What is Orthodox Christianity?

DeusLuxMeaEst

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
@Brebelle3 @Penitent

Thanks for the responses and prayers brothers.

I'll give a somewhat lengthy reply because I believe it's good feedback from an observer and inquirer like myself.

First, in the US Orthodoxy has an image problem. Just the word creates images and preconceived notions. Before this exploration, I assumed most Orthodox communities were for certain ethnic groups. (I'm finding that to be true, more on that later)

When I told a coworker about it, she immediately thought Orthodox meant archaic, not relevant to modern society, and unwelcoming (again finding the unwelcoming part to be true.)

These are the perceptions.

Now onto my experiences:

I enjoy the liturgy very much, however socially it's awkward.

My first liturgy, the priest was very cordial and introduced me to some people, unfortunately I haven't seen them again at the social hour. I have been messaging with this priest and the impression I get is that is that he doesn't have time or doesn't care. For example, he said to approach him after mass to discuss more. I've done this and he always has other things to do and disappears. Same thing with another priest. I don't think it's me or my impression. I dress conservatively and straight up told him that one reason I'm inquiring is that I want a more conservative form of Christianity and parish.

During the social hour, I try to make eye contact and start a convo, but many of the parishioners are Arab and with their families. I've sat alone twice and nobody really acknowledges that I'm there, so I leave.

The young adult group goes to a table with all the seats full and keeps to themselves.

Many people do not stay for the social hour either.

Now, in contrast I am talking with a woman in a dating context who goes to a Protestant church.

She sent me all the times for male fellowship, sent me podcasts of the sermons, assured me of the political leanings of most members her text was..."They all carry, just so you know :)", sent me times for bible study.

Now if you were an outsider which would you choose?

She's not even clergy, and I can't even get to speak with the Priest at the Orthodox church for more than 3 seconds.

I don't want to be Protestant, but from a friendliness / welcoming perspective the 'sales pitch' for the Protestant church is far superior.

Will it prevent me from joining? Possibly.

I'll keep attending and see what happens.
 
Last edited:

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
@Brebelle3 @Penitent

Thanks for the responses and prayers brothers.

I'll give a somewhat lengthy reply because I believe it's good feedback from an observer and inquirer like myself.

First, in the US Orthodoxy has an image problem. Just the word creates images and preconceived notions. Before this exploration, I assumed most Orthodox communities were for certain ethnic groups. (I'm finding that to be true, more on that later)

When I told a coworker about it, she immediately thought Orthodox meant archaic, not relevant to modern society, and unwelcoming (again finding the unwelcoming part to be true.)

These are the perceptions.

Now onto my experiences:

I enjoy the liturgy very much, however socially it's awkward.

My first liturgy, the priest was very cordial and introduced me to some people, unfortunately I haven't seen them again at the social hour. I have been messaging with this priest and the impression I get is that is that he doesn't have time or doesn't care. For example, he said to approach him after mass to discuss more. I've done this and he always has other things to do and disappears. Same thing with another priest. I don't think it's me or my impression. I dress conservatively and straight up told him that one reason I'm inquiring is that I want a more conservative form of Christianity and parish.

During the social hour, I try to make eye contact and start a convo, but many of the parishioners are Arab and with their families. I've sat alone twice and nobody really acknowledges that I'm there, so I leave.

The young adult group goes to a table with all the seats full and keeps to themselves.

Many people do not stay for the social hour either.

Now, in contrast I am talking with a woman in a dating context who goes to a Protestant church.

She sent me all the times for male fellowship, sent me podcasts of the sermons, assured me of the political leanings of most members her text was..."They all carry, just so you know :)", sent me times for bible study.

Now if you were an outsider which would you choose?

She's not even clergy, and I can't even get to speak with the Priest at the Orthodox church for more than 3 seconds.

I don't want to be Protestant, but from a friendliness / welcoming perspective the 'sales pitch' for the Protestant church is far superior.

Will it prevent me from joining? Possibly.

I'll keep attending and see what happens.

Just keep going to the Arab church.

My wife and I were seeking a decent church in our Canadian town, and found an ethnic Russian ROCOR parish. For the first 2-3 months, nobody paid us much attention, but now they know us and chat with us, and we feel like one of them.

Keep in mind that, although it's not justified, there might be a few factors in them being wary:

1. You're a random single man. Single people may have all kinds of red flags, especially given the modern culture.

2. You're neither ethnic Arab, nor from an Orthodox background. Why is this a red flag for them? Because many come from outside a culture with the intent to subvert it.


Of course, nobody should be thinking these things, but we're all fallen humans.

Keep going to the Divine Liturgy. Our Lord Jesus Christ founded the Orthodox Church. The Protestant movement was a creation of Luther.
 

Liviu

Sparrow
Orthodox
I'd like to give a quick update. I am continuing to go to an Orthodox church. Although I'm having a difficult time connecting with other parashioners.

Further, the priest seems very busy and every time we set up a time for a talk he bails or says he is busy. I also had the same experience with the other priest.

I'm finding this community not very welcoming at all. It seems cliquish and everyone knows each other. I'm sure if I was a young attractive female they'd be more welcoming (sarcasm)

Anyway I'm going to explore different churches although they are a further drive.
I say to you what I said before: Romanians are the frendliest (usually) of all the traditional orthodox ethnicities. Also, Romanian is by far the closest language to English of all the orthodox traditional languages (in case Holy Liturgy is in Romanian, which usually is). Someone here vouched for this, having tight ties with Romanians despite being inside ROCOR. So, my advice for you is this : among parishes you check , choose at least a Romanian one.
 

DRIIIVER

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
I say to you what I said before: Romanians are the frendliest (usually) of all the traditional orthodox ethnicities. Also, Romanian is by far the closest language to English of all the orthodox traditional languages (in case Holy Liturgy is in Romanian, which usually is). Someone here vouched for this, having tight ties with Romanians despite being inside ROCOR. So, my advice for you is this : among parishes you check , choose at least a Romanian one.
Can confirm. Romanians are very friendly and very loving towards newcomers. They have made me feel like home in the Parish I’m attending.

@DeusLuxMeaEst, I would simply recommend focusing on why you are there and what a blessing it is to be a part of the Divine Liturgy, in the presence of Holy Angels and Holy Saints and the Holy Spirit as He blesses the mystery of the Eucharist.

Prayer during the liturgy and love for your fellow parishioners should be your focus and fellowship will naturally flow from that. God will move you in the right direction, simply focus on what you can control and purify your heart to be made a clean vessel for the grace of God to flow into you. Everything good flows from God, there’s no need to force things if you are filled with His grace and obedient to His will for you.

I hope this helps in some way!
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
Just keep going to the Arab church.

My wife and I were seeking a decent church in our Canadian town, and found an ethnic Russian ROCOR parish. For the first 2-3 months, nobody paid us much attention, but now they know us and chat with us, and we feel like one of them.

Keep in mind that, although it's not justified, there might be a few factors in them being wary:

1. You're a random single man. Single people may have all kinds of red flags, especially given the modern culture.

2. You're neither ethnic Arab, nor from an Orthodox background. Why is this a red flag for them? Because many come from outside a culture with the intent to subvert it.


Of course, nobody should be thinking these things, but we're all fallen humans.

Keep going to the Divine Liturgy. Our Lord Jesus Christ founded the Orthodox Church. The Protestant movement was a creation of Luther.
Adding to this there have been cases of infiltrators recently so people may be cautious.

Two of the main Orthodox churches I've gone to were Greek (very) and OCA (heavily Russian). Both warmed up to me after a few months of attending, and even then I was almost always going with my brother and sister or my wife. I frequently have people start talking to me in Greek or Russian now just for me to remind them I don't speak that, then they chuckle and continue what they were saying. It takes a while for people to get used to you, but I don't feel less welcomed than anyone else.
 

DeusLuxMeaEst

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Adding to this there have been cases of infiltrators recently so people may be cautious.

Two of the main Orthodox churches I've gone to were Greek (very) and OCA (heavily Russian). Both warmed up to me after a few months of attending, and even then I was almost always going with my brother and sister or my wife. I frequently have people start talking to me in Greek or Russian now just for me to remind them I don't speak that, then they chuckle and continue what they were saying. It takes a while for people to get used to you, but I don't feel less welcomed than anyone else.

