Author Topic: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time  (Read 2699 times)

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Offline Ainnir

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Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« on: September 05, 2016, 10:10:30 PM »
For the past month, I've been thinking over my journey and my motives, and really, there were pet convictions I wanted confirmation for.  Things I cared more about than much of anything else.  And then there was a moral situation where I thought I was making a biblical decision, and when I realized I had done the opposite, I was devastated and felt eviscerated.  I needed spiritual healing (a therapist probably wouldn't have hurt, either).  So I searched for a place that could offer both confirmation and healing.  These are convenience issues, though, and not good enough reasons to bang on the doors of the semi-local parish for who knows how many years before being let in. 

So knowing that, and knowing my one avenue into Orthodoxy is less than clear, I'm going to return to Protestantism for now.  I'll continue to learn about Orthodoxy and hopefully grow as a result, but I don't see another sane option at this point.  God knows what the future holds, He knows my heart better than I do, and I trust both His justice and mercy more than anything else.  Maybe at another time, the path will be clearer.  But it appears the desert is not done with me yet.

I hope other inquirers find a smoother path, and make less trouble for themselves than I have.  There is so much in Orthodoxy, so I certainly hope this post is not a discouragement.  It is simply another twist in my broken journey.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Diana

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 10:34:25 PM »
Dear Ainnir,
I am impressed with your thoughtfulness regarding your feelings on conversion to Orthodoxy. It is not a decision to be taken lightly.
Have you had a chance to visit an Orthodox Church long term and to participate in an inquirers' class? I am thinking you may be a far distance from one if you are in Georgia (depending if you are not near a larger city) I understand and can relate to your feelings.
As you return to another church, I have a suggestion for you to read a couple of books which may take a long while because of their length and depth. 1) The Law of God compiled by Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy and 2) The Philokalia in 4 volumes.
Keep praying to our Lord for direction and I will pray for you also.
In Christ,
Diana

Offline biro

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 10:55:08 PM »
It isn't always easy.

Bless you for your honesty.
My only weakness is, well, never mind

And you'll sleep, but they'll find you

Come back my dream into my arms, into my arms

London is drowning, and I live by the river

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Offline William T

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 11:21:30 PM »
I think I have in my head "Who the heck would not want to be Orthodox?" and "why the heck do you want to convert to Orthodoxy?" lined up right next to each other when I hear non Orthodox talk about Orthodoxy. In spite my insane natural disposition, I think it at least does signal to me that there is something not so easy about doing it.

It's probably good you recognized some kind of snag.  It's probably good not to force something good when the cards your dealt just aren't able to win the hand. I think some holy ancient saint somewhere in the ancient desert (of Nevada) said "you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em".

Hopefully you'll be able to attend a Liturgy or festival every once in awhile, maybe do a useful prayer, appreciate the Icons, or listen to some of the music, or read a book every once every so often.  Good luck on everything, it sounds like you are making the right choice.  It really does amaze me how a person can do that.  I think you're from the South to where Orthodoxy probably isn't that prevalent and may be seen as a pretty odd duck move, that takes tremendous effort.  That would be an impossible thing for me, so good thing I was born this way.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 11:22:17 PM by William T »

Offline Eruvande

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2016, 04:25:59 AM »
Dear Ainnir,

I empathize enormously. I'm in a similar no-man's-land. We each have to walk the path in front of us. Personally I am gently considering my options and Protestantism would be an even worse fit than the limbo I am in right now. But it is always best to be honest about where we are. I don't know why it is so hard.
Clumsily walking a narrow path and getting most of it wrong, but I'm still walking...

Offline eddybear

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2016, 01:44:55 PM »
"Another twist in the journey" is a good description. You're still following God, and He is leading you where you need to be, for now. And that is the best place to be.

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 02:59:46 PM »
It great how honest you are with yourself. Hopefully you will be able to attend a liturgy in the future, maybe even say the Jesus Prayers, and Have Icons. Good luck returning to Protestantism, and GOD Bless You.

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2016, 03:07:02 PM »
I know basically nothing about your particular circumstances, but from personal experience, sometimes it's better to re-evaluate your circumstances right where you're at. I think it's why my Parish priest recommended that I move to an island. (He didn't recommend that, but he might someday, if the trend continues.)
"A fool's work wearies him." - King Solomon
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 09:41:37 PM »
Thank you all for your kindness.   :)

I won't pretend to know whether this is wise or foolish.  It's not a matter of desire [or lack thereof], truly.  I think it's just not time yet.   :-\

Eruvande, I know the limbo feeling.  I dearly hope you find a way forward with few or no snags.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 09:47:42 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2016, 09:46:26 PM »
AINNIR, honesty is ALWAYS the best way to go. I had the door open to me for many different choices. I was raised Anglican and Catholic (a little of both; Anglican is what stuck). I CHOSE LCMS. Granted, Jesus himself kind of made the choice for me, and he may make a different choice.

