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Why is Orthodoxy a declining denomination?

Dominika

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The research shows that Pentecostal denomination is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world,JWs and Mormanism, Hebrew Roots are some of the fastest growing in the USA/world. I suppose if you don't preach the Word and do not evangelise then this is bound to happen.If you visit an Orthodox Church on a typical Sunday you would mainly see old grand mothers in attendance, very few young people. I think protestants do more to encourage young people to attend churches and grow the number of believers.
But they are very unstable groups. I mean their believers, esepcially of various "liberal" Protestant groups leave them relatively fastly.
 

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I had religion (orthodoxy) classes in school and they were taught, at first, by the parish priest, then by a religion teacher. It’s not that they were uneducated, but, unless you had some personal interest in the thing, the classes themselves were treated as a joke by virtually everyone, no less those supposed to teach them . The priest was somewhat more serious I admit , but majority of pupils still didn’t even learn the creed by heart. I was writing papers for almost half of the class because there were two, at most three of us, somewhat interested and conversant with the subject.
The same applies for Poland, but ofc more for Catholicism there.
 

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I had religion (orthodoxy) classes in school and they were taught, at first, by the parish priest, then by a religion teacher. It’s not that they were uneducated, but, unless you had some personal interest in the thing, the classes themselves were treated as a joke by virtually everyone, no less those supposed to teach them . The priest was somewhat more serious I admit , but majority of pupils still didn’t even learn the creed by heart. I was writing papers for almost half of the class because there were two, at most three of us, somewhat interested and conversant with the subject.
I get it, it wasn't much better for me - except perhaps that the teachers, priests or not, took their subject as seriously as any other. I'm sure it has become more pluralistic and focused on ethics rather than liturgical praxis, now that Greece is not as monolithically Orthodox as it used to be; there's talk of scrapping it altogether, but that's not going to happen unless the separation of church and state goes ahead. It is called the Ministry of Education and Religions, after all. Point is, though, that people, even schoolkids who only went to church when school took them there (once every couple months) and would never get more theological training, were still given some pretty solid ground work in scripture and religious practice, and no one can claim they knew nothing about those things. Not learning what they were offered is on them alone.
 

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The biggest point for me would be that too much focus is placed on rituals and services and very little on the teaching the Word of God, sermons on how a Christian should live his or her life is almost absent from Orthodox services. Sunday spiritual service for a couple of hours and then go back to secular activities on the same Sunday. Bible reading is not even encouraged,is it. That's the biggest issue.
I Bibled so hard for 10 years and was still spiritually starving. 2 chapters of OT, 1 chapter of NT, Proverbs on a monthly cycle, 30-week long in-depth Bible studies, plus a few extra Bible studies in between (these were more commentary than study). The Sunday school classes and sermons did not speak to my circumstances, either. I prayed constantly, too. I will say it took me from terrible to almost ok-ish, but the more I did those things, the more I felt something was missing. Eventually I went looking and found Orthodoxy; it's what was missing.

If Holy Scripture is a written testament to God's work among men, then Orthodoxy is a living, breathing Bible. Take the prayers and services of the Church and count the biblical references. Scripture is quoted verbatim throughout the services and referenced even more. As for relevant teaching, the priest is supposed to deliver a homily which relates that day's Gospel reading to the salvation of the congregation in front of him.

Beyond that, the Word of God is Christ, not Scripture. It might be the word of God to men, but Christ is the Logos. John 1:1-3 isn't referring to the Bible. And yes, Orthodoxy very much teaches on the Word of God, with its every move. The issue is you think faith is a mental exercise and can't have an actual, visible expression and still be authentic. And you can think that, but that doesn't make it true.
 

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Hi, why is Orthodox Christianity a declining denomination? As fat as I know (being a former OC) they don't believe in active evangelism i.e. going on street or other countries to preach the Word. Do you think this could be the reason for not growing? "Orthodoxism Is Declining in the Overall Christian Population | Best Countries | US News"
Orthodoxy is not a denomination. Anyone who writes about us that way needs to get a few things straight in their terminology before proceeding. Denomination is a term used by the first Protestants to designate that they are a limited mission and not claiming to be catholic, the universal and all-sufficient vehicle of salvation for mankind.

