Of course I realize catholicism encourages questions as much as any tradition, it was a friend who grew up in a place where questioning was not allowed. this happens in every place as well as catholicism, so he was surprised that I was encouraged to examine and question my worldview.

I do wonder though how much enlightenment rationalism, and augustinian gnostic tendencies have influenced the western branch of the church. and I mean that, I don't actually know. I suspect quite a bit, with the necessity of systematizing eveything, but I hope I am willing to be wrong.

It is offensive that we can't have communion together. It saddens me. it wasn't my idea though, and if you guys had become catholic, we would have had the same discussion from the other side. until I became orthodox. then we would be closer, but not close enough.

no. I will not try to convince anyone to be orthodox who is already a christian (Jessica may argue with that) because if they are walking towards God, seeking truth through Christ, wonderful. I think the same is true of all orthodox. however, I don't think any orthodox would try to convert anyone. I don't know that, but it seems that any disciple making or evangelism is by example alone, and words come after that, as an answer to questions. not often are answers offered if they are not sought. (again, Jessica will disagree, but I am learning)

my friend Tim is a good example. He goes to a progressive charismatic church, and theologically, our churches couldn't be any farther apart. They don't have quite the same emphasis on communion. I don't try to convince him though, because I know it doesn;t matter if he becomes orthodox or not. He serves God and tries to do that more and more each day. are we in communion? no. does that suck? yes. are we still friends. yup. will we one day be in communion? perhaps, and yes. when we enter the kingdom, all these barriers will fall.

the question is is there a wall around a church. is it visible, is there a right answer to the which one is the continuation of the historical church instituted by the apostles?
why would there not be a church like that? who wouldn't want to preserve as closely as possible the faith given to us, with its cultural implications and all.
where did we get the idea that there is no such thing as a right answer to our question of how to do church?

okay. I just talked on the phone to tim snelson in Califonia, and lost my train of thought. but there is some ranting for nous.

peace and love


Anonymous said...

Not sure where I'm going here, but I once was part of a denomination that wouldn't let you think for yourself. You were instructed to follow their ideas and support their writers. Of course I rebelled, that's what thinkers are for, to question and wonder, to ask why and search for an answer.

When I entered Bible College, a senior student came up to me, and at the time I had no idea who he was, and he grilled me as my belief system and why I believed. After hopefully defending myself the best I could, he said something to me that I have used ever since: "Never believe anything that anyone tells you until you have researched it and made it your own."

I believe that any Christian, regardless of the denomination needs to know why he believes in what and Who he does. This means to think, ask questions, seek out answers and formulate conclusions. All this must also be supported by Scripture first and foremost.

That is why I guess I don't hold much to religion for I have seen to many questionable people claim the will of God. What I find most though is the God requires your mind and your heart, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Many will likely disagree with me, so be it. I guess I have lived too long to worry about it. Anyways, I bleieve it is good to question and look for answers.

Good luck Dave on your thesis.

pasivirta said...

thanks ed. its a response of sorts to questions of sorts.

here is a link to one of my first posts about orthodoxy, from last january.


tyson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
biss said...

Through the prayers of our brother Tyson, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Brother, forgive me.

Graves said...

I love you brother

I don't understand the schism

I have freedom to question

I hope, pray, and wait with eager expectation to be in communion with all

That is the first photo I have ever seen of you where you look 25

Anonymous said...

I became Orthodox because I want to be right. No really. I want to be right.

The "right" opinion, the "right" dogma, the "right" church, the "right" practice
are all very well, but they are meaningless if they don't change my very being. They become, as the apostle Paul would say, "nothing" or at best "clanging cymbals". I suppose that makes them secondary. On the other hand, when I begin to seek to change my own being they actually begin to matter.

What I believe, what I do and who I do it with affects everything.

Orthodoxy teaches me the way to be in right relation to God, the Universe and
everything. By reading, study, prayer and experience I have become convinced it
is the way of the apostles, martyrs, church fathers, desert fathers (and mothers, for that matter), and of uncounted holy people for the last 20 centuries.

Are there other ways to relate to Christ? Sure. Is my way better? Nope. I suck. But Orthodoxy is not my way. I know it works, so I think I'll stick with it. If someone thinks he or she can invent a better way, more power to them, I guess. After all, if they are serving God, who am I to "judge the servant of another"?

As a friend of mine once said after a penetrating but loving and peaceable
conversation on a similar topic, "I guess it will be an interesting experiment. Why don't we get together again in 30 years and see how our paths have changed us."


Matthew Francis said...

Thanks Dave, for opening up this conversation. That's a really humbling and hopeful, thought, Phil... thanks! Reminds me of St. Paul's words "When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory." (Col. 3.4) Being in Christ "rights" us. Or to verb the carpentry term, it "trues" us.

Anonymous said...

I have read with interest the comments to this posting. Awesome is not a word to describe the insight, but rather thought provoking and encouraging.

Reading the comments caused me to think of one of the time I was supply teaching (occassional teacher) at a Catholic High School. A Priest came into the staff room, and me being a protestant (likely the only one in the room) was spotted a mile away. The Priest sat across from me at the table and we began to talk. The intersting part about the conversation was this; I said to him, let's see where we can agree and fellowship with each other, and forget the stuff that divides us.

We had a most excellent conversation and learned a lot about each other and about our belief systems. When it was time for me to teach the next class, he said to me: "you're one of the few people I have met that is more willing to listen and learn, than sit and argue. Thank you for your thoughts." I have never forgotten that and understood that no matter where I am there is no reason for me not to have fellowship and communion with another believer in Christ regardless of the denomination.

Christians fight too much amongst themselves and each other. This shouldn't be, but it is inevitalbe.

Dave I will be looking into the site you suggested. I still would love to sit with you and talk with you sometime before you leave for BC.

Thanks for the postings and thanks to the others who have made comments.