A lot of the stuff I have read about person A converting from x religion to y religion seems to be based on sensory observations or personal preferences - not doctrine or teaching or what is correct and true. Stuff like church shopping.
For instance, say a Roman Catholic converts to Russian Orthodoxy. This was for a few reasons: First, the Mass in his town is boring, drab, and the priest is old and falls asleep half of the time. Second, the Catholic community doesn’t seem “alive” with the Spirit. They are a sinful and materialist bunch (for Christians). Third, the Orthodox church’s Divine Liturgy is just the opposite of that blasé Catholic one - it’s lively, bright, mystical, and enthusiastic. Fourth, the homily of the young, suave, smart Orthodox priest (I don’t know if they preach in Russian or English, so bear with me) resonates more with our convert than the Catholic ones ever have. Lastly, the icons are pretty and bedecked with gold, and the whitewashed, gold-gilded Saint John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church… glistens more than the drab, moss-covered stone structure of Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic.
I do not understand nor approve of letting things like appearances, emotions, numbers (argumentum ad populum), youth, dating opportunities, etc. etc. etc. decide what faith I will be a part of. I don’t get it. This is potentially ETERNITY we’re talking about here! How on God’s Green Earth can a person be swayed on such an important matter as religion, spirituality, and the supernatural by something superficial like “the priest is charismatic” or “they have a band!” or “we get to have as many wives as we want!”???
It does not compute with me! If I am going to be a part of a Church, I want to be sure it is the Church God made, and that it’s the Church that understands reality correctly. This is as important (if not a thousand times more so) as understanding whether we are made of atoms or whether we are made of air, water, fire, and earth! Why do people treat it like it’s picking your favourite colour of balloon?!
:doh2: :doh2: :doh2:
I am thinking of becoming an Eastern Catholic based on such superficial reasons, true (have you seen their Liturgies?) but only because (as far as I know) there are no important differences in doctrine between the Eastern Catholics and the Roman Catholics (we are in communion with each other, nu?). I could be wrong, but it seems a far more plausible leap to make on a superficial basis than, say, the leap from Catholicism to Orthodoxy, or the leap from Lutheranism to Catholicism.
I just don’t get it. And I think I am right not to want to be swayed by superficial things, but rather by doctrines, logic, and reason (as well as by the Lord, if He has any opinion on the matter ;)).
I am curious, however, if there is any role the emotion has to play in the process of seeking God.