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Converts & Cradles Dialouge

rakovsky

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Criticisms of Converts:
I on rare occasion have heard negative comments about converts based on their status. Their critics make the comment as if by being converts their legitimacy is less certain, which to some extent can be a legitimate criticism itself. There have been well publicized cases where a small portion of converts have gone off the deep end in one way or another.

To give an example of a criticism I heard, in the suburb of a major US city there is a small parish with a large portion - perhaps most - of converts. And a person from another parish criticised them, saying that the feel of their church is not traditional or culturally Orthodox. Personally I feel that this critic was exagerating the issue. I think that this particular parish probably did have an "ex-mainstream-Protestant" cultural feel to it to some extent, due to the fact that this was a major composition of that parish. But for me, this was not a major issue. It was not really reflected in the liturgy or some other way that should be problematic, at least from the church's perspective.

Criticisms of Cradle Orthodox
Usually the criticisms that I've heard of Cradle Orthodox come from the cradle ones themselves. I have in mind Fr. Hopko, who felt that the generations of Orthodox immigrants did not do enough to spread Orthodoxy in the continental US. He felt that they should have kept together more strongly as a community and performed acts of mercy and charity to help grow the church. He felt that in this current era the church is suffering as a result of this failure. I think he had in mind younger generations moving away from the church, which is in fact not a problem unique to the Orthodox among Christian churches. However Orthodox get dealt a stronger blow by this broader societal problem because we are a minority.


There is probably an underlying issue that is indirectly related to cradle/converts and that is the issue of ethnic identity in the churches. Outside of the OCA (which is mostly Russian but has nonRussian subdivisions), the churches' jurisdictions are divided on ethnic lines. But more importantly, the argument runs that very many of our churches, particularly made of immigrants and conservative cradle Orthodox, have too much of an ethnic focus, and it pushes away some converts or possible converts.

Really, I don't have a problem with this issue. I do think that at least a major part, like at least 1/3 of the service must be in English for Americans to relate to it well. And I also resent it if people were to push you away for lacking the "right" ethnicity. I have heard of this happening severely, particularly in some Greek parishes (like a Greek parish refusing decades ago to bury a longstanding Albanian Orthodox parishioner, allegedly due to race), but haven't generally experienced it myself, even though I have been to many kinds of Orthodox churches.

This is getting onto a separate topic, but the claim about Greeks being cliqueish has some basis in reality, if you consider the Greeks' past cultural mistreatment of slavic Macedonians who were fellow Orthodox. Greece, deservedly has a proud and magnificent cultural history, but preferably that shouldn't get to people's heads when it comes to interOrthodox relations. That being said, fortunately so far I have not generally experienced this problem myself from Greek Orthodox, who have usually instead been very welcoming.
 

rakovsky

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Opus118 said:
I have a couple of comments Carl.

Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Furthermore, I don't think that the relevant distinction in the future will be along liberal/conservative, ethnic/cradle, or jurisdictional lines. We are rapidly approaching a time of clear and opposing world views: anthropocentric and theocentric.
I think you are making a distinction to a specific issue, but I do not know what that is. My first thought upon reading your statement was that our society is pulling away from the anthropocentric camp. You need to also include the ecocentric camp which opposes anthropocentrism..
I think that our society is pulling away from the theocentric camp. As for the ecocentric camp, it is a mutation of anthropocentricism.

.... like ECUSA, who are Christian in name only.
You do not know this, so do not say this. You could rephrase the above to say that many members might be Christian in name only.
I should have been more careful to single out the denomination and not individual Episcopalians/Anglicans. That said, how can I think otherwise when the ECUSA has decided to implement innovations in contradiction of Holy Tradition and Holy Scriptures? I know that what I said comes across as a harsh and perhaps intemperate condemnation. I cannot think of a way to soften my criticism; words matter and, in this case, the ECUSA has departed from orthodox Christianity too much.
I think that theoretically PCUSA ELCA and ECUSA are Christian because they accept the Nicene Creed. I don't mean all of their members though, and I am not saying that their beliefs are "orthodox" Christian.
 

Second Chance

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Opus118 said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
I am not sure. I had thought that this definition was germane:

"cocentrism (/ˌɛkoʊˈsɛntrɪzəm/; from Greek: οἶκος oikos, "house" and κέντρον kentron, "center") is a term used in ecological political philosophy to denote a nature-centered, as opposed to human-centered, system of values. The justification for ecocentrism usually consists in an ontological belief and subsequent ethical claim. The ontological belief denies that there are any existential divisions between human and non-human nature sufficient to claim that humans are either (a) the sole bearers of intrinsic value or (b) possess greater intrinsic value than non-human nature. Thus the subsequent ethical claim is for an equality of intrinsic value across human and non-human nature, or ‘biospherical egalitarianism’>"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecocentrism
I was writing about jelly a few minutes ago (in regard to turning your mind into) which reminded me of this post. The quote is gibberish. It is a text by someone trying to justify their existence, nothing more.

I brought this up to show that anthropocentrism, as we know it is kaput. Rather than deal with that, you search for definitions that suit you in regard to ecocentrism. Aspects of each are contained within Theocentrism.

I dislike all of these terms. None of these view points are isolated on their own.

Looks like we will have to agree to disagree.
 

Iconodule

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Minnesotan said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Opus118 said:
I have a couple of comments Carl.

Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Furthermore, I don't think that the relevant distinction in the future will be along liberal/conservative, ethnic/cradle, or jurisdictional lines. We are rapidly approaching a time of clear and opposing world views: anthropocentric and theocentric.
I think you are making a distinction to a specific issue, but I do not know what that is. My first thought upon reading your statement was that our society is pulling away from the anthropocentric camp. You need to also include the ecocentric camp which opposes anthropocentrism..
I think that our society is pulling away from the theocentric camp. As for the ecocentric camp, it is a mutation of anthropocentricism.
Are you sure? A lot of those ideas originated in Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc.) and I would not consider those religions to be anthropocentric, even if they are not theistic in the same sense as the Abrahamic religions.
Buddhism is definitely anthropocentric.
 

Opus118

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Opus118 said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
I am not sure. I had thought that this definition was germane:

"cocentrism (/ˌɛkoʊˈsɛntrɪzəm/; from Greek: οἶκος oikos, "house" and κέντρον kentron, "center") is a term used in ecological political philosophy to denote a nature-centered, as opposed to human-centered, system of values. The justification for ecocentrism usually consists in an ontological belief and subsequent ethical claim. The ontological belief denies that there are any existential divisions between human and non-human nature sufficient to claim that humans are either (a) the sole bearers of intrinsic value or (b) possess greater intrinsic value than non-human nature. Thus the subsequent ethical claim is for an equality of intrinsic value across human and non-human nature, or ‘biospherical egalitarianism’>"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecocentrism
I was writing about jelly a few minutes ago (in regard to turning your mind into) which reminded me of this post. The quote is gibberish. It is a text by someone trying to justify their existence, nothing more.

I brought this up to show that anthropocentrism, as we know it is kaput. Rather than deal with that, you search for definitions that suit you in regard to ecocentrism. Aspects of each are contained within Theocentrism.

I dislike all of these terms. None of these view points are isolated on their own.

Looks like we will have to agree to disagree.
Agreed.
 

littlepilgrim64

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JoeS2 said:
When I first converted back in 2000 I was "Gung Ho" about the faith and I just could not for the life of me understand why cradles who inherited this Jewel known as Holy Orthodoxy can treat it with such, what appears to be, indifference especially at Liturgy. And they insist on being first in line for the free food when it is offered.  It still erks me to see cradles coming in DURING and AFTER the Communion to light candles and go to social hour as if they have satisfied their Sunday attendance at Liturgy.  This I could NEVER understand.  By the way this also bothers Father as well even when he mentions this to these folks they still insist on being late on time on a regular basis.  The Holy Liturgy is a gift that should be cherished and prepared for.  Thankfully there are many who do show up during the hours reading and stay for the whole service.
As I'm on the road toward conversion, I have experienced much of what you say by cradle Orthodox at the church I go to as well and, I have to say, it is extremely disappointing.  It is a small percentage of those that I have come to know, however.  I can understand running late if you happen to have car problems or you are a family with kids who may run into trouble getting everyone out the door in time. But when I see the same few people arriving to church AFTER the Great Entrance or even right before people are going to receive Communion, I don't know what to make of it.  I don't understand this type of attitude when, to compair, one knows that if they took the same attitude with their job, waltzing into work 45 mins late routinely wouldn't fly with the boss and there would be consequences.  It just disappoints me. Like you said, cradle Orthodox have this Jewel of the true faith and to some, by their actions, it comes across (to me) that it is only a religion to them and nothing deeper or life changing. I ask the Lord to help me not to judge (because it's not my place to) and to just concentrate on the liturgy. I try to make a habit of silently praying "Lord,  have mercy" when I see someone walk in late, because only the Lord knows their circumstances, what they may be going through and their heart.
 

Second Chance

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littlepilgrim64 said:
JoeS2 said:
When I first converted back in 2000 I was "Gung Ho" about the faith and I just could not for the life of me understand why cradles who inherited this Jewel known as Holy Orthodoxy can treat it with such, what appears to be, indifference especially at Liturgy. And they insist on being first in line for the free food when it is offered.  It still erks me to see cradles coming in DURING and AFTER the Communion to light candles and go to social hour as if they have satisfied their Sunday attendance at Liturgy.  This I could NEVER understand.  By the way this also bothers Father as well even when he mentions this to these folks they still insist on being late on time on a regular basis.  The Holy Liturgy is a gift that should be cherished and prepared for.  Thankfully there are many who do show up during the hours reading and stay for the whole service.
As I'm on the road toward conversion, I have experienced much of what you say by cradle Orthodox at the church I go to as well and, I have to say, it is extremely disappointing.  It is a small percentage of those that I have come to know, however.  I can understand running late if you happen to have car problems or you are a family with kids who may run into trouble getting everyone out the door in time. But when I see the same few people arriving to church AFTER the Great Entrance or even right before people are going to receive Communion, I don't know what to make of it.  I don't understand this type of attitude when, to compair, one knows that if they took the same attitude with their job, waltzing into work 45 mins late routinely wouldn't fly with the boss and there would be consequences.  It just disappoints me. Like you said, cradle Orthodox have this Jewel of the true faith and to some, by their actions, it comes across (to me) that it is only a religion to them and nothing deeper or life changing. I ask the Lord to help me not to judge (because it's not my place to) and to just concentrate on the liturgy. I try to make a habit of silently praying "Lord,  have mercy" when I see someone walk in late, because only the Lord knows their circumstances, what they may be going through and their heart.
I try not to pay attention to those few folks (almost always cradle) who make a habit of arriving late. Old habits are hard to shake, I guess. This had never bothered me because our family always tried to be early, as my father was the head chanter in Istanbul and later a priest in Ohio. I just took this to be part of normal Orthodox behavior. That is until I started to attend St Herman's Orthodox Church in Littleton, Colorado, where I joined the choir. One Sunday, I was about a minute late and was told by another choir member "we missed you earlier." I thought then that it was a very nice way to say "please don't be late." I still do, but then I no longer belong to the choir. :)
 

