Okay I'm getting my posts raked over pretty hard here but I will try this again.... without the quotes
I am describing the Church as "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church;" I am not sure this is redundant as it gives it definition but I guess this is assumed being both orthodox.
But I'm afraid I missed WHO is the church? The Holy Martyrs, the Saints, the "present" and "past" members of her body, and this includes me.
The Saints have gone before me, marking the "quicksand" as my sure destruction, showing me with the light of Scripture the path which is safe, warning me against the temptations of other paths and where they lead.
I may challenge some teachings, but in all humility. This is what I meant by defering to my preist. I have asked him what is meant by this or that and how does that fit in with this scripture or that practice, as it seems contradictory. But the Church holds the Truth, I may read what It has written over the ages and find many great teachings, if I disagree with what is canonical, I am errant and (I believe) considered a heretic, If it is non-canonical I do not necessarily have to agree, but I am warned not to create division by pressing my point of view.
I meant by being more careful of recent writings as the language can be misrepresented. As time passes someone may point differences or inconsistencies which were unintended or errant, these will be clarified by the Church. I have enjoyed more of these "newer" writings than other "older" writings, 'The Mystery of the Church' by Professor William Bush is one of my favorites.
The difference is, I do not need to understand, and sometimes I cannot understand, perhaps later I will, perhaps never. My understanding has nothing to do with truth. Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christ imparted all authority to the Church. I must submit to it. I cannot submit to myself, this is the blind leading the blind.
So how can I know the Church has the fullness of truth? I cannot except through faith.
Some one can drop a book of truths on my lap but I would twist and turn those truths to fit my thinking. Could I possibly grasp some of it's truth? Yes, possibly. Could I possibly stand next to one who participates in the very body which put this book of truths together. How about one who has used the practices and traditions of those who compiled the original writings of the book because they were taught this by people who walked, talked, prayed, fasted, baptised,etc with those who wrote the original writings ? Who would be better to listen too? Person A , who had the book dropped on their lap. Person B who participates in the Body, or Person C who has been so influenced by this book and these traditions that he diplays it like a cloak, something he wears rather than practices?
I am extremely cautious of TV evangelists. If we lived in Christianized Countries the popular message may be Christian. If it makes it to Media in my country, it concerns me. I have read some C.S. Lewis, Bonhoeffer etc. but during my time as catechumen and since have found no need to return, although I admit listening to audio of "Chronicles of Narnia" (though I heard the minimalists are trying to make C.S. Lewis a saint [
The Church is more than the intellectual absorption of material, it is the living of it. As I live it, I begin to grasp its truths. I do not wait till I understand to start practicing it. I cross myself, confess, take Comunion, fast, pray and so on because these lead to spiritual health. The desert Fathers may well have errent teachings, but they also have spent alot more time living these and other practices of the church and been helped by them. My biggest struggle is putting down all these great books that tell me to live it and do my morning ... daily prayers, and recommended fasts. So if anything I struggle with being a minamalist, in a different way.
Yikes, I really don't want to see the responses to this. Where you see things I am saying that are wrong or need caution please explain, answering with questions leaves me dangling, just cut the rope already !
Aren't hazings illegal in Orthodoxy
Actually, I find it better to ask questions if I don't understand someone clearly than to formulate my own often errant interpretation of what the other person is saying.
Now that you have explained your position more clearly, I have no need to ask you any more questions at this moment.
The only response I would give is that if the Church is to be discerning, and if you are a member of that Church, then it follows logically that you must also work to be discerning--you can't just shut off your brain and leave it at the door when you walk into the building.