Well, it's been a while since I posted the "So, I walked out..." thread. I didn't really give a response to everyone's suggestions, since this isn't something I can just decide in half a second.
So, for everyone who offered advice and help to me, I thank you very, very much.
There comes a time in one's life when you need to look around on your journey just to see where you're at, and where you've been.
I tried folks. I really, really tried. As before, I've tried. So, it's time to move on to other things.
(Un)fortunately, God has decided to endow me with an incredible worldly neural power, known as "Yes, but..."
I wasn't raised religious, and have always considered that a good thing. After all, I am not biased by family restraints upon a particular religion or faith system. I always felt like when I found a religion that seemed to speak truth, I could investigate fairly, using my reason. Reason is what I have, and is what I use.
The downside of not being raised in a religious/spiritual household, is my... spiritual side has remained very dormant. In other words, what is quite easy to someone else, is very, VERY difficult to me. Allow me to explain:
Joe feels overwhelmed about the beauty and majesty of creation and would like to offer a prayer out loud to the Lord:
"O Lord, you have created the heavens and the earth, the far spaces and the near, and everything in between. The sun and moon pay you homage, for the source of their light is Your Light. You are grand and merciful, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages, Amen." *Joe crosses himself*
Sounds good, yeah?
Want to know a secret? I've never prayed out loud before. Isn't that weird? Know why?
I'm terrified to hear myself say those words up there.
Sounds stupid doesn't it? It's a big deal to me. All of my prayers are said silently due to the reason above. When I said I have to start from scratch and do this by myself, I really, really meant by myself.
So, here I am, once again back at the old drawing board. A summary of my beliefs is thus:
"I believe in a being, whose intelligence far exceeds mine, who is spirit, and not matter...."
That's it. It's a lot shorter than the Nicene Creed.
I thought this would get better upon reading The Council of Chalcedon: Re-examined. This was my main objection in the last emo-post I decided to write.
Well, I finished it, and it has actually done more harm than good, I'm afraid. If all the councils were like that one, then I want no part of this path that you all walk. Unfortunately, to be Orthodox, one must declare the Ecumenical status of the councils.
I love Jesus. Really, I do. I love him. I don't love what his church has become. He seemed to me an advocate of following the spirit of the law, not simply the letter of the law. The pharisee-like emphasis on the law has simply returned in a new form. This will offend some of you, but this is where my heart is: The Church has become a sort of neo-Pharisee institution with its councils, and its excommunications, and its proclamations calling people "haters of God," and its imperial enforcement of beliefs.
Honestly... I just don't think I'm wired correctly to be a Christian. It's just the way I am.
Some of you are probably fuming a bit from what I've said. I would be a liar and a deceiver if I were to sugar coat it any other way. If you love your church and your faith, then God bless every single one of you. Really, really.
Again, I thank you all for your help, your prayers, and your PMs. Especially Mina and EA, for teaching me about the Oriental churches.
Allow me, if you would, one prayer on your behalf, before I log out permanently:
You who are the Lord of Abram, and Isaac, and Jacob,
You who are the Lord of Jesse, and David, and Solomon,
You who are the Lord of Mercy and Compassion,
You who are the Pantocrator and the Source of all things,
Have mercy upon your servants, O Father of Adam,
Have mercy upon the visitors to this community,
Have mercy upon Your servants, the owners,
Have mercy upon Your servants, those behind their names,
Have mercy upon Your servants, those unseen, who visit,
To the whole community, merciful God,
Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages.