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Author Topic: 5 Year 'Lifespan' of a Convert?  (Read 39967 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: January 08, 2008, 10:04:52 PM »


What's more, I wouldn't discourage, per se, anyone who was considering joining the Catholic Church, but I would advise them to be aware of just how bad the situation is that they're getting themselves into.

Along the lines of "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God", I suppose.
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« Reply #181 on: January 08, 2008, 11:29:42 PM »

Along the lines of "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God", I suppose.

Not exactly what I had in mind.  laugh Grin Cheesy

As I admitted earlier, "think twice before joining the Catholic Church" does have a certain negative connotation. Thing is, if you try too hard to avoid that negative connotation, you might end up with a triumphalistic connotation instead: e.g. "We're right to say the creed with the filioque-insertion, but some people might find that hard to accept."  
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« Reply #182 on: January 09, 2008, 10:32:21 AM »

"As I admitted earlier, "think twice before joining the Catholic Church" does have a certain negative connotation."

Speaking as one who has been there and returned to Orthodoxy, I can say that there ARE perils in migrating to the Catholic Church. There are many doctrinal differences as well as daily customs which fly in the face of accepted orthopraxis. Among Eastern Catholics there ARE some who sincerely try to live up to the intent of JP IIs encyclical "Orientale Lumen", which encouraged the eastern churches to take back their heritage instead of trying to be roman wannabies. Unfortunately, most do not, relying instead on strict adherence to nearby hierarchical authority for their marching orders whether they are consistent with papal recommendations or not.

I still love the people, of course. I just couldn't swallow all the RC stuff- like papal infallibility, Immaculate Conception and other unilaterally-decided dogmas, mortal sin, lax fasting, lack of minor orders except as a step to Holy Orders, few married priests, and so on.
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« Reply #183 on: January 09, 2008, 01:28:20 PM »

Joseph-James,

I don't know whether you feel like sharing, but if you do I'd be interested to hear which Catholic Church you belonged to. (Going by what you said, I'm guess it was one of the EC Churches.)

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #184 on: January 09, 2008, 07:34:10 PM »

(PJ, it was the Byzantine Catholic Church in America, sometimes referred to as Ruthenian.)
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« Reply #185 on: January 15, 2008, 03:14:52 PM »

No offense taken, Ebor.   I like a provocative question.

There are two ways to answer it.  Firstly, the one that can be true of any church (or organization or marriage, for that manner).  There comes a time when enough is enough.  The 491st time.  After trying everything else, there
comes a time when you just split.   Of course, that should be after trying everything else.

Indeed. Then it might be the case of one person's "enough" is not the same as anothers perhaps. But it seems like someone telling an Anglican "leave. Give up." might not have  an idea of what would be "enough is enough" for the other.

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Second is unique to Orthodoxy and Catholicism.  We believe our church is the only church established by Jesus Christ. 

Yes, I know. I think I've written of the umm clash of two claiming a unique property.    Since I am neither EO nor RC I do not believe that principal.

Quote
I think the reason that Protestants split so much is their allegence is not to the church but to their own beliefs.

Well, one can read of the causes of historical splits for many groups.  In the case of some of the instances in the Reformation, the ummm unfortunate occurances/corruptions in some places and persons in the RC did not go with what Christians/the Church was supposed to be.  So for some Protestants the RC was not "the church" of Christ but had stopped acting as followers of Jesus. 

Quote
  It seems to me that the unifying factor of the Anglicans is connection to the British Empire.  To sever from the  British Empire is no big deal, but to sever from the church of Christ takes more certainty in judgment.

Most of the Anglicans in the world are not part of the British Empire anymore.  Some Churches in the Communion never were, such as the one in Japan.  Anglicans do not believe that they are severed from the church of Christ either but are part of it.

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Finally, okay, we want you in our church, so we point out the problems in yours.  Smiley

 Smiley  Well, *why* do you want us in your church?  and then again, not being in my Church is it possible that what you see/know of problems may not be all of the situation? 

