So I have been using this website as a big source because it has so much info and seems to be one of the more official websites to trust. Father told me to avoid blogs and other stuff like that and keep to "official" stuff rather than people's ramblings. So is this a good website?
The reason I wonder is they mention the problem with non-Orthodox baptism which seems to be fine by all Orthodox jurisdictions as long as it is Trinitarian--not Mormon, JW, etc. So Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and other baptisms are legitimate. I would just be Chrisimated though my friend (who was Lutheran) said I chose to. Not sure but I understood it was ruled by one of the synods some time ago that Christians did not have to be re-baptised and that this was heresy or at least error to say so. My question is what's up with orthodoxinfo.com? Is is good, bad or a mix? One frustration I find with Orthodoxy is that a lot of things are not clear. There is not one guy in charge I suppose is the cause of that which is the point. I do find in my research that this one guy in charge is a problem. But it is hard for a Catholic to see all this unclarity in Orthodoxy. Just trying to read good sources, too.
Orthodoxinfo.com represents the traditional position of the Greek church towards baptism of heretics (which is technically the canonically correct one from my understanding), namely that in order to have the correct form of baptism, and thereby be exempt from re-baptism on entering the Orthodox Church, one must be fully immersed three times with the Trinitarian formula. The Russian Church since the late 17th century had a laxer practice, whereby anyone who was baptized with the Trinitarian formula, even if only by sprinkling, did not need re-baptism. ROCOR attempted to bring its practice in line with the traditional Greek and canonically correct use in the 1970s but that only had partial success from what I learned.
These days, only the most conservative parts of official Orthodoxy follow this canonically correct course, e.g. on Mt Athos (where I've heard stories of convert pilgrims being refused communion because they were not properly baptized). Indeed, it is apparently common even for cradle Orthodox now to be baptized with sprinkling in the Moscow Patriarchate and the new calendar Church of Greece; Oriental Orthodox churches are actually better at baptizing correctly than the Eastern Orthodox (outside the True Orthodox churches).
We have already discussed this elsewhere. The ancient authorities by no means support the Greek method as the canonically correct course. The Greek practice, while allowed, cannot really be harmonized with the spirit of Cyprian, Augustine, or decrees of ecumenical councils. It has been implicitly criticized by respected theologians such as Fr. Florovsky. See also Fr. John Morris's posts here on the topic.
I won't argue with you here on who exactly is interpreting the "spirit" of the Fathers correctly; the OP can search for those other threads if he wants. If I appear to be too dogmatic on one side, I would caution against falling into an opposing dogmatism.
The principles as far as I know are that, following Apostolic Canon 46, there are no saving Mysteries outside the Church. What exactly that means, i.e. whether that means mysteries outside the Church are totally devoid of sanctifying grace, or that sanctifying grace cannot have a salvific effect outside the Church and the Orthodox faith, is a much-discussed topic and there is even disagreement among the True Orthodox on this matter (often reflecting the difference between the Greek and Russian theological traditions).
Historically, the Church has adopted both strict and lax positions with respect to those being received from outside the Church, sometimes utterly refusing to recognize any mysteries performed outside Her, and other times appearing to give some implicit recognition by not insisting on the repetition of those mysteries (Baptism and/or Chrismation). Some interpret the exercise of economy to mean that the Church recognizes heterodox mysteries as valid in some way, i.e. possessing sanctifying grace; others interpret it to mean that the Church merely recognizes the correct form, and is able to retroactively render the heterodox baptism valid and sanctifying through the act of chrismation or confession. The degree of strictness or economy usually reflects the pastoral needs of the day, i.e. whether the priority is bringing Catholics back into the Orthodox fold, as with the Russian Church as formerly Orthodox lands were recovered from Poland, or to sharply distinguish Orthodox from heterodox, as the Greek Church needed to do in the face of Papal attempts to create the Eastern Catholic churches.
Then there is the question of what counts as the correct "form" of Baptism. Since the universal traditional practice of Orthodoxy has been triple full immersion, we can conclude that this is the benchmark for correct practice. However, quite early on in the West the practice of sprinkling became common, and so the question arose of whether this sufficed as correct form; still, recognizing sprinkling clearly requires a greater degree of economy than recognizing full immersion.