Many people have expressed interest to me about joining the Orthodox Church but don’t know how, especially since so many Orthodox Churches seem to revolve around ethnicity. For new converts who want to experience the Divine Liturgy in mostly English, however, the choice is not difficult.
First, allow me to give a quick background on the Orthodox Church. There are two main groups: Eastern Orthodox, which is what most people see as “the Orthodox Church,” and Oriental Orthodox. The latter is a much smaller branch serving mostly the Armenians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, and Indians. For all intents and purposes, you will not join an Oriental Church unless you marry into it or have a particularly strong interest in one of the cultures.
The Eastern Orthodox Church comprises all other churches such as the Russian Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, and so on. Each church is under the authority of a patriarch. If you’re coming from Catholicism, the patriarch is like a mini-Pope who is fallible and has far less authority to exert top-down control of the Church.
Most of the ethnic churches conduct their Divine Liturgy in languages that are no longer spoken. It would make sense for you to join a church that conducts at least some of the Divine Liturgy in English to ease your transition into a more eastern form of worship. There are three churches that I can recommend:
ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia). Now part of the Russian Orthodox Church, ROCOR was originally created by bishops fleeing Bolshevism who wanted to preserve the doctrines and faith of Orthodoxy. Many ROCOR parishes conduct an English Liturgy with some Slavonic. My two favorite monasteries in America, Holy Cross in Wayne, West Virginia and Holy Trinity in Jordanville, New York, are ROCOR monasteries. UPDATE:Â I converted to this ChurchÂ in May 2021.
Antiochian Orthodox Church. The Antiochian Church comes in two types. One is mostly for Syrians and the other is mostly for converts. You want the one for converts. If the priest of a particular church doesn’t have a Syrian name, and pictures of the parishioners online are not all Syrian, you have the right church. I have visited Antiochian churches in Salt Lake City, Portland, San Diego, and Austin. They ranged from multicultural (Salt Lake City) to having mostly Protestant converts (Austin). From what I’ve seen, the Antiochians are faithful to Orthodoxy.
Orthodox Church of America (OCA). The OCA branched off from the Russian Orthodox Church not long ago, and like the Antiochians, maintain the eastern mysticism that will not remind you of an American megachurch. I attended one OCA church in Denver and found it similar to the Divine Liturgy of ROCOR. My main concern about this church is that it’s American; I am distrustful of American institutions and am not sure that the OCA can resist subversion attempts by leftist elements, but as of today, many OCA parishes are suitable. Unfortunately, this Church was closed to visitors during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, a potentially bad sign that they are in tune with secular authorities, but if you become a member of this church and later change your mind, you can join and receive communion from other Eastern Orthodox Churches without having to be baptized or chrismated again.
Two additional options to consider:
The Russian Orthodox Church. While it can depend on the parish, Russians are not bubbly to strangers, and it could be difficult to insert yourself into their community. That said, their Divine Liturgy is excellent and their faith pure. If you want to remain “anonymous” and not have small talk with others, this could be a good option.
The Greek Orthodox Church. Many non-Greeks join this church because of its reputation and history, but the Greek Orthodox Church in America is rapidly going down the road of secularism by virtue signaling on issues like racism and global warming. Most recently, their bishop attended a Black Lives Matter protest. Nonetheless, all their sacraments are still valid. Even though there is a Greek Orthodox Church in most American cities, I cannot personally advise you to join this Church unless you have no other reasonable option.
My recommendation is to attend the Divine Liturgy of at least two churches and stay for the fellowship period (coffee hour) if it’s available. Use this website to find the nearest Orthodox parish in your area.Â If you like the Liturgy, meet the priest and give him an abbreviated version of your life story. Does he seem like a man who could be your spiritual guide? Ask him about the process of becoming a catechumen with the intention of getting baptized and/or chrismated.
If you’ve never been to an Orthodox church, there are a variety of rituals that can feel intimidating, such as making the sign of the cross, venerating the icons, bowing, and lighting a candle. You don’t need to do any of them. Simply stand or sit with the congregation and no one will view you as disrespectful. As for dress, wear something that covers your arms and legs. Many people wear short-sleeve shirts, especially in the summer, but it’s better not to. If you’re a woman, take a headscarf just in case (it is strongly advised for ROCOR and Russian Orthodox churches).
After you visit the Orthodox churches in your area, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Which church will allow me to get closest to God? At the end of the day, this is why you go. Do you feel that the church will aid in the development of your faith, and ultimately your salvation?
2. Which church is likely to resist secular winds? You don’t want a church that is going to implement changes to fit in with the world.
3. Which church has the ultimate truth? While this is much harder to discern, the more mistakes or errors a Church has, the less grace you may receive from God from following its doctrines. Since all the Churches I recommended to you are Eastern Orthodox, you should not find any theological differences between them.
Don’t fall into the temptation of picking a church that gives you more mating options. It should not be relevant if a church has attractive singles, and if you are looking for a church with that in mind, you are not putting God first before your worldly needs.
Another temptation is to gravitate towards the church that is more “entertaining,” which is more of a problem with Protestant churches that feature amplified music bands. Instead, seek the church that is most holy. Did you feel moved during the Divine Liturgy? Do you feel that the Holy Spirit is in the church? Remember that it’s all for God.
Today, I’m a member of ROCOR and try to help others find Orthodoxy as well. In a post-coronavirus world where joining a church is more difficult than before, pray to God that He may help you find one that leads to your salvation.
Read Next: How I Pray
I thought ROCOR and the russian orthodox church were the same thing.
Technically they are different, but they are under the same patriarch now.
Different. They split over the Russian Church compromising with the communist government. No doctrinal issues at all. They have in recent years recognised each other, communion is reestablished, but they continue as separate establishments. Members can attend services in either Church.
I am having a very difficult time discerning between TLM Traditional Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. Both are reverent and resist secularism. As far as discerning the ultimate truth, I really don’t know. I can find validity in both sides. I’m more or less a “free agent” having not been raised in a Christian household and not having any direct cultural ties to a church. Advice on #3?
I can advise you to research the first millennium of church history and see how the church operated. You will find that the Roman Catholicism has made quite a few innovations in their doctrine since the second millennium and is actively alienating its Traditional minded members.
I would said its a bit more like a civil war than alienating. There could be more schism in the near future.
It’s true that the Catholic Church has changed during its second millenium, but is also true that the Church changed a lot during the first 1000 years. Did God want the changes to stop in the year 1054 (as Orthodox say)? Or is it that the changes have always been inspired by the Holy Spirit (as Catholics say)?
Since the Schism (the separation of both branches of Christianity), Catholicism has spread all over the world and half of Christians today are Catholic. I think this is a sign of who has the divine favour.
The Orthodox fail because Jesus instituted Peter as the rock on which the Church is based on and the Orthodox deny his authority. They also have other problems, such as the essence-energies distinction, which is a heresy.
I recommend either TLM (neither sedevacantist or SSPX) or Eastern Catholicism
Peter is the first Bishop of the Church in Antioch.
And he left that post, abandoning the periphery of the Empire to go to the capital of the world which is quite telling. The most important man in the most important place.
Become a Catholic as all non-Catholics go to hell “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven” All the miracles of fatima, our lady of Quito, Knock etc all happen to Catholics. orthodox or protestant have nothing. What does that tell you about these heretics and schismatics. I know this might be offensive to some ppl but God didn’t come to bring peace, but the sword.
I’ll pray for you
Sean, you are preaching Feeneyism, which a heresy. Not Catholicism.
