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Militants of TAW starting January 2006 (Introduction Thread)

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Akathist, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    Haha, well, actually I could see myself becoming Orthodox, but if I did it now, it'd be for the wrong reasons. I'm a cultural Protestant, but rejected everything a long time ago, so opening that door again is something I'm still getting used to. My relationship with Western Christianity as a tradition is... kind of terrible, though, and that's probably something I ought to deal with first.

    You were some flavor of Evangelical Protestant, right? (I'm really intrigued about whether Protestant converts to Orthodoxy are primarily Evangelical or Mainline. I hear a lot about the decline of Mainline Protestantism and wonder how many of them have actually ended up here!)

    Hahaha, that's not the first time I've seen that reference with regards to Orthodoxy!

    Yesss. This part goes way deeper for me than just Orthodox teachings, since if you've once rejected the entire religion, it's hard to stop rejecting things. I'm one of those reluctant ex-atheist converts who finally ran out of reasons to say "Definitely not," but it's a long, long, long walk back. A very interesting one, though.

    Hmm, would it be worth it to go to the Divine Liturgy regularly if it's closed communion anyway? With Great Vespers on Saturday, I could at some point just start juggling two churches to get a feel for it too. Though I haven't actually gotten around to having a real conversation with my own priest in the four months I've been back, so I'm apparently not in a hurry.
  2. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    My first thought was that you meant it would be wrong to convert to Orthordoxy just because of a disaffection with Protestantism, and I agree. But from what you said below, I think it goes deeper than that?

    But either way, discerning reasons and what you should do or the pace that is suitable, or issues to consider, as a result - is something best discussed with a priest. We can recognize that various issues exist, but other than acknowledging that aren't in a position to offer comments on them.

    I was a number of things, but would have identified a long time as Baptist, and then as a somewhat conservative Pentecostal or non-denominational. Those would be more evangelical than mainline, yes. I did briefly involve myself with some mainline denominations. Just speaking for myself, I can guess it might have been possible one of them might have been "good enough" and I wouldn't have kept searching until I found Orthodoxy. But that's not what happened, so I don't really know.

    I've seen people coming from both, and from Catholicism. I really don't know if there are any overall numbers, but I would say the typical issues to overcome, and maybe to a lesser degree the strengths most appreciated in Orthodoxy, are different depending upon where one comes from.

    LOL I find it a fitting one!

    Hmmmmm. I think some interesting conversations could be hinted at in there. But as for really dealing with it, it would be better discussed with a priest.

    I think in a way I was halfway there. There are certain teachings I was raised with that just don't square with truth for me, and that led to a period of perhaps agnosticism - I never would have called myself an atheist - but I spent some years there. That all has a lot to do with me ending up in Orthodoxy though. :)

    Well, depending on the parish, the two can have a very different feel. But "feel" is not entirely what we are basing things on. If you are able, and I was speaking for myself, I would suggest experiencing both of them. If one is more convenient to attend more regularly there's nothing wrong with that. But the Divine Liturgy has more to offer even if you can't receive communion. Both are worthwhile though. :)
  3. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

    Eastern Orthodox
    absolutely. the best teaching tool we have are our services, hymns, and prayers. we pray what we believe, as it were. plus, when you are done, you can talk to the priest about what you saw. many folk have come to a greater understanding of Orthodoxy, and even converted, through the services even if they could not commune at the time.
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  4. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    Yeah, it goes much deeper than Protestantism. You'll see me whine about Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and pretty much anything that looks like rationalism. I have very strong, very negative feelings about the entire tradition of theology in the West, so there are very significant reasons why I find Orthodoxy attractive. Unfortunately, every time I see a Protestant go after Orthodoxy, I want to convert out of spite. Which... obviously not a good motive. I'm too new to all the crazy schisms and feuds to have figured out how to deal with it yet, and need to calm down and not start drawing lines in the sand too.

    Agnosticism? Sounds like there's a story there too! My atheism was more of an "I hate everything about religion and will therefore identify as atheist" than genuine atheism, but at some point they become effectively the same. Not worshipping because you think any god who would demand worship is a tyrant is probably worse than not believing anything at all. =/ It's been a decade since I took that particular stance, but it's still too big a shift to not get some serious whiplash. I have messed myself up spectacularly!
  5. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Yes but ... you have some background, and so have a starting place. That's good. And you show some wisdom in not jumping about, or doing anything through reactionism. The impulses are understandable - we all have them. They might even have virtuous motives. But the fact that you recognize them for what they are and resist them is also good, so you don't make a move based on wrong motive.

    Knowing things like this about yourself should be to your benefit. :)

    I don't know that it's that good a story. Basically ... I learned all the things many of us are taught as evangelicals. I would even repeat them when asked, but something inside of me rebelled at many points.