If you understand that Orthodoxy is not a mere denomination but is the Church founded by Christ upon his apostles, then temporal quibbles about demographic flux don’t even rise to matters of import.

I see you joined some denomination I’ve never heard of. I suppose that comgregation is shrinking, and will pass out of existence. The Orthodox Church will not as it is continually renewed by the Holy Spirit. Since outlasting the Soviet Empire with its official atheism, the Orthodox Church has grown immensely in demographic and spiritual terms. So I don’t even understand what you are speaking about unless the field of inquiry is restricted to the United States.
 

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But the Orthodoxy is still declining...
Sadly your own spirit declined and you took on a spirit of bitterness and calumny against the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Methinks you have twinges of conscience otherwise you wouldn’t bother hectoring us.
 

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The research shows that Pentecostal denomination is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world,JWs and Mormanism, Hebrew Roots are some of the fastest growing in the USA/world. I suppose if you don't preach the Word and do not evangelise then this is bound to happen.If you visit an Orthodox Church on a typical Sunday you would mainly see old grand mothers in attendance, very few young people. I think protestants do more to encourage young people to attend churches and grow the number of believers.
Can only speak anecdotally, but St. Mark's outside DC is growing and has a good mixture of old and young.
 

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The biggest point for me would be that too much focus is placed on rituals and services and very little on the teaching the Word of God, sermons on how a Christian should live his or her life is almost absent from Orthodox services. Sunday spiritual service for a couple of hours and then go back to secular activities on the same Sunday. Bible reading is not even encouraged,is it. That's the biggest issue.
 

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andrewlya said:
The biggest point for me would be that too much focus is placed on rituals and services and very little on the teaching the Word of God, sermons on how a Christian should live his or her life is almost absent from Orthodox services. Sunday spiritual service for a couple of hours and then go back to secular activities on the same Sunday. Bible reading is not even encouraged,is it. That's the biggest issue.


Your statement above shows you don’t even value Divine Worship and remain ignorant that the services are composed of Scripture! Does it occur to you that the New Testament is an artifact of the Church and derives from the experience of Divinity that takes place within its worship? Have you ever attended an Orthodox worship service and actually listened to what the hymns were teaching, the revelation of God’s economy of salvation, in the same key as the Scriptures?
Who told you that a Gospel sermon must be prescriptive to be relevant, that moralism is the entire message of the Bible? Apparently you never attended the Paschal service where the Resurrection unfolds in our midst and we hear as for the first time the mystical revelation of Godhead in Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
You pose a strawman that does not resemble the Holy Orthodox Church, to gull interlocutors to argue from a weak stance. I am not distracted by your ploy, you Have a bitter heart because you reject the Word of God as clearly demonstrated in the Churches and are envious of the grace-filled Royal Priesthood of believers. You ought to reconsider your attack stance and admit you don’t know anything about the church Christ founded on his own precious Blood.
 

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Orthodoxy is not a denomination. Anyone who writes about us that way needs to get a few things straight in their terminology before proceeding. Denomination is a term used by the first Protestants to designate that they are a limited mission and not claiming to be catholic, the universal and all-sufficient vehicle of salvation for mankind.
denomination = de 'down' or 'full' + nomination 'naming' = a society identified by a name, but mostly used about religious organizations.

Isn't this the word governments use for churches that wish to register their presence in the country? Are the Orthodox churches not registered as denominations in the countries where they are active? Sure, Orthodoxy as a whole is not a single denomination but many, just like Protestantism isn't a denomination but many? Do you have a source for Catholic churches not being called denominations? If so, one may wish to exclude them when, for example, writing an article about Christian denominations. <:}

I ask because I like to get everything straight in my terminology.
 

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The research shows that Pentecostal denomination is the fastest growing Christian denomination in the world,JWs and Mormanism, Hebrew Roots are some of the fastest growing in the USA/world. I suppose if you don't preach the Word and do not evangelise then this is bound to happen.If you visit an Orthodox Church on a typical Sunday you would mainly see old grand mothers in attendance, very few young people. I think protestants do more to encourage young people to attend churches and grow the number of believers.
Bapticostalism is both the fastest growing and fastest shrinking denomination though, is it?
 

