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Author Topic: 5 Year 'Lifespan' of a Convert?  (Read 43811 times) Average Rating: 0
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BasilCan
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« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2006, 12:20:51 AM »

Back to the original question......

Most people join and stay with a church due to social reasons. Theology, may get people "in the door" but they stay when they become part of a family. The key to keep people in the church is to make deep and long term relationships. The "problem" that often occurs with Orthodox converts is that they make deep friendships at the parish they converted to, but when they move, they may not find such a place. It also doesn't help that our liturgical traditions can very so much not only between jurisdiction,but between parishes of the same jurisdiciton.

I will never forget this one person I met. She converted into a "convert" Antiochian parish in California. She moved to Canada and attended an Antiochian parish - It was ethnic and cradle and very different from her experience. The closest "english" parish was an old calender OCA parish. The traditions, services, music and atmosphere of the place was completely foreign to her. So, now she attends a "vanilla" mega church (but doesn't take communion so she hasn't aposticized or so she says) and when she travels to Californian to visit friends, she goes back to her church.

This problem of different praxis among Orthodox parishes (which is not found in say, Catholic parishes) is an important stumbling block to keeping converts in Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2006, 04:51:55 AM »

I can only speak for myself and I think that I have said this somewhere berfore. My families' roots in Orthodoxy go back a millenium not five years. Orthodox yesterday, Orthodox today, Orthodox forever. That said I think I am going to go and log on to the Euphronious Cafe web site.
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« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2006, 11:07:47 AM »

I can only speak for myself and I think that I have said this somewhere berfore. My families' roots in Orthodoxy go back a millenium not five years. Orthodox yesterday, Orthodox today, Orthodox forever. That said I think I am going to go and log on to the Euphronious Cafe web site.

If it's the forum I think you mean, that should be loads of fun - the converts who've joined true-believer sects can tell you, a Serb with a thousand years of being Orthodox behind you, that you're not really Orthodox! Enjoy. Unless the similarly named Euphronious Café is a new one I've never been to.
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« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2006, 11:17:25 AM »

Young Fogey:

Thank you for that enlightening comment!!!  Grin
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« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2006, 07:41:21 PM »

Quote
My families' roots in Orthodoxy go back a millenium not five years. Orthodox yesterday, Orthodox today, Orthodox forever.

So? 

My family's roots in Catholicism go back a millenium. 
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« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2006, 11:22:13 PM »

So? 

My family's roots in Catholicism go back a millenium. 

There is nothing wrong with having a little pride in your family's history. I'm proud to be a convert, or in the process of being a convert. I've found the truth on my own instead of being born into it. While I'm happy with that, I would still love to have my whole family in the church as he does.
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« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2006, 11:26:48 PM »

Well put, Marat.                       Juliana Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: December 28, 2006, 12:09:51 AM »

There is nothing wrong with having a little pride in your family's history. I'm proud to be a convert, or in the process of being a convert. I've found the truth on my own instead of being born into it. While I'm happy with that, I would still love to have my whole family in the church as he does.

I'm proud of my family having been Catholic---even the English and German sides---for many centuries (my German family fled to Hapsburg Germany in the 16th century after the Dutch Protestant revolt in the Netherlands). I'm also proud of being a convert after my father left the Church and brought us up Baptist. Wink
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« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2006, 12:19:17 AM »

I'm proud of my family having been Catholic---even the English and German sides---for many centuries (my German family fled to Hapsburg Germany in the 16th century after the Dutch Protestant revolt in the Netherlands). I'm also proud of being a convert after my father left the Church and brought us up Baptist. Wink

You get the best of both sides then. Hopefully your father came back too.
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« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2006, 12:29:53 AM »

You get the best of both sides then. Hopefully your father came back too.

No, he's still a hardcore Calvinistic Baptist. He doesn't know about me yet. One of these days he'll ask, and I will have to tell him.

The rest of my family is still Catholic, some of whom are very devout, and he gets along okay with them. But he may see me as an apostate because he raised me to be a Baptist.