    Since you mentioned it, why does God demand worship? If He is really God, what's wrong with His ego that He needs all that bolstering? Why does He insist that "somebody has to pay" - with extreme suffering and death - before He is willing to forgive anyone, especially since He demands we do it when people don't ask to be forgiven or even seem sorry for what they did to us? And what's "just" about punishing someone who didn't do anything wrong, to get someone who did off the hook? Merciful, maybe, but it was supposed to be necessary BECAUSE of justice? And very important -WHY let so many people through history spend an eternity burning in a fiery hell, basically because they were born at a wrong time or place and never heard the Gospel? Back to understanding how that can be fair. And while I loved Jesus from the time I learned about Him, God the Father seemed a completely different kind of entity, vengeful and legalistic. If those two are "one" how is it they seem to be pitted against one another - the Father wanting to blast us with fiery everlasting torment, and Jesus essentially stepping in front of us and taking the bullet. Hardly sounds like those two are of the same mind or spirit. And so on .... and that's just while I was a child.

    Moving into and through other denominations only increased the confusion. And God was working with me through all this time, and I had some pretty profound experiences that let me know some things, but at the same time, scattered teachings and my misunderstanding of some things created a mess of my own. In the end, my priest referred me to a more experienced spiritual father, who has managed to sort many things out for me, and I thanks God for both of them.

    But with Orthodoxy, I found not only many little tidbits of truth that initially intrigued me, but I began to see a view of God Himself that meshed perfectly with what I had really understood in my heart that He must be ... God IS good, and loving, and created man in His image, desiring that we share those things that He created us to be - what He called "very good" when He created man. And not that He is constrained, or primarily concerned with punishment, or that He wants to pretend we are something we are not, but that He really, truly wants to restore us, heal us from sin and its effects, and make us really into His image and likeness again, and has provided the means for us to begin to move into this.

    They sometimes say "welcome home" to those who convert to Orthodoxy. That's what it felt like to me - coming home and recognizing the God my heart somehow knew, that had been distorted by the teaching I'd always heard.

    I was never believing that no God could exist, but I just couldn't accept the one I'd initially been taught. But I couldn't abandon the idea of God altogether. So ... I don't know how to describe that in-between period of doubt. Agnosticism seems the best label. But I might be wrong.

    Whatever, I am finally at peace, having discovered the God that I recognize through my spirit. Glory to God!
  6. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    Haha, I'm working on finding a balance between self-reflexion and completely neurotic self-absorption. Toss in OCD and things get really fun!

    But yeah, I probably will join eventually, at least long enough to see whether or not it really is where I belong. I'm trying not to focus too much on the future, though. I don't think I'm going to suddenly flit off to Buddhism or something, but it seems unwise to make assumptions at this point.

    No, it was very interesting, thank you! I'm not used to dealing with crises of faith, since this is the first time I've ever had any faith at all, but it's neat to hear stories of how people survive them.

    Could I ask you what sort of profound experiences you've had? (I've had just enough to think it might not just be in my head, though I think anything more direct would cause me more harm than good at this point. Learning how to pray properly has been strange. Good, but not what I was expecting.)

    Speaking of which, I've been meaning to ask you-- you warned me a while back that mysticism could be spiritually dangerous if not practiced under a priest's guidance. Did you mean the type that involved ascetism, or tricking yourself into thinking something's real when it's not, or what precisely? (I see a lot of knee-jerk negativity towards mysticism in certain circles, but I assume you guys know what you're talking about when it comes to that!)
  7. Virgil the Roman

    Virgil the Roman Young Fogey & Traditional Catholic . . .

    United States
    1. First Name:Matthew
    Unofficial Patron: (Either St Joseph or St Vicent of Lerins).

    2. What jurisdiction your parish is in.
    Attend a Greek Orthodox parish( that alas, is without a priest for the last few years: so we need one).

    3. Status: Cradle Orthodox, Convert, Catecumen, Serious Inquirer (by this we mean that you have started attending an Orthoodox Church and meeting with the Priest or someone they designate to teach you about the faith).

    My Background:
    1. Raised Roman Catholic
    2. Irreligious
    3. Protestant (brief)
    4. Devout Roman Catholic ( For the last Eleven years).
    5. Enquiring into Holy Orthodoxy (I began investigating Orthodoxy about 11 years ago; I was researching the Early Church and initially returned to the Catholic Church. I had greater familiarity with it and had some issues that lead me to remain a Roman Catholic for the last decade or so. However, my obstacles to converting to Orthodoxy have only managed to dissipate within the last two years. So I began to look into Orthodoxy gradually over the last 2 years. I will officially enquire or become a catechumen whenever I can find a priest from whom I can can be catechised and received as a catechumen whenever I can acquire a suitable parish).

    4. Any other interesting pits of information you want to share such as: marital status, children, pets, hobby's, church activities such as singing in the choir, etc.

    Marital Status: Single, Looking for a wife.
    Children: None.
    Pets: None
    Hobbies: Numismatics, Bibliophilia, Plinking, Reading.

    I enjoy spending time with friends and playing cards or just strolling in quiet nature.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017