My experience is unlike most. I had a personal Vision of Christ on the Cross reaching out his hand to me, telling me, "You are a sinner, and you deserve damnation and eternal punishment. But take my hand, Sinner, and be saved." Even further, this happened ON MY BIRTHDAY, in a LCMS Church. And it happened twice. I couldn't exactly refuse!

But everyone's situation is different. God may be calling you to be Orthodox. I don't know you at all, so I would encourage you to seek the Lord where you might find him. The Orthodox Liturgy, as beautiful as it is (I have only attended it once, and even I know that) is a good place to start. But then, I don't know what Protestant tradition you came from.

I would like to help, with my unique background. I almost became a Monk and Priest in the Anglican tradition. If there is anything I can do, just post here... And I will do my best to answer...


Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2016, 10:15:17 PM »
I've been in limbo for going on 5 years now. It is exhausting. For me personally, I can't go back to Protestantism. I attend every week with my wife before heading off to Divine Liturgy, and I have not been able to glean any value from it. When I walk into the Orthodox parish, I feel at home, yet lonely because my family will not come with me. It is a difficult journey and I fully sympathize with you. May God continue to guide and direct you in the way you should go.
God bless!

Offline Shamati

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 03:16:04 PM »
Is conversion about Me & what will give me psychological & ideological confirmation? Or is it about realizing that Christ established a Church that He promised to protect. That would be guided into All Truth by the Holy Spirit? If it's the latter, what can one do but submit to God? Doing otherwise would be rejecting Him.

If you're not convinced you should seek out the specific issues that bother you & learn why the orthodox teach the way they do & why the Catholics teach what they do & why the Lutherans have another teaching & the Calvinists yet another?

A consequence of Protestantism being true is that all Christians before the reformation, who evidently didn't hold specifically Protestant beliefs, were heretics & therefore not saved.

Another consequence of accepting Protestantism is profound questions about God being merciful or not? Would a merciful God hinge our salvation of the correct choice between several tens of thousands of Protestant denominations? Or are we free to speculate as we will within the One Church & the specified boundaries of the dogmas agreed upon by the whole church?

Remember that even the Protestants need the legitimate authority of the church for them to have the canon of scripture for the New Testament & the Dogma of the Trinity.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 03:22:07 PM by Shamati »

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 03:27:11 PM »
Is conversion about Me & what will give me psychological & ideological confirmation? Or is it about realizing that Christ established a Church that He promised to protect. That would be guided into All Truth by the Holy Spirit? If it's the latter, what can one do but submit to God? Doing otherwise would be rejecting Him.

This statement is most certainly true.

Quote
If you're not convinced you should seek out the specific issues that bother you & learn why the orthodox teach the way they do & why the Catholics teach why they do & why the Lutherans have another teaching & the Calvinists yet another?

This statement needs needs qualification, in my opinion. There is very little need in my opinion to investigate Five Point Calvinism, with its Double Predestination and rejection of Free Will. There certainly is no one in history that taught such beliefs, other than Calvin and his followers.

Quote
A consequence of Protestantism being true is that all Christians before the reformation (sic), who evidently didn't hold specifically Protestant beliefs, were heretics & therefore not saved.

This is a statement that is most certainly inaccurate. As a Lutheran myself, I would contend that the Biblical writers and St. Augustine certainly held proto-Lutheran beliefs. And I think one can safely say that the cult of the Saints, and Exposition of Sacrament,and all the Medieval accretions to Church belief, would have surprised the Church Fathers, as well as Biblical authors. I do NOT mean to say that Luther was anywhere NEAR perfect. He was, as we all are, an imperfect human. But he was a humble tool for God's use.

I would also contend that EVEN if for a time the majority of Christians were wrong about matters, and those matters did lead to the Reformation, that does not mean that all those people went "unsaved' during that time. First, the concept of "saved" is a little sketchy to begin with when you are talking to Catholics, Lutherans,or Orthodox, as all three of us use it in slightly different manners. Second, according to the theory of Divine Economy, the Lord takes what knowledge people have, and judges them according to what they have.

By this I mean the following: when I was much younger, I took a dance class. Now I am not, and never have been skilled in dance. I asked the Professor how he was grading, and he said that he would test us all at the beginning to see where we were, and then would grade us according to how well we did. He did not expect us all to be Broadway dancers. This was fortunate for me, and I got a B grade in the course.

