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Would You Let Your Kids Switch Church Affiliations and/or Religions?

JamesR

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If you had children or already have children, how would you respond if they wanted to switch Church affiliations like to a different denomination or for that matter wanted to switch to a different religion altogether? Would you allow it? Prohibit? Take a circumstantial or midway approach? I thought of this question as I was reflecting upon my own faith(lessness). On the one hand, I could see why some parents would make Church mandatory and prohibit conversion to a different one or religion. It's the same reason I don't like Protestant missionaries going into Orthodox nations. But at the same time, I feel like forcing religion on your kids and forbidding dissent only estranges them from your faith further, and incites even more hatred and a desire to rebel. I still remember the days I used to sit through "youth group" in middle school lamenting how stupid I thought this religion was and all the times I caused my mother grief by refusing to enter the Evangelical Church with her in 8th grade, although I did enjoy attending the Catholic Church with my grandma on occasion.

But more than anything, I would feel like depriving my child of the right to switch faiths would be the ultimate act of hypocrisy since if it weren't for me doing the same and causing my parents heck, I wouldn't have become Orthodox when I was 15 against their wishes. I imagine this goes for most of us who converted as teenagers and will therefore forever have a soft spot for rebellious kids who hate their parents religion. But getting back on topic, how would you deal with this issue? Would you honestly respond to your Orthodox child's wish to convert to Protestantism any better than your Protestant parents may have responded when you wanted to convert to Orthodoxy?
 

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How would parents forbid that?
 

LenInSebastopol

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Define "children".

And no, I would not 'forbid' my children from converting, depending on other circumstances.
Parents often know that children will rebel.
 

scamandrius

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While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
 

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JamesR said:
If you had children or already have children, how would you respond if they wanted to switch Church affiliations like to a different denomination or for that matter wanted to switch to a different religion altogether? Would you allow it? Prohibit? Take a circumstantial or midway approach? I thought of this question as I was reflecting upon my own faith(lessness). On the one hand, I could see why some parents would make Church mandatory and prohibit conversion to a different one or religion. It's the same reason I don't like Protestant missionaries going into Orthodox nations. But at the same time, I feel like forcing religion on your kids and forbidding dissent only estranges them from your faith further, and incites even more hatred and a desire to rebel. I still remember the days I used to sit through "youth group" in middle school lamenting how stupid I thought this religion was and all the times I caused my mother grief by refusing to enter the Evangelical Church with her in 8th grade, although I did enjoy attending the Catholic Church with my grandma on occasion.

But more than anything, I would feel like depriving my child of the right to switch faiths would be the ultimate act of hypocrisy since if it weren't for me doing the same and causing my parents heck, I wouldn't have become Orthodox when I was 15 against their wishes. I imagine this goes for most of us who converted as teenagers and will therefore forever have a soft spot for rebellious kids who hate their parents religion. But getting back on topic, how would you deal with this issue? Would you honestly respond to your Orthodox child's wish to convert to Protestantism any better than your Protestant parents may have responded when you wanted to convert to Orthodoxy?
They should not change their religion when their parents give to them.
 

Arachne

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scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
Pretty much this. House rules and all.
 

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But in your case is very good from protestant to become orthodox. You have been get the right choice.
 

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I would not let my kids to believe in something other than Christianity. I'd encourage them to read Bible, live a Christian life. Once they grow up and decide something else, of course i'd be sad, but i hope, when this happens, i'd get a feeling that i had done my best.....i can only pray for them
 

LenInSebastopol

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Echa said:
I would not let my kids to believe in something other than Christianity. I'd encourage them to read Bible, live a Christian life. Once they grow up and decide something else, of course i'd be sad, but i hope, when this happens, i'd get a feeling that i had done my best.....i can only pray for them
You can start praying for your kids now, even if you have none yet, since no one can control what another thinks.
 

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It would depend on how old the kids were and how unhappy they were with my religious affiliation.

If they were 13 or under, no.  I'd make them go to Church with me. 

But if they were, say, 16 years old or older,  and they could articulate the reasons why they disliked my Church and did not want to be a part of it, I would at least listen.  If they wanted to attend somewhere else and could articulate some logical reasons for it, I might let them.  It would depend on the religious group.

