Since my family’s Baptism and Chrismation into Holy Orthodoxy in 2006, we have been involved in a number of parishes; OCA, Greek and Antiochian. Since we are converts ourselves, we feel most comfortable where there are a lot of other converts, especially those coming from an Evangelical Christian background.
However, this can sometimes lead to a niggling suspicious feeling that I as a convert am just “playing Orthodox” I have a bad self-congratulatory attitude about being in the “true Church” which feeds my ego at both ends; first, for having been an Evangelical Protestant and so understanding the concept of regeneration and enjoying a facility with the Bible, and second, for being Orthodox and knowing about the Saints and the disciplines and all the panoply of historic Christianity.
The Ochlophobist has a friend, Samn!, that left the following comment on his blog amidst all the flotsam and jetsam concerning the current malcriadez in the Antiochian Archdiocese:
+Philip and his clerical friends are quite anomalous even in their generation of Arab Orthodox because they for whatever reason missed out on the revival that came from the Orthodox Youth Movement and were already in America by the time the Lebanese monasteries like Dayr el-Harf really started bearing fruit. And so, like Jewish actors acquiring waspy surnames, they went out of their way to trade in Orthodox ways for the ways of the perceived American elites of the early sixties, Episcopalians. (I’m glad I’m not the only one who has seen this)
And so, when converts came, they were unable to transmit the heritage of the Church of Antioch to them, but rather allowed a trial-and-error approach to figuring out what a lived Orthodoxy is. The anti-monasticism and the America-firstism that have been signature traits of much of the Archdiocese’s leadership… have served to hinder spiritual bonds and bonds of affection and communication with the mother church. In the aftermath of this current crisis, those are the things that need to be cultivated, regardless of the Archdiocese’s ultimate autonomy, both for the sake of having a healthy and fruitful relationship with Damascus and for the authentic transmission of Antioch’s ancient heritage of lived Orthodoxy to all those who come to her thirsting for it.
And, just in case you are thirsting to know more about Antioch’s ancient heritage of lived Orthodoxy, Samn! offers his own Arab Orthodoxy blog, and it is first-rate.
Please visit and encourage.