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Author Topic: On being received into Orthodoxy  (Read 1518 times) Average Rating: 0
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John of Patmos
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« on: November 10, 2013, 02:38:49 PM »

So I keep thinking about this:  How will I be received into Orthodoxy?  I know that typically it is just Chrismation when a RC becomes Orthodox.  I also know St. Mark of Ephesus spoke against the rebaptism of RC's who become Orthodox.  However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key...so which method will I undergo?
Also, does Chrismation cleanse you of sin, or would I have to confess before Communing for the first time in the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2013, 02:43:45 PM »

I was received by chrismation. I was not asked to go to confession. I am looking forward to my first confession, hopefully soon. (Our current priest is under 40 and you have to be 40 to give confessions in our church. So we have to wait until the visiting priest who is in his 40s comes to see us.)

My tiny advice: try not to be too nervous, you will find that you are very happy when it is done.  angel
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 02:46:56 PM »

I was received from RC Church via chrismation (hadn't been before). I had to go to confession just right before it. It very, very varies from jurisdiction to jurisdction and even from parish to parish
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 03:33:20 PM »

So I keep thinking about this:  How will I be received into Orthodoxy?  I know that typically it is just Chrismation when a RC becomes Orthodox.  I also know St. Mark of Ephesus spoke against the rebaptism of RC's who become Orthodox.  However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key...so which method will I undergo?

Be received into Orthodoxy through obedience.  Feel free to discuss your concerns with your priest, but let him receive you as is customary in the diocese and be at peace.   

Quote
Also, does Chrismation cleanse you of sin, or would I have to confess before Communing for the first time in the Orthodox Church?

There are different traditions on this, in my experience.  Some will require a confession before Chrismation, but without the absolution (I'm not 100% on this, but I'm close enough).  Others will just proceed with Chrismation without this requirement.  The sacraments are conferred for the forgiveness of sins, and Communion perfects them all.  Ask your priest what he does, and be at peace. 
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 03:57:43 PM »

I've been wondering the same things, being a cradle Catholic who has switched to Orthodoxy.  I haven't talked with the priest so I'm not even an inquirer at this point.  I've been attending Liturgies and Matins over the past year.  I don't take communion, I just sit in the pew.  No idea if I'll ever get to the point where I try to officially become a member of the church or the faith. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 04:47:27 PM »

So I keep thinking about this:  How will I be received into Orthodoxy?  I know that typically it is just Chrismation when a RC becomes Orthodox.  I also know St. Mark of Ephesus spoke against the rebaptism of RC's who become Orthodox.  However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key...so which method will I undergo?
Also, does Chrismation cleanse you of sin, or would I have to confess before Communing for the first time in the Orthodox Church?

Whichever method your priest prescribes.  
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 04:58:11 PM »

However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key

He does? I'm a bit suprised by that as His Grace doesn't seem like an ultra-conservative. Is your copy an old edition or something?
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2013, 04:58:15 PM »

I've been wondering the same things, being a cradle Catholic who has switched to Orthodoxy.  I haven't talked with the priest so I'm not even an inquirer at this point.  I've been attending Liturgies and Matins over the past year.  I don't take communion, I just sit in the pew.  No idea if I'll ever get to the point where I try to officially become a member of the church or the faith. 

Please introduce yourself to the parish priest. He won't bite. He has probably noticed you, but does not want to intrude on your space.

My prayers.
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2013, 05:15:14 PM »

However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key

He does? I'm a bit suprised by that as His Grace doesn't seem like an ultra-conservative. Is your copy an old edition or something?

A bit of context would be of assistance.
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 12:15:15 AM »

However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key

He does? I'm a bit suprised by that as His Grace doesn't seem like an ultra-conservative. Is your copy an old edition or something?

A bit of context would be of assistance.

Agreed.  Ultra-conservatism has nothing to do with what the ancient history of the church is.  If you look at the Canons of the church, for example, Triple immersion is DEFINITELY key. 

So if one reads "the orthodox church" by Metropolitan Kallistos, then one would find that he is historically accurate in his assessment. 
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2013, 03:07:36 AM »

I've been wondering the same things, being a cradle Catholic who has switched to Orthodoxy.  I haven't talked with the priest so I'm not even an inquirer at this point.  I've been attending Liturgies and Matins over the past year.  I don't take communion, I just sit in the pew.  No idea if I'll ever get to the point where I try to officially become a member of the church or the faith. 

