Orthodox Conversion

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Kingfisher
Gold Member
Gotta be honest, I'm not really familiar with the issues involved in ecumenism; as I've investigated Orthodoxy it's been pretty far down the list. From what you're implying, it sounds like controversy with Constantinople has been going on for a long time and isn't Bart pursuing his own agenda.
 

NickK

Sparrow
Something I'm curious is if there's hope for the Ecumenical Patriarchate after Bartholemew is gone. I don't really understand how one ascends to this role, but is Constantinople in the grip of a Vatican Gay Mafia-esque cabal? Or is it just incidental that someone like Bart ended up there and the next one might be just fine?
Constantinople is definitely NOT in a Vatican Gay Mafia-esque cabal.
The problem with my beloved City is different: they are constantly persecuted by an authoritarian and heathen state. The Christian population of Turkey was massacred or driven out through several pogroms in the 20th century. And they are forbiden from evangelziing the country.
They are also being challenged by the vain ambitions of the Russian Church (the so-called third Rome national delusion).

Their solution was to engage in wordly diplomacy. Which led to Ecumenism.

Don't be fooled though, Pat. Bartholomew is only outwardly friendly to papists, being anti-papist at heart.
Some of his predecessors were true Ecumenists.
His most likely succesor is Elpidophoros. Pray to God that this may be averted.
 
Something I'm curious is if there's hope for the Ecumenical Patriarchate after Bartholemew is gone. I don't really understand how one ascends to this role, but is Constantinople in the grip of a Vatican Gay Mafia-esque cabal? Or is it just incidental that someone like Bart ended up there and the next one might be just fine?

The Ecumenical Patriarchate is significantly less ecumenist than it was just a few decades ago: Patriarch Bartholomew does not publicly commune Roman Catholics and Protestants.

There is always hope that things will improve.
 

ABeast

Robin
Steven Anderson is an intelligent man, with insights and boldness; he's willing to stand for the truth about things like the gay-sex movement. Here, however, he takes parts of the Bible out of context or relies on his own interpretations. That's why he says that people are saved by belief in Christ, rather than being saved by faith (conviction) in Christ, which must involve works, because if you have conviction in something, you act on it. This is why James said that faith without works is dead.
I want to be saved as much as the next guy, but isn't it a little bit of an obsession with some doctrines? Why do we need a perfect knowledge that we will go to heaven if we just do our best to live according to the Christian way? Some will make it and some will not, but we still have to live in this world.
 

DanielH

Woodpecker
I want to be saved as much as the next guy, but isn't it a little bit of an obsession with some doctrines? Why do we need a perfect knowledge that we will go to heaven if we just do our best to live according to the Christian way? Some will make it and some will not, but we still have to live in this world.
You don't need a perfect knowledge, but Christ established a Church and said Hell would not prevail against it. If you look at history and tradition you can only conclude that it is the Orthodox Church. At that point, once you've realized it, you have to join the Church and follow her doctrines the best you can for your best chance of being saved. If you have a question about a certain doctrine or dogma I'd be happy to explain.
 

ABeast

Robin
At that point, once you've realized it, you have to join the Church and follow her doctrines the best you can for your best chance of being saved. If you have a question about a certain doctrine or dogma I'd be happy to explain.
That doesn't mean that you can have certainty of salvation though, does it?
 

ABeast

Robin
The closest thing you can have to certainty is if you mke an earnest confession and receive communion on your death bed. I can't give precise answers though. Orthodoxy doesn't give hyper specific answers for many questions like Roman Catholicism does. We are more spiritual and less scholastic.
I didn't realize that Orthodoxy had confession, such a noob! Is it worth-while trying to learn more or does it depend on the church I'm in?
 

DanielH

Woodpecker
I didn't realize that Orthodoxy had confession, such a noob! Is it worth-while trying to learn more or does it depend on the church I'm in?
I'd say it's worth trying to learn more haha! The bible does say to confess your sins to one another. In the early days of the Church this was literally done in public to the entire church community, but now it is usually to a priest or bishop as they represent the community as a whole.

Edit: My priest actually did confess something to our study group once and said it was a valid confession, so it is still a thing.
 
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DanielH

Woodpecker
So it's an informal thing then?
Nowadays it is very much a sacrament, which means a mystery. It can be done informally, but the downside to airing your sins publicly is that the average person is not going to forgive you like a priest or God would. I actually went to confession yesterday. My priest, who is my spiritual father, gave me about 20 minutes of advice and a short lesson after I confessed. It can be like a therapy session. Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves, overzealous, or misguided. I find confession really grounds me. It's like a repeat baptism.
 
