Author Topic: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy  (Read 3055 times)

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Offline aserb

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Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« on: July 22, 2005, 11:42:36 AM »

Some Background about me.

I was born to a Serbian Orthodox Father and Roman Catholic Mother (memory eternal). I was baptized  Roman Catholic. In college I entered the world of Evangelical Christianity. As concerns evangelicalism after 25 years I was fed up with several of the following crass commercialism, seeker sensitivity, make-it-up as you go fill in the blank (bible study, sunday service, dogma, theology). I was most struck by how many evangelicals do not give a second thought as to what they believe or why they believe what they believe. When asked about issues of the faith many disagree. (i.e. some speak in tongues, some do not, some do not, some do not understand or are sure if they believe in the Trinity, some espouse moralism and yet in life are amoral, etc. ) I the sinner was included in this crowd. An don't forget the overall tacit identification (in America) with the Republican Party. Well once back in the fold of my heritage (I was robbed from the cradle Orthodox) I found a common thread among the converts that I met. Many were also fed up as well with the same things that I was and gave serious thought to their faith and where, by chance, did the true faith exist. I struggle at times to keep from looking with disdain on evangelicals who just seem to ride along, just me and Jesus, never thinking about their faith at all. Sunday is a feel good day. Go and listen to a happy pappy sermon, meet your friends, come as you are. Many evangelical churches struck me no different than country clubs with a religious theme. I ramble and am not sure if I am expressing myself clearly.

Any thoughts out there.
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Offline sin_vladimirov

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2005, 11:56:17 AM »
Very clear dear brother. I come from a different type of protestantism. SDA are very strict, and they think that they are very strong on their "things". But it is all very superficial and shallow. I have a feeling that Two sides of the same coin (RC and Protestants) are basically the same but in opposing ways.

RC thinks of too deep trying to define everything, and Protestants are too shallow with their "buddy Jesus" stuff.

A very important thing to say is that, we can not feel any sort of triumphalism being Orthodox. For, it is our duty to show them the Light. We did receive the truth, thank be to God, but now we have to show it to the world. Loving and praying for all.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2005, 11:57:11 AM by sin_vladimirov »
Lord have mercy.

Offline aserb

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2005, 12:02:35 PM »
"Buddy Jesus"

I like that. Like he is "one of the guys."

Anyway Vladimirov you are so right.  I struggle with triumphalism sometimes.

Hey, you are Serbian. Isn't it good to be home where we belong.

Dan
Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!

Offline sin_vladimirov

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2005, 12:09:47 PM »
Yes brother it is awesome to be home, with the Mother.
I am very ashamed that I used to go and argue with the Orthodox priests, really hating them and thinking how stupid they must be not to be Adventists. And I could not wait to leave the old land because it was so Orthodox. I had to come to Australia to realise that Orthodoxy is what the name says it is.
But, it is very very good to enjoy the depth and the width and the girth of unattainable Wisdom, and be immersed into live waters of awesome faith and beauty of our Lord.

Lord have mercy.

Offline djrak

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2005, 12:11:28 PM »
"Buddy Jesus"
"Burger King Jesus"
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9

Offline aserb

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2005, 12:45:11 PM »
Vladimirov:

I did not go so far as to argue with the priests, I just avoided them and anything to do with Orthodoxy, (easy to do in America). What really began my journey home was that in the late 1980's (1988) a group of American Evangelicals converted, en masse, to the Orthodox church. I wondered what they saw in the faith of my fathers. The emphasis on MY Fathers. Yet, I had rejected my fathers and they accepted them. It took 13 years for me to come around.

"Burger King Jesus" ???
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2005, 02:20:58 PM »
What really began my journey home was that in the late 1980's (1988) a group of American Evangelicals converted, en masse, to the Orthodox church.

Actually, 1987.  I was one of them, but I was 12 at the time.  Just went to church with my parents so of course didn't learn much.  The learning curve (about the faith) got a lot steeper once I moved out of the house 10+ years ago and started attending an OCA parish and learning about other jurisidictions (and fringe elements to be purposely vague).

Offline djrak

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2005, 05:02:18 PM »
"Burger King Jesus" ???
you know...fast food...drive thru.. comfortable, compact, smiley face, colorful and convenient with add on tv Jesus
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" - John 14:9

Offline PhosZoe

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2005, 05:40:19 PM »
I'm also a Serb who "came back home" so to speak. I was born to a SO dad and a methodist mom. I wasn't baptized until I was an adult. I dabbled with stuff along the way but came home to Orthodoxy.  Congratulations on finding the true church!

Offline Fr. David

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2005, 12:10:41 AM »
Grew up with an extremely devout (yet doctrinally vague) mother, whose sole criteria for faith was the scriptural account that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and God the Son, whose death, burial and resurrection was the only way for sinners to get to heaven, and for whose influence I will be eternally (and I'm pretty sure I mean that literally) grateful.

Anyway, grew up in the Bible Church until the age of 9, after which we moved to the Southern Baptist Church (our Bible Church congregation split), where I stayed until age 20.  Basically, I was a "bapticostal" who held to much the same criteria as my dear mother.  Started asking questions about why no one in the first couple of centuries believed the same way I did, and what basis I had for holding my doctrines "according to Scripture" when the ones who sat at the feet of the NT's authors held to such different views (in consensus) than I did.  Realized that, if the first and early-second century Christians ALL held to sacraments, an apostolically successive hierarchy, liturgical worship, and the reality of the possibility of losing one's salvation (among other things), then I definitely had reason to "jump ship."  Long story short, was received via chrismation into the Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday of '01.  Worshipping the way Christians have always worshipped, I've never been happier.

