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family issues

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Julina, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. Julina

    Julina Veteran

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    ok so my parents really really reeaallllyy do not want me to go to The Orthodox church. they're not forcing me to leave it or anything, but they are strongly recommend it.

    they make the excuse that my friend (who drives me to church and with whom i am in a huge fight when we're not at church) hurt me once already and it would just hurt me again to keep going to church with him. they don't want my head to be clouded with thoughts of him or our situation during the service.

    they recommended that i find what i like about the Orthodox church, and maybe find another church where i can find those. the problem is, there really isn't any other church. the closest one might be Catholic, but that is still missing so much. then again, there's a Catholic church right next to the Orthodox church in my town so if i change my mind i can just walk on over there (ok, no).

    and today my dad told me that he has some "reservations" about the Orthodox church.

    of course, they tell me i'm an adult and i can make my own decisions, but would i be disrespecting them if i didn't do what they want?

    they say that God won't be mad at me if i go to a different church. i guess they have a point, but i just really don't know what is the right thing to do right now.

    sometimes i really feel torn between my religion and my family. has anyone else had this problem? and how did you deal?
     
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  2. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,119
    Eastern Orthodox
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    I had a similar experience.

    My whole family was Catholic until the stupid bishop (won't mention his name) in the 1970s made a comment that it would be better if a Catholic smoked pot than discriminate against Blacks.

    What a horrible thing to say! Both are wrong and sinful. (If you disagree, then start a new thread, I dare you.) So quite a few Catholics agreed and started to smoke pot.

    My parents left the pot smoking parish and joined the Baptist Church. Then they told me that I was being disobedient to them and that God would cut my life short for failing to honor my parents. They provided Bible texts to prove their claims.

    I was 20, the same age as you are.

    I cried and begged God to help me. I was not happy being a Catholic, but I could not become a Protestant. I did not know what to do. So, I followed my heart and entered a cloistered community of nuns. My parents really freaked out then. Then when the nuns had a retreat about Buddhism, I left. My aunt introduced me to the Maronites, and I joined the Melkite Church. The Melkite Church opened me up to Orthodoxy ... and now I am an Orthodox Christian because I asked, "if we are Orthodox in Communion with Rome, why aren't we in communion with Orthodoxy who has produced so many millions of saints (including the martyrs of Russia)?"
     
  3. Damaris

    Damaris Active Member

    937
    +6
    Eastern Orthodox
    Have you tried inviting your parents to Divine Liturgy with you?

    Maybe you can schedule a sit-down session with the priest after coffee hour, where your parents can air the "reservations" and get a handle on why you can't just "go to a different church".
     
  4. Julina

    Julina Veteran

    +136
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    they're miles and miles away from me, so sadly that wouldn't be possible anytime soon.
     
  5. Damaris

    Damaris Active Member

    937
    +6
    Eastern Orthodox
    Have you spoken to the priest yourself about your situation and asked him what to do?

    Maybe your parents could go to a different Orthodox church that is closer to them.
     
  6. cassc

    cassc Veteran- I am an Orthodox Christian

    +65
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    I do not have the same issues that you are having with your parents because was raised Orthodox, but I know that there are a bunch of others TAW members who have/had very similar issues and I hope they speak up or PM you. Just remember that unlike various Protestant denominations were there are a dozen or so that are all basically the same, Orthodoxy is special. It is the faith of the apostles unchanged given to us in the modern day through an unintrupeted linage and the Grace of the Holy Spirit. You can't just "find that" in another church, becuase it doesn't exisit, not even in the Catholic church and certainly not in any other.

    I get where your parents are coming from, if my daughters lived far from me and was going through a lot of truble with a guy and the main thing that tied her to him was the church she was attending I'd want her out too. The are your parents they love you and they worry about you, but religion is not some club. By the grace of God you were brought to Orthodoxy- it is really lousy that this boy is making that hard for you now, but your faith is too important, I really believe that God will provide a way to let the to of you coexist at the same Parish with out it causing you harm. After all when you are suffering is when you most belong at home (in the Orthodox Church).

    Sorry to rant but I really feel for your situation!
     
  7. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

    +1,484
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Prayers that your situation be resolved. Lord have mercy.:crosseo:
     
  8. Xpycoctomos

    Xpycoctomos Well-Known Member

    +603
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    it is also misses the entire point to suggest that you "find what i like about the Orthodox church, and maybe find another church where i can find those" becuase in the end, what we need to "like" about the Church is that it is THE Church. After that, there may be things we don't like, but that's for us to work out and understand. The protestant mentality constnatly has to work to reconstruct the Church. And while their goal is to be as much like the ancient Church as possible, there isn't a map for that so over time the blanks were filled in by what they "liked" and soon religion become a reflection of US rather than God.

    My wife, when she became Orthodox actually LIKED the Catholic Church better. She was more comfortable there. She liked the melodies, she liked this nad that and so on. But she came to the realization that the Orthodox Church is THE Church... so what does she follow... what she likes or what she knows to be true?

    Your parents position is very understandable and I can respect it when I take into account their disposition and lack of positive or direct contact with the Orthodox Church. But they are treating your search as if it were a hobby. Again, from their mentality, it is completely understandable, but you know now, that what you "like" is not really the question. You are searching for the True Church. Not the Church that is most like the Ancient Church, not the Church that you feel most comfortable in. The True Church.

    Xpy
     
  9. Xpycoctomos

    Xpycoctomos Well-Known Member

    +603
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    By the way, I can relate to your experience. My mom was really against it, but oddly enough, I think she respected more why I HAD to be Orthodox than my dad. My mom, at least, understands the idea of being exclusive as not being a bad thing. My family is Lutheran and they practice closed communion. She agrees with it. So did I. So, she gets that you don't pick and choose and just follow your personal feelings. That beliefs matter.