How would it feel when/if Anglicans pointed out problems in your Church and told you "It's hopeless.  Get out. Leave.... and come join us."?  It might not go over well is my guess.

Ebor
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« Reply #186 on: January 15, 2008, 10:25:40 PM »

Hi Ebor,

and then again, not being in my Church is it possible that what you see/know of problems may not be all of the situation? 

That's true. And even if we (somehow) did understand your Church's problems better than you do, we couldn't expect you to take our word for it.

How would it feel when/if Anglicans pointed out problems in your Church and told you "It's hopeless.  Get out. Leave.... and come join us."?  It might not go over well is my guess.

Ebor

Well ... I would disagree with you, but I wouldn't be surprised or bothered by your maintaining that position. (BTW, I may be in danger of seeming hypocritical in advising you to leave Anglicanism, seeing as I myself admit that there are some not-to-be-taken-lightly problems in the Catholic Church, and yet don't have any intention to leave her.)

God bless,
Peter.
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« Reply #187 on: January 15, 2008, 10:59:51 PM »

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart

See 'Is There A “Revolving Door” In The Orthodox Church'
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« Reply #188 on: January 16, 2008, 11:18:43 AM »

Hi Ebor,

That's true. And even if we (somehow) did understand your Church's problems better than you do, we couldn't expect you to take our word for it.

Well, that makes you different, and more thoughtful on this, then some that I have read.  There are people who seem to be quite sure that they understand the problems in the Anglican Communion better and that we should accept their authority on declaring it hopeless or lost because they are in the One and Only Church(tm).   Undecided   I will  confess to finding such attitudes umm less then likely to convince me and in fact more likely to  be rejected.

Quote
Well ... I would disagree with you, but I wouldn't be surprised or bothered by your maintaining that position. (BTW, I may be in danger of seeming hypocritical in advising you to leave Anglicanism, seeing as I myself admit that there are some not-to-be-taken-lightly problems in the Catholic Church, and yet don't have any intention to leave her.)

Again here is a difference in you then. (and I do not consider you hypocritical I assure you).  There are people who would be quite highly upset and surprised to be told that.  They would take great offense, I think, at what they would percieve as an 'attack' on their Church. 

I think that it is very good that we can have such a discussion btw.  Smiley

Ebor
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« Reply #189 on: January 17, 2008, 07:11:53 AM »

Smiley  Well, *why* do you want us in your church? 

I want everyone in my church (even though I have changed church affliations Smiley). 

Quote
and then again, not being in my Church is it possible that what you see/know of problems may not be all of the situation? 

I agree with Peter's comments here.  True, I don't know the inner workings in your church, but negative information is not always reported in church documents (and this definitely includes my church as well). 

I tell Protestants who are offended by the fact that the Orthodox Church claims to be the one church to think of our claims of Christianity (and Ebor, I am not saying you fall into this category).  We say our faith is superior to non-Christian religions, including ones we don't know that  well.  So a Muslim can say "You have never been in our faith, so you shouldn't say anything to convert us."  Why do we use different standards for other religions than we do our own (Christianity, that is)?

Quote
How would it feel when/if Anglicans pointed out problems in your Church and told you "It's hopeless.  Get out. Leave.... and come join us."?  It might not go over well is my guess.

True, my first reaction is likely to be negative, as was my initial reaction to the O church's claim to be the one, true church.  But I prefer to know the facts and even serious opinions from honorable people, even if I disagree.
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« Reply #190 on: January 17, 2008, 09:29:29 AM »

Are we getting off topic here? Please try to stay within the confines of the topic---Five year lifespan of a convert.

