OrthodoxChristianity.net
April 21, 2014, 06:08:42 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: The Rules page has been updated.  Please familiarize yourself with its contents!
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 5 Year 'Lifespan' of a Convert?  (Read 39421 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Jennifer
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 1,154


« on: May 29, 2005, 01:53:37 PM »

I read over on the dreadful Indiana List something about 5 years being the average 'lifespan' of a convert.  I don't have any anecdotal evidence on this so don't know if it's true or not. 

If it's true, I wonder what happens.  Convert burnout? 

Logged
Landon77
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA (Antiochian Western Orthodox in exile)
Posts: 308


« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2005, 01:55:27 PM »

I don't know, but I've heard the hard part isn't becoming Orthodox, it's remaining Orthodox.
Logged

"How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he."  -St. Boniface
idontlikenames
I'm gonna be the next Matthew777 (whatever that means)
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 230

You forgot my briefcase


« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2005, 01:56:23 PM »

never heard this one.....what's the most common reason given?
Logged

laa ilaah illa al-Maal wa Rothschild howa nabeehi
choirfiend
ManIsChristian=iRnotgrEek.
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 903

Rachael weeping for her children, for they are not


« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2005, 02:47:25 PM »

Check this out:
http://southern-orthodoxy.blogspot.com/2004/08/convert-frustration.html

Jennifer, I think you already used up your five years debating whether or not to enter the Church, so I would have no fear Smiley
Logged

Qui cantat, bis orat
TonyS
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 705


« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2005, 02:52:00 PM »

I am only hazarding a guess here.  It seems that it takes about 5 years to get settled in.  It would be interesting to see some statistics on marriage break ups (and relationships like them, cohabitation).  They say you only know someone when you live with him/her.  So, it seems that may be the factor at work here, it takes time.  You have heard the saying "the honeymoon is over" well I think that is what is at play.

Eventually anything in life it seems become an effort, it loses some of its attraction and we have to do it out of love and devotion or sense of duty, but not becuase we want to becuase I think we usually wont want to.
Logged

Tómame como al tequila, de un golpe y sin pensarlo. - Ricardo Arjona

I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender
and if everbody's a sinner then everybody can be a winner
...
I'll see you when yo
Tikhon29605
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 519


May I become Thy Tabernacle through Communion.


« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2005, 03:54:19 PM »

I attend an OCA parish that is about 50% converts and 50% of people born and raised in the faith. I've been there for 10 years and I haven't lapsed. Most of our converts seem to last. However, we are a very welcoming, supporting, and loving parish. We rarely have feuds or infighting about anything. I think that helps a lot. We also use English as our liturgical language because we not only are 50% converts, but we have people of Greek, Romanian, Georgian, Carpatho-Russyn, Russian, and Bulgarian Orthodox backgrounds, and English seems to be a great unifying factor to hold us together. I have not seen a falling away of people after 5 years in my parish, but I am not denying it might occur elsewhere.
Logged
katherine 2001
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 868


Eastern Orthodox Church--Established in 33 A.D.


« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2005, 10:57:36 PM »

I read over on the dreadful Indiana List something about 5 years being the average 'lifespan' of a convert. I don't have any anecdotal evidence on this so don't know if it's true or not.

If it's true, I wonder what happens. Convert burnout?



I think it is a matter of poor teaching and not making sure that they actually believe the dogmas and doctrines of the Church.  I think if they have doubts (especially strong doubts) about the dogmas and practices of the Church, they shouldn't be accepted into the Church yet.  I have to agree with some of the priests that discussed that issue. 
Logged
Jennifer
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 1,154


« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2005, 11:03:48 PM »

My view of this is a bit different.  My parents converted to Roman Catholicism when I was a baby.  My father always says that he became a Christian after becoming a Catholic.  They joined the RCC before RCIA was standard.  They met with the priest a few times and were confirmed.  They had no real understanding of Roman Catholicism when they converted.  However, they've been Catholic now for almost 35 years.  My father is a very strong Catholic. 

Logged
Augustine
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 565

pray for me, please


WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2005, 08:36:16 AM »

It's very easy to deceive yourself - to think you love someone, but what you really love is your ideas of them, or even less, the idea of loving them.

Is catechesis important?  Yes, obviously - this is how we obtain the beginings of faith, the "faith which comes by hearing."  But I think once the basics are in place (it's not necessary for everyone who converts to start off as some bookish lay-"theologian"), what should be all consuming is the building up of the prayer life and ascesis - both appropriate to where that particular person is at (it does no good for someone to try some lofty prayer rule, only to find they can't stick to it, and end up praying little or not at all - or to live monastic ascetic practices while still a layman, when even the most basic acts of charity are a still a struggle).

Thinking of my own experiences thus far, I can see how people fall away early on.  If they were fueled by enthusiasm, well that'll come to an end eventually ("the honeymoon is over!") and then they'll have problems.  Or perhaps they were not being honest with themselves, and did not deal with serious doubts they had early on - including, I think quite commonly, sincerely recognizing that the religion they left behind is in fact erroneous and that they converted to Orthodoxy for their salvation, and not because they're Byzantine fetishists.

Logged
cizinec
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 941


There ain't no way but the hard way.


« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2005, 08:02:39 PM »

I'm not sure I buy the stats. 

How many leave after one year compared to those who remain for life?  What about those who repose after a year or two?  Does that count as "leaving Orthodoxy?"  How are they asking the question and to whom?  Are they counting the ones who joiced ROAC and the like or not? 

I'm not going to comment on an unverified statistic.  I may be trying to explain the reason for something that doesn't exist.
Logged

"Brother, your best friend ain't your Momma, it's the Field Artillery."
beewolf
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43

In Thy Light we see Light


« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2005, 06:29:40 AM »

May I suggest that one reason for converts not remaining may possibly be the 'experience centredness' of many people in the world today. When the glowing emotions of conversion are over they need much more than that to remain disciplined in asceticism and prayer. There are habits needing to be uprooted from the soul, and new ways to be learned in the heart. There is a need to catch fire with love for God. It seems to me personally that in the west the whole 'consumer' mentality has coloured the way we view everything, including church -are we worshippers or consumers?
Logged

Gospodi pomiluy
aserb
asinner
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Self Ruled Antiochian Archdiocese
Posts: 1,188


« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2005, 02:41:39 PM »

My spiritual father always said that it takes 10 years to become fully Orthodox.  Orthodoxy isn't legalistic. I think those that burn out have made it legalistic for themselves. We all sin. We all fall. We all do not observe all things Orthodox. I fall down. I get up and over  and over again.
Logged

Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!
beewolf
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43

In Thy Light we see Light


« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2005, 03:30:00 AM »

I read over on the dreadful Indiana List something about 5 years being the average 'lifespan' of a convert.ÂÂ  I don't have any anecdotal evidence on this so don't know if it's true or not.ÂÂ  

If it's true, I wonder what happens.ÂÂ  Convert burnout?ÂÂ  



Hi Jennifer, what is this terrible Indiana List, where can i read it?
Logged

Gospodi pomiluy
Hesychios
perpetual neophyte
Site Supporter
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 171


« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2005, 01:04:06 PM »

Hi Jennifer, what is this terrible Indiana List, where can i read it?
The dread Indiana list  Cheesy https://listserv.indiana.edu/archives/orthodox.html
« Last Edit: June 18, 2005, 01:04:42 PM by Hesychios » Logged

"Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living"
Jaroslav Pelikan
Isaac
Orthodox law student
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 56

OC.net


« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2006, 05:27:42 PM »

This list is very old as far as internet lists go... I think it goes back to the 80s.  But according to my friend, whom I consider an elder brother in the Faith, it has some of the best and some of the worst of Orthodoxy.  Anything you read there must be taken with a grain of salt.  Internet Orthodoxy is always perilous and no one should ever take much stock in it-- because it's not real.  Orthodoxy can't be lived out on the internet unless it's fake.
Logged
hedley
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 53


« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2006, 12:38:19 AM »

I read over on the dreadful Indiana List something about 5 years being the average 'lifespan' of a convert.  I don't have any anecdotal evidence on this so don't know if it's true or not. 