My point is that God might expect progress, but if you have never been given the option to hear the Gospel in all its purity, how can you be held responsible for the parts you have not heard?

In that sense, this idea has some relation to the concept of Divina Economia in the Church, that the Church's Mysteries are a blessing for all Orthodox, clearly, but that in rare cases, the Church might conceivably offer the Sacrament of the Altar to a Roman Catholic or a Lutheran in time of death or severe bodily injury or point.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 03:54:58 PM by Diego »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2016, 03:55:12 PM »
And I think one can safely say that the cult of the Saints... would have surprised the Church Fathers

Then you must not have read much of the Church Fathers, Saint Augustine included.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2016, 04:34:37 PM »
Is conversion about Me & what will give me psychological & ideological confirmation? Or is it about realizing that Christ established a Church that He promised to protect. That would be guided into All Truth by the Holy Spirit? If it's the latter, what can one do but submit to God? Doing otherwise would be rejecting Him.

Jacob wrestled with God all through the night.  At the break of day, he became Israel. 
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

thank you so much Mor ephrem you are a hero!

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2016, 05:51:09 PM »
And I think one can safely say that the cult of the Saints... would have surprised the Church Fathers

Then you must not have read much of the Church Fathers, Saint Augustine included.

I have. Mind you. By cult of the Saints, I mean praying to the Saints for every little thing that comes upon one. And Rome's formal process for making Saints. Prayers about Saints providing us good examples are always appropriate, of course.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2016, 06:22:51 PM »
And I think one can safely say that the cult of the Saints... would have surprised the Church Fathers

Then you must not have read much of the Church Fathers, Saint Augustine included.

I have. Mind you. By cult of the Saints, I mean praying to the Saints for every little thing that comes upon one. And Rome's formal process for making Saints. Prayers about Saints providing us good examples are always appropriate, of course.
I think most Orthodox pray primarily to God, secondarily to the Theotokos and thirdly to other saints. I wouldn't characterize it as praying to saints for every little thing.
God bless!

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2016, 06:50:29 PM »
And I think one can safely say that the cult of the Saints... would have surprised the Church Fathers

Then you must not have read much of the Church Fathers, Saint Augustine included.

I have. Mind you. By cult of the Saints, I mean praying to the Saints for every little thing that comes upon one. And Rome's formal process for making Saints. Prayers about Saints providing us good examples are always appropriate, of course.
I think most Orthodox pray primarily to God, secondarily to the Theotokos and thirdly to other saints. I wouldn't characterize it as praying to saints for every little thing.

I would not know. Roman Catholics tend to pray the same way, but there is still an EXCESSIVE amount, IMHO, of praying to the Saints and asking them to do things for one. I always thought, even AS a Roman Catholic (probably as a function of my Anglican background) that this took away from the glory of God. In the Lutheran Church, Saints are held up as examples to follow, but not prayed to. Anglicans do similarly.

Some Catholics argue that they are asking the Saints not to DO a thing, but rather, to pray for me on a thing. Now that actually makes a certain level of sense. I am not sure if I can do it myself, but I at least understand it.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2016, 09:37:10 PM »
I always thought, even AS a Roman Catholic (probably as a function of my Anglican background) that this took away from the glory of God.

But God is glorified in his saints. 
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

thank you so much Mor ephrem you are a hero!

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2016, 12:22:37 AM »
Like I said, I can see praying to them (or perhaps "asking" them is a more felicitous word than "praying" to them) to pray for me. But I can't see asking them to actually do things for me. That is something that can only be asked of God. To do so is to deny God the Glory that is due only to Him alone as Father Creator, Son Redeemer, and Holy Ghost Sustainer of the Universe.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2016, 01:13:10 AM »
Like I said, I can see praying to them (or perhaps "asking" them is a more felicitous word than "praying" to them) to pray for me. But I can't see asking them to actually do things for me. That is something that can only be asked of God.

Quote
Luke 16

19 “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz′arus, full of sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz′arus in his bosom. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz′arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz′arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’”

Quote
Matthew 27

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land[d] until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la′ma sabach-tha′ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Eli′jah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Eli′jah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

thank you so much Mor ephrem you are a hero!

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2016, 05:34:45 AM »
Lutheran Church, Saints are held up as examples to follow, but not prayed to. Anglicans do similarly.
I didn't know, lutherians have Saints, I suppose you could try to ask some respected pastor or Lurther himself for help, but I doubt they will be able to assist you from hell, or you could follow their example and end up where they are.

