Author Topic: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated  (Read 1426 times)

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Offline Cortirr

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Hi, I was raised as a Pentecostal Christian, though I have always felt Non-denom. I was very protective of my faith and each Sunday it was the typical pentecostal service of singing, sermon and the call to repent. Let me just say that I am 17 years old and am probably considered a "kid" to some.  :-\
I at around 14-16 started engaging into drug use and partying in typical high school life of not caring about religion and going to the point of atheism as many my age have and just don't care, thankfully I left that behind and lost some friends due to that. My parents left the Spanish church we attended when I was 14, I did not understand why but later found out about corruption within the church, many people had left and did not know where to go, so my parents became pastors, my father said that he felt that God had called him to it. My father was once a heavy alcoholic, but a year before my birth he converted and since then he has no longer turned back and never drank again, and I admit that my father has been a great example of a father to me, faithful to God and his family. A year and a half ago, I felt that the whole pentecostal movement was not the full truth of Christ and started to wonder about who Jesus really was and what church is meant to be.
I was fed up with the whole movement of the "touch of the holy spirit" with people jumping, falling, speaking in tongues, and what I would view as "disorder" although many of them feel that they have a genuine faith with the Lord and I see that they truly love God, so I don't judge but pray instead. I started investigating into the RCC, knowing that both my parents were once Roman Catholics and had left it due to what they say is corruption and man made doctrines (papacy, purgatory, veneration of Mary, excessive drinking, priests not tending the flock, corruption within the parishes). Let me just note that my parents are Spanish, born and raised in Latin america and of majority Spanish ancestry, hence my extended family being strict Roman Catholics, although some are protestants also. Anyway, I felt compelled to the RCC and tried it out, went to a service with a cousin, and ultimately found that it was not for me, I could not accept the papacy, some doctrines etc. I then tried Islam, I knew much about it from my Muslim friends, I read the Qur'an and prayed Islamic prayers but couldn't accept Muhammad as a true prophet and accept that Jesus was merely a prophet, so I also left that behind. I finally investigated Orthodoxy, I had heard about it but always thought it was an offshoot of Catholicism. Now that I'm 17 and its been over a year that I have accepted in my heart that the Orthodox Church is the true church of Christ, I've investigated it all and believe fully that it is the holy apostolic catholic church that our Lord left on earth. My main problems to becoming a full convert is that I've told my family about the Orthodox Church and why I believe its the true church, although they agree with it more than the RCC, they still bring up the same old protestant issues with it such as idol worship of icons, veneration of saints, liturgical services, movement of the holy spirit, etc. Since I am only 17 and the fact that my parents are pastors of a Spanish Church, I feel obligated to help them and stay with them, to support them in the Church and since I play an instrument there.
I feel that if I were to leave and go to the Orthodox Church, they would shun me at the most but I would feel emotionally destroyed for leaving them and their reputation among the church as having an "apostate" son as many would say. I've told them that at the core we believe the same and it is our duty for each of us to yearn for the truth and seek salvation. I understand they are not in the full truth, but will they be saved? it runs through my head everyday. My parents truly do love God and read the holy scriptures each day and pray for everyone with love and compassion, but should I seek to convert them and everyone else(siblings, other family) or should I worry about myself first and leave the rest to God? I'm most probably going to wait till I am a full adult (18-20) and then go and be christened as an "official" Orthodox Christian, though in my heart I always have been since I discovered the holy faith.
I pray every evening and morning, and I have icons and a prayer book,  my parents don't have a big issue with it any more since I have been explaining to them the difference between idolatry and veneration, and their importance as aids in prayer. I feel that they have learned a lot about the early church and their respect for the saints and Mary has elevated due to what I've been telling them about Orthodoxy. I had some issue with many of the Churches here being ethnic and I thought maybe they would not accept converts, thinking Orthodoxy was reserved for certain ethnic groups, but I have since outgrew those thoughts, since seeing many converts to Orthodoxy and some English-convert speaking parishes. Since I am still a teenager I struggle through high school(gr.12) with temptations, friends and all that. I also am not sure if i Should contact a father at a parish, I honestly don't know if they would pay attention to a "kid" like me, but I can't judge either. I deal with this daily struggle everyday in yearning for the truth.
Please pray for me and for my journey to the Holy Church that it may be a smooth transition. Any advice would be great and helpful.
 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matt. 7:7.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 01:04:03 AM by Cortirr »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 01:28:15 AM »
Quote
I also am not sure if i Should contact a father at a parish, I honestly don't know if they would pay attention to a "kid" like me, but I can't judge either.

