The contrast between real life and the internet never ceases to amaze me. Some of my best friends at seminary are converts to Orthodoxy from Protestant backgrounds. They have a real love for their new faith, and a respect for the good things given to them by their old faith. Others are "cradle". They too have a real love for their faith, which their families have clung to for many decades and centuries, with some of them having kept it from the time St. Thomas the Apostle brought the Gospel to our Indian shores. Admittedly, both groups have problems, and if I had to simplify them, I'd say cradles need to learn to open up more to those "outside" in order to proclaim the Gospel, and converts need to learn to chill and be humble. But I don't like to simplify.
Having said that, I am going to be a little "not nice"...
It's my experience so far that people coming from protestant backgrounds make much better Christians than that of the ethnic orthodox themselves.
As an ethnic Orthodox, I think this is BS (propriety, and our filters, prevent me from saying it the way I'd like to say it). Better Christians
? Judging from some of the Orthodox converts from Protestant backgrounds here, I'm not impressed with your Christianity.
I even see it here on this forum where the majority of the people came from similar backgrounds & then converted to Orthodoxy.Why aren't there more ethnic Orthodox here? I don't understand this because these people have had the Orthodox faith for generations, but yet they treat it like some kind of cultural get together.
Hmm, why aren't there more ethnics here? Probably because, unlike WASP's whose families have been sufficiently well-established in this country and so don't have all that much to struggle against (comparatively speaking), the ethnics who come over from the "old countries" with the Orthodox faith people like you convert to have to struggle against all sorts of things. They need to become proficient in the English language if they weren't already. They need to find a job. They need to support their families with that job, as well as pay all the bills. They need to overcome various biases they encounter in the work place and socially. They need to send their kids to school, where the kids face various obstacles, and then they have to deal with that over the years in such a way that they can keep their kids on the right path instead of allowing their kids to hang out with the "wrong crowd" (which is probably full of WASP twerps who weren't raised right by their families) in the name of being accepted and then turn out just as bad. Often, the "ethnic" parish is the only place they can go where they feel they are understood and accepted. When you have that much on your plate (and really there's more that could be said), you don't have time to tool around on the internet talking about how the local [name your SCOBA jurisdiction of choice] parish is bad for not drawing the curtains and closing the doors at the proper moments in the Liturgy, or which prayerbook has the best translation, or if headcoverings are optional, or how the Republican party platform aligns best with Orthodoxy, or how Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Moby, hip hop, and God knows what else are able to communicate the Gospel to our generation. These people worry about life; in comparison, you worry about trifles.
You sound like someone who's never been lived in an all-ethnic parish. I was raised in one. I know these people; I'm one of them. Typically, they have to deal with real life, but they salt it all with prayer: spontaneous prayer in the morning and in the evening, often coupled with praying privately the Offices of the Church, at least in part. They pray with their families at night, and read the Bible together. Their difficult lives don't afford them the luxury of being able to learn Koine Greek so as to understand the New Testament better, or having time to read St. Basil's complete works. They pray, they work, they celebrate the sacraments, they encourage one another in their struggles, and when a genuinely interested American comes to visit and maybe even join the Church, they welcome them warmly. Sounds kinda like the Book of Acts, my friend.
But go ahead, tell me that converts from Protestantism to Orthodoxy make better Christians
, and I'll tell you about my mother, who worked 12-hour shifts as an RN every weekend for years
while her kids were in school so that she could be home more often for them after her husband and their father died. She sacrificed more than you could imagine so that she could provide for her kids, and especially for me--she's sent me to college and now seminary on her own money so that I won't be in debt when I set out to serve the Church. But because she's an ethnic Orthodox who for years chose to work on the weekends and be off Monday through Friday rather than go to Sunday Liturgy, I suppose you are a better Christian. (Hint: her life is liturgy.)
The kind of nonsense quoted above really infuriates me. I hold no contempt for the poster, and ask his forgiveness if I've offended him, but I do think he needs to think a little more deeply about this stuff before he generalises.