Please introduce yourself to the parish priest. He won't bite. He has probably noticed you, but does not want to intrude on your space.

My prayers.

I think I just want to attend the Liturgy.  Right now, I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2013, 07:29:52 AM »

Right now, I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.
If successful, you'll lose.

Just take your time; no need to talk yourself out of it. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 01:51:20 PM »

I was received by chrismation. I was not asked to go to confession. I am looking forward to my first confession, hopefully soon. (Our current priest is under 40 and you have to be 40 to give confessions in our church. So we have to wait until the visiting priest who is in his 40s comes to see us.)

My tiny advice: try not to be too nervous, you will find that you are very happy when it is done.  angel

A priest must be over 40 years old to hear confessions? I did not know this! Why 40?
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 01:59:19 PM »

So I keep thinking about this:  How will I be received into Orthodoxy?  I know that typically it is just Chrismation when a RC becomes Orthodox.  I also know St. Mark of Ephesus spoke against the rebaptism of RC's who become Orthodox.  However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key...so which method will I undergo?
Also, does Chrismation cleanse you of sin, or would I have to confess before Communing for the first time in the Orthodox Church?

I just became a Godmother to a formerly R. Catholic young woman who married into the Greek Orthodox faith, and I did not hear the priest say to her anything about going for Confession. However, BEFORE receiving Eucharist, we must go for Confession. This is a regular habit. I have a priest that I speak to regularly in his office, however, I do not believe that is Confession. I have never 'confessed' in the Holy Sacrament sense. I want to, but haven't. As far as being 'cleansed of sins' upon Chrismation, my guess would be 'no' since we are 'cleansed' when baptized, and you a former Catholic have already been baptized in the Holy Spirit, so I would think your and everyone sins were cleansed during baptism. Correct me if I'm wrong. Confession, though, cleanses and prepares us to receive Christ.   
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 02:49:45 PM »

So I keep thinking about this:  How will I be received into Orthodoxy?  I know that typically it is just Chrismation when a RC becomes Orthodox.  I also know St. Mark of Ephesus spoke against the rebaptism of RC's who become Orthodox.  However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key...so which method will I undergo?
Also, does Chrismation cleanse you of sin, or would I have to confess before Communing for the first time in the Orthodox Church?

Whichever method your priest prescribes.  

Which is also presumably the method your Bishop prescribes as well. My husband who was RC was received by Chrismation and made a confession beforehand. He communed right after his christmation, however.
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 02:56:20 PM »

Greek Orthodox don't really seem to do confession. Russian Orthodox emphasize it being Latin influenced, but I've heard that many Greek Orthodox go their whole lives without confessing at all. Many only confess to some elder or monk when they go to visit them, but parish priests often do not offer confession at all. I personally couldn't imagine Orthodoxy without confession. Seems like a different religion to me.
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2013, 02:59:38 PM »

However, Kallistos Ware said in "The Orthodox Church" that triple immersion is key

He does? I'm a bit suprised by that as His Grace doesn't seem like an ultra-conservative. Is your copy an old edition or something?

A bit of context would be of assistance.

Agreed.  Ultra-conservatism has nothing to do with what the ancient history of the church is.  If you look at the Canons of the church, for example, Triple immersion is DEFINITELY key. 

So if one reads "the orthodox church" by Metropolitan Kallistos, then one would find that he is historically accurate in his assessment. 

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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2013, 03:10:23 PM »

Greek Orthodox don't really seem to do confession. Russian Orthodox emphasize it being Latin influenced, but I've heard that many Greek Orthodox go their whole lives without confessing at all. Many only confess to some elder or monk when they go to visit them, but parish priests often do not offer confession at all. I personally couldn't imagine Orthodoxy without confession. Seems like a different religion to me.

At the local Greek Orthodox parish, the priest routinely receives Roman Catholics and some Protestants by Chrismation, but he does expect them to make a Confession prior to receiving Holy Communion.