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I am a 25 year convert to the Orthodox Church.  Here are some examples of how I have gotten the "Cradle Greek Orthodox" to warm up to me:

1.  In a Greek Orthodox parish:  Find someone approachable (for me, its usually the little old ladies) and tell them that you want to learn more about the Greek Orthodox heritage and you need THEIR help. Even if you don't read the Greek alphabet, sit down with one of the little old ladies and get her to teach you how to pray the Lord's Prayer in Greek.  Write it out phonetically if you have to.  You might just learn one line of it a week.  Go slowly. But eventually you'll learn it.  Ask your fellow Greek Orthodox to help you and to correct your pronunciation. This is a good way for you to naturally be able to incorporate some of the Greek Orthodox tradition into your own piety.  And it shows the ethnic Greeks in the parish that you respect them and value their heritage.  You might even strike up a friendship this way.  Get the ethnic Greeks to eventually teach you the Trisagion, Many Years, Memory Eternal and Grant this, O Lord in Greek as well.  Try to learn at least the first SENTENCE of the Nicene Creed in Greek.  Get them to help you.

2.  Ask some of the ethnic Greeks where their people came from in the Old Country.  Ask them if they still have family and relatives there.  Ask them if they have ever visited Greece.  Ask them to share their experiences with you.  Try to get to learn THEIR background and show an interest.  Greeks love to talk. Get them to tell you about the generations of their family that have been Greek Orthodox.  Again, you might end up making some friends.

3.  If you are musically inclined, consider joining the choir in a Greek Church. Tell them that you are really interested in the Greek Orthodox musical tradition and want to learn it.  Most Greek American choirs sing their music in phonetics, so often you do not have to read the Greek alphabet to sing along. Again, this is another opportunity to make friends.

4.  Pick out some interesting Greek Orthodox people in your parish and invite them over to your house for dinner.  Share with them how you were attracted to the spiritual beauty of the Greek Orthodox faith. Get to know them.  Some of them will befriend you, if you make the effort.
 

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Of course as being a Romanian Orthodox I never encountered any cradle / convert problems. There is a romanian Orthodox church everywhere Orthodoxy is. Plus as Romanian we used to be renowned for our hospitality towards strangers.

 

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I'm a cradle and I have no problem with the converts except when they think they are better than us which they are not. As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did. After all it's our testimony, the fathers are ours, ours is the calling, we are a royal/priesthood, you have just come in. Respect us, respect the roots, humble yourself in front of each and all cradles, as they have this call that just came to you, by birth. I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.



You haven't proven to us yet that you're not using duplicate accounts (i.e., Shyness, Dracula, et al.), so you are back under maximum restriction until you do.

- PeterTheAleut


 

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Tikhon29605 said:
I am a 25 year convert to the Orthodox Church.  Here are some examples of how I have gotten the "Cradle Greek Orthodox" to warm up to me:

1.  In a Greek Orthodox parish:  Find someone approachable (for me, its usually the little old ladies) and tell them that you want to learn more about the Greek Orthodox heritage and you need THEIR help. Even if you don't read the Greek alphabet, sit down with one of the little old ladies and get her to teach you how to pray the Lord's Prayer in Greek.  Write it out phonetically if you have to.  You might just learn one line of it a week.  Go slowly. But eventually you'll learn it.  Ask your fellow Greek Orthodox to help you and to correct your pronunciation. This is a good way for you to naturally be able to incorporate some of the Greek Orthodox tradition into your own piety.  And it shows the ethnic Greeks in the parish that you respect them and value their heritage.  You might even strike up a friendship this way.  Get the ethnic Greeks to eventually teach you the Trisagion, Many Years, Memory Eternal and Grant this, O Lord in Greek as well.  Try to learn at least the first SENTENCE of the Nicene Creed in Greek.  Get them to help you.

2.  Ask some of the ethnic Greeks where their people came from in the Old Country.  Ask them if they still have family and relatives there.  Ask them if they have ever visited Greece.  Ask them to share their experiences with you.  Try to get to learn THEIR background and show an interest.  Greeks love to talk. Get them to tell you about the generations of their family that have been Greek Orthodox.  Again, you might end up making some friends.

3.  If you are musically inclined, consider joining the choir in a Greek Church. Tell them that you are really interested in the Greek Orthodox musical tradition and want to learn it.  Most Greek American choirs sing their music in phonetics, so often you do not have to read the Greek alphabet to sing along. Again, this is another opportunity to make friends.

