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.