Yes, it is true that many of the Greek Orthodox Christians do not offer their confessions in the Mystery of Holy Confession. When the parish schedules regular confession times during the Nativity Fast, Great Lenten Fast, and the Fast of the Theotokos, few attend. Instead, most of the parishioners prepare themselves, apologize to their family and friends, and then go to the Holy Wednesday evening Holy Unction service where the Priest reads the prayer of absolution as part of the Holy Service just prior to the anointing. They consider that to be all that is needful. Then they devoutly fast through the rest of Holy Week, receive the Holy Light and the Holy Eucharist at Pascha, again making peace with everyone beforehand.
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2013, 03:17:59 PM »

I've been wondering the same things, being a cradle Catholic who has switched to Orthodoxy.  I haven't talked with the priest so I'm not even an inquirer at this point.  I've been attending Liturgies and Matins over the past year.  I don't take communion, I just sit in the pew.  No idea if I'll ever get to the point where I try to officially become a member of the church or the faith. 

Please introduce yourself to the parish priest. He won't bite. He has probably noticed you, but does not want to intrude on your space.

My prayers.

I think I just want to attend the Liturgy.  Right now, I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.

My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2013, 04:30:03 PM »

I've been wondering the same things, being a cradle Catholic who has switched to Orthodoxy.  I haven't talked with the priest so I'm not even an inquirer at this point.  I've been attending Liturgies and Matins over the past year.  I don't take communion, I just sit in the pew.  No idea if I'll ever get to the point where I try to officially become a member of the church or the faith. 

Please introduce yourself to the parish priest. He won't bite. He has probably noticed you, but does not want to intrude on your space.

My prayers.

I think I just want to attend the Liturgy.  Right now, I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.

My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.

I'm 50, and not having any more kids at this age.

If I was of child-bearing years, I would never ever bring a child into the world as it is now.  I'd never be able to keep him off drugs in this caustic culture.

And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church. 
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2013, 04:31:49 PM »



My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.

I'm 50, and not having any more kids at this age.

If I was of child-bearing years, I would never ever bring a child into the world as it is now.  I'd never be able to keep him off drugs in this caustic culture.

And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church.  

Not a godparent for your kids, but for you.
Whether a convert is accepted by Baptism or by Chrismation, that convert needs to have a godparent or sponsor.
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2013, 04:36:53 PM »


And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church. 

Yes, going to church does make one's life a little more complicated as we need to love our parishioners even when they are drunk and a bit boisterous or obnoxious.

However, it is only in Christ's Church that we can receive the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, who has commanded that unless we eat of His Body and drink of His Blood we shall not have eternal life. Read John 6 for the complete sermon of Christ.
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2013, 04:40:21 PM »



My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.

I'm 50, and not having any more kids at this age.

If I was of child-bearing years, I would never ever bring a child into the world as it is now.  I'd never be able to keep him off drugs in this caustic culture.

And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church.  

Not a godparent for your kids, but for you.
Whether a convert is accepted by Baptism or by Chrismation, that convert needs to have a godparent or sponsor.

I don't see the point of that.  A 50-year-old doesn't need a godparent.  If none of this stuff effects a change in the person, then what is the point?  Is it just for the music and the singing?  Studying scripture and doctrine, and then verbally dissecting all that for hours on end?  Reciting generic scripted prayers?  Nobody gives up their porn, their beer, or their bongs, so what does all of this stuff really do?

I seriously need to talk myself out of this.  
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2013, 04:43:41 PM »


And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church. 

Yes, going to church does make one's life a little more complicated as we need to love our parishioners even when they are drunk and a bit boisterous or obnoxious.

However, it is only in Christ's Church that we can receive the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, who has commanded that unless we eat of His Body and drink of His Blood we shall not have eternal life. Read John 6 for the complete sermon of Christ.

Taking all that in while refusing to make any changes in the way we act or live our lives is to treat the Eucharist like a magic elixir or tonic.  I would think that would do more harm than good.  I think, at this point, if He's going to throw me away, then He's going to throw me away.  My mind and my mood are not in a good place today.
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2013, 04:45:36 PM »



My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.

I'm 50, and not having any more kids at this age.

If I was of child-bearing years, I would never ever bring a child into the world as it is now.  I'd never be able to keep him off drugs in this caustic culture.

And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church.  

Not a godparent for your kids, but for you.
Whether a convert is accepted by Baptism or by Chrismation, that convert needs to have a godparent or sponsor.