You should definitely speak to an Orthodox priest!  :)
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 01:30:52 AM »
Quote
I believe its the true church, although they agree with it more than the RCC, they still bring up the same old protestant issues with it such as idol worship of icons, veneration of saints, liturgical services, movement of the holy spirit, etc. Since I am only 17 and the fact that my parents are pastors of a Spanish Church, I feel obligated to help them and stay with them, to support them in the Church and since I play an instrument there.

Liturgical services are the historical inheritance from Judaism. Believe it or not. Jews and Christians didn't read the Bible. Hard to believe? They sang it aloud, they didn't study it like a bunch of data like we do now. That's a modern development. That's what the Psalms are. 'A song of Korah' for instance. They were meant to be prayers said to God.

Veneration of Saints and 'idol worship of icons' was something the Jews did, and the Christians inherited. What we call 'the Bible' post-dates the ancient practice of Saint veneration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub_tuum_praesidium Hymn to Saint Mary 250 c.

http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/codex/date.aspx Oldest Complete Bible 350 c.

The 'movement' of the Holy Spirit is an ancient heresy called Montanism. 'Speaking in tongues' simply means speaking other languages. The Holy Scripture itself says so:
Quote
Acts 2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.
7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Quote
I've told them that at the core we believe the same and it is our duty for each of us to yearn for the truth and seek salvation. I understand they are not in the full truth, but will they be saved? it runs through my head everyday. My parents truly do love God and read the holy scriptures each day and pray for everyone with love and compassion, but should I seek to convert them and everyone else(siblings, other family) or should I worry about myself first and leave the rest to God? I'm most probably going to wait till I am a full adult (18-20) and then go and be christened as an "official" Orthodox Christian, though in my heart I always have been since I discovered the holy faith.

The Church teaches it is the fullness of the Faith and the Ark of Salvation. However, this is what the Church teaches about itself not about other people. Only God knows what work He does on this earth. In other words, God is in the Church, but He could be elsewhere. "His mercy endures forever." (Psalm 135)

Quote
I had some issue with many of the Churches here being ethnic and I thought maybe they would not accept converts, thinking Orthodoxy was reserved for certain ethnic groups, but I have since outgrew those thoughts, since seeing many converts to Orthodoxy and some English-convert speaking parishes.

'Phyletism' ('Ethnicism') was condemned as a heresy by the Orthodox Church.

I was around the same age when I found the Church, and I have been studying and learning since. That was years ago, and I have only now made a decision and I am still not a Catechumen. So don't worry about rushing into things.

Si hablas Español puedes usar el foro en Español hay una área que puedes hablarlo.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 01:40:08 AM by xOrthodox4Christx »
I reject all that I wrote that isn't in accordance with the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Also, my posts reflect my opinions (present or former) and nothing else.

Offline Cortirr

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 01:44:33 AM »
Quote
I also am not sure if i Should contact a father at a parish, I honestly don't know if they would pay attention to a "kid" like me, but I can't judge either.

You should definitely speak to an Orthodox priest!  :)

I hope too, if God wills
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Offline Cortirr

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 01:46:47 AM »
Quote
I believe its the true church, although they agree with it more than the RCC, they still bring up the same old protestant issues with it such as idol worship of icons, veneration of saints, liturgical services, movement of the holy spirit, etc. Since I am only 17 and the fact that my parents are pastors of a Spanish Church, I feel obligated to help them and stay with them, to support them in the Church and since I play an instrument there.

Liturgical services are the historical inheritance from Judaism. Believe it or not. Jews and Christians didn't read the Bible. Hard to believe? They sang it aloud, they didn't study it like a bunch of data like we do now. That's a modern development. That's what the Psalms are. 'A song of Korah' for instance. They were meant to be prayers said to God.