4.  Pick out some interesting Greek Orthodox people in your parish and invite them over to your house for dinner.  Share with them how you were attracted to the spiritual beauty of the Greek Orthodox faith. Get to know them.  Some of them will befriend you, if you make the effort.
You forgot:

5. Become a good psaltis. Then people will just assume that you are cradle.
 

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Cavaradossi said:
Tikhon29605 said:
I am a 25 year convert to the Orthodox Church.  Here are some examples of how I have gotten the "Cradle Greek Orthodox" to warm up to me:

1.  In a Greek Orthodox parish:  Find someone approachable (for me, its usually the little old ladies) and tell them that you want to learn more about the Greek Orthodox heritage and you need THEIR help. Even if you don't read the Greek alphabet, sit down with one of the little old ladies and get her to teach you how to pray the Lord's Prayer in Greek.  Write it out phonetically if you have to.  You might just learn one line of it a week.  Go slowly. But eventually you'll learn it.  Ask your fellow Greek Orthodox to help you and to correct your pronunciation. This is a good way for you to naturally be able to incorporate some of the Greek Orthodox tradition into your own piety.  And it shows the ethnic Greeks in the parish that you respect them and value their heritage.  You might even strike up a friendship this way.  Get the ethnic Greeks to eventually teach you the Trisagion, Many Years, Memory Eternal and Grant this, O Lord in Greek as well.  Try to learn at least the first SENTENCE of the Nicene Creed in Greek.  Get them to help you.

2.  Ask some of the ethnic Greeks where their people came from in the Old Country.  Ask them if they still have family and relatives there.  Ask them if they have ever visited Greece.  Ask them to share their experiences with you.  Try to get to learn THEIR background and show an interest.  Greeks love to talk. Get them to tell you about the generations of their family that have been Greek Orthodox.  Again, you might end up making some friends.

3.  If you are musically inclined, consider joining the choir in a Greek Church. Tell them that you are really interested in the Greek Orthodox musical tradition and want to learn it.  Most Greek American choirs sing their music in phonetics, so often you do not have to read the Greek alphabet to sing along. Again, this is another opportunity to make friends.

4.  Pick out some interesting Greek Orthodox people in your parish and invite them over to your house for dinner.  Share with them how you were attracted to the spiritual beauty of the Greek Orthodox faith. Get to know them.  Some of them will befriend you, if you make the effort.
You forgot:

5. Become a good psaltis. Then people will just assume that you are cradle.
You made me chuckle as I thought of many people and several wonderful priests of whom that assumption is made.
 

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podkarpatska said:
Cavaradossi said:
Tikhon29605 said:
I am a 25 year convert to the Orthodox Church.  Here are some examples of how I have gotten the "Cradle Greek Orthodox" to warm up to me:

1.  In a Greek Orthodox parish:  Find someone approachable (for me, its usually the little old ladies) and tell them that you want to learn more about the Greek Orthodox heritage and you need THEIR help. Even if you don't read the Greek alphabet, sit down with one of the little old ladies and get her to teach you how to pray the Lord's Prayer in Greek.  Write it out phonetically if you have to.  You might just learn one line of it a week.  Go slowly. But eventually you'll learn it.  Ask your fellow Greek Orthodox to help you and to correct your pronunciation. This is a good way for you to naturally be able to incorporate some of the Greek Orthodox tradition into your own piety.  And it shows the ethnic Greeks in the parish that you respect them and value their heritage.  You might even strike up a friendship this way.  Get the ethnic Greeks to eventually teach you the Trisagion, Many Years, Memory Eternal and Grant this, O Lord in Greek as well.  Try to learn at least the first SENTENCE of the Nicene Creed in Greek.  Get them to help you.

2.  Ask some of the ethnic Greeks where their people came from in the Old Country.  Ask them if they still have family and relatives there.  Ask them if they have ever visited Greece.  Ask them to share their experiences with you.  Try to get to learn THEIR background and show an interest.  Greeks love to talk. Get them to tell you about the generations of their family that have been Greek Orthodox.  Again, you might end up making some friends.

3.  If you are musically inclined, consider joining the choir in a Greek Church. Tell them that you are really interested in the Greek Orthodox musical tradition and want to learn it.  Most Greek American choirs sing their music in phonetics, so often you do not have to read the Greek alphabet to sing along. Again, this is another opportunity to make friends.

4.  Pick out some interesting Greek Orthodox people in your parish and invite them over to your house for dinner.  Share with them how you were attracted to the spiritual beauty of the Greek Orthodox faith. Get to know them.  Some of them will befriend you, if you make the effort.
You forgot:

5. Become a good psaltis. Then people will just assume that you are cradle.
You made me chuckle as I thought of many people and several wonderful priests of whom that assumption is made.
Caveat: if you have red hair, they will never make this assumption about you. I know a brilliant priest who is a red-head, but despite all of his brilliance, the Greeks will never mistake him for being Greek. Perhaps the Slavs are also the same way. :laugh:
 

Second Chance

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Cavaradossi said:
podkarpatska said:
Cavaradossi said:
Tikhon29605 said:
I am a 25 year convert to the Orthodox Church.  Here are some examples of how I have gotten the "Cradle Greek Orthodox" to warm up to me:

1.  In a Greek Orthodox parish:  Find someone approachable (for me, its usually the little old ladies) and tell them that you want to learn more about the Greek Orthodox heritage and you need THEIR help. Even if you don't read the Greek alphabet, sit down with one of the little old ladies and get her to teach you how to pray the Lord's Prayer in Greek.  Write it out phonetically if you have to.  You might just learn one line of it a week.  Go slowly. But eventually you'll learn it.  Ask your fellow Greek Orthodox to help you and to correct your pronunciation. This is a good way for you to naturally be able to incorporate some of the Greek Orthodox tradition into your own piety.  And it shows the ethnic Greeks in the parish that you respect them and value their heritage.  You might even strike up a friendship this way.  Get the ethnic Greeks to eventually teach you the Trisagion, Many Years, Memory Eternal and Grant this, O Lord in Greek as well.  Try to learn at least the first SENTENCE of the Nicene Creed in Greek.  Get them to help you.