I hope your family is taking your conversion well.
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« Reply #55 on: December 31, 2006, 01:27:59 AM »

I wonder what the difference would be for converts from a totally secular, pagan background?

Do they last 5, 10, 12 years? Or even less than protestant converts? I mean, they have no where else to go, so maybe they just stay.

I think the problem for protestant converts is that they have a generational connection to Christianity also.
If they leave Orthodoxy, it's to go back to some Western form of Christianity. It's like the Jews in the original Church going back to Judaism.

Not every one of us protestant convert comes from some independent congregation with a 30 year history.

My relatives have been either Lutherans or Presbyterians since the Reformation and they became Protestants after generations of being Catholics. I may not have been Orthodox for a thousand years (generationally speaking), but I would daresay I have been Christian for a thousand years (again, generationally speaking), perhaps longer. 

The Orthodox Church is the true expression of the Christian Faith but there is an historic legacy with some dignity, authenticity and integrity in the West as well. That is a centrifugal (I know I spelled that wrong) force that is hard to resist at times of loneliness, doubt or nostalgic moments. I think converts that pass the five year mark should get a few props.
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« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2007, 01:18:34 AM »

I wonder what the difference would be for converts from a totally secular, pagan background?

Do they last 5, 10, 12 years? Or even less than protestant converts? I mean, they have no where else to go, so maybe they just stay.


I converted in 1998, having been brought up in a household with no religion whatsoever.  I am the only one in my immediate family who attends church of any kind.  I won't pretend that it has been a smooth journey, but I am intent on remaining Orthodox for the rest of my life.  So that's one person's perspective.   Grin
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« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2007, 01:28:43 AM »

Quote
I have to say, that this sort of thing has only happened online. In real life, the Orthodox I have met have been wonderful, welcoming and definitely haven't judged me as a "new Christian" struggling to shake off the dark effects of paganism. I have really appreciated their kindness.

That is curious as most of the negative experiences that I have had have been in real life.  As long as the ecafe and other zealot types are avoided online, the online Orthodox community is fairly nice - I think.

Quote
I have witnessed converts who have "become" Russian or Greek or whatever - and that's great for them.

To me this is most frustrating.  This isn't sustainable growth and normal people are going to convert to this.  I'm all for parishes being pastorally sensitive to the older generations, but there is really no excuse for keeping the Orthodox ethnic ghettos alive for future generations (and it is insane for converts to encourage such). 
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« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2007, 03:36:08 PM »

Get over it.

No, thanks.

Exactly.  A lot of converts get tired of being told their that their family history and heritage are completely meaningless and that they know nothing about Christianity since they didn't have the experience of growing up in an Orthodox family that probably went to church all of two times a year.  

Well said, indeed.  I echo the sentiment that a two-part book would be useful, one half for converts about cradles, and the second for cradles about converts.
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« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2007, 06:08:59 PM »

No, thanks.

Well said, indeed.  I echo the sentiment that a two-part book would be useful, one half for converts about cradles, and the second for cradles about converts.

I'm sorry, my post came across wrong to you. I wasn't telling you to "get over it" but only quoting from another poster which I including in my post. I only quoted that, and then told what I thought of that as an answer. I never meant to tell you to get over it because I knew from another post how it felt when someone did that to me. I'm sorry you took it wrong.
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« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2007, 08:31:30 PM »

Exactly.  A lot of converts get tired of being told their that their family history and heritage are completely meaningless and that they know nothing about Christianity since they didn't have the experience of growing up in an Orthodox family that probably went to church all of two times a year.   
And, us "cradles" get tired of hearing comments about Orthodox families going to church "all of two times a year".  If such were the case, there would be no Orthodox Churches to convert to!  I think sensitivity and respect needs to be shown by both groups towards each other.
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« Reply #61 on: January 07, 2007, 02:28:02 AM »

If such were the case, there would be no Orthodox Churches to convert to!  I think sensitivity and respect needs to be shown by both groups towards each other.
Absolutely agree.
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« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2007, 01:10:01 PM »

To me this is most frustrating.  This isn't sustainable growth and normal people are going to convert to this.  I'm all for parishes being pastorally sensitive to the older generations, but there is really no excuse for keeping the Orthodox ethnic ghettos alive for future generations (and it is insane for converts to encourage such). 