The infiltration fear is interesting. It was a question I wanted to ask the priest: What is the Orthodox church doing to prevent going down the path of Catholicism in the US, which has been infiltrated all the way to the top, excluding the Trads?

I will keep attending and make more of a social effort.

Are people actually pretending to be Orthodox?
 

Brebelle3

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
Brothers forgive me, I know the answer is in the forum, but I hoped I could get a quick answer before tomorrow.

My priest has asked that I begin to follow the fasting rule on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Is the below text correct and is there any additions omitted? Also, is there a time frame in which the fast shall take place during the day?

Weekly Fast
Unless a fast-free period has been declared, Orthodox Christians are to keep a strict fast every Wednesday and Friday. The following foods are avoided:
Meat, including poultry, and any meat products such as lard and meat broth.
Fish (meaning fish with backbones; shellfish are permitted).
Eggs and dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, etc.)
Olive oil. A literal interpretation of the rule forbids only olive oil. Especially where olive oil is not a major part of the diet, the rule is sometimes taken to include all vegetable oils, as well as oil products such as margarine.
Wine and other alcoholic drink. In the Slavic tradition, beer is often permitted on fast days.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Brothers forgive me, I know the answer is in the forum, but I hoped I could get a quick answer before tomorrow.

My priest has asked that I begin to follow the fasting rule on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Is the below text correct and is there any additions omitted? Also, is there a time frame in which the fast shall take place during the day?

Weekly Fast
Unless a fast-free period has been declared, Orthodox Christians are to keep a strict fast every Wednesday and Friday. The following foods are avoided:
Meat, including poultry, and any meat products such as lard and meat broth.
Fish (meaning fish with backbones; shellfish are permitted).
Eggs and dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, etc.)
Olive oil. A literal interpretation of the rule forbids only olive oil. Especially where olive oil is not a major part of the diet, the rule is sometimes taken to include all vegetable oils, as well as oil products such as margarine.
Wine and other alcoholic drink. In the Slavic tradition, beer is often permitted on fast days.

Well, it's a good time to start. That's correct as for Wednesdays and Fridays. Mondays are also observed by monastics. The fast is all day. It's a reduction in food, not total abstention.

We who are pious Christians must fast always, but especially on Wednesday, because the Lord was sold on that day, and on Friday, because he was crucified on that day. Similarly, it is our duty to fast during the Lent seasons, as the Holy Spirit illumined the holy Fathers of the Church to decree, in order to mortify the passions and humble the body, Moreover, if we limit the food we eat, life becomes easier for us. Fast according to your ability, pray according to your ability, give alms according to your ability, and always hold death before the eyes of your mind.

-St Cosmas of Aitolia
 

Kadikoy

Pigeon
Orthodox
@Brebelle3 @Penitent

Thanks for the responses and prayers brothers.

I'll give a somewhat lengthy reply because I believe it's good feedback from an observer and inquirer like myself.

First, in the US Orthodoxy has an image problem. Just the word creates images and preconceived notions. Before this exploration, I assumed most Orthodox communities were for certain ethnic groups. (I'm finding that to be true, more on that later)

When I told a coworker about it, she immediately thought Orthodox meant archaic, not relevant to modern society, and unwelcoming (again finding the unwelcoming part to be true.)

These are the perceptions.

Now onto my experiences:

I enjoy the liturgy very much, however socially it's awkward.

My first liturgy, the priest was very cordial and introduced me to some people, unfortunately I haven't seen them again at the social hour. I have been messaging with this priest and the impression I get is that is that he doesn't have time or doesn't care. For example, he said to approach him after mass to discuss more. I've done this and he always has other things to do and disappears. Same thing with another priest. I don't think it's me or my impression. I dress conservatively and straight up told him that one reason I'm inquiring is that I want a more conservative form of Christianity and parish.

During the social hour, I try to make eye contact and start a convo, but many of the parishioners are Arab and with their families. I've sat alone twice and nobody really acknowledges that I'm there, so I leave.

The young adult group goes to a table with all the seats full and keeps to themselves.

Many people do not stay for the social hour either.