I don't see the point of that.  A 50-year-old doesn't need a godparent.  If none of this stuff effects a change in the person, then what is the point?  Is it just for the music and the singing?  Studying scripture and doctrine, and then verbally dissecting all that for hours on end?  Reciting generic scripted prayers?  Nobody gives up their porn, their beer, or their bongs, so what does all of this stuff really do?

I seriously need to talk myself out of this.  

I have seen mediocre Orthodox Christians, who were not really practicing their faith, but who were granted permission by the Priest to serve as a godparent, change overnight once they realized their new responsibilities, even if their godchild was over 60 years of age. Yes, this has happened to several people I know. The sponsor talked with the Priest, and that encounter with the Priest changed both the sponsor and his older godchild. The Holy Spirit works in unique ways if we let Him.
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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2013, 04:48:18 PM »

I think, at this point, if He's going to throw me away, then He's going to throw me away.  My mind and my mood are not in a good place today.

Lord have mercy.

Know that I will pray for you, as will others who are reading your posts.

We have all been in your place. It is difficult to surrender to the Living God, but He can only save you if you cooperate with His Grace.

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« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2013, 04:52:07 PM »



My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.

I'm 50, and not having any more kids at this age.

If I was of child-bearing years, I would never ever bring a child into the world as it is now.  I'd never be able to keep him off drugs in this caustic culture.

And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church.  

Not a godparent for your kids, but for you.
Whether a convert is accepted by Baptism or by Chrismation, that convert needs to have a godparent or sponsor.

I don't see the point of that.  A 50-year-old doesn't need a godparent.  If none of this stuff effects a change in the person, then what is the point?  Is it just for the music and the singing?  Studying scripture and doctrine, and then verbally dissecting all that for hours on end?  Reciting generic scripted prayers?  Nobody gives up their porn, their beer, or their bongs, so what does all of this stuff really do?

I seriously need to talk myself out of this.  

I have seen mediocre Orthodox Christians, who were not really practicing their faith, but who were granted permission by the Priest to serve as a godparent, change overnight once they realized their new responsibilities, even if their godchild was over 60 years of age. Yes, this has happened to several people I know. The sponsor talked with the Priest, and that encounter with the Priest changed both the sponsor and his older godchild. The Holy Spirit works in unique ways if we let Him.

Porn, getting drunk, and getting high are not what mediocre Christians do--that stuff is really bad.  I'd happily settle for mediocre.  I've done enough bad and enough wrong in my life to spend all of eternity in hell, and I still never did any of this stuff.  

I'm 50--I no longer need a godparent.  It just boggles my mind that this is even a practice.  

The Holy Spirit either isn't working in people if this is the kind of stuff they're doing, or maybe this is the kind of stuff God wants us doing?  That would have me seriously wondering who and what it is that I'm worshiping and praying to.  I haven't been to church in two weeks.  God-willing, I won't go back at all.
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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2013, 04:56:47 PM »

I'm 50--I no longer need a godparent.  It just boggles my mind that this is even a practice.  

One of my godchildren is 10 years older than I am. I try to be a good example for her!
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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2013, 04:57:34 PM »


Taking all that in while refusing to make any changes in the way we act or live our lives is to treat the Eucharist like a magic elixir or tonic.  I would think that would do more harm than good. 


Exactly, we are not to treat the Eucharist as magic. Have you ever read For the Life of the World?

You must realize that often it is the converts who help to reconvert the Orthodox Christians back to their faith. Many Orthodox Christians today were in the Soviet Union before it fell and did not get a proper Orthodox Christian upbringing. Instead they were raised under Communism and learned to cuss and drink. We must show great mercy and imitate our Lord who urged sinners to come to Him. He did not shun sinners. In fact, we are all sinners in need of repentance. Thus, we must learn to forgive others and ask their forgiveness as well.

It is not by accident that we pray the Lord Prayer just before receiving Holy Communion. We need to be careful how we approach the Lord, because we need to prepare to receive the King of All in the Holy Eucharist with sorrow for our sins, in fear (or reverence), in faith and in love.

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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2013, 05:01:55 PM »



My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.

I'm 50, and not having any more kids at this age.

If I was of child-bearing years, I would never ever bring a child into the world as it is now.  I'd never be able to keep him off drugs in this caustic culture.

And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church.  