If it's true, I wonder what happens.  Convert burnout? 



When you convert battle ensues. Give the devil his due.
Logged
sunny
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 28


« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2006, 10:51:53 PM »

Wow, I know this is an old thread, but I'm a convert of 2 1/2 years and have thought of giving up Orthodoxy and doing something else or nothing else, and where would that leave me? I thought I would warm up to praying form prayers and praying with Icons and various other things, but when you have no people around you that you see practicing the faith outside of church, it's hard to press on. Especially when I feel like I'm praying to a wall. Every month I go to my Priest with a resolve to start again and yet it feels so foreign to me (I'm former evangelical). It didn't help that we had to move away from our original church, but my husband, who converted when I did, could take it or leave it. I didn't get to know any other Orthodox from the previous church because of my health problems, but man I'm struggling. I'm hoping to visit a monastery soon to spend some time away there and pray but I feel so lost-and to think, 30 years ago when I first gave my life to Christ I prayed fervently that I would be that "good soil" that the gospel speaks about. Oh well-
Sunny
Logged

NULL
Punch
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Serbian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: New Gracanica Metropolitanate
Posts: 4,456



« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2006, 12:17:10 PM »

Wow, I know this is an old thread, but I'm a convert of 2 1/2 years and have thought of giving up Orthodoxy and doing something else or nothing else, and where would that leave me? I thought I would warm up to praying form prayers and praying with Icons and various other things, but when you have no people around you that you see practicing the faith outside of church, it's hard to press on. Especially when I feel like I'm praying to a wall. Every month I go to my Priest with a resolve to start again and yet it feels so foreign to me (I'm former evangelical). It didn't help that we had to move away from our original church, but my husband, who converted when I did, could take it or leave it. I didn't get to know any other Orthodox from the previous church because of my health problems, but man I'm struggling. I'm hoping to visit a monastery soon to spend some time away there and pray but I feel so lost-and to think, 30 years ago when I first gave my life to Christ I prayed fervently that I would be that "good soil" that the gospel speaks about. Oh well-
Sunny

Sunny,

I hear you.  I have had the same problem.  I believe that a lot of this depends on whether or not you are an extrovert or an introvert.  Some people need to be around other people, or to feel that they are a part of a community.  I am lucky that I do not.  To me, the Church as a body of Christ is real, and I am surrounded by "a cloud of witnesses" even when I am alone.  Even though I am 500 miles away from my parish, I don't really feel isolated because I know that God is with me, and my angel and the Saints pray for me.  I also know that I am in the prayers of my Priest.  Being an antisocial introvert, this is all that I need.  My wife, on the other hand, really needs a sense of community.  Isolation is very hard for her.  Also, I can deal with the abstract.  You are as real to me on the other side of this keyboard as though you were standing in front of me.  My wife always jokes about my "intenet friends".  Others need to have the physical interaction.  My friend, you are not lost.  God is always near, and he will never abandon his Children.  The Saints are with you.  The Angels and the heavenly powers.  If you are baptised Orthodox, and you believe in the Church's teachings, you are part of the Body of Christ.  Do not let the Devil take away what you have.  Even good soil must endure wind and rain and freezing.  And the good soil is of no use unless the plow has turned it over and disc has chopped it up to prepare for planting.  You will endure trial and tribulations.  You are at war with the Evil One, and he hates you as he hates your Lord and Master.  Do not become discuraged.  The victory has already been won.  We must, with God's help, hold on.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 12:18:08 PM by Punch » Logged

God did not create man equal.  Samuel Colt made man equal.  Blessed be the Peacemaker.
sunny
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 28


« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2006, 01:02:00 AM »

Dear Punch,
Thank you for taking the time to send the words of encouragement!
Sunny
Logged

NULL
Starlight
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
Posts: 1,537


« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2006, 12:20:12 AM »

Punch, what a post! Excellent! Thank you.
Logged
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,051


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2006, 02:19:33 PM »

I have heard the "5 year" rule as well, but in a slightly different context.  Many Protestants stay at their "megachurches" for only 5 years and then move on to a different church. 