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« Reply #191 on: January 17, 2008, 11:26:55 AM »

Mr. Nassif in the interview I posted basically says the issue is in the Orthodox Church, many people have lost focus on Christ.
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« Reply #192 on: January 17, 2008, 02:03:30 PM »

I listened to Mr. Nassif's interview and found it quite informative, unforetunately I did not finish it. I have to say that I agree that there is a loss of focus on Christ (allthough in all fairness that could happen in any church - Evangelical included). But, I think that some get distracted by the icons, sacraments, etc., instead of seeing that these are meant to lead us to Christ and God not distract. Also, some get disenhearted with the fasting guidelines. All this in my opinion points to improper or inadequate catechesis. To this I lay responsibility on the priest; yet, the flip side is also found in desire to learn/grow. If one is eager enough there are more than enough resources in books as well as visits to monastaries, etc.
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« Reply #193 on: January 19, 2008, 11:51:48 PM »

Well, I am happy to report that on New Year's Eve, 2002 I began reading At the Corner of East and Now. On Jan. 26, 2003 I attended my first Orthodox Divine Liturgy, so I have made it 5 years!   police
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« Reply #194 on: January 20, 2008, 12:07:11 AM »

Congratulations are then in order, BrotherAiden! Many more years!
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« Reply #195 on: January 20, 2008, 12:19:51 AM »

Second is unique to Orthodoxy and [Roman] Catholicism.  We believe our church is the only church established by Jesus Christ.  I think the reason that Protestants split so much is their allegence is not to the church but to their own beliefs.

I agree! It's why the Orthodox understood and respected Pope Benedict when he repeated the teaching that Rome is the one true church; liberal Protestants were put out.

It seems to me that the unifying factor of the Anglicans is connection to the British Empire.  To sever from the British Empire is no big deal, but to sever from the church of Christ takes more certainty in judgment.

Japan is an exception. For the most part the Anglican Communion is co-terminous with the old empire and yes, now that the empire has broken up (and been replaced by the Protestant US, indifferent to Anglicanism), the contradictory beliefs of its various churchmanships - Catholic, Central, Evangelical and Broad (liberal) - are breaking up Anglicanism.
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« Reply #196 on: January 20, 2008, 01:08:26 AM »


Japan is an exception. For the most part the Anglican Communion is co-terminous with the old empire and yes, now that the empire has broken up (and been replaced by the Protestant US, indifferent to Anglicanism), the contradictory beliefs of its various churchmanships - Catholic, Central, Evangelical and Broad (liberal) - are breaking up Anglicanism.

Perhaps the Empire needs to be revived! Shocked

But back to the topic: I would think that most converts have a '5-year-itch'.
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« Reply #197 on: January 20, 2008, 08:41:42 PM »


But back to the topic: I would think that most converts have a '5-year-itch'.


But think about it, how many converts to anything stay with it for 5 years or more:
people who go forward at a Billy Graham crusade
people who get on an exercise kick
people who quit smoking
people who get involved in things like the PTA or council meetings

To be honest, there were moments I wasn't sure I'd make it.
It is hard to convert - no one wants to give a convert that much credit.

Granted there are "professional" converts just like there are "professional" students and hypocondriacs

But it is hard to convert because you have to give up alot about yourself and former self-identity. And battling the self is one of the greatest battles of all. You reach points where you are nostalgic for things you never even cared about and sympathetic to things you once despised. Alot of self-deception takes place and self-delusional reminiscing when the going gets tough.

I'm not bragging, I count myself lucky and fortunate that the thought came to mind (which I think was from the Holy Spirit) that I would make a rule for myself, only one conversion per decade. Because if I make it 5 I will probably make it 10 and if I make it 10 there will be no more conversions (likely and hopefully).
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« Reply #198 on: January 21, 2008, 06:34:40 AM »


But think about it, how many converts to anything stay with it for 5 years or more:
people who go forward at a Billy Graham crusade
people who get on an exercise kick
people who quit smoking
people who get involved in things like the PTA or council meetings


Word!

Quote
To be honest, there were moments I wasn't sure I'd make it.
It is hard to convert - no one wants to give a convert that much credit.

I dunno.  The convert has a lot of responsibility IMHO.  People expect people to stick with their identity from birth.
The convert shoulders the responsibility of his beliefs, because they are indeed his, not his family's or culture's.
Moreover, people take a convert's words more seriously for the same reason.  He believes so much in what he has done to reject his family, friends, or culture.