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2016, 08:00:37 AM »
Like I said, I can see praying to them (or perhaps "asking" them is a more felicitous word than "praying" to them) to pray for me. But I can't see asking them to actually do things for me. That is something that can only be asked of God.

Quote
Luke 16

19 “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz′arus, full of sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz′arus in his bosom. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz′arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz′arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’”

Quote
Matthew 27

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land[d] until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la′ma sabach-tha′ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Eli′jah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Eli′jah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Your first point would seem to agree with me, as Lazarus did NOT come and help him. Your latter point, regarding calling upon Elijiah, DOES, on the other hand, have relevance.

Lutheran Church, Saints are held up as examples to follow, but not prayed to. Anglicans do similarly.
I didn't know, lutherians have Saints, I suppose you could try to ask some respected pastor or Lurther himself for help, but I doubt they will be able to assist you from hell, or you could follow their example and end up where they are.

That was just a stupid, abysmally childish response. Dude, what are you, in Fourth Grade? Grow up, and try to act your age and not your IQ.

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2016, 08:40:58 AM »
I would also add that the chasm existing between Abraham and Lazarus and the man in the flame, and the fact that the man's brothers should listen to Moses and the Prophets, would indicate to me that the Saints do NOT intervene.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2016, 09:42:48 AM »
I would also add that the chasm existing between Abraham and Lazarus and the man in the flame, and the fact that the man's brothers should listen to Moses and the Prophets, would indicate to me that the Saints do NOT intervene.

Why would the saints intervene for someone in hell?  The fact that Moses was able to hear and speak with the rich man is enough.
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Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2016, 09:46:09 AM »
I would also add that the chasm existing between Abraham and Lazarus and the man in the flame, and the fact that the man's brothers should listen to Moses and the Prophets, would indicate to me that the Saints do NOT intervene.

Why would the saints intervene for someone in hell?  The fact that Moses was able to hear and speak with the rich man is enough.

You have a point, but the fact that Abraham would not even send Lazarus to help the brothers STILL ALIVE indicates a bit of a problem with the whole idea. And by "hearing Moses and the Prophets, I am interpreting that as saying that the brothers should pay attention tot he Scriptures, both as reading them, and as hearing them in Synagogue. i don't think it refers to literally Moses and the Prophets speaking to the brothers in the flesh.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2016, 09:49:08 AM by Diego »

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2016, 09:55:22 AM »
I would also add that the chasm existing between Abraham and Lazarus and the man in the flame, and the fact that the man's brothers should listen to Moses and the Prophets, would indicate to me that the Saints do NOT intervene.

Why would the saints intervene for someone in hell?  The fact that Moses was able to hear and speak with the rich man is enough.

 i don't think it refers to literally Moses and the Prophets speaking to the brothers in the flesh.
That's correct.  The rich man was asking if Lazarus could be resurrected, then his living relatives would listen.  Of course, we know the resurrection is from Christ alone.  That was the point of the story.
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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2016, 05:31:35 PM »
Lutheran Church, Saints are held up as examples to follow, but not prayed to. Anglicans do similarly.
I didn't know, lutherians have Saints, I suppose you could try to ask some respected pastor or Lurther himself for help, but I doubt they will be able to assist you from hell, or you could follow their example and end up where they are.

That was just a stupid, abysmally childish response. Dude, what are you, in Fourth Grade? Grow up, and try to act your age and not your IQ.

I'm fairly certain that English is not Vanhyo's first language.  There are people from all over the world who post here, many, many have English as their second, not first language.  It is not a reflection of their intelligence.  I believe his comment was meant as an exhortation, according to his personal convictions.  It's pretty hard to fault people for their convictions when we have our own, no?
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2016, 05:40:18 PM »
Lutheran Church, Saints are held up as examples to follow, but not prayed to. Anglicans do similarly.
I didn't know, lutherians have Saints, I suppose you could try to ask some respected pastor or Lurther himself for help, but I doubt they will be able to assist you from hell, or you could follow their example and end up where they are.

That was just a stupid, abysmally childish response. Dude, what are you, in Fourth Grade? Grow up, and try to act your age and not your IQ.

I'm fairly certain that English is not Vanhyo's first language.  There are people from all over the world who post here, many, many have English as their second, not first language.  It is not a reflection of their intelligence.  I believe his comment was meant as an exhortation, according to his personal convictions.  It's pretty hard to fault people for their convictions when we have our own, no?