If it was historically Christian, confessed the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation without any reservations, I would agree to allow them a period of "observation" to attend it.  I would rather do that than force an intelligent teenager to attend the Orthodox Church with me, be pouty about it, and whine and complain.  I would periodically ask for feedback and ask him to compare and contrast the church he is now attending with the Orthodox Church.  I would tell him  that I would hope that in the end he would see the superiority and truth of the Orthodox Faith, but at the same time, respect his freewill.

Once my kid turned 18, I would let him make his own decision and join whatever Church he wanted.  If he wanted to remain in the Orthodox Church, that would be great.  But if he didn't, I would not force it upon him or argue with him about it. I would always hope he'd come back to the Orthodox Church.  But at the same time forcing religion on people can backfire.  And I just couldn't do that.
 

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In my case I don't know what I would do because having grown up utterly contented with my faith, I can't identify with the youthful desire to reject the received religion, since I never experienced this, for which I am thankful.  I suppose I would have to approach the problem from that basis, I.e. Something evil must have transpired to induce the desire to apostasize.  I suppose it helped in terms of any desire to stick it to the man, that the bane of my religious life remained stupid decisions by liberal and evangelical clergy, to introduce praise bands,,abolish the traditional hymns, and to mess with moral theology, that these liberal or non-traditionalist Protestant clergy became the enemy, and ultimately I rebelled by changing my denomination to one that my parents actually had a fascination with and were enthusiastic about, indeed joining me in this, shall we say, translation.
 

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LenInSebastopol said:
Echa said:
I would not let my kids to believe in something other than Christianity. I'd encourage them to read Bible, live a Christian life. Once they grow up and decide something else, of course i'd be sad, but i hope, when this happens, i'd get a feeling that i had done my best.....i can only pray for them
You can start praying for your kids now, even if you have none yet, since no one can control what another thinks.
Forcing other to have the same opinion as you do, very self-centered of you! You don't even know whether or not i am able to have kids do ya?
 

JamesR

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Arachne said:
scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
Pretty much this. House rules and all.
I wouldn't. It just makes them angrier and causes them to hate it even more. Of course, there is a difference between not wanting to go to Church because I want to sleep and not wanting to go because I don't agree with your religion. I think the moment a child reaches the latter point where he or she can question religion, that mandatory religious attendance and the like becomes stupid since it isn't going to do them anything unless they want it to. For me that was around 12 years old, as it is for most kids exposed to the Internet. My parents tried that on me but I used to always make a scene by refusing to enter their Church at the doorway and go Gandhi resistance refuse to leave the car. Finally my parents gave up around the time I was 14 and then a year later I became Orthodox. I'd love to have see you or Scamandrius try to force a 13 year old me into Church :) In retrospect, as much as people around here hate anything with the word progressive or open minded in it, I think that if my parents and parents in general had taken a looser approach to religion by not making it mandatory and not condemning their kids for questioning their religion and possibly not believing in it anymore, things wouldn't go as bad as they often do, and your child would be more likely to let you into that intimate area of their life whereas those with strict religious parents wouldn't dream of letting their parents inside.
 

Arachne

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JamesR said:
Arachne said:
scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
Pretty much this. House rules and all.
I wouldn't. It just makes them angrier and causes them to hate it even more. Of course, there is a difference between not wanting to go to Church because I want to sleep and not wanting to go because I don't agree with your religion. I think the moment a child reaches the latter point where he or she can question religion, that mandatory religious attendance and the like becomes stupid since it isn't going to do them anything unless they want it to. For me that was around 12 years old, as it is for most kids exposed to the Internet. My parents tried that on me but I used to always make a scene by refusing to enter their Church at the doorway and go Gandhi resistance refuse to leave the car. Finally my parents gave up around the time I was 14 and then a year later I became Orthodox. I'd love to have see you or Scamandrius try to force a 13 year old me into Church :) In retrospect, as much as people around here hate anything with the word progressive or open minded in it, I think that if my parents and parents in general had taken a looser approach to religion by not making it mandatory and not condemning their kids for questioning their religion and possibly not believing in it anymore, things wouldn't go as bad as they often do, and your child would be more likely to let you into that intimate area of their life whereas those with strict religious parents wouldn't dream of letting their parents inside.
Unlike what you seem to believe, we've been more or less stroppy teenagers too.
 

