Im ready to join the church

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
The problem is, that's just rhetorical sophistry and poisoning the well - using the non-Chalcedonian churches to undermine the Orthodox Church that doesn't share communion or consider themselves part of the same Church at all. The fact this apologist went that route just makes him look slimy and underhanded. It would be better to clearly articulate the differences between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and let the viewer make up their own mind.

Horus, the original poster is a babe in Christ, so one should point him to Christ first. Not arguments about Church history.

Think about it this way: let's saying you're living in the 9th century. What would it even mean to "point him to Christ first"? Is he going to Barsanuphius & Nobilisimus to pick up a copy of the King James Bible? Of course not, because making books was very time-consuming and expensive. If you owned your own copy of the Bible, you were loaded, like a Bugatti owner in the present day. There was no such thing as an individual just going out and reading the Bible all on their own. That's a logistical novelty brought about by the printing press. You would go to the Church, the institution that God divinely ordained and set up to preserve and teach/transmit the faith. There, you would hear the Gospel - including the reading of Scripture. The distinction between "Christ and the Church" is a modern, and artificial, one.

While it is of course a blessing that we have the Scriptures readily available to us today and should by all means take advantage of that, we must be careful to avoid anachronistic approaches to the faith that would have been impossible for the first three-quarters of Christian history. Living distant from the cultural context of Jesus' time, we must check out modern, western assumptions at the door, lest we twist Christianity into an idiosyncratic, self-serving creation distant from its origin. That's how you end up with anabaptists, Mormonism, and Jehovah's Witnesses.
 

OrthoLeaf

Sparrow
Orthodox
Well, at least the non-Chalcedonian churches do call themselves the “Orthodox” churches. So in fact there are three “Eastern Orthodox” churches, though from a Catholic perspective, none of the three Eastern communions are actually orthodox. “Oriental” literally means “Eastern”.
We also call ourselves the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Uh oh! Two Catholic Churches confirmed! Catholic world is divided and the papacy failed!

... See how bad this argument is?
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Sounds like you’ve already done it. If you are “ ready to accept” Christ, then you already believe in Him as your Savior. You believe He died for your sins. This is salvation. You are saved.

Continue in His word daily with prayer and He will guide you.

Acts 16:30 Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
I would be sceptical you are saved by believing in Christ. Sure, it is a great first step, but what you do after is what matters too. That'd be like I believe in Christ, I go back to watching Netflix, Pornhub and donuts. Don't think so buddy, the struggle starts then. You gotta let go of many, many things after you come to believe in Christ.
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Actually, if he is a believer, then, he is “good”.

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

He has eternal life. Already has it presently.

And of course there is more to do. But he is a babe in Christ. He needs milk, not meat. You’re loading him up with nonsense about orthodox v Catholic, schisms, etc....

The focus should always be on Christ.
My friend I don't want to get into a discussion here but it's very selective reading to only point out the believing part of the Bible. There are many passages that talk about works too. For example the Rich ruler who asks Christ what might I do to have eternal life? And Christ answers him by summing up the commandments and giving him personal advice.

It's not the advice someone needs to think they're saved once they find the faith, for that very likely will lead to remaining of bad habits. I found faith last year and I certainly can't say that everything after that suddenly went easy and fluent.

 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Of course not. One is the very body of Christ Himself. Its sacraments infused with the very presence of God and through which, we receive the medicine of immortality. The other, a false schismatic church. You are free to decide which one is the true Church and which one is the false schismatic church and act accordingly, but in no way should the other be considered "good enough". The question is literally a matter of life and death.

Take your time. Pray, study, be patient and trust in God to lead you to the true Church. It took me nearly two years before I came to my decision on this topic, there's no rush.
I like this advice. I came to Christ last year personally, but am not ready to join the Church. I did find that Orthodoxy is the way, but I needed to catch up in my knowledge as I grew up secular and did not know anything about the differences between denominations. Now I'm in the stage of letting go of bad habits and then I'm hopeful I'll be joining an Orthodox congregation.
 

GuitarVH

Woodpecker
Orthodox Inquirer
What Protestants believe was unheard of until fifteen centuries after the Resurrection, and every Protestant who learns about Christian history eventually comes face to face with the fact that their beliefs and practices are ahistorical and alien to what the Apostles actually taught:

That's true but I would add that many of the things they believe were heard of in the first 15 centuries : a variety of ancient heresies. Arianism, Nestorianism, Macedonianism, iconoclasm and probably others I can't think of right now. They're still rampant in the modern world yet they are very old in origin.
 

M_M

Pigeon
I would be sceptical you are saved by believing in Christ.
No reason to be skeptical. Plenty of verses testify to it.

