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The Orthodox Church
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blacknwhitespade Offline
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Post: #51
RE: The Orthodox Church
How have you guys who converted to the Orthodox church in your adulthood faired socially in the church? It seems almost inaccessible. Protestant-to-Orthodox convert Frank Schaeffer acknowledged the social isolation, lack of fellowship, etc, particularly if you're a new convert, in his Dancing Alone book. They seem almost like ethnic clubs moreso than houses of worship: Serbian Orthodox church, Russian Orthodox, Greek festivals, etc. How do you "break in" if you're not Serbian/Greek/Russian/Assyrian and didn't grow up in the church?

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03-30-2017 03:42 PM
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Post: #52
RE: The Orthodox Church
There are some that do English language services. If it's heavily ethnic, you might end up feeling like an adult immigrant never speaking the full language of the environment, unfortunately, but I'm acquainted with a couple of Americans that have stuck through and have become dedicated members of orthodox churches. I don't think anyone would reject you, and once you get past the "trial" phase, you'll be a member of the community.

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03-30-2017 07:27 PM
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #53
RE: The Orthodox Church
(03-30-2017 03:42 PM)blacknwhitespade Wrote:  How have you guys who converted to the Orthodox church in your adulthood faired socially in the church? It seems almost inaccessible. Protestant-to-Orthodox convert Frank Schaeffer acknowledged the social isolation, lack of fellowship, etc, particularly if you're a new convert, in his Dancing Alone book. They seem almost like ethnic clubs moreso than houses of worship: Serbian Orthodox church, Russian Orthodox, Greek festivals, etc. How do you "break in" if you're not Serbian/Greek/Russian/Assyrian and didn't grow up in the church?

I am sad to say this is a fair criticism due to the more modern history of eastern orthodoxy and in a sense, the balkanization of it via the occupation of the Ottoman Turks and subsequent diaspora to new lands, which are obviously the ones to which you refer. I stress a lot that working this kind of thing out (even being a "cradle" member with others members that are difficult) is part of the noble struggle, but that does little I realize, often for those who should be more carefully guided in their beginning steps. My recommendation would be to go to those jurisdictions which are most "friendly" to converts and pan-orthodox congregations, which are typically OCA and Antiochian archdioceses. With younger, solid priests the Greek Orthodox can be great, but also can be very difficult.

I'm also sad to say that generally speaking in the West, the culture and wealth have come real close to extinguishing an overwhelming majority of real faith, and this of course includes the Orthodox. So many of our people are woefully [un]aware of its faith, practice and the pearls and profundity of its teaching. When the boomer + generation of ethnics pass (you see they were that normal part of society before the full onset of cultural marxism and feminism), there will no doubt be a lot of empty churches. The GOA is very aware of this, which makes their insistence on using archaic koine greek for so long, a real tragedy. I have some knowledge of it, and I appreciate it to a degree, but I also know the exact words of the liturgies in English so I'd know it anyway. Apart from it being canon law to use the local language, it really is another tragedy to contemplate how many people might have been lost having been utterly clueless about the beauty and depth that were in the words they couldn't understand ...
(This post was last modified: 03-30-2017 10:09 PM by Kid Twist.)
03-30-2017 10:07 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #54
RE: The Orthodox Church
Attended a Tridentine mass this morning to get my feet wet. There was a dress code!

I am absolutely floored - women dressing like hoes during the service (low key or high key) has been a very constant thing I've gotten used to over the years. If a mass in Latin is like this, I am officially excited to attend my local Melkite service.
(This post was last modified: 04-01-2017 02:47 PM by stugatz.)
04-01-2017 02:46 PM
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Post: #55
RE: The Orthodox Church
(04-01-2017 02:46 PM)stugatz Wrote:  Attended a Tridentine mass this morning to get my feet wet. There was a dress code!

I am absolutely floored - women dressing like hoes during the service (low key or high key) has been a very constant thing I've gotten used to over the years. If a mass in Latin is like this, I am officially excited to attend my local Melkite service.

I was going to a pentacostal church and they harshly encouraged the women to cover their heads with a hat and wear a skirt or dress. A big part of the importance of religion is controlling women (hypergamy etc.)
04-01-2017 03:22 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #56
RE: The Orthodox Church
The head coverings were cloth scarves here.

I don't speak Latin, but the women being modest encouraged me to pay much closer attention even in a setting like that. There is also no overly distracting social stuff during the service (the sign of peace is all too often just an excuse to quickly hit on the cute girl in the pew in front of you, or for inappropriate PDA from mom and dad).

Oh, and during communion the priest didn't have lackeys signed up for the week handing out the wafers. That was all him, and he placed it directly in your mouth - implying that the body of Christ was too sacred for you to touch.
04-01-2017 03:45 PM
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MikeMcLaren Offline
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Post: #57
RE: The Orthodox Church


(This post was last modified: 04-05-2017 11:31 PM by MikeMcLaren.)
04-05-2017 11:27 PM
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Post: #58
RE: The Orthodox Church
Not that I believe everything he is saying; however, the West seems to be going to hell. I think the Orthodox Church is one of the main reasons Eastern Europe is in better shape culturally and morally than the West. Without the traditional Church, it seems that things degrade to animalism and Third World dog eat dog (including government). If anybody has experience joining the Orthodox Church, it would be interesting to hear.

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(This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 01:55 PM by MikeMcLaren.)
04-06-2017 01:30 PM
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #59
RE: The Orthodox Church
^ Mike, who is undermining it?
04-06-2017 02:45 PM
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Post: #60
RE: The Orthodox Church
Francis who is similar to Obama. St. John Paul the Great was the last true pope.

(04-06-2017 02:45 PM)Kid Twist Wrote:  ^ Mike, who is undermining it?
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 03:22 PM by MikeMcLaren.)
04-06-2017 03:17 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #61
RE: The Orthodox Church
(04-06-2017 03:17 PM)MikeMcLaren Wrote:  Francis who is similar to Obama. St. John Paul the Great was the last true pope.

Did you not like Benedict very much? He might not have been pope for long, but he was pretty strongly conservative and brought back acceptable use of a lot of traditions (like the Tridentine mass I attended the other day).

I honestly don't remember much about him - just that he was pretty openly conservative and didn't give a tinker's damn about how uncool it would make the church look.
04-06-2017 06:18 PM
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #62
RE: The Orthodox Church
Benedict was honest; I respected that greatly.

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04-06-2017 07:01 PM
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Post: #63
RE: The Orthodox Church
Palm Sunday 2017, was a bloody day for Coptic Orthodox Christians of Egypt:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/09/...st-21.html

47 Dead and 100+ wounded by ISIS claimed bombings at Tanta and Alexandria. One of the targeted churches had been targeted March 2016, yet the believers continued to attend the faith.

Rest in Peace. May Peace be upon the Easter services.
04-10-2017 10:25 PM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #64
RE: The Orthodox Church
Quote:what an Orthodox service is like

It's like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdyGJUinKGE

You will be expected to abstain from participating Orthodox communion until you are Baptised or Chrismated in the Orthodox church. You will be expected to stand for most or all of the service. Some orthodox churches don't have seats at all, so your mileage may vary. This is a custom of ours, because we believe that worship and communion with Christ, as well as our relationship with Him more broadly, is a laborious task not to be taken sitting down. I don't recall anything else for you to be forewarned about. Whatever parish you attend, it's likely that you'll participate in the liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. In ancient church history, we had many more regional liturgies, but unfortunately most are lost to time.

EDIT: Here's another. This is at Father Josiah Trenham's parish in Riverside, California. He's an excellent speaker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdX-NLIDSC8
(This post was last modified: 04-10-2017 11:48 PM by The Gooz Boos.)
04-10-2017 11:39 PM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #65
RE: The Orthodox Church
(03-30-2017 03:42 PM)blacknwhitespade Wrote:  How have you guys who converted to the Orthodox church in your adulthood faired socially in the church? It seems almost inaccessible. Protestant-to-Orthodox convert Frank Schaeffer acknowledged the social isolation, lack of fellowship, etc, particularly if you're a new convert, in his Dancing Alone book. They seem almost like ethnic clubs moreso than houses of worship: Serbian Orthodox church, Russian Orthodox, Greek festivals, etc. How do you "break in" if you're not Serbian/Greek/Russian/Assyrian and didn't grow up in the church?

The Greeks around me are insular in a way, but also very inviting. If there's anything hindering my assimilation into the community, it's me reclining from the social aspect as is typical of me. I am a Protestant→Orthodox convert and I'm not Greek or any traditionally Orthodox ethnicity. My ancestry is halfway in the caucasus (broadly) and halfway in ol' Erin's Isle. Maybe the Greeks are open with me because I'm plausibly Greek in appearance, but I doubt that's it. I've attended for almost a year. I don't know how long you've been at it, but if you began attending recently, it's probably a matter of time. The more newcomers at any given parish, the more difficult it is to assimilate, especially if the number of parishioners exceeds the Dunbar limit. Orthodox parishes are families, and parishioners want to be able to have some degree of social relationship with every other parishioner, and this becomes impossible when newcomers flow in as they have in recent years. Hopefully, this will lead to new churches being erected.
04-11-2017 12:02 AM
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Teedub Offline
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Post: #66
RE: The Orthodox Church
I'd love Samseau to do a thread about this sect of Christianity, I find it fascinating.

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H L Mencken
04-18-2017 02:04 PM
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BelyyTigr Offline
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Post: #67
RE: The Orthodox Church
I've taken an interest in Orthodoxy. Roman Catholicism seems to be too "fire and brimstone" and domineering for me. Anglicanism is just run by England's upper class. I don't see how it can be credible with a monarch and priviledged twerps from places like Eton school as its heads. The previous Archibishop of Canterbury was brainless in some ways too.

I do like Russian Orthodoxy being true to its roots. And not bowing to the diseases like homosexualism etc.

The sad part is that I've dated Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic girls.
Early on I thought "this should be good, they think about right and wrong, right?" WRONG.
All too often I've felt that being "religious" is ultimately a public relations exercise and insincerity from them.

You'd hope/think some of the best people you meet are pretty religious. But in my experience, it was amongst the worst people.

Regardless of that, I will continue to look at Orthodoxy while I'm in the West. And if I move out East.
04-20-2017 09:07 AM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #68
RE: The Orthodox Church
I attended a Melkite Catholic service for Good Friday. As far as I know, the Melkite were Orthodox Christians that later became joined with Rome.

I have nothing to say about the service that Gooz Boos didn't already cover. Lots of standing, lots of long-winded chanting, and the service was an hour and forty-five minutes long. There was a funeral procession for Christ, too, that was pretty wild. (The neighborhood the cathederal is in has over the years turned into a black neighborhood. The stares were pretty funny and I had to try very hard to laugh.)

Incense everywhere. The priest had a long beard and would have probably been mistaken for a Muslim in the wrong context - the Melkites originate in Syria, after all.
(This post was last modified: 04-20-2017 01:29 PM by stugatz.)
04-20-2017 01:27 PM
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Post: #69
RE: The Orthodox Church
(04-18-2017 02:04 PM)Teedub Wrote:  I'd love Samseau to do a thread about this sect of Christianity, I find it fascinating.

Sect?
04-20-2017 01:58 PM
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Teedub Offline
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Post: #70
RE: The Orthodox Church
(04-20-2017 01:58 PM)Kid Twist Wrote:  
(04-18-2017 02:04 PM)Teedub Wrote:  I'd love Samseau to do a thread about this sect of Christianity, I find it fascinating.

Sect?

Denomination.

