Author Topic: new here story to tell  (Read 472 times)

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Offline seekeroftruth777

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new here story to tell
« on: June 28, 2015, 10:41:04 PM »
Hi I am new here my name is Jamie I am 31 year old male in the Monterey Bay area of California I am attending MPC to obtain a English Major. A little about my background I hope my story not too long. I was Born here In Monterey area I was baptized at the advice of my grandma at a Lutheran Church in Salinas, CA despite the fact the fact by the time I was born everyone in my family was either lapsed or nominal or in the Lutheran Faith so I cant claim some great Christian upbringing like a lot of people in here. To Make a long story short my mom had me as a teenage single mom and my grandparents helped raise me while my mom ended up marrying my then Step dad who came from Texas and was stationed at a place called Fort Ord as a mechanic in the Army. While in the mid 90's we ended as a family of three going to a church in my town of Marina called "Church of Christ" and I hated it I even refused to get baptized at that young age. This "Church" was a wired mixture of fundamentalist Baptism Evangelicalism And heavy on the Calvinism. The Pastor there preached constantly the world as we knew was literally ending, despite killing Jesus to him that the Jews were God's Chosen people and Israel as a state was prophecy in the making, Preached heavy on Original Sin and Total Depravity that Man was to blame for the Adams Sin not just Inheriting it and that man was wicked evil plus it's predestined a very few are worthy of salvation also his version of hell made Dante Inferno seem like a Sunday morning cartoon. To top it off a couple of things more things like the Eucharist was real and was reduced to symbolic Apple Juice and Cookie while everyone had to be born again some people becoming born again, again and again over the time I was in this church. To Make a story short as possible even my step father from Texas hated this guy like when they worked together at the dump my Step dad would lie saying he atheist to avoid him. In the late 90's we feel away as a family from the Christian faith, and Church, My parents separated not living together so I began to act up by coming home late, Smoking pot, Drinking a lot, getting kicked out of high school by 16 for tardiness, bad grades and too many fights plus I was listening to tasteless Rap and Rock music I was in rebellion. As the years went by I mellowed a lot more but still Drank and smoked too much plus I didn't know Christ due to my experience however as the years went on and I grew up I started having my dogs die after 13 years which crushed me a lot plus a good buddy of mine died in a terrible car crash late at night that still hurts and another friend I had a falling out with died from being shot in the head all of that including my panic attacks as I explored Buddhism and the New age movement's Yoga, Meditations, Toart Card readings, messing around with the Ouija board messing, etc. sent me to the hospital only to be let go with "good health". The Panic attacks continued until one day while I was home alone I knelled in prayer calling on Jesus to come into my heart cleanse me of sin and to confess my sins. After I accepted Jesus as my savior. The Panic attacks stopped and I dabbled in the Reformed tradition but the rampant Tithing, Literal lava fire hell fire and brimstones, Calvinism, Total depravity, Romephobia, name and claim it, Once saved Always Saved, End times dispensationalist Theology just didn't seem right plus even as I accepted Jesus the Reformed Churches made me doubt the Church history since they view it as modern day Mystery Babylon then the fact many of them got too mixed up in politics like if the mainliners were the DNC arm the Reformers and friends were the GOP arm in the political scene, To top it off  they were too out there even for me concerning Conspiracy theory's.

       Fast forward to 2011 I met a good female friend from a mutual friend. She isn't per say a Christian these days but she grew up in a strong Catholic tradition way back like right around Vatican II was about to start or got under way so I hanging out with her I went to a Catholic Church with her(not communing or anything) and I even was given a Rosary by her. In 2011 I also attended a funeral of a lady called Edith she  and her late husband Frank were devout as can be Catholics. These two events and discovering the Catholic polemics shattered my view of the Reformed tradition because the Reformed, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc. out right lie about the Catholics, they tried to even claim non Christians like the Cathars and others as their own being persecuted by Rome all the while in the last three decades they were really deep in their own heresies just look at Joel Osteen, RC Sperwell(?) Pat Robertson, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, etc. for examples of some of the heresies or heterodoxy.

      Well a Couple years go by and while I'm not communing or officially a Catholic I really desired to be one but being a history dork the whole issues of the Pope, The Catholic view of the early Church, Original Sin, the near worship of Augustine Anslam, and Aquinas  The Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, The Scholastic Period, the legalism from everything like sin to how to fast, etc., The Humanist Renaissance, Vatican 1, Vatican 2 I could never wrap my head around all that so later when I found about the Filioque being added to the Nicene Creed and Pope Francis being selected as Pope my belief in Catholicism kind of waned even If I respect them more than protestants or Muslims plus I softened my stance on Pope Francis but not too much just a little bit.