Veneration of Saints and 'idol worship of icons' was something the Jews did, and the Christians inherited. What we call 'the Bible' post-dates the ancient practice of Saint veneration.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub_tuum_praesidium Hymn to Saint Mary 250 c.

http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/codex/date.aspx Oldest Complete Bible 350 c.

The 'movement' of the Holy Spirit is an ancient heresy called Montanism. 'Speaking in tongues' simply means speaking other languages. The Holy Scripture itself says so:
Quote
Acts 2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.
7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Quote
I've told them that at the core we believe the same and it is our duty for each of us to yearn for the truth and seek salvation. I understand they are not in the full truth, but will they be saved? it runs through my head everyday. My parents truly do love God and read the holy scriptures each day and pray for everyone with love and compassion, but should I seek to convert them and everyone else(siblings, other family) or should I worry about myself first and leave the rest to God? I'm most probably going to wait till I am a full adult (18-20) and then go and be christened as an "official" Orthodox Christian, though in my heart I always have been since I discovered the holy faith.

The Church teaches it is the fullness of the Faith and the Ark of Salvation. However, this is what the Church teaches about itself not about other people. Only God knows what work He does on this earth. In other words, God is in the Church, but He could be elsewhere. "His mercy endures forever." (Psalm 135)

Quote
I had some issue with many of the Churches here being ethnic and I thought maybe they would not accept converts, thinking Orthodoxy was reserved for certain ethnic groups, but I have since outgrew those thoughts, since seeing many converts to Orthodoxy and some English-convert speaking parishes.

'Phyletism' ('Ethnicism') was condemned as a heresy by the Orthodox Church.

I was around the same age when I found the Church, and I have been studying and learning since. That was years ago, and I have only now made a decision and I am still not a Catechumen. So don't worry about rushing into things.

Si hablas Español puedes usar el foro en Español hay una área que puedes hablarlo.  ;)

Thank you for your reponse, it was really insightful! I hope my parents understand their issues around all that which you excellently explained! also, yes I speak spanish but english is my first and the one I most use  :P
"Quaerite et Invenietis". Seeking the truth every day.

Online WPM

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 02:25:33 AM »
You need lots of time and patience especially with family members
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 07:41:11 AM »
You must be the younger me.  I grew up in pentecostal churches, both Spanish- and English-speaking types.  My parents are still in a Hispanic Pentecostal church.  My dad's side of the family are majority Roman Catholics; mom's side mostly pentecostal.  You will struggle for your faith, especially since your parents lead a church.  But know that you are not alone.  Like LBK wrote, do talk to a priest.  I studied for years, but it was when I actually took heart and visited the Church and spoke with a priest that a lot of things were clarified; and, more importantly, a lot of fears disappeared. 
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 09:34:27 AM »
I had some issue with many of the Churches here being ethnic and I thought maybe they would not accept converts, thinking Orthodoxy was reserved for certain ethnic groups, but I have since outgrew those thoughts, since seeing many converts to Orthodoxy and some English-convert speaking parishes. Since I am still a teenager I struggle through high school(gr.12) with temptations, friends and all that. I also am not sure if i Should contact a father at a parish, I honestly don't know if they would pay attention to a "kid" like me, but I can't judge either. I deal with this daily struggle everyday in yearning for the truth.
Please pray for me and for my journey to the Holy Church that it may be a smooth transition. Any advice would be great and helpful.
 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matt. 7:7.
You would be more than welcome in my parish. Check my profile. If you're close, PM me for contact info.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Family and personal problems with conversion, help greatly appreciated
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 09:42:18 AM »
May God bless your journey.  In regards to the salvation of your parents, that is up to God.  I hesitate to conjecture on my own salvation, much less the salvation of others.  I just trust God that He might be merciful upon me and those I love and leave it in His hands.

There is probably not a whole lot you are going to be able to say to your parents to convince them of anything, but living your life in a holy manner is bound to bear good fruit.  It IS important to speak to a priest in your area who is able to guide you though these rough waters. From personal experience, I would encourage you not to "force" anything on your parents, but demonstrate love and obedience to them.  At some point, they may start to ask questions and you will have an opportunity to share what God has worked in your life.
God bless!