JamesR

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Arachne said:
JamesR said:
Arachne said:
scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
Pretty much this. House rules and all.
I wouldn't. It just makes them angrier and causes them to hate it even more. Of course, there is a difference between not wanting to go to Church because I want to sleep and not wanting to go because I don't agree with your religion. I think the moment a child reaches the latter point where he or she can question religion, that mandatory religious attendance and the like becomes stupid since it isn't going to do them anything unless they want it to. For me that was around 12 years old, as it is for most kids exposed to the Internet. My parents tried that on me but I used to always make a scene by refusing to enter their Church at the doorway and go Gandhi resistance refuse to leave the car. Finally my parents gave up around the time I was 14 and then a year later I became Orthodox. I'd love to have see you or Scamandrius try to force a 13 year old me into Church :) In retrospect, as much as people around here hate anything with the word progressive or open minded in it, I think that if my parents and parents in general had taken a looser approach to religion by not making it mandatory and not condemning their kids for questioning their religion and possibly not believing in it anymore, things wouldn't go as bad as they often do, and your child would be more likely to let you into that intimate area of their life whereas those with strict religious parents wouldn't dream of letting their parents inside.
Unlike what you seem to believe, we've been more or less stroppy teenagers too.
But you're British? I thought you were well behaved by your very nature :) But on a more serious note, how would you force a rebellious but intellectually intelligent tween to attend your Church against his or her religious wishes, and what good would you hope to accomplish from it even if you succeeded since on the inside he or she would just grow to resent your religion more?
 

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scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
But given that kids are living at home well in to their twenties?  I agree with you until they turn 18, but after that how do you enforce it?
 

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JamesR said:
Arachne said:
JamesR said:
Arachne said:
scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
Pretty much this. House rules and all.
I wouldn't. It just makes them angrier and causes them to hate it even more. Of course, there is a difference between not wanting to go to Church because I want to sleep and not wanting to go because I don't agree with your religion. I think the moment a child reaches the latter point where he or she can question religion, that mandatory religious attendance and the like becomes stupid since it isn't going to do them anything unless they want it to. For me that was around 12 years old, as it is for most kids exposed to the Internet. My parents tried that on me but I used to always make a scene by refusing to enter their Church at the doorway and go Gandhi resistance refuse to leave the car. Finally my parents gave up around the time I was 14 and then a year later I became Orthodox. I'd love to have see you or Scamandrius try to force a 13 year old me into Church :) In retrospect, as much as people around here hate anything with the word progressive or open minded in it, I think that if my parents and parents in general had taken a looser approach to religion by not making it mandatory and not condemning their kids for questioning their religion and possibly not believing in it anymore, things wouldn't go as bad as they often do, and your child would be more likely to let you into that intimate area of their life whereas those with strict religious parents wouldn't dream of letting their parents inside.
Unlike what you seem to believe, we've been more or less stroppy teenagers too.
But you're British? I thought you were well behaved by your very nature :) But on a more serious note, how would you force a rebellious but intellectually intelligent tween to attend your Church against his or her religious wishes, and what good would you hope to accomplish from it even if you succeeded since on the inside he or she would just grow to resent your religion more?
I'm Greek. We don't do well behaved. If you see a bunch of us debating without understanding what is being said, moderate animation looks like we're about to go for one another's throats :D

But seriously, I would expect a smart kid to attend, study and understand what is going on at church, even without being invested in the faith. I won't send my son to Orthodox camp if he doesn't want to go, nor force him to confess and commune if he refuses. I won't violate his conscience. But I will most definitely make sure he knows what exactly he's rebelling against. (Assuming he does, of course; he may do so as an adult, or not at all.)
 

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JamesR said:
If you had children or already have children, how would you respond if they wanted to switch Church affiliations like to a different denomination or for that matter wanted to switch to a different religion altogether? Would you allow it? Prohibit? Take a circumstantial or midway approach? I thought of this question as I was reflecting upon my own faith(lessness). On the one hand, I could see why some parents would make Church mandatory and prohibit conversion to a different one or religion. It's the same reason I don't like Protestant missionaries going into Orthodox nations. But at the same time, I feel like forcing religion on your kids and forbidding dissent only estranges them from your faith further, and incites even more hatred and a desire to rebel. I still remember the days I used to sit through "youth group" in middle school lamenting how stupid I thought this religion was and all the times I caused my mother grief by refusing to enter the Evangelical Church with her in 8th grade, although I did enjoy attending the Catholic Church with my grandma on occasion.

But more than anything, I would feel like depriving my child of the right to switch faiths would be the ultimate act of hypocrisy since if it weren't for me doing the same and causing my parents heck, I wouldn't have become Orthodox when I was 15 against their wishes. I imagine this goes for most of us who converted as teenagers and will therefore forever have a soft spot for rebellious kids who hate their parents religion. But getting back on topic, how would you deal with this issue? Would you honestly respond to your Orthodox child's wish to convert to Protestantism any better than your Protestant parents may have responded when you wanted to convert to Orthodoxy?
My own Church's canon law will not accept a covert under 14 without parental consent, which tells me my Church feels the conscience of the those 14 and over is to be respected.  if I thought it was simply to get out of going to Liturgy, I would require them to attend out of respect for me until 18.  if I felt they were sincere in their conviction I would allow them to follow their conscience.
 

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Deacon Lance said:
JamesR said:
If you had children or already have children, how would you respond if they wanted to switch Church affiliations like to a different denomination or for that matter wanted to switch to a different religion altogether? Would you allow it? Prohibit? Take a circumstantial or midway approach? I thought of this question as I was reflecting upon my own faith(lessness). On the one hand, I could see why some parents would make Church mandatory and prohibit conversion to a different one or religion. It's the same reason I don't like Protestant missionaries going into Orthodox nations. But at the same time, I feel like forcing religion on your kids and forbidding dissent only estranges them from your faith further, and incites even more hatred and a desire to rebel. I still remember the days I used to sit through "youth group" in middle school lamenting how stupid I thought this religion was and all the times I caused my mother grief by refusing to enter the Evangelical Church with her in 8th grade, although I did enjoy attending the Catholic Church with my grandma on occasion.

But more than anything, I would feel like depriving my child of the right to switch faiths would be the ultimate act of hypocrisy since if it weren't for me doing the same and causing my parents heck, I wouldn't have become Orthodox when I was 15 against their wishes. I imagine this goes for most of us who converted as teenagers and will therefore forever have a soft spot for rebellious kids who hate their parents religion. But getting back on topic, how would you deal with this issue? Would you honestly respond to your Orthodox child's wish to convert to Protestantism any better than your Protestant parents may have responded when you wanted to convert to Orthodoxy?
My own Church's canon law will not accept a covert under 14 without parental consent, which tells me my Church feels the conscience of the those 14 and over is to be respected.  if I thought it was simply to get out of going to Liturgy, I would require them to attend out of respect for me until 18.  if I felt they were sincere in their conviction I would allow them to follow their conscience.
That's a better choice, otherwise you could seriously be in for some trouble. God forbid a parent forces their kid to commune, only for them to spit it out in front of the entire congregation or something along those lines like the tactics I employed against my Protestant parents as a tween.
 

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If my child had an extraordinarily bad experience at church, such as something dangerous, I might look for another parish. Don't know if I would encourage them to change faiths.
 

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Deacon Lance said:
scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
But given that kids are living at home well in to their twenties?  I agree with you until they turn 18, but after that how do you enforce it?
I dont honestly know since I am not there.
 

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JamesR said:
Arachne said:
scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
Pretty much this. House rules and all.
I wouldn't. It just makes them angrier and causes them to hate it even more. Of course, there is a difference between not wanting to go to Church because I want to sleep and not wanting to go because I don't agree with your religion. I think the moment a child reaches the latter point where he or she can question religion, that mandatory religious attendance and the like becomes stupid since it isn't going to do them anything unless they want it to. For me that was around 12 years old, as it is for most kids exposed to the Internet. My parents tried that on me but I used to always make a scene by refusing to enter their Church at the doorway and go Gandhi resistance refuse to leave the car. Finally my parents gave up around the time I was 14 and then a year later I became Orthodox. I'd love to have see you or Scamandrius try to force a 13 year old me into Church :) In retrospect, as much as people around here hate anything with the word progressive or open minded in it, I think that if my parents and parents in general had taken a looser approach to religion by not making it mandatory and not condemning their kids for questioning their religion and possibly not believing in it anymore, things wouldn't go as bad as they often do, and your child would be more likely to let you into that intimate area of their life whereas those with strict religious parents wouldn't dream of letting their parents inside.
I love getting patenting advice from a teenager who has not lived at all on his own, who doesn't want kids and questions the very motives about people even having kids.  Btw, you are assuming a lot about my parenting which you know nothing about.  You assume i am for ing my kids. No, I am raising them in the faith and teaching them. That does not equate force.  I would ask for an apology, but I know that would be pointless since you assume you know everything.
 

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I will be happy if my kids are going to church at all in their teens. I know many, such as yourself, that outright rebel against it. I don't think parents forcing church on teenagers is profitable, but I don't think it is wrong to "incentivize" them into going. You don't want your kids mind to associate church with fights and strong arming. You want them to associate it with positive things. Also, I don't think you can really expect your kids to take church seriously if all you do as parents is show up once a week and the rest of the week forget about it. Your faith has to be integral to your daily life. Otherwise kid, rightly so, will view it as hypocrisy and want to bail on it. Parents need to be discussing spiritual matters with their kids just like they would discuss how their day is going and anything else. They need to listen and not lecture when the child is struggling with something. The child needs to see that the parents apply their faith to their lives and it isn't just an obligation on Sundays. I hope I'm up to the task. I try, but making sure your kids turn out right is hard.
 

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Stupid Question: do  Orthodox teenagers routinely fantasize about being non-Orthodox?

Not, as a majority, but just, is this something priests and parents commonly have to deal with?

More complex question:

I have to reiterate how content I was with my religion growing up.  Or rather with the personal faith my parents taught me, which we mutually realized was Orthodox.  I remener how happy my mother was after we joined; we were approached by some gross Evangelical missionary and felt so glad to have accessed a better place where we felt at home.  Although Inwill say, the first Methodist pastor I had I did love, and back then we had beautiful services.  Then he was replaced by a liberal woman and things went all pear shaped as they say.  She was then replaced by this somewhat abrasive evangelical praise band enthusiast, who was replaced by a traditionalist who suffered stomach cancer, who was treated horribly by the praise band set, and then another evangelical arrived and the Traditonal service disappeared, so we switched to an adjacent parish where we remained for nearly a decade, until the ticking time bomb of my being a traditionalist and the minister, who I thought of as a close friend, emerged as a homosexual.  He was sort of a liturgical formalist.  I might still be Methodist if I lived in a town with a conservative Methodist parish and traditional worship, but becoming Orthodox was a sort of breakthrough.

But the key element was I acted with my parents and it was a mutual decison for us; my main contribution was identifying the Syriac Orthodox Church as the best option for our reception based on driving time, our rapport with the clergy and the laity, the music, and also a deep love for the Syriac language and liturgical music.  Previously most of our contact had been with the Serbians, who we still love.  But since we acted together, even though we did buck against changes the UMC had the right to make, but which we rejected, does our case even fit the pattern of children wanting to change religions or is it as I believe quite different?  The only negative pushback I got was from an aunt who we love but who can occasionally be difficult, but I think she has come round to accept our invitation.

By the way, this issue has never come up with our confessor because he obviously is aware of our concurrent reception.  It's not really bothering me in any sense but I'm curious if I did in some sense rebel?  I would prefer to think that I did not, based on the fact that we were mutually upset about some of the changes in the UMC.
 

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My children would not be allowed to convert to non-Orthodox as long as they live with me. At the moment they are on their own, without my support, they would be free to convert to anything they want. Of course I would underline for the last time that Orthodoxy is the only true religion.

While they are not on their own, they wouldn't be forced to go to Church, or to undertake anything they do not want, regardless their age. There is nothing to be forced in religion.
 

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hayabusa said:
My children would not be allowed to convert to non-Orthodox as long as they live with me. At the moment they are on their own, without my support, they would be free to convert to anything they want. Of course I would underline for the last time that Orthodoxy is the only true religion.

While they are not on their own, they wouldn't be forced to go to Church, or to undertake anything they do not want, regardless their age. There is nothing to be forced in religion.
For once we are of one accord, on religious tolerance.  In the case of my children though I'm not sure how Id react, because as I said above I didn't go through such a phase, and don't understand it. 
 

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Echa said:
LenInSebastopol said:
Echa said:
I would not let my kids to believe in something other than Christianity. I'd encourage them to read Bible, live a Christian life. Once they grow up and decide something else, of course i'd be sad, but i hope, when this happens, i'd get a feeling that i had done my best.....i can only pray for them
You can start praying for your kids now, even if you have none yet, since no one can control what another thinks.
Forcing other to have the same opinion as you do, very self-centered of you! You don't even know whether or not i am able to have kids do ya?
I read your previous post where you wrote "I would not let my kids to believe....".
I now see English is not your first language, as it seemed you said you would not allow your kids to think....which is impossible.
Woman, I do not know, nor care, if you have children, though I hope you do, but in your first post, again to which I refer, you had language in it indicating some minor ability to have children. I can tell you from experience that having children is the best thing one may do for getting out of self-centeredness forever. Parents and monks spend their lives coming to 'other-ness', and , like monks, sometimes leave better things in their place!
You, who have no children, are simply, as we say in America, are simply whistling Dixie (which means 'not really doing much but pretending to be serious')
 

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LenInSebastopol said:
Echa said:
LenInSebastopol said:
Echa said:
I would not let my kids to believe in something other than Christianity. I'd encourage them to read Bible, live a Christian life. Once they grow up and decide something else, of course i'd be sad, but i hope, when this happens, i'd get a feeling that i had done my best.....i can only pray for them
You can start praying for your kids now, even if you have none yet, since no one can control what another thinks.
Forcing other to have the same opinion as you do, very self-centered of you! You don't even know whether or not i am able to have kids do ya?
I read your previous post where you wrote "I would not let my kids to believe....".
I now see English is not your first language, as it seemed you said you would not allow your kids to think....which is impossible.
Woman, I do not know, nor care, if you have children, though I hope you do, but in your first post, again to which I refer, you had language in it indicating some minor ability to have children. I can tell you from experience that having children is the best thing one may do for getting out of self-centeredness forever. Parents and monks spend their lives coming to 'other-ness', and , like monks, sometimes leave better things in their place!
You, who have no children, are simply, as we say in America, are simply whistling Dixie (which means 'not really doing much but pretending to be serious')
Okay then, how would you respond to someone who believes that it's selfish to have children, that people who have children are only doing it because of their own egos? I've heard that argument used before, as well as the argument that it's wrong and selfish to bring a child into a world full of bad people. Not saying I agree with either argument, but I'm not sure if it's possible to refute them or not.
 

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wgw said:
...In the case of my children though I'm not sure how Id react, because as I said above I didn't go through such a phase, and don't understand it.
I believe that the rejection would be of demonic origin. In that case, any force would be harmfull both for the kid and for you and for the relationship between you two. That is my understanding.

It would have to be handled with the help of priest/spiritual father. Patiance is an important weapon In the fight against the demons.
 

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Minnesotan said:
LenInSebastopol said:
Echa said:
LenInSebastopol said:
Echa said:
I would not let my kids to believe in something other than Christianity. I'd encourage them to read Bible, live a Christian life. Once they grow up and decide something else, of course i'd be sad, but i hope, when this happens, i'd get a feeling that i had done my best.....i can only pray for them
You can start praying for your kids now, even if you have none yet, since no one can control what another thinks.
Forcing other to have the same opinion as you do, very self-centered of you! You don't even know whether or not i am able to have kids do ya?
I read your previous post where you wrote "I would not let my kids to believe....".
I now see English is not your first language, as it seemed you said you would not allow your kids to think....which is impossible.
Woman, I do not know, nor care, if you have children, though I hope you do, but in your first post, again to which I refer, you had language in it indicating some minor ability to have children. I can tell you from experience that having children is the best thing one may do for getting out of self-centeredness forever. Parents and monks spend their lives coming to 'other-ness', and , like monks, sometimes leave better things in their place!
You, who have no children, are simply, as we say in America, are simply whistling Dixie (which means 'not really doing much but pretending to be serious')
Okay then, how would you respond to someone who believes that it's selfish to have children, that people who have children are only doing it because of their own egos? I've heard that argument used before, as well as the argument that it's wrong and selfish to bring a child into a world full of bad people. Not saying I agree with either argument, but I'm not sure if it's possible to refute them or not.
I am very tired and such an answer is far to short, but the quick one is: those who preach such come from a demonic position.
To be sure there may be some that have "boutique" children for their egos, much like that porn millionaire had that chihuahua dog in her purse, or those that keep buying/adopting children from poor continents like those movie stars. I am not denying such exist, but for the rest of us ordinary mortals, to hold to such a position is as close to going against an early commandment (if not The Earliest) of God, as to be unnatural. We are to be fruitful and multiply. Plain and simple.

