17 thoughts on “For Unspiritual People (Like Me)

  1. Alana: I was speaