Testimonies

Viktor Zeegelaar

Kingfisher
Orthodox
I thought it'd be helpful to have a thread about testimonies. Especially since so many of us have come to the faith only in recent years. I'd like to start of with my own story and then I'm very interested to hear how you came to the faith.

I grew up in a complete secular environment in the NL. Basically we have a small Biblebelt with a couple of hundred thousand reformed protestants and some Catholics in name in the South, but that's it. We have 5% Muslims and if one religious group is visible on the street it's them by far, from tiny villages to major cities where they represent 50% of the population. It would be fair to say that I personally had my first encounter with genuine Christians when I was in my mid 20s and met people from other parts of the country. Up until then I genuinely can't remember ever have had a conversation about the faith or even people who spoke out they were Christians vividly and publicly. Sure I'd have met Christians before, but they were very good at hiding it apparantly. So in my mid 20s frustrated as many of you with my material life I dove into the PUA scene and that erupted into the lifestyle scene. Build your value, LMS, material success, all of these things became important whereas they hadn't played a single role up to then. What it did is it destroyed my confidence and brought me in a state of utter density and tenseness, always looking for more, never satisfied, whereas I come from a very loving family where albeit I wasn't taught practically anything about life, morals and building a life there was abundant love and the idea that you could be yourself and love yourself, have confidence. So while I found in my early 20s that that confidence was based on no skills and knowledge hence I fell deep into the red pill sphere when I moved on myself desperately looking for the truth, touching in the dark in every area in my life, at least I had abundant confidence and self love before that. Now that all being gone and my material life imploding, being unhappy, deaths in my family, and then cojona hit. Since then followed the Roosh Hours zealously and started to participate on RVF too. That brought me into study of the faith for the first time and from the start I knew instinctively Orthodoxy was the only way for a truth seeking person like me. That's all I want, the truth, regardless of the consequences. So I dove deep, got into Dyer, fr. Spyridon, all these people you know too, read the Bible for the first time, looked questions up that had been bothering me and still were, dove into Church history, the saints and started to understand the differences between protestantism, catholicism and Orthodoxy, seeing the numerous theological errors that pervade protestantism like a Swiss cheese, and the worldly power and money character of catholicism that had always bothered me, Orthodoxy being the only serious way to go for its history, continous journey towards theosis and spiritual and not intellectual and worldly foundation.

So it was a long process with a lot of suffering and cognitive dissonance, changing my world view from week to week, day to day, hour to hour and albeit not so extremely that's still the case. But I'm on the road that I know I should be on regardless of the consequences I want to pursue this path. Christ is the only way out. There's nothing in the material world that can remove your suffering, I've tried almost all of it except of drugs. I'm not participating in Church yet nor can I remember having ever visited a serious liturgy besides Christmas when I was a child, but I'm looking around me for options in the area I live in where there are Orthodox churches due to past migration. I hope people earlier in their journey and still in the intense suffering and cognitive dissonance phase finding out the truth about God, but also the whole cojona and NWO stuff can find some solace knowing that your suffering will inevitably lead to shutting all the doors except the one where the light is, Jesus Christ. God bless you all, this forum is very helpful and I find great value in it.
 

wiseape

Chicken
Orthodox
As a Catholic convert I was always drawn to history and tradition. When traveling, I would attend Eastern Rite or Traditional Latin Masses. I later joined a Gregorian Chant Schola and had the pleasure of singing the ancient prayers oh the church in many masses, here and in Europe.

Over the last 20 years the Catholic church has entered a death spiral. We see that in many cases the very worst men are sustained and elevated in the hierarchy to become its leaders. We see parishes where the median age keeps creeping up and up.

As a group we lamented the state of the Catholic Church, and attributed much of this chaos to a failure of liturgy. Fix liturgy and many, many other things follow. We observed how the hierarchy had become hostile to tradition and how the liturgy had become increasingly banal and susceptible to abuses. As singers we marveled how Directors of Liturgy (why is there even such a title?) inexplicably favored sappy emotional hymns to the rich treasury of sacred chant and polyphony. Why don’t people sing? Is the music that uninspiring? And is the answer really more guitars and drums?

I also had a sense that my own dissatisfaction with the modern liturgy was endangering my eternal soul. I was distracted at mass. I was bored. I was saddened by the apparent suicide mission that the Catholic Church is on to destroy itself, beginning with its own roots.

The first time I stepped into a Divine Liturgy two years ago I knew immediately I was at home. The whole liturgy is sung! There are no people slouched over in the pews (there are no pews!) I didn’t fight it. I knew the Holy Sprit had taken me home. For me Orthodoxy has been a saving refuge for my soul. Orthodoxy presented me with valid Episcopal orders, valid sacraments, sound liturgy and, importantly, a new approach to spirituality that is based in history, scripture, and reason.

I entered into full communion with my local Orthodox Bishop and the communion of Orthodox Bishops world wide last year. I feel very grateful that my soul has found shelter in these demonic times in a sanctuary of holiness and grace.

Hope this helps.

In Corde Iesu,

Lazarus
 
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