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Author Topic: Please help me in this situation!!  (Read 2783 times) Average Rating: 0
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kricket777
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« on: October 05, 2005, 04:58:13 PM »

Hello, again.  I have and issue that I would like to put past you to get your input.  First though I will just tell you what I have been up to these past two weeks. 

I have contacted a priest and it has been refreshing to find some direction as I journey this path to Orthodoxy.  I have learned much and have even been given a Orthodox study Bible.  It hasn’t gotten to me yet but will be a great blessing I am sure.  I have yet been able to make it to a Divine Liturgy because of money problems and the fact that the nearest Orthodox Church is over 140 miles away.  This has not stopped me from learning more and listening to it online.

Ok, here is my situation.  I had asked the priest who has become my mentor and Spiritual Father, if it would be right to continue to visit other churches as I have had a habit of doing before inquiring into Orthodoxy.  He said that it would be much better if I were to stay at home and do a devotional and prayer on Sunday.  I had already stopped going to churches at the time I asked this question of him.  I just wanted direction on if this was a right way of thinking or not.

I told my fiancé  that this was my plan from now on for Sundays and she was very hurt that I didn’t want to visit churches anymore.  I tried to explain to her that I believed I had found the  Church  that Christ established and preserved.  Also that I would not feel comfortable in those churches any more for this fact.  Most churches in my area are either Calvinist, liberal or charismatic.

She then asked me to compromise and visit other churches with her and then do devotionals at home.  I told her that I could not do that and that I needed to follow the direction of my spiritual Father on this on this.  I also explained again that I found what I have been searching for  why would I go looking any more?

She feels very hurt by this decision.  She had liked going to different churches each week and is especially fond of one presbytery church in town.  She told me that I was selfish and if I loved her I would go to church with her, because she would go to the Orthodox church with me.

One thing I should note is that she bases what church to go to on how it makes her feel.  I am of the opinion that this is a dangerous way to look for a church.  Feeling are fleeting and can change with any number of circumstances.  I try to look at what the doctrine is and base my “feelings” on that.  Which is why I have gone from church to church.

I don’t want this to be a contention between us, but I also don’t want to compromise on something that is deeply personal and spiritual.

Have any of had to deal with something similar?  Or are you dealing with something like this?  Give me your insight or suggestions on how to handle this.  I know what I feel I need to do, but want some input on it as well.

I thank you for your responses.

In Christ,
Kricket777
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Elisha
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2005, 05:38:42 PM »

kricket,
Where do you live?

Since you're not even a catchecumen yet and still in an "investigatory" stage, I wouldn't call the priest with whom you've been corresponding a "Mentor" and definitely not a "Spiritual Father".  You're not there yet.

It sounds like the priest is giving you sound advice, but I can't say much more.  What jurisdiction is said priest a member of?  I wish you well in your journey.
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kricket777
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2005, 05:49:20 PM »

Sorry for the confusion in terms, I was unaware what to call him.  He has been such huge help to me.  He is of the  Antiochian Jurisdiction.
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aserb
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2005, 06:07:04 PM »

OK Kricket

Been there, done that, except with a wife not a fiancee

First. Discuss this with your spiritual father (I am not arguing over semantics, I considered my priest my spiritual father prior to being officially a catechumen or returnee in my case.) Get his advice on the matter

Two. My wife is the same as your fiancee. I do not know if it is a woman thing or just some people are different. I am definitely like you. Truth and doctrine are paramount. Feelings are fickle.

Three. My return to the Orthodox Church created upheaval in my relationship. My wife had no prior exposure to Orthodoxy and to her it appeared strange. But I was determined to stay and returned a chrismated Orthodox for three years, thanks be to God.

I attended her church for a while (a non-denominational evangelical mega church wannabe) but could not suffer it. I kept my mouth shut through all the hoopla that passes for worship and through the out of context sermon that I had to endure (yawn). But I persevered. She attended Orthodox services, occasionally, but she has no interest. To her it is not the true church, it is just another denomination.