I am a Catholic (even if Francis etc. are testing my faith) so I’ll ask other Christians here to join me in what the current Pope would call an ‘ecumenism of hate’.
For all non-Catholics I’ll ask you to pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Maybe God will guide those in the wrong group to the right one.
I stand with the Church’s teaching unlike all ye sola fide crypto protestants.
“The same in its own degree must be asserted of the Church, in as far as She is the general help to salvation. Therefore, that one may obtain eternal salvation, it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church actually as a member, but it is necessary that at least he be united to Her by desire and longing. However, this desire need not always be explicit, as it is in catechumens; but when a person is involved in invincible ignorance God accepts also an implicit desire, so called because it is included in that good disposition of soul whereby a person wishes his will to be conformed to the will of God. These things are clearly taught in that dogmatic letter which was issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, on June 29, 1943, On the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ (AAS, Vol. 35, an. 1943, p. 193 ff.). For in this letter the Sovereign Pontiff clearly distinguishes between those who are actually incorporated into the Church as members, and those who are united to the Church only by desire.” Furthermore: “With these wise words he reproves both those who exclude from eternal salvation all united to the Church only by implicit desire, and those who falsely assert that men can be saved equally well in every religion.”
â€”â€‰Letter of the Holy Office
I wanted to respond in a similar manner as a Polish Catholic. If you “walk in the light”, follow God’s commandment, you’ll be saved. Jesus said of those who were not his immediate, closest disciples: “Whoever is not against us is for us“.
The Church is its faithful, not just the Pope. In the end all change comes from within.
“Neither will the Church straighten out an evil one, nor will a saloon corrupt a good one”, is an old Polish saying, which is accurate in most cases.
When saint John Paul II the Great was in Rome, Poles not just elected, but reelected an atheist anti Catholic communist to the presidency, all the while knowing he had mocked and made fun of the Pope. That’s how much (little) influence the Church has over the people.
The Avignon papacy is the starkest example of how government would threaten and coerce the Church to bless its political dealings. Cardinal Jimenez did time in prison- the Spanish Primate had him locked up, refusing to honor the Pope’s directives, internal power struggles in Spain took precedent. Napoleon even kidnapped pope Pius VII. There are endless examples.
The Pope’s authority is in the matters of faith, and in the life of the Church, in its administration. And pay attention to what he himself says, not what the TV says that he says. What about all the KGB agents in high places in the Russian Orthodox Church? How independent could it have been in the USSR?
Now, was their allegiance to the communist party stronger than to their faith, how willful were they in their respective duties, was it a ‘better this than nothing’ situation- everyone must judge for himself.
Regarding the pope I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but upon remembering an old chestnut regarding someone’s actions and not their words I changed my mind.
Among other things Francis has taken action to defend perverts in the clergy and financially aided trans-sexual prostitutes during Corona.
So I concluded that he is actively wicked and an enemy of Christendom rather than a dupe that the media is taking advantage of and that his ‘good points’ are just politics, the limits of his office and damage control.
What I meant is the lying media amplifies some of his gestures to make them look more important. I don’t know all the circumstances, saint Padre Pio was harsh and almost belligerent towards notorious sinners, but I can understand the Pope didn’t want to chase those down on their luck away, be they mentally ill. I read in a Catholic weekly he agrees totally with John Paul II on marriage issues. He’s against all the gender propaganda.
The decline in vocations led to lower standards, but there is no excuse for it.
Your prayer is noble, but I can attest firsthand, it falls on deaf ears with the evangelicals.
>Sean, you are preaching Feeneyism, which a heresy. Not Catholicism.
You are the heretic. See: https://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/catholicchurch/outside-the-church-there-is-no-salvation/
Looking at Francisâ€™s off the wall progressive views, I beg to differ.
“Yes, Peter is the Rock.
And every bishop is Peter. Thus the episcopate as a whole is the Rock of which Peter is the type.
This is the interpretation of many Fathers including St. Cyprian.” – Lewis Reweb
Thank you for praying for people 🙂
The Catholic Church added to the Nicene Creed, claiming that the Holy Spirit not only proceeds from the Father but through the Son as well, which devalued the Holy Spirit and the entity on this world closest to it: the family. The problems in the Western Church have resulted in protestant branches being formed, while the Eastern Orthodox Church has remained Catholic (i.e. universal) in Her teachings (at least more than the Western Church).
The Filioque was added to combat the heresy of Arianism and it reinforces the concept of the Trinity. It is also a question of Latin vs Greek and how the meaning of words in each language differs.
The Filioque was added at the Council of Toledo in the 4th century by the Latin church. It was not an officially recognized ecumenical Council, and was done with out complete consent. One of several points of the Great Schism of 1054AD.
Typo, the Filioque was added in the 5th century by the Latin church.
There are the Old Believers. The spirit of the Orthodox Church is not universal though, it’s divided along ethnic/national lines. In WWII there would be a mass held simultaneously, for the Poles in one side aisle, and the Germans in the other, though the parties were at war, at least in the region I grew up in, and I’ve no idea how long things were that way. While in LwÃ³w (Lviv) alone, I lost count of the number of distinct Orthodox patriarchates, so there is a form of fragmentation with all these little ‘Popes’.
Then again what matters most is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Western Church is more divided than the Orthodox Church. I’ve been to a Western “Catholic” school: they taught heresies left and right and taught that homosexuality was completely fine, and even showed me pornographic crap in a couple of classes.
The Orthodox Church, on the other hand, is much more universal in its teachings IMO, even in my parish, which is of the OCA, is much more Catholic than the high school I went to. There’s a reason I went from being Jewish to being Orthodox, rather than being Jewish to being of the Western Church.
Ask yourself, which church gets attacked the most by the world? Which Church has truly spread the gospel to all nations? Which church compiled the original unadulterated bible? Which church built Europe (and gets no credit for that)? Which church has miracles and Marian apparitions prophecizing everything that is occurring now in this fallen world. Our Lady of Fatima and the miracle of the Sun.
Here is an intro:
If the world hate you, know ye that it hated Me before you.
St John XV:18
The Apostolic Origins of Celibacy
I recommend you listen to some conversions stories. Timothy Flanders/The Meaning of Catholic has been on a real truth seeking journey coming home to Rome being ex Protestant, Eastern Orthodox and even Messianic Judaism!
Seven Lies about Catholic Historyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNsV8rJys4c
Joining an ethnically based church makes no sense at all.
America has Catholic foundations and much hidden history which will surprise you even the first Thanksgivings were Catholic. The barque of Christ is rocky now but don’t let that be a deterrent. Check out the Radio priest, Fr Charles Coughlin of 1930’s America (vids on him are being deleted on youtube) likely the most popular orator in American history on the spiritual war we are living.
The fact the Roman church “gets attacked the most by the world” proves nothing. In the US, evangelicalism draws far more ire. Does that make them more “right”?
And it was the Orthodox world that’s undergone the most brutal persecution, between the Turkish destruction of Byzantium, the Soviet oppression of Orthodoxy in Eastern Europe, and various smaller movements. Even more if you include the Oriental churches like the Coptic and Armenian ones. Rome gets some persecution, sure, but a lot of that comes from the fact they spread all over the place and have long been integrated in politics.
The Bible is shared history of Rome and the East, you don’t get to act like Rome has bragging rights on that, either.
It’s hard to give Rome credit for “building Europe” when they spent hundreds of years with their fingers in politics and power-mongering, as the Vatican jockeyed for power along with the European kings, princes, and states. Byzantium was a far healthier and more sustainable model for church-state relations. And Russia has been, too, at times (though they’ve had plenty of bad stretches in this regard also.)