Not a godparent for your kids, but for you.
Whether a convert is accepted by Baptism or by Chrismation, that convert needs to have a godparent or sponsor.

I don't see the point of that.  A 50-year-old doesn't need a godparent.  If none of this stuff effects a change in the person, then what is the point?  Is it just for the music and the singing?  Studying scripture and doctrine, and then verbally dissecting all that for hours on end?  Reciting generic scripted prayers?  Nobody gives up their porn, their beer, or their bongs, so what does all of this stuff really do?

I seriously need to talk myself out of this.  

The world is a very dark place.  That's why God became Man and gave us the Church.  I understand that society today is very discouraging.  However, people can change, if they accept God's Graces.  God's Graces, given to us in the Sacraments can have a big effect on our lives.  Don't get too discouraged, because God is always available to help.

Anecdotally, my bishop, the Rev. Savas Zembillas, was kind of wild as a student.  However, he decided, by God's Grace, to give up his things and go to Mt. Athos.  Now he's a bishop of the Church.
Stay strong!
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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2013, 05:07:22 PM »


Porn, getting drunk, and getting high are not what mediocre Christians do--that stuff is really bad.  I'd happily settle for mediocre.  I've done enough bad and enough wrong in my life to spend all of eternity in hell, and I still never did any of this stuff.  


Lord have mercy.

If you have been scandalized by some of the posts you have read here, then perhaps limit your reading here.

Our Orthodox youth do not realize how much they scandalize inquirers and catechumens. They desperately need our prayers that they will be saved.

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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2013, 05:09:23 PM »



My prayers for you that you may take the next step and contact your Orthodox Priest. Again, he won't bite.
The best way to handle this dilemma, is to ask one of your friends in the parish to introduce yourself to the Priest. And consider this, your friends may be potential godparents.

I'm 50, and not having any more kids at this age.

If I was of child-bearing years, I would never ever bring a child into the world as it is now.  I'd never be able to keep him off drugs in this caustic culture.

And I really don't do the whole 'friend' thing.  I have a few acquaintances, but don't socialize.  I rarely leave the house anymore.

I'm still trying to talk myself out of this.  I'm having a real hard time understanding what the point is, and my life was a lot less complicated when I was not going to any kind of a church.  

Not a godparent for your kids, but for you.
Whether a convert is accepted by Baptism or by Chrismation, that convert needs to have a godparent or sponsor.

I don't see the point of that.  A 50-year-old doesn't need a godparent.  If none of this stuff effects a change in the person, then what is the point?  Is it just for the music and the singing?  Studying scripture and doctrine, and then verbally dissecting all that for hours on end?  Reciting generic scripted prayers?  Nobody gives up their porn, their beer, or their bongs, so what does all of this stuff really do?

I seriously need to talk myself out of this.  

I have seen mediocre Orthodox Christians, who were not really practicing their faith, but who were granted permission by the Priest to serve as a godparent, change overnight once they realized their new responsibilities, even if their godchild was over 60 years of age. Yes, this has happened to several people I know. The sponsor talked with the Priest, and that encounter with the Priest changed both the sponsor and his older godchild. The Holy Spirit works in unique ways if we let Him.

Porn, getting drunk, and getting high are not what mediocre Christians do--that stuff is really bad.  I'd happily settle for mediocre.  I've done enough bad and enough wrong in my life to spend all of eternity in hell, and I still never did any of this stuff.  

I'm 50--I no longer need a godparent.  It just boggles my mind that this is even a practice.  

The Holy Spirit either isn't working in people if this is the kind of stuff they're doing, or maybe this is the kind of stuff God wants us doing?  That would have me seriously wondering who and what it is that I'm worshiping and praying to.  I haven't been to church in two weeks.  God-willing, I won't go back at all.

God doesn't want us to do these things.  He gave us free will because He loves us.  People can reject God's way, or they follow Him in love once He gives them the Grace to do so.  He gives that Grace to all who ask for it.
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« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2013, 05:12:27 PM »

I don't see the point of that.  A 50-year-old doesn't need a godparent.

