A soft place to land

So as they say all roses have their thorns.  Looking back I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision leaving the Episcopal church.  Our parish is really nice.  Ironically many of the problems we were facing in the local church have basically gone away.  I cannot tell you how much I miss assisting the priest, and many other aspects of my old life.

Missing all the good times makes it really easy to forget what is still wrong.  The national church is still in the same hornets nest it was in back in July.  Other problems we faced locally still exist.  Add to that my whole confusion about church authority.  In the end I know I made the right decision.

Still this has me in a uncomfortable situation.  More now then ever I understand the Jews when they were wandering in the desert.  Keep in mind I am not grumbling and complaining to God.  However I understand now their feelings of wanting to return to Egypt.  The Lord has a place for my family.  I know this to be true.  More now then ever I need to be patient and wait upon him for direction.

Since as long as I can remember I have been concerned about truth.  What is the truth about God.  Who was right about God.  What religion has it right, and withing the Christian church which one is correct.

Now many would argue that it really doesn’t matter.  One church is as good as another.  Or all churches are man made. We need to just have relationship with Jesus.  It seems you put 10 Christians in a room and you will have 12 different ideas.

This journey has brought me to so many different places.  In each place I thought it would be my final point.  All the while this still soft voice in the back of my heart spoke to me.  Is this truth?

I am to a point that I am fairly settled in my doctrinal beliefs.  I believe the teachings handed down to the Church by the Apostolic Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils.  I believe in The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches are in fact the original church founded by Jesus.  That the wholeness of Truth resides within these churches.

I am at a place were I don’t know what to do.  Being a westerner I understand the Roman Catholic Church.  I am familiar with her apparitions, Feasts, and practices.  Teachings such as purgatory, immaculate conception, and indulgences are teachings I have accepted in the past.  Not without concern or question, but out of obedience.  I have grown to accept and believe many things.  Mind you these things are not bad or wrong.  Just one understanding of the ancient teachings of the church.

In regards to Eastern Orthodoxy I must say I have a basic knowledge, but overall the church is a mystery to me.  It is like a whole new world for me to explore.  I love the discoveries I have uncovered.  Every teaching rings true within my mind and heart.  Their understanding of original sin makes sense to me.  Their views on Jesus, Mary, and the Saints feels just and balanced.

Furthermore what brought me to the Episcopal church I see in the Orthodox Church.  I see something that is unique, mystical, and very practical.  I see an ancient way of worship that not only do I feel connected with those of years gone, but God himself.

I have always thought my home was in the Catholic church.  As I grew older I realized it was not necessarily the Catholic Church, but the Holy Apostolic Church.  That There is more to all of this than what I have ever known.  That churches I once thought were part of antiquity are very much alive and well.

I believe my home is in Orthodox Christianity.  It is not what I thought I wanted,  It is not what I ever expected. It is all I ever wanted.  Far greater and magnificent then I could ever expect.

It is the home I never knew existed but what I always needed.

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2 thoughts on “A soft place to land

  1. You mirror a lot of what I feel. I have been exploring Orthodoxy for years now and these last two years I have actually been attending Vespers on Saturday nights. And even though I believe what the EO Church says about itself being the fullness, it is hard to leave my protestant parish. I always said it was because of my wife (and that is true; we do like to go to church together) but another part of it is I really would miss my protestant parish.

    • Jim,

      I have been reading your blog since visit 3 or 4. You are a great inspiration. I have to admit how surprised I was to experience some of the very same emotions and thoughts you have. I find myself on the adventurous side at Vespers. I am not sure if it is because of the small turnout. Or maybe you have rubbed off on me. I remember the first time I venerated an icon in public. It was after vespers. Some things you wrote came to mind. I was filled with joy and anxiety. It is funny how one might view themselves. Get them in a EO Temple and have them venerate an icon. Lets just see how confidant of a person they are. 🙂 Joining Orthodoxy takes guts!

      A while back I remember a post you wrote about discerning to become a catechumen. My heart breaks for you. You are a good man for putting your family first. No one said the road to becoming a saint would be easy. I pray for your family that they would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. That they would open up to the Orthodox Faith. I must be honest I do not pray enough. God’s will be done in this and all situations brother!

      Kirk

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