Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Hidden Treasure

Expand Messages
  • oruaseht
    Hi, I m new here. I m currently serving as a Lutheran Pastor in Lutheran Church-Canada (fellowship with LCMS). I have been looking East now for around 3 years
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 7 10:23 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi, I'm new here. I'm currently serving as a Lutheran Pastor in Lutheran Church-Canada (fellowship with LCMS). I have been looking East now for around 3 years or so - but I haven't begun to take any steps yet. First a little background.

      I grew up in a quasi-Lutheran home, baptized at 6 months, confirmed at 13/14, left the church, came back at 18, got reconnected to Christ, called to ministry, went to university, got the BA, greek, hebrew then seminary in Edmonton, AB. All was going pretty well. I was happy with the Lutheran Church. After all she's a real war horse, beating down Catholics and Protestants of various stripes! Stomping out Rick Warren in a single pass! Shredding Bill Hybels limb from limb. This is the essence of the faith for young dogmatic seminarians: find error and destroy it. God's Dogs.

      I had seen the onions as a kid, high up in the sky. Lots of Ukrainians in my home town. But it wasn't until my 4th year of Seminary - took a little class on early Christianity. Read a theologian by the name of Vladimir Lossky. "The Divine Darkness." Read this chapter of the book The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Well, I did! It was like St. Paul receiving his sight! It opened the door to a whole new world to me of faith, theology and salvation. I wrote my seminary thesis on Abiding in Christ, contrasting the mystical theology of St. Paul and St. John (including a Sacramental reading of John 6 -- much to the chagrin of F. Pieper). All this without first discovering Schmemann! I was shocked at how very little there was out there in the Western world about mystery and it's place in the Christian life. Time went on.

      I've read almost all of Schmemann's works. I've listened to countless Podcast episodes of Our Life in Christ (http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife). I even wrote for the free Orthodox Study Bible offer - and I got one! I couldn't believe it. But now I'm in a real dilly of a pickle. What I thought I would just simply "check out" is now drawing me like a moth to a flame! I'm so enamored with the beautiful gems of the Orthodox Church - her mystery, her faith, her sacramental life, her unity, her Eucharist, her Liturgy, and above all, her non-protestant, non-rationalistic, mind-only-based scholasticism! So un-apologetic Orthodoxy seems to me about who she is and what she believes! This is who we are, the mystical body of Christ made known in the breaking of the bread & the Liturgy.

      I love it. I love the approach. It's about Christ and His Church (a real-deal, living, breathing, mystical, visible thing!) - not programs, fads, rationalism, baby boomer guitar rock bands, ripping apart other theology systems, pretending we have actually have a synod (by definition), or trying to decide who's liberal!

      As such, this is my current and very limited understanding of the Orthodox Church. I'm in trouble in a big way! I see the joy of the Orthodox faith and I want that!!! I want it for my family and myself. But I have sworn allegiance to the Lutheran Confession. I'm in a remote geographical spot and there are no Orthodox churches nearby. I can't "come and see" as I would wish. I have attended only one Orthodox Liturgy so far, and would like to attend more. Perhaps this summer on holidays.

      Anyways, this is way too long. If there are any other people on this board who can appreciate the called and ordained situation I am in & could offer me some desperately needed guidance, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't hate the Lutheran Church, I have just had my eyes opened to the Orthodox Way. God's blessings in our Risen Lord!
    • Christopher Orr
      I will let other pastors and former pastors discuss the particular issues you mention regarding transitioning . A couple of thoughts: I have sworn allegiance
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 7 10:43 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        I will let other pastors and former pastors discuss the particular issues
        you mention regarding 'transitioning'.

        A couple of thoughts:


        "I have sworn allegiance to the Lutheran Confession."


        Martin Luther swore allegiance to the Pope and his Order, too. Such things
        do not bind if one is honest and sincere in a change of heart and mind.


        "I'm in a remote geographical spot and there are no Orthodox churches
        nearby."


        This is harder. I would assume, thought, that you are in this location due
        to your pastoral assignment. If you converted, you would relo, correct?
        Long term, no problem. The inquiry process is much harder, though, I know.

