When you say "My church does", this demands clarification.
I'm not looking to discuss these particular points of contention, but will just say that it involves things such as intercessory prayers, transubstantiation, confession and absolution, and fasting. 1. Orthodoxy doesn't demand Transubstantiation. There are Orthodox who believe in Luther's version of a direct objective presence of Christ's body in Spirit form, just like Christ was in the wall or locked door in John 20. Pope Gelasius for instance taught the Lutheran version. The issue was not settled for us at an ecumenical council like it was for the Roman church (Council of Trent).
My church does; and indeed Luther and some High Church Protestants believed in the real presence. At the moment, the latter aren't of any real consequence to me.
The Bible teaches the Real Presence in numerous places. There are two forms of Real Presence.
1) Luther, the pre-schism 5th century famous Pope Gelasius, and very many High Church Anglicans in fact do teach a form of Real Presence, whereby the Lord's Body in real Spirit Form is directly in the physical bread itself on the table, like it actually passed through the physical door in John 20 in a Spiritlike form. This is not Transubstantiation.
2) RCs, the famous 5th century Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria, and the 17th c. local EO Synod of Jerusalem teach Transubstantiation
whereby the physical bread's substance is changed into physical body substance.
To the best of my knowledge either 1 or 2 is acceptable for Orthodox to hold as a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, to which you belong. I have read writings by EOs holding to either 1 or 2 above. We have no Ecumenical Council picking either 1 or 2 as infallible dogma.
2. Fasting is normal. Christ said some spirits can't be driven out except by prayer and fasting. My Mom as a liberal Protestant did fasting once. I see no problem. Judaism has fasting and that's what Jesus and the apostles came out of.
Fasting is not commanded by scripture,
Fasting is promoted
many times in scripture as an important way to have a positive prayer status, as in Daniel 10:2-3, in talking about Esther's three day fast, John the Baptist's diet, and other places where it is " invoked as having any actual spiritual value".
Just because something is NOT COMMANDED, does not make it WRONG, which is what your objection is. You are drastically mistakenly objecting that it is WRONG because it was not something God forced or demanded
people to do.
3. For confession and absolution: Do you believe that Jesus gave the apostles the power to forgive sins, as the gospels claim? Confession is a rite in the Anglican and Lutheran churches too. I don't necessarily see a problem there either.
No, I don't, as the scriptures don't say that an intermediary priest has the ability to speak on God's behalf and pronounce a confessant absolved of one or more sins.
It says that Jesus gave the apostles the power to bind and loose the guilt of sins, effective in heaven.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. – Matthew 16: 13-20
John 20 says:
22When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.” 24
Do you believe these verses are true?
Understanding the issue beings with this verse.
I extract nothing of spiritual value from Orthodox service - to me, it's just theater, with lots of incense, chanting, lights, and so on with no substance.Do you believe in praising God in a full, heartfelt sincere way?
Yes, hence my concern. I fail to see how standing through 90 minutes of the same increasingly-less inspiring swinging of censers, lighting of candles, Slavonic chants, babushki kissing icons, and short sermons almost always focused on some saint are demonstrating that praise.
OK, this is a problem on your part. You are saying that the people praying and praising God in Orthodox churches are not sincere in their prayers and praise. You obviously fail to understand anything of how they feel and just look at them like robots in church, as if they brainlessly do physical actions and have no heart feelings of worship.
This is a basic problem of understanding other humans. It's kind of like being an atheist, except it's on the level of relating directly to other Christians instead of relating directly to God. It must be pretty tough on your wife if you feel she doesn't feel anything for God inside when she prays, which you only see as fake "prayer" and fake prays.
I can explain why the bells and songs are not fake, but it should be obvious at an intuitive level of connecting with and relating to other humans too at a very fundamental level.
Did you go through a serious catechesis of more than a month?
Almost a year, and being close friends with out priest's children, are at a clergyman's house for dinner almost every week, giving us exceptional access to that trove of spiritual wealth. It evidently still hasn't convinced me.
Let's pick something simple. Pick one of the four things I listed above in bold and you and I can talk. Each one of them is compatible with traditional Protestantism.
Compatibility with Protestantism isn't what I'm looking for, and if it was, I'd just go back to Protestantism.
Problem there is you started out by saying that your big problem with Orthodoxy was that you kept seeing Protestant objections to Orthodox experiences as correct.
Now you are saying Protestant doctrines' incompatibility with Orthodox aspects is not even a concern for you.
Makes it kind of hard to address your issues, sorry.