The God pill

Elipe

Pelican
We use the terms red pill blue pill a lot and it got me thinking. The occult, satanists, and gnostics say that God had us on the blue pill but satan gave us the red pill. The truth is satan slipped us the black pill while God was giving us the white pill.
Just so we're clear:
  • Blue Pill - False narrative, what is taught as "normal" which is concealing the true nature of reality. Every society has its own blue pill narrative; some are more harmful to people than others. This implies that blue pills are not always harmful, and can even be occasionally helpful in building some sort of justification for a better kind of society.
  • Red Pill - What is true behind the blue pill narrative, "the man behind the mask", that which once learned, cannot be unlearned. The red pill is the rabbit hole: once you go down, there's no coming back up. Often causes a brief period of depression in the face of realizing that we were all collectively lied to in the first place, and that the lie was so big and thorough.
  • Black Pill - Doom narrative, a variant on the blue pill masquerading as a red pill. Attempts to misguide you into giving up by pushing the idea that the situation is hopeless and inevitable.
  • White Pill - Hope narrative, which can be a mix of blue (false hope) or red pill (hope through awareness that the black pill is not true).
 
Not directly related. But this demonstrates that the rise of Mongolia is because of God's Sovereign will that it would arise to destroy many Civilizations:

Just like the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Empires of the Middle East each of which was by God's decree allowed to arise and conquer.
 

gent

Pigeon
I am seeking some advice. I was baptized into the Roman Catholic church when I was a baby, and attended church regularly until my confirmation at age 14. I declared myself an atheist shortly there after, and have stopped going to church regularly ever since. This year I have come back to Christianity. I have been praying every day and reading the bible, and I believe in it stronger than I ever did when I was a kid. A lot of the reason for that is this website and Roosh's blog, which obviously is based on Orthodox Christianity. I find that I am really quite fond of it. I have been watching Divine Liturgy streams on Youtube and I like the aesthetic of it all more than Catholic mass. I have also been following Father Josiah Trenham and find him really inspiring.

So I'm not sure if I should convert to Orthodox, or stay as a Catholic. There is a Byzantine Catholic church near me as well, which might be a good middle ground, but I don't know much about it. I'm not super familiar with the theological debate between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and tbh I don't think I will know enough for a long time to make up my mind on that stuff.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
I am seeking some advice. I was baptized into the Roman Catholic church when I was a baby, and attended church regularly until my confirmation at age 14. I declared myself an atheist shortly there after, and have stopped going to church regularly ever since. This year I have come back to Christianity. I have been praying every day and reading the bible, and I believe in it stronger than I ever did when I was a kid. A lot of the reason for that is this website and Roosh's blog, which obviously is based on Orthodox Christianity. I find that I am really quite fond of it. I have been watching Divine Liturgy streams on Youtube and I like the aesthetic of it all more than Catholic mass. I have also been following Father Josiah Trenham and find him really inspiring.

So I'm not sure if I should convert to Orthodox, or stay as a Catholic. There is a Byzantine Catholic church near me as well, which might be a good middle ground, but I don't know much about it. I'm not super familiar with the theological debate between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and tbh I don't think I will know enough for a long time to make up my mind on that stuff.

It sounds like you don't have much attachment to Roman Catholicism and are basically starting over from scratch, which isn't a bad thing at all.

Byzantine Catholic churches are very similar to Orthodox but they're in communion with Rome and accept the Pope and all the baggage associated with that. They've become a sort of useful route for serious Catholics like Matt Fradd who recognize the problems with the Novus Ordo mass and Vatican II innovations, but the problem is that in allowing things like Orthodox saints such as St. Gregory Palamas who held views utterly incompatible with Roman thought, and the recitation of the Orthodox version of the Creed (without the filioque), Rome is essentially committing religious pluralism and allowing differing, contradictory theological perspectives under their roof, which leads to all sorts of troubling theological ramifications. Such as that theological truth matters less than submission to Rome. The harder-edged trad Catholics and sedevacantists aren't happy about this situation at all, and I don't blame them.