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04-22-2017 11:26 AM
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Post: #71
RE: The Orthodox Church
(04-22-2017 11:26 AM)Teedub Wrote:  
(04-20-2017 01:58 PM)Kid Twist Wrote:  
(04-18-2017 02:04 PM)Teedub Wrote:  I'd love Samseau to do a thread about this sect of Christianity, I find it fascinating.

Sect?

Denomination.

The Orthodox Church is a denomination.

Samseau's thread would be the sect.

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04-22-2017 11:49 AM
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Extinguished Light Offline
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Post: #72
RE: The Orthodox Church
I have a related question for the Christians here. There are multiple Orthodox churches where I live. But they seem to all be associated with a particular ethnicity; e.g. Russian, Ukrainian, Greek. I'm very clearly not of Eastern European descent and don't speak any of those languages.

There are also a number of Catholic and Protestant options near me.

I have heretofore not been religious and neither is my family but have recently begun delving into the Bible on my own and am interested in perhaps converting/joining/whatever the correct terminology is. From what I've learned about the differences between the various denominations, the various Orthodox Churches seem on paper to be the best fit. But can I go there if I'm clearly not of the specified ethnicity?

Not sure if this a silly question but as yet I've never been to a Church outside of weddings.

EDIT: I see there was some discussion of the same concern above.
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2017 09:22 PM by Extinguished Light.)
04-22-2017 09:20 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #73
RE: The Orthodox Church
Can someone explain to me the branches of Orthodox Christianity, if there are any? So far, here's what I understand about the three major branches, someone correct me if I've forgotten anything:

Catholicism has Western Rite (Rome) and the formerly-Orthodox Eastern Rite (Maronites, Melkites, Copts, etc. etc.). I suppose, in a way, you could sort of count the Old Catholics that broke off after disagreeing with papal infallibility, but they're not in communion with Rome and a very large percentage look like they've cucked out and gone leftist. I don't know where you'd put those guys, they seem to be neither Catholic nor Protestant. (There are also the multiple orders within Catholicism - Knights Templar, Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans - but that's not for the average churchgoer.)

Protestantism is confusing and has thousands of denominations of wildly varying degrees of conservatism, but they're all either Anglican, Lutheran, or Calvinist. (Then there are the weird non-trinity churches like the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses which are sort of in their own category.)

Other than being divided by national origin/ethnicity, are there any major schools of thought or branches in the Orthodox faith?
(This post was last modified: 04-29-2017 10:56 PM by stugatz.)
04-29-2017 10:53 PM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #74
RE: The Orthodox Church
stugatz: No, not really. No doctrinal differences as far as I can tell. I know Russians have different customs than Greeks, particularly during communion.
05-01-2017 12:04 PM
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stugatz Offline
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RE: The Orthodox Church
Recently, as I wrote earlier, I wanted to experience conservative Catholicism, so I attended a cathedral that gives Latin Masses only. I'm floored by how young the congregation is on average, and the quality of the women there. Will keep going back for now, and there is a young adult group that is solid so far.

(There is only one Eastern Rite church I know of in my metro. I went for Good Friday and back this Sunday a second time, but it looks like the number of regular attendees is less than fifty. I enjoyed the conversations I had afterward over church coffee...but that is a pathetic number and I doubt I'll be going back much. I love the priest, it's a shame.)

Pope Francis has always freaked me out. "There are many paths to God and all are equal" horrifies me, and I will run away from the church screaming if he starts ordaining female deacons and priests - the church had already crossed a line with altar girls in the more liberal churches. (Didn't a North Carolina church just rebel and ordain a female "priest"? I don't think Francis is stupid enough to embrace it, but what I really want to see is an immediate excommunication and a threat directed to anyone attending the church.)

There are quite a few Orthodox churches in the area. I don't like the idea of going "religion shopping", but I'll probably attend a service or two at the four or so cathedrals in this metro. What I've seen on this thread so far I absolutely love.
(This post was last modified: 05-01-2017 10:59 PM by stugatz.)
05-01-2017 10:26 PM
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