Author Topic: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?  (Read 1153 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ainnir

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,203
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Is the whole "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" adage true in this context?  I may have asked this or alluded to this in the past (I can't remember).  It's a recurring theme in my life.  Can we really "switch teams?"  Or are we stuck, if not in the exact thing we grew up, at least the logical conclusion (ie: Pentecostal upbringing, health & wealth adulthood)?

The short answer may well be, "No."  It seems everyone would emphatically answer that way if the shift were to their version of Right, their hill, their camp.  But that aside, if the answer is objectively, "No, we are not stuck," why is there such resistance, within and without, to such a change?
"Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that."  ~me

Taking a hiatus.  Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline christiane777

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 342
  • and drinketh water of the raine of heauen
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: God
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2016, 08:36:25 PM »
This is a really heavy question.

I think all of us are different.  Just speaking from experience, I have seen some leave the religion of their heritage and upbringing, others don't.  Still others 'leave' but don't really leave - they take the old mentality and apply it to new surroundings.  Sometimes this is good, sometimes bad.  I accept free will, but I also believe in God's providence.  I think there is a way God wants us on, a path we walk - these questions are answered (what faith shall I follow) by what you do in your life, where your faith takes you.   If you are called to go somewhere and it is meant to be you will go and grow spiritually - if you are not, you will not and you will grow spiritually right at home. 
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 08:37:05 PM by christiane777 »
I was in the spirit on the Lords day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hoplitarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 15,548
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 09:04:46 PM »

The main resistance to change would be family, and wish not to hurt, disappoint or be separated from loved ones.

However, the person who truly seeks and is interested, will eventually muster the courage to go out and find the truth.  Just as Zaccheus climbed the tree to get a look at Christ, and had a life changing event, so, it will be for the true seeker.

Many people stay in their faith of birth...but, often simply stay because they don't care about their faith, God or Church, and are there out of habit, and out of familial obligation.  Many people actually go to church, but, wouldn't be able to give you the rudimentary beliefs their Church adheres to.  This is no good.

Even if you remain in your cradle Faith, it is your duty to learn and grow within the Church.  While it is easier, as you are hopefully exposed to the nuances, nonetheless, the individual must take an interest, and live the Faith, not just claim to belong to it.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Sam G

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,202
  • One Rome to rule them all.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 11:55:41 PM »
Speaking from personal experience, both of my parents are liberal Catholics. I only wound up where I'm today by the grace of God.

Having said that, I would say that the "basics" that led me to Orthodoxy were implanted by my parents when I was a young child. The greatest thing you can instill in a child is a desire to know the truth.
"Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes vanity of vanities, and all is vanity."

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,526
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 01:42:09 AM »
If I am getting what you mean correctly, then no, we are not stuck where we were born.

I am probably a prime example of this. My family, all my ancestors on my mothers side belong to a very specific religio-cultural group. One with a very strong group identity, due to many factors including dissent against the 'approved' belief system where they were. 

They came to America, in general still don't allow full religious participation from those around them, keeping the group both religious and a micro culture very specific to them.

The religion they left ( back in the 1600's) was the Russian Orthodox Church. I thus spent half my life surrounded by a culture completely opposite Orthodoxy.

Yet here I am. An Orthodox Christian.

If God helped me overcome the guilt of joining the Church that persecuted my ancestors, including jailing them, and killing some of them, then I see hope for anyone searching for the Church.

All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline TheTrisagion

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,814
  • All good things come to an end
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 09:51:26 AM »
I grew up in a independent fundamentalist church. It was very insular, and I didn't even realize there were other kinds of Christians until I got to college. I have drifted quite far from those roots.
God bless!

Offline LenInSebastopol

  • Dimly Illumined
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,595
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 10:06:21 AM »
I think "yes" with qualifications and for reasons assumed by the O.P.
BUT was talking with a devout Orthodox fellow t'other day who grew up in no church, parents were "nothing" just going about their lives.
I've spoken to others who grew up in similar circumstances and some, even, that grew up Pagan and now with The Big O.
So if you are asking a statistical question, it's the Mean, with some standard variations outside.
What diff does it make? If called, respond, period.
God is The Creator of All Free Beings

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,195
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 03:56:10 PM »
I would say no, especially in the modern world where there is a greater exposure to new ideas and people aren't as insular as they used to be and even more tolerant (to a degree) of dissent from what has been passed down.  In my family only my sister has remained in the church we three kids were raised and confirmed in. I'm now Greek Orthodox and my brother is pretty much an agnostic Methodist. 

However, I'm three quarters German with some Greek from way, way, way, way back and one quarter Finnish with some Russian from way way way back.  So maybe my latent Greek and Russian genes have been turned on. I don't know.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Alpo

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,257
  • Je suis Janusz Korwin-Mikke
  • Faith: I'm a Vegan
  • Jurisdiction: But my heart belongs to ROCOR
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 04:05:35 PM »
So maybe my latent Greek and Russian genes have been turned on.

The Holy Synod of Finland finds your lack of faith disturbing. You make Archbishop Leo has a sad.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 04:08:15 PM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Ainnir

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,203
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 07:10:06 PM »
I guess there's several ways to play with the question.  Statistics, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, etc.  I don't have the brain power for all that.  Just wondering whether the statistics reflect mere trends or cultural imperatives is enough to fry it.

I admire those who followed their convictions when those convictions are a departure from their upbringing (although I suppose there must be limitations and caveats to that statement).  My upbringing, ancestry, and the milieu I married into are three different things.  One (possibly two) of which actually denounces Orthodoxy as a departure from biblical Christianity (ironically).
"Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that."  ~me

Taking a hiatus.  Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline Ainnir

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,203
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2016, 08:00:12 PM »
Too late to edit my previous post.  I guess if one is going to potentially forsake one's past (or at least slight it) and/or strain relationships, it's nice to have an inkling as to whether one is not actually trying to bend an unbendable reality.  So that is the motive behind the question.
"Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that."  ~me

Taking a hiatus.  Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,195
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Are faith and religion ultimately chained to upbringing and heritage?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2016, 12:55:56 AM »
So maybe my latent Greek and Russian genes have been turned on.

The Holy Synod of Finland finds your lack of faith disturbing. You make Archbishop Leo has a sad.



Umm, how?
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.