't worry, we are all shy sometimes.
but please go back, i go crazy with curiosity when someone visits church and then pops out before i get a chance to say hello!

but i don't want us (orthodox) to switch to having a door person either, i find it a bit intimidating when i visit a church and someone says 'hello' and shakes my hand right away before i've had a chance to look around for half a minute and get my bearings.

i think we should have one or two people hanging around at the back and noticing if someone can't find a seat easily and then helping him.
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« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2013, 03:03:33 AM »

This Sunday was my first liturgy also. I agree it was a beautiful service and I'm glad you thought so as well. I did stay for the coffee hour at my local parish afterwards and it was great. Everyone was very friendly and I was able to speak with the priest as well. I was shy and honestly very nervous going in but I felt much better by the time I left and everyone was so nice.

It would be intimidating to have a door person but when I slipped into the back at my parish I ended up standing next to a nice older lady that tugged me around and shooed me with her hand to sit, stand, etc and that was great. I felt better knowing I wasn't messing up and to have someone kind of "guide" me through the service. Very nice. I can't wait to go again. I also do a lot of reading but felt I'd reached a point that reading wasn't going to help me anymore until I "got a feel" for it. Now that I know I feel comfortable in the service I'm back to reading and hope to attend again soon. I hope you get a chance to go back again soon as well.
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« Reply #60 on: December 31, 2013, 09:23:46 AM »

I am happy you were open to assistance in the service, some people having a Yia Yia or a Baboushka is intimidating and they found them to be a little overwhelming. I always found their help
wonderful and their support helpful in getting me oriented to a new parish practices.
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« Reply #61 on: December 31, 2013, 02:15:57 PM »

Antonious, congratulations! Very happy for you. Just like in your case, it took me a while to come to Church. I did  a lot of reading on philosophy, mystic philosophy, studied Holy Fathers, read books about our Saints. One of the most convincing was the book by Surskiy I.K. Holy father Ioann of Kronstadt I felt personal connection, partially because my father comes from the same area of Russia, its mesmerizing Northern land. They have a very special way of speaking Russian (beautiful, soft, respectful, dignified....obviously I am a fan) This book is not translated into English yet. If it does, I will let this forum know! Very inspiring.

You might enjoy Alexei Ilyich Osipov. Search for Truth on the Path of Reason. He writes to thinkers about FAITH. I wish I could open my heart and fall into Faith but some people are not wired this way. I need to know what I believe. And why. Otherwise I am not  sincere and even the smallest doubts corrode true believes. As the Apostle Peter writes, You should be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Pet. 3:15).

If you scroll down this page http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/32715.htm, you will find three links to three chapters (for immediate reading online) I have a feeling, you will appreciate his line of thought.

(agreed on Schaeffer!)

Besides knowing, it is even more important to practice our Faith. I know, sounds like a cliche, but some of us do get carried away by intellectualizing vs practicing (lent, prayers, good deeds, humility)

I wish you the very best experiences of your lifetime!  And Happy New Year!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 02:16:55 PM by Fire-Bird2014 » Logged

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« Reply #62 on: January 01, 2014, 06:10:20 PM »

This Sunday was my first liturgy also. I agree it was a beautiful service and I'm glad you thought so as well.

Crazyms, that is excellent. It is like we have a bond, having gone to our first Divine Liturgy on the same day.  Wink I am happy for you.

I did stay for the coffee hour at my local parish afterwards and it was great. Everyone was very friendly and I was able to speak with the priest as well. I was shy and honestly very nervous going in but I felt much better by the time I left and everyone was so nice.

That is great to hear.

It would be intimidating to have a door person but when I slipped into the back at my parish I ended up standing next to a nice older lady that tugged me around and shooed me with her hand to sit, stand, etc and that was great. I felt better knowing I wasn't messing up and to have someone kind of "guide" me through the service. Very nice. I can't wait to go again. I also do a lot of reading but felt I'd reached a point that reading wasn't going to help me anymore until I "got a feel" for it. Now that I know I feel comfortable in the service I'm back to reading and hope to attend again soon. I hope you get a chance to go back again soon as well.

The day I went to my local parish, I didn't notice any guides, per se. I just tried to follow what was being done in regards to making the sign of the cross, etc. That is not to say there aren't any guides there though. There might be. I'm not sure if this is typical in an Orthodox parish. Or perhaps others thought I was already familiar with what to do. I inquired of the priest via email about instructional classes, and he told me that they do offer those after coffee hour. I plan on returning again this Sunday for Liturgy, and then staying after for the coffee hour, and also the class. Same as you, I read a lot, but also came to the conclusion that to really "get it" I need to go regularly to a parish and immerse myself in the life, ritual, and teachings. Of course, this does not mean that I will stop reading about Orthodoxy, just that reading alone can only take us so far. We seem to have come to the same conclusions. Glory be to God.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 06:12:13 PM by Antonious » Logged

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« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2014, 06:25:03 PM »

Antonious, congratulations! Very happy for you. Just like in your case, it took me a while to come to Church. I did  a lot of reading on philosophy, mystic philosophy, studied Holy Fathers, read books about our Saints. One of the most convincing was the book by Surskiy I.K. Holy father Ioann of Kronstadt I felt personal connection, partially because my father comes from the same area of Russia, its mesmerizing Northern land. They have a very special way of speaking Russian (beautiful, soft, respectful, dignified....obviously I am a fan) This book is not translated into English yet. If it does, I will let this forum know! Very inspiring.

Fire-Bird2014 , that sounds wonderful! Yes, if an English translation of Holy Father Ioann of Kronstadt becomes available please let us know. Once I finish reading Orthodox Christianity by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) I plan on starting Saint Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony.

You might enjoy Alexei Ilyich Osipov. Search for Truth on the Path of Reason. He writes to thinkers about FAITH. I wish I could open my heart and fall into Faith but some people are not wired this way. I need to know what I believe. And why. Otherwise I am not  sincere and even the smallest doubts corrode true believes. As the Apostle Peter writes, You should be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Pet. 3:15).

If you scroll down this page http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/32715.htm, you will find three links to three chapters (for immediate reading online) I have a feeling, you will appreciate his line of thought.

Thank you so much for sharing this link! I will be looking at it soon. I appreciate that very much.

Besides knowing, it is even more important to practice our Faith. I know, sounds like a cliche, but some of us do get carried away by intellectualizing vs practicing (lent, prayers, good deeds, humility)

I totally agree!  Grin I do have a tendency towards intellectual study, and I don't think that is bad in itself, but yes, most definitely, we should be practicing our Faith, not just reading about it. I feel that visiting the local parish was a first step in really beginning that process for me.

I wish you the very best experiences of your lifetime!  And Happy New Year!

I wish the same for you! Happy New Year!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 06:26:13 PM by Antonious » Logged

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
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