This blog entry originated as part of a message thread regarding one woman's transition from Protestantism to Orthodoxy. It can be found here: http://orthodoxconversionstory.blogspot.com/ One of my dear friends who is also Protestant and exploring Orthodoxy suggested that there is room for a person to take a both/and approach to the question. Here is my response (I'm mainly posting it here so I can find it later for my own reference):
It seems that people that come to Orthodoxy from Protestantism come for a multiplicity of reasons. Some have been burned, others bored, many just love the clarity they see in the doctrine or are huge lovers of church history; there are so many reasons. Some are so relieved to have found a clear break from a hurtful past. I do not feel that way. I feel much more as if checking out Orthodoxy is a natural progression of the amazing teaching and love I have already received in my life.
It is true that the Orthodox and Protestants are worshiping the same Trinity. The essentials to both are the same. It is true that Protestantism is like Orthodoxy's twice-removed nephew; and from my understanding, Protestantism really did get quite a few things right after having taken a stand that did need to be taken against the abuses of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.
About making an actual decision… I see two reasons.
After having taken *almost* all of a year's worth of catechesis, it seems apparent to me that one of the reasons to make an actual decision is the practicality of your praxis… How will you live out your Christianity? For instance, if I were to get married, I can’t have two weddings. (Heck, I can’t afford just one…) Decisions must be made; Protestant or Orthodox… Same thing if I had kids. To be realistic, Pascha and Easter fell the same day both this year and next… How will I celebrate the risen Lord? How will I understand Santa? How will I address communion, prayer, fasting and Bible study?
Obviously, the author of the blog entry’s decisions were informed heavily by that of the man she was seeing/engaged to/marrying. This is not my case. (And in this, Jenne, we will differ greatly.) In my case, I have spent 37 years on this planet, and ALL of them as a nomad. I am not tied to any person, offspring, town, church or even a job. There is nothing in my existence that is not transitory; has not ALWAYS been transitory. I am someone who very, very much needs a center; I need a home. Because evangelical churches are so programmed and age-tracked, one of the struggles I have had is an immense loneliness within the evangelical church, in more than one church. There were many Sundays I would get up, get dressed up, get to the car and just not be able to go. Church should not be the loneliest place in your whole week, and for me it was.
This is the reason why I feel strongly that even though I adore my upbringing; my Bible knowledge, my emphasis on a relationship with Jesus that I received as a child, I ultimately must make a decision. I need a home. I am a nomad everywhere, including church. I do not want it to continue to be so; it is crushing my spirit. I am not sure where that home is yet… you should hear my thoughts!!Protestantorthodoxprotestantorthodoxprotestantorthodox, all day long. I laughingly call myself The Protodox, because that is where my heart is. But it CAN’T be where my heart stays. My heart will die here. The only thing I CAN’T do is NOT make a decision.
Do you knowwhatimeanis?? :-)