Hey all,
I was raised Catholic but I left the church around 18 years old after some bitter hateful family stuff and now I'm feeling drawn towards Orthodox Christianity for many reasons. I see Hope for Christendom in the Orthodox Church, I see sanity there too. I see lots of good. I'm woefully unfamiliar with its theology and metaphysics but I am very familiar with Platonic metaphysics and in fact I was studying ancient Greek in the year before my return to Christ in the hopes of reading the ancient philosophers in their original tongue but now I'm thinking I'm going to read the gospels in their original koine Greek one day, God willing.

Being raised Catholic was a blessing in some ways I suppose because despite the Church having lost its way in some respects there is still beating, underneath the degradation, what I call the Sacred Heart of Christ. The church gets criticized for being too dry and scholastic and I sympathize with that but there is still sacred mystery there too. From what little I understand of the Orthodox Church I can see that it has never lost that vital sacred Heart, that wonderful sacred mysticism. It seems absolutely integral and available to Orthodox Christians in fact. It feels like a Christian community I'd like to participate in.


I live in Portland but there is a Greek Orthodox Church here. Am I allowed to attend a church service being of Irish ancestry? And to all the Orthodox Christians here, which books should I acquaint myself with before seeking to convert?

In one of these posts I'll share my understanding of Christ and one point where I'm sure I differ radically from the average Christian

Christ save us all!
 

DanielH

Woodpecker
Hey all,
I was raised Catholic but I left the church around 18 years old after some bitter hateful family stuff and now I'm feeling drawn towards Orthodox Christianity for many reasons. I see Hope for Christendom in the Orthodox Church, I see sanity there too. I see lots of good. I'm woefully unfamiliar with its theology and metaphysics but I am very familiar with Platonic metaphysics and in fact I was studying ancient Greek in the year before my return to Christ in the hopes of reading the ancient philosophers in their original tongue but now I'm thinking I'm going to read the gospels in their original koine Greek one day, God willing.

Being raised Catholic was a blessing in some ways I suppose because despite the Church having lost its way in some respects there is still beating, underneath the degradation, what I call the Sacred Heart of Christ. The church gets criticized for being too dry and scholastic and I sympathize with that but there is still sacred mystery there too. From what little I understand of the Orthodox Church I can see that it has never lost that vital sacred Heart, that wonderful sacred mysticism. It seems absolutely integral and available to Orthodox Christians in fact. It feels like a Christian community I'd like to participate in.


I live in Portland but there is a Greek Orthodox Church here. Am I allowed to attend a church service being of Irish ancestry? And to all the Orthodox Christians here, which books should I acquaint myself with before seeking to convert?

In one of these posts I'll share my understanding of Christ and one point where I'm sure I differ radically from the average Christian

Christ save us all!
I'm ethnically Anglo/Irish yet I go to a Greek Orthodox church in the northeast. On the west coast they're even less ethnic than the east coast, so it's definitely not an issue.

Our basic Christology can be understood in the Nicene Creed which is identical to the one the Catholics use except for the words “and the Son” which they added non canonically centuries after the fact.

My religious and political beliefs changed radically once I started going to church (I first became a catechumen less than two years ago, I'm baptized now).

You don't need to read any books before you start going, I didn't. Since then I've read a bunch so I can recommend something if there's anything in specific you're curious about. I realize now that it would have been better as a catechumen to read the lives of the saints first rather than the hardcore theological apologetics. If you can pick between living like a Christian and debating like one, pick the former! A good one for the former is “Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives” The life and works of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica.
 
I'm ethnically Anglo/Irish yet I go to a Greek Orthodox church in the northeast. On the west coast they're even less ethnic than the east coast, so it's definitely not an issue.

Our basic Christology can be understood in the Nicene Creed which is identical to the one the Catholics use except for the words “and the Son” which they added non canonically centuries after the fact.

My religious and political beliefs changed radically once I started going to church (I first became a catechumen less than two years ago, I'm baptized now).

You don't need to read any books before you start going, I didn't. Since then I've read a bunch so I can recommend something if there's anything in specific you're curious about. I realize now that it would have been better as a catechumen to read the lives of the saints first rather than the hardcore theological apologetics. If you can pick between living like a Christian and debating like one, pick the former! A good one for the former is “Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives” The life and works of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica.


Thank you @DanielH!