No, you don't need a godparent in the way an infant does--to speak on his behalf--but having a godparent is still important.  Ideally, that person will be a help and support to someone in the process of conversion and afterwards, and at baptism/chrismation stands with you as you participate in the sacraments.  That person, in a way, represents the entire Church standing with you, supporting you, and receiving you as a member of the family of God.  I suppose you could speak to a priest if you had an adamant opposition to this and see how that goes.  I know of at least one case where the person converting never chose a godparent, and the priest forgot about it, and so he just asked one of the regulars to do it, and it worked out.  

Quote
If none of this stuff effects a change in the person, then what is the point? Is it just for the music and the singing?  Studying scripture and doctrine, and then verbally dissecting all that for hours on end?  Reciting generic scripted prayers? Nobody gives up their porn, their beer, or their bongs, so what does all of this stuff really do?

I seriously need to talk myself out of this.  

All of the things I bolded above are wonderful things, things God has given us in one way or another in order to help us become holy, but they can be misused, abused, or unused.  It's up to each one of us to receive what God has given us and put it to good use.  If we don't use these things in the right way, we don't benefit.  But that doesn't mean that these things are useless or bad.  Many people put them to good use in their own lives to the best of their ability and derive benefits, whether we see those benefits easily or not.  

All of us are sinners, we struggle with different things, and our healing takes its own course because God is guiding the process.  It's not a matter of "confess once a month, commune once a week, fast twice a week, pray twice a day" and everyone experiences the same degree of healing and change.  Some people repent and keep growing stronger and stronger, others repent and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall, a thousand times.  We should pray for others, support them, and trust God to be merciful with them, and focus on our own repentance and healing.  

So if someone is going to consider joining the Church because it has such great riches and s/he wants to observe how other people (fail to) put them to good use so that s/he can question the Church's validity, s/he should go right ahead and talk himself or herself out of it.  I'll talk them out of it.  Many of us will.  If that's how s/he approaches it, it will never work because s/he's not doing it right.  But if s/he's going to consider joining the Church, I'd tell him/her to do it because s/he loves Christ, because s/he loves his gospel, and s/he can't imagine being anywhere else but with him.  But be aware that Jesus has always and unapologetically hung out with "questionable" friends.          
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« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2013, 05:36:01 PM »

Christ came to heal the sick. After encountering Him, the blind could see, the deaf could hear, the lame and the paralyzed could walk, the possessed were set free from their demons, and those in adultery learned to live chastely. Could we not say that demons can cause addictions to porn, alcohol, and drugs?

All of us must come to Christ in faith and in love. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness, redemption, and salvation, but if we cannot forgive our brethren, then our own sins will not be forgiven us.

The act of forgiveness and asking forgiveness are God-given graces that can lead to other graces. Many Priests have seen people healed from bodily and mental afflictions when penitents let go of resentment, anger, jealousy, and past hurts.

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« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2013, 05:36:57 PM »



No, you don't need a godparent in the way an infant does--to speak on his behalf...

Then that's not a godparent, that's a sponsor.  I don't think it's going to come up in my case, but a sponsor makes a lot more sense.  I'm grown, and maybe I'm clinging to the Catholic definition of 'godparent,' but godparents are for infants at their baptism.  My godparent was very old when I was born, and he's long since passed.  

Quote


So if someone is going to consider joining the Church because it has such great riches and s/he wants to observe how other people (fail to) put them to good use so that s/he can question the Church's validity, s/he should go right ahead and talk himself or herself out of it.  
        

It doesn't affect the Church's validity in any way.  This is the one and only true Christian Church.  I will experience it as much as possible through podcasts and streaming.  If God will forgive people who still respond to their own will and don't even attempt to cooperate with grace, then He'll forgive me for not being able to leave my house because I can't cope with the terror that lies outside my front door.  Salvation isn't why I was going to church, as strange as that seems.  I deserve to go to hell.  If that's where He sends me, I'll shut my mouth and go.  But leaving my house--I can't do that.  
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« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2013, 05:42:11 PM »


Could we not say that demons can cause addictions to porn, alcohol, and drugs?


You just hit the nail on the head.  That is precisely where all that stuff comes from.  Only one of those three things can be used in moderation, and that's alcohol, because everyone who sits down for a beer is not looking to get drunk, but the other two--there's no such thing as a person smoking a joint who is not trying to get high and there's no such thing as a person looking at, reading, or watching porn that is not trying to get aroused, and not at all in the proper way.  Demons--that's where this stuff comes from, and nowhere else.  This is why Christ turned water into wine, but did not turn grass into pot or initiate an orgy.  Alcohol is the only one of those three things that can be used in moderation.  The only one.