I don't want to blast Catholicism and there are a lot of great Catholic members here, but Rome is definitely going through a rough spot that shows no sign of getting better. I feel for the serious, pious Catholics out there who have to deal with this, and really deserve better than what they're getting.

Coming from an evangelical protestant background myself, I went to Orthodoxy, as I found their theology, tradition, and approach to spiritual life more convincing than Rome (and much more convincing than what Protestantism offered.) What's interesting is that at least in my case, having spent decades in Rock Band Church, Orthodoxy didn't really seem any less weird than Roman Catholicism, particularly the Russian tradition (though Antiochian and OCA ought to be even more accessible. Greek would probably be the most challenging to outsiders, in most cases.)

The big issues you'll need to navigate in Rome vs. Orthodoxy are:

  • Papal supremacy: legit or not?
  • The filioque: Does the Holy Spirit proceed hypostatically from the Father alone (Orthodox, original version of the Nicene Creed), or from the Father and the Son? (Rome, Protestantism)
  • Theological systems and views of God: Thomas Aquinas and Absolute Divine Simplicity (Rome), or Essence/Energies distinction and hesychasm (Orthodoxy)?
  • Views of sin, salvation, the priesthood, and sacraments, which are quite different between the two.
  • Is there room for theology to grow and evolve (Rome)? Or should it stay the same and unchanging? (Orthodoxy)
These can sound somewhat daunting, but there are tons of good resources in YouTube and in print, and learning the Roman vs. Orthodox perspective on these topics will help you parse which Church seems more convincing.
 

gent

Pigeon
This is really helpful, thank you. I guess my main concern is that I want to start attending services regularly, going to confession, receiving communion, etc. as soon as I can. If I stay as a Catholic I guess I can do this right away (?) but if I convert to Orthodox there will be a Chrismation process I think. I'm also eager to get under the direction of a spiritual father, but I don't want to start going to one church only to change my mind later and potentially waste a priest's time.

I do really admire the tradition and aesthetic of Orthodoxy. I have Eastern-style icons that I pray with at home and recite Eastern Orthodox prayers. I find the chanting very beautiful.

I have been watching Youtube videos from various people too, a lot of them Catholics, who I also find very inspiring (Matt Fradd is one of them since you bring him up). It seems like a very tough decision. It seems both churches regard the other as invalid - is that accurate? Ie. from the Orthodox perspective if I go to Catholic mass to receive communion is it actually the body of Christ?
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
That's hard to say. I don't think there's anything wrong with continuing to go to a Catholic church in the meantime, while you figure things out - but I'm also not a professional and not qualified to answer questions like that. What I can say is that in my own experience, after I started visiting an Orthodox Church, I only managed to drag myself back 2-3 times to my previous evangelical church before I fully committed. But every situation is different.

If you're interested in Orthodoxy the best thing is to start visiting service and contact a priest at a parish near you, and let him know your situation and where you're at. I'm a big fan of ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) as they're the most conservative and traditional Orthodox jurisdiction, but Antiochian (Father Josiah's jurisdiction) is also great and very convert friendly. OCA and Greek have good parishes too, but they're more of a mixed bag. It depends on a bunch of factors, though. For example, my ROCOR parish is very diverse and has many converts, and everything is in English except maybe a cumulative five minutes of the service in Slavonic (basically, the Eastern European liturgical language closely related to Russia.) But at some ROCOR parishes, everyone is Russian and there's basically no English in the service. Just look online for parishes near you, contact a priest there, and they'd be happy to get you more info.

Prayers for you on the journey.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
This is really helpful, thank you. I guess my main concern is that I want to start attending services regularly, going to confession, receiving communion, etc. as soon as I can. If I stay as a Catholic I guess I can do this right away (?) but if I convert to Orthodox there will be a Chrismation process I think. I'm also eager to get under the direction of a spiritual father, but I don't want to start going to one church only to change my mind later and potentially waste a priest's time.

I do really admire the tradition and aesthetic of Orthodoxy. I have Eastern-style icons that I pray with at home and recite Eastern Orthodox prayers. I find the chanting very beautiful.

I have been watching Youtube videos from various people too, a lot of them Catholics, who I also find very inspiring (Matt Fradd is one of them since you bring him up). It seems like a very tough decision. It seems both churches regard the other as invalid - is that accurate? Ie. from the Orthodox perspective if I go to Catholic mass to receive communion is it actually the body of Christ?
Have you ever been to a Traditional Latin Mass? Much of our Catholic tradition, aesthetics, culture, and identity was lost over the past 60 years. If you go to a traditional parish, I'm sure that you'll find exactly what you're looking for.

Try to find an FSSP, SSPX, or ICKSP parish near you.

You can also find a ton of fantastic traditional Catholic content on this YouTube channel - Sensus Fidelium.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
This is really helpful, thank you. I guess my main concern is that I want to start attending services regularly, going to confession, receiving communion, etc. as soon as I can. If I stay as a Catholic I guess I can do this right away (?) but if I convert to Orthodox there will be a Chrismation process I think. I'm also eager to get under the direction of a spiritual father, but I don't want to start going to one church only to change my mind later and potentially waste a priest's time.

I do really admire the tradition and aesthetic of Orthodoxy. I have Eastern-style icons that I pray with at home and recite Eastern Orthodox prayers. I find the chanting very beautiful.

I have been watching Youtube videos from various people too, a lot of them Catholics, who I also find very inspiring (Matt Fradd is one of them since you bring him up). It seems like a very tough decision. It seems both churches regard the other as invalid - is that accurate? Ie. from the Orthodox perspective if I go to Catholic mass to receive communion is it actually the body of Christ?
Sometimes it comes down to a parish you like. Not all ROCOR parishes are equal, for example, and the quality of priests can be quite disparate. I'd start visiting parishes and talking to the priests. Tell them your story, interact with them and the deacons, and ask God which parish would be most likely to assure your salvation. Based on what you've said, these four Churches would probably be most suitable to carefully evaluate:

-ROCOR
-Antiochian
-Byzantine Catholic
-Latin Mass

Since you were raised in the Catholic Church, I wouldn't attempt to leave unless you did serious research into them (both the hierarchy and locally) and can firmly conclude they are not the path for you, because what could happen if you leave imprudently is that you will inevitably see little problems in your new church (no church is perfect) and then Satan will tempt you into thinking you made the wrong choice and try to shatter your faith completely. Go slow, do full evaluations, continually pray to God to guide and enlighten you, and you will arrive at the right church.
 
Did you know that Charles Spurgeon and Karl Marx both preached in London:


But it is in the post-1871 period that he speaks more frequently and with greater urgency on the subject of socialism. In a sermon on Psalm 118 in June 1878, Spurgeon made a tentative prediction to his congregation:


German rationalism which has ripened into Socialism may yet pollute the mass of mankind and lead them to overturn the foundations of society. Then “advanced principles” will hold carnival and free thought [i.e., atheism] will riot with the vice and blood which were years ago the insignia of “the age of reason.” I say not that it will be so, but I should not wonder if it came to pass, for deadly principles are abroad and certain ministers are spreading them.

In a sermon on Isaiah 66 in April 1889, Spurgeon, recognizing that many had confused the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the cheap, secular knock-off proclaimed by Marx and his ilk, thundered from his pulpit:


For many a year, by the grand old truths of the gospel, sinners were converted, and saints were edified, and the world was made to know that there is a God in Israel. But these are too antiquated for the present cultured race of superior beings! They are going to regenerate the world by Democratic Socialism, and set up a kingdom for Christ without the new birth or the pardon of sin. Truly the Lord has not taken away the seven thousand that have not bowed the knee to Baal …
The latter-day gospel is not the gospel by which we were saved. To me it seems a tangle of ever-changing dreams. It is, by the confession of its inventors, the outcome of the period—the monstrous birth of a boasted “progress”—the scum from the cauldron of conceit. It has not been given by the infallible revelation of God—it does not pretend to have been. It is not divine—it has no inspired Scripture at its back. It is, when it touches the Cross, an enemy! When it speaks of Him who died thereon, it is a deceitful friend. Many are its sneers at the truth of substitution—it is irate at the mention of the precious blood. Many a pulpit, where Christ was once lifted high in all the glory of His atoning death, is now profaned by those who laugh at justification by faith. In fact, men are not now to be saved by faith but by doubt. Those who love the Church of God feel heavy at heart because the teachers of the people cause them to err. Even from a national point of view, men of foresight see cause for grave concern.

Charles Spurgeon denounced Marxism then and there. And Karl Marx didn't like this preaching.
 

Diocletian

Woodpecker
I don't want to blast Catholicism and there are a lot of great Catholic members here, but Rome is definitely going through a rough spot that shows no sign of getting better. I feel for the serious, pious Catholics out there who have to deal with this, and really deserve better than what they're getting.

I have been watching Youtube videos from various people too, a lot of them Catholics, who I also find very inspiring (Matt Fradd is one of them since you bring him up). It seems like a very tough decision. It seems both churches regard the other as invalid - is that accurate? Ie. from the Orthodox perspective if I go to Catholic mass to receive communion is it actually the body of Christ?


Yeah, in the West the Catholic Church is definitely having some trouble. I imagine part of the problem stems from Rock Band Church (great phrase by the way); its got a very immediate feel-good vibe compared to the traditionalism of something like Catholicism or Orthodoxy and that's obviously attractive to younger people who have been totally marinated in consumer culture their entire lives.

The big issues you'll need to navigate in Rome vs. Orthodoxy are:

  • Papal supremacy: legit or not?
  • The filioque: Does the Holy Spirit proceed hypostatically from the Father alone (Orthodox, original version of the Nicene Creed), or from the Father and the Son? (Rome, Protestantism)
  • Theological systems and views of God: Thomas Aquinas and Absolute Divine Simplicity (Rome), or Essence/Energies distinction and hesychasm (Orthodoxy)?
  • Views of sin, salvation, the priesthood, and sacraments, which are quite different between the two.
  • Is there room for theology to grow and evolve (Rome)? Or should it stay the same and unchanging? (Orthodoxy)
These can sound somewhat daunting, but there are tons of good resources in YouTube and in print, and learning the Roman vs. Orthodox perspective on these topics will help you parse which Church seems more convincing.

Francis isn't the best Pope we've ever had, but I think people need to have a little perspective. The Pope really isn't that important to the daily life of Catholics. Keep in mind that before the modern age of mass media most Catholics probably wouldn't have known his name or what exactly he did beyond being the guy at the top. Simply for ratings the media will gladly amplify any of his dumb statements far beyond any significance they actually have.

People can also tend to overthink some of these differences as well. Something like absolute divine simplicity vs. essence/energies distinction is the kind of thing that generally concerns people like trained theologians, apologists, people like us who hash these things out in online forums, etc.

That's not to say that fundamental differences between assorted Churches i.e. sola scriptura vs. sacred tradition shouldn't be taken into account--they absolutely should be major considerations--but getting overly concerned with minutiae like hypostatic procession could cause you to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Instead of very fine distinctions I think people would be better off primarily looking at whatever major theological differences exist along with the regular practices such as fasting requirements and prayer.
 

Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Some (more) good news out of Sweden. Youth are again finding the church, after decades of declining attendance:


The lockdown has a few silver linings.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Ostrich
Orthodox
Western Rite Orthodoxy is also an option, though much more limited in terms of parish choice than the Eastern Rite. It's essentially the pre-schism version of Roman Orthodoxy, so a lot of the liturgical form will be familiar to you while you immerse yourself in Orthodox theology and Church life.
 