      It was YouTube that I found about Orthodoxy through videos by a gentlemen named David Withun short but sweet videos it was like I found what I been looking for plus I also was looking at other videos posted by other people It wasn't easy at first Orthodoxy is a different world from the western both Catholic and Protestant never mind non-denominational then reading actual books like The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware, The Great Divide by Alexey Young, Augustine of Hippo by Michael Azkoul, Orthodoxy and the Religion of The Future by Seraphim Rose, The Eastern Schism by Steven Runciman, Photius and The Carolingians by Richard Haugh, Wow what a breath of fresh hair Orthodoxy has been. Since that time I got myself a Icon off eBay and a old rite prayer book off of Amazon.com and my life isn't perfect but it couldn't be any better and I feel I have slowly becoming Orthodox over time, it still a long way to go but I couldn't be any happier. Lately I attended a ROCOR Parish in Seaside, CA and it very lovely the priest is spot on 100% Yesterday I attended a Coptic Church in Monterey, CA while the Copts are really nice not stand offish at all The Liturgy didn't seem like it wasn't guarded with as much reverence plus you has what look like Television screens and Instruments in the church plus the Icons seem lacking I have no doubt these people love god and maybe I attended Liturgy on a bad day so I'm open to another encounter but I got the feeling Evangelical influences has infiltrated the Copts so maybe I meant to be in ROCOR after all.

In closing I'm sorry I took so long but this is my story as unbelievable as it is I haven't shared it until today. Any Copts out there I'm open to a second shot on a Sunday Liturgy in Monterey I heard it way better on Sunday with more English but is there any info on the Copts history and books on the Chalcedon controversy in history while I'm most likely heading Eastern I'm open to the Oriental Church since a first time experience these days doesn't seal the deal with me. Sorry for the long post It took a lot since I am shy person who usually keeps to myself.

God Bless you all
Jamie




Offline biro

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 11:14:21 PM »
Hi, Jamie. Welcome.
My only weakness is, well, never mind

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2015, 12:11:18 AM »
Thanks biro  :) Sorry I took so much space with my story folks but looking back on it all it's not like I set out to find the Orthodox church Eastern or Oriental, in fact I feel ashamed to admit this but I thought it was like a Eastern Catholicism that broke off from Rome In my Catholic stage of my life  :o  the only thing I can say that been hard in Orthodoxy is at the Parish people coming in late I guess that something I got to get use to :laugh:

Offline Czar Lazar

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2015, 12:34:53 AM »
Welcome to the site!

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2015, 01:04:51 AM »
I just realized i meant to say that priest meant the Eucharist wasn't real and reduced it to apple juice and cookie.  Forgive me for my grammer it was horrible tonight I was nervous about my first post. Thanks for the welcomes so far.

Offline LBK

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2015, 01:08:58 AM »
I just realized i meant to say that priest meant the Eucharist wasn't real and reduced it to apple juice and cookie. 

I read that bit as you intended. I'm sure I'm not the only one who did.  :)
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2015, 02:21:06 PM »
Welcome Jamie! It sounds as if you have been on quite a journey. May God bless your continued search.  :)
God bless!

Offline primuspilus

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2015, 02:22:32 PM »
Quite an order to fill. Welcome.

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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2015, 09:48:28 PM »
Thanks everyone so far it very welcoming around here :) Well on Sunday the priest said he received a email I sent him a week before and he said If I want to become a Orthodox Christian I need to become a Catechumen. I know the process isn't always the same depending on how long a individual takes however can anyone link to where I can find out and research what is expected of me as a Catechumen. I'm in no hurry I just want to be prepared after talking with family and when The priest feels it right :laugh:

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2015, 09:53:44 PM »
A catechumen is someone who is learning about the Church. Usually, you will attend classes and attend Divine Liturgy. Every priest does things a bit differently. The average time is about 1 year. I don't know of any specific site that describe it though.
God bless!

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: new here story to tell
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2015, 10:55:47 PM »
Thanks for the description  I realized attending the liturgy sure has sure helped me learn more than any book can :laugh: on Wednesday I got invited to go to a Greek Church in Salinas, CA by a female I been in contact at that church  to attend divine liturgy since they are getting a new priest who served under the Romanian but is down here now and she says it will be good to introduce myself to the new priest. I'm pretty sure I like going to the ROCOR parish in Seaside, CA but I still in that stage of giving the other jurisdictions a try to see where I feel the most at home. I'm even willing to give the Copts another try out in Monterey, CA too without communing or taking the Eucharist I'll just go on a day they incorporate more English the Egyptians were just way too nice maybe I judged too harsh.