Allow the following relative to "selfish".  During Great Lent it may occur that there is not a breath drawn, a heart beat, nor a sip of water taken, not even a molecule moved, that is not "selfish". Those that use such terms regarding not having children may SOUND like they have a point to make, but they do not. They are simply using "our" language to their truly selfish, demonic ends. It is the nature of evil to end any and all that is good. And under The Church circumstances and practices, children are more than good.

Times have never been better to have children....imagine having children when the raid over the hill into your valley occurred every Fall, or The Horde coming to make your town into shreds, or the plague, or a thousand other things that did occur and no longer due to "civilization". There have always been "bad people" and knowing you are not any of them as you practice Virtues (and shun sin)  via Orthodoxy, is it not a duty to have good children (and many) or do you wish to abandon the world to the evil beasts that walk like men? That is not our commission.

And while we are at it: Pray for those women in Iraq fleeing the monsters coming down upon them, as they will also continue to have children, innocent and beautiful ones. They know better than those that claim to have children is a "bad thing".....they know it first hand....Lord, have mercy.
 

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scamandrius said:
JamesR said:
Arachne said:
scamandrius said:
While they are living under my room, no.  Of course, I can't force them to believe anything even while they do live with me.  But, they will come to church with me and I will do my darndest to rear them in the faith, but once they leave, it is their responsibility to find their own way.  They should have the burdens of that responsibility.
Pretty much this. House rules and all.
I wouldn't. It just makes them angrier and causes them to hate it even more. Of course, there is a difference between not wanting to go to Church because I want to sleep and not wanting to go because I don't agree with your religion. I think the moment a child reaches the latter point where he or she can question religion, that mandatory religious attendance and the like becomes stupid since it isn't going to do them anything unless they want it to. For me that was around 12 years old, as it is for most kids exposed to the Internet. My parents tried that on me but I used to always make a scene by refusing to enter their Church at the doorway and go Gandhi resistance refuse to leave the car. Finally my parents gave up around the time I was 14 and then a year later I became Orthodox. I'd love to have see you or Scamandrius try to force a 13 year old me into Church :) In retrospect, as much as people around here hate anything with the word progressive or open minded in it, I think that if my parents and parents in general had taken a looser approach to religion by not making it mandatory and not condemning their kids for questioning their religion and possibly not believing in it anymore, things wouldn't go as bad as they often do, and your child would be more likely to let you into that intimate area of their life whereas those with strict religious parents wouldn't dream of letting their parents inside.
I love getting patenting advice from a teenager who has not lived at all on his own, who doesn't want kids and questions the very motives about people even having kids.  Btw, you are assuming a lot about my parenting which you know nothing about.  You assume i am for ing my kids. No, I am raising them in the faith and teaching them. That does not equate force.  I would ask for an apology, but I know that would be pointless since you assume you know everything.
You do have to admit, though, that James is probably better qualified than most of us to share with us the much needed perspective of a teenager on the other side of this discussion. ;) After all, this experience is still very fresh in his memory, for he's only a few years removed from having lived through the years of his adolescence himself. He has a better idea than many of us what it's like to be a teenager and what it must be like to be "forced" by one's parents to believe something against one's own will. Most of us old fogies, OTOH, have forgotten this to some degree. We have forgotten to some extent what it's like to be a teenager. I know I have.
 

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JamesR said:
If you had children or already have children, how would you respond if they wanted to switch Church affiliations like to a different denomination or for that matter wanted to switch to a different religion altogether? Would you allow it? Prohibit? Take a circumstantial or midway approach? ...  But getting back on topic, how would you deal with this issue? Would you honestly respond to your Orthodox child's wish to convert to Protestantism any better than your Protestant parents may have responded when you wanted to convert to Orthodoxy?
I'd question his motives and then explain why he's wrong.  I'd forbid him from apostasizing until he's an adult, continue to take him to church, and pray for him.  I'd also get our priest and godparents involved.  If talking doesn't work, I'm not above knocking some sense into him.

I was 37 when I converted, so I didn't consult with my parents.  I simply informed my anti-Catholic mother that I was becoming a member of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
 

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I would do the same thing, question motives and explain the error of their thinking, conclusions, etc, however part of the issue is that they are children and not quite capable of thinking!
Age dependent, their brains have not fully matured to be able to think rationally and clearly and are often working off of emotions, impulses and other complex occurrences. And in this day and age! Tough to be a kid!
Lord, have mercy.
 