Whatever his native language, making the statement that Luther is in Hell is something that he can't possibly know, whether or not he is speaking in English or any other tongue. So yes, I am speaking to his intelligence, or rather, the lack thereof. It is right and good of him to speak to his agreement or lack thereof with Luther's beliefs. But to speak with such certainty as to Luther's Eternal Location is just pompous arrogance of a stupidity very rarely encountered, on this board or anywhere else.

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2016, 09:46:42 PM »
For the past month, I've been thinking over my journey and my motives, and really, there were pet convictions I wanted confirmation for.  Things I cared more about than much of anything else.  And then there was a moral situation where I thought I was making a biblical decision, and when I realized I had done the opposite, I was devastated and felt eviscerated.  I needed spiritual healing (a therapist probably wouldn't have hurt, either).  So I searched for a place that could offer both confirmation and healing.  These are convenience issues, though, and not good enough reasons to bang on the doors of the semi-local parish for who knows how many years before being let in. 

So knowing that, and knowing my one avenue into Orthodoxy is less than clear, I'm going to return to Protestantism for now

(...)

So you were facing a moral dillema, tried to reason with it according to the Bible and did the wrong thing.
Why's Orthodoxy to blame? And why is Protestantism the answer?
Since the question goes back to morality, what's the point in even looking for a religious community? If you want a moral answer, even the pagans and the "tax collectors" may very well give you one.
When it comes to what's moral, there's a great deal of similarity between the orthodox and the protestants. We all think it's a good thing to help the needy. We think adultery is wrong. Losing our self-domain to our passions is also wrong.
So I really don't understand how a moral crisis has led you to leave the Church.
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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2016, 12:56:22 AM »
Like I said, I can see praying to them (or perhaps "asking" them is a more felicitous word than "praying" to them) to pray for me. But I can't see asking them to actually do things for me. That is something that can only be asked of God. To do so is to deny God the Glory that is due only to Him alone as Father Creator, Son Redeemer, and Holy Ghost Sustainer of the Universe.

If you were able to listen to the services of the Church, you would quickly realize that we do not believe that saints do things for us independently of Christ. Most of the prayers to the saints in the offices often end with "pray to God for us" or something along those lines. We also recognize them primarily as people who have found favour with God in this life and the next, but this does not diminish their role as intercessor.

Your view of the saints as (what I take to be) "lesser gods" is a bit of a straw man that, since it had never been a part of Christian theology. Rather, it's we could only say that such a view might be applicable to certain practices within what we might call mediaeval (at least Western) "folk Christianity," wherein there is evidence of people making deals and bargaining with the saints. That said, it never had the support of the Eastern or Western churches at any point in time, so it's incorrect to ascribe such a view to Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, or Orthodoxy.

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2016, 04:38:42 AM »


Whatever his native language, making the statement that Luther is in Hell is something that he can't possibly know.

He broke his monastic vows which he took before God, angels and man, and as if his own perdition wasn't enough he married a nun.

He went own his own way preaching another gospel, telling people to sin as much as they want because according to his newly invented theology, they are saved...

And it is not like he didn't have the opportunity to repent but after a short exchange of letters with the ecumenical patriarch, seeing that that Lurther and his "theologians" are deprived, the EP cut all communications with them.

The fruits of his work today are legion of lawless cults and sects inspired by his diabolical rebellion.

My best bet is that Lurther has earned his place right next to the heresiarch Simon Magus, Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Mecedonius, Mahomet and the rest of the legion of demoniacs who work for the destruction of mankind

But as I wrote above, you can always put that to the test, just ask Lurther for help, let's see if he can help you from hell. I think you already know he can't.

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2016, 07:45:42 AM »


Whatever his native language, making the statement that Luther is in Hell is something that he can't possibly know.

He broke his monastic vows which he took before God, angels and man, and as if his own perdition wasn't enough he married a nun.

He went own his own way preaching another gospel, telling people to sin as much as they want because according to his newly invented theology, they are saved...

And it is not like he didn't have the opportunity to repent but after a short exchange of letters with the ecumenical patriarch, seeing that that Lurther and his "theologians" are deprived, the EP cut all communications with them.

The fruits of his work today are legion of lawless cults and sects inspired by his diabolical rebellion.

My best bet is that Lurther has earned his place right next to the heresiarch Simon Magus, Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Mecedonius, Mahomet and the rest of the legion of demoniacs who work for the destruction of mankind

But as I wrote above, you can always put that to the test, just ask Lurther for help, let's see if he can help you from hell. I think you already know he can't.

The end result is, you are retarded. It would help if you could even spell the man's name correctly. And we don't ask Saintly men for help the way you do, as that would take away from the Divinity of God. But its clear by your inability to spell that you have the IQ of a five year old.

