Author Topic: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?  (Read 1493 times)

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Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #45 on: October 17, 2017, 10:39:34 AM »
Also, I always say to them One, Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, because the C word is not permitted in my house.
Why can't even the word catholic be mentioned in your house?  What is this that happens so strongly in American Protestantism?  Is it because it's the faith of them foreigners?
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #46 on: October 17, 2017, 10:43:12 AM »
How do I deal with the Orthodox part of my family  :P
Why, you become Orthodox, of course! :P

More seriously, it's usually easier when one of the spouses in a mixed faith marriage is not devout in his church.  When both spouses are zealous about their faiths, a certain vein of tribalism may underpin the barrier to dialog and conversion.  It's a very difficult situation.  My prayers go out to you and your family.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2017, 10:45:21 AM »
But sadly, this is because my parents know next to nothing about their own religion, I had to study the basics of Christianity from scratch because they never taught me anything to begin with, or if they did, it was in a very bad way.
In many Evangelical circles I notice a not so subtle disdain for objective study of the faith, leading to a legion of distortions in Christianity, as the spiraling number of such denominations shows.
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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2017, 07:03:46 PM »
Quote
Basically, the crux of the matter is that they have a huge issue with my stance on the Orthodox Church being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. They see this position as elitism and as me conveying a sense of superiority over them. I have explained that this is not the vibe I am trying to give off, but at the same time this is not my own personal opinion... it has nothing to do with my opinion and certainly nothing to do with my own individual relationship with God (as I am still a lowly sinner at best) but this is simply the fact of the matter. I feel it is an undeniable fact which is rooted in history and is also what the Church says about itself. Therefore, as a member of the Church this is simply the position I take. Brothers and sisters, why must this be so offensive to them?
Deemphasize the one, holy, Catholic bit and stress things about Orthodoxy that are mentioned in the Reply #39.  Also, can you invite your relatives to something informal?  It will place them in a low pressure situation and show them that Orthodox are just normal people -- not elitists.

Thanks for this. My father and stepmother have both been to my parish. Actually, my father has been twice now. He said he loved it and would go back, but couldn't see himself becoming a member or anything like that. My stepmom also mentioned that she liked it but didn't say much more than that. I tried to get my sister and brother-in-law out to the Greek festival that happened here recently so that they could at least tour the church and enjoy a fun evening, but they were unable to go at the last minute due to not being able to find a sitter for their one year old. Anyway, my family is not entirely opposed to Orthodoxy or anything like that, but when we get onto topics regarding doctrine, theology, etc. it tends to get a bit heated. Although, this could be my perception of it and maybe not the feeling of the entire room because both times I called the person I got into the "debate" with the next day and they said that they just saw it as a casual discussion and nothing more.

I am going to try to live out the faith as much as possible, both behind closed doors and around others and also maybe lovingly show them some things that were mentioned in the list above by rakovsky (thanks for that list by the way! :)) I will say though, there is absolutely no sense of Tradition in their minds, anything with the "t" word is automatically deemed "traditions of men". This is sad because I see Tradition as an expression of the Holy Spirit within the life of the Church, but to me that is something that one has to experience, it can't just be intellectualized. So as much as I want to tell them about all these things, I really don't think they (or anyone else for that matter) are going to understand until they "come and see". I will keep inviting them to things when the opportunity arises.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #49 on: October 18, 2017, 01:23:29 AM »
Quote
Basically, the crux of the matter is that they have a huge issue with my stance on the Orthodox Church being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. They see this position as elitism and as me conveying a sense of superiority over them. I have explained that this is not the vibe I am trying to give off, but at the same time this is not my own personal opinion... it has nothing to do with my opinion and certainly nothing to do with my own individual relationship with God (as I am still a lowly sinner at best) but this is simply the fact of the matter. I feel it is an undeniable fact which is rooted in history and is also what the Church says about itself. Therefore, as a member of the Church this is simply the position I take. Brothers and sisters, why must this be so offensive to them?
Deemphasize the one, holy, Catholic bit and stress things about Orthodoxy that are mentioned in the Reply #39. 

Here is another list I found. The original poster can also mention music and architecture. It is nice that they liked the orthodox service that they attended.

Quote
Among the elements which make up the Holy Tradition of the Church, the Bible holds the first place. Next comes the Church’s liturgical life and its prayer, then its dogmatic decisions and the acts of its approved churchly councils, the writings of the church fathers, the lives of the saints, the canon laws, and finally the iconographic tradition together with the other inspired forms of creative artistic expression such as music and architecture.
https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/sources-of-christian-doctrine/tradition
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Nicodemusz138

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #50 on: October 19, 2017, 05:41:17 PM »
Also, I always say to them One, Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, because the C word is not permitted in my house.
Why can't even the word catholic be mentioned in your house?  What is this that happens so strongly in American Protestantism?  Is it because it's the faith of them foreigners?

Hah, do not take it too seriously! (I'm not american, by the way, but their kind of Protestantism is 100% 'murican) as the more I introduce them to Orthodoxy, I try to do it in a language they will understand, avoiding words which can be, umm, unnecessary, I am still reluctant to say sentences such as Saint Paul, Virgin Mary, Mass (I say service), etc.

I feel there is something wrong with this, it feels that I am lying to them about what Orthodoxy really is, when I told them that they do not have communion with Rome, my dad immediately highlited them as Protestant, therefore, a good thing, not being in communion with Rome = Good.

The most alien thing I so far told them just to see their reaction, is that you sometimes kiss the hand of a priest, my mom said she would immediately walk away, I also told about confession, and got anti-RC insults spewed out again.

...If this is what would happen with a priest, then I am not sure what would happen with an Icon, to make matters worse, the church they frequent has some hymns which mention idols and whatnot.

Both my parents were RC until their early teenage years, and both always told me since I was young that they had an absolutely terrible experience with it, mainly due to the state of RCism at the time.

But ultimately, they are fine with me, sure, they will argue, but they are as ecumenical as they can get, it does not matters which church I join as long as I find home in the Lord.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 05:46:28 PM by Nicodemusz138 »
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Offline Nathanael

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2017, 05:55:40 PM »
Quote
I feel it is an undeniable fact which is rooted in history and is also what the Church says about itself. Therefore, as a member of the Church this is simply the position I take. Brothers and sisters, why must this be so offensive to them?

Many people think that the solution to fundamentalism and elitism is in relativism, but it's not - it's in humility.
OUR TRUE IDENTITY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mgdZZfVUh4

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Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #52 on: October 21, 2017, 11:07:27 AM »
Both my parents were RC until their early teenage years, and both always told me since I was young that they had an absolutely terrible experience with it, mainly due to the state of RCism at the time.
In my personal experience, ex catholics make the worst anti catholics, which may spill over to any other ecclesiological and liturgical Church like the Orthodox.

My prayers go up for you.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 11:07:45 AM by Sharbel »
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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2017, 12:10:50 PM »
Both my parents were RC until their early teenage years, and both always told me since I was young that they had an absolutely terrible experience with it, mainly due to the state of RCism at the time.
In my personal experience, ex catholics make the worst anti catholics, which may spill over to any other ecclesiological and liturgical Church like the Orthodox.

My prayers go up for you.

Nicodemusz138, I can relate to your experience with your parents! It is very similar with mine. I'm just glad they were willing to come to my church and that they had a positive experience there, even if they don't agree with everything.

And Sharbel, you are spot on with that comment, my stepmom is an ex-Roman Catholic and is highly anti-Catholic and is very wary of anything that looks remotely similar. My dad seems to be more open when I talk about things like praying to Saints, confession, actual Body and Blood of Christ, etc. But my stepmom seems to get uncomfortable when discussing these topics as if it is a haunting reminder of her Catholic childhood.

I think that's their issue with accepting the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church saying too, because it seems too "Catholic" to them and is therefore suspicious in their minds. My dad even said, "That is something a Roman Catholic would say..." as if it was very wrong for me to utter such words. However, like Nicodemusz138 said, they are at least happy that I am following the Lord Jesus Christ and for that I can be grateful. Before this I had been immersed in Gaudiya Vaishnavism for a number of years, so they are just glad that I am at least a Christian again :laugh:.
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Offline Nicodemusz138

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #54 on: October 21, 2017, 01:19:58 PM »
Both my parents were RC until their early teenage years, and both always told me since I was young that they had an absolutely terrible experience with it, mainly due to the state of RCism at the time.
In my personal experience, ex catholics make the worst anti catholics, which may spill over to any other ecclesiological and liturgical Church like the Orthodox.