Respected Νεκτάριος, what you call an ethnic ghetto is most denigrating and insulting to people who treasure their God given ethnicity. God's Church is for people of every nationality, but are we the ethnic Orthodox, in who's cultures have originated many great saints and brilliantly gifted minds, to flush this all down the toilet for the sake of some Christified neo-Marxist cultural pseudo-ideology?

Our culture is a capsule which has perserved Orthodoxy for over a millenium, anyone who knows Greek, Russian, Georgian, etc. culture is well aware of the function the culture plays in helping preserve the Orthodox faith. It is no surprise that there are converts who find so much appreciation for these cultures that they wish to adopt them as their own.

Do we want to preserve this "ghetto" for future generations? OH YOU BET! Would we fight to keep it that way? YES! We Russians spilt much blood in the battle for our country from 1917-1921 in order to prevent our nation and people from being lobotomized by Marxists who promoted not only Godlessness but culturelessness. Now under the guise of Orthodoxy we're going to tell people to forget their native tongue, the tongue of the Optina Elders, of Feodor Dostoyevsky and Alexei Khomiakov? Who needs that? Who's asking us to pay such a high price? However mysterious God's will is, we know it is never God's will for us to sin. For a person to forsake their Orthodox ethnic heritage, a God given gift, is nothing less than a sin in my view.

I am sure we can get along all together, as others have mentioned, without making such crass decisions. But I can assure you of one thing, relations between converts and ethnic Orthodox are not going to improve if such propositions as yours become vocal.
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« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2007, 01:29:46 PM »

I really enjoy the Orthodox middle-eastern culture I grew up in but it is not the culture which preserved Orthodoxy. But it is Orthodoxy which shaped and preserved the culture.
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« Reply #64 on: February 12, 2007, 04:06:17 PM »

Kaminetz

Well said brother!

Tamara don't be so sure. Think of the great saints of Arab descent. They didn't just mystically remove themselves from their culture. Kaminetz brings up a good point. It was the Marxists who sought to eradicate cutlture. Converts yes, but a little respect with that conversion not just your money.
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« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2007, 05:06:41 PM »

Dan,

When Sts. Cyril and Methodias came to evangelize the Slavs they brought with them a Cyrillic alphabet, the Bible, and the services translated on day one. They did not bring the Greek culture to the Slavs.

Look what is happening to Europe. They are abandoning Christianity and in doing so the Europeans are slowly destroying the culture of each country. They may still speak Italian in Italy or Spanish in Spain but if things continue as they are one day each of European country will find their culture is gone and in its place will be the culture of Islam.

Sarah,

I agree with all you have written.
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« Reply #66 on: February 12, 2007, 05:54:06 PM »

I think what will make American Orthodoxy work is by taking the best of the cultural traditions brought to this country and making them mesh with the best things converts can bring to the church.  There’s no reason they can’t work hand in hand.  I can see if some parishes want or need to use another language to serve their congregation, but it must also be realized that comes with a cost.  Overall English over time will have to come to predominate (or Spanish I guess depending on where the parish is) in the U.S.