2.  Ask some of the ethnic Greeks where their people came from in the Old Country.  Ask them if they still have family and relatives there.  Ask them if they have ever visited Greece.  Ask them to share their experiences with you.  Try to get to learn THEIR background and show an interest.  Greeks love to talk. Get them to tell you about the generations of their family that have been Greek Orthodox.  Again, you might end up making some friends.

3.  If you are musically inclined, consider joining the choir in a Greek Church. Tell them that you are really interested in the Greek Orthodox musical tradition and want to learn it.  Most Greek American choirs sing their music in phonetics, so often you do not have to read the Greek alphabet to sing along. Again, this is another opportunity to make friends.

4.  Pick out some interesting Greek Orthodox people in your parish and invite them over to your house for dinner.  Share with them how you were attracted to the spiritual beauty of the Greek Orthodox faith. Get to know them.  Some of them will befriend you, if you make the effort.
You forgot:

5. Become a good psaltis. Then people will just assume that you are cradle.
You made me chuckle as I thought of many people and several wonderful priests of whom that assumption is made.
Caveat: if you have red hair, they will never make this assumption about you. I know a brilliant priest who is a red-head, but despite all of his brilliance, the Greeks will never mistake him for being Greek. Perhaps the Slavs are also the same way. :laugh:
True story. When I was at NATO Quarters Southern Europe, we had a yearly family day. A Turkish co-worker brought his family--wife and three children, all of whom looked Western Turkish, except one of the kids had red hair and green eyes. It turns out it may have been a throwback to the Goths who had settled in Anatolia and/or Thrace as early as the Fourth Century.
 

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I have met red-headed Palestinians before.  They are rare, but they do exist.
 

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Tikhon29605 said:
I have met red-headed Palestinians before.  They are rare, but they do exist.
I think that Esau in the Bible was a red head. And somewhere I read that King David was blue eyed.

These features are rare in the Mideast, but they occur occasionally.
 

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Tikhon29605 said:
I am a 25 year convert to the Orthodox Church.  Here are some examples of how I have gotten the "Cradle Greek Orthodox" to warm up to me:

1.  In a Greek Orthodox parish:  Find someone approachable (for me, its usually the little old ladies) and tell them that you want to learn more about the Greek Orthodox heritage and you need THEIR help. Even if you don't read the Greek alphabet, sit down with one of the little old ladies and get her to teach you how to pray the Lord's Prayer in Greek.  Write it out phonetically if you have to.  You might just learn one line of it a week.  Go slowly. But eventually you'll learn it.  Ask your fellow Greek Orthodox to help you and to correct your pronunciation. This is a good way for you to naturally be able to incorporate some of the Greek Orthodox tradition into your own piety.  And it shows the ethnic Greeks in the parish that you respect them and value their heritage.  You might even strike up a friendship this way.  Get the ethnic Greeks to eventually teach you the Trisagion, Many Years, Memory Eternal and Grant this, O Lord in Greek as well.  Try to learn at least the first SENTENCE of the Nicene Creed in Greek.  Get them to help you.

2.  Ask some of the ethnic Greeks where their people came from in the Old Country.  Ask them if they still have family and relatives there.  Ask them if they have ever visited Greece.  Ask them to share their experiences with you.  Try to get to learn THEIR background and show an interest.  Greeks love to talk. Get them to tell you about the generations of their family that have been Greek Orthodox.  Again, you might end up making some friends.

3.  If you are musically inclined, consider joining the choir in a Greek Church. Tell them that you are really interested in the Greek Orthodox musical tradition and want to learn it.  Most Greek American choirs sing their music in phonetics, so often you do not have to read the Greek alphabet to sing along. Again, this is another opportunity to make friends.

4.  Pick out some interesting Greek Orthodox people in your parish and invite them over to your house for dinner.  Share with them how you were attracted to the spiritual beauty of the Greek Orthodox faith. Get to know them.  Some of them will befriend you, if you make the effort.
Hello, Tikhon.

I love Greek culture, and so this works for me. I could easily get into taking Greek classes, going to Greek restaurants, learning about Greek culture and history.

I find that in the OCA, slavic heritage is important for people personally, but generally they do not make a major emphasis on it in terms of relating to other people. That is, they usually follow Russian style rituals and art in Orthodoxy, and the "second generation immigrants" love to talk about their parents from the old country. But it's not really as key a theme as it is with conservative Greek nationalists like you describe.