Thank you.  This should definitely be POTM.  
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« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2013, 05:50:31 PM »

Then that's not a godparent, that's a sponsor.  I don't think it's going to come up in my case, but a sponsor makes a lot more sense.  I'm grown, and maybe I'm clinging to the Catholic definition of 'godparent,' but godparents are for infants at their baptism.  My godparent was very old when I was born, and he's long since passed.  


IMO, it's a distinction without a difference.  

Quote
It doesn't affect the Church's validity in any way.  This is the one and only true Christian Church.  I will experience it as much as possible through podcasts and streaming.  If God will forgive people who still respond to their own will and don't even attempt to cooperate with grace, then He'll forgive me for not being able to leave my house because I can't cope with the terror that lies outside my front door.  Salvation isn't why I was going to church, as strange as that seems.  I deserve to go to hell.  If that's where He sends me, I'll shut my mouth and go.  But leaving my house--I can't do that.  

I don't know what you're going through or how to help except to pray for you.  And I will, for whatever that's worth to God or to you, I mean that sincerely.  

Quote
If God will forgive people who still respond to their own will and don't even attempt to cooperate with grace, then He'll forgive me for not being able to leave my house because I can't cope with the terror that lies outside my front door.

The "if" situation is a completely different situation from the "then" situation.  And the "if" is a pretty big "if".  

Quote
Salvation isn't why I was going to church, as strange as that seems.

If you weren't going to church for salvation, what were you going for?  

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« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2013, 05:56:15 PM »

I was received by chrismation. I was not asked to go to confession. I am looking forward to my first confession, hopefully soon. (Our current priest is under 40 and you have to be 40 to give confessions in our church. So we have to wait until the visiting priest who is in his 40s comes to see us.)

My tiny advice: try not to be too nervous, you will find that you are very happy when it is done.  angel

A priest must be over 40 years old to hear confessions? I did not know this! Why 40?

All priests in the Russian tradition are authorized to hear confessions once they are ordained. Priests in the Greek tradition do not have this automatic privilege, but are required to serve for some years before being granted the privilege of hearing confessions. Where a priest has not yet attained the rank of confessor, another priest, sometimes a priest-monk, is brought in to hear confessions.
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« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2013, 05:57:13 PM »


IMO, it's a distinction without a difference.  


I disagree, but as I said, it might be because I'm clinging to the Catholic definition of 'godparent.'  As I also said, I don't think it's going to come up for me.  I'm pretty sure I can't do this.

Quote

The "if" situation is a completely different situation from the "then" situation.  And the "if" is a pretty big "if".  


And it would logically and necessarily have to be an even bigger 'if' for people who choose to engage and encourage debauchery and addiction.  If God doesn't understand what I'm going through, nobody will.  


Quote
 

If you weren't going to church for salvation, what were you going for?  


I'm willing to bet there's no way I could explain that to anyone's satisfaction, but no, I wasn't going for that.  
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« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2013, 06:00:35 PM »


IMO, it's a distinction without a difference.  


I disagree, but as I said, it might be because I'm clinging to the Catholic definition of 'godparent.'  As I also said, I don't think it's going to come up for me.  I'm pretty sure I can't do this.

Quote

The "if" situation is a completely different situation from the "then" situation.  And the "if" is a pretty big "if".  


And it would logically and necessarily have to be an even bigger 'if' for people who choose to engage and encourage debauchery and addiction.  If God doesn't understand what I'm going through, nobody will.  


Quote
 

If you weren't going to church for salvation, what were you going for?  


I'm willing to bet there's no way I could explain that to anyone's satisfaction, but no, I wasn't going for that.  

Why did you visit the Orthodox Church and attend Divine Liturgy?

It reminds me of Christ's questions to the Disciples of St. John the Baptist.
What did you go out into the desert to see?
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« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2013, 06:17:52 PM »


IMO, it's a distinction without a difference.  


I disagree, but as I said, it might be because I'm clinging to the Catholic definition of 'godparent.'  As I also said, I don't think it's going to come up for me.  I'm pretty sure I can't do this.

Quote

The "if" situation is a completely different situation from the "then" situation.  And the "if" is a pretty big "if".  


