I found this quote online. Amazingly he has a lot of similarities to me.
Quote from a comment:http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2006/11/09/johns-story-why-i-left-eastern-orthodoxy-for-evangelicalism/?comments#comments
I am the son of an Orthodox priest. So, I am probably more intimately familiar with Orthodox theology and services and practices than most people. Growing up, not only did I go to every Sunday morning service (two services, a pro-Litury, and Divine Liturgy, since my Dad served two churches), but Vespers before Holydays, and of course the many numerous services before Christmas, Christmas Day, the two days after Christams, the many numerous Lenten serivces, all the numerous services over the Pascha weekend, and most big Holydays, like Theophany, St John the Baptist, etc..
I knew all the chants, could lead the choir, new all apsects about the services.
So, to paraphrase St Paul, I was an Orthodox Christian’s Christian.
I knew all about the saints, about the Trinity, about what Jesus did and said, about the Virgin birth, etc. The Bible was familiar to me, since I heard the Epistles and Gospels every Sunday, and during Vespers, but never read the Bible on my own.
You know what I didn’t know, what no one really taught me? That forgivness of sins is freely available without a priest. That we are priests and kings before God. That we can enter boldy before the throne room of God to ask for mercy.
Growing up, I always wondered what would happen to me if I died before I gave confession and took communion. I tried hard not to commit sins during the week after I took confession/communion, but it was impossible.
I knew all the “Orthodox” theology, which basically said you will be saved if your “good” enough. It was a works based theology, much more so than a grace theology. Yet, isn’t it interesting, that in the Gospel of John, that is read during the Paschal Divine Liturgy, it says, “For the law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
When I attened Geneva College, a reformed Presyterian college, I had to take Bible classes, surveys of the Old and New Testaments. I learned a lot there, that helped fill in some gaps.
But the most important thing, I met born again Christians, who asked me if I had a relationship with God. To me, that was a strange question, because I knew all about God, and had some sort of relationship with him, but not necessarily a saving one. But I took the step, and gave my life to Christ. It was more about the comfort knowing that my sins would be forgiven, and I had an assurance of salvation, than about big differences in theology.
Of course, my family didn’t understand for quite while, though it seemd my Mom was more upset than my Dad was, even though he was a priest in the church. Even now, my Mom tries to guilt me when I won’t attend a Christmas service before going to their house for Christmas dinner.
I will say this. I’ve been a non-Orthodox Christian for approx 20 years now. At first, I was very opposed to the Orthodox Church. I’ve grown to a more mature attitude regarding them.
While I agree with a fair amount of their doctrine, there are some I don’t support. I don’t support the praying to saints and the virgin Mary. I dont’ support the veneration of icons. I don’t support prayers for the dead. These are all un-Biblical, and a corruption that happened in Constantine’s time. The early church in St Paul’s time, did not practice any of these. These are simply man’s additions to make people feel better, and not have to accept Jesus’ simple gift of salvation.
I know that you can be a true Christian, whether you are in the Orthodox church, or a protestant Church. For me currently, though, I want to be in a church which is growing, which takes what the Bible says, and applies it, and doesn’t add to it.
My biggest problem with the Orthodox church is Orthodox christians, since many tend to me smug and arrogant. They love to be very judgemental if you leave the church, or question anything. They love to say how its the “True Church”, yet most of them have never really studied much about their faith, and have never looked at any church history beofre, during and after the reformation. They simply parrot what they’ve been told.
I have no problems if you want to believe that the Orthodox church is the one true Church. But, believe it because your knowledge and faith tell you to, not because someone told you. And if the Orthodox church is the one true church, then why does the Orthodox church recognize the Catholic church, and have relation with them? It doesn’t make much sense.
Orthodox Christians and Protestant Christians need to understand the basics of their faith, and seperate what is man’s theology and politics from what Jesus said to do.
What did Jesus says the greatest command is? Matthew 22:37-40. To Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And the 2nd command is similar to it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
It’s really that simple. It’s man that makes it difficult. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What do you think He meant by these words?
At least partially, He was speaking about people who were trying to “save” themselves, by their works. You will work very hard to try to “save” yourself. And never have any comfot knowing you are saved. But Jesus died on the Cross for everyone’s sins.
Romans 10:9-10. “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Very simple, actually. Anyone can be saved.
Now, if you’re saved, remember what James says though. Faith without works is dead. Your faith is proved through your works, though your works do not, and never will save you.
This is the doctrine that Christians should follow, whether Orthodox or Protestant.
Follow this Biblical doctrine, and you will be saved.
It's actually shocking that this guy has so many similarities to my situation. Even down to being the son of an Eastern Orthodox priest.
Though I've been through many hostile debates here on the forum, ironically he has seen the same types of reactions people have to those who leave the church. He also has disagreements with things similar to me... Iconography for example...
Amazingly he states:"My biggest problem with the Orthodox church is Orthodox christians, since many tend to me smug and arrogant. They love to be very judgemental if you leave the church, or question anything. They love to say how its the “True Church”, yet most of them have never really studied much about their faith, and have never looked at any church history beofre, during and after the reformation. They simply parrot what they’ve been told."
Parrot what they have been told..... That is wisdom. If you look at some of the responses that I've had asking why EO Christians disobey God by calling their bishops "Master", I'm responded with smug, mean, and beat around the bush answers.
God says "Do not call any man Master". This is God here telling you what to do! The responses to this are ugly because there is no excuse out of this disobedience to god.
If you look into what this guy George typed up, there is some love that he has for Orthodoxy, like I have. There is vast agreement on many things in the EO church I can imagine that this George guy and I have in common. Yet on those few topics where there is obvious disobedience to God, there is hostile responses.
Look, I'm not looking for hostility here. It's not because I said it or think it.... But God in the FLESH commanded us not to call ANY man "Master". Period. Yet the EO church DOES call a man master in direct disobedience to God.
Why won't they stop? Is direct disobedience to God not a sin? Why can't the church adhere to commands of Christ? It's so simple to change too! (And yes despota means master)
Anyway, I thought I'd post this. I'm sure it does no good at all for my status here on the forum... Just know there are others out there like me. Fortunately, this guy didn't have to witness EO in direct defiance of EO itself, by breaking its own canon in ecumenism worship.