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Can only speak anecdotally, but St. Mark's outside DC is growing and has a good mixture of old and young.
How many churches have they planted? I go to Holy Tranfiguration in McLean, and we occasionally have visitors from St. Mark's. When I first started attending, St. Mark's was, I think, the only Coptic church in Northern Virginia. Now, there are six or seven. Do you know if they are all missions of St. Mark's?
 

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denomination = de 'down' or 'full' + nomination 'naming' = a society identified by a name, but mostly used about religious organizations.

Isn't this the word governments use for churches that wish to register their presence in the country? Are the Orthodox churches not registered as denominations in the countries where they are active? Sure, Orthodoxy as a whole is not a single denomination but many, just like Protestantism isn't a denomination but many? Do you have a source for Catholic churches not being called denominations? If so, one may wish to exclude them when, for example, writing an article about Christian denominations. <:}

I ask because I like to get everything straight in my terminology.
The Church proceeded the word Denomination. All denomination means is a splinter. We claim being the first and only. Since we reserve the right to excommunicate, there are no others in our eyes.
 

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All denomination means is a splinter.
Even if there had only existed one church, it would be a denomination if it were called something, such as "The Church".
Anyway, I found answers to my questions here: As "denomination" is defined in English, each Orthodox jurisdiction is a denomination. (Thread)

It appears to be a creative widening-of-context of something Father John Meyendorff wrote about ecumenism:
First of all the Orthodox Church is neither a "sect" nor a "denomination," but the true Church of God. This fact defines both the necessity and the limits of our evolvement in ecumenism[.]
So, the word denomination may have taken on a new meaning in the context of ecumenism, which doesn't apply to the Orthodox Church. I wonder if this is what Andrew had in mind.
 

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Perfect. Lets argue about what we are calling it....and not concentrate on refuting his actual points.
 

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andrewlya said:
The biggest point for me would be that too much focus is placed on rituals and services and very little on the teaching the Word of God, sermons on how a Christian should live his or her life is almost absent from Orthodox services. Sunday spiritual service for a couple of hours and then go back to secular activities on the same Sunday. Bible reading is not even encouraged,is it. That's the biggest issue.


Your statement above shows you don’t even value Divine Worship and remain ignorant that the services are composed of Scripture! Does it occur to you that the New Testament is an artifact of the Church and derives from the experience of Divinity that takes place within its worship? Have you ever attended an Orthodox worship service and actually listened to what the hymns were teaching, the revelation of God’s economy of salvation, in the same key as the Scriptures?
Who told you that a Gospel sermon must be prescriptive to be relevant, that moralism is the entire message of the Bible? Apparently you never attended the Paschal service where the Resurrection unfolds in our midst and we hear as for the first time the mystical revelation of Godhead in Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
You pose a strawman that does not resemble the Holy Orthodox Church, to gull interlocutors to argue from a weak stance. I am not distracted by your ploy, you Have a bitter heart because you reject the Word of God as clearly demonstrated in the Churches and are envious of the grace-filled Royal Priesthood of believers. You ought to reconsider your attack stance and admit you don’t know anything about the church Christ founded on his own precious Blood.
Yes, born orthodox I attended Russian orthodox church untill my teen years and then moved on to Greek Orthodox Church at which I had served untill around 2015. So, yes, I know a bit about Orthodox extensive focus on rituals and services. I know they do read the Gospel during the service but there is very little time spent on sermons, on many occasions there were not sermons given at all, the teaching about the Word was almost absent. I knew little about the teachings of the Bible untill I picked it up and started reading myself. Up to that point, I was very good at kissing and bowing before the icons, lightening the candles and crossing myself every other minute etc ..but I knew far less what the Word has to say about the righteous living. In comparison to other denominations, even to Catholics who also place a lot of time and effort into rituals and services, they seem to preach the Bible to the audience more. Orthodox seem to be too pre-occupied doing the opposite. Sorry, but this is my observation from 30 odd years of experience at the Orthodox Church. Blessings
 

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Yes, born orthodox I attended Russian orthodox church untill my teen years and then moved on to Greek Orthodox Church at which I had served untill around 2015. So, yes, I know a bit about Orthodox extensive focus on rituals and services. I know they do read the Gospel during the service but there is very little time spent on sermons, on many occasions there were not sermons given at all, the teaching about the Word was almost absent. I knew little about the teachings of the Bible untill I picked it up and started reading myself. Up to that point, I was very good at kissing and bowing before the icons, lightening the candles and crossing myself every other minute etc ..but I knew far less what the Word has to say about the righteous living. In comparison to other denominations, even to Catholics who also place a lot of time and effort into rituals and services, they seem to preach the Bible to the audience more. Orthodox seem to be too pre-occupied doing the opposite. Sorry, but this is my observation from 30 odd years of experience at the Orthodox Church. Blessings
Which church do you go to now? What is Unitarian Messianic?
 