Also...I realize (truly I do) how easy it is to badmouth our former confessions.  I've given in to that temptation many times myself.  But--and I say this not just as a mod but as a brother in Christ--let's try to keep the "former confession bashing" to a minimum (if possible, let's just not do it).  When the passions rise up to tempt us to do this, we can pray for those still outside the safe harbor of the Church.

For the good estate of the holy churches of God, and for the union [thereto] of all men, let us pray to the Lord.

Good topic, aserb!
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

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From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)

Offline aserb

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2005, 03:48:08 AM »
Pedro:

Good to know that I was not alone. Prior to becoming Orthodox, I  too began to question why the Christians of the first two centuries worshipped and believed differently than I did. The answer that I got went somewhat like this "God has brought about a new revelation" or "God is doing a new thing on the earth" Sort of evolutionary Christianity.

Also, I appreciate your reply concerning bashing Christians of other confessions.

Thank you for your insights.
Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!

Offline djrak

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2005, 04:01:52 AM »

Also...I realize (truly I do) how easy it is to badmouth our former confessions.ÂÂ  I've given in to that temptation many times myself.ÂÂ  But--and I say this not just as a mod but as a brother in Christ--let's try to keep the "former confession bashing" to a minimum (if possible, let's just not do it).ÂÂ  When the passions rise up to tempt us to do this, we can pray for those still outside the safe harbor of the Church.

i'm sorry but "buddy Jesus" was too much of a temptation for me. from now on i should learn to  :-X
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Offline aserb

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2005, 08:38:19 AM »
djrak

We were being sarcastic when we mentioned Buddy Jesus. Many "born-again" or evangelical Christians speak of Jesus in a casual or familiar way. To me and to many others this seems to be too flippant to speak of Almighty God in this manner.

Anyway, keep smiling  :)
Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!

Offline heavymg

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2005, 11:04:57 AM »
djrak

We were being sarcastic when we mentioned Buddy Jesus. Many "born-again" or evangelical Christians speak of Jesus in a casual or familiar way. To me and to many others this seems to be too flippant to speak of Almighty God in this manner.

Anyway, keep smilingÂÂ  :)

I'm not entirely sure what the problems is (I could guess but at the risk of sonding ignorant). I am a recent convert, could you explain this a little more? Thanks.
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Offline djrak

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2005, 11:34:09 AM »
To me and to many others this seems to be too flippant to speak of Almighty God in this manner.
i know it's the same with me, but we shouldnt make fun like we were, as Pedro said it's not Christ like.
It's sooooooooooo tempting thow
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Offline djrak

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2005, 11:43:25 AM »
welcome heavymg, what is it exactly that you don't get?
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Offline aserb

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2005, 12:36:45 PM »
PhosZoe:

Welcome too sister back to the fold.

Heavymg:

Welcome home and to this site.  I do not know your background, spiritually. djrak and I were discussing the way that some people refer to Jesus as if he were a close friend. In some ways, he is a close friend. But as God he deserves some measure of respect. For example, the bishop of my diocese is very personable. You feel like you know him well after only five minutes of conversation; yet, when I speak of him or greet him, I give him the respect that is due his office.

Hope this helps.

djrak

It is very tempting to not laugh or deride evangelicals. They leave themselves wide open.

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Offline heavymg

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2005, 01:39:00 PM »
PhosZoe:

Welcome too sister back to the fold.

Heavymg:

Welcome home and to this site.ÂÂ  I do not know your background, spiritually. djrak and I were discussing the way that some people refer to Jesus as if he were a close friend. In some ways, he is a close friend. But as God he deserves some measure of respect. For example, the bishop of my diocese is very personable. You feel like you know him well after only five minutes of conversation; yet, when I speak of him or greet him, I give him the respect that is due his office.

Hope this helps.

djrak

It is very tempting to not laugh or deride evangelicals. They leave themselves wide open.



OK, thats what I had assumed you meant. I am a convert from Protestant Evangelical. And I do agree with you. Protestants, espically evangelical enjoy their ignorance and rejection of the apostolic Church and Her teachings. I don't find it funny but sad actually. And rather frustrating.

I left the Evangelical/Protestant churches because I felt something was wrong and/or missing. I didn't actually know what it was until I discovered Orthodoxy. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit prodding me into the fold, I like to think so. There are so many things wrong with the Protestant faith its hard to know where to begin.  I am however not in any position to judge because I do believe I have been on the path of salvation for a while, though by accident or God's grace I do not know, maybe both. One thing is for sure, the path is not something taught properly in the Protestant faith.
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Offline djrak

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2005, 01:46:49 PM »
you're right it is sad
what's sadder is that they penetrate and influence orthodox circles. But thank God cos He always finds a way to bring good out of evil.
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Offline aserb

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2005, 05:40:40 PM »
Heavymg

You're right, sad and frustrating, especially when your friends do not understand or do not want to understand
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Offline donkeyhotay

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2005, 04:51:35 PM »
Quote
...some people refer to Jesus as if he were a close friend.

That reminds me of an old joke...

Jesus is my buddy and His name is Andy.  It's in a famous song:

Andy walks with me,
Andy talks with me,
Andy tells me I am His own.....

A dog is better than I am, for he has love and does not judge.
-Abba Xanthias

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Reasons for Conversion to Orthodoxy
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2005, 04:55:28 PM »
My experience was a bit different in VERY serious Reformed theology circles of Presbyterianism. They take the soverignty of God very seriously and treat Him as a King. They are very respectful of the nature of God and His transcenance. They labor under the predestination heresy, but much of their attitude toward God is quite respectful and dignified and is complimentary to Orthodoxy in that regard. The are also conscientiously Trinitarian (whereas some evangelicals can seem to be "Jesus only unitarians" in practice, although they pay lip service to the Trinity).

But I also circulated in wider evangelical circles and have witnessed the attitudes and practices you all have alluded to above