Sunday, July 26, 2009

free associating no offense intended

Today's blog was going to speak about the need for commitment, endurance and stamina. As those of you who follow this blog will know I have been exploring the waxing and waning of my training. This is where I ended up. I spoke about the need to remain good church stewards.
Statements like “We don’t get involved in the politics” are made as if they absolve one of personal responsibility or accountability. Such comments are stated in an elitist tone as if said persons are above the ‘petty’ jurisdictional or episcopal issues. Orthodox Christians behaving like Protestants imagine that Sadly this is what threatens when leadership both clerical and lay become top heavy with the newly converted. They have not been adequately purged from their former heresy. We cannot rightly distance ourselves from our Bishop or from the immediacy of the leadership crisis we find ourselves in. We will emerge different if we remain aloof or indifferent to the ransacking of our faith. Boundaries are established then revised then redrawn all for the interest of whom exactly and at what ecclesiastical expense. The dynamics of the leadership of the church and the turmoil it finds itself in is now not simply a power grab but drives home to the greater issue of obedience and order. Lucifer brings chaos, disorder and deception. He uses egotism to inflame matters. As faithful Orthodox Christians we need to ask the tough questions and defend the tradition of our holy Fathers. We cannot remain idle and believe that hierarchal scandal does not affect the spiritual economy of the church or that it is somehow far off. It is mind boggling to propose as is being touted on other blogs that converts are somehow more worthy, devout and traditional then ‘cradle’ Orthodox. For such an obscured idea to be valid then it would follow that the longer one remains an Orthodox Christian the further from the Orthopraxy they become. The zeal of converts is refreshing and encouraging but they are unable to truly appreciate the depth and complexity of the Sacred Tradition. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”. (1Cor. 3:10). This maturity and understanding comes with time it is an aging process. A baby is able to get nourishment but not in the same way as an adult. Likewise converts require time to grow and develop. This is why I believe that it is detrimental to have converts be responsible to tend to the care of a parish or to lecture the church about the Mysteria or Traditions is a bit impetuous, childish even. It is improper for parents and guardians to turn over the responsibility of a household to children. They are not equipped to manage the demands of adulthood. They are not stupid but lack the judgment, education and acquired skill of even the most intellectually dull adult. Conversion and then time at a college or seminary is about being inundated with information it is not the same and cannot be equated with assimilation or understanding. Holy Wisdom is not something we magically acquire in a second it is something which is incorporated into our being over time in experience and by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Today in church an interested visitor brought her boy friend with her to church. His body language definitely indicated that he didn’t want to be in attendance. Although he was not disruptive it was distracting and disrespectful. We have become accustomed to 'casting pearls before swine' as it were. It has become too common to hear about Orthodox Christians to explain in detail the Mysteries of the Church. We have allowed the curious and disinterested to enter the inner sanctum of our Church. This should not be so. This should not be confused this the lack of composure of a child.

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