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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Modernity, Church, Tribe

These issues continue to pop up in surprising (to me) places. Priest Richard Rene over at the ecumenical-obsessed Red River Orthodox takes a stab at it. And seems to be well along the process of talking himself into jumping ship ("our newly-adopted Orthodox narrative comes into conflict with other narratives, such as those of the LGBT or feminist communities" - Father, please.)

It is modernity which is the heretical aberration, not tribalism. The Nation is coming back wherever you look. The secular State, suffering no other gods before it, must attempt to stamp out this instinct wherever it appears.

Anglo-Americans who join the Orthodox faith save their souls and lose their families and neighbors. It takes generations of extended family and community, baptized, married and buried in the Faith, to build a Local Church. I do not think America will ever have an autocephalous Local Church (notwithstanding the OCA's press releases) because America is not a real nation. Our Patriarchs may in fact be taking the long view: let's see what shakes out when the American federal state devolves into its constituent nations, then we'll see what the Church is over there.

We Anglo-Americans actually had our American Church, the Episcopal Church, formerly the Anglican Church, the Church of the English. Schismatic, un-orthodox in crucial areas, competing with every other Protestant sect, but it recited the Creed and it was "our" Church. Then it left us. A number of us became Orthodox, because we saw the issues with a Latin Church that thinks she rules the whole planet. Interestingly, the Roman Church is strongest where she actually behaves like a Local Church: Croatia, Poland, Ireland, Italy, even France (NB: Rome no longer elects French Popes).

I am in the Antiochian Archdiocese, the only member of my family in the Church. What a terrible paucity of experience not to be in communion with your own blood and kin. Let me repeat that: not to be in communion with your own blood and kin. In the old countries, they picnic in cemeteries.

All we can do is pray and hope time solves the issue for our descendants. But there are so terribly few of us.

4 comments:

Bert said...

Anti-Gnostic, what is you thoughts on the gay Church of England clergyman who broke Church laws by marrying an atheist?

Ryan Shelton said...

Good stuff here, Anit-Gnostic.

My son is the only member of my family with whom I am in communion. Neither my wife, nor my daughter, nor any of my extended family are Orthodox.

I know the pain of having my Paschal joy tarnished because my wife and daughter don't share it with me.

Irene said...

Great post...after several years of being Orthodox, I am really starting to feel this way...I love being Orthodox and still believe it is the True faith, but now that the newness is worn off, I am feeling a bit more lonely about it and feel that the Church here is simply too "new' and also competing with so much secularism, that I feel my family will be piecemealing our community together for the rest of our lives. What's also hard sometimes is that as a Protestant convert, the level of pastoral care I received as a high schooler and even in my college small group/bible study still seems superior to one Priest who spreads himself across the whole parish. While the one Priest may have more wisdom shared in 10 seconds than my high school group leader, I miss the general pastoral care available.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Thanks for stopping by Irene. Please have a look thru the 'Orthodoxy' posts by clicking thru the word cloud at the bottom. If after reading you immediately close IE, delete all your temp files and cookies and resolve never to come here again, I won't be offended.

I visited your blog and see you are hoping for another child. May God answer your prayers and bless your family.

In Christ, AG.