I wonder just how effective the ministry is at these churches?  Are they really helping people?

If Protestants are switching churches every 5 years what does that say about what kind of churches they have?  No foundation? 

If anyone has any insight on these questions i'd love to hear from them. 
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2006, 03:21:56 PM »

I heard something similar...an Orthodox priest was driving somewhere with a parishioner, and they passed a megachurch.  "How many people do you think attend a church that size, Father?" said the parishioner.

"About 30,000, from what I hear.  Know how many will be attending there ten years from now?"

"No..."

"About 30,000.  And the majority of them will be completely different people."
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
sunny
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 28


« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2006, 02:27:10 AM »

My experience of the evangelical churches and the megachurch type churches (25 years worth) was that almost all of it was focused on externals: getting healed, getting free of debt and getting prosperous, looking "spiritual", talking "spiritually", going up the church ladder;meaning working your way up to becoming a leader, recognized in the church for your spirituality. Preaching, ministry, bigger programs, bigger buildings, fame, accolades, etc.. The people follow their leader, whoever he may be, and if he is messed up he can mess up everyone under his authority. I think after a few years (or decades) of this when people see no real change in themselves or those around them, they become disillusioned, start to doubt whether God had called them, their faith either starts to break apart, or if they're stronger personalities they'll blame it on the church and look for another one in order to get into the 'real move of God.' Others' experiences may be different than mine, but that is what I saw and experienced. It can be quite disheartening, but it sure can keep you busy if busyness is what you want!
Sunny
Logged

NULL
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,051


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2006, 12:18:08 PM »

Sunny,

What do you mean "it can be disheartening"??  Can you elaborate how you feel about the "mega-churches"??

This is something that has always interested me.  How is it that people can feel that they are a part of a church wich has 30,000 people in it at once?!? 

How long would you say it takes for a person to see the emptiness of that particular kind of church??
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
pensateomnia
Bibliophylax
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Posts: 2,342


metron ariston


« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2006, 12:33:46 PM »

This is something that has always interested me.  How is it that people can feel that they are a part of a church wich has 30,000 people in it at once?!?

I felt very much a part of the Church when I was at the Cathedral of Saint Paraskeva the New in Iasi. It wasn't the feast day of the Saint (on which there are hundreds of thousands), but there were easily 10,000 people there.

Of course, in an Orthodox Church without pews, the worshipping crowd has a particular and dynamic life of its own, as it moves for processions, shifts, kneels, bows, crosses, prays, approaches the Chalice. One becomes a praying cell in a larger organism – no longer a mere individual, even though one's personal identity remains intact in the presence of God.
Logged

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
Marat
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic reinvestigating the Orthodox Church
Posts: 383


« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2006, 12:35:53 PM »

This is something that has always interested me.  How is it that people can feel that they are a part of a church wich has 30,000 people in it at once?!? 

How long would you say it takes for a person to see the emptiness of that particular kind of church??

I've often thought the same thing of Catholic churches, which tend to be huge also. The minimum in my area seems to have 2000 families per Catholic parish. How do you connect in a church like that, especially when they seemingly can't get out of Mass fast enough?
Logged
Punch
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Serbian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: New Gracanica Metropolitanate
Posts: 4,456



« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2006, 01:09:02 PM »

Sunny,

What do you mean "it can be disheartening"??  Can you elaborate how you feel about the "mega-churches"??

This is something that has always interested me.  How is it that people can feel that they are a part of a church wich has 30,000 people in it at once?!? 

How long would you say it takes for a person to see the emptiness of that particular kind of church??

I can easily understand how Sunny feels about this.  I spent some of my time in these organizations, too.  I refuse to call them Churches.  Cults is more like it.  How long it takes to feel the emptiness depends much on where one is on their particular journey.  Religion is a lot like a book.  Some have a beautiful dust cover, but what is inside is junk.  If you understand liturature, you will quickly find this.  On the other hand, if you are trying to recoup the investment in the book, you may continue reading in the hope that it will get better.  I find the mega-cults to be much this way.  Very emotionally charged, but not real deep.  Like a really exciting dust cover on a bad book.  The Orthodox Church, as the body of Christ, is like the Gospel encased in a Jeweled cover.  But even if one cannot afford the gold and jewels for the cover and has a Gospel with only a plan binding, it still remains the Gospel inside.  This is the Orthodox Church for me.
Logged

God did not create man equal.  Samuel Colt made man equal.  Blessed be the Peacemaker.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2006, 01:35:15 PM »

Quote
How do you connect in a church like that, especially when they seemingly can't get out of Mass fast enough?

Most Catholic parishes have multiple masses and people tend to usually attend the same mass each Sunday (or Saturday evening).  So even in a bigger parish, people tend to know a good chunk of people from their usual mass.  In my sister's case, there is a group of people that always work in a soup kitchen in the area together, always attend the same mass each Sunday, socialize with eachother etc.   If a person is willing a sense of community can be forged even in a larger Catholic parish.  
Logged
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,051


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2006, 03:25:34 PM »

I felt very much a part of the Church when I was at the Cathedral of Saint Paraskeva the New in Iasi. It wasn't the feast day of the Saint (on which there are hundreds of thousands), but there were easily 10,000 people there.

Of course, in an Orthodox Church without pews, the worshipping crowd has a particular and dynamic life of its own, as it moves for processions, shifts, kneels, bows, crosses, prays, approaches the Chalice. One becomes a praying cell in a larger organism – no longer a mere individual, even though one's personal identity remains intact in the presence of God.

I've never been in a church that big, with that many people.  I've always gone to small town churches.  I definately understand where you're comming from though.  I think there is a very good point to what you described.  If people live the "church life" or if they are working in the Liturgy, then there should be no problem to having millions of people at church. 

As for Catholics...

I wonder if there is a particular "life-span" for a Catholic and how many times they switch churches?? 
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
Asteriktos
Pegleg J
Protostrator
***************
Offline Offline

Faith: Like an arrow to the knee
Posts: 27,243



« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2006, 04:10:38 PM »

Quote
How is it that people can feel that they are a part of a church wich has 30,000 people in it at once?!? 

But don't the Orthodox believe that the Church triumphant is with you at each service? In that case, don't millions (or hundreds of millions) of people/angels technically attend each week? I know there's a huge difference, I'm just sayin' Smiley And don't get me wrong, I wouldn't choose to live in a city with as many as 30,000 people, let alone attending a Church with that many.
Logged

I'll bet I look like a goof.

"And since when have Christians become afraid of rain?"
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,051


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2006, 05:19:34 PM »

You're totally right.  The thing is that its very different for a person to "know" that there are others around us, and for a person to "believe" that.  It takes a very special kind of humility and faith to really have a viable belief in those statements.  Not that i'm saying that they're not true, because they are.  Its just very hard to be at that level...at least for me. 

The interesting thing to me is that you're only going to hear statements like that at dinky little churches...probobly used for the same reason = to help people with their alienation/smallness.  Maybe i'm looking into it too much though... Undecided
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
sunny
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 28


« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2006, 12:08:16 AM »

I would agree that some 'Christian' churches can be cultlike. Sometimes the members have been looking for a strong and charismatic leader that they can follow. They want to be told what to do and be fed  teachings because sometimes that's easier and less frightening. Then when they find out their leaders aren't all that they'd hoped, they become disheartened and discouraged. Sometimes they hang in there because they've invested time and years of their life in that church. Sometimes they get out and start looking-AGAIN. It doesn't really matter how big the church is in this instance.
I do sometimes look wistfully at the Catholic churches that seem to have so many more services and opportunities to be able to actually be in church. The days when churches are left open are gone I guess, especially in the cities. I love actually being able to be IN the church. Having no pews sounds awesome-a living, moving, organism. That paints quite a cool picture, though I'm older and I'd probably be the one looking for a seat!
Sunny
Logged