At a personal level, I would not have a problem following the instructions you gave in winning over cradle Greeks, and would probably do it anyway. But the problem becomes:
1) That there are many other people who are perfectly fine with Greek culture, but don't find it personally very interesting and wouldn't want to go through the hoops that you described in order just to make friends there. That is, their interest would be in Christianity, not particularly in talking up Greek culture, and wouldn't want to have to do that in order to just connect with people. And if that's the requirement, then it shuts out many people from Orthodoxy because Orthodoxy involves commuinity.

2) That even if you follow the instructions, in some circumstances you will never be good enough because you aren't actually Greek in your biology. This was probably an issue for the Albanian Orthodox man I mentioned back in the 1930's who had to get buried not in his Greek Orthodox Church's cemetary. I think even if he learned greek and worked as the church janitor, for all I know maybe he couldn't be sure that they would give him a burial. I even heard of people saying that they are Greek first and Orthodox second. For them, being Greek is what's really important, with Orthodoxy being important as it's associated with Greek culture.

OK, I am giving two extreme examples above. Generally the Greek churches in my experience have been great and welcoming. I am definitely not trying to pick on Greeks, and my impression is that overall this is a minor, infrequent issue.

Probably one of my closest, most direct experiences with this was when an elderly Greek lady at church, on meeting me, told me that I, an anglo, was a "barbarian", referring probably to the contrast between ancient Greek culture and others at that time period. I understand that she was playing in a friendly way, and I like her, but it was kind of picking on people of another ethnicity too. Obviously there are far far worse things that happen in the world than playful supremacist comments.
 

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I'm a convert and given that I've all but burnt out, I actually have more problems with fellow converts than I do the cradles. What I like about the cradles is that as a nominal Orthodox Christian and antisocial loner, nobody cares if I attend or miss Church. It is easy to stay under the radar and no one will judge or constantly badger you about your absence. That and they are more likely to turn a blind eye to your sins. The problem I have with other converts is ironically that they care--they're the ones who will pester you about absences, try to really ignite your heart with zeal, and to some degree politicize Orthodoxy much in the same way as Protestantism in America. Really my only problem with cradles is more a problem how priests treat them. I feel like cradles more or less get a free pass from clergy to violate the rules, barely ever show up, and sin constantly whereas priests place more burdens on us converts because they've given up on the cradles. It's a matter of jealousy--that the cradles get away with everything but the priests won't leave the converts alone.
 

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Dan-Romania said:
I'm a cradle and I have no problem with the converts except when they think they are better than us which they are not. As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did. After all it's our testimony, the fathers are ours, ours is the calling, we are a royal/priesthood, you have just come in. Respect us, respect the roots, humble yourself in front of each and all cradles, as they have this call that just came to you, by birth. I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.
This is so weird; You are insulting converts in all places, in "Convert Issues" !!!???
 
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Dan-Romania said:
I'm a cradle and I have no problem with the converts except when they think they are better than us which they are not. As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did. After all it's our testimony, the fathers are ours, ours is the calling, we are a royal/priesthood, you have just come in. Respect us, respect the roots, humble yourself in front of each and all cradles, as they have this call that just came to you, by birth. I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.
respect is a two way street you sound like that you seem very enititled as a cradle luckly all  cradles don't have that attitude and ain't it funny you out of people sticking up for cradles wern't you just disrespecting the church not too long avo declaring yourself atheists. Do you think Orthodoxy should only have cradles? how will it survive if cradle children run off to Catholicism or Protestantism or god forbid become atheist? really just some questions to ponder
 

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Dan-Romania said:
Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them
Worshiping the "roots" or national culture and history of a country is idolatry, Dan.


I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.
The Anglos were Orthodox going back farther in time than the Romanians, since the Anglos were a solid part of the Christianized Roman empire, while Romania was only under Roman rule for a few hundred years. The problem for the Anglos that like the West Ukrainians they were made to accept Catholicism in 1000-1600 AD.

West Ukrainians make up a huge portion, if not most of the OCA, and very many OCA are really second or third generation re-converts to Orthodoxy from Catholicism similar to how the Anglos in the OCA would be first to third generation re-converts.

So really in the OCA there is not so much a difference between converts and cradle, because the "cradle" only goes back a few generations to Alexis Toth. In fact, that creates a small issue, because supposedly a few "Greek Catholic" practices were brought into the OCA in some parishes.

So basically in the OCA, there is are only one or two generations between cradles and converts.
 

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Dan-Romania said:
I'm a cradle and I have no problem with the converts except when they think they are better than us which they are not. As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did. After all it's our testimony, the fathers are ours, ours is the calling, we are a royal/priesthood, you have just come in. Respect us, respect the roots, humble yourself in front of each and all cradles, as they have this call that just came to you, by birth. I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.
I have news for you. The Apostle Peter was a convert. St. Paul was a convert. Your ancestors were all converts at one time. No people has been Orthodox for 2000 years.
 

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JamesR said:
I'm a convert and given that I've all but burnt out, I actually have more problems with fellow converts than I do the cradles. What I like about the cradles is that as a nominal Orthodox Christian and antisocial loner, nobody cares if I attend or miss Church. It is easy to stay under the radar and no one will judge or constantly badger you about your absence. That and they are more likely to turn a blind eye to your sins. The problem I have with other converts is ironically that they care--they're the ones who will pester you about absences, try to really ignite your heart with zeal, and to some degree politicize Orthodoxy much in the same way as Protestantism in America. Really my only problem with cradles is more a problem how priests treat them. I feel like cradles more or less get a free pass from clergy to violate the rules, barely ever show up, and sin constantly whereas priests place more burdens on us converts because they've given up on the cradles. It's a matter of jealousy--that the cradles get away with everything but the priests won't leave the converts alone.
This doesn't sound like a cradle vs convert issue as much as a practicing vs non-practicing issue.
 

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JamesR said:
I'm a convert and given that I've all but burnt out, I actually have more problems with fellow converts than I do the cradles. What I like about the cradles is that as a nominal Orthodox Christian and antisocial loner, nobody cares if I attend or miss Church. It is easy to stay under the radar and no one will judge or constantly badger you about your absence. That and they are more likely to turn a blind eye to your sins. The problem I have with other converts is ironically that they care--they're the ones who will pester you about absences, try to really ignite your heart with zeal, and to some degree politicize Orthodoxy much in the same way as Protestantism in America. Really my only problem with cradles is more a problem how priests treat them. I feel like cradles more or less get a free pass from clergy to violate the rules, barely ever show up, and sin constantly whereas priests place more burdens on us converts because they've given up on the cradles. It's a matter of jealousy--that the cradles get away with everything but the priests won't leave the converts alone.
Why are your eyes focused on what other people are doing when they should be focused on what you are doing? Yes, I think this is a matter of jealousy... YOUR jealousy.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Dan-Romania said:
I'm a cradle and I have no problem with the converts except when they think they are better than us which they are not. As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did. After all it's our testimony, the fathers are ours, ours is the calling, we are a royal/priesthood, you have just come in. Respect us, respect the roots, humble yourself in front of each and all cradles, as they have this call that just came to you, by birth. I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.
I have news for you. The Apostle Peter was a convert. St. Paul was a convert. Your ancestors were all converts at one time. No people has been Orthodox for 2000 years.
The "Orthodox people" have been.
But that is not what Dan is talking about. He is just talking about Romanians, not "the Orthodox people" as our Church sees it.
There are plenty of things in Romania's history that are unholy, Prince Vlad Dracula probably being one of them.
 

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rakovsky said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Dan-Romania said:
I'm a cradle and I have no problem with the converts except when they think they are better than us which they are not. As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did. After all it's our testimony, the fathers are ours, ours is the calling, we are a royal/priesthood, you have just come in. Respect us, respect the roots, humble yourself in front of each and all cradles, as they have this call that just came to you, by birth. I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.
I have news for you. The Apostle Peter was a convert. St. Paul was a convert. Your ancestors were all converts at one time. No people has been Orthodox for 2000 years.
The "Orthodox people" have been.
But that is not what Dan is talking about. He is just talking about Romanians, not "the Orthodox people" as our Church sees it.
I think you're assuming quite a lot to conclude that he's talking only about Romanians. I don't see that anywhere in his post.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
JamesR said:
I'm a convert and given that I've all but burnt out, I actually have more problems with fellow converts than I do the cradles. What I like about the cradles is that as a nominal Orthodox Christian and antisocial loner, nobody cares if I attend or miss Church. It is easy to stay under the radar and no one will judge or constantly badger you about your absence. That and they are more likely to turn a blind eye to your sins. The problem I have with other converts is ironically that they care--they're the ones who will pester you about absences, try to really ignite your heart with zeal, and to some degree politicize Orthodoxy much in the same way as Protestantism in America. Really my only problem with cradles is more a problem how priests treat them. I feel like cradles more or less get a free pass from clergy to violate the rules, barely ever show up, and sin constantly whereas priests place more burdens on us converts because they've given up on the cradles. It's a matter of jealousy--that the cradles get away with everything but the priests won't leave the converts alone.
Why are your eyes focused on what other people are doing when they should be focused on what you are doing? Yes, I think this is a matter of jealousy... YOUR jealousy.
Yes...but in this post, I think JamesR actually has some good points.  Non-equal treatment is kinda scandalous.
 

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Elisha said:
PeterTheAleut said:
JamesR said:
I'm a convert and given that I've all but burnt out, I actually have more problems with fellow converts than I do the cradles. What I like about the cradles is that as a nominal Orthodox Christian and antisocial loner, nobody cares if I attend or miss Church. It is easy to stay under the radar and no one will judge or constantly badger you about your absence. That and they are more likely to turn a blind eye to your sins. The problem I have with other converts is ironically that they care--they're the ones who will pester you about absences, try to really ignite your heart with zeal, and to some degree politicize Orthodoxy much in the same way as Protestantism in America. Really my only problem with cradles is more a problem how priests treat them. I feel like cradles more or less get a free pass from clergy to violate the rules, barely ever show up, and sin constantly whereas priests place more burdens on us converts because they've given up on the cradles. It's a matter of jealousy--that the cradles get away with everything but the priests won't leave the converts alone.
Why are your eyes focused on what other people are doing when they should be focused on what you are doing? Yes, I think this is a matter of jealousy... YOUR jealousy.
Yes...but in this post, I think JamesR actually has some good points.  Non-equal treatment is kinda scandalous.

not equal as -perceived- by him.

Frankly it's not my business what my parish priest expects of others, nor my business to attempt to follow along with what they may or may not have going in their spiritual lives.

