While I think you could have worded your message differently, I agree with the spirit of what you're saying here. But the way your message was presented "Jesus trumps all", it has a very Protestant ring to it. Holy Orthodoxy is, and has always been, Christ centered. The Fathers (and Mothers) must always be quoted within the context that they were speaking (and sometimes they were still wrong- being human and all), but it's important for us all to understand that they LIVED what Jesus said and taught.
You're right Gabriel about wording the message. I only edited the quote. - Cleveland, GM
Thank you for your thoughts. I agree that it sounds protestant: 47 years a protestant, 5 years Orthodox. Sometimes it is going to come out. And in one sense I meant it to sound protestant, just to get everyone's attention.
He struggles with belief and part of it is because some Fathers of the Church, who like us, were children of their own age, wrote some things regarding their opinions over some cultural practices, as if those practices were biblical doctrine, or even part of Holy Tradition?
That is where too much knowledge can get you chasing your tail. What they said may have been how to practice these cultural constructs in a Christian manner (much like someone might write today about how to date in a Christian manner; some might say that can't be done, but that's a topic for another thread). The Fathers may sound as if they are teaching dogma in regards to these practices that we no longer follow today but that is probably to mis-read them, or read too much into them. Probably it's just that the Fathers were right for their own time, but irrelevant on THAT subject for our time. That doesn't mean biblical dogma or Holy Tradition is irrelevant and subject to the subjectivity of cultural constructs.
Sometimes we make this Orthodox journey TOO difficult and should remember our protestant origins (if converts) or learn from protestants (if cradles). Not everything has to go through the filter of the Fathers. It's okay to see what Jesus said. it's okay to read your Bible.
If that still sounds too protestant, I am sorry. But that is truly what I think.
PS -- Cleveland, I also admit I was shooting from the hip and knew I could count on you to "clean up" the wording!