        I know of one pastor who traveled an hour or two to the nearest Orthodox
        parish while he was inquiring. Saturday evening Vespers or Vigil is good
        for that, as are midweek services - Orthodox Holy Week is the week after
        western Easter, so there are a lot of services that don't conflict with a
        pastor's regular duties.

        Praying at home from an Orthodox prayer book is location neutral. You don't
        have to be close to any altar but the altar in your chest.

        I have often counseled seriously interested and conflicted ministers to
        consider a leave of absence so they can truly discern whether Orthodoxy and
        Christ are calling them or whether they are being tempted by the devil to
        depart the true faith. This is hard to do while an active minister and
        leads to feelings of two-facedness (in oneself and in others, after a
        conversion announcement). Each situation is different, though.

        May the Lord and his saints bless your inquiry. Pray.

        Christopher



        On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 1:23 PM, oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:

        > Hi, I'm new here. I'm currently serving as a Lutheran Pastor in Lutheran
        > Church-Canada (fellowship with LCMS). I have been looking East now for
        > around 3 years or so - but I haven't begun to take any steps yet. First a
        > little background.
        >
        > I grew up in a quasi-Lutheran home, baptized at 6 months, confirmed at
        > 13/14, left the church, came back at 18, got reconnected to Christ, called
        > to ministry, went to university, got the BA, greek, hebrew then seminary in
        > Edmonton, AB. All was going pretty well. I was happy with the Lutheran
        > Church. After all she's a real war horse, beating down Catholics and
        > Protestants of various stripes! Stomping out Rick Warren in a single pass!
        > Shredding Bill Hybels limb from limb. This is the essence of the faith for
        > young dogmatic seminarians: find error and destroy it. God's Dogs.
        >
        > I had seen the onions as a kid, high up in the sky. Lots of Ukrainians in
        > my home town. But it wasn't until my 4th year of Seminary - took a little
        > class on early Christianity. Read a theologian by the name of Vladimir
        > Lossky. "The Divine Darkness." Read this chapter of the book The Mystical
        > Theology of the Eastern Church. Well, I did! It was like St. Paul receiving
        > his sight! It opened the door to a whole new world to me of faith, theology
        > and salvation. I wrote my seminary thesis on Abiding in Christ, contrasting
        > the mystical theology of St. Paul and St. John (including a Sacramental
        > reading of John 6 -- much to the chagrin of F. Pieper). All this without
        > first discovering Schmemann! I was shocked at how very little there was out
        > there in the Western world about mystery and it's place in the Christian
        > life. Time went on.
        >
        > I've read almost all of Schmemann's works. I've listened to countless
        > Podcast episodes of Our Life in Christ (
        > http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife). I even wrote for the free
        > Orthodox Study Bible offer - and I got one! I couldn't believe it. But now
        > I'm in a real dilly of a pickle. What I thought I would just simply "check
        > out" is now drawing me like a moth to a flame! I'm so enamored with the
        > beautiful gems of the Orthodox Church - her mystery, her faith, her
        > sacramental life, her unity, her Eucharist, her Liturgy, and above all, her
        > non-protestant, non-rationalistic, mind-only-based scholasticism! So
        > un-apologetic Orthodoxy seems to me about who she is and what she believes!
        > This is who we are, the mystical body of Christ made known in the breaking
        > of the bread & the Liturgy.
        >
        > I love it. I love the approach. It's about Christ and His Church (a
        > real-deal, living, breathing, mystical, visible thing!) - not programs,
        > fads, rationalism, baby boomer guitar rock bands, ripping apart other
        > theology systems, pretending we have actually have a synod (by definition),
        > or trying to decide who's liberal!
        >
        > As such, this is my current and very limited understanding of the Orthodox
        > Church. I'm in trouble in a big way! I see the joy of the Orthodox faith and
        > I want that!!! I want it for my family and myself. But I have sworn
        > allegiance to the Lutheran Confession. I'm in a remote geographical spot and
        > there are no Orthodox churches nearby. I can't "come and see" as I would
        > wish. I have attended only one Orthodox Liturgy so far, and would like to
        > attend more. Perhaps this summer on holidays.
        >
        > Anyways, this is way too long. If there are any other people on this board
        > who can appreciate the called and ordained situation I am in & could offer
        > me some desperately needed guidance, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't
        > hate the Lutheran Church, I have just had my eyes opened to the Orthodox
        > Way. God's blessings in our Risen Lord!
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • phos_hilarion@hotmail.com
        oruaseht: If there are any other people on this board who can appreciate the called and ordained situation I am in & could offer me some desperately needed
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 23 9:56 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          oruaseht:"If there are any other people on this board who can appreciate the
          called and ordained situation I am in & could offer me some
          desperately needed guidance, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't
          hate the Lutheran Church, I have just had my eyes opened to the
          Orthodox Way. God's blessings in our Risen Lord!"