Now, in contrast I am talking with a woman in a dating context who goes to a Protestant church.

She sent me all the times for male fellowship, sent me podcasts of the sermons, assured me of the political leanings of most members her text was..."They all carry, just so you know :)", sent me times for bible study.

Now if you were an outsider which would you choose?

She's not even clergy, and I can't even get to speak with the Priest at the Orthodox church for more than 3 seconds.

I don't want to be Protestant, but from a friendliness / welcoming perspective the 'sales pitch' for the Protestant church is far superior.

Will it prevent me from joining? Possibly.

I'll keep attending and see what happens.
Well, you can also see the 'sales pitch' of Protestants as creepy and suffocating. Or fake. I for one don't like being swarmed by strangers, especially chatty Kathys, with over-earnest smiles plastered on their makeup-caked faces, pretending to be 'so HAPPY' to see me.

There is dignity in quietude. There is great respect in leaving another to their thoughts, in silence. Especially in a holy temple.

They are testing you, as they should. They are NOT supposed to just automatically 'accept' you, for the things of Holy Orthodoxy are valuable and serious, not to be tossed around to just any and all comers. We are not to toss pearls before swine.

If you keep showing up and focus on Christ and Truth, if you are there for Truth and Salvation, for repentance, for a relationship with the Triune God, and you are not there for worldly rewards, impatient for new friends, a wifey, or some happily-ever-after scenario, then they'll see you're serious about learning and growing in the Faith.

You have no idea, no clue what those Arab Christians struggle with in their heads and their hearts. Do you know their culture? Do you know what it is like to live in societies full of betrayal and anti-Christian persecution, for centuries? Do you think that people from cultures and places like that just run into friendships without looking, without testing the trustworthiness of someone? They don't. They are wiser than silly, unserious Americans. Arabs Christians have learned, through centuries of persecution, to only make friendships with those they would trust their lives with. If they trust the wrong person, their entire family could die.

When you face your personal judgement, you will not be asked who befriended you or who ignored you. You will be asked about your Faith and the purity of your heart will be tested. You will be asked why you left a service merely because of your feelz. Or merely because others were more focused on God and the content of the service than on you. They are supposed to be focused on God and their own heart, the service, while in Church, not worried about the feelz of any and every newcomer who walks in. It is a holy place, not a bowling alley.

Keep going to services. Keep going to classes provided by the priest. Seek God and you will find Him. The rest is secondary.
 

josemiguel

Sparrow
Orthodox
Brothers forgive me, I know the answer is in the forum, but I hoped I could get a quick answer before tomorrow.

My priest has asked that I begin to follow the fasting rule on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Is the below text correct and is there any additions omitted? Also, is there a time frame in which the fast shall take place during the day?

Weekly Fast
Unless a fast-free period has been declared, Orthodox Christians are to keep a strict fast every Wednesday and Friday. The following foods are avoided:
Meat, including poultry, and any meat products such as lard and meat broth.
Fish (meaning fish with backbones; shellfish are permitted).
Eggs and dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, etc.)
Olive oil. A literal interpretation of the rule forbids only olive oil. Especially where olive oil is not a major part of the diet, the rule is sometimes taken to include all vegetable oils, as well as oil products such as margarine.
Wine and other alcoholic drink. In the Slavic tradition, beer is often permitted on fast days.
He's easing you into things, as the nativity fast is going on currently, where every day is fasting till Christmas. Strongly recommend shellfish for longfasts, and strongly recommend avoiding vegetable oils completely regardless if fasting or not as they're industrial waste products. Roosh finally got redpilled on big Veg Oil recently. I got redpilled on them when working in the car industry and discovered these veg oils were made orginally for lubricating engines qnd machines.
 

Brebelle3

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
He's easing you into things, as the nativity fast is going on currently, where every day is fasting till Christmas. Strongly recommend shellfish for longfasts, and strongly recommend avoiding vegetable oils completely regardless if fasting or not as they're industrial waste products. Roosh finally got redpilled on big Veg Oil recently. I got redpilled on them when working in the car industry and discovered these veg oils were made orginally for lubricating engines qnd machines.
Thank you. I cook with duck fat and grass-fed butter, so I understand those are forbidden on fast days. I am well aware zog oil.

