How to become and be an Orthodox Christian?
According to statistics, the majority of people on the territory of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus identify themselves with Orthodox Christians. But is it really? How is this determined? The fact that a man in childhood secretly dubbed the grandmother?
To be Orthodox, not only did your grandmother secretly baptize you as a child, but your parents were far from faith and came to church with only one purpose - to devote Easter cakes at Easter. Questions of faith do not tolerate a formal approach.
Who are the "Christians"? These are followers of Christ. That is, to be called an Orthodox Christian, you need to believe in God, accept the commandments, read and study the Gospel.
Why is orthodoxy so important? Because it brought to our time the experience of the early church, that which Jesus himself had built on earth, and then his disciples.
Of course, the first steps to faith may seem too complicated, the person does not really know anything, does not have the appropriate experience. But God responds to the sincere desire of the heart.
How to become an Orthodox Christian - three steps
Therefore,step one- the presence of faith and the adoption of Orthodox dogma.
Step two- baptism. Today, most parents baptize children at a very early age. In the ancient Church, everything was different: a person was first catechized — that is, taught the faith of the Church. Then he realized the importance of baptism, which symbolized the death of the old man and his birth to eternal life. A community of Christians was waiting for a person to realize the importance of the Sacrament and he himself wants to be baptized.
If parents decide this for a child, they kind of vouch for God: “Yes, we will educate our child in such a way that, at a conscious age, he will confirm that he really accepts the faith and choice of his father and mother.”
If parents baptize a child only because everyone is doing it, then I want to believe that in time they will understand the deep meaning of the Sacrament. If not, then neither they, nor the child really can be called Orthodox Christians.
Step Three- life in the Church. What does it mean? This is a practical response to the adoption of the Orthodox faith. Real Christians pray not only at home, but also in the temple — they participate in worship services. In addition, it is important to join the Mysteries of the Church.
How can you be a believer in Christ and not take Holy Communion? It is this that reunites man with God. If a person reads the Gospel and participates in church services, he constantly increases spiritually, changes. Something new is constantly being revealed to him, he sees all his sins, so it seems completely natural for him to repent of the vices.
Permanent work on yourself
You can’t just become an Orthodox Christian without any difficulty. It is necessary to have even the slightest desire and try it in practice. First, you will discover only a little, then you will begin to understand the higher meaning of what is written in the Gospel, and comprehend the meaning of church services.
After that, you certainly can not, looking at the believers near the temple, to twist at the temple and think: "Well, fanatics." Step by step, you will begin to understand what “communicate with God” is, why He is Love. Here you will discover the depth that cannot be comprehended to the end.
You will understand that you can no longer live as before, because the meaning of life is not to provide a comfortable earthly stay, but to prepare for eternity.
Of course, this path is by no means easy. Those who go on it are waiting for a lot of temptations, various tests.They will always remind a person how strong or, conversely, his faith is fragile.
What has always amazed me is that they are very religious people who were afraid to call themselves Orthodox Christians. They said they really would like to be. They prayed, attended services and received the Holy Sacraments, studied the Gospel and the Psalter. In short, dived very deep. But at the same time they realized that they still had to swim and swim, and before the end of their lives they had never seen the shore.
In fact, only God can sum up whether a person has succeeded in becoming a truly Orthodox Christian. We can only wish that this was the case, and for this we constantly work on ourselves - with falls and rises, with zeal and temptation, with overcoming of formalism and sincere display of moving towards the goal. And she really is worth it.