Thursday, March 02, 2006

More on Changing One's Mind

Continuing where I left off in my previous incoherent post. I have to bring up another point my wife made in our conversation.
"If the Orthodox Church is the 'true church' and we join, what does that say about our christian upbringing(s), the traditions we come from, and everything we've been doing vocationally and ministry-wise, outside of the 'true church'?
And I thought of someone's comment that, "There room for all of it in Orthodoxy". Which signifies, to me, that the core issues of Orthodoxy are ironed out and written in stone, so to speak, but these other traditions, when placed under the authority of an Orthodox bishop, add to the rich diversity in little 't' tradition within the faith.
In the same way, the Orthodox Church does not denounce everything taught under the banner of the heterodox faiths. Of course, many Christian traditions draw on the historic faith and consider the creeds and councils to be authoritative interpretations of the Holy Scriptures. At least, that is, in theory.
So, these faiths, while not containing the fullness of the faith, are leading to it.
Someone said to me, "but most Christian traditions claim to be the New Testament faith!" I pointed out that while all these competing traditions claim to be the historic New Testament church, only one is verifiably THE New Testament church. All these other groups have to do some gerrymandering with their ecclesiology to assert that they are the true church.
History and the Councils speak for themselves that their is one Church which continues to practice the early faith.

Along some other lines, I was just thinking of the concept of generations. Many times a cultural or religious change takes a few generations to reach maturity within a given society.
In the past few years I have lamented my own upbringing and its lack of connection with the historic church. That is, at least, the AD 100-AD 1500 church. I want my kids to grow up within the richness of this historic faith. We may or may not be 'very good' at being Orthodox, but in some ways our conversion now helps to ensure the our kids' future participation in the faith of the Apostles. And they'll go farther, and be 'better at it' than we will in our lifetimes. So, we could make the decision with the next generations in mind. How do we want our children to experience the Christian faith? What will be important for our children to experience when we are no longer here with them? How do we envision the faith/spiritual life and religion of our grandchildren?
These are some the questions that we should ponder.


Stacy said...

I don't know Levi... I figure I am probably in agreement with the standard set of beliefs of the orthadox church, from the liturgy I've read. And, so I also figure that I would be safe to wonder within those confines...but not necessarily within the context of the Orthadox church.

My heart beats for the rough and tough that enter the church because someone told them the truth about Jesus. That's he's not a Divine Newt Gingrich, and I'm just not sure that a litugical orthadox run down would be the most relevant to these people. I guess what I'm driving at is that the true church is made up of people. And there is a place in God's plan for those crazy contemporaries and the Orthadox. Are they on equal footing??? I can't answer that, but I do know that within the confines of solid truth (which I believe the O.C. has espoused) people can have a solid saving faith, but live within a contemporary setting. (yeah the O.C.=orthadox church and not that nasty show on Fox:)

Jim Ruh said...

Ah Levi, Remember that they traditions of man are just that. While God is his infinte wisdom set down rules by which to worship and live, he set also by his infinte wisdom a Holy Spirit that would teach us and guide us. So where do traditions and free spirit ways meet? I find this line of reasoning interesting if not ironic. Remember that the traditions of the pharasees were held above that of God's.

God is above all things orderly, and I think through Paul He spelled out the correct way to worship in Paul's many letters to the baby churches that were trying this new way to worship God.