I am seeking some advice. I was baptized into the Roman Catholic church when I was a baby, and attended church regularly until my confirmation at age 14. I declared myself an atheist shortly there after, and have stopped going to church regularly ever since. This year I have come back to Christianity. I have been praying every day and reading the bible, and I believe in it stronger than I ever did when I was a kid. A lot of the reason for that is this website and Roosh's blog, which obviously is based on Orthodox Christianity. I find that I am really quite fond of it. I have been watching Divine Liturgy streams on Youtube and I like the aesthetic of it all more than Catholic mass. I have also been following Father Josiah Trenham and find him really inspiring.

So I'm not sure if I should convert to Orthodox, or stay as a Catholic. There is a Byzantine Catholic church near me as well, which might be a good middle ground, but I don't know much about it. I'm not super familiar with the theological debate between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and tbh I don't think I will know enough for a long time to make up my mind on that stuff.
Mate you were baptized into a Rite with valid Apostolic succession. If I were you I would just go to confession and start becoming part of a trad Catholic parish. Byzantine is a good middle ground and you will probably find more trads than at your basic boomer novus ordo parish. The reason I say to stick with Catholicism is because of one of God's commandments, Honor Thy Father and Mother
You are Catholic most likely because of hundreds and hundreds of years of tradition. I wouldn't break that cycle just because of your interpretation or maybe because Eastern aestheticism appeals to your senses more (maybe because its "new" to you)
If you were a Protestant, I would say follow your heart and join a church that appeals to you AND has valid sacraments. But since you are coming from a church with valid sacraments I would consider it sinful to willfully leave.
Just thought I would share my opinion,
God Bless
 

gent

Pigeon
Mate you were baptized into a Rite with valid Apostolic succession. If I were you I would just go to confession and start becoming part of a trad Catholic parish. Byzantine is a good middle ground and you will probably find more trads than at your basic boomer novus ordo parish. The reason I say to stick with Catholicism is because of one of God's commandments, Honor Thy Father and Mother
You are Catholic most likely because of hundreds and hundreds of years of tradition. I wouldn't break that cycle just because of your interpretation or maybe because Eastern aestheticism appeals to your senses more (maybe because its "new" to you)
If you were a Protestant, I would say follow your heart and join a church that appeals to you AND has valid sacraments. But since you are coming from a church with valid sacraments I would consider it sinful to willfully leave.
Just thought I would share my opinion,
God Bless
Thank you friend.

I ended up doing an hour long confession at the Byzantine Catholic Church I mentioned. The pastor was very laid back and gave me a sense of ease. Unfortunately, they are not doing Divine Liturgy's right now due to the lockdown (I'm not sure why considering other parishes are having them outside). I have considered attending a Latin Mass as well since there are a few near me but I admit I am a bit intimidated.
 
Thank you friend.

I ended up doing an hour long confession at the Byzantine Catholic Church I mentioned. The pastor was very laid back and gave me a sense of ease. Unfortunately, they are not doing Divine Liturgy's right now due to the lockdown (I'm not sure why considering other parishes are having them outside). I have considered attending a Latin Mass as well since there are a few near me but I admit I am a bit intimidated.
Wow brother God bless!
You took the the leap of faith and now you are on the righteous path. My only advice to you brother is to keep seeking the sacraments. As long as you are attending Sunday mass/liturgy, receiving communion, and honestly attending sacrament of reconciliation you are on the right path and God will put the right people in front of you. I've only been on the path since May (baptized&confirmed but walked away from the faith from age 16-26) but since May my faith has grown exponentially. I was unemployed all summer now I have a RadTrad Nigerian Catholic boss. I love it.
I don't need to ramble on. Your on the right path If you continue to seek the Sacraments.

If you are feeling lonely in your worship, join a local Young Catholic Adults group. I networked and made a few friends.

God bless
 
If we actually find out what all that God knows that he wouldn't tell us himself:
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