Like I said, I can see praying to them (or perhaps "asking" them is a more felicitous word than "praying" to them) to pray for me. But I can't see asking them to actually do things for me. That is something that can only be asked of God. To do so is to deny God the Glory that is due only to Him alone as Father Creator, Son Redeemer, and Holy Ghost Sustainer of the Universe.

If you were able to listen to the services of the Church, you would quickly realize that we do not believe that saints do things for us independently of Christ. Most of the prayers to the saints in the offices often end with "pray to God for us" or something along those lines. We also recognize them primarily as people who have found favour with God in this life and the next, but this does not diminish their role as intercessor.

Your view of the saints as (what I take to be) "lesser gods" is a bit of a straw man that, since it had never been a part of Christian theology. Rather, it's we could only say that such a view might be applicable to certain practices within what we might call mediaeval (at least Western) "folk Christianity," wherein there is evidence of people making deals and bargaining with the saints. That said, it never had the support of the Eastern or Western churches at any point in time, so it's incorrect to ascribe such a view to Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, or Orthodoxy.

Well, Anglicanism generally does NOT invoke the Saints, but uses them as good examples. In fact, if you read the website of the Church of Ireland, that is EXACTLY what it says it does. And as a young man being raised up, and as a young adult, that is certainly what I recall it doing.

Offline mike

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2016, 07:52:31 AM »
For a person that claimed to have registered here to discuss Orthodox Liturgy you are quite active in missionarising your Protestantism in many threads. so what is the real reason you registered here, Diego? Don't be shy.
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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2016, 07:54:57 AM »
Diego,

Knock off the personal attacks. They are not allowed on this board. Thanks.

~A
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Offline Onesimus

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2016, 07:55:36 AM »
For a person that claimed to have registered here to discuss Orthodox Liturgy you are quite active in missionarising your Protestantism in many threads. so what is the real reason you registered here, Diego? Don't be shy.

Busted.    :P

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2016, 08:09:50 AM »
Fair enough. I have no desire to missionise anybody. I shall assure you all of that. But I also think that assuming the location of a dead person's eternal soul is a little much. As far as personal attacks, yes, I do get a little defensive when such attacks are made against Dr. Luther. To blame him for the subsequent divisions of Western Christianity that he had no part of is rather like blaming the Georgian Orthodox Church for Stalin just because he began reading Marxist books at seminary. A little unfair, since they had no part of it, and he did it when no one was paying attention, and on the sly.

I find the one-sided moderation a little unfair as well. Perhaps you could attempt to be more even-handed, and consider at least imposing courtesy on my interlocutor?

Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2016, 08:12:17 AM »
And Mike,  I would suggest that your response is a little immature given the fact that I have done nothing of the sort. I don't believe I have "missionised" at all. In fact, I would like you to prove to me that I have.

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2016, 08:21:58 AM »
Fair enough. I have no desire to missionise anybody. I shall assure you all of that. But I also think that assuming the location of a dead person's eternal soul is a little much. As far as personal attacks, yes, I do get a little defensive when such attacks are made against Dr. Luther. To blame him for the subsequent divisions of Western Christianity that he had no part of is rather like blaming the Georgian Orthodox Church for Stalin just because he began reading Marxist books at seminary. A little unfair, since they had no part of it, and he did it when no one was paying attention, and on the sly.

I find the one-sided moderation a little unfair as well. Perhaps you could attempt to be more even-handed, and consider at least imposing courtesy on my interlocutor?

Rejecting Protestantism is not against forum rules. Personal attacks, as well as public dispute of moderation, are, however. Please review the rules you agreed to when you signed up.

If you continue to have complaints, you can PM the Global Moderator overseeing this section,
serb1389.

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2016, 08:24:20 AM »
Diego,

I like you.  Really I do.   But you're in our house.   Act like a guest and defer to our faith beliefs.   

Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 08:25:37 AM by Onesimus »

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2016, 08:25:01 AM »
And Mike,  I would suggest that your response is a little immature given the fact that I have done nothing of the sort. I don't believe I have "missionised" at all. In fact, I would like you to prove to me that I have.

If you ask (I bolded the parts I mean)

I would also add that the chasm existing between Abraham and Lazarus and the man in the flame, and the fact that the man's brothers should listen to Moses and the Prophets, would indicate to me that the Saints do NOT intervene.

Like I said, I can see praying to them (or perhaps "asking" them is a more felicitous word than "praying" to them) to pray for me. But I can't see asking them to actually do things for me. That is something that can only be asked of God. To do so is to deny God the Glory that is due only to Him alone as Father Creator, Son Redeemer, and Holy Ghost Sustainer of the Universe.

