Monday, June 23, 2008

Why I am not an Eastern Christian

I recently was nominated for a category on Eastern Christian Blog Awards as "Best Church News Blog" and at the end of the voting when the month of May came to a close, this blog received the most votes to give it the win in the category for "Best Church News Blog".

I am honored, to say the least, that people who voted actually thought that well of the effort put forth here to post Orthodox news from around the world to feel this blog was deserving of their vote.

I also wish to personally thank Josephus Flavius who put together these awards so diligently and would keep the site updated on a regular basis. Again, thank you from my heart.

I must state my own personal conviction here at this point that I am not an "Eastern" Christian at all. I am a Christian. That's all. I add the adjective "Orthodox" as a necessity because those Churches which hold to the Holy Tradition of the Early Church have found it necessary to use this particular adjective to denote that Faith as that Faith which has been handed down in continuity from one hand to the next until it arrived by God's grace also into my own.
"Orthodox" in contrast to that which is not "Orthodox", i.e. correct belief and correct glory. In other words, Christ is the center of this Faith but He must needs be "framed" correctly, and that I, a sinner fleeing to Him may find Him unblemished, without distortion as He Himself is as the Great I Am.
Not as I may perhaps like to "frame" Him to suit my own likes and dislikes and to therefore choose to worship an idol, something fashioned by me and for me, but as He Himself is.
That is why the Church which calls itself "Orthodox" is indeed Orthodox:

Believing the right things

In the right way

For the right reasons
To know Him as He is
Not as I would fashion Him

the "formula" meant to hedge the path to Him the Person, who transcends any and all formulae meant to state positive truths about the God who is beyond being and beyond "system" and formulae, who may only be "seen" in the purification of the passions and in the renouncing of the lusts of this world.

What's all this meant to say?

I believe that to accept the title of "Eastern" Christian I therefore lay open the Church to the belief that Her ways are simply one choice among all the rest, that the Way maintained all these centuries in persecutions, murders, betrayals, is not of the worth that those holding to this Way felt it was but is much more common and they endured their sufferings merely to defend opinions, not Truth. Fools in the bad sense of the word if this indeed is the case.

I use the term "Christian" with fear because I know my thoughts, words and deeds and I am ever in need for the Lord to have mercy on me, a..sinner.


Anonymous said...

You should of got second place...sinner


Maxim said...

Congratulations on your award, and for stating clearly the truth which so many skirt, that Orthodoxy is the fullness of Christianity, and all the others, as hard as they may try to follow Christ, fall short of that fullness.

Gailina said...

Was it your point that it isn't necessary to identify oneself as Eastern Orthodox? In other words, it is enough to be "Christian."


Sophocles said...


The adding of "Eastern" before "Christian" implies that that in the sense employed for this award, there are different kinds of Christians, Eastern Orthodox one among others.

So the Orthodox Catholic Church is not ascribed Her true title of The Church but is merely one expression among many of what is "Christianity" and this is not true.