We have to deal with the fact that the cultural component can become destructive however (witness Ukraine), and that idealizing an Orthodox past is a huge mistake.
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« Reply #67 on: February 12, 2007, 08:22:25 PM »

Andrew has it right. The meshing together of the traditional Orthodox cultures and the newly Orthodox will result in the formation of an American Orthodox culture. Living the Orthodox life by attending the cycle of services, fasting, praying, etc. is what will shape Orthodoxy in America.
And yes, many of the those who come to Orthodoxy come from Roman Catholic and Protestant backgrounds. The strengths and characteristics of those traditions which work with Orthodoxy will be "baptized." We have to have some faith here everyone. If the Cross and Resurrection of Christ was strong enough to change the corrupt, hedonistic pagan Graeco/Roman culture then I think it is safe to assume Orthodoxy can baptize the heterodox cultures of those who join us.
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« Reply #68 on: February 12, 2007, 09:31:44 PM »

I think there is evidence that attempts to "mesh cultures together" may have actually failed in the past (eg Chalcedon). And the Church did not baptize all aspects of Greco-Roman culture. Some aspects had to be rejected (eg orgies, circuses).

Well, then what is a guide line or middle way between All of a culture and "It's all bad.  Become this other one."  I wonder.  I would surmise that something like "We (culture that is already EO) don't do that, so it's wrong." is not the right one and neither is "That is Our (culture that is not already EO) customs/culture/etc so it's all to be accepted".

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« Reply #69 on: February 12, 2007, 09:54:32 PM »

 Found this posted elsewhere and thought it seemed appropriate for here.

(Originally published here: http://www.oca.org/PDF/DOC-PUB/TOC/2006/NOV-DEC.pdf)


Converts & conservatives

Fighting spiritual fatigue

By Father Jonathan Tobias

One of the many reasons why I left the Protestant community for the Orthodox Church was the latter's conservatism. It wasn't the main reason, but it was certainly one of the important ones I suspect that the same goes for many of my fellow wayfarers -- the clump of ex-Protestants that streamed into Orthodoxy from the mid-1980s to 2000. Then, Orthodoxy had that hothouse spritz of the nouveau and exotic. Now, one can detect -- amongst the convert community -- a sort of fatigue setting in, seemingly from disenchantment.
 
Nevertheless, we are still conservative, and we are still true. The real enchantment obtains, despite the disappointments of the flesh. Orthodox Christianity, for all the apparent faults of the present community, is the reality of the Body of Christ. It is the revelation, and practice, of the Apostolic Church.

This next thing I suggest will sound a bit garish, so I beg your pardon in advance. Let me preface the offense with an avant-propos. Since I was allowed in the door (and I mean no irony here, because I really wanted in, and I was -- and remain -- happy that permission was granted), I have wondered why the Lord has beset the Orthodox Church with so many of us former evangelicals. Truth be told, we are not easy to manage or to get along with. Some of us have transmuted our Protestant legalism into Orthodox legalism. Others of us have retained our congregationalism, and have attempted to import guitars and pastoral-search committees. Still others have complained loquaciously about ethnicity and a Balkanized jurisdictional Bayou, despite the fact that this very mess was what brought them the Gospel in the first place.
 
So I asked God, "Why do You punish them with us? Wherever we go, we cannot let things alone: in our wake, we spread commissions, projects, marketing strategies, growth campaigns, and even blog sites. We don't know the ways of the old country, and we bumble and stumble every time we try to trill our r's. Why have You inflicted us on them?"

Indeed, we have even cajoled some of the "cradle" Orthodox (whatever that means!) into thinking that we are a blessing. Some time ago, I read, with a heavy squint, a nice eastern European lady suggesting that the Orthodox community should jettison its old world ways and learn from the ex-Protestants -- the sooner, the better. She extolled the converts' bent toward stewardship and community outreach and evangelistic programming.

How mightily we "converts" have talked our revivalist game, and have published our glossy pages, and have duplicated our cassettes and CDs, and have advertised the wondrous invention of this dispensation: the "workshop."
 
But there is something that the converts have brought to the Orthodox Church, like a dowry. Despite the WASP-y awkwardness and the ever-ready (and irritating) urge to smite custom into policies and agenda items, we do have our uses. We have come to be saved, first and foremost. Let us never lose sight of that brightness. But what can we bring, we poor bumpkins, to the Great House of the Ages?

We have come to help keep you conservative. For we are time travelers, arriving haggard from a possible, and sans-Tradition, liberal future. We saw what the liberalizing elite of a central administration can do to an entire denomination – no matter what the people in the pew want, or sing on a Sunday (after all, many Methodists still sing "Just as I am"). We know, first hand, what happens when a seminary (dressing up for the university) jerks theology out of headship, and shoves it under the tail of philosophy -- whether the tail belongs to the Arian hegemony of Tübingen, or the pandering crowd-control of the Fuller Institute. And even though we don't like to admit it, we know what happens, inexorably, when the canons mandating chastity and male ordination are shelved. Ask any Episcopalian, former or not.
 
We have witnessed the results of every heterodox departure, and we were blessed with big numbers at every liberalization of those stodgy rules. When tradition bound us, we paid obeisance to the bottom line: we adjusted, fudged, and dispensed with the old, and the bottom reared up, the people applauded, and we heralded ourselves as the anointed.

Sure, we had nice people, and a lot of our social needs were met. Sure, we had our thumb on the pulse of the market, we knew what people wanted (childcare, Starbucks in the Atrium, interest groups, no church on Christmas). Sure, we felt up-to-date and relevant. But we also felt devolved.
 
So here we are with our poor gift, but we often don't know what we have to give you -- you who are blessed more than we in the sheer fact that you are "cradle-born." I look up to you who are infant-baptized, chrismated in your godmother's arms, and taught the Sign of the Cross before you spoke. For you, Orthodoxy is second nature, if not the first, and don't you ever tell me again that I, as a convert, am better off because I am not like you. But help me, and the rest of us, give you what we have. Turn off our PowerPoint projectors. Drag us from our workshops and our book-signing tables. Don't listen to our nasal dismissals of all things ethnic. Overlook our boorishness.

But let us instead warn you of the days to come, and the Number of the Beast.
 
Let us tell stories of fractured faith and smorgasbord creeds.
 
Let us recount tales of intellects gone awry when wrenched from apostolicity.
 
Let us sing the dirges of reformations that spiral down into existential skepticism and fundamentalist ghetto.
 
Let us prove the impossibility of belief, apart from apostolicity, in the Holy Trinity.

Let us catalogue the many phases of degradation resulting from anthropology automatized and atomized, shadowed from the light of ecclesial doctrine.
 
Let us carefully distinguish the difference between the conservancy of Holy Tradition (which is us), and the politics of conservatism (which is not necessarily us).
 
Let us discern the non-conservative, consumptive character that inhabits the core of both national socialism and multinational capitalism.
 
Let us remind you why we came, pounding on Noah's doors, as deluvian refugees.

And above all, let us, together, discover Orthodoxy as the stalwart redoubt of humanity against the approach of Leviathan. For it comes, its golden harbingers calling for license and leveling, and a negation of all custom and tradition, and an enthusiastic embrace instead of rational, totalitarian control.

(Fr. Jonathan is pastor of St. John the Baptist Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, East Pittsburgh, PA and professor of pastoral theology at Christ the Saviour Seminary, Johnstown, PA.)  
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« Reply #70 on: February 12, 2007, 11:15:17 PM »

At its heart what's being talked about isn't a convert/cradle issue or a issue of Orthodoxy in America.  Really it's an issue of what tradition is.  It's either something that moves you forward in to the future or pulls you backward in to the past.  Some people want to go one way, some another.  It's an old issue.
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« Reply #71 on: February 13, 2007, 01:13:09 AM »

I think it should be remembered that other Christians are not *mere pagans* - much in Catholic and Protestant life has its ultimate origin in orthodox (yes, Orthodox Western) praxis. They don't always remember why they do something right, but they do some things right that aren't practiced in the East simply because it was impossible to do so under the Ottomans or Soviets. The West already had everything 'baptized' centuries ago - the customs aren't pagan now, they're just either obscured or warped needing only to be cleaned off and straightened out. What we have apart from Western Christianity is a parallel Western culture which the Western Christians have always been at war with (Orthodoxy is new to the fight.) That parallel culture is not really pagan, but post-Christian from a loss of faith.