To give a recent example, I saw Mitt Romney and his wife interviewed about their faith.  The wife (don't remember her name) had married Mitt, did some reading of her own while Mitt was on mission, and decided to convert from Episcopalian to Mormon.  Forgetting about the politics, I came away feeling better about Mitt than his wife.  I thought, Mitt is wrong, but at least he followed the duty of his church.  His wife, on the other hand, should have known better.


Quote

But it is hard to convert because you have to give up alot about yourself and former self-identity. And battling the self is one of the greatest battles of all. You reach points where you are nostalgic for things you never even cared about and sympathetic to things you once despised. Alot of self-deception takes place and self-delusional reminiscing when the going gets tough.


Exactly.
Being unbias is very difficult; returning to the familiarity of home is not.  But this is what the search for truth requires.

Quote
I'm not bragging, I count myself lucky and fortunate that the thought came to mind (which I think was from the Holy Spirit) that I would make a rule for myself, only one conversion per decade. Because if I make it 5 I will probably make it 10 and if I make it 10 there will be no more conversions (likely and hopefully).

Well, I just left Protestantism after more than 10 years, and converted to it before that.  The conversions stop when you find the truth; it's that simple.  If you don't find the truth (or compromise along the way), the process can go on for a lifetime.


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« Reply #199 on: January 22, 2008, 01:15:39 AM »

I appreciate your thoughts Trifecta
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« Reply #200 on: January 22, 2008, 10:41:47 AM »

I want everyone in my church (even though I have changed church affliations Smiley). 

Well, part of me wants to be umm 'difficult' and ask "Why?", but that's not part of the thread.  Smiley

Quote
I tell Protestants who are offended by the fact that the Orthodox Church claims to be the one church to think of our claims of Christianity (and Ebor, I am not saying you fall into this category).  We say our faith is superior to non-Christian religions, including ones we don't know that  well.  So a Muslim can say "You have never been in our faith, so you shouldn't say anything to convert us."  Why do we use different standards for other religions than we do our own (Christianity, that is)?

I assure you that I am very much aware of this and keep in in my mind with regards to treating others as I would wish to be treated and have for many years.
 Smiley


And just to thrash this post back on topic, I was not a cradle Anglican, but found that Church in my first college years and have been one for over 30 years.  So, that doesn't go with the 5-year rule.  Wink

Ebor
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« Reply #201 on: January 22, 2008, 11:32:31 AM »

And just to thrash this post back on topic, I was not a cradle Anglican, but found that Church in my first college years and have been one for over 30 years. So, that doesn't go with the 5-year rule.

All this time I thought you were. You learn something new every day.
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« Reply #202 on: January 24, 2008, 06:46:57 PM »

But it is hard to convert because you have to give up alot about yourself and former self-identity. And battling the self is one of the greatest battles of all. You reach points where you are nostalgic for things you never even cared about and sympathetic to things you once despised. Alot of self-deception takes place and self-delusional reminiscing when the going gets tough.

Well said, except I would add one qualification: it's hard to properly convert. I think a lot of people short-circuit the process in one way or another, thus greatly reducing the difficulty level. If you'll excuse me for using an example that has already been covered many times, I would point to the case of Scott Hahn: consider the immense difficulty he had in rejecting Protestantism, then consider the ease with which he rejected Orthodoxy. Roll Eyes

A guess that's actually kind of a dual-example.

God bless,
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« Reply #203 on: January 25, 2008, 08:23:37 AM »

Well said, except I would add one qualification: it's hard to properly convert. I think a lot of people short-circuit the process in one way or another, thus greatly reducing the difficulty level. If you'll excuse me for using an example that has already been covered many times, I would point to the case of Scott Hahn: consider the immense difficulty he had in rejecting Protestantism, then consider the ease with which he rejected Orthodoxy. Roll Eyes

A guess that's actually kind of a dual-example.

