Of those people on these boards who believe firmly and unequivocably that the our Orthodox Christian faith is the true one, please try to convince me that it is. I need some apologetics here, I.E. proofs why the religion is true, not just information about why you think the church is "cool".
Well, what you're asking is a difficult thing to answer! I think you could open a whole can of epistemological worms here... but that wouldn't lead you anywhere productive. On the other hand, if you don't open that can, how do you know that you are going about things correctly? Similarly, how do you know that I am right in whatever I say? Or if you reject what I say, how do you know that I'm wrong? Against what truths, or using what methodology, would you judge me?ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I don't mean to be questioning you my friend, I'm asking rhetorically. I'm just trying to preface my post here with a few wandering thoughts, about how difficult such questions are, how much of a tangled web we can sometimes intellectually weave. I'm not going to bore you (and do you no good) with all that stuff; I'll try to speak plainly. In speaking that way, I'll probably come off sounding triumphalistic, arrogant, etc. I don't know what to say other than, these are just my thoughts, and I don't begrudge someone having contradictory thoughts, this is just what I believe, this is the type of stuff that convinced me that Orthodoxy was where God wanted me. It is also what makes me stay, even when I have immense doubts about just about everything in life. I guess the best way I can explain it is just to give the logical progression of my thoughts... when I have major doubts arise, I question myself, I interrogate myself, really. These are what the answers are like...
I believe that there is a God, and I am not him.
I believe that the Christian Bible's version of God is truthful and accurate. (I don't like the word version, but I'm not sure how else to put it).
I believe the early Church's view of God, Jesus, etc. is accurate. That means that Jesus is God, and yet was a man as well.
I believe that the Bible can be trusted in matters of faith.
I believe that God founded a Church, because He (ie. Jesus) said He did, and Paul confirmed it with many intersting metaphors.
I believe that this Church is visible, hierarchal, worshipful, prayerful, etc., because the Scripture says it is, and this describes the early Christians.
I believe that chaos and sin can enter the Church, even must enter it (according to St. Paul), and that this is to be expected.
I believe that the Orthodox Church most closely matches the Church that I see in Scripture, the early Church history, and the early Fathers.
I believe that the Orthodox Church teaches what the early Church taught, to a great extent.
I believe that where the OC and early Church differ in teachings and practices, these teachings and practices are secondary and liable to change from time to time (e.g. Liturgy).
I believe that the Orthodox bishops, whatever their faults, are successors to the Apostles, and that the concept of Apostolic succession is present from the beginning in the Church.
I believe that there are no other options. Anglicanism, Catholicism, and some others have many good points, but I don't consider them options for many important reasons.
So if I believe all this, where can I turn? Not to agnosticism. Not to another Christian Church. Not to a non-Christian Church. Thus, I continue on, as best I can (which isn't very good many times!)ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š And eventually God allows me to leave the valley and get a nice view of Orthodoxy from the mountain-top, and it is then that I remember, at least for a moment, what it is truly like to be Orthodox. I spend most of my time in the valleys, but I hope to someday spend most of my days in the mountains. Until then, I just continue on as best I can.