Thursday, December 15, 2005

Question – what to say/what not to say

I had a later night conversation with one of my dear friends and the topic of the Orthodox Church came up. She goes to a Baptist church and is curious (and a bit concerned I think) about what I have done in becoming Orthodox. She had a lot of questions (including questioning why I cannot go behind the iconostas/into the alter area)… I did not know what to say…her questions were quite complex… I did try to explain that the Orthodox church is the church that was from the beginning… and for her to trust God that He has not/is not leading me astray… she asked if she could Google Orthodox and find information that way, I suggested she go to the OCA website and look in the questions and answer section. My question here is what would of you done in this situation and what would you suggest she look at? Looking forward to your thoughts… and thank you…

7 comments:

kimberley said...

Priests seem to have good pastoral answers to questions like this.

When people ask me questions that I don't know how to answer, rather than guess why they're asking I sometimes ask: "May I ask why you ask?"

Kind of "the seek to understand before seeking to be understood."

We don't enter the alter area ever, (any of us, priests, deacons, sub deacons included) unless we are attending to a specific serving task.

It's a simple answer, but maybe adequate for your friend.

kimberley said...

i remember being a little kid playing a game in the sanctuary of our old Wesleyan Methodist Church in Trenton and my mom calling me over and quietly and excitedly telling me why it's so important to walk with reverance when we are in the sanctuary, especially close to the alter.

It really stuck with me.

elizabeth said...

my friend i was taking to is in the States... if she was here i would suggest she come and experince it and/or talk to my priest here... but... for now it was just a really ackward converstation where she began to be concerned that i was being 'lead astray' and her questions were so vast (though i do not think she realized this) that it was hard to answer at all; it was fairly discouraging; also the balance of saying to much too soon is hard...

Kai said...

Elizabeth,
maybe you could give her a book for Christmas. I suggest "The Orthodox Church" by Timothy Ware (Bp. Kallistos), Penguin Books New Edition. There are cheap used editions available at Amazon. I bought a copy for $4.50 You can even have it gift-parceled to her by Amazon...

Gabe said...

Another good book is "The Orthodox Way" by the same author (Ware). The OCA website wasn't a bad idea either.

I get frustrated when people ask things that I can't answer, because I know there is an answer and I wish that they would just understand. I should probably try to be more patient.

Kai said...

Elizabeth, you might also direct your friend to this web site. It is especially well stocked with information specific to different denominational inquirers into Orthodoxy.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/inq_allprots.aspx

elizabeth said...

thanks for your comments [and i welcome them all!]... i talked w. cheryl about this tonight as well and i think also it is the need for discernment for what the individual can hear and what format will work for them... i am thinking for this friend fr. peter gillquists [sp?] book _becoming orthodox_ maybe a really good choice... in time... i welcome more thoughts on the matter and a big Thank You to all who have taken the time to write here thus far...