          He is Risen indeed!
          Oru, I completely understand and appreciate the situation you are in, being ordained and yearning for the Orthodox Way. My husband was until recently a Lutheran minister and we are now Orthodox catechumens. How we got from there to here was a long road but one worth travelling. If you would like to talk, or if we can be any help at all, email me back and I'll send you our contact information. In the meantime you will be in our prayers, unworthy though they be. God bless your struggle.

          Love in Christ,
          Emily Harju


          http://thechildrenofgod.blogspot.com

          To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          From: oruaseht@...
          Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 17:23:59 +0000
          Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Hidden Treasure





















          Hi, I'm new here. I'm currently serving as a Lutheran Pastor in Lutheran Church-Canada (fellowship with LCMS). I have been looking East now for around 3 years or so - but I haven't begun to take any steps yet. First a little background.



          I grew up in a quasi-Lutheran home, baptized at 6 months, confirmed at 13/14, left the church, came back at 18, got reconnected to Christ, called to ministry, went to university, got the BA, greek, hebrew then seminary in Edmonton, AB. All was going pretty well. I was happy with the Lutheran Church. After all she's a real war horse, beating down Catholics and Protestants of various stripes! Stomping out Rick Warren in a single pass! Shredding Bill Hybels limb from limb. This is the essence of the faith for young dogmatic seminarians: find error and destroy it. God's Dogs.



          I had seen the onions as a kid, high up in the sky. Lots of Ukrainians in my home town. But it wasn't until my 4th year of Seminary - took a little class on early Christianity. Read a theologian by the name of Vladimir Lossky. "The Divine Darkness." Read this chapter of the book The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Well, I did! It was like St. Paul receiving his sight! It opened the door to a whole new world to me of faith, theology and salvation. I wrote my seminary thesis on Abiding in Christ, contrasting the mystical theology of St. Paul and St. John (including a Sacramental reading of John 6 -- much to the chagrin of F. Pieper). All this without first discovering Schmemann! I was shocked at how very little there was out there in the Western world about mystery and it's place in the Christian life. Time went on.



          I've read almost all of Schmemann's works. I've listened to countless Podcast episodes of Our Life in Christ (http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife). I even wrote for the free Orthodox Study Bible offer - and I got one! I couldn't believe it. But now I'm in a real dilly of a pickle. What I thought I would just simply "check out" is now drawing me like a moth to a flame! I'm so enamored with the beautiful gems of the Orthodox Church - her mystery, her faith, her sacramental life, her unity, her Eucharist, her Liturgy, and above all, her non-protestant, non-rationalistic, mind-only-based scholasticism! So un-apologetic Orthodoxy seems to me about who she is and what she believes! This is who we are, the mystical body of Christ made known in the breaking of the bread & the Liturgy.



          I love it. I love the approach. It's about Christ and His Church (a real-deal, living, breathing, mystical, visible thing!) - not programs, fads, rationalism, baby boomer guitar rock bands, ripping apart other theology systems, pretending we have actually have a synod (by definition), or trying to decide who's liberal!



          As such, this is my current and very limited understanding of the Orthodox Church. I'm in trouble in a big way! I see the joy of the Orthodox faith and I want that!!! I want it for my family and myself. But I have sworn allegiance to the Lutheran Confession. I'm in a remote geographical spot and there are no Orthodox churches nearby. I can't "come and see" as I would wish. I have attended only one Orthodox Liturgy so far, and would like to attend more. Perhaps this summer on holidays.



          Anyways, this is way too long. If there are any other people on this board who can appreciate the called and ordained situation I am in & could offer me some desperately needed guidance, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't hate the Lutheran Church, I have just had my eyes opened to the Orthodox Way. God's blessings in our Risen Lord!






















