The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protesantism to Orthodoxy

http://protestantsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

PROTESTANTS MET ORTHODOXY

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

by

Fr. George Johnson

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/the-personal-story-of-fr-george-johnson/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I am a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, serving in the cathedral of St John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. There are some almost uncanny parallels between our lives, even down to the grumpy choir directors. I was (and sometimes still am) the grumpy choir director, however.

I became interested and involved in Anglicanism through a singing job in a “high” church in 1968. At the time, my focus was primarily musical. My parents were devout Southern Baptists, and, while I now appreciate their humility and devotion, in my youth I did not so much. The Episcopal Church offered an escape from the music and worship of the Baptists, which, shall we say, were not to my taste.

The Western liturgical tradition as carried on by the high-church Anglicans seemed to me to be just the right combination of grandness and sobriety justly suited to worship. Having just come from the Baptists, the intellectual and spiritual confusion which at length gave rise to tradition-destroying innovations did not concern me for a long time. I chalked it up to our fallen state, for which God was making accommodations which I did not understand. I thought I could press on for the sake of art and faith, and pray that everything would come out alright. It was going to take a great deal to make me want to throw away Tallis, Byrd, Weelkes, Purcell, …, RVW, Walton, Britten, … , not to mention all the great hymns and tunes, and the gorgeous language of the (old) Prayer Book and Psalter.

A great many things happened, but I’ll cut to the chase. In 1984 or 5, a lesbian member of our parish who sang in my choir asked me to be a member of a committee to help her explore a calling to the priesthood. Needless to say, I begged off. But I did not have the courage to tell her that the thought of her as a priest made me sick. You may be familiar with the musical “Fiddler on the Continue reading “The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protesantism to Orthodoxy”

Advertisements

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994) and the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk

http://saintsofmyheart.wordpress.com

SAINTS OF MY HEART

67965bda8324386dc807c927dab21261-700.jpg

ceb3-cf80ceb1ce90cf83ceb9cebfcf82.jpg

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994) 

and the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk

Source:

http://www.orthodoxpath.org

http://www.orthodoxpath.org/saints-and-elders-witnesses/elder-paisios-young-george-far-east/

ORTHODOX PATH

George, a young man of sixteen or seventeen, came to Mount Athos in Greece to go from one monastery to another. Though Greek by blood, he had been raised abroad from early childhood among Tibetan Buddhist monks in their monastery. He had made a great deal of progress in meditation, and he had become an accomplished sorcerer, able to summon any demon he wanted. He was also an expert in the martial arts. Using the power of Satan, he made impressive displays of his abilities: he broke hazelnuts in his palm, and tossed away the shells while the nuts remained attached to his hand. He could read closed books. He struck large rocks with his bare hand, and they shattered like walnuts.

Some monks brought George to Saint Paisios so that he could help him. George asked Saint Paisios what powers he had, what he could do, and the St Paisios answered that he himself didn’t have any power, and that all power is from God.

George, wanting to demonstrate his power, concentrated his gaze on a large rock in the distance, and it shattered. Saint Paisios took a small rock and made the sign of the Cross over it, and told him to destroy it too. He concentrated and performed his magic, but he couldn’t shatter it. Then he started trembling, and the satanic powers―which he thought he controlled―since they weren’t able to break the rock, turned against him and hurled him to the opposite bank of the river. Saint Paisios picked him up in a miserable condition.

“Another time,” recounted St Paisios, “while we were talking, he suddenly stood up, grabbed me by the arms and spun me around backward. ‘Let’s see Hadjiefendis get you lose, if he can,’ he said. I felt it was like blasphemy to say that. I moved my hands a little, like this, and he was jerked away. He jumped up in the air and tried to kick me, but his foot stopped near my face, like it had hit an invisible wall! God protected me.

“At night, I kept him there, and he slept in my cell. The demons dragged him down into the pit and thrashed him for failing. In the morning he was in a bad state, injured and covered in thorns and dirt. He confessed, ‘Satan beat me up because I couldn’t defeat you.’”

St Paisios convinced George to bring him his magical texts, and he burned them. “When he came here”, St Paisios recalled, “he had some sort of charm or amulet with him. I went to take it, but he wouldn’t give it to me. I took a candle and said, “Lift the leg of your pants up a little.” Then I put the lit candle against his leg―he yelled and jumped up. “Well,” I said, “if the flame from a little candle is for you, how are you going to endure the fire of hell that you’re going to end up in because of what you’re doing?”

St Paisios kept the young man close to him for a little while and helped him, so long as he was willing to be obedient. He felt such compassion for him that he said, “I would leave the desert and go out into the world to help this boy.” He made an effort to learn if he had been baptized and even found out the name of the church where his baptism had taken place. Shaken by the power and the grace of the Elder, George wanted to become a monk, but he wasn’t able to.