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Yes, born orthodox I attended Russian orthodox church untill my teen years and then moved on to Greek Orthodox Church at which I had served untill around 2015. So, yes, I know a bit about Orthodox extensive focus on rituals and services. I know they do read the Gospel during the service but there is very little time spent on sermons, on many occasions there were not sermons given at all, the teaching about the Word was almost absent. I knew little about the teachings of the Bible untill I picked it up and started reading myself. Up to that point, I was very good at kissing and bowing before the icons, lightening the candles and crossing myself every other minute etc ..but I knew far less what the Word has to say about the righteous living. In comparison to other denominations, even to Catholics who also place a lot of time and effort into rituals and services, they seem to preach the Bible to the audience more. Orthodox seem to be too pre-occupied doing the opposite. Sorry, but this is my observation from 30 odd years of experience at the Orthodox Church. Blessings
Orthodoxy is not forced on you. People generally gravitate to it. So, when life takes hold of you and you yearn for spirituality. You'll find your way back. It's mystical.
 

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As fat as I know (being a former OC) they don't believe in active evangelism i.e. going on street or other countries to preach the Word.
We are actively evangelizing you today with the Whole Truth right here on the OCNet street corner. Don't settle for the mixture of lies and smooth talking falsehood of your latest endeavor called a denomination or cult. When you get tired of milk come back for meat. Stop blaming the Church for your own hardened heart that could not digest the Gospel though it was presented to you for years. Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Jesus will forgive you if you just repent. Come home lost sheep! For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life! John 3:16
 

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The Orthodox Study Bible is a wonderful way to spread the Good News. Mission churches are opening up in many places.
 

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...I know they do read the Gospel during the service but there is very little time spent on sermons, on many occasions there were not sermons given at all, the teaching about the Word was almost absent...
So... herein lies the problem. People have had less than perfect experience at certain parishes. Using "they" to refer to ALL of Orthodoxy is wrong. The Orthodox as a rule do read the Gospel, the OT readings are done during Vespers, the Epistle and Gospel are read during Divine Liturgy... and trust me... sermons are given...

Therefore, do not claim that the Church doesn't do this or that... simply because you had a less than adequate experience at a parish or two.

If we are going to state that the Church is declining in numbers.... we only have to look in the mirror. Are we the Orthodox Christians we claim to be, that we are called to be? Do we represent our Church in public well?

All that needs to be done is that the Orthodox faithful actually live Orthodox lives... but, none of us truly do.

Do we fast W/F, not to mention the odd days, and lenten periods? Do we chose poverty over wealth? Do we remain silent in the face of accusations? Do we give until it hurts? Do we pray? Are we kind? Do we forgive? Do we show mercy? Do we refrain from judging others? Do we show love?

If we do not... we have no right to blame anyone, not the Church practices, the hierarchs, etc.... we have only ourselves to blame.
 

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We are actively evangelizing you today with the Whole Truth right here on the OCNet street corner. Don't settle for the mixture of lies and smooth talking falsehood of your latest endeavor called a denomination or cult. When you get tired of milk come back for meat. Stop blaming the Church for your own hardened heart that could not digest the Gospel though it was presented to you for years. Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Jesus will forgive you if you just repent. Come home lost sheep! For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life! John 3:16
Repent of what exactly? I believe in Jesus as my Messiah and Son of God.
 

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So... herein lies the problem. People have had less than perfect experience at certain parishes. Using "they" to refer to ALL of Orthodoxy is wrong. The Orthodox as a rule do read the Gospel, the OT readings are done during Vespers, the Epistle and Gospel are read during Divine Liturgy... and trust me... sermons are given...