          _________________________________________________________________
          Rediscover HotmailĀ®: Get e-mail storage that grows with you.
          http://windowslive.com/RediscoverHotmail?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_HM_Rediscover_Storage2_042009

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Benjamin Harju
          Oruaseht, I have a couple of recommendations, following on my wife s post. As you read and inquire, please be sure to include your wife in on the process.
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 25 8:28 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            Oruaseht,

            I have a couple of recommendations, following on my wife's post.

            As you read and inquire, please be sure to include your wife in on the
            process. Where is she on this with you? You have to give your wife
            time to either come along at her own speed, or get used to the idea
            that things are changing with you and that these changes will effect
            her, too.

            Also, how publicly or privately your inquiry happens matters, too -
            especially concerning your congregations. Some have inquired for all
            the world to see (and had parishioners follow), while some of us
            inquired privately. You will have to decide the best way to proceed,
            especially considering your congregation(s). It's pretty clear that
            if you're not going to keep your commitment to the Lutheran
            Confessions, then you should vacate your position as a Lutheran
            pastor. That doesn't mean that you won't be around to talk about
            Orthodoxy with them after the fact, but it's just easier on your own
            soul and theirs, too, if you can lift the weight of Confessional
            Subscription from your situation.

            In this respect, I wish to offer some advice, because this is often
            the hardest part.

            FIRST, make sure your wife/family is ready to make a change with you.
            You can harm yourself and them if you try to force it too quickly.

            Second, make sure you have a support network (like your family and an
            Orthodox parish, or some other tangible, spiritual safe haven). In
            connection with this, I think that when you get to be rather serious
            about this you should preempt yourself by opening up to parents and
            close friends/family about your desire to make a change. Don't wait
            until your back is against the wall; do it before that. Even if they
            don't agree with you, they hopefully will see that you soon will have
            your back against a wall. You may need their help, and God has given
            them to you and you to them for support. It doesn't always work out
            nice and clean, but you should try.

            Third, if you really think you're getting serious about things, and
            your wife is ready, start trying to get out of the parish as soon as
            possible. The job market may not be good, but God provides. Again,
            don't put this off. It's easier to leave the parish "for a break"
            than it is to be forced out or some other such thing. Plus, if in the
            end you just don't want to be Orthodox, then at least by doing your
            discernment out of the parish, you have the freedom to return. God
            can open a way out for you, that's for sure, but try to cooperate with
            His calling as much as you can.

            I'm not saying all this is possible or easy or any such thing. I just
            think these are some worthwhile goals that can save you a lot of
            headache. In the end, though, most people who come from being a
            Lutheran pastor to Orthodoxy do so with suffering (the cross).

            In the meantime, I feel it's important not to sneak Orthodox teaching
            in on your people. Sure, there is a large amount of overlap between
            Orthodox and Lutheran theology. And, frankly, you can take nearly any
            early Church prayer and "reform" it to fit in better with Lutheran
            theology. I used to do that (and sometimes I had a Lutheran hymnal to
            help me). It brought in a richness that I think the Lutheran
            Confessions tried hard to latch onto and continue. Enjoy the overlap.
            But don't betray their trust, because that incites the passion of
            anger, which blinds to the truth. Don't lead your people to link the
            beauty of Orthodoxy with deception. Decide what you want for them and
            proceed with love. This has led some to try to "take their
            congregations with them." In my case with the particular people I
            ministered to, and given the private way I inquired, in love I didn't
            try to take them with me. I hope I staved off anger, but I may have
            missed an opportunity to proclaim the truth to people I care for
            deeply. I guess that underscores how not easy this whole thing is.