I'm currently reading The Incarnation of the Word of God by St. Athanasius but I'll look for the book you have recommended. I totally agree with you that it is better to be a good Christian than to argue like one. I pray a lot through the day primarily for Christ to lead me to spiritual perfection, to the highest spiritual enlightenment possible, for Him to live in the Heart of my heart now and forever and I also practice Christ centered silent, still meditation. I'll spare you all the details of the progress I've made since I returned to Christ and began this spiritual regimen but I have progressed further spiritually in the month since I returned to Christ than I ever did or could have without Him! It's incredible! I spent many years in silent meditation making very little progress.

Once again, thank you and may Christ be with you!
 

Aboulia

Robin
Hey all,
I was raised Catholic but I left the church around 18 years old after some bitter hateful family stuff and now I'm feeling drawn towards Orthodox Christianity for many reasons. I see Hope for Christendom in the Orthodox Church, I see sanity there too. I see lots of good. I'm woefully unfamiliar with its theology and metaphysics but I am very familiar with Platonic metaphysics and in fact I was studying ancient Greek in the year before my return to Christ in the hopes of reading the ancient philosophers in their original tongue but now I'm thinking I'm going to read the gospels in their original koine Greek one day, God willing.

Being raised Catholic was a blessing in some ways I suppose because despite the Church having lost its way in some respects there is still beating, underneath the degradation, what I call the Sacred Heart of Christ. The church gets criticized for being too dry and scholastic and I sympathize with that but there is still sacred mystery there too. From what little I understand of the Orthodox Church I can see that it has never lost that vital sacred Heart, that wonderful sacred mysticism. It seems absolutely integral and available to Orthodox Christians in fact. It feels like a Christian community I'd like to participate in.


I live in Portland but there is a Greek Orthodox Church here. Am I allowed to attend a church service being of Irish ancestry? And to all the Orthodox Christians here, which books should I acquaint myself with before seeking to convert?

In one of these posts I'll share my understanding of Christ and one point where I'm sure I differ radically from the average Christian

Christ save us all!

Your ethnic background doesn't matter for which church you attend. The reason the church is divided among ethnic lines is because people are naturally divided among ethnic lines, being born of a mother and father in a specific place, but if you're interested in Orthodoxy, and you believe in Orthodox doctrine, you can become an Orthodox Christian in any Orthodox parish. Come to think of it, in the Russian prayer book, it specifically calls the Theotokos (Mother of God/Virgin Mary) the salvation of the Christian race. Race used to include religion before the discovery of DNA. Believing Orthodox Christians are all one people, that doesn't mean ethnic and racial differences don't exist, they do, but it means there is something above binding us all together. The best way I've heard Orthodoxy summed up is "Unity without confusion"

Here, this might be helpful, I'd hope you don't find anything that you disagree with too strongly in the link below.

I Believe...: A Short Exposition on Orthodox Doctrine

If the Orthodox baptize children, what knowledge could you possibly need before coming? You're not expected to have all the answers going in, you learn as you attend services, as you study, and as you attempt to live a Christian life.

Given your background, you may be interested in the works of St Justin Martyr (aka St Justin the Philosopher)

You may find this interesting as well, The Orthodox Nationalist: St Basil and Monastic Metaphysics

Hope this helps
 

ABeast

Robin
Come to think of it, in the Russian prayer book, it specifically calls the Theotokos (Mother of God/Virgin Mary) the salvation of the Christian race.
What is the controversy about Mother Mary between Orhodox and Catholicism? I've seen it brought up a few times but not from trusted sources.
 
What is the controversy about Mother Mary between Orhodox and Catholicism? I've seen it brought up a few times but not from trusted sources.

Roman Catholics dogmatized the "immaculate conception," a concept that Orthodox don't believe in. Essentially the Roman Catholic view is that God specially-prepared Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, so that Mary would be born without original sin. To the Orthodox that's a development that throws a lot of theology off; for example, if God could just free people of original sin with no need for salvific redemption, then it would be monstrous of Him to do that one time, for Mary, while leaving everyone else to suffer temptation. It also removes any reason to honor Mary, since it's not an impressive feat to remain free of sin if she didn't feel any temptation or inclination to sin in the first place. Lastly, it violates what Mary herself said in the Scriptures regarding God as "her Savior" since someone free of all human failings has no need for a Savior and is, in a sense, actually God.

If memory serves, the Roman Catholics specifically added the dogma of "papal infallibility" just to shove through the dogma of "immaculate conception."
 
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ABeast

Robin
It also removes any reason to honor Mary, since it's not an impressive feat to remain free of sin if she didn't feel any temptation or inclination to sin in the first place. Lastly, it violates what Mary herself said in the Scriptures regarding God as "her Savior" since someone free of all human failings has no need for a Savior and is, in a sense, actually God.
Mary did sin, right? Isn't Jesus the only perfect human?
 
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