Posted by: Brian Glass | March 11, 2010

re: A Different Kind of Journey

I suppose I should fill in some detail on Shari’s post.

About 3 years ago I realized that my Christianity was stagnant. I had a choice, I could continue on auto-pilot, or I could do something about it. The problem was, I didn’t know what the next step was. So, the only thing I new to do was pray about it. I asked God to show me what to do to take the next step in my journey.

Over the prior several years (or maybe even just total life experience) I had developed a mindset in favor of tradition. I saw the dangers of liberally dispensing with tradition without first understanding the consequences. And if there is nothing else our society has done, it is to dispense with tradition. As a programmer, I understand that if I just pop in and change this line of code here without fully understanding the ramifications, the consequences can be severe. So it is with the way we live.

After my prayer nothing happened right away. It never does when you pray that kind of prayer. But over the next few months I came into contact with Orthodoxy more than once and in different ways. For some reason Orthodoxy kept nudging me and finally I bit and began my investigation. Initially my goal was simply to learn from it what we protestants had left behind. I felt I was ignorant of what came before. I never intended to cease being a protestant.

But what happened as I investigated historical Christianity is that I found that it was an immensely deep well, of which I could not see the bottom. That was what I was looking for, for the path I had been following seemed shallow in comparison. And as I continued to study I found that most of the arguments against traditional Christianity that I knew and had been taught since childhood were without foundation. In fact they were nothing more than misconceptions of the actual teachings of the Church – teachings that are profoundly important.

When I was as Seventh-day Adventist, I had been taught that there is one true church (which of course they teach you that it is Adventism). When I left that denomination I was convinced that no such thing existed. I was convinced that Adventism was about as wrong as you could get on quite a number of doctrines and my goal at that time was simply to depart from Adventism. It mattered not to me where I went as long as it was close to what I saw as Christianity.

Where I ended up during the 7 years after Adventism was a fine place to be during that part of my journey, but it was not where I was to end. I ended up there because I ran away from something else, not toward it. This, then, is the difference. I am no longer running away from something. I am running toward something.

If any church has a claim on being the one true church, it is Orthodoxy. It maintains an unbroken apostolic succession and a living tradition that few churches, if any, can claim. This is the church that was founded by the Apostles of Christ themselves.

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