            In Christ,
            Benjamin Harju

            On 4/23/09, phos_hilarion@... <phos_hilarion@...> wrote:
            >
            > oruaseht:"If there are any other people on this board who can appreciate the
            > called and ordained situation I am in & could offer me some
            > desperately needed guidance, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't
            > hate the Lutheran Church, I have just had my eyes opened to the
            > Orthodox Way. God's blessings in our Risen Lord!"
            >
            > He is Risen indeed!
            > Oru, I completely understand and appreciate the situation you are in, being
            > ordained and yearning for the Orthodox Way. My husband was until recently a
            > Lutheran minister and we are now Orthodox catechumens. How we got from there
            > to here was a long road but one worth travelling. If you would like to talk,
            > or if we can be any help at all, email me back and I'll send you our contact
            > information. In the meantime you will be in our prayers, unworthy though
            > they be. God bless your struggle.
            >
            > Love in Christ,
            > Emily Harju
            >
            >
            > http://thechildrenofgod.blogspot.com
            >
            > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
            > From: oruaseht@...
            > Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 17:23:59 +0000
            > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Hidden Treasure
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Hi, I'm new here. I'm currently serving as a Lutheran Pastor in
            > Lutheran Church-Canada (fellowship with LCMS). I have been looking East now
            > for around 3 years or so - but I haven't begun to take any steps yet. First
            > a little background.
            >
            >
            >
            > I grew up in a quasi-Lutheran home, baptized at 6 months, confirmed at
            > 13/14, left the church, came back at 18, got reconnected to Christ, called
            > to ministry, went to university, got the BA, greek, hebrew then seminary in
            > Edmonton, AB. All was going pretty well. I was happy with the Lutheran
            > Church. After all she's a real war horse, beating down Catholics and
            > Protestants of various stripes! Stomping out Rick Warren in a single pass!
            > Shredding Bill Hybels limb from limb. This is the essence of the faith for
            > young dogmatic seminarians: find error and destroy it. God's Dogs.
            >
            >
            >
            > I had seen the onions as a kid, high up in the sky. Lots of Ukrainians in my
            > home town. But it wasn't until my 4th year of Seminary - took a little class
            > on early Christianity. Read a theologian by the name of Vladimir Lossky.
            > "The Divine Darkness." Read this chapter of the book The Mystical Theology
            > of the Eastern Church. Well, I did! It was like St. Paul receiving his
            > sight! It opened the door to a whole new world to me of faith, theology and
            > salvation. I wrote my seminary thesis on Abiding in Christ, contrasting the
            > mystical theology of St. Paul and St. John (including a Sacramental reading
            > of John 6 -- much to the chagrin of F. Pieper). All this without first
            > discovering Schmemann! I was shocked at how very little there was out there
            > in the Western world about mystery and it's place in the Christian life.
            > Time went on.
            >
            >
            >
            > I've read almost all of Schmemann's works. I've listened to countless
            > Podcast episodes of Our Life in Christ
            > (http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/ourlife). I even wrote for the free
            > Orthodox Study Bible offer - and I got one! I couldn't believe it. But now
            > I'm in a real dilly of a pickle. What I thought I would just simply "check
            > out" is now drawing me like a moth to a flame! I'm so enamored with the
            > beautiful gems of the Orthodox Church - her mystery, her faith, her
            > sacramental life, her unity, her Eucharist, her Liturgy, and above all, her
            > non-protestant, non-rationalistic, mind-only-based scholasticism! So
            > un-apologetic Orthodoxy seems to me about who she is and what she believes!
            > This is who we are, the mystical body of Christ made known in the breaking
            > of the bread & the Liturgy.
            >
            >
            >
            > I love it. I love the approach. It's about Christ and His Church (a
            > real-deal, living, breathing, mystical, visible thing!) - not programs,
            > fads, rationalism, baby boomer guitar rock bands, ripping apart other
            > theology systems, pretending we have actually have a synod (by definition),
            > or trying to decide who's liberal!
            >
            >
            >
            > As such, this is my current and very limited understanding of the Orthodox
            > Church. I'm in trouble in a big way! I see the joy of the Orthodox faith and
            > I want that!!! I want it for my family and myself. But I have sworn
            > allegiance to the Lutheran Confession. I'm in a remote geographical spot
            > and there are no Orthodox churches nearby. I can't "come and see" as I would
            > wish. I have attended only one Orthodox Liturgy so far, and would like to
            > attend more. Perhaps this summer on holidays.
            >
            >
            >
            > Anyways, this is way too long. If there are any other people on this board
            > who can appreciate the called and ordained situation I am in & could offer
            > me some desperately needed guidance, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't
            > hate the Lutheran Church, I have just had my eyes opened to the Orthodox
            > Way. God's blessings in our Risen Lord!
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > _________________________________________________________________
            > Rediscover HotmailĀ®: Get e-mail storage that grows with you.
            > http://windowslive.com/RediscoverHotmail?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_HM_Rediscover_Storage2_042009
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.