I know our newest poster here is a bit abrasive and difficult, especially with the one-line comments in some of the threads. Nonetheless, I have to be honest, it's when I see Christians try to argue against atheism in threads like this that I am most sympathetic to atheism. I've said many times that I didn't first leave the Church because of guys like Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris (who I had never even read at that point, and still pretty much have barely read), but rather because of Paul and St. John Chrysostom and so forth. Same thing here... I don't sympathise with atheism because the arguments of Čika-Gliša are so good, but rather because the arguments of Christians are so bad. It's sort of like scanning a post of Christian objections to atheism or unbelief, and I'm thinking: "No, don't agree with that; nah, not quite right; I think that's a misunderstanding; that's probably not correct either; etc." and I'm left with the growing question... well, what do I do then?
So what you're saying is... you feel that the saints and the Church Fathers were very primitive, or backwards? Because they had a different understanding than we do, and everyone knows how we're supposedly so "advanced" in our high-tech world. If you are saying this, then I can sort of understand where you're coming from..
There were questionable statements by most saints.. like where St. Paul said a woman should be silent in a church, and if she has a question.. she should only ask her husband and no one else. I still have trouble with some of the aspects of the Church's teachings when it comes to every day morality issues...
But I don't typically question the faith itself. To me it's just an inner knowing, the beauty.. the icons.. the eucharist. When I pray, especially the Jesus prayer -- I am filled with a peace.. that seems to make everything better. I know some will say I use the Church and Jesus as an emotional blanket, and that may very well be true. But I don't try to run away from life's problems, just because they're hard.. so it wouldn't be that much of a blanket.
Every time I see the icon of St. Mary of Egypt, I am reminded of her story -- and I feel that she's "been there, done that." and understands a lot of the spiritual and carnal struggles I go through. So EVEN there, there's just an "inner knowing".. that goes beyond this Western scholastic.. "everything must make sense to me before I can accept it." Because Orthodoxy has a lot of mysteries, and the Holy Trinity is the greatest mystery of all! If you can tell me how Jesus is both God and man simultaneously.. without confusion, then I congratulate you and bow to you. Because the Incarnation is equally as mysterious!