NULL
Asteriktos
Pegleg J
Protostrator
***************
Offline Offline

Faith: Like an arrow to the knee
Posts: 27,243



« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2006, 03:11:45 AM »

A few months ago a magazine that I read (though I forget which one) made exactly that argument: that these megachurches were cults. It described how they have a thousand-and-one groups to satisfy all needs (from child care to oil changes), how they become the center of a person's entire life and time (from worship to socializing to charity to sports activities for kids), and how the pastor have a lot of the qualities of cult leaders (charismatic, have a somewhat untouchable persona, can get people to do things they wouldn't normally do, can convince people to believe things they wouldn't normally believe, etc.)
Logged

I'll bet I look like a goof.

"And since when have Christians become afraid of rain?"
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2006, 12:13:37 AM »

I am completing my 4th year of this journey (1&1/2 catachumen; 2&1/2 convert);
I had two strong periods of "buyers grief" where I wondered if I did the right thing and felt nostalgic about all things western in Christianity.

Part of it is the natural ebb and flow of making a change in one's life (and converting is one heck of a big change!); part of it comes from spiritual fatigue -- (as someone posted earlier) the necessary changes of sinful habits of the soul begin to challenge one's initial enthusiasm; part of it is real spiritual battle because (as another person posted) the enemy hates us and hates that a convet has found the true faith.

In my experience, the 2 & 1/2 to 3 yr. (in the total journey, not from chrismation) point is the critical period.
Work it out and you probably stay; don't work it out and by the end of 5 years, one is gone.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2006, 12:14:56 AM by BrotherAidan » Logged
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,051


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2006, 06:25:21 PM »

Very interesting point...

I wonder how involved Orthodox priests are with converts and how much they are able to help them...??

I would think that there is a lot of involvement and help, but maybe there isn't....some priests are just too busy... Huh
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
Thomas
Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,711



« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2006, 07:07:17 PM »

Some priests are better at it than others.  Some parishes have members who are more active in greating new people and assimilating them into parish life.

When a parish priest, deacons, and subdeacons are actively engaged in the stregnthening of the faith of the new convert, less convert stress hits thru the first five years. Regretfully some missionary focussed priests look for the convert number, watch them for about 6 months, and then abandon them and refocus on converting the world. The result is the five year convert die out.

In my observance, the most successfull parishes in retaining new converts teach pan-orthodoxy in the US (the blending of all cultures that a convert may run into---by doing this they never feel out of place as they move around and they view Orthodoxy as a world movement not as an ethnic expression). They have  parish laity who are called to fellowship and assist the new convert in assimilating into the parish (Godparents who are active with the convert work the best followed by a core group of fellowshippers who actively engage the new convert by asking them to fellowship opportunities, help them meet new people, and offer good orthodox reading material for support).

In Christ,
Thomas
« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 12:51:04 PM by Thomas » Logged

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2006, 02:19:59 AM »

This book seems to address a lot of this.  Not that I've actually read it--I'd like to--but the blurb in the link seems to fit this discussion.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,051


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2006, 01:13:50 PM »

I loved how so many people said that this is  MUST READ for cradles...

What the heck does THAT mean?  I have to read this book in order to appreciate converts? 

Even if it isn't saying that, what IS it saying? 

Anyway...i'm not trying to deny that its useful or a fun read, I just didn't particularly like the commentary for the book. 
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,828



WWW
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2006, 05:02:59 PM »

I loved how so many people said that this is  MUST READ for cradles...

What the heck does THAT mean?  I have to read this book in order to appreciate converts? 

Even if it isn't saying that, what IS it saying? 

Probably that cradles don't usually know what converts have to go through and give up in order to become Orthodox, and that many times we converts are met with impatience and indifference to our struggles and baggage...a sort of, "Whatever, get over it, fall in line" kind of mentality.

