The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate




 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
A Generous Orthodoxy
25-07-2007, 11:10 AM
Post: #20
 
Dear Rick et al

I've been thinking about my transition from being part of a Plymouth Brethren community to being part of an Orthodox one, and trying to think about how I understand the differences.

I can see that in my own experience I was part of a Brethren community without being entirely Brethen, but I am now part of an Orthodox community while having only begun to be Orthodox. So I have and had no sense that membership of the community was related to being perfectly representative of a theology or praxis. I was part of that community and am part of this community because in both cases there was a commitment to a group of people and to a sense that this was the place to live out my Christian life.

On the positive side I would want to say that there was a great love for Christ among many people I worshipped and lived with. Some had a great knowledge of the Scriptures, though that had become rarer. There was a general desire to be more holy, more Christ-like, more devout. I would not wish to suggest otherwise, and though there were inter-personal issues in that community, there are such issues everywhere.

But there was much which even then I found missing. For most people, and certainly in the public teaching of the community, we had no spirituality beyond the daily scripture reading and brief prayer. (Though I do not doubt that there were some elder folk who were earnest in intercessions and loved the Scriptures). We rejected fasting, liturgy, saints, all sacraments and the particular priesthood. Indeed while I was there we had no full time ministers. I cannot remember praying even the Lord's Prayer there, and the one occasion the Apostles Creed was said together was when I was leading a service. We had no knowledge of any fathers at all, and Luther was considered an early Brethren figure, although had anyone visited a Lutheran Church they would probably have been horrified.

So I suffered from the loss of all these things, despite the love of Christ which was there, and I think we all suffered.

Because we were functionally congregational we also had the tendency to form interest groups and agitate for change in our direction. There was no overarching Tradition to prevent this. If you could get it approved by a majority then it would often change as desired. I have seen this in my own parents-in-laws church, a Baptist one, where a vote took place to allow church membership without the requirement of having been baptised - and this is a Baptist Church! The vote was defeated by one vote but I am sure it will come back. Indeed in the years I have known it the whole community has changed out of recognition, as did my own Brethen assembly. Not because of a lack of love for Christ, but because the democratic vote is the arbiter of theology and spirituality. Not a patristic consensus but a democratic one.

But many of us were looking for something more, and I have to say deeper, because that was a word we used. Self-help books that offered everything in three easy stages were not satisfying!

What am I saying? I think I am saying that while I will not judge any of those I shared my life with then, I can judge the system in which we lived, because we also judged it as defective. But I began the journey to Orthodoxy while I was there. I did not one day cease to be Brethren and become Orthodox. I was a Brethen on the way to becoming Orthodox for many years, and then someone on the outside of Brethrenism still following an unclear pilgrimage, and then only after many years did I become Orthodox while still becoming Orthodox every day. The journey does not end.

I wonder then if our Generous Orthodoxy is a communion of those on the same journey. Are we fellow pilgrims with all others who are looking for the same Kingdom? Perhaps we start from different places along the way? Perhaps others are still on the side roads but are walking towards the straight and narrow way? Should we be asking where folk are heading rather than where they have come from or where they presently are?

Just a 2p worth.