Is conversion about Me & what will give me psychological & ideological confirmation? Or is it about realizing that Christ established a Church that He promised to protect. That would be guided into All Truth by the Holy Spirit? If it's the latter, what can one do but submit to God? Doing otherwise would be rejecting Him.

This statement is most certainly true.

Quote
If you're not convinced you should seek out the specific issues that bother you & learn why the orthodox teach the way they do & why the Catholics teach why they do & why the Lutherans have another teaching & the Calvinists yet another?

This statement needs needs qualification, in my opinion. There is very little need in my opinion to investigate Five Point Calvinism, with its Double Predestination and rejection of Free Will. There certainly is no one in history that taught such beliefs, other than Calvin and his followers.

Quote
A consequence of Protestantism being true is that all Christians before the reformation (sic), who evidently didn't hold specifically Protestant beliefs, were heretics & therefore not saved.

This is a statement that is most certainly inaccurate. As a Lutheran myself, I would contend that the Biblical writers and St. Augustine certainly held proto-Lutheran beliefs. And I think one can safely say that the cult of the Saints, and Exposition of Sacrament,and all the Medieval accretions to Church belief, would have surprised the Church Fathers, as well as Biblical authors. I do NOT mean to say that Luther was anywhere NEAR perfect. He was, as we all are, an imperfect human. But he was a humble tool for God's use.

I would also contend that EVEN if for a time the majority of Christians were wrong about matters, and those matters did lead to the Reformation, that does not mean that all those people went "unsaved' during that time. First, the concept of "saved" is a little sketchy to begin with when you are talking to Catholics, Lutherans,or Orthodox, as all three of us use it in slightly different manners. Second, according to the theory of Divine Economy, the Lord takes what knowledge people have, and judges them according to what they have.

By this I mean the following: when I was much younger, I took a dance class. Now I am not, and never have been skilled in dance. I asked the Professor how he was grading, and he said that he would test us all at the beginning to see where we were, and then would grade us according to how well we did. He did not expect us all to be Broadway dancers. This was fortunate for me, and I got a B grade in the course.

My point is that God might expect progress, but if you have never been given the option to hear the Gospel in all its purity, how can you be held responsible for the parts you have not heard?

In that sense, this idea has some relation to the concept of Divina Economia in the Church, that the Church's Mysteries are a blessing for all Orthodox, clearly, but that in rare cases, the Church might conceivably offer the Sacrament of the Altar to a Roman Catholic or a Lutheran in time of death or severe bodily injury or point.



Whatever his native language, making the statement that Luther is in Hell is something that he can't possibly know.

He broke his monastic vows which he took before God, angels and man, and as if his own perdition wasn't enough he married a nun.

He went own his own way preaching another gospel, telling people to sin as much as they want because according to his newly invented theology, they are saved...

And it is not like he didn't have the opportunity to repent but after a short exchange of letters with the ecumenical patriarch, seeing that that Lurther and his "theologians" are deprived, the EP cut all communications with them.

The fruits of his work today are legion of lawless cults and sects inspired by his diabolical rebellion.

My best bet is that Lurther has earned his place right next to the heresiarch Simon Magus, Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Mecedonius, Mahomet and the rest of the legion of demoniacs who work for the destruction of mankind

But as I wrote above, you can always put that to the test, just ask Lurther for help, let's see if he can help you from hell. I think you already know he can't.

The end result is, you are retarded. It would help if you could even spell the man's name correctly. And we don't ask Saintly men for help the way you do, as that would take away from the Divinity of God. But its clear by your inability to spell that you have the IQ of a five year old.

Like I said, I can see praying to them (or perhaps "asking" them is a more felicitous word than "praying" to them) to pray for me. But I can't see asking them to actually do things for me. That is something that can only be asked of God. To do so is to deny God the Glory that is due only to Him alone as Father Creator, Son Redeemer, and Holy Ghost Sustainer of the Universe.

If you were able to listen to the services of the Church, you would quickly realize that we do not believe that saints do things for us independently of Christ. Most of the prayers to the saints in the offices often end with "pray to God for us" or something along those lines. We also recognize them primarily as people who have found favour with God in this life and the next, but this does not diminish their role as intercessor.

Your view of the saints as (what I take to be) "lesser gods" is a bit of a straw man that, since it had never been a part of Christian theology. Rather, it's we could only say that such a view might be applicable to certain practices within what we might call mediaeval (at least Western) "folk Christianity," wherein there is evidence of people making deals and bargaining with the saints. That said, it never had the support of the Eastern or Western churches at any point in time, so it's incorrect to ascribe such a view to Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, or Orthodoxy.