It's my business to keep track of and progress in my -own- life.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
rakovsky said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Dan-Romania said:
I'm a cradle and I have no problem with the converts except when they think they are better than us which they are not. As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did. After all it's our testimony, the fathers are ours, ours is the calling, we are a royal/priesthood, you have just come in. Respect us, respect the roots, humble yourself in front of each and all cradles, as they have this call that just came to you, by birth. I mean there must be a reason why we were Orthodox for 2000 years while you were not.
I have news for you. The Apostle Peter was a convert. St. Paul was a convert. Your ancestors were all converts at one time. No people has been Orthodox for 2000 years.
The "Orthodox people" have been.
But that is not what Dan is talking about. He is just talking about Romanians, not "the Orthodox people" as our Church sees it.
I think you're assuming quite a lot to conclude that he's talking only about Romanians. I don't see that anywhere in his post.
It does not matter if he is talking about Romanian cradles or all cradles. As a cradle, I disown and condemn what Dan-Romania has written. These two sentences, in particular, are heretical: "As a firm believer in Predestination I believe  cradles have been predestinated to be cradles from birth, have the testimonies of their fathers , their land holy, the call, etc.  Converts are those whom are humbled by God in front of us and acknowledge our faith and our roots and are bowing down and worshipping them just as the fathers said they will, and as the brothers of Joseph did." I want very much to believe that Dan-Romania is being sarcastic here, even though it is inappropriate to so insult potential converts with such drivel, especially on Convert Issues. I want to end by apologizing to all seekers and potential converts and to assure them that, cradle or convert, we are all part of the Royal Priesthood of Christ and there is no distinction between us in all things that make us Orthodox Christians.
 

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I'm a cradle myself, but I converted in my mid-20's (now I'm almost 46) so I consider myself a convert. In reality we all grow into the faith, so technically speaking, we're all converts. And I too suffered from acute convertitis the first 2-3 years, we all go through that stage
 

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Apostolos said:
I'm a cradle myself, but I converted in my mid-20's (now I'm almost 46) so I consider myself a convert. In reality we all grow into the faith, so technically speaking, we're all converts. And I too suffered from acute convertitis the first 2-3 years, we all go through that stage
Yes, actually every Christian is a convert. Christianity does not teach that a person is born Christian, in contrast to Judaism and Islam, which teach that a person can be born into those religions.
 

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rakovsky said:
...Christianity does not teach that a person is born Christian...
Wrong again.

"Let the children come to me/theirs is the kingdom of Heaven" and "Whoever causes these little ones to stumble" would seem to indicate that children are by default born Christian or at least possess some special relationship with God.
 

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DeniseDenise said:
Elisha said:
PeterTheAleut said:
JamesR said:
I'm a convert and given that I've all but burnt out, I actually have more problems with fellow converts than I do the cradles. What I like about the cradles is that as a nominal Orthodox Christian and antisocial loner, nobody cares if I attend or miss Church. It is easy to stay under the radar and no one will judge or constantly badger you about your absence. That and they are more likely to turn a blind eye to your sins. The problem I have with other converts is ironically that they care--they're the ones who will pester you about absences, try to really ignite your heart with zeal, and to some degree politicize Orthodoxy much in the same way as Protestantism in America. Really my only problem with cradles is more a problem how priests treat them. I feel like cradles more or less get a free pass from clergy to violate the rules, barely ever show up, and sin constantly whereas priests place more burdens on us converts because they've given up on the cradles. It's a matter of jealousy--that the cradles get away with everything but the priests won't leave the converts alone.
Why are your eyes focused on what other people are doing when they should be focused on what you are doing? Yes, I think this is a matter of jealousy... YOUR jealousy.
Yes...but in this post, I think JamesR actually has some good points.  Non-equal treatment is kinda scandalous.

not equal as -perceived- by him.

Frankly it's not my business what my parish priest expects of others, nor my business to attempt to follow along with what they may or may not have going in their spiritual lives.

It's my business to keep track of and progress in my -own- life.
The perfect answer. Thank you!  :D
 

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JamesR said:
rakovsky said:
...Christianity does not teach that a person is born Christian...
Wrong again.
Actually, James, you may be wrong here. I've never heard anyone in the Church teach that children are born Christian.

JamesR said:
"Let the children come to me/theirs is the kingdom of Heaven" and "Whoever causes these little ones to stumble" would seem to indicate that children are by default born Christian or at least possess some special relationship with God.
Yes, children possess a special relationship with God, but that does not make them Christian.
 

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JamesR said:
rakovsky said:
...Christianity does not teach that a person is born Christian...
Wrong again.

"Let the children come to me/theirs is the kingdom of Heaven" and "Whoever causes these little ones to stumble" would seem to indicate that children are by default born Christian or at least possess some special relationship with God.
How can children be "born Christian", when Christ Himself said "Let them come to Me"?
 
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except for maybe Dan Romania thanks a bunch to everyone keeping civil I'm learning a lot.. I'm still shocked at his comments the priest at the Greek Church I been attending is Romanian and he far away from this attitude so please don't judge all Romanians anybody who saw Dan sick comments.
 

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seekeroftruth777 said:
except for maybe Dan Romania thanks a bunch to everyone keeping civil I'm learning a lot.. I'm still shocked at his comments the priest at the Greek Church I been attending is Romanian and he far away from this attitude so please don't judge all Romanians anybody who saw Dan sick comments.
Don't feed the troll.
 
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