||Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2011 - 05:50:02
We are happy to announce plans for a new design for our website Orthodoxy and the World. We will be diverting all our efforts to introduce our new design March 1st, and so will be unable to make new posts at this time. We have many new translations lined up that we hope you will like, so there is much work ahead! Keep us in your prayers, and continue to support our efforts at Orthodoxy and the World.
Within the Cradle
While the external qualities of my Orthodox Faith are most visible to others, my true Orthodox faith resides quietly within me. At Baptism I arrived at the door of Orthodoxy, but the journey continues forever. Whether we are cradle or convert Orthodox, our Chrismation is the beginning of a story, not the conclusion.
Sep 16, 2010, 10:00
After my realisation that the Christology of the Church Fathers is the cornerstone of Christian Theology, I began to immerse myself in the creeds and minutes of the Ecumenical Councils. I was especially intrigued by the Council of Chalcedon.
May 6, 2010, 10:00
While most Copts rejected the council of Chalcedon's definition and established their own patriarchate with the excommunicated patriarch Dioscorus, I could not. I started reading the orthodox writings on Christology; mainly, the series in Patrology of the prominent Russian scholar, Georges Florovsky.
Apr 23, 2010, 10:00
The Quiet Cradle
When I left my small town for college, I needed to provide others with a clear, concise explanation of my faith, a log line for Orthodox Christianity. I developed my log line after realizing I had only thirty seconds to explain my faith before a person’s eyes glazed over. And as Campus Crusade for Christ and Evangelical Christians gained ground on college campuses, I was tired of my mumbled, “I’m Eastern Orthodox,” met by a blank stare. My new log line was for the simple: “Eastern Orthodox. It’s like Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox, only it’s from the Middle East.”
Jan 21, 2010, 10:00
My journey to Orthodoxy
I had made no actual steps towards becoming Orthodox while on my MA and when my friend returned to Romania he told me if I was interested in doing so I should visit the Monastery of St John and Baptist in Essex. This I did, booking myself in for a two-night stay. The first Orthodox service I ever went to was a two-hour recitation of The Jesus Prayer, at 6am, in the dark. I was definitely thrown in at the deep end. I’d like to say I was overcome by a feeling of peace and understanding but in truth I had a pounding headache and felt completely lost and alone.
Nov 12, 2009, 10:00
Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson
ASAP, my wife and I attended a Saturday night vigil service at St John's. Within 10 minutes, we knew we were home. Everything about the situation cried out: "This is what the Church is all about! This answers our need!" Our impression was solidified by two people who talked to us for an hour and a half after a long (3-hour) vigil service. After that, conversion was a matter of time. We never looked back. My wife, my son and I were baptized on August 24th, 1986. Our first communion was on the Dormition of the Mother of God.
Oct 16, 2009, 10:00
The difficulties a convert faces in approaching Orthodoxy
I'd like to share with you some of my thoughts on what difficulties converts face on coming into the Orthodox Faith. It has been my experience that, if one wants to do more than just participate in a "nominal way" in the life of the church, a full commitment to the Orthodox Faith is what is required. My sole purpose in writing this letter is to increase awareness of the process of conversion to the Faith. I pray that I will do this with humility. Hopefully, by sharing some of my thoughts with you, we can learn from one another that the road will be made just a little easier (not just for those converts who may come after people like me but for each one of us whose spiritual journeys are often unique and deeply personal as we aspire to live our lives in the Lord's name).
Oct 9, 2009, 10:00
By Her Prayers...
After my surgery, Fr. Theophylact came and anointed me with oil from Saint Nectarlos. He left and suddenly, inexplicably, I was overcome by a profound feeling of repentance. I wept and wept. Then I began reading a book that Fr. Theophylact had brought with him: Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr by Ludmila Koehler. I was never a reader, but this book captivated me. I felt a special closeness to the martyred Grand Duchess, and I was moved to tears by her life.