Therefore, do not claim that the Church doesn't do this or that... simply because you had a less than adequate experience at a parish or two.

If we are going to state that the Church is declining in numbers.... we only have to look in the mirror. Are we the Orthodox Christians we claim to be, that we are called to be? Do we represent our Church in public well?

All that needs to be done is that the Orthodox faithful actually live Orthodox lives... but, none of us truly do.

Do we fast W/F, not to mention the odd days, and lenten periods? Do we chose poverty over wealth? Do we remain silent in the face of accusations? Do we give until it hurts? Do we pray? Are we kind? Do we forgive? Do we show mercy? Do we refrain from judging others? Do we show love?

If we do not... we have no right to blame anyone, not the Church practices, the hierarchs, etc.... we have only ourselves to blame.
Nice post, thanks. Good points
 

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The Orthodox Study Bible is a wonderful way to spread the Good News. Mission churches are opening up in many places.
I've the Orthodox Study Bible, I was given this as a gift and still read it every day.
 

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Yes, born orthodox I attended Russian orthodox church untill my teen years and then moved on to Greek Orthodox Church at which I had served untill around 2015. So, yes, I know a bit about Orthodox extensive focus on rituals and services. I know they do read the Gospel during the service but there is very little time spent on sermons, on many occasions there were not sermons given at all, the teaching about the Word was almost absent. I knew little about the teachings of the Bible untill I picked it up and started reading myself. Up to that point, I was very good at kissing and bowing before the icons, lightening the candles and crossing myself every other minute etc ..but I knew far less what the Word has to say about the righteous living. In comparison to other denominations, even to Catholics who also place a lot of time and effort into rituals and services, they seem to preach the Bible to the audience more. Orthodox seem to be too pre-occupied doing the opposite. Sorry, but this is my observation from 30 odd years of experience at the Orthodox Church. Blessings
Then your parents and possibly your clergy failed, not Orthodoxy, and I'm sorry that happened. No one explained to you how every element of the service worships and presents Christ and echoes Scripture, why we do all these things, and what is Tradition vs. personal piety, and that is definitely wrong. Maybe my experience with Orthodoxy is unusual, but as far as I know, Church Fathers such as St. John Chrysostom exhort the faithful to read and know Scripture outside of the services, and all of the priests I've encountered praise and encourage personal Scripture reading over and above the daily Gospel and Epistle, though you start there and make that a habit first (always ask your priest!). The only caution I've seen is to not get too much into private interpretation. Finally, prayer and reading of Scripture is a large part of what many monastics do. Confession is where individualized advice comes into play, and your priest should be available to talk in between Confessions, if you need prayer or guidance. If your experience falls short of this, you're seeing the weakness of people. Pray for them.

However, like one of my kids, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. And I tell them frequently that I can't have their faith for them, and they can't borrow mine. I can only raise them in this Tradition, demonstrate and explain as much as possible, and put them in as many instructive settings as I can so they can learn from other Orthodox Christians, too (sometimes it's better coming from a nonparent). If my disinterested child closes their ears and blocks the instruction out of their minds and hearts, there's nothing I or anyone else can do until they decide they need God and Orthodoxy. So while it's definitely frustrating and disheartening to be told there's a river but not really shown how to drink from it, it's your job now to figure those things out for yourself, if you choose. You're an adult, and it's on your own head. Maybe your formative years made it harder to connect with the Faith, but it's not impossible.

I share a similar experience, but from the Protestant side. I went to church twice on Sundays and every Wednesday. Choir, Sunday school, youth group, etc. But faith wasn't actively taught at home, and while we talked about the Bible a lot at church, I'd never read it and couldn't tell you where most of the books were (I wasn't Baptist growing up, lol). On top of that, I had bad interpersonal experiences in my childhood church, so I grew into an adolescent who hated God and Christians, instead of putting the responsibility on the specific people who behaved poorly and actually forgiving them. When I was shaken out of that cloud and decided to read Scripture for myself, it had a similar effect on me as you. But you know the rest--it just wasn't enough. Years ago, someone here used the metaphor of a precious stone for Scripture. You may have the jewel, but it's not in its proper setting. Orthodoxy is that setting which gives Scripture its context, and yes, it's often ornate. This isn't a bad thing, and having a bigger picture doesn't detract from the beauty of the stone. Hopefully you'll see that one day.
 

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Repent of what exactly? I believe in Jesus as my Messiah and Son of God.
Dude! you have to go through the sacraments. Its a must!
be brave and do it. thats what church and Christianity as a whole is all about.
Living it out..
 

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Which church do you go to now? What is Unitarian Messianic?
I like Yahweh's Restoration Ministry, they are Hebrew Roots movement.They have their own services but they really study, discuss and teach the Bible and I mean not just the New Testament but the Old as well. I love learning the Bible. Unitarian Messianism is a denomination of Messianic Judaism with the exception that we follow Torah and not Talmud, and worship One Divine Person of the Heavenly Father whist still acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit being the Spirit of God although these two not being equal to our Heavenly Father. We also use sacred Names for Father (Yahweh) and the Son (Yahshua). We keep services on the 7th Day-Saturday rather than the first day-Sunday as Roman Emperor Constantine changed the day back in March 7, 321.
 
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melkite

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Unitarian Messianism is a denomination of Messianic Judaism with the exception that we follow Torah and not Talmud, and worship One Divine Person of the Heavenly Father whist still acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit being the Spirit of God although these two not being equal to our Heavenly Father. We also use sacred Names for Father (Yahweh) and the Son (Yahshua). We keep services on the 7th Day-Saturday rather than the first day-Sunday as Roman Emperor Constantine changed the day back in March 7, 321.
Does this mean that you do not believe Jesus is God?

If you practice circumcision and the Jewish Passover, you are a Judaizer. If you do not believe that Christ is God, then you aren't even a Christian (although you may still be a very decent person).
 

Tzimis

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My parents baptised me as orthodox when I was a kid.
That's not where it ends. Life is fluid and the church is the one that carries you through at every stage.
It was structured in a way that it intercedes with on going life. You have to live out the sacraments.
Baptism is just a beginning.
 

andrewlya

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Does this mean that you do not believe Jesus is God?

If you practice circumcision and the Jewish Passover, you are a Judaizer. If you do not believe that Christ is God, then you aren't even a Christian (although you may still be a very decent person).
Is one defined as a Christian if he believes in Jesus being God? Where did it get it from, I don't think Bible gives such a criteria. About being a Judaiser... I think all of the apostles were then, including Paul since they kept Shabbat and Biblical feasts and ate clean food...
 

Stinky

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Repent of what exactly? I believe in Jesus as my Messiah and Son of God.
I was trying to duplicate how a "street evangelist" might sound. If that was your cup of tea. I'm not that good at that I see. I'm sorry. I do not judge you. I think your being here on this site attests that you are still longing for the fullness of the gift entrusted to you at your baptism. Stick around!
 
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LizaSymonenko

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I like Yahweh's Restoration Ministry, they are Hebrew Roots movement.They have their own services but they really study, discuss and teach the Bible and I mean not just the New Testament but the Old as well. I love learning the Bible. Unitarian Messianism is a denomination of Messianic Judaism with the exception that we follow Torah and not Talmud, and worship One Divine Person of the Heavenly Father whist still acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit being the Spirit of God although these two not being equal to our Heavenly Father. We also use sacred Names for Father (Yahweh) and the Son (Yahshua). We keep services on the 7th Day-Saturday rather than the first day-Sunday as Roman Emperor Constantine changed the day back in March 7, 321.
You deny the Holy Trinity.
 

andrewlya

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I was trying to duplicate how a "street evangelist" might sound. If that was your cup of tea. I'm not that good at that I see. I'm sorry. I do not judge you. I think your being here on this site attests that you are still longing for the fullness of the gift entrusted to you at your baptism. Stick around!
Yeah, I like to pay a visit to my ex Orthodox self from time to time and please don't apologise, all good :)
 

TheTrisagion

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Is one defined as a Christian if he believes in Jesus being God? Where did it get it from, I don't think Bible gives such a criteria.
Not to be unkind, but I thought you said you read the Bible since you left the Orthodox Church? How does one read the Book of John, Peter's epistles, Paul's epistles, and not come to the conclusion that it professes Christ's divinity? Do Messianic Jews not accept the New Testament as part of Holy Scripture?
 
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