It puzzles me that the flashy “signs and wonders” of events like Fatima are treated by internet Catholics as some sort of kill-shot “proving” Catholicism. Reading about these events, they seem odd and dubious, and in line with Orthodoxy’s warnings about extreme care in handling supernatural events, lest you become spiritually deluded in prelest. This general Catholic lack of discernment around “spiritual” experiences, and Orthodoxy’s careful, measured approach to these things, makes me see the latter as much more persuasive.
Good article on Marian apparitions here: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/marian_apparitions.aspx
Spoken like a Protestant who grew up hating Catholics
Great argument: I love ad hominems!
Oh, and homosexuals were oppressed or something, so sodomy is the true Church (I love using the devil’s reasoning: it can vindicate *anything*)
Are you a homosexual? Repent.
No, I’m showing how both your and Constance’s arguments are fallacious. Homo is gross! Learned so from Roosh
I hate to play the game of who is more saintly. Byzantium is synonymous with red tape and inefficient bureaucracy, eventually Basil II had to use very oppressive taxation to maintain it; when Andronicus II drastically cut the military he gave the Turks free reign and sealed its fate, but he was staunchly Orthodox, and since the sack of Constantinople, which the Pope condemned, Byzantium was under the influence of the Venetian Doge. From the very beginning, when Constantine died, the scramble for power was nasty. Emperor Justinian’s wife Theodora was a former prostitute, I do not condemn her or anybody for their life choices, unless they’re murderers, or unrepentant thieves, but he could have done better.Â
The Pope rebuilt the Coptic Cathedral of Saint Mark after Muslims had destroyed it in the 7th century. At the Council of Florence, The Kievan Rus Patriarch Isidore acknowledged the Pope’s primacy, but the rulers of Russia opposed it. Later Ivan the Terrible’s marriage to his Byzantine wife was arranged by the Pope who had hoped for reunification, but it never happened, being impractical from the point of view of Russian politics and the new wife’s Greek Orthodox entourage.
The fact that the most destructive and murderous totalitarianism ever, grew among the people of the biggest Orthodox nation in the world is a reason for shame. They were victims of their own decisions. It’s not something various ‘pill-takers’ want to hear, but it’s obvious to the people whose eyes are open.
There were portraits of the Tsar in every church, he was venerated while he reigned. When the priest would have started praying for the imperial family, it would begin with the Tsar, and by the time the congregation got to the last and least family member, it was already evening, making the mass last 6 to 7 hours. That didn’t help him secure popularity. The Russian anthem boldly proclaimed the Tsar’s Orthodoxy too, and a plea to God to save and keep him. And yet the majority didn’t side with him in an open civil war. The Orthodox population is as guilty as sin of the Bolshevik revolution, they brought it onto themselves, Stalin studied to be an Orthodox priest, and he’s viewed favorably today by the majority of Russians.
While after biting the dust in 1920 in Catholic Poland, Stalin conceded that installing communism there was like saddling a cow, they were beaten back, though they had a 50 thousand strong contingent of workers in Warsaw, ready to act as the fifth column to secure their already prepared government with Kon, Marchlewski and Dzerzhinsky waiting for Warsaw to fall in WyszkÃ³w. The Vatican ambassador who would became pope Pius XI remained in the city during the fighting while the diplomats and dignitaries of all other countries, except for Turkey, have fled. The Armenian Catholic archbishop of LwÃ³w, JÃ³zef Teodorowicz, confirmed wounded Russian POWs’ attesting they had seen a vision of Mary protecting Warsaw.
No amount of agitation or money, can persuade anyone to act unless his inner convictions are in line. Russians failed to support their Orthodox Tsar, they went against the church hierarchy. Companies marketing products that people don’t like can burn through all their cash and go under, the same dynamic was in play back then.
And it was a white population with a long history of centuries of Orthodoxy (not to make light of all the evil that happened, but France pales in scale, while Mexico is a newly converted country with non-white, magic practicing people, with its anti-clerical, freemasonry tied revolutionary party that ruled for about 70 years until Fox, and it started in Moscow too). In the Soviet Union, the Catholic, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic churches were persecuted to a much greater degree.
Popes did not control politicians, rulers controlled popes- the Medicis and the Borgias had their popes, no pope had the Borgias or the Medicis in his control.
No comment of similar nature got through in the past, so I’ll be surprised if Roosh or whoever does the censoring here, allows this one.
You can attack the pope all you like, just as the JudeoMasons and heretics do! What else is new? I didn’t receive any responses in my email so am late. Are you a friend of Jack Chick? The Medjugorje apparition is fake but the following miracles are historical supernatural events.
How the Aztecs & Ameri Indians were converted to Christianity ceasing human sacrifices:
â€ªThe Amazing and Miraculous Image of Our Lady of GuadalupeÂ
Our Lady of Guadalupe Documentary – Amazing Scientific Analysis
Protestant and Orthodox churches are controlled by the State! Search Perestroika Deception. Where did the KGB go?, and no Nuremberg trial for Communist Talmudic terrorists?? Still getting away with murder I see.
The Schism spawned Islamic invasion Â Â Â
Urban II (1088-1099): Speech at Council of Clermont, 1095, Five versions of the Speech.
In 1094 or 1095, Alexios I Komnenos, the Byzantine emperor, sent to the pope, Urban II, and asked for aid from the west against the Seljuq Turks, who taken nearly all of Asia Minor from him. At the council of Clermont, Urban addressed a great crowd and urged all to go to the aid of the Greeks and to recover Palestine from the rule of the Muslims. The acts of the council have not been preserved, but we have five accounts of the speech of Urban which were written by men who were present and heard him.
Solovyov’s Russia and the Catholic Church
Third Secret of Fatima 2of12 (errors of Russia)Â Â still silenced & not consecrated
The Holy House of Loreto (“Santa Casa di Loreto”) is a stone house in which the Virgin Mary lived. It was in this house that she was born, raised, received the Annunciation, and had lived during the childhood of Christ. The house was converted into a church by the Apostles.
Threatened with destruction by the Turks, in 1291 the house was miraculously carried across the sea from Nazareth to the Italian city of Fiume. In 1294 it was again miraculously transferred across the sea from Fiume to the Marche region of Italy.
The house is now located within the Basilica of the Holy House in the town of Loreto, Italy. It is surrounded by a marble screen designed by Bramante during the Renaissance.
Holy House of Loreto
Go traditionalist Catholic. A site to investigate if you’re interested: http://www.fisheaters.com/beingcatholic.html
If the Armenians spoke english and reported to a Armenian body, they would still be an Armenian church, yes. A church’s primary objective should be missionary. You can do liturgy with mostly English and a touch of armenian in there to pay respect to one’s roots.
Obligatory mention that the “Oriental Orthodox” and “Eastern Orthodox” are not in communion. You know it, I know it, but it has to be said
God Bless you Roosh.
Yes that’s right the Oriental Orthodox were declared heretics by the Greek Orthodox Church. But I guess that’s none of my business.
I disagree! It is your business. It is everybody’s business. It was the first internal split of the united Church, happening for reasons of politics and enviousness, and it set a precedent for all further schisms. Mutual allegations of heresy were not true, as most acknowledge today, but were the result of not listening to each other properly. The Greeks spoke of Jesus having two natures combining in one Hypostasis, the Copts spoke of two ousia combining into one nature. They meant the same, but spoke past each other. Apart from that, the Coptic Patriarch Dioscorus was put under house arrest and excommunicated for non-attendance, not for heresy. Today, even Mount Athos admit they treated him unfairly. I believe that rectifying this schism could have wide ramifications in sorting out later issues – gradually, of course.
