Conversations about “church” reveal some interesting things about people and about the age in which we live. Over the last weeks, I’ve observed a few things (they aren’t new, but I “put them together” in my thinking).
I’ve heard of a person who leads an “alternative life style” that is extremely knowledgeable in things historical and theological. This person knows the saints, can trace church history, and seems to know what is what. Further discussion reveals that this person left the Roman Catholic Church and became Episcopalian because the Episcopalians condone and endorse the alternative lifestyle.
In speaking with a visitor to our Church during Greek Fest, the conversation was amiable. She revealed some Roman Catholic background, but in further conversation indicated that she was now part of a “non-denominational Christian church.” Some of the questions raised regard how women should dress in Church, whether or not they should wear head coverings, and the like.
During a dialog during a Church Tour, the question was raised by one gentleman, “Well, how does your church deal with, well, gay rights?”
And, of course, in conversations with friends and neighbors, one will find all kinds of reasons for people being part of this or that church. Sometimes they judge that they were treated wrongly. Other times, you find that someone joined a place because that’s where the wife (or husband) went. Or it was because they had to to get married in that place.
The common thread amongst all of these? The driving force in the decisions in every case was centered on the person/s, They were seeking a “truth” that felt good, or allowed them to continue a specific behavior. In many cases, I’ve found that people look for a place where they won’t have to face up to the reality of sin in their lives.
That is to say, they are looking for “their truth” rather than The Truth revealed in Christ our God.
How many times have you heard someone say, “MY God wouldn’t do that ….!”
Our Father in heaven would have us know the Truth, the Truth that frees. “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free!” This Truth is never dependent on personal opinion or on personal likes and dislikes.
In the Light of Christ all things are revealed for exactly what they are. And in Him, in Him alone is Truth to be found and revealed.
Holy Orthodoxy takes seriously that the Church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth. This Church is the one founded in Christ our God. For those seeking the Truth, she is the place to be. Christ our God, the Way, and the Truth and the Life, formed the Church. She is NOT the product of well-meaning and like thinking people who decide to gather.
Those seeking The Truth in Christ are blessed, for they receive His Grace, His Mercy, the power of the Spirit. As they seek to be joined to Christ in salvation, the Light and Truth that He is and gives does an inward transformation as those who seek Him indeed deny themselves and receive Him.
We need ask ourselves “Whose or What Truth am I seeking?” When hearing the Word, “I don’t agree” or “Iwon’t agree” give way to “Yes Lord, what you will!”
Ground in Christ our God, our discussions with other can be patient as we seek to know the “why” of their questions, and as we pray for their salvation, understanding that the Holy Spirit indeed opens hearts and minds. We also must understand that fancy arguments and debates don’t change the fact that one may say “No” to Christ and His blessing! His love continues, but one can’t have love that one rejects!
“Whose truth are you seeking?”
God grant that His light enlightens each of us, that we may bring Light into the darkness of this world and those who seek light apart from Christ!
Glory to God for all Things!