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Five-time Emmy Award-winning actor Jonathan Jackson talks about how family and friends received the news about his embracing of Orthodoxy.

Jonathan Jackson:

When I became Orthodox it was quite a few years in the making… so, when my family and I decided: “We are going to be baptized, we are going to become Orthodox”, it was difficult for many of my friends and family who were not familiar with Orthodoxy, they didn’t know what it was, they were seeing it from the outside and we were experiencing it from the inside…

One of the things I love about the Church is that it teaches that God is love and He respects our freedom so there is no coercion or pressure. It is just an invitation. So there was a lot of peace in that with friends and family…

The reaction in my workplace to Orthodoxy… one of the things about the Orthodox Church in the West is it’s very hidden… so it’s an opportunity in some sense to re-introduce Christ to some people that have had very different experiences in other churches, Protestant churches, Roman-Catholic tradition… it’s an opportunity for people to look at Christ again from a new (for them it’s a new place, although Orthodoxy is the original) perspective, to see that Christ is both Grace and Truth… as Saint Porphyrios said, “He doesn’t hold hell in His hand to threaten us… He is Love”…

Most people that I know grew up in some kind of Christian tradition, Protestant, Roman-Catholic. Most of them have walked away saying that “Church is not for me, I want to be a good person but I’m not religious”. And yet, most of them have a love, an affection for Christ, so when they are re-introduced to the ancient faith, the true faith, they glimpse goodness and mercy and love for Christ…

The young generation hasn’t experienced Church as much as the older generation… so they come with open eyes, as well, and I feel that the monastic life in Orthodoxy speaks very clearly and powerfully to people in the world, because there is so much noise and there is so much confusion… and when they see a moment of silence and prayer, it can be a life changing moment…

via pemptousia.com

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