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Christ said you would know them “by their fruit.”  After five years immersed in the evangelical world, I’ve become increasingly disenchanted by the unfruitfulness I see, mostly in myself, but also amongst my fellow low church Christians.  This is especially noticeable with those in my mid-forties demographic, which seem to be a vanishing breed in the evangelical wilderness.  

Not suprisingly, my restlessness led to an exploration of the Roman Catholic Church, where I found much to admire, but precious little when it came to actual practice.  

Yet my longing to become part of the historic, traditional Christian Church only increased, and I found my way to the Eastern Orthodox Church, where I’ve been an inquirer, and avid reader of for the past two years.  

In the Summer of 2007, I spent two months in an Orthodox country, where I discovered the Eastern Orthodox faith in all its mystery and astonishing beauty.  On weekdays at 5PM, the world outside came to a halt as I entered the mystery of the ancient faith, albeit only as a respectful onlooker.   

Upon returning, I tried very hard to leave it behind, as my wife and children are quite content in our low, somewhat reformed-evangelical church, which comes complete with a praise band, youth group, and a dynamic, sweater-clad preacher.   

This has led to a spriritual crisis that I pray will be resolved in 2008.  If I become convinced that what the Orthodox Church proposes is true, will I have faith necessary to begin a new spriritual life?    

5 responses

26 01 2008
Nancy

Welcome to the journey! My husband and I have just left 32 years of full time ministry in the evangelical world and will be joining a Byzantine Orthodox church in March. This journey didn’t happen overnight. It began two years ago with my husband taking a course on Russian Orthodox music when he was getting his masters degree in music. Amazing what God will use to open new doors. First, it was the incredibly beautiful Vespers music, then ikons, then Eastern theology. We read and read and asked questions. We joined a Benedictine group (another story!) of lay people and met two men who attended a Byzantine church. That broke the doors open wide! The first time I stepped foot into the church, I was overcome by the mystery and beauty of another world. How could we have missed this? We continue to read and learn. We know the spiritual dryness that you have experienced in the evangelical realm. It plagued us for years. My prayer is that you continue on your journey and your family begins to see the changes in your life. My husband was about 1 year down the road into Orthodoxy until I could no longer deny the new life I saw in him. All glory to Jesus Christ!

1 02 2008
nichole3

Mu husband and I always felt that there was something lacking in the Evangelical world. It was forever changing. Many times we came home from church and just cried together. Would it never end? Vera, (operation meaning) our daughter led us on a search about the Orthodox Faith. We knew we could never return to the Evangelical world. I wrote our story in six parts on my blog. We searched for over 30 years. Your description of the praise band and the preacher in the sweater sounded so like all we have been through. Enjoy your journey, don’t rush. A good resource is http://www.ourlifeinchrist.com. We soaked those programs in. God bless you on your journey!

http://nichole3.wordpress.com

1 02 2008
operationmeaning

Hi Jfred,

My eyes are filled with tears as I read about your and your struggle for I know exactly how you feel. I always see my journey towards the Orthodox Faith as the most beautiful time in my life! Of course, it was difficult and I had many concerns but the sweetness of the Spirit during this time was beyond all that I could ever imagine.

I think it is wonderful that you got to observe the Orthodox services in Ukraine! I wish I had done that when I was there. I read many of the blogs about your 2 daughters. They are so amazing and so beautiful. I wish you so much joy!

I responded to your comments on my blog at my site. Check them out. I also posted a poem called “Orthodoxy” It is all about how I feel about Orthodoxy. I think you will like it.

5 02 2008
Dion Roddy

I believe I am in the same boat as you. I have been immersed in Orthodox Christianity since the autumn of 2006. It took me quite by suprise as I was listening to a podcast from Ergun Caner of Liberty University about “Cults and Sects”. One of the episodes was an interview with an Orthodox priest, a former Epicopalian. I was blown away by all that he had to say, more so than I have ever been affected by any non-evangelical. The past year-and-a-half has been a journey that I’d never thought I’d take. You see, I was pretty content and active in my seeker-friendly megachurch and I thought that I would be there the rest of my life, or at least I wouldn’t be questioning my long held evangelical assumptions. Well, here I am and I am ready to become a catacumen. I hope to do that this year, but my dear wife is having a little difficulty making this transition. I am patiently waiting for her to join me in this journey; she is not so eager. 2008 should be interesting for both you and I. I wish you well on this journey. Please pray for me as I will pray for you.

25 02 2008
Rob N.

You might enjoy reading Frank Shaeffer’s Crazy for God. He’s not in the booze club, but he’s made the transition from evangelical to, I think, Greek Orthodox.

I’m a recovering Southern Baptist who’s had a flirtation with the Catholic Church. I enjoyed that there’s some substance there, as opposed to only style in the world I’d been brought up in. Ultimately, though, it was more of a cultural leap than I could make.

Good luck.

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