I'll just chime in and say this:
(1) I personally prefer much stricter policies on baptizing folks -- namely, baptism and chrismation for all who were not baptized by triple immersion in the name of the Trinity and chrismated; chrismation for all who were
baptized in the above manner but not chrismated; confession of faith for those who were baptized and
chrismated in the above manner. This is the historic practice of the OCA and the Russian church at large, as has been noted (citation HERE
(2) I don't have a problem with there being multiple approaches in the Church universal; apparently the disagreement goes back to Ss. Stephen and Cyprian during the Roman persecution days and has never been resolved to this day! So that doesn't bother me, as both ways of reception say the same thing, with one simply not saying such as forcefully (and thus careful clarification is needed).
(3) What I DO have a problem with is what's been noted repeatedly in this thread:
...because of we have overlapping jurisidictions with multiple synods, inquirers can go church shopping until they find a jurisdiction which suits their whims.
So many converts seem to go jurisdiction shopping with this, depending on how traditionalist they are. To the outsider, it looks like a confusing muddle and seems like it makes a charade of One Baptism.
So, this individual is seeking baptism in another jurisdiction and was approved for rebaptism. How can we as Orthodox claim any universality in our belief of the very first sacrament if we cant get it together on this??
I do wonder how hard can we criticize/judge the conservative Christian westerners for their differences in practice, and holding to different organizational structure, while they accept a Spirit Led Unity beyond organizational boundaries, when we cannot even agree on how a catechumen should enter "salvation" even amongst all Orthodox?
The point is this...We may have eucharistic unity and unity of many, many core essentials, and we may also be free to disagree with other Orthodox churches (as in, that of Greece, that of Russia, that of Serbia, etc) as to application of certain things and still remain in communion. What gets me is that the jurisdictional overlapping causes chaos in a single, local area that leads to little more than the denomination-hopping I wanted to reject as an Evangelical.
When an Orthodox Christian can be denied a second marriage in one jurisdiction then go to the other parish in town and have it done...
...when someone can desire to enter the church through baptism and, having been denied by one priest, can be granted what s/he as an individual wants by another priest just down the street...
...when someone is granted a divorce in one parish but is still recognized as married in the neighboring one...
...when a priest is received leniently in one jurisdiction, in which he serves faithfully for years, then is looked down on as not *really* being a priest in the same area his bishops' synod covers...
...then this is not Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy states that ONE bishop, presiding over ONE geographic area, declares for that area what will be done, PERIOD. Moreover, that ONE bishop will be acting in concord with all the OTHER bishops in the surrounding areas which comprise the synod of that larger area, and the practice will be upheld in unison by all the participating bishops and priests. For someone to get something other than the way THAT SYNOD decides it will be done, they'd not only have to "Get out of Dodge," but probably get out of the country!
In Orthodoxy, you do it the way your bishop says, and if you don't like it, you learn to deal with it. You don't go to another jurisdiction because there IS no OTHER jurisdiction! For us to continue like this is to continue in a maimed, incomplete, and diseased form of unity. Yes, there's sacraments in common, but if we continue to diverge like this, for how much longer can we say this will be the case?
For an excellent (and similarly forceful, I'm afraid) interview of this topic, click HERE
for AFR's most recent Illumined Heart podcast...
...Lord, have mercy...