The works that you mention are what follow salvation. And the reason that works follow is because God makes His abode within us. It is God that works thru us.

So it is false to assume that people who believe they are saved by faith will continue in sin. (Romans 6:1-2)

God will convict. God will chasten. Because He lives within us. If you continually sin without any remorse or conviction, then you would have to question if you really belong to God.
 
Thank you for all the responses. I will begin the RCIA to join the Catholic Church in September.
Good for you.

I am not going to lie, it was a long 9 months for me getting through RCIA.

The quality of Catechesis in RCIA varies from Parish to Parish. One Parish can be extremely on-point, and give you exactly what you need to understand the Church, and Her teachings and history, and others are pretty "bleh."

I strongly recommend you get a copy of the "Catechism of the Council of Trent", or, if you're feeling up to the challenge, "Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma" either one of those will be a great resource to supplement RCIA.

"The Holy Mass" is another book I recommend, it's focus is on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, but it can help you better understand the Ordinary Form of the Mass as well. "Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook" by Father F. X. Lasance is a good prayerbook I use.
 

Knight.of.Logos

Robin
Orthodox Catechumen
The first time I visited the Orthodox parish I currently attended, nobody said anything to me and I did not feel any friendliness (though no negativity either) from anyone.

That being said, from the service I found a profound energy, a spiritual radiance, and a sense of goodness and beauty that blew me away and was way over my head.

I think it was a blessing in disguise that the social aspect of the Church was amiss at first - it helped me realize was really mattered and made me struggled. Eventually the social aspect did lead to some friendships and great connections, but it took time and effort. Again, this is not the main point of going but a nice additional benefit.

What was your experience with the services themselves? How does your understanding of Christianity correspond to your experience and knowledge of the Orthodox Church.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Ostrich
Orthodox
The first time I visited the Orthodox parish I currently attended, nobody said anything to me and I did not feel any friendliness (though no negativity either) from anyone.

That being said, from the service I found a profound energy, a spiritual radiance, and a sense of goodness and beauty that blew me away and was way over my head.

I think it was a blessing in disguise that the social aspect of the Church was amiss at first - it helped me realize was really mattered and made me struggled. Eventually the social aspect did lead to some friendships and great connections, but it took time and effort. Again, this is not the main point of going but a nice additional benefit.

What was your experience with the services themselves? How does your understanding of Christianity correspond to your experience and knowledge of the Orthodox Church.
I think the Orthodox should always be warm and welcoming to inquirers, but at its heart Orthodoxy is a mystical tradition. The people at Church are diving into themselves, carried inwards and upwards by the angelic hymns being chanted by the choir, inspecting their souls for sin and begging God to forgive them, preparing themselves to become one with Jesus Christ in the reception of His Body and Blood. Point being, what may come across as coldness is not necessarily a lack of kindness; it could be, and probably is, just as often that the people standing and singing at the Divine Liturgy quite literally cannot see you and are not even noticing your presence. They are wrapped up, enraptured, lost in prayer and repentance, focused on transfiguration and their preparation for death.

Afterward, at Agape (coffee or lunch hour), what they've gained during the Liturgy will usually be poured out on those around them and everyone's spirits will be lifted and full of joy. But at least at the beginning, when you first arrive at a service, you should really not expect a welcome from anyone but the assigned usher. Liturgy literally means "the work of the people," and said people are hard at work on their spiritual growth.
 

Knight.of.Logos

Robin
Orthodox Catechumen
It's true, I think it was appropriate for me because I felt more strongly in the presence of God without focusing on meeting people or socializing. It was a bit strange at first, but it was deeply moving. In my experiences at least, the services are not always easy. Not even because of their length, but more because I am aware of my sins and darker nature, yet this is a good thing because it calls me to repent and I find solace in the presence of the Church and the Spirit. On the other hand, I've had many moments of joy, coming close to the verge of tears, filled with peace and love. I've had moments where I felt very socially awkward and hardly able to talk to people (unusual for me). I can never really know what to expect in a service! Yet, in the end, I've never regretted a second in Christ's Church and sometimes it was the difficult experiences that were ultimately more rewarding than the joyous and tranquil ones.

I can see how some people might find it difficult, but I think it is a glorious struggle. If somebody genuinely feels more spiritual benefit in a Catholic or Protestant parish, I am happy for them, because I'm sure there are good ones out there; but the Orthodox experience is so spiritually intense yet edifying, so layered with meaning and overflowing in grace. It is not "easy" like my experience in the Presbyterian church was... yet I feel much more at home in Orthodoxy and hardly ever miss services, unlike the Presbyterian church where I had to mentally force myself to go most weeks.
 
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