Journey Into the Orthodox Church

Converting to Eastern Orthodoxy

This article seems to be making the rounds. An LCMS (Fort Wayne) seminarian who reverted to Eastern Orthodoxy:

http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/04/my-journey-into-the-orthodox-church

I am grateful that the author of the article enumerated his concerns and explained his reasons for leaving (though not all of them are doctrinally sound). Most people who fall away are not so articulate. Is there something we can learn?

A recurring theme in this article is disunity within the LCMS, specifically with respect to the Liturgy:

What struck me within weeks of my ordination was the reality that most parishes did not “do church” the way my parish did (not to mention some of the other theological and confessional aberrations and contradictions). And that was okay, or so the Synod said. In fact, that was encouraged. Unity was important, or so it seemed, but only in the essentials. While some very good pastors supported the understanding that Leitourgia Divina adiaphora non est, the general practice of the Synod conveyed a different reality. In short, it was left to every parish (governed by the voters’ assembly) to determine what it thought was best. In turn, some were liturgical. Others were more liturgical than many Roman Catholic parishes. Still others were middle-of-the-road. And many were indistinguishable from the local charismatic Protestant parish. What this discontinuity signified, however, was a break in communion. We did not have “all things in common” (Acts 2:44). In fact, in many instances, we had very little in common, save a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions. Yet, even that was delineated by interpretation.

The latin phrase, Leitourgia Divina adiaphora non est (roughly, "The Divine Liturgy is not adiaphora"). It correctly elevates the Divine Service (close) to the level of Theology--essentially showing us that the Liturgy is a correct and valuable instrument used in the service of the Church. Not an "indifferent" collection of rituals unrelated or unimportant to Scripture, as many would have it.

The disunity within our Synod goes far deeper than the Liturgy or even our Hymnody. It's unclear whether disunity in the Divine Service is a cause of -- or an effect of -- doctrinal disunity, but the author of the article does raise some useful points for discussion.

Let us humble ourselves, repent, and pray that God continues to preserve his Church!

blogroll

social