Incidentally, the Oriental Orthodox Churches are not that small. 40 million in Ethiopia, 22 or 23 million in Egypt (the Muslim government still quote a figure from the 40’s of 4 million, which is obviously not correct), perhaps now 10 million in India, plus Armenia, Syria, Eritrea and a large diaspora. The total is in the ballpark of 80 million.
Will you write an article about the conflict in Armenia? Turkey, Azerbaijan, (them) and are trying to genocide Armenians. P.S. #SerbiaStandsWithArmenia.
You don’t mention in this article reading, studying, contemplating each verse of God’s word. I know devout believers who have never read the Bible and are just told by their clergy what’s what. Tradition within that centuries-old church.
There are seven churches symbolized in the Book of Revelation and for the sake of your soul you want to avoid five of them. Pray for the Holy Spirit to cause you to understand it.
The key point “Pray to God that He may help you find one that leads to your salvation.” Commit your soul to him. He knows what is in your heart and where you need to be in your walk. He wants you to come to him.
My being Scots/Irish/English, there is the Reformed Church of Scotland, the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in the Protestant faith to mention a few, which I pray are full of God’s grace.
There are saved believers in the five dead churches, God works in mysterious ways.
But, … like many of your articles you did a fine job here.
The Reformed Church in America (RCA) is a very liberal Protestant denomination. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), you mention, is more conservative, and Iâ€™ll concede this point to you.
The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a conservative break off of the very liberal and progressive Presbyterian Church USA (my 90 year old mother belongs to the Presbyterian Church USA), is now splitting yet again over acceptance of homosexuality. Today, I had the unfortunate experience of an unprovoked encounter with a young combative Southern Baptist seminarian who appeared to have a Calvinist Reformed twist (Iâ€™ve discovered Southern Baptistâ€™s are now vacillating between 5 point Calvinism, and a woke liberal/post-modernism drift. The liberal drift has been ever present for years in the SBC). After the usual evangelical mind gymnastics, I was able to politely extract myself.
Part of my daily devotions tell me â€œall are sent by you (God), so I guess his will was done here. I disagree (as I did with this young combative Southern Baptist seminarian, and bear in mind, I was once a Southern Baptist, and by birth, not by choice) on your views of holy tradition, and implications of, and Sola Scriptura interpretations of, dead churches I see common amongst evangelicals.
I read a past survey done by Time Magazine. Granted, it has a left leaning skew, but it asked the question â€œwhoâ€™s the most disliked groups of people in Americaâ€?
1. IRS agents
2. Used car sales people
3. Evangelical Christians
With all due respect, evangelicals, including those Reformed leaning, should heed this, not to the extent of embracing social justice and liberalism, but maybe taking the often boorish behavior down a notch. As the old saying goes â€œyou get more flies with honey than you get with vinegarâ€.
As for your observation on dead and living churches:
I’ve seen a liberal Catholic church packed to the brim. I’ve seen a very conservative IFB church rival it. I’ve seen traditional and conservative Orthodox and Evangelical churches with low member numbers, or outright on death’s door.
My own SBC church is small. Our Pastor preaches shamelessly on the evils of Marxism, Homosexuality, co-habitation, etc., and in a very loving but firm way to boot. Former parishioners have marched out of such sermons in a fury, never to return.
Thus, I don’t take church size too seriously to a point. Some packed churches are really good; some are full of itching-eared goats being entertained. Some churches are indeed dying due to error, heresy, division, and hollow secularism masquerading as religion. Some are stubborn holdouts in a time of apostasy.
And maybe you’re right, that Evangelicals could stand to be more polite, and supposedly less liberal. Yet I also see surveys like this one from the Pew Research Center:
Scroll down to the section titled “Religious knowledge linked with more favorable views of religious groups.”Â Those with a more limited knowledge of religion tended to view religions with mostly the same measure of “warmth,” with only minor percentage variations.Â However, once people who are more knowledgeable about religions come into play, their knowledge dramatically changes their like or dislike of one religion over another.Â You will find that there too, are Evangelicals at the very bottom of the totem pole, in terms of a popularity contest.
Notice who’s at the top though, and who are more well liked: Talmudic Jews are at the top, followed closely by Buddhists and Mainline Protestants, with Hindus, and Catholics not far behind.Â Even Atheists manage to stay out of the bottom three.Â The Mormons, followed by the Muslims begin the “unpopular kids” table.Â But notice that not only are Evangelicals at the very bottom, they aren’t at the very bottom by one, two or three points.Â They are a full seven points lower than the Muslims.Â
Keep in mind, this survey has to do with religious knowledge, not personal behavior.Â The Mormons and Muslims being near the bottom could be chalked up to them being perceived as more politically and theologically conservative, and less “open-minded.”Â But based on religious knowledge alone, not a bad personal experience with a rude Evangelical, Evangelicals absolutely crater in terms of popularity.Â Why?
They don’t have the blatant jihadism, honor killings of women, and executions of the LGBTQ crowd under their belt.Â The Mormons probably scored one point higher than the Muslims due to their greater affirmation of homosexuality in their cult:
Yet one can have a field day looking up how kooky of a cult they are on YouTube (which probably accounts for their low rating, but still.)Â Â Â Â Â
So what about Evangelical doctrine, in particular, makes most people recoil in disgust?Â Even in comparison to the wackiness and insanity of Mormonism and Islam?Â There could be various factors, but being a servant, not greater than their Master, and not being of the world, could be a possibility.
The Catholics being so high up is no surprise to me, as they’ve been suffering through their own leftward drift. Whether it be Pope Francis’ recent statements on Civil Unions, or the state of their Nostra Aetate:
Even the Mainline Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches are members of the infamous World Council of Churches:
Upon further reflection, I can see where you and others are coming from in terms of “insane Evangelicals”; particularly if they are Charismatic/NAR/Pentacostal or in a church that has been infiltrated by similar beliefs.
My own personal negative experiences with most Catholic and Orthodox laymen is the opposite extreme: a worldliness that is in sharp contrast to the sacredness and holiness of their ceremonies and churches.
If you feel ministered to via a strict orthodox approach – good for you. If you feel ministered to via endless group activities, a command-and-control hierarchy and boxes on an organized religion organizational chart with people who view you as a box on a chart from their box on the chart – good for you. If you feel ministered to by going through the appropriate motions and saying the appropriate things around the appropriate people at the appropriate times – good for you. I’m not advocating for a wishy-washy feel-good everyone-is-a-winner megachurch approach, but after having grown up in a very tradcon church and home, I’m very aware of the problems on that end of the spectrum also.
Watch this video, 45 minutes of your life.
from start til 31 minutes, and from the 1 hour mark til 1:08, total 39 minutes.
God had a clear vision for Noah, and Abraham, and Solomon.
there are 3 free wills: society’s will for you, your own free will, and God’s free will. Which would you prefer to follow?
I go to a ROCOR parish which, like many of them, does their services entirely (or almost entirely) in English. Mine has many converts, and great camaraderie between the different cultures represented. But this can vary a lot, best thing to do is visit parishes and see for yourself.
Personally, I really like the blend of American converts and cradle Orthodox from Russia/Eastern Europe/etc. Feels like you get a richer impression of Orthodoxy this way, and I’d suggest that over defaulting to the convert-iest parish you can find.
I’ve seen some pozzed stuff from OCA, but the parish I visited was quite good and had a solid priest. Again, it’s likely to vary a lot. Avoiding the Greek archdiocese is good general advice unless it’s Father Barnabas Powell’s church or something.
