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Author Topic: Pride in the Orthodox Church  (Read 1343 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 14, 2011, 03:24:44 PM »

During the Lenten season we are supposed to give special attention to our lives in Christ.

One of the primary aspects of a life in Christ, according to Scripture and the teachings of the Church Fathers, is humility.

Opposed to humility is pride, the worst of sins.

We, as Orthodox, believe that we live in the Tradition of the One True Church founded by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. 

How do we separate statements of truth regarding Orthodoxy from pride?

Especially when conversing with the non-Orthodox, the statements of the Church regarding the nature of the Church might be considered prideful or arrogant.  I even fear that sometimes the exclusive claims of Orthodoxy work to either drive people away from the Church, or to misguide those in the Church to vainglory. 

We might say that we are simply stating a fact, that the Church is the Church founded by Christ, and that was not our decision, but His.  It is not because of us, nor is it our fault.

Yet one might make the same claim concerning any true statement.  For instance, you may be saying the truth when you boast that you have won the lottery, or that you made first place in some competition, or that your country is the most powerful, wealthiest, or safest in the world, or any number of true statements.  Yes they are true, but to speak of them seems prideful.  How do we understand the difference between these statements and the statement that the Church we belong to is the One True Church?

I think this is especially important given yesterday's Proclamation of Orthodoxy.

Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 03:39:23 PM »

Teaching about Orthodoxy isn't exactly "pride".

If your gentle and kind words educate the listener about the Faith, than they are worth speaking.

If you state them to teach or guide the listener, than they should be spoken.

If you state them only to belittle your listener, than they come from pride, and should not be spoken.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 03:45:27 PM »

I agree with Liza.

No matter how gently or loving we may deliver the message, sometimes people will always mistake it as 'prideful,' because saying that Orthodoxy is the one true faith is well, a very big claim. Ultimately, we have to keep questioning our own motives constantly, to keep our personal pride from interfering with God's message. That's all we can really do.

She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." Ecclesiastes 1:18
I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point of view --
Life went on no matter who was wrong or right
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 07:39:51 PM »

This is my first lent as an orthodox christian.

Do you know the card game Top Trumps? Whoever has the best card in the pack beats all the others. I know I'm holding the best card, so its really really hard not to Top Trump other christians... if you get what I mean?
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 07:33:19 PM »

This is my first lent as an orthodox christian.

Do you know the card game Top Trumps? Whoever has the best card in the pack beats all the others. I know I'm holding the best card, so its really really hard not to Top Trump other christians... if you get what I mean?

Yup.  All too well.

It's very important to keep in mind the old adage that we're just a beggar telling another beggar where to get bread.  It's not a 'I'm better' thing.
Further, we fast because we know that we are weaker (Romans 14:2).  This should help us keep perspective, imho.

With prayer for your first Lent and Resurrection Smiley

Dcn Andrew Smith

Author: Discover the Church: The Whats and Whys of Orthodox Christianity and Footsteps of the Apostles: 110 ways to promote church growth in your Orthodox parish.
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