My prayers go up for you.

Nicodemusz138, I can relate to your experience with your parents! It is very similar with mine. I'm just glad they were willing to come to my church and that they had a positive experience there, even if they don't agree with everything.

And Sharbel, you are spot on with that comment, my stepmom is an ex-Roman Catholic and is highly anti-Catholic and is very wary of anything that looks remotely similar. My dad seems to be more open when I talk about things like praying to Saints, confession, actual Body and Blood of Christ, etc. But my stepmom seems to get uncomfortable when discussing these topics as if it is a haunting reminder of her Catholic childhood.

I think that's their issue with accepting the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church saying too, because it seems too "Catholic" to them and is therefore suspicious in their minds. My dad even said, "That is something a Roman Catholic would say..." as if it was very wrong for me to utter such words. However, like Nicodemusz138 said, they are at least happy that I am following the Lord Jesus Christ and for that I can be grateful. Before this I had been immersed in Gaudiya Vaishnavism for a number of years, so they are just glad that I am at least a Christian again :laugh:.

Thank you! :D, the mentality works like this, "If you are comfortable there, then stay there", does not matters which church (everything they know about the Orthodox Church comes from me), just like your parents, they might one day or so attend, but may not become members (not even I know if I will be one).

My parents have nothing against catholics, since they have lots of catholic friends, they dislike its clergy, not accepting the One, True Church, as they see it as a dictatorship and of course that misconception that the clergy are worshipped and are prophets/divine and you must obey absolutely everything they say or you will be damned.

They also trash talked the Orthodox a little after they saw a site mentioning obedience and submission to the church, but this is mostly comes through the part of my father who is a die hard, internet NWO/Illuminati conspiracy theorist :( Lord have mercy on him!
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Offline Nicodemusz138

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #55 on: October 21, 2017, 01:28:57 PM »
But sadly, this is because my parents know next to nothing about their own religion, I had to study the basics of Christianity from scratch because they never taught me anything to begin with, or if they did, it was in a very bad way.
In many Evangelical circles I notice a not so subtle disdain for objective study of the faith, leading to a legion of distortions in Christianity, as the spiraling number of such denominations shows.

This lack of knowledge resulted mainly due to the fact that my parents changed church-for-church countless times in their lives, from what I can remember, after leaving the RCC, they have so far been Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Prosperity Gospel Football Stadium Neopentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, Pseudo-Jewish Hebrew/Messianic Roots, Baptist, with recently almost joining the Jehovah's Witnesses (if it wasn't by my direct intervention), and finally, to "Non Denominational" Evangelical where they currently are, so far they appear to have stopped for now, I pray that this is where they finally found home in the Lord (they, not me), their faith is an absolute endless trainride! Lord have mercy on my parents!

And the weirdest part is that... they are okay with this!, like I said before, all churches are true as long as they teach Jesus teachings, so they see no big deal changing all the time, how can anyone have an objective study of the faith with this?
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

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Offline Sharbel

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2017, 12:02:25 AM »
In many Evangelical circles I notice a not so subtle disdain for objective study of the faith, leading to a legion of distortions in Christianity, as the spiraling number of such denominations shows.
... they are okay with this!, like I said before, all churches are true as long as they teach Jesus teachings, so they see no big deal changing all the time, how can anyone have an objective study of the faith with this?
Good point!
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2017, 10:53:37 PM »
Yet, what Jesus taught was that there was one Church, and that one cannot be saved by faith alone.

So, it's a wonder how one could say a Church is good as long as it teaches what Jesus taught. Most Churches don't teach what Jesus taught.
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: How Do I Deal with My Protestant Family?
« Reply #58 on: October 25, 2017, 09:29:07 PM »
Yet, what Jesus taught was that there was one Church, and that one cannot be saved by faith alone.

So, it's a wonder how one could say a Church is good as long as it teaches what Jesus taught. Most Churches don't teach what Jesus taught.
If faith were enough all by it's lonesome, why did Jesus need to die?
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