Anyway, where am I going. Straighten this out before you tie the knot. Will she agree to be married Orthodox?  Will she agree to raising any future children Orthodox?  At minimum will she be supportive of your Orthodoxy while remaining separate.

I have a loving wife who is still not Orthodox. The people at the OC that I attend have been marvellous in reaching out to her just in love, no preaching.  She truly loves them and often attends OC social functions.

Patience brother. Pray. Seek Counsel.  I will pray for you

Dan

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Elisha
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2005, 07:05:09 PM »

Sorry for the confusion in terms, I was unaware what to call him.ÂÂ  He has been such huge help to me.ÂÂ  He is of theÂÂ  Antiochian Jurisdiction.

That's fine.  Again, where are you located?
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kricket777
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2005, 07:51:36 PM »

I am located in North central Arkansas.
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Elisha
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2005, 09:26:37 PM »

I guess you are a little remote.

Check this website in case you are overlooking a parish that may be nearer to you:
http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/
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Michael
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2005, 07:52:46 PM »

Kricket777, many prayers.

I don't know if this church is any nearer to you.
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aserb
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2005, 08:40:36 PM »

Kricket

How near a church is to you is not the major problem. You need to get some matters straight in your relationships with your fiancee
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Veniamin
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2005, 09:21:52 PM »

I don't know if this church is any nearer to you.

DeQueen's heading towards the wrong part of the state, I think.

North central Arkansas?ÂÂ  How close are you to Mountain Home?ÂÂ  The last I knew, there was an Antiochian mission project there being overseen by Holy Trinity in Little Rock (where I began my catechumenate, incidentally).ÂÂ  If that's no longer active, your closest bet is probably Holy Trinity or Annunciation (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese), both in LR.ÂÂ  There are also a couple of missions in Ft. Smith, and there's at least one parish in Memphis.ÂÂ  I don't know if there's any leads you haven't tried yet, but I hope it helps.

Edit:
There's also one I missed the first time around, St. Nicholas Mission in Springdale.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2005, 09:23:37 PM by Veniamin » Logged

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Michael
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2005, 04:35:20 AM »

I sometimes don't appreciate how blessed I am in having parishes so nearby.  The USA is a far vaster country than the UK and needs many more churches.  I suppose it's something to remember in prayer.
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aserb
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2005, 08:50:53 AM »

Guys:

Read his original message!

He has two problems

1) Disagreement between him and his fiancee over where to go to church

2) The closest Orthodox Church

I am sure he appreciates your advice on the nearest church but this in my opinion is the lesser of the two problems. If he and his fiancee do not agree on where to go to church there's going to be strife and discord in their future. Choosing what church to worship in appears to be an important matter for both of them; therefore, they need to agree. There can be two Orthodox churches within one block of his house, but if the couple do not agree where to go to church then this is inconsequential.

Kricket. I failed to mention that Father Charles of the GOA has some excellent advice concerning this matter. You can find him on the GOA website under intra-faith relationships.

Peace
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donkeyhotay
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2005, 12:40:52 PM »

I agree with aserb.  There are a number of issues that prospective couples should agree on before considering marriage.  Among the most important are:

Whether or not to have children, and how many.
How children should be reared.
Lifestyle (urban, suburban, country, etc.).
Goals (education, career, travel, retirement).
and Religion.

Religion is extremely important, because it can affect every other aspect above, particularly when it comes to having children and rearing them.

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aserb
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2005, 03:56:26 PM »

Thank you D, but I wonder if we are all debating among ourselves as Kricket has not returned to this site in a while.
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scooter
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2005, 12:27:02 AM »

I can empathize with you as I am in more or less the same boat.  The Father at a parish close to me told me to take in as much of the Orthodox Church as I can and go from there.  He advised me on the Jesus Prayer.  He tells me this is a process and reminds me to do all things with love, mercy, peace and obedience to God after which (time) all things will work out.  That is the only thing I would pass along to you: take in as much of the Church as you can and in all things love, mercy and peace.  I have to pray and remind myself this is a process and not something that can be picked up at the drive through of my favorite Japanese Restaurant.
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