Again, that's from other reviews I've read...wouldn't know personally...
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Carpatho Russian
Site Supporter
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 285


Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory for ever!


« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2006, 07:04:39 PM »

I loved how so many people said that this is  MUST READ for cradles...

What the heck does THAT mean?  I have to read this book in order to appreciate converts? 

Even if it isn't saying that, what IS it saying? 

Anyway...i'm not trying to deny that its useful or a fun read, I just didn't particularly like the commentary for the book. 
Maybe, one of us "cradle" Orthodox should write a sequel to this book called, Growing Up Under the Onion Dome - Growing Up In the Orthodox Church and Why I Still Go To Church.  It could include chapters titled:
-No, we're not "just like the Catlicks"
-But our ancestors have been doing this for over 1000 years
-I know you read it on the internet, but...
-Dealing with converts

And maybe, just maybe, one of the reviewers will write, "A must read for all converts to the Orthodox Church."
 Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin
Logged

Zastupnice christianov nepostydnaja, chodatajice ko Tvorcu nepreložnaja, ne prezri hr’išnych molenij hlasy, popredvari jako blahaja na pomošč nas, virno vopijuščich ti: Uskori na molitvu, i potščisja na umolenije, zastupajušči prisno Bohorodice, čtuščich t’a.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2006, 07:34:13 PM »

Quote
And maybe, just maybe, one of the reviewers will write, "A must read for all converts to the Orthodox Church."

Actually, I do think such a book would be good.  Perhaps a two part book: Part A explaining cradles to converts and Part B explaining converts to cradles.  There is a huge culture gap between the two groups and both could benefit from greater understanding of the other. 
Logged
Marat
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic reinvestigating the Orthodox Church
Posts: 383


« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2006, 07:42:55 PM »

Probably that cradles don't usually know what converts have to go through and give up in order to become Orthodox, and that many times we converts are met with impatience and indifference to our struggles and baggage...a sort of, "Whatever, get over it, fall in line" kind of mentality.

Again, that's from other reviews I've read...wouldn't know personally...

Get over it. I've even been told that on this board when talking about one of my challenges adapting to Orthodoxy. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10273.msg139436.html#msg139436 Understanding from both sides is needed.
Logged
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,051


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #42 on: December 19, 2006, 08:06:35 PM »

Marat,

You have been told "to get over it" on a subject, also concerning Converts, etc. 

That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to accept that answer/response.  Also, in all honesty that's not the best answer ever.  Just because people don't know how to deal with others doesn't mean that we have to take that to heart...

I agree that understanding from both sides is needed...wholeheartedly! 

The tricky thing is how that actually plays out...whether or not either side is willing to "give up" what is necessary, or "change" or whatever you want to do...

Just a some thoughts... Smiley
Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
AMM
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,076



« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2006, 08:49:41 PM »

There is a huge culture gap between the two groups

Not in all places.

I also don't see what it is about the convert experience that requires a book be written about it.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2006, 09:15:59 PM by welkodox » Logged
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2006, 12:37:52 AM »

I haven't read that book; but I'm on their mailing list and when I read the reviews, I thought it poked the necessary fun at and tweaked the nose of BOTH cradles and converts, but I may be wrong.

It's like the early Church: Jewish and Gentile.
They both needed each other. Stay all Jewish and all Christianity was was a sub-culture of Judaism. Throw away the Jewish roots and eventually the Gentile converts become gnostics, docetists or another esoteric mystery religion.

Especially in the United States: Stay ethnic Orthodox and when the last Orthodox kid to fully assimilate into North American secular culture stops attending Liturgy, blow out the candles and turn out the lights. Throw out the ethnic cradles and become another protestant sect, this time with robes, candles and incense.

Obviously, this is a bit of a simplification. But I hope everyone gets my general drift that we need each other and have been Providentially brought together by Christ. So we gotta make it work!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2006, 12:40:02 AM by BrotherAidan » Logged
Tags: converts accidie 
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.13 seconds with 72 queries.