I have 4 friends who are Protestant converts who belong to the local ROCOR parish. Solid parish with a wonderful bi-vocational priest. Theyâ€™re still a mission church, but they have about 40-50 faithful. Iâ€™m an Antiochian Orthodox, but weâ€™ve done pan-Orthodox services during Great Lent with the other local parishes, and I love our ROCOR brothers.
Btw, what ever happened to Abbott Tryphon from All-Savior Monastery, Vashon Island, WA? I know he was ambushed and assaulted at a gas station in Seattle a couple years ago by a leftist thug who evidently was triggered when he saw Abbott Tryphonâ€™s pectoral cross. He suffered injuries.
I recommend those interested in entry into the Holy Orthodox Church to first contact the priest, then begin with attending Saturday evening Great Vespers services, and then Sunday Orthros and Divine Liturgy services. Be advised, Eastern Orthodoxy is not for the faint of heart, or the nominal â€œroll over and hideâ€ megachurch parishioner type. In the big midwestern City, we have the following Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions: two Serbian Orthodox Churches, two Greek Orthodox Churches, one ROCOR Orthodox Church, one Orthodox Church in America, and one Antiochian Orthodox Church. In the Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions: one Coptic Orthodox Church, one Ethiopian Eritrean Orthodox Church, one Apostolic Armenian Church, and one Indian Malankara (Syriac Orthodox Church/St Thomas Christians) When I fled evangelicalism, my journey to the Holy Orthodox Church took me first to an OCA church 23 years ago. The OCA is a solid jurisdiction, but The parish I went to was in a high brow wealthy suburban area, and like evangelical Protestantism that I fled, I saw a (be it small) influence of some snobbery and aloofness, despite the priestâ€™s, deaconâ€™s, and most of the laityâ€™s pushback. 4 years ago, I fell in love with, and switched, to an Antiochian Orthodox parish after attending their ethnic festival. I emphatically disagree with Roosh V here. My priest is Syrian, a former Southern Baptist pastor, and the Antiochians are some of the most welcoming and loving of converts (read about the late evangelical Peter Guilquist of Campus Crusade and 3,000 of his people who entered the Holy Orthodox Church into the Antiochian Orthodox Church. Btw, be a good article for Roosh V). 95% of our liturgy is conducted in English, with the remainder in Arabic and Greek. Our parish has mostly Arab Americans and Anglo Americans, but also a few Romanians, a few Georgians, a few Ukrainians, a few Belarusians, a few Bosnians, a few Ethiopians, and a few Greeks. Over half our converts are former evangelical Protestants, and mainline Protestants. Both the ROCOR and OCA parishes are solid here, as the Serbian parishes. The one Greek parish has a former evangelical Protestant pastor as their priest. Iâ€™m not sure about the other Greek parish. I donâ€™t think you can necessarily broadbrush the Greek Orthodox Church (IMO) entirely. One of the Serbian parishes is an inner city mission parish with a great ministry supported by a Skete of nuns and monks.
Reading your article I notice that it is easier to find a conservative Orthodox Church in North America than it is in Western Europe (Germany). Here the Orthodox Church bows to all the whims of the world and care more for the outside appearance on Sundays and Holidays. After the con-scamdemic you see how weak these churches are. I have seen only one church that doesn’t believe in the scamdemic and you won’t see a muzzled attendee on Sundays: the FSSPX.
I dug a little into Catholic and Orthodox theology and decided to convert to Catholicism. The decision was hard because having grown up in an Adventist household you get submerged with all kinds of anti-Catholic propaganda. Then there was the question of cultural division since I am part German and part Russian. Despite myself feeling closer to my Russian blood, I can’t deny the truths in (Traditional) Catholicism.
I find that very hard to believe that the Orthodox Church parishes in Germany are bowing to the world. While Germany is a mess, that seems rather odd to me, and with all due respect, I question some of the ethnic Slavic posters.
Seventh Day Adventistâ€™s are a Christian cult, becoming woke here in America (my late fathers family were Adventists), and they follow the spurious teachings of Ellen White. They also have been known (not tin foil hat here) to send plants into ethnic Orthodox parishes in America to try and proselytize the faithful!
Why is that hard to believe? The Orthodox church bowed to the communist governments in Russia and Romania.
Who are you to tell me otherwise? Have you lived in Germany, have you visited as many Orthodox parishes as I did? No? Then hold your tongue. The Orthodox have a severe slave-relationship to any state due to the raping and pillaging of Communist regimes and the Ottoman Empire. Of course it varies, but the submissiveness and docility and shame-facedness (regarding conservative ideals) is rampant in Orthodox parishes in Germany.
You’re absolutely correct in looking towards traditional/conservative parishes. The chairman of the German Bishop’s Conference, Georg BÃ¤tzing, has created a serious crisis pushing for the ordination of women, because “the laity demands it”. So naturally, he’s under constant, heavy criticism in Polish Catholic press, the Church is not a marketing operation to conform to the expectations of the majority, how appropriate that people are compared to sheep in the Bible, and respond like a flock to either a wolf or the shepherd. A lot of active evangelizing is how you increase membership, your faith should shine. His position is just one more indicator of the overall sad situation in Germany, which I don’t think will exist in 50 years, and they’re unfortunately not even going to a pre-1870 situation.
It is a great tragedy in Germany. The one’s who seriously keep the True Faith I love dearly, but your average citizen is “hyper rational” and believes anything remotely spiritual is backwards. As E. Michael Jones put it, Germany is a gigantic concentration camp full of docile sex robots (and nerds) [the brackets are my addition]. You have mandated “quiet time” from 10 PM to 6 AM by law. That’s why you don’t see a lot going on, no living, no enjoying in this country. When I visited other countries like Poland or Serbia I was amazed how many people (even families with children) were outside at midnight.
I believe God left this country for the most part to its own devices because the docile and uncritical German believes himself and his Satanic politicians to be gods, and the public broadcasters are their prophets.
An article from Return of Kings described the social situation in Germany perfectly: http://archive.is/Zb5Z6
A suggestion for a couple articles.
1.The late Peter Guilquist and 3,000 of his followers from the evangelical Para-ministry Campus Crusade who entered the Holy Orthodox Church into the Antiochian jurisdiction several years back.
2. Abbott Tryphon, ROCOR, of All-Savior Monastery, Vashon Island, WA. Heâ€™s had death threats from militant islamists, and he was assaulted at a gas station while filling up the monasteryâ€™s van awhile back by a leftist thug.
Btw, you should visit Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete in Weatherby, MO (Serbian Orthodox), and All-Savior Monastery (ROCOR), Vashon Island, WA.
Thank you. Much needed encouragement and a reminder to walk into my local Orthodox church (under EP) and ask for guidance about everything.
The Orthodox Christian Church is extremely diverse. Some parishes are liberal, while some traditional. Some parishes are open and friendly, others are tight knit and insular. Here in eastern Tennessee, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church is very insular and closed off. It is an old parish, dating back a century, of descendants of Greeks that are now part of the local wealthy elites. On the other hand, a new ROCOR parish is being started up in Pigeon Forge. It is very open and welcoming, largely owing to the passionate and dynamic Pastor Mark. And it is very diverse, consisting of Americans, Romanians, Ukrainians ans Russians. So come join us in buiding a new church!
How do you like living in eastern Tennessee? I am considering relocating to either Knoxville or Chattanooga to escape California which is an evil place. If I end up in Knoxville, I would check out the ROCOR parish you mention.