Mar 23, 2009, 10:00
Strange Yet Familiar: My Journey to the Orthodox Church (Part III)
Yet there seemed to be a yawning gap between Orthodox principles and Orthodox practice. If the Orthodox really believed themselves to be the one true Church, why did they place such obstacles in the path of prospective converts? In what sense was Orthodoxy truly "one," when, for example, in North America there were at least nineteen different Orthodox "jurisdictions," with no less than thirteen bishops in the single city of New York?
Jan 21, 2009, 10:00
Strange Yet Familiar: My Journey to the Orthodox Church (Part II)
After remaining without the sacrament for some months, I was talking in September 1957 with Madeleine, the wife of Vladimir Lossky. She pointed out to me the peril of my situation, living as I was in no man's land. "You must not continue as you are," she insisted. "The Eucharist is our mystical food: without it, we starve." Her words were confirmed a few days later by a strange incident that I have never been able fully to explain to myself.
Jan 16, 2009, 10:00
Strange Yet Familiar: My Journey to the Orthodox Church (Part I)
In Britain in the 1950s it was a highly unusual step for a Western person to seek entry into the Orthodox Church, and most of my English friends did their best to dissuade me. "You will be a lifelong eccentric," they objected. "God has set you culturally in the West; do not run away from the quandaries and the challenge of your historical inheritance."
Jan 13, 2009, 10:00
My Life Combines the Uncombinable: Being Orthodox Christian in a Muslim Lebanon
I have my beloved aunts, uncles and cousins in Lebanon. They all are Muslims. When I became Orthodox and learned the basics of faith, I didn't hide it. At first they were terrified. A Muslim father should always have Muslim children and a Muslim wife, but my mother managed to baptize her kids and even her husband! They say it was the first case in the whole history of Lebanon.
Jan 8, 2009, 10:00
My Orthodox Beginnings
I was in church one day and had a spiritual experience. I was standing in the back of the church and suddenly I felt that God was definitely here in church, almost tangibly, and it was like He was telling me that He is here. It is hard to explain exactly how this happened. I was surprised and immediately burst into tears, I sat down and cried uncontrollably.
Dec 27, 2008, 10:00
The Orthodox Way
Another meaning of the word orthodox is right worship. We need always to remember that the Orthodox Church never experienced the Reformation. It is not "reformed" because it never needed to be reformed as the West defined it. The controversies of the West have had little or no influence in the East. One evidence of this is the fact that the Orthodox Church has never revised its Liturgies.
Oct 28, 2008, 22:00
From Evangelical to Orthodox
My spiritual search led me in several different directions. I tried the teachings of Watchman Nee. I read C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jaques Ellul, and others. I read the works of charismatic leaders and sought to experience the reality of the Spirit of God that they seemed to touch. I worked on cultivating a life of prayer, with mixed results. I seemed to be unable to satisfy the longing that was within me for the experience of God, and powerless to overcome "the sin that so easily beset" me.
Oct 23, 2008, 10:00
The gift of Orthodoxy
We stood there for over three hours and finally about 4 am, left and made our way back to our hotel. The service was not finished but we just felt unable to keep standing anymore. Bright Monday, the "Intourist" guide collected us all after breakfast (the only day in Russia that we did not have boiled eggs for breakfast) and she told us that in Russia mistakes don't happen, but that it was not going to be possible for us to see the factory we were scheduled to see! Instead, there was only one thing that she could arrange at such short notice, a visit to an old monastery 50 miles outside the city.
Oct 18, 2008, 10:00
Dan told me about a dream he had while he was a missionary in Canada. In the dream, he was walking inside this very old church building, with marble floors and high ceilings. Inside there were pictures all over the walls and candles burning everywhere. Several old men with long white beards and dressed in black robes, were praying standing up, and he sensed, stronger than he had ever sensed, the presence of God in the place.
Sep 13, 2008, 10:00
Himalayan Ascent to Christ
He steered the conversation in a completely different direction. "Last week I saw a movie called 'Jesus of Nazareth.' What a wonderful life!" For the next ten minutes he extolled the virtues of Christ. I was being proselytized by a Buddhist monk, not to convert me to his religion but to Christianity.
