Daedelus, I don't know what you did, but probably being around long time Orthodox who don't care about arguing would help show parts of Orthodoxy which might be less exclusive. There is plenty of writing along the same lines, but people usually warm the heart more than theological arguments.
Besides the spiritual and intellectual immaturity of alot of the converts I met, the general tone just doesn't fit me at times. I don't think Novus Ordo guitar masses are the herald of Antichrist and I'm OK with modernism in church, in fact I think its necessary to come to terms with modernity, the 60's, and liberal democracy. Many, many Orthodox Christians don't see it that way, at least here in the US.
The straw that broke the camels back for me was the Antiochians in the US pulling out of the ecumenical movement and my priest telling me the OCA is barely hanging in there, only staying due to a filibuster at the Synod. I see no point in remaining in that kind of religion. It was a difficult decision but in the end I felt I had people in my life that needed me sane and stress-free, so I left. It's just not worth the fight. As much as I loved the divine liturgy, lighting candles, the icons, the Jesus Prayer and the prayer ropes... I just couldn't justify putting up with the Dobsonistas that never wanted "t3h gh3y" messing up their spiritual disneyland. I'm an unabashed support of gay rights, you see, even after mulling over the issues for several years, and I believe in ecumenism alot, the point that I question whether the Holy Spirit is really in the life of someone who is against it.
I didn't say anything about who is going to heaven. Is that the only thing that orthodox faith is good for? I asked how you can know what is authoritative. By what standard do you judge what is authentic Christianity? Mormons seem quite Christian (at least to me), so is their teaching authentic Christianity?
Authentic Christianity is whatever it takes to get us from where we are, to loving God and loving our neighbor. Jesus says on these two laws hangs all the rest. He meant it, too. I can't see what bishop you pray for making enough difference to trump those two commandments.
It seems rather ironic that you advance doctrinal pluralism on one hand, yet denounce those who disagree with you as lacking "real spiritual maturity". Couldn't spiritual maturity actually consist in coming to grips with what historic Christianity really is and taught--even if at times we find that teaching unpalatable--rather than embracing something else?
"Historic Christianity"- like what would that be? Blessing the enslavement of natives, beating wives with sticks if they displease you? Historic Christianity has endorsed some morally dubious practices. I think I'll take my chances without those irrational appeals to authority and tradition. I have a conscience, after all.