God bless,
Peter.
Dr. Hahn, in his piety and spiritual demeanor, would have made a perfect Orthodox Christian in terms of the mystical and ascetic prayer life and path of our faith; but he was/is also a high-octane academic theologian and that is far easier to find and to fit into in the RC church. He also was highly influenced by covenantal theology as a Reformed theologian (through Dr. Meredith Kline - memory eternal - at Gordon-Conwell Seminary) and there is a school of covenantal theology in RC thought. The whole idea of the covenantal theology's representational nature also is quite compatable with Augustinian doctrine regarding original sin.

But to this day, Dr. Hahn has great affection and is still influenced by the Eastern Fathers, especially the Syriac Fathers and refers to them often.
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« Reply #204 on: January 31, 2008, 03:11:08 PM »

I am a new convert. I came in last year but it took about 10 years for me to make up my mind on if I wanted to be Orthodox or not.

I can't speak for others but for me it's about the Mysteries(sacraments). Before I converted I had a hard time taking communion in Most Protestant Churches. My convictions just wouldn't let me. I was reading the Church Fathers and in turn they changed my mind about the sacraments.

But for other converts it could be for other reasons.


As long as I have a high view of the Sacraments and the Fathers of the Church then I see no need in going anywhere else.


Protestantland felt like Limbo for me. I had no place to go with the views I had about the Sacraments. I tried the ECUSA in 2003 because I knew that I needed to partake of the sacraments. But I never wanted to dig roots there because I was influenced by other more conservative Episcopal groups but non of them were in Pittsburgh at the time and when a couple of those conservative groups fell apart that's when I looked at the East again.

So if I leave the Parish I'm in now.........I will leave it only to join another Orthodox parish. But I'm fine where I'm at and I can always visit 100 other Orthodox churches in the area.



IF converts had a high view of the sacraments then that will limit where they can go. If they have a high view of the church then that will limit where they can go.....so teaching converts about the Orthodox Faith should help keep converts in the Orthodox Church.






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« Reply #205 on: January 31, 2008, 03:33:01 PM »

Nice contribution, JNORM888.

Thanks.
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« Reply #206 on: January 31, 2008, 04:54:19 PM »

^ I second that JNORMM. Sadly, you may find that many Orthodox are only going through the motions. It is refreshing to read your post.
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« Reply #207 on: March 06, 2010, 03:53:15 PM »

I think the supposed "5 year lifespan" is one of the things that terrifies me about actually going through with becoming Orthodox.  I was raised Protestant and felt a need to receive Communion, which happened rarely, if at all, and it seemed to me that Scripture supported the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Sacrament, and that it is indeed a Sacrament, not merely an ordinance or memorial.  After doing some reading I eventually spent some time considering the Episcopal church but the controversy there stopped me short.  I read more about Catholicism and Orthodoxy and came to believe that if Christianity is true either the Roman or Orthodox Church is correct and we (if we consider ourselves Christian) have a moral obligation to become Catholic/Orthodox.  So I became Roman Catholic, but have lapsed and feel at variance with some of the particularly Roman dogmas.  My time as an Orthodox catechumen has left me feeling more and more that Orthodoxy is right....but very difficult.  I am scared to death of more inner conflict and ending up apostate, and hearing of other "reverts" from the Orthodox faith makes me the more afraid.  I remember a few years ago an article entitled "An Orthodox Convert Reconsiders Evangelicalism" and thinking that a similar crisis might happen to me, especially when I know without doubt that I could never again accept the Protestantism of my youth (something that has caused no small amount of family turmoil): I would either end up agnostic or else a pitifully fearful "Christian".
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« Reply #208 on: March 06, 2010, 05:10:55 PM »

I think the supposed "5 year lifespan" is one of the things that terrifies me about actually going through with becoming Orthodox. 
Valdemarr, I was chrismated five years ago on Lazarus Saturday. For me it gets better and better as an Orthodox Christian. The gap just gets wider and wider between what I have now and what there is for me to go back to. Not a chance. My future is Orthodoxy. Get involved in your parish life. Attend services regularly. Follow your priest's instructions for a daily prayer rule and fasting. Always look forward to Pascha!
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« Reply #209 on: March 06, 2010, 08:21:37 PM »

I have been in the Church for over half a century and I had never heard of "the 5 year lifespan of a convert" until this thread. I have only known two converts that have left the Church and neither have completely abandoned the Orthodox Faith. There are many more cradles that have left the Church, IMHO.
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« Reply #210 on: March 06, 2010, 11:06:55 PM »

The only thing that has me worried is that I tend to move around a lot, with some areas I have (and possibly will have to again) lived being 2+ hours to the nearest Orthodox church.

If I ever have enough money I've got about 2 acres of land in one area that I would love to build an Orthodox chapel on (right next to the house I would build), though there is a question as to whether or not the local Baptists might take to their white-sheet ways were such a "Catholic" thing come to town.

(I am NOT making a dig at all Baptists in the sentence above. Sadly, certain movements are still going strong in certain areas of MS).

Of course I have the type of personality that's tempted to do such a thing just to INVITE the controversy.
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« Reply #211 on: March 07, 2010, 12:32:58 AM »

The only thing that has me worried is that I tend to move around a lot, with some areas I have (and possibly will have to again) lived being 2+ hours to the nearest Orthodox church.

If I ever have enough money I've got about 2 acres of land in one area that I would love to build an Orthodox chapel on (right next to the house I would build), though there is a question as to whether or not the local Baptists might take to their white-sheet ways were such a "Catholic" thing come to town.

(I am NOT making a dig at all Baptists in the sentence above. Sadly, certain movements are still going strong in certain areas of MS).

Of course I have the type of personality that's tempted to do such a thing just to INVITE the controversy.
I wouldn't let the fear of what might happen years in the future stop you from doing what you know is right at this moment.  What you worry may happen hasn't happened yet and may never happen.
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« Reply #212 on: March 07, 2010, 12:57:21 AM »

Actually, I'm looking at moving withing the next few weeks (March 26th).  Though my next stop is GA, not MS, and I have a church already lined up.  Turns out my youngest brother has started his journey into Orthodoxy as well (coincidentally, his first visit was Divine Liturgy the day following my visit to Saturday Vespers).  Also coincidental, his priest is the son of a Baptist pastor.  I'm quite looking forward to being able to attend church with family again.

I find it funny that time-wise I'll actually be closer to church in Georgia than here in Chicago.  The neighborhood I live in is 60 minutes away from any Orthodox church by public transit (and it's still a hike by car once traffic and parking is taken into consideration), while the town I'll be moving to has a church within 30 minutes.

I will miss the church I've been attending, but I can always hear Father Patrick on Ancient Faith Radio.  Although I'm sure my new priest will do just fine.  From what my brother tells me he sounds like a very wise man, though I might have to have a word with him about encouraging the kid's kilt-wearing.  I kid, mostly.

But you are quite correct, I really should not worry about things which may never happen.  It is but one of many things which I shall have to overcome.
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« Reply #213 on: March 10, 2010, 04:05:22 PM »

I remember a few years ago an article entitled "An Orthodox Convert Reconsiders Evangelicalism" and thinking that a similar crisis might happen to me, especially when I know without doubt that I could never again accept the Protestantism of my youth (something that has caused no small amount of family turmoil): I would either end up agnostic or else a pitifully fearful "Christian".

That article isn't about someone abandoning Orthodoxy, it's about someone coming to terms with their roots and not being such a critical and judgmental person,which is something many of us converts need to hear.



Word  was changed to bring it into conformity with polite discussion expected on this board. Thomas Convert Issues Forum Moderator
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« Reply #214 on: March 10, 2010, 11:54:59 PM »

Sometimes they come back.

I am a convert to Orthodoxy and was Chrismated into an OCA church in 1991. I was very active in the church and as I later moved from state to state and town to town, I continued to attend services regularly in the cities I moved to or where there was an Orthodox Church nearest to me, but eventually fell away. I blame only my own sorry sinful state of being for allowing myself to fall away from the true faith. Many years have gone by since I was in regular attendance but I always considered myself Orthodox and never even thought of going anywhere else. After all, how could anyone find any other form of worship equal to what we have been handed down to us through the Church; the Divine Liturgy, The Sacraments, the teaching of the Church, the Tradition, and the continuity with the Church Fathers. Thanks and Praise be to God, I am finally making my way back and it feels great to be back!

Again, I blame only myself for being away from God and the Church, but as a convert to Orthodoxy who became Orthodox in an all English parish made up of about 50% converts and 50% cradle Orthodox, as I moved around and went to other Churches I found language to be a barrier. I've been in OCA Churches that were 100% Old Church Slavonic, and Greek Churches that were either all Greek, or mostly Greek, and I remember one time going for coffee hour after the Liturgy in a Greek Church once where a little old lady came up to me and asked: "Are you Greek?" - No; "Are you married to one?" - No; "Then why are you here?" I know other people who have had almost this exact same experience in Greek parishes.

I speak only for myself, but I wonder if experiences like this may be a cause for a turn off (or falling away) for others? Language is an issue that needs to be addressed in the US. I understand the need that used to exist to use Church Slavonic or Kyrie Greek because the parish was established by immigrants from Russia, Greece, Serbia, or where ever, but the periods of heavy immigration from Russia and Greece are over and most are now 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th generation from their immigrant ancestors. If the Church is going to thrive in the United States, it must (in my opinion) address the issue of language and the language it needs to use here is English.

What do our Church Fathers say about language in the Church? The Apostles went out and spoke the Good News of Christ to the multitudes in their own language with the Grace of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts. Saints Cyril and Methodius didn't force the Rus to learn Greek or Latin. They created the Cyrillic alphabet and translated everything for them. Likewise I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong), Saint Tikhon of Alaska translated to the native Alaskan Indians into their language.

So I wonder if the reason some converts may fall away are due to this kind of stuff?

I love the Church and hope that all Orthodox in America can one day call themselves Orthodox of America and not just Orthodox in America and that we will find unity amongst ourselves so that we're not Greek Orthodox, or Russian Orthodox, or Serbian Orthodox, or what have you, but instead we can call ourselves just simply Orthodox Christians.

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« Reply #215 on: March 11, 2010, 12:17:44 AM »

Welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #216 on: March 11, 2010, 12:48:22 AM »

I remember a few years ago an article entitled "An Orthodox Convert Reconsiders Evangelicalism" and thinking that a similar crisis might happen to me, especially when I know without doubt that I could never again accept the Protestantism of my youth (something that has caused no small amount of family turmoil): I would either end up agnostic or else a pitifully fearful "Christian".

That article isn't about someone abandoning Orthodoxy, it's about someone coming to terms with their roots and not being such a critical and judgmental a-hole, which is something many of us converts need to hear.

Hear, hear! *applauds*

That article quelled any fears in my mind that I would ever return to the Baptist church. It also convicted me of the sinful, prideful judgmentalism that had infected my view of people around me. Thank God for that article, as it sure made this formerly-arrogant convert eat a slice of humble pie.

And welcome David! Excellent first post!
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« Reply #217 on: March 11, 2010, 07:15:53 PM »

a yes... I heard this in a sermon at church not to long ago.  Father said that about 5 years down the rode, you are used to the icons, the incense, and the "magic" has worn off.  that is why the hymn that is always playing in my head goes: "and blessed is he who keeps his faith forever "etc...

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« Reply #218 on: March 12, 2010, 12:30:30 AM »

Thanks for the welcome. Glad to be here.
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« Reply #219 on: March 12, 2010, 12:52:33 AM »

Welcome!
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« Reply #220 on: March 12, 2010, 06:55:00 AM »

Sometimes they come back.

