(Dateline OC.net Palace): FrChris was sighted on the balcony of his office/bowling alley/brewpub complex by the OC.netizens milling about in the courtyard. As the kazoo fanfare blared, he strode to the balcony edge and addressing the crowd:
"It is an honor and a privilege to announce to all this news: that the April 2009 Post of the Month was authored by Ian Lazarus, for this
"You can't make an omlette without breaking some eggs"
Forgive me. I have been sitting on the fence reading these threads for far to long without saying a word. The past few weeks have seen so much bad blood fly between people that are supposed to be brothers, and it saddens me when people are calling eachother imperialists and schismatics in a time when we are supposed to be looking inward at our own failures.
This is a time of trial for us all. The crudstorm that has been released in the past few weeks is heartrending, but not totally unpredictable. Eventually, it comes to this: how do we define liberty and unity in the Orthodox Church?
Some have defined it as a link to the old Patriarchs, particulalrly Constantinople, is what makes us Orthodox.
Some have defined it as the jurisdisction of the local Bishop as what does.
Some have defined it as strict adhearance to the cannons.
Some have defined it as the voice of the people.
I cannot speak for any of you, but I have believed since I converted and still believe that ALL are important...and then again, that none are.
Yes, the ties to the ancient sees and BROTHERHOOD with them, not subserviance to them, makes us Orthodox.
Yes, the local Bishop is a representative of Christ to his jurisdiction, along with the clergy and laity, within the tradition, makes us Orthodox.
Yes, understanding of the cannons and their practice is venerable and WITHIN the Holy Spirits call, and with the united understanding that some cannons are for some ages, and some are eternal, makes us Orthodox.
Yes, the people, under the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Scripture, and the Sacred Tradition, speaking in a united voice make us Orthodox.
But what truly make us Orthodox is FOLLOWING AND LIVING IN JESUS CHRIST AND GUIDENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, as the apostles taught us, wherein Saints are made, Martyrs Glorified, and new generations come to the alter to recieve Christ Jesus' Body and Blood that we migh perfect our imperfect selves.
Mayhaps the solution I propose is one that will be unpopular, or seem oversimplistic. I am not a great orator or analyst. At this point, in many senses, I simply grow tired of the rehasing of old wars, as this new upheaval seems to bring on. There have been moments when my faith in the Church has been shaken, and anger and sorrow filled my heart. There may be yet days when this happens. But I will be nowhere else because I believe in Jesus Christ, and I know that this is the way to worship him in the fullest. Thats why Im here. To better serve, and Pray.
And so, my proposal is simple. We pray. It may be a far stretch, but mayhaps what is needed is to ask God His opinion in His own Church, that he migh clear out imperfect minds and do what we humans are oft unwilling to: Listen. Accept. Be Obedient. Love one another. And forgive.
In this land (US), we are Americans. But we are all still learning what that means after all these years. We know it means to be free, but that there is a price for freedom: Vigilance. Elsewise, we fall back into slavery. It is not culture, though we have our own, but common beliefs that hold us as a nation. We hold common beliefs in Orthodoxy too. God will conquer all with Love. God loves us all. We attempt to give purselves to Him fully and without reservation in our worship. If we fall into sin, and do not get back up, we fall into slavery as well. We must turn to Him to made, redeemed and sustains us to make things right. For He knows everything about us.
Maybe its time for our bishops, ALL our bishops, to get together, pray, talk, and ask for forgiveness, of God and of eachother. We've seen too many wars over jurisdictionalism. Whatever the solition, we cannot remain as we are. But above all, it must be God-pleasing. Change is comeing. And with it, a whirlwind of consequences. Let us pray for perfect guidence from He who is Perfect.
Of course, thats just my opinion.
Forgive me, a sinner.
The crowd was stunned at this example of humility and erudition. But after a few heartbeats of wonder, the crowd thundered its approval:AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!