Peter
Quote


Messages In This Thread
A Generous Orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 15-07-2007, 03:52 PM
[] - admin - 15-07-2007, 05:01 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-07-2007, 12:42 PM
[] - admin - 19-07-2007, 08:59 PM
On Transcending Divisions - Rick Henry - 20-07-2007, 12:57 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 20-07-2007, 01:56 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-07-2007, 04:38 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 20-07-2007, 10:05 PM
[] - admin - 21-07-2007, 09:48 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 21-07-2007, 03:42 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 22-07-2007, 01:24 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 22-07-2007, 03:13 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-07-2007, 12:04 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 23-07-2007, 11:30 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-07-2007, 01:32 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 23-07-2007, 03:52 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 24-07-2007, 01:19 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 25-07-2007, 08:27 AM
[] - admin - 25-07-2007 11:10 AM
Re: a generous orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 25-07-2007, 07:29 PM
Thank You - Rick Henry - 25-07-2007, 08:21 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 26-07-2007, 09:35 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 26-07-2007, 02:46 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 26-07-2007, 04:23 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 27-07-2007, 03:59 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 28-07-2007, 11:25 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 01-08-2007, 02:11 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 01-08-2007, 03:24 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 02-08-2007, 08:37 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 02-08-2007, 11:21 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 02-08-2007, 12:09 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 03-08-2007, 08:31 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 03-08-2007, 02:54 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 03-08-2007, 03:46 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-08-2007, 10:37 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 04-08-2007, 11:26 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-08-2007, 12:21 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 07-08-2007, 02:15 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 02:57 PM
[] - admin - 07-08-2007, 04:04 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 05:06 PM
[] - admin - 07-08-2007, 07:38 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 07:44 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-08-2007, 12:28 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 08-08-2007, 12:38 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-08-2007, 01:55 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 09-08-2007, 02:40 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 10-08-2007, 01:56 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 10-08-2007, 08:43 PM
Re: A Generous Orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 11-08-2007, 02:17 PM
Love - John Charmley - 11-08-2007, 04:38 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 13-08-2007, 08:35 AM
God is Love? - John Charmley - 13-08-2007, 12:00 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-08-2007, 05:35 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 14-08-2007, 04:30 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-08-2007, 02:59 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 15-08-2007, 04:18 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-08-2007, 06:41 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 15-08-2007, 09:42 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 16-08-2007, 09:02 AM
Judgement - John Charmley - 16-08-2007, 01:35 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-08-2007, 04:21 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 18-08-2007, 12:23 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Love - John Charmley - 23-08-2007, 05:54 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-12-2007, 10:15 PM
Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-12-2007, 04:42 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 11-12-2007, 02:24 PM
Rubber and road - John Charmley - 12-12-2007, 05:47 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 13-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Generosity - John Charmley - 13-12-2007, 11:18 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-12-2007, 01:34 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-12-2007, 01:46 PM
To believe on Him? - John Charmley - 17-02-2008, 07:18 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-02-2008, 09:58 PM
[] - John Charmley - 19-02-2008, 06:31 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-02-2008, 12:39 PM
[] - John Charmley - 23-02-2008, 04:50 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 24-02-2008, 01:15 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-04-2008, 01:36 PM
Ecclesiastical communities - John Charmley - 08-04-2008, 04:48 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-04-2008, 02:58 PM
[] - John Charmley - 10-04-2008, 08:50 PM
Part II - John Charmley - 10-04-2008, 09:15 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 11-04-2008, 01:28 PM
[] - John Charmley - 11-04-2008, 03:32 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 12-04-2008, 08:46 AM
[] - John Charmley - 12-04-2008, 12:14 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2008, 03:42 PM
[] - John Charmley - 14-04-2008, 01:54 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-04-2008, 12:07 PM
[] - John Charmley - 15-04-2008, 09:09 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 18-04-2008, 09:48 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 18-04-2008, 12:16 PM
[] - John Charmley - 18-04-2008, 02:16 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-04-2008, 01:42 PM
[] - John Charmley - 20-04-2008, 02:40 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-04-2008, 06:04 PM
[] - John Charmley - 26-04-2008, 11:05 AM
Lest Foundationalism is Dead: - Rick Henry - 28-04-2008, 02:55 PM
[] - admin - 28-04-2008, 07:19 PM
[] - John Charmley - 30-04-2008, 07:04 PM
Transition/Transformation? - Rick Henry - 01-05-2008, 10:53 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 27-05-2008, 02:23 PM



Twitter: britishorthodox | Contact: info@britishorthodox.org | © The British Orthodox Church 2012 all rights reserved