    But my dad hates all of that stuff. He hates closed communion and so you can imagine that while it was difficult for my mom to understand the idea of being the One true Church (and not just a denomination) to my dad it was the most pompous thing that could ever be said. He was hoping I would just find a really superliturgical lutheran parish which I did find. But it was sooo difficult for him to understand why I finally decided I had to leave for the Orthodox Church. That was an intense conversation and he said some pretty terrible things about the OC in his anger (in his ignorance which I hope God recognizes).

    just so you know, my parents (who were both agaisnt my conversion although for some different reasons) are the same people today but things are cool. They love me and they have not shunned me. I know my mom still hopes for my ultimate reconversion to the Lutheran Church and my dad still thinks it is pompous and stupid to beleive what we do. But they both respect that I am Orthodox, that I don't come to CHurch with them on Easter (unless I can fit both in) or Christmas and that our son is being raised Orthodox and goes always to Church with us every single week. They respect that we aren't into mixing traditions as if we're just another denomination. They may not agree.. but they respect. And I can tell you that now when the OC is brought up the usual tension that used to linger in the room is no longer there (almost never :)).

    So, as bad as things are now, your parents seem respectful enough of you as an individual and I am sure that if you become Orthodox over time, things will go back to normal (probably quicker than you think)

    Hope that helps!

    Xpy
     
  10. Barky

    Barky Member Supporter

    867
    +80
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    I know about family pressure too.

    My cousin is a nun in the Roman Church, you can imagine the situation. Many still think I am simply "searching" and don't realzie my cemented foundation in Orthodoxy. Lord knows what will happen when my chrismation approaches. Until then, I think I can expect a lot of pushes into adoration.... my cousin was really pushing to "just try it". I suppose they will see an arrogance and pride from me not granting their requests, but hopefully they will also start questioning things themselves about Rome.

    The Lord's will be done, I can only work out my own salvation, as much as my prideful sould would like to save others. Lord have mercy on me.
     
  11. Anhelyna

    Anhelyna Handmaid of God CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

    +14,531
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    Julina

    You could also try this way :)

    Don't actually talk about it for a while - if questions come up listen to what they say , say [ oh very politely :) ] that you don't agree but will think about it - and change the subject.

    If asked - then yes - you have thought about what they say and comment along the lines of ' Sorry , my view has not changed - and yes I thought long and hard .'

    Eventually they will accept that you are becoming Orthodox - and have thought and studied and your decision has been an informed one. Secretly they will probably be proud of the fact that you have done all this investigation and made the commitment . They will appreciate the fact that you have not allowed yourself to be swayed by pressure.

    Your parents may never understand WHY you converted but hopefully they will accept it with good grace. After all I'm sure your father struggled with accepting the fact that he was being led to Ordained Ministry - it was possibly a long time till he accepted that , and his parents may not have welcomed it at the time.

    Yes we bring our children up in the way we would like them to go - but ultimately it is God who indicates to us where He wants us to be. He led your father one way - and now He is leading you another - take things slowly - you have plenty of time
     
  12. Julina

    Julina Veteran

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    really?! I didn't know Lutherans did that
     
  13. Julina

    Julina Veteran

    +136
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    your post just reminded me that both my parents converted to Episcopalianism. my dad was Roman Catholic (he wanted to be a priest and have a family but RCs can't have it both ways) and my mom was Presbyterian. so maybe they're more understanding than i think about my converting. they're probably just worried about my emotional health (and for good reason, too)
     
  14. Shubunkin

    Shubunkin Antiochian Orthodox Christian

    +593
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Once you have grasped the True Diamond, why would you want to exchange it for a rhinestone? Talk to your priest. You may be amazed at what the solution is. Focus on Christ, and not your friend, your parents, or anything else.
     
  15. Shubunkin

    Shubunkin Antiochian Orthodox Christian

    +593
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    I never gathered that you were. That other comment was meant to be derogatory and demeaning to all of us. Where are the mods here? Or are they no longer working for us, but against?
     
  16. Anhelyna

    Anhelyna Handmaid of God CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

    +14,531
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    Well I have to say I don't think we can expect them here 24 hours a day.

    Having said that, I agree that comment was not acceptable - but I didn't feel it my place to say so .
     
  17. Chocolatesa

    Chocolatesa has commenced Theosis

    +41
    Canada
    Eastern Orthodox
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    What he said!
    :crosseo:
     
  18. Protoevangel

    Protoevangel Smash the Patriarchy!

    +1,166
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    In Relationship
    How nice.

    Maybe if you would try to be helpful, and report offensive posts, the moderators could get to them faster.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  19. Julina

    Julina Veteran

    +136
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    come on peeps, pet's play nice. :p

    yes that post was rather unnecessary but it's gone now. i'm just glad it wasn't someone who's Orthodox. that would really be a shocker.
     
  20. Xpycoctomos

    Xpycoctomos Well-Known Member

    +603
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    It depends. ELCA as a rule usually does not do this (but I have heard that certain parishes tend to be more conservative than others). LCMS (what I was) does this as a rule, but I know from experience that a lot of parishes a bit loser on this, but the general idea is that, on the most lax of the spectrum, a parish will say you have to believe it is truely the BOdy and Blood of Christ, be baptized and you have to have examined your conscience (whereas the official stance is that noone outside of the LCMS is allowed to commune unless you have spoken to a pastor and he sees need for a personal exception for you), so either way some form of Closed communion is practiced. And in the WELS my sense is that this is pretty much strictly enforced and if you are not WELS, you do not commune there.

    That's the basic gist!

    Xpy
     
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