Saint Paisios would refer to George’s case to show what a delusion it is to think that all religions are the same, that everyone believes in the same God, and that there’s no difference between Tibetan Buddhist and Orthodox monks.

From the Book:

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

©2012 For the English Language by The Holy Monastery Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian

Video – Fr. Peter Gilquist, USA: Why Protestant Clergy are coming to the Orthodox Church

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

Fr. Peter Gilquist, USA:

Why Protestant Clergy are coming to the Orthodox Church

Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

by

His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico

Thirteen years ago, when I undertook the (then newly-established) Holy Metropolis of Mexico with only three priests and three mainly Greek-speaking communities, in Mexico, Panama and Venezuela, I would never have expected, let alone conceive the miracle that is unfolding today for our Orthodox Church in Latin America. We all lived the miracle of Cuba, when Fidel Castro’s government undertook the construction of the Sacred Temple of Saint Nicholas in Havana and officially received Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who officiated the inauguration of that Holy shrine in January of 2004. In the decade that passed, we experienced the propagating of our faith in the states of Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, etc… just as we experienced – and continue to experience – the continuing drama of the people of Haiti, after the catastrophic earthquake of last January. A drama which unfortunately will heal, only after several years have passed.

Orthodox children of Cuba

Greece became acquainted with Christianity and lived its own Pentecost around two thousand years ago, through the Apostle Paul and the other Apostles. Greece is the most blessed country in the world. And this is because – as I point out to our priests – whichever stone you lift, underneath it you will find the relics of a Saint, a Martyr, a holy man, a fighter for the Orthodox faith… We, however, in Latin America are living our Pentecost today. For us – with the exception of the few Greek Orthodox Communities – Orthodoxy has only just arrived in Latin America. I recall six years ago, when our Ecumenical Patriarch visited Cuba to officiate in the inauguration of the Holy Temple of Saint Nicholas, there were only four Orthodox Cubans, whereas now, more than one thousand Cuban families have been baptized and have embraced Orthodoxy. And every day, there are more – many more – who seek to acquaint themselves with the Faith of our Fathers. Six years ago, with the inauguration of Saint Continue reading “Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy”

New Zealand: Orthodoxy in the Land of the Kiwi

http://newzealandofmyheart.wordpress.com

NEW ZEALAND OF MY HEART

New Zealand:

Orthodoxy in the Land of the Kiwi

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/46971.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

An interview with the dean of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in New Zealand, Archpriest Vladimir Boikov
We imagine New Zealand as a distant, fairy tale land at the end of the earth. Its landscapes have become known only recently through their depiction in the movies.

Nevertheless, few know that Orthodox parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad have existed here for a half century now. Other local Orthodox churches also serve the spiritual needs of their flocks in New Zealand. Today we are speaking with Fr. Vladimir Boikov, a recent guest of Sretensky Monastery, about the Orthodox Church today, the Russian diaspora, and the spiritual problems of New Zealand society.

—Fr. Vladimir, what is the Russian Church like in New Zealand; how is it administratively organized in that distant, seemingly exotic land?

—We are part of the diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Church Abroad. The majority of the Russian flock in our diocese lives in Australia. There are especially many people from Russia and the former USSR in Sydney.

There have always been fewer Russians in New Zealand. The main wave of Russian immigrants came after the Second World War. These were people resettling from Europe and China. Russians came from China in the 1950’s–1960’s, first to Australia, and then some families reached New Zealand. Nevertheless, with time the majority of them returned to Australia, influenced by familial ties and the particularities of life in New Zealand.

—In other words, we can say that the Russian diaspora in New Zealand appeared during the period after the Second World War?

—Yes. Especially many Russians appeared in Australia, and as I said, significantly fewer in New Zealand. The first Russians who came to that country founded three of our parishes. The problem is that there have never been sufficient resources to cover New Zealand in our diocesan center; and, as I think, also because the question of support for parishes and missionary Continue reading “New Zealand: Orthodoxy in the Land of the Kiwi”

A German Protestant comes to know Orthodoxy through the wireless

http://textsorthodoxy.wordpress.com

TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

A German Protestant

comes to know Orthodoxy through the wireless

On Saturday 8-8-2009, at the Holy Monastery of Dohiariou at the Holy Mountain, in an atmosphere of devotion, the German Dominik Weiel 40 years old Geologist, renounced Protestantism and entered Orthodoxy, receiving the baptismal name Michael.