I will probably eat a lot of shrimp for protein. Maybe beans and peanut butter too?

I think he knew I wasn't ready to do the nativity fast, so this will be a good start.

Thanks again.
 

Prores

Pigeon
Orthodox
Brothers forgive me, I know the answer is in the forum, but I hoped I could get a quick answer before tomorrow.

My priest has asked that I begin to follow the fasting rule on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Is the below text correct and is there any additions omitted? Also, is there a time frame in which the fast shall take place during the day?

Weekly Fast
Unless a fast-free period has been declared, Orthodox Christians are to keep a strict fast every Wednesday and Friday. The following foods are avoided:
Meat, including poultry, and any meat products such as lard and meat broth.
Fish (meaning fish with backbones; shellfish are permitted).
Eggs and dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, etc.)
Olive oil. A literal interpretation of the rule forbids only olive oil. Especially where olive oil is not a major part of the diet, the rule is sometimes taken to include all vegetable oils, as well as oil products such as margarine.
Wine and other alcoholic drink. In the Slavic tradition, beer is often permitted on fast days.

In addition to fasting from meat during the Wednesday & Friday fast, the faithful also are called to fast maritally these days and during all other fasts.
 

josemiguel

Sparrow
Orthodox
I will probably eat a lot of shrimp for protein.
Recommend depending on other shellfish more like mussels/oysters/clams. There is a risk that high shrimp consumption can result in a shellfish allergy.
I cook with duck fat and grass-fed butter, so I understand those are forbidden on fast days.
Coconut oil is useful for easing into it. Depending on the jurisdiction it can be considered fasting food. You want the unrefined stuff.
In addition to fasting from meat during the Wednesday & Friday fast, the faithful also are called to fast maritally these days and during all other fasts.
If you can do it, go for it, even Paul is clear that the two must come together if one is burning. The purpose is to increase prayer without causing one's spouse to stumble. The couples I know who pull it off tend to be past child bearing years.
 

Prores

Pigeon
Orthodox
If you can do it, go for it, even Paul is clear that the two must come together if one is burning. The purpose is to increase prayer without causing one's spouse to stumble. The couples I know who pull it off tend to be past child bearing years.
It is part of the fast
 

Prores

Pigeon
Orthodox
I pray to God that everyone has a spiritual father who tells them to maritally fast Wednesday, Friday, the eve of taking communion and the day of taking communion. These are serious things, I wouldn’t want to conceive a child in an act of disobedience.

Anyone can do it with prayer and determination to please God. It is the hardest part of the fast for many married men. So it is certainly the area in which we can grow the most spiritually.
 

josemiguel

Sparrow
Orthodox
I pray to God that everyone has a spiritual father who tells them to maritally fast Wednesday, Friday, the eve of taking communion and the day of taking communion.
I pray that everyone has a spiritual father doesn't burden them more than proscribed by Holy Synods like Synod of Volodymyr in 1274, which included as days of mandatory abstinence
only the first and last week of Great Lent, the two weeks of Dormition Lent,
and Wednesdays and Fridays during Nativity Lent and the Lent of the Holy
Apostles.

Proscribed minimal marital fasting varies across jurisdiction and time, but the ideal is still the same across all, which you mention in detail. The job of a priest is to help his spiritual children grow to that level. An equivalent food-wise would be hesychasts that can eat nothing during a long fast like Nativity or Lent. Not all make it that far in spiritual maturity in this life.

Anyone can do it with prayer and determination to please God. It is the hardest part of the fast for many married men.
If a man can do it, he can't force his wife to do so as well. My advice is to not marry a young healthy woman if you want to be able to achieve the ideal from the start of your marriage. As a husband you are the only outlet your wife has, and it is cruel to burden her more than she can bear. When the Scriptures describe woman as the weaker vessel, physical strength isn't the only aspect of her being described.
 

Prores

Pigeon
Orthodox
If I could give any advice it would be to seek this in marriage. I am happily married for many years and my wife and I keep the marital fasts. I attribute the success of our marriage to our adherence to the ascetic life of the church. Be encouraged that you too can do this.
 
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