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LenInSebastopol said:
Age dependent, their brains have not fully matured to be able to think rationally and clearly and are often working off of emotions, impulses and other complex occurrences.
Maybe so, but have you ever attended an Evangelical Church? Hardly any of the adults are any more intelligent or qualified to think than their tweens are, and at least unlike the adults, they haven't learned cognitive dissonance whenever doubt arises but will keep pressing until an answer is given.
 

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JamesR said:
LenInSebastopol said:
Age dependent, their brains have not fully matured to be able to think rationally and clearly and are often working off of emotions, impulses and other complex occurrences.
Maybe so, but have you ever attended an Evangelical Church? Hardly any of the adults are any more intelligent or qualified to think than their tweens are, and at least unlike the adults, they haven't learned cognitive dissonance whenever doubt arises but will keep pressing until an answer is given.
With all due respect, where has that cognitive dissonance gotten you? You are a self-proclaimed misotheist.
 

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JamesR said:
If you had children or already have children, how would you respond if they wanted to switch Church affiliations like to a different denomination or for that matter wanted to switch to a different religion altogether? Would you allow it? Prohibit? Take a circumstantial or midway approach? I thought of this question as I was reflecting upon my own faith(lessness). On the one hand, I could see why some parents would make Church mandatory and prohibit conversion to a different one or religion. It's the same reason I don't like Protestant missionaries going into Orthodox nations. But at the same time, I feel like forcing religion on your kids and forbidding dissent only estranges them from your faith further, and incites even more hatred and a desire to rebel. I still remember the days I used to sit through "youth group" in middle school lamenting how stupid I thought this religion was and all the times I caused my mother grief by refusing to enter the Evangelical Church with her in 8th grade, although I did enjoy attending the Catholic Church with my grandma on occasion.

But more than anything, I would feel like depriving my child of the right to switch faiths would be the ultimate act of hypocrisy since if it weren't for me doing the same and causing my parents heck, I wouldn't have become Orthodox when I was 15 against their wishes. I imagine this goes for most of us who converted as teenagers and will therefore forever have a soft spot for rebellious kids who hate their parents religion. But getting back on topic, how would you deal with this issue? Would you honestly respond to your Orthodox child's wish to convert to Protestantism any better than your Protestant parents may have responded when you wanted to convert to Orthodoxy?
At, say, 15, yes. I would allow them to convert. Naturally, they better have a driver's liscence if they plan on going to any services outside of the occasional times we might visit. But I understand how thigns work. They may come back. They may not. If, at that age, their heart is not in it, who am I to stop them from seeking God in their own way? Maybe they will get homesick and come back. Or maybe they will experience God in a way, that for whatever reason, they are unable to when it's too closely affiliated with us.
 

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JamesR said:
Maybe so, but have you ever attended an Evangelical Church? Hardly any of the adults are any more intelligent or qualified to think than their tweens are, and at least unlike the adults, they haven't learned cognitive dissonance whenever doubt arises but will keep pressing until an answer is given.
Just FYI, this is a radically misinformed and ignorant post.
 

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adampjr said:
JamesR said:
Maybe so, but have you ever attended an Evangelical Church? Hardly any of the adults are any more intelligent or qualified to think than their tweens are, and at least unlike the adults, they haven't learned cognitive dissonance whenever doubt arises but will keep pressing until an answer is given.
Just FYI, this is a radically misinformed and ignorant post.
Actually, it is posited by one who is about 19 years old, which may be the same, but again, may be different. It is immature in this old man's eyes and maybe a bit dramatic, but it is one who is intense and searching....and if memory serves, I was once as that young man is now.
 

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LenInSebastopol said:
adampjr said:
JamesR said:
Maybe so, but have you ever attended an Evangelical Church? Hardly any of the adults are any more intelligent or qualified to think than their tweens are, and at least unlike the adults, they haven't learned cognitive dissonance whenever doubt arises but will keep pressing until an answer is given.
Just FYI, this is a radically misinformed and ignorant post.
Actually, it is posited by one who is about 19 years old, which may be the same, but again, may be different. It is immature in this old man's eyes and maybe a bit dramatic, but it is one who is intense and searching....and if memory serves, I was once as that young man is now.
Sure, I know he's a kid. But the statement shouldn't pass unchallenged. It's factually wrong, for one, and if he's immature, it's all the more reason for him to be circumspect about saying offensive things like this that are, by nature, unlikely to be true.
 
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