Michael became acquainted with Athos and Orthodoxy through his communication via the wireless with Radio-amateur brother of the Monastery Fr. Apollo SV2ASP/A, who began in 1991. The experienced German Radio-amateur DL5EBE, then as an undergraduate, when he heard for the first time the inexperienced Agiorite monk with a weak signal calling, he communicated with him and offered to help him. This was the first opportunity for him to come to Athos, meet the monk and set up the station. This visit became a landmark in his life. He met the Elder Gregory, Abbot of the Monastery and the brothers, whom he loved and continued to visit to the Monastery, always following its full daily program.

When he completed his University studies he was employed by a German petroleum products company, active throughout the world. For many years now he works in Moscow and because of this it was many years since he had visited Athos. However, despite of this, he did not cease his communication. All this period he struggled within himself on his conversion and finally decided to be baptized, thus he came to Athos. Those days it happened that we had a lot of work in which he took part. The days would pass and he was anxious to be baptized. Finally on Friday the Elder asked him “do you wish to be baptized?’ “It would be my great pleasure” he replied and immediately his face shined. Then we invited Mr. Stavro Pomaki, Officer in the Army Air Force, radio-amateur and spiritual child of the Monastery, who even though he was far from his home, he eagerly agreed to become his godparent. Very shortly later everything was ready, so the morning of Saturday after the Divine Liturgy, he received the holy baptism at the harbor of our Monastery in the presence of the whole brotherhood and pilgrims and finally very happy he returned to his work.

Let us pray that the Archangel Michael, the protector of our Monastery whose name was given by the Elder, support him on the difficult road of his life he struggles daily.

Source:

https://www.impantokratoros.gr/590BD9B9.en.aspx

Video – Congo, Africa: Nina & her mother – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

Congo, Africa: Nina & her mother

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

“Bible Answer Man” booted from Bott Radio Network after Hank Hanegraaff joins Eastern Orthodox Church

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

“Bible Answer Man”

booted from Bott Radio Network after Hank Hanegraaff

joins Eastern Orthodox Church

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2017/04/bible-answer-man-booted-from-bott-radio-network-after-hank-hanegraaff-joins-orthodox-church/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Most of us knew this sort of thing was coming. They cite concerns over ‘biblical accuracy’ without offering so much as one single example of any Biblical inaccuracy from Hank.

The “Bible Answer Man” radio show program with Hank Hanegraaff has been booted from Bott Radio Network over concerns regarding ‘biblical accuracy’, following Hanegraaff’s conversion into the Eastern Orthodox Church.

“We want to make sure that our listeners know that the programming that we have on Bott Radio Network is thoroughly biblical,” said BRN President Richard P. Bott II, a member of Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas, according to Baptist Press.

BRN had reportedly been broadcasting the “Bible Answer Man” since the 1980s, even before Hanegraaff joined the show in 1989.

The Christian Post confirmed last week that Hanegraaff, who is also the president and chairman of the Christian Research Institute, was chrismated on Palm Sunday at Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Some, such as Rod Dreher, an Orthodox Christian and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Benedict Option, told CP last week that the news of Hanegraaff joining the Orthodox Church is “astounding.”

“Many evangelicals seek the early church; well here it is, in Orthodoxy,” Dreher said.

“I am sure some will be scandalized by Hanegraaff’s conversion but I hope at least some will wonder how someone as knowledgeable about the Bible as Hank could convert to Orthodoxy, and go to a Divine Liturgy to taste and see what it’s like.”

100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy

http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy

Continue reading “100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy”

Three reasons to join the Eastern Orthodox Church – Michael Witcoff, USA

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

3 Reasons to join the Eastern Orthodox Church

by

Michael Witcoff, USA

Michael Witcoff is a Christian, a copywriter, an author, and a marketing consultant. He believes the West is experiencing divine wrath for turning our backs on God, and that the only hope for salvation is to unite under one faithful banner as our enemies have under theirs.

* * *

Friends and brothers, it’s been quite a while since I last wrote to you. Between my consulting business and my growing interest in the world of blockchain technology, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately.

But the time seems right for me to come back to Return Of Kings and share a bit more of my journey with you. The rhythm I aim for in life is to learn and grow, then share and teach.

Today’s topic, Eastern Orthodoxy, is something I’d never even heard of when my last article here was published. But since discovering what it is and delving deeper into its mysteries, it’s consumed an enormous amount of my time and attention.

So much of it, in fact, that I recently decided to leave my Wesleyan ways behind and become a full-fledged member of the Orthodox Church. Today, I’d like to share with you my top three reasons for doing so.

1.It’s The Church That Jesus Planted

During my time as a Protestant, it never even occurred to me that a denomination existed reaching all the way back to the time of the apostles.

Once I realized there was an unbroken chain of tradition reaching back nearly 2,000 years, I began to ask an entirely new kind of question. What did they teach? How did they worship? What did they believe? How did it get Continue reading “Three reasons to join the Eastern Orthodox Church – Michael Witcoff, USA”