I am from Chattanooga (though I don’t live in the South anymore). Compared to the rest of America, Tennessee is relatively sane. They certainly take care of their roads better. Chattanooga is kind of hipster, but nobody likes living in Knoxville. Cleveland is a nice small city with all the amenities and only a short drive to either of the two.
Present progressive leanings from the hierarchy aside (to put it generously), Greek churches vary widely in how welcoming they are. Overall in the southeast they aren’t as ethnic-driven, because we didn’t get the same waves of immigrants.
Greeks are not lukewarm. When they’re good, they’re very very good. When they’re bad, they’re horrible. Sometimes both.
However, Greek churches are very predictable and generally stable. You know what to expect, and you know what is expected out of you. They don’t have the same wackiness as some of the other jurisdictions.
Frankly, with all the overt progressivism and secularism from the hierarchy, I can’t in good conscience attend a GOA church anymore. But it’s still where my heart is.
The converty churches in the southeast tend to be kind of … converty. Southerners have always been fanatical religiously, so it makes sense that the same region that produced snake handling would also produce a bizarre form of Orthodox Christianity. So just be aware of that. They’re not necessarily bad, and for some people they may be the best option, but a lot of mission parishes, if you convert there, you won’t be able to function in another parish.
What’s funny about East Tennessee, or at least Chattanooga, is that the people don’t think of themselves as being in the Appalachians. The mountains of Tennessee are more like valleys. Just because you live “in the mountains” doesn’t mean you live on a mountain or even near a mountain.
Nobody likes living in Knoxville? I arrived here a month ago with my family and I’m loving every minute of it. It’s an awesome region, with very friendly people and beautiful landscapes. Great restaurants and lots of pretty girls. The locals take enormous pride in the Volunteers.If the natives don’t like it, then the Blue State traditionalists will gladly take their place after suffering the persecution in places like NYC and D.C. Y’all don’t appreciate how good you have it.
Ugh. Blue state carpetbaggers. That’s why the Atlantic states are turning Democrat. We need to build a wall on the Mason-Dixon line.
There’s a lot to love in the outer Knoxville area. But I’ve never met anyone who liked Knoxville itself. When it’s not football season, the city dies.
Part of the problem, I think, is there’s just no room. The Cumberland mountains begin to the northwest of it, and so the city is crammed between those ridges and the river. Traffic is awful.
I am a native New Yorker who spent 15 years living in Ukraine, where I met my beautiful Orthodox wife. (I recommend Ukraine as among the few places left in Europe to meet a traditional wife, although globo-homo is well-advanced in destroying the society.) When we decided to raise our kids in the U.S., she said she would not homeschool. That meant our kids would have to attend public school, which limited our options to about six-eight states where traditional values are still in place. Tennessee is as good an option as any. Although Knoxville itself has a swelling immigrant population (and leftist Blue State exiles), the surrounding territories are still highly traditional.And I am very satisfied. As for the Pigeon Forge parish, we are renting a tiny building at the moment. But the community is swelling and we will need a new building soon. Pastor Mark is as good an Orthodox pastor as you’ll find. And he will make you passionate for the Orthodox faith.
If you were baptized as an infant in the Roman Catholic Church and want to officially convert to the Eastern Orthodox Church, are you required to get baptized again?
You’ll have to ask a priest. I think you may only need to get chrismated.
It varies widely by jurisdiction (and century). I would encourage you to receive a new baptism altogether if possible. You will regret it later on if you don’t, though it’s not as big of an issue as some people make it. Don’t think of it as a requirement or a formality — it’s entering into something greater and higher.
Whatever anyone tells you, there’s no one right answer, and there have been a wide range of practices over the years. The 1672 confession of Dositheos of Jerusalem (which is worth reading, as it contrasts Orthodox Christianity with protestantism) says that protestants and Catholics should only be received by confession. If I remember correctly, it doesn’t even recommend that protestants be chrismated.
The Catholic sacrament of confirmation is the equivalent, more or less, to chrismation. So I think Catholics are usually received either by mere confession or by a new baptism entirely. I don’t think they are ever received by chrismation alone, though I could be wrong.
I know a former catholic received by Chrismation only. I think it was in the Russian patriarchal Church, not ROCOR.
When I was received into the Holy Orthodox Church 23 years ago, I came into an OCA parish. The priest had some leeway with Economia. In my case, I had been baptized by immersion at age 17 in a Baptist Church (they call it believerâ€™s baptism). I requested to be re-baptized, but the priest refused saying the mode of immersion with reference to the Trinity was sufficient. I was christmated and tonsured. The exception in that parish was if youâ€™d been christened. In that case, there was a young woman from an Episcopalian background whoâ€™d been christened as an infant, and she was re-baptized by immersion into the Holy Orthodox Church using a triune formula.
I know if a convert has had Jesus only baptism (Pentecostals do this), they are re-baptized in the Orthodox Church.
Iâ€™m in an Antiochian parish now. My Syrian priest (Abouna) re-baptizes all converts.
Thank you for the insightful information. I suspected that this would be the case. Not being re-baptized and/or chrismated seems like the conversion wouldn’t be quite as authentic.Â
Absolutely. God bless you as you prayerfully consider entering the Holy Orthodox Church. As the priest told me 23 years ago â€œthis is your last stop on your journeyâ€. I only regret not doing it sooner in life.
Iâ€™m not sure where you live, but if thereâ€™s an Antiochian parish in your area, they are most welcoming and receptive to converts.
I was rebaptised when I was received by the Copts and I am ever so grateful for this completely fresh start. I had been baptised before, but only by having water poured over my head – that could make a difference. In any case, that was what they did, and I had no scrouples about it then, and still haven’t. If that was what it took, that was what it took. Actually, I never quiried it.
Going to have to avoid any church that denies original sin and/or the sinful nature of man.
I would also recommend looking into Catholicism, a group which is very open for new members. Just avoid woke societies as e.g. all kinds of Protestantism. I met a baptist girl once and I thought she was insane. I would also recommend looking into the catechism.
This past summer I visited an Antiochian Orthodox Church in my area. I have interest in converting. They didnt seem too cucked on masks and social distancing and all when I visited. Then Metropolitan Joseph paid a visit. The clergy had to wear masks. The laity had to social distance. You had to reserve a spot because of social distancing. Those who couldn’t get a spot in the church had to go to the church hall and watch the liturgy by live stream. It was very concerning.
Now, i get e-mails about wearing masks and social distancing if i should go to coffee hour . I don’t know if this church uses plastic spoons to distribute the Eucharist, so I can speak to that. But, i suspect it. They did close when the state said to for months.
Where’s the faith that God will protect us? Where is faith?
The church never was afraid of anything even death it’s self because we have Christ! First it starts with masks and social distancing then it will end with accepting the mark of the beast!
I think any church that follows the state’s commands is nothing more than a state church. God help me ,a beast church. They closed their doors to the laity so they couldn’t receive the body and blood of Christ! Why? Because the state said to. What more does anyone need? I’m not just talking about that
church im talking about ALL. Any church!
I think if you follow lock down orders and you closed down and are following what the state says,i don’t think you can call yourself Orthodox. Where’s the faith of the Apostolic Fathers? Ignatius was arrested for the faith. He said that once he was in chains for Christ, he was finally becoming a disciple!
Do you know of any real Orthodox churches that are remaining faithful to the faith during this time? Rather than the state?
Most Orthodox Churches have been forced to survive under islam or under communism, and have, as someone said, a slave/master relationship. It is not helped by Paul writing that we should obey the law.
However in this case there are (falsely, as many of us know now) claimed to be health issues for the world. I hope that we would resort to secret services otherwise, as has been done in many periods. I would attend almost any Church in that situation.
Actually I think it’s now time that we stop bickering between denominations faced with the nearing time of the mark of the beast. (I mean bickering, not reasoning.)
The problem I fear is far deeper than that. Yes, the church has weathered many persecutions , authoritarians and pandemics. However this problem with closing churches, social distancing, wearing masks and restrictions for a virus is altogether a sign of very bad things to come.
The church is by doing such things is saying that the church building which was consecrated and where God dwells is able to transmit viruses. The same goes for the Eucharist. The body and blood of Christ cannot transmit disease.But, the metropolitans, bishops, priests etc who have closed their churches because the State said to have agreed to worldly beliefs about the church and the Eucharist. This in my opinion is a great sin if not apostacy and blasphemy!
I will not attend or have my conversation to a church in a church buildingt hat has closed and or is enforcing the will of the state and would rather obey and please man rather than God!
This is like George Costanza trying to join the Latvian Orthodox church.
Watch American Gospel, it will change your life. God Bless you, Roosh. I am praying for you.
No thank you.
If you read the Bible, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was never a part of any church, nor did He ever command us to join any church. Rather, we read: “Come out of her, my people!” Consider this:
Babylon is Fallen
“â€¦All the nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her immorality. The kings of the earth were immoral with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from the extravagance of her luxury.â€ Then I heard another voice from heaven say: â€œCome out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or contract any of her plagues. For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities…” ~ Revelation 18:3 through 5 (Berean Study Bible)
So Lot went out and spoke to the sons-in-law who were pledged in marriage to his daughters. “Get up,” he said. “Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
Leave Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! Declare it with a shout of joy, proclaim it, let it go out to the ends of the earth, saying, “The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob!”
Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing; come out from it, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the LORD.
Flee from the midst of Babylon; depart from the land of the Chaldeans; be like the he-goats that lead the flock.
Flee from Babylon; escape with your lives! Do not be destroyed in her punishment. For this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; He will pay her what she deserves.
“We tried to heal Babylon, but she could not be healed. Abandon her! Let each of us go to his own land, for her judgment extends to the sky and reaches to the clouds.”
Come out from among her, My people! Save your lives, each of you, from the fierce anger of the LORD.
2 Corinthians 6:17
“Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
Jesus Christ did not die on the cross to bind us to the false religion of men, but to make atonement for our sins so that we might be grafted into Him as Sons of adoption – Kings and Priests unto our God and Father. Let me put it another way. Here is Jesus’ promise:
“Now, however, I am going to Him who sent Me; yet none of you asks Me, â€˜Where are You going? Instead, your hearts are filled with sorrow because I have told you these things. But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because they do not believe in Me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world has been condemned. I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you. In a little while you will see Me no more, and then after a little while you will see Me.” – John 16:5 through 16 (Berean)
If the Holy Spirit shall lead us into all truth, then we have no need for the false religion of men to rule over us because the Holy Spirit Himself is already inside us performing God’s redemptive work within us. There is therefore no longer any need of outside human interference since such human interference is inherently antichrist. Here is the proof:
“I am amazed how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospelâ€” which is not even a gospel. Evidently some people are troubling you and trying to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be under a curse! As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be under a curse! Am I now seeking the approval of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. For I certify to you, brothers, that the gospel I preached was not devised by man. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” ~ Galatians 1:6 through 12 (Berean Study Bible)
Don’t take my word for it, sir. Pray on it and read the Bible for yourself, and then compare the false religious institutions of men against the teachings of Jesus. You will find that EVERY church is antichrist regardless of denomination.
Trust Jesus and come out of Babylon.
Sola Scriptura is Satanic heresy and I never met one single Protestant nor Evangelical who was mentally sound. The Holy Scriptures had to be compiled and canonized properly, which was finished almost 400 years after Christ. Do you believe the Apostles and Early Church Fathers adhered to Sola Scriptura, are you out of your mind? You are like a Muslim being void of genuine historicity. You can even read in St. Pauls writings that he was not familiar with the written Gospels, especially the Gospel according to St. John.
What I want to tell you is that Tradition exists before the Bible was finished. Christ was not a proto-communist that was there to destroy traditions and culture. Protestantism and Freemasonry are just precursors to Satanic Communism. Research the history and you will see if your intentions for seeking the Truth are genuine.
The book of Acts? Doesn’t the Ortho Church teach that the “Church started at Pentacost (which is actually the feast of weeks) But what about the prophets? What about how Saul was filled with the Spirit?
Most books of the NT were not written 400 years after but earlier much earlier (I know that’s different from organizing the Canon which is important). The book of Mark was written only 30 after the resurrection https://biblehub.com/summary/mark/1.htm
And you’re ignoring the first 39 books which were already organized and which the apostle used (Acts 8:30).
You know how many times “New Testament” passages are almost exact repeats as what was written in the “Old Testament”? Just 1 example for now 1Peter 2:10 & Hosea 3:23.
Also the Hebrew/Aramaic is much deeper and provides a fuller understanding than any other language; don’t take my word for it and this is even though the NT Canon was originally written in Greek.
Clarify, the Orthodox church teaches that the Holy Spirit came at Pentacost and this is what started the church and the Catholic church doesn’t have the Holy Spirit according to the Orthodox Church.
And what’s with these Freemason conspiracies? The freemasons are just a religion people waste so much time on them and I don’t believe 90% of the cringe theories out there.
Around 400 AD Nestorius was burned at the stake for “heresy” by describing the trinity (or maybe better put the relationship with the Father and Son) differently and not referring to Mary as the mother of God. Nobody understands the trinity. And looking at the story, I who can verify that his teachings went against the scriptures and I can’t find any justification for this. Also the Christian message spread throughout Eurasia before 400 AD.
Nestorius was ultimately banished to Egypt and died there. Although the details of his death are not known, there is no reason to think he may have been killed.
The Bible doesn’t gain its authority from fallible men and priests, and yes, most early church fathers only followed the word of god and never took their fellow priests or past ones as infallible.
Even I’m not following you. “Pray on it and read the Bible for yourself”. Yes. But also you need to meet with other believers. like cook meals for your congregation or somthing or join a choir. I don’t know. Trust me I was reading my Bible at 10 years old but never had anyone to talk to or anyone who understood me. It didn’t go well for me. God communes with groups of people Matt 18:20
The Roman Catholic Church traces its history toÂ Jesus ChristÂ and the Apostles. Over the course of centuries it developed a highly sophisticatedÂ theologyÂ and an elaborate organizational structure headed by theÂ papacy, the oldest continuingÂ absolute monarchyÂ in the world.
Catholic Bible vs. Protestant Bible (removed 7 books!)
Aren’t the Eastern Orthodox churches heretics according your Church Tradition.
Roosh, out of theme question.
Why donâ€™t you go join your Armenian brothers on the frontlines in Artsakh? Have you thought about it?
Maybe because Roosh is sane, and an American.
That’s not true. Daryush is not sane.
Did I miss a post from Roosh about why he chose Orthodox over Catholicism? Why not Eastern Rite Catholicism? Thanks.
Roosh returned to the Armenian Apostolic Church of his childhood baptism.
Protestantism isn’t a thing There have always been church reformers throughout the ages. There wasn’t just the Hussites and the Lollards of the 1400s. There was the Waldensianin Italy before. The Waldensians were never wiped out and the are still remnants of them in Argentina. There is a town in Uruguay called Colonia Valdense. Also there is the entire history of the church outside of the Western Europe Byzantium. The Persian Christians evangelized all over the silk and build churches. These were often refered to as the Nestorians. When Genghis Khan conquered Mongolia, the Keraits and the Naaman were Christian. These people first brought Christianity to China. There is an entire history of Christianity outside the Catholic and Ortho world but few ever talk about it.
