to truly enter into Orthodoxy if you come to change it, save it, add your distinctive (political, sexual,theological, etc.) or think that the addition of you is going to inevitably change the course of its stream. If you come in the door this way only three things can happen. You’ll leave when you finally discover that the Church isn’t going to accept your particular slant on things or if they do it might take a couple of hundred years. You’ll grow old in the Church in some quirky corner and always be partly disappointed. Or you’ll decide that whatever you thought was so gung ho important coming in is not important as the mind of the Church over the centuries and you’ll start to “get it”.
The truth is that in the 2000 plus years the Church has been around it has seen and done more than you. You have nothing new to offer it, not your ideas, not your sins, not your perspectives, and every time you think you do the reply is the same “Been there, done that, let’s go to prayer.” If you understand this, or come to understand this, you’ll start to see the freedom that lies in it all. If you don’t you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time “kicking against the goads.”
Orthodox Christianity, with all the flaws of its adherents, still has an enormous amount to offer the hungry soul. Whatever else can be said, good or ill, about it it can never be accused of lacking depth. Yet if there’s a label, a hyphen of any kind before the words Orthodox Christian, either in your mind or out loud in front of everybody, you can spend a hundred years in the pews, know every rubric, and be correct in every step of the dance and still not understand what you’re doing.
Count on it.
One of the curses of this time, this post modern era, is the idea that the definition of a word, or a thing, or an idea is entirely the possession of the one who uses it. In rejecting the idea of any common truth, or even a standard whereby truth may be discerned, we live in a post tower of Babel world of our own creating, speaking multiple languages and living in mutual incomprehensibility.
I wonder about the day when the ordinary business of human affairs becomes clouded by all of this, when people decide to ignore the normal courtesies that help us get from point A to point B because they don’t fit within their current construct. Will what has happened to art, already in the throes of its deconstruction, become life? Perhaps it already has.
I wonder, as well, what will become of the world when we start to realize, again, that nature in itself has its own truth, its own limits and definitions beyond which even the most technological cultures cannot proceed. How painful will it be to rediscover what we have ignored, that there is a cadence, principals, and laws worked into the very cells of the universe that can be pushed and redefined in some false hope but never overcome. What terrible agony will proceed the coming sanity?
It seems in these days we have each chosen not to join together to build one tower to heaven but rather for each of us to build our own in the belief that God either doesn’t notice or perhaps even affirms the project. The results, though, will be the same.
and its probably going to get weirder for a while. We’ve walked away from God and the gods we’re running towards have no power to save us so this part of the world might go dark for a while. I’m not sure about the details but the big picture will be all about clinging to Jesus with the grip of a man one hand away from the abyss.
to this world, this creation, than this moment, this era, and this time. Understanding this is one of the distinctions between mere knowledge and wisdom.