And it would logically and necessarily have to be an even bigger 'if' for people who choose to engage and encourage debauchery and addiction.  If God doesn't understand what I'm going through, nobody will.  


Quote
 

If you weren't going to church for salvation, what were you going for?  


I'm willing to bet there's no way I could explain that to anyone's satisfaction, but no, I wasn't going for that.  
God understands.  He was on the Cross.  Ask Him to help.  With His Grace, you certainly can do it.
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« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2013, 06:19:38 PM »

Many Orthodox Christians today were in the Soviet Union before it fell and did not get a proper Orthodox Christian upbringing. Instead they were raised under Communism and learned to cuss and drink.

Tzars taught Russian to drink.
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« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2013, 07:12:30 PM »

Many Orthodox Christians today were in the Soviet Union before it fell and did not get a proper Orthodox Christian upbringing. Instead they were raised under Communism and learned to cuss and drink.

Tzars taught Russian to drink.

And the purpose of that was to subdue the population.  That is always the purpose.  To blunt the intellect, which takes away one's ability to discern right from wrong so that you can't tell when you yourself is being wronged or doing wrong, and instills hopelessness so that you don't harbor expectations of justice or happiness.  A government that does that to its people is wicked as hell.
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« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2013, 10:51:16 AM »



Porn, getting drunk, and getting high are not what mediocre Christians do--that stuff is really bad.  I'd happily settle for mediocre.  I've done enough bad and enough wrong in my life to spend all of eternity in hell, and I still never did any of this stuff.  

I'm 50--I no longer need a godparent.  It just boggles my mind that this is even a practice.  

The Holy Spirit either isn't working in people if this is the kind of stuff they're doing, or maybe this is the kind of stuff God wants us doing?  That would have me seriously wondering who and what it is that I'm worshiping and praying to.  I haven't been to church in two weeks.  God-willing, I won't go back at all.
[/quote]

NewtoOrthodoxy,

We all sin and fall short of the mark. Salvation is a journey that each approaches in their own way, step by step, as they try to get onto the strait and narrow path. Many of our posters are young and do indeed have the challenges that face the youth of today. But if you read more deeply into the journey of those whom you have noted, as  watching "Porn, getting drunk, and getting high..." If you watch them over the years, as I have, they progress and become more sanctified by the Holy Spirit---they continue to go to church, to work with their  pastors, god parents, and other mentors within the Church to over come their sins. They mature and grow in the faith.

I came into the church some twenty years ago around the age of 40 and yet I had and needed a God Parent or as some adults prefer to say " a sponsor", to mentor me and guide me in the how to's of Orthopraxy or the day to day living of Orthodoxy.  Although I had some theological training, I knew upon coming into the Church that I was like a small child who needed to learn first as a child and then as a youth, and finally continue my training as an adult. Today I am 62 years old and I still on  occasion contact my  godparents for advise, or go to my priest to handle a particularly challenging even in my life that may cause me to stumble along my journey to Theosis. I hope that you will understand that we must all become as a little child when we enter the kingdon, for some of us that is later in life than with others.

In Christ,
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« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2013, 11:26:36 AM »

Greek Orthodox don't really seem to do confession. Russian Orthodox emphasize it being Latin influenced, but I've heard that many Greek Orthodox go their whole lives without confessing at all. Many only confess to some elder or monk when they go to visit them, but parish priests often do not offer confession at all. I personally couldn't imagine Orthodoxy without confession. Seems like a different religion to me.
All true.  And the Bulgarians are like the Greeks.  
http://books.google.ca/books?id=lELhtgAACAAJ&dq=inauthor:%22Nadieszda+Kizenko%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rTOKUoGUC8GyyAHQqoCYDg&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAw

Nadieszda Kizenko, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (U.S.)
National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, 2007 - Confession - 23 pages
You can download some of her writings here:
http://albany.academia.edu/NKizenko
Nadieszda Kizenko, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (U.S.)
National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, 2007 - Confession - 23 pages
You can downlad some of her writings here:
http://albany.academia.edu/NKizenko


I found this article here very good to read: see the footnotes especially:
"Sacramental Confession in Modern Russia and Ukraine" http://www.academia.edu/2408960/Sacramental_Confession_in_Modern_Russia_and_UkraineI


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