Look at how awful Orthodox treat Catholics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXlG89xPCno
Alexandr Dugin, a Satanist and is being promoted in the alt right is apparently an advisor to Putin. Its’s National Bolshevism/Eurasianism. He slipped to a Polish journalist that he wants the Catholic Church destroyed. Here we have the “Errors of Russia” and Our Lady of Fatima. Dugin is also a Zionist. A modern day Rasputin.
Dr Anca Cernea on Russian satanist Aleksandr Dugin (destroy the Catholic Church) â€“Romanian Catholic
Dr. Anca Cernea – Cultural Marxism: A Threat to The Family. Full speech with Q&A (exposes Putin using the classic Hegellian dialectic deceptions)
I found an Antiochian Orthodox in my city, they seem to speak English, however the priest does have a Syrian name. Did I still find the right church? Do I need to contact them or anything before attending a mass?
Youâ€™re in the right church!
I strongly disagree with RooshV that because the priest has a Syrian name, that itâ€™s automatically a deal breaker for an Antiochian parish. I donâ€™t know where he gets his analogy from, but itâ€™s very inaccurate.
Iâ€™m a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, having fled evangelical Protestantism 23 years ago. I belong to an Antiochian parish thatâ€™s Eastern Rite, and we have a Syrian priest. Iâ€™m not aware of any Antiochian parishes in North America that the liturgical languages are not in English. My parish is in English, with perhaps 1-2% in Arabic and Greek.
Youâ€™re absolutely correct. The best way to discover Orthodoxy in an Antiochian parish (or any other jurisdiction for that matter) is to first contact the priest. Then attending Great Vespers services, and then attending Orthros and Divine Liturgy services. Youâ€™ll notice the Antiochians are welcoming to converts.
I converted to Orthodoxy 23 years ago after fleeing evangelicalism.
Iâ€™m in an Antiochian parish with a Syrian priest. Our services are all in English, save for maybe 1-2% of the Liturgy in Arabic and Greek (which is actually very beautiful). I know of no Antiochian parishes in North America that the services are not in English, and having a Syrian priest has absolutely no bearing on a parish.
Contacting the priest at the Antiochian parish in your city is the first step, followed by attending a Great Vespers services, the Orthros and Divine Liturgy services. Youâ€™ll find the Antiochians to be most welcoming of converts.
Feel free to attend Services as a visitor before you have introduced yourself, the Churches are open! You will probably soon find a Priest coming to greet you!! You will find that Orthodoxy in practical terms is very flexible. You may phone or visit the Priest first … or not. It is immaterial.
“Russians are not bubbly to strangers, and it could be difficult to insert yourself into their community”
“their faith [is] pure.”
Pick one, and only one.
‘ForÂ if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?Â If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doingÂ than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?Â ThereforeÂ you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’ – Matthew 5:46-48
“I once suggested to my priest that the Armenian Church needs an English diocese. â€œIâ€™m sending a lot of people to other Orthodox Churches,â€ I exclaimed. My priest replied, â€œIf we stopped doing theÂ BadarakÂ in Armenian, would we still be the Armenian Church?â€ Good point.”
A church that cares more about language traditions and maintaining an ethnic title, than it does about saving souls for Christ, is not a church after Jesus’ own heart at all. It is nothing more than a glorified ethnic club; more in love with it’s traditions for tradition’s sake, the letter of the law over the spirit of the law, and it’s nationality affiliation and culture, than it is with Christ.
‘For though I amÂ free from allÂ men, I have made myselfÂ a slave to all, so that I mayÂ win more.Â To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are underÂ the Law, as underÂ the Law thoughÂ not being myself underÂ the Law, so that I might win those who are underÂ the Law;Â to those who areÂ without law,Â as without law, though not being without the law of God butÂ under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.Â To theÂ weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have becomeÂ all things to all men,Â so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.’ – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Fundies….you guys misquote and worship the scriptures to fit your agenda. I guess old Roosh hasnâ€™t learned his lesson from the depraved ROK era on letting every wing nut post.
If God wants us to love and greet our enemies, how much more does He want us to love and greet strangers who come into our church? Shouldn’t a Christian church have at least a bare basic level of friendliness to those who enter, and not mere favoritism to an insular in-group? A church isn’t about being a private “no strangers allowed” club, it’s about saving and healing souls. Do you think Jesus would respond favorable to a Russian church that gave a cold shoulder to a stranger coming into their church, or would He rightfully berate them as He did the Pharisees?
When American churches evangelize and church plant in foreign nations, do they set up an “American [Denomination] Church”; only hold the services in American English (or archaic English, which might apply to the KJV-onlyists) while expecting the natives to adapt; and only cater to American ex-pats who happen to be in the area while shunning the very natives they should be trying to reach? No. In terms of evangelization in foreign lands, do you realize how utterly backwards and nonsensical that policy would be? That is exactly what a lot of Orthodox churches are doing. It’s no secret that outside of their home territories of Greece and Eastern Europe, the Orthodox church is sorely lacking in terms of evangelical outreach. A lot of people outside of the Orthodox church’s home turf either don’t know, or barely know they exist.
Now am I advocating for open borders or other such claptrap? Of course not. However scripture makes it abundantly clear: you are to be welcoming to a legal and non-invasive foreigner, and your churches abroad should be trying to reach the natives, rather than being ethnic clubs for people of your church’s home nation that happen to be there:
“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, andÂ you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am theÂ LordÂ your God.” -Leviticus 19:34
“So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” -Deuteronomy 10:19
â€œYou shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” -Exodus 22:21
You make some valid points. But bear some things in mind. Most Orthodox Churches have had to survive under islam or communism where evangelism was forbidden and dangerous. In Russia, parents were not allowed to tell their own children about Jesus. And that had to be observed strictly. If your children mentioned it in school or your neighbours told on you, you would end your life in the gulag.
In the diaspora many Churches are struggling to understand western mentality and keep their own members from the wolves. Members have often serious immigration issues and need much counseling, leaving the clergy with little room for evangelism.
I’ve not yet been to an Orthodox Church that didn’t welcome me. The members are often too busy with each other to spend time with converts, not from ill will in most cases.
I know of a Russian Church where the Bishop advised the people NOT to befriend converts early. He had found that they would get involved socially and eventually lose spiritual fervour, ultimately to drop out.
A potential convert, does he come for God or for the people? If only for the people, he’s most likely in the wrong place. (I’m not saying that seeking belonging is wrong, but essentially our belonging should be with God.)
Of course a welcome is also nice!
There are many sides to every issue.
Fair enough, and thank you for this. It gives me fresh perspective on this issue. Nevertheless, I think it’s safe to say at this point that the Orthodox can afford to kick it up a notch, evangelization-wise. Especially since they are pretty much the de facto state sanctioned church of Russia and are no longer being hunted down by the Marxists.
My answer after many years, and being in a few churches, is “messy.” It didn’t come all in one neat package. In practice I’m a Uniate. Liturgically and devotionally I do almost exactly what the Russian Orthodox do…
Iâ€™m very interested in converting to the Orthodox Church. Whatâ€™s your thoughts on the American Orthodox Church?
Are you Armenian? Is an Armenian Church the only Orthodox Church within an hour of where you live?
Unless you answered yes to either one, the Church is very strongly ethnic. Other options are better for the English speaker.