I am a convert to Orthodoxy and was Chrismated into an OCA church in 1991. I was very active in the church and as I later moved from state to state and town to town, I continued to attend services regularly in the cities I moved to or where there was an Orthodox Church nearest to me, but eventually fell away. I blame only my own sorry sinful state of being for allowing myself to fall away from the true faith. Many years have gone by since I was in regular attendance but I always considered myself Orthodox and never even thought of going anywhere else. After all, how could anyone find any other form of worship equal to what we have been handed down to us through the Church; the Divine Liturgy, The Sacraments, the teaching of the Church, the Tradition, and the continuity with the Church Fathers. Thanks and Praise be to God, I am finally making my way back and it feels great to be back!

Again, I blame only myself for being away from God and the Church, but as a convert to Orthodoxy who became Orthodox in an all English parish made up of about 50% converts and 50% cradle Orthodox, as I moved around and went to other Churches I found language to be a barrier. I've been in OCA Churches that were 100% Old Church Slavonic, and Greek Churches that were either all Greek, or mostly Greek, and I remember one time going for coffee hour after the Liturgy in a Greek Church once where a little old lady came up to me and asked: "Are you Greek?" - No; "Are you married to one?" - No; "Then why are you here?" I know other people who have had almost this exact same experience in Greek parishes.

I speak only for myself, but I wonder if experiences like this may be a cause for a turn off (or falling away) for others? Language is an issue that needs to be addressed in the US. I understand the need that used to exist to use Church Slavonic or Kyrie Greek because the parish was established by immigrants from Russia, Greece, Serbia, or where ever, but the periods of heavy immigration from Russia and Greece are over and most are now 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th generation from their immigrant ancestors. If the Church is going to thrive in the United States, it must (in my opinion) address the issue of language and the language it needs to use here is English.

What do our Church Fathers say about language in the Church? The Apostles went out and spoke the Good News of Christ to the multitudes in their own language with the Grace of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts. Saints Cyril and Methodius didn't force the Rus to learn Greek or Latin. They created the Cyrillic alphabet and translated everything for them. Likewise I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong), Saint Tikhon of Alaska translated to the native Alaskan Indians into their language.

So I wonder if the reason some converts may fall away are due to this kind of stuff?

I love the Church and hope that all Orthodox in America can one day call themselves Orthodox of America and not just Orthodox in America and that we will find unity amongst ourselves so that we're not Greek Orthodox, or Russian Orthodox, or Serbian Orthodox, or what have you, but instead we can call ourselves just simply Orthodox Christians.



Καλώς ήρθατε Δαβιδ Λανιερ!
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« Reply #221 on: March 12, 2010, 10:42:22 AM »

Καλώς ήρθατε Δαβιδ Λανιερ!

Thank you!

I've never seen my name spelled in Greek before.  :-)
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« Reply #222 on: October 06, 2010, 10:28:35 AM »

I saw this comment on a blog post about the 2010 Census of Orthodox in America, but I thought the comment was more relevant to this thread:

Quote
A cradle who had spent a decent amount of time around converts once told me, "The last stage of conversion is when you realize you don't actually have to go to church if you're Orthodox -- so you stop going." I related this conversation to a fellow convert sometime later, who got a thoughtful look on their face and said, "You know, he's got a point there."
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« Reply #223 on: October 07, 2010, 10:25:14 AM »

When I catechized, My priest told me that "It is important to remember that if you fail to attend the Sunday Divine Liturgy for three Sundays in a row without good reason you have excommunicated yourself from the Church." I always thought that to be interesting that we are usually the real excommunicators not Church for we fail to go and be in communion (co-union) with the Church.

Thomas
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« Reply #224 on: October 07, 2010, 11:23:43 AM »

When I catechized, My priest told me that "It is important to remember that if you fail to attend the Sunday Divine Liturgy for three Sundays in a row without good reason you have excommunicated yourself from the Church." I always thought that to be interesting that we are usually the real excommunicators not Church for we fail to go and be in communion (co-union) with the Church.

Thomas

Why three Sundays, I wonder?  Why not two or four?
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