Well, Anglicanism generally does NOT invoke the Saints, but uses them as good examples. In fact, if you read the website of the Church of Ireland, that is EXACTLY what it says it does. And as a young man being raised up, and as a young adult, that is certainly what I recall it doing.

Examples of you preaching your Protestant heresies in sections you are specifically not supposed to.

Take in mind I have not included your posts from sections hetherodox are not forbidden to preach their beliefs.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 08:26:10 AM by mike »
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Offline Diego

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2016, 08:34:17 AM »
Mike, that's called exchange of ideas. Not preaching Protestantism. There is a difference. I am surprised you don't know the difference.

Onesimus, that is a fair request, and I believe I have, for the most part, complied with it.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2016, 11:54:40 AM »
For the past month, I've been thinking over my journey and my motives, and really, there were pet convictions I wanted confirmation for.  Things I cared more about than much of anything else.  And then there was a moral situation where I thought I was making a biblical decision, and when I realized I had done the opposite, I was devastated and felt eviscerated.  I needed spiritual healing (a therapist probably wouldn't have hurt, either).  So I searched for a place that could offer both confirmation and healing.  These are convenience issues, though, and not good enough reasons to bang on the doors of the semi-local parish for who knows how many years before being let in. 

So knowing that, and knowing my one avenue into Orthodoxy is less than clear, I'm going to return to Protestantism for now

(...)

So you were facing a moral dillema, tried to reason with it according to the Bible and did the wrong thing.
Why's Orthodoxy to blame? And why is Protestantism the answer?
Since the question goes back to morality, what's the point in even looking for a religious community? If you want a moral answer, even the pagans and the "tax collectors" may very well give you one.
When it comes to what's moral, there's a great deal of similarity between the orthodox and the protestants. We all think it's a good thing to help the needy. We think adultery is wrong. Losing our self-domain to our passions is also wrong.
So I really don't understand how a moral crisis has led you to leave the Church.

I'm sorry the original post wasn't clear.  I have a thoroughly Protestant background (that's virtually unavoidable in the American South).  So I was already starting from a Scriptural perspective, however limited and flawed, when all of that cropped up.  Asking the world wasn't an option, plus I already knew its position.  The moral dilemma and fallout was what led me to Orthodoxy (its doorstep anyway) about 4 years ago.  It's been in recent weeks that I've been reflecting on all of that and realizing that my motives have been less than pure and balanced.   :-\

It's ok if the whole thing doesn't make sense, and it's not at all a route I'm advising others to take.  I know my own heart, though, and I've learned not to ignore it.  My goal in sharing is simply to let others see some small part of one person's twisty way.  For what purpose and to what end, I don't know; that part isn't up to me.  But I do hope it's not for discouragement.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2016, 12:08:34 PM »

If you were able to listen to the services of the Church, you would quickly realize that we do not believe that saints do things for us independently of Christ. Most of the prayers to the saints in the offices often end with "pray to God for us" or something along those lines.  We also recognize them primarily as people who have found favour with God in this life and the next, but this does not diminish their role as intercessor.

Your view of the saints as (what I take to be) "lesser gods" is a bit of a straw man that, since it had never been a part of Christian theology. Rather, it's we could only say that such a view might be applicable to certain practices within what we might call mediaeval (at least Western) "folk Christianity," wherein there is evidence of people making deals and bargaining with the saints. That said, it never had the support of the Eastern or Western churches at any point in time, so it's incorrect to ascribe such a view to Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, or Orthodoxy.

Thank you for posting this explanation.  :) 

Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

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Re: Doubting my motives and back-tracking, for real this time
« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2016, 01:06:27 PM »
I am locking this topic for a period of cool down. I ask all of you to read the Purpose of the Convert Issues Forum . Think about how you can respond utilizing the ideals of this purpose:

Beloved in the Lord,

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted could ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Many of those posting in this area are ignorant of Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches. Due to the simplicity of many of their requests and responses, direct and simple answers with sources if possible are most helpful.

If the moderators find that the discussions become faith or jurisdiction debates, the topic will be split and sent the appropriate OC.Net forum to continue the discussion or debate. As a poster, You may also ask that a topic be split so that a private discussion can be established to go into detail about the issues that you feel adamant about and wish to debate or discuss. The convert forum is not a place for combative debate or argument. 

Thank you for your following these guidelines to the edification and spiritual growth of the forum inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted.

In Christ,
Thomas
Convert Forum Moderator
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 01:07:50 PM by Thomas »
Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas