We should all know the parable of the talents:
“Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven’t sown. You gather crops where you haven’t spread seed. So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what’s yours.’
“His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed? In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest. Therefore, take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins. Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don’t have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them. Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.’
“People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth."
The parable can just as easily be applied to churches, ecclesiology and any institution just as much as it can apply to our personal, spiritual lives; in fact, the parable provides an excellent lesson for a tried and true business model. What I want to ask - in light of some of the other threads currently floating about the forum concerning the Orthodox Church's fidelity to the "deposit of faith" and Tradition - is: Does the Orthodox Church fit the characterization of the "lazy servant" who has held so steadfastly to not changing anything about the talent which he has received that, in the end, his resoluteness proves to be his damnation?
In my opinion, it does. Here's why I think so.
The Orthodox Church projects the image of a glass house sterilely protecting what was put into it in the first century. While Tradition has been a safeguard against liberal innovators who think that theology can perpetually created anew in each generation, it has also discouraged constructive insights that augment the true faith. Too many Orthodox bishops over the centuries, afraid of new ideas, have held too great of a cavalier attitude as they dare not see any minutiae of the deposit of faith be lost to their administration. As such, it is my opinion that such fear has become endemic to the very ecclesial structure of the Church itself and, through such fear, it has become the "lazy servant," afraid of having any new, constructive ideas at all. It seems plainly evident that the retort, "Why should there be new ideas?" is the prima facie modus operandi of such fear.
I hope there are some here who can prove me wrong.