Strange thing about those blue glass eyes - a Turk pinned one on my daughter once. So, a Turkish Islamic custom is acceptable because a minority of Orthodox also do it, while anything Western is suspect even if it is merely Christian? That's just wierd, IMHO. Tithing is a wierd thing to complain about - particularly as the only reason it fell away in the East is because the Government paid for everything from taxes. Taxes and tithes were merged - however, in most places in the world that circumstance does not exist for the Church. Someone has to pay for it, and it won't be the governments. That, and the practice of paying for sacraments is a bit too much like simony (at least enough to confuse those we are trying to bring from Heterodoxy to Orthodoxy.)

Also - the 5 year thing is a phenomenon only with *some* converts, not with all or most.
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« Reply #72 on: February 13, 2007, 10:07:03 AM »

Tamara, I think one of the most insightful things I read was Fr. Alexander Schmemann's statement to the effect that many in the Orthodox world lives in an illusion, and accept the illusion as reality.  It is obvious we are seeing that here.

So maybe we shouldn't be surprised if there is a five year lifecycle for some converts, and maybe we should be surprised that anyone converts at all.
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« Reply #73 on: February 13, 2007, 11:46:32 AM »

Veniamen:  Very good article!   Wink

I would like to weigh in, I think that people covert (and many cradles renew their faith) despite all of the political wranglings, infighting and other garbage that can be found in Orthodoxy. (Actually its in all churches but non-Orthodox churches seem to do a better job of hiding it under a smiley face  Lips Sealed) God's grace is greater than our feeble attempts.

I would like to say that I believe some fall away because they impose a legalism on Orthodoxy, brought in from their former faith expression. Orthodoxy becomes a burden under legalism and that should not be.
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« Reply #74 on: February 13, 2007, 05:37:41 PM »

Let's not forget that Sts. Cyril and Methodias had to provide an alphabet to the barbarian Slavs and yet they still did not have to hellenize them in order to evangelize them. And while the average American is not a well-read intellectual, most can read at high school level of comprehension. There is no need to russify Americans so they can become Orthodox. It took the Russians time to develop their Orthodox culture but they didn't need to borrow another Orthodox culture while their's was developing.

And please...let's also not live in a fantasy world of how wonderful it is in the Orthodox countries. We have sent American Orthodox missionaries to Albania and Romania to help those churches get back on their feet. Most of the middle-eastern countries are losing their populations to immigration. Greece is a nominalist Orthodox country that could probably use a few of our American missionaries. Russia and Greece have the highest abortion rates in the world. So please let's face reality as it is today and not live in the "glorious" past of the either empire. Reality is what Orthodoxy is all about. We must face our sins and failures daily as the Body of Christ. Any other type of "Orthodoxy" is a delusion that could lead us into an ethnic prelest nightmare.
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« Reply #75 on: February 15, 2007, 02:01:39 PM »

Due to the different versions of this topic, there has been a threeway split.  The original and interesting topic:
the jumping around of Converts should stay here.
-To follow the Thread of Orthodoxy and American culture please proceed to here http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11103.0.html
- To follow thre Thread of Russian Orthodoxy and its Russification and its Orthodox Culture, please proceed to here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11104.0.html
Please continue such conversations and thank you to those that brought it to our attention that the topics were going down different paths.  Thanks,
Daniel Global Moderator
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« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2007, 09:32:28 AM »

sunny, not sure if it means much or even if you will see this but I hope you stay within the safe fold of the Orthodox Church.

All, having attended many different places for periods of time  (plus other once offs here and there) including the famous Hillsong here in Australia, I must say that a large part of their attraction is entertainment. Many sell themselves on the band they have playing and will have somebody get up and talk about faith or tithing or perhaps a testimony of how God led them out of being a JW or an addict or something else (not seldom one may hear from former Roman Catholics). Some people talk about experiences which interest people too. I have twice heard different people speak about how God pushed them down and physically forced them to their knees so they would admit that they were a sinner who was wrong. (Whether God did these things or a devil or if it were perhaps a physical issue I do not know but this is what they said.) I have also heard from the former Imperial Wizzard of the KKK in the US.

In short, interest brings people into these places and after a while their interest wears thin and they see no point in staying.

A well-educated Orthodox Christian should know better than to leave due to lack of interest. The figure of a 5-year stay in Orthodoxy seems unlikely to me.

For me, the search for Truth has always been about just that. This is why I have been to so many different places and yet the answer was straight across the road from me since I was young (the people who lived opposite us for many years were Orthodox although we almost never saw them and we have both moved now).

Jennifer, may I please ask about how you considered Orthodoxy for 5 years? I have been considering Orthodoxy for about two years now and perhaps another six months if you go back to my initial contacts and I have found that some people try to pressure me into joining their particular Orthodox Church and quickly. Did you have any similar experiences if I may ask please? (If you like, start a new thread.)

Hope this wasn't too long.
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« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2007, 11:25:46 AM »

Good golly, Dantxny, when I saw your post above I though my eyes had gone on the blink with the light green letters on light blue.

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« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2007, 07:05:39 AM »

Good golly, Dantxny, when I saw your post above I though my eyes had gone on the blink with the light green letters on light blue.

Ebor

I know! It's like some sort of color blind test.
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« Reply #79 on: March 21, 2007, 09:58:08 AM »

Quote
Good golly, Dantxny, when I saw your post above I though my eyes had gone on the blink with the light green letters on light blue.

Ebor

lol!  It's actually part of Father Chris's plan to take over the world.  If you can read those letters above, then you will be drafted into the Great Flying legions . . . or something like that.
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« Reply #80 on: March 21, 2007, 11:57:47 AM »

lol!  It's actually part of Father Chris's plan to take over the world.  If you can read those letters above, then you will be drafted into the Great Flying legions . . . or something like that.

Agent Dantxny! Ix-nay on the public talking of OC.net's iendish-fay an-play!  Cheesy
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« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2007, 12:17:36 PM »

Being slightly colour blind, I don't think dantxny's post is all that troublesome although it may be a little bright.
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« Reply #82 on: March 21, 2007, 01:02:09 PM »

Quote
The figure of a 5-year stay in Orthodoxy seems unlikely to me.

Ohh, it's not so impossible.  Cool
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« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2007, 01:17:28 PM »


Jennifer, may I please ask about how you considered Orthodoxy for 5 years? I have been considering Orthodoxy for about two years now and perhaps another six months if you go back to my initial contacts and I have found that some people try to pressure me into joining their particular Orthodox Church and quickly. Did you have any similar experiences if I may ask please? (If you like, start a new thread.)

Hope this wasn't too long.

IS,
Jennifer hasn't posted since July of last year, so I wouldn't expect her to follow up on your question.
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« Reply #84 on: March 21, 2007, 01:34:22 PM »

To go somewhat back to square one, to me there are a few basic things at work that I think are common factors in this issue.

-   Converts by nature have an “un-rootedness” about them.
-   Many converts are looking for something, and will move on if they’re expectations are not met or change (or both).

In the end what happens to someone probably has to do with their circumstances, their disposition and their reasons for converting.  People that I would consider “at risk” for jumping ship or burning out would be:

  • Those looking for the one true church.
  • Former Protestants who want Catholicism without the Pope and a Byzantine Disneyland of their own creation without any actual born Orthodox people around (beyond people who have adopted their agenda anyway).
  • Spiritual dilettantes for whom Orthodoxy is just another rung on the ladder of esoteric and exotic belief systems.
  • Fundamentalists who really, really want purity and will willingly go anywhere to find it (multiple times if needed).

