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Joining the Orthodox Church
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pitbullowner Offline
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Joining the Orthodox Church
I've committed myself to actually going to a Greek Orthodox church this morning. I've said in the past that I've done it before but I never really did in order just to actually fit along with the general consensus of guys that are doing this. Yeah it's lame I know but today I'm actually going step foot into a place like this and I'm not going to lie I'm a bit nervous.

As someone that's coming from a Protestant religion stance what should I expect when I enter the building for Divine liturgy ?

I'm genuinely disgusted with the rock and roll shows and shallow feel good church sermons that most modern Christian churches are a part of in the Protestant religions and I'm committing today to going actually give it a shot. based off of all of the things that I've read I felt my heart was moved to be a part of the Eastern or Greek Orthodox Church. Are there differences in each Orthodox branch and does it matter if I am Greek or Russian ? Please pray for me as I aim to seek spiritual counsel from Christians that hold steadfast to their teachings and traditions that have seemingly been unshakable for centuries.

I grew up in my early teens as an ultra-conservative legalistic Church of Christ Christian that if you didn't believe the same thing we did you were going to hell. then on that note I became atheist for a couple of months out of my life right before I had a severe accident. I know God exists I know that he has a plan for me yet I also know that surround myself with lukewarm believers is not a good thing .

Do you guys think that I will find a rock in this Storm through an Orthodox Church ?

Any and all input in regards to the Orthodox Church especially from people who attend one is welcomed.

Your actions speak louder than your words, son.
-My father, R.I.P.

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11-03-2019 09:41 AM
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pitbullowner Offline
Robin
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RE: Joining the Orthodox Church
Update:

Well I just got out of Divine liturgy, the experience was amazing and a lot of information to take in. I think I found my home in regards to how I need to pursue things religiously with my relationship in Christ.

We listened to the pastor?/priest? about a saint that came from Syria for about 15 minutes and then there's a whole bunch of Greek prayers and Psalms mixed in with English....it was a bit difficult to keep up with but I still felt edified nonetheless.

Your actions speak louder than your words, son.
-My father, R.I.P.

My newly crafted Twitter handle
11-03-2019 01:10 PM
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get2choppaaa Offline
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RE: Joining the Orthodox Church
I am in the process of converting from Protestantism as well. Went from Presbyterian to Episcopalian to doing the Roman Catholic initiation program, but couldn't follow through.

I go to a Greek Orthodox Church. Keep coming to the liturgy and it will make sense over time. Each priest and church may have different nuances regarding Chrismation, but all in all the tenents are pretty much the same. My priest's suggestion was to read Fr Ware's book on the the Eastern Orthodox Church for a historical understanding as well as Fr Anthony M. Coniaris Eastern Orthodoxy: A Way of Life for basics of the faith. Also Fr Josiah Trenham book Rock and Sand explains the Protestant Reformation/reformers from an Orthodox perspective and he is a convert as well so I highly suggest that book.
(This post was last modified: 11-03-2019 01:59 PM by get2choppaaa.)
11-03-2019 01:58 PM
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MichaelWitcoff Offline
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RE: Joining the Orthodox Church
Glory to God and welcome home. I’d encourage everyone to buy and read “The Heavenly Banquet” by Father Hatzidakis. The book goes through the Divine Liturgy line-by-line with sidebars, footnotes, mini-lessons, and explanations for why every single thing that happens in the service is happening. The Liturgy will mean even more to you according to the degree to which you understand it, because nothing that’s there is by accident.

Jewish convert to Orthodox Christianity and best-selling author of "On The Masons And Their Lies."
(This post was last modified: 11-03-2019 05:25 PM by MichaelWitcoff.)
11-03-2019 05:23 PM
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Emperor Constantine Offline
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RE: Joining the Orthodox Church
(11-03-2019 09:41 AM)pitbullowner Wrote:  Are there differences in each Orthodox branch

There will be differences from parish to parish, like
- what style of chant is used
- whether or not women wear headcoverings
- how often the priest expects communicants to confess
- whether or not there's pews
but for the most part everything's pretty similar from church to church.

(11-03-2019 09:41 AM)pitbullowner Wrote:  and does it matter if I am Greek or Russian ?

Some parishes can have a sort of culture club feel, where everyone wonders why your accent is different.

The one thing to really think long and hard about in terms of your ethnicity before you join, if you're a westerner, is this: the Orthodox Church now is almost entirely Byzantine Rite. Joining, for many Westerners, means leaving some of our culture behind. Certain uniquely Western things are missing like Ash Wednesday, St. Valentine's day, or the phrase "my cup runneth over" in Psalm 23. If your ancestors were from the West, you'll be following a quite different schedule of feasts and fasts than they did.

Essentially, the experience of Western Christianity in the second millennia is absent. King Charles the Martyr or St. Frances of Assisi won't be your saints anymore. Instead you'll be learning about someone else’s saintly ancestors. People will preface anything nice they say about St. Augustine with things like, "While he may have been wrong about certain things..." because the classic Western understanding of sin and grace that Augustine taught are different from the Eastern understanding.

This cultural heritage may or may not be important to you, but it's something to think about. There are a handful of Anglican parishes that have changed teams to Orthodoxy and kept the Western calendar and liturgies, but they're few and far between.

(11-03-2019 09:41 AM)pitbullowner Wrote:  Do you guys think that I will find a rock in this Storm through an Orthodox Church ?

Yes. You’ll hear the Gospel preached, encounter God in the sacraments, and struggle towards salvation with your fellow Orthodox Christians. If this is what you’re looking for, join.

On the other hand, if what you’re looking for is a safe haven from theological liberalism, you might find yourself disappointed. Orthodoxy in the US already has a colorful history involving schisms, heretics, and many trials and tribulations. No doubt we will soon be plagued by many new problems that other American churches currently suffer from.

I don't want to sound like I'm trying to scare you away from the Church; quite the opposite. I think everybody should join. But the Orthodox Church you encounter in real life is going to be fraught with difficulties and confusions just like any other church. And it's been this way for two thousand years.
11-03-2019 05:39 PM
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