Aug 5, 2008, 10:00
Through The Eastern Gate - From Tibetan Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity
One afternoon in late January of l999 I went to my altar for my regular daily practice. Usually I began with yogic song and mantra and then did silent sitting. I lit the candles on my altar and after finishing my song and mantras began my silent practice. I cant say exactly how long I had been sitting when I hear my voice say in my own words aloud, "I miss Jesus." I said this aloud. It seemed like it came through me rather than me saying it but there were no external voices. Clearly I was saying it.
May 2, 2007, 10:04
A Wayfarers Tale of a Godly Adventure
In the winter of 2002, I met Stan. Stan lived under a bridge by the arroyo which was near the hip and seductive downtown of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We met twice or three times a week at a cafe and conversed about the corruption and depravity of the government, society, culture, and on the environmental crisis. We also spent hours talking about a multitude of conspiracies, philosophies and some of Stan’s idiosyncratic theories expressions and concoctions.
Apr 24, 2007, 21:51
Why Would a Southern Baptist Minister Become an Orthodox Priest? (PART 2)
When I became Orthodox it was not a given that I would become one day an Orthodox priest. As one bishop expressed it to me, "the difference between being an Orthodox priest and a Baptist minister is the difference between flying a crop duster and a 747 jet. I like to think of it in terms of a person who after growing up in a small town moves to a big city.
Mar 31, 2007, 19:03
One Man's Journey to the Orthodox Faith...
If we believed in one, true faith, how could this be? Was everything open to individual interpretation? If so, why should I not just believe whatever I want to believe, and justify it in my own mind? I reached a very low point in my faith. I questioned the Bible and organized Christianity. I was almost ready to give up my belief, and then I remembered the Orthodox. I wondered, do they know something that I am missing?
Mar 17, 2007, 21:35
The Incredible Story of a Missionary
Baptized Roman Catholic, later becoming an Episcopal priest and missionary, and three years ago having been received with his family into the Holy Orthodox Church, he is a zealous Orthodox missionary and evangelist currently preparing for ordination to priesthood at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
Feb 14, 2007, 14:28
Why Would a Southern Baptist Minister Become an Orthodox Priest?
In part one of this article we trace the journey from a youth to becoming an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and then the journey to becoming Orthodox. This, however, did not answer the question, "why did this former Southern Baptist minister become an Orthodox priest?" That is the question that we will attempt to answer here.
Jan 20, 2007, 12:16
Being Orthodox - how I believed in God
The present-day situation in Russia is far from being simple. After years of atheism - imposed from the authorities - many people lost hope and faith, many - in search of some spiritual life - rushed into sects and ruined their lifes. But many have found the sense of their life. Many discovered Christ. Many people came to Orthodox Christianity. So - here are some stories...
Dec 30, 2006, 02:52
Confession to a Contemporary
We were afraid too. There was a time when we were indignant over things which seemed “absurd”, “ignorant” or “outdated” in the life of the Orthodox Church. We (or, perhaps, most of us who were born in atheist families and in atheist times) looked at orthodox temples from the outside thinking that we had outstripped them and that we knew more than the “grandmothers” did. We were afraid that the Orthodoxy with its “dogmata and canons” would deprive us of our freedom.
Oct 23, 2005, 17:26
Journey to Orthodoxy
As an Orthodox priest, I am often asked the question, "How is it that you, a Latvian, were drawn to embrace such a non-traditional Faith? After all, Latvians are predominantly either Lutheran or Roman Catholic." It grieves me that so many people have a narrow, nationalist understanding of Orthodoxy.
Jun 6, 2005, 00:04
What Have I Done??
My name is Johnny. I’m 34 years old, married, and I’m a psychiatric nurse—which I’ve been for about ten years. I became Orthodox and was received into the Church three years ago. I went through a period of training as a catechumen before that. I didn’t come from another Church tradition. I was an atheist beforehand and quite virulently anti-church.
Jan 14, 2005, 00:28