Some of these of course have the potential to overlap.  I only have direct personal experience with people who fit in to the first three, but I do believe the fourth exists.
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« Reply #85 on: March 21, 2007, 01:57:18 PM »

Interesting  presentation Welkodox, perhaps that is why there are those who are more attracted to specific  jurisdictions of Orthodoxy in the US.  I think I could find  converts of different sortings being found  or likely to clump in specific jursidictions.
a) Type one-Those looking for the one true church. Most likely to initially go to the Greek Orthodox with a later transfer to ROCOR or possibly ROCA.
b) Type Two - Former Protestants who want Catholicism without the Pope and a Byzantine Disneyland of their own creation without any actual born Orthodox people around (beyond people who have adopted their agenda anyway). Most likely to go to the Antiochian jursidiction , HOCNA, or perhaps an old calendar jurisdiction.
c. Type Three -Spiritual dilettantes for whom Orthodoxy is just another rung on the ladder of esoteric and exotic belief systems.Most likely to go to a Monastic based setting first, notably not affiliating with the jurisdiction but with the monastery itself---these folks have problems  affiliating or becoming active in Parish style orthodoxy.
d. Type Four (I have seen these Welkodox) Fundamentalists who really, really want purity and will willingly go anywhere to find it (multiple times if needed). ---This person often is also looking for the One True Church---not finding any jurisdiction "pure enough" may go the route from SCOBA jurisdiction to ROCOR--- to old calendarist---to very small independent Orthodox jurisdictions with  very few parishes and claiming themselves to be the remnant  True Church.

The fact is that converts who become active in their parish, attend both the  the liturgical and social activities of the parish, have the greatest likihood of making it in the Orthodox Church.  Those who like to feel special or "elect" have the greatest opportunity to continue their wanderings and be unhappy wherever they are.

Thomas
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« Reply #86 on: March 21, 2007, 02:11:57 PM »


The fact is that converts who become active in their parish, attend both the  the liturgical and social activities of the parish, have the greatest likihood of making it in the Orthodox Church. 

Wisdom! Let us be attentive!

Because our faith is relationship oriented, it only makes sense that a person will find more spiritual fulfillment by living their life within the community than by only coming to the church once in a while. It is by engaging in relationships with others in our church home that we fulfill all that God knows we can be, which helps us to keep coming back.
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« Reply #87 on: March 21, 2007, 02:15:52 PM »

Quote
Because our faith is relationship oriented

One of the reasons why I think those who marry in to Orthodoxy are the least likely to drop out.
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« Reply #88 on: March 21, 2007, 02:22:42 PM »

Wisdom! Let us be attentive!

Because our faith is relationship oriented, it only makes sense that a person will find more spiritual fulfillment by living their life within the community than by only coming to the church once in a while. It is by engaging in relationships with others in our church home that we fulfill all that God knows we can be, which helps us to keep coming back.

I think this is an important point to bring up to those who claim that faith is a "private" issue, especially those who are in the public eye.  If faith is relational in nature (as I do believe it is), it can never be a "private" issue.  Pope Benedict XVI wrote as much in the recent Sacramentum Caritatis .  I don't mean to sound judgemental, but it seems to me that for those who push the whole "faith is a private matter" thing are those to whom faith in the Church is really not that important, at least not as important as they say it is to them.  Something always seems to trump faith in such an attitude.
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« Reply #89 on: March 21, 2007, 02:38:31 PM »

Quote
It is by engaging in relationships with others in our church home that we fulfill all that God knows we can be, which helps us to keep coming

I agree, but many people who fall out are probably among the most “engaged”.  I know of two priests who fell out of Orthodoxy, and there is no more being engaged in the church than that.  Certainly many convert heavy parishes are among the most engaged and active parishes, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t in danger of sliding off the edge.  Either individually or as a whole.

I still would agree the main thing is that it is about relationships and actions above all else.  The church isn’t a mental exercise or a debate society.  One thing I did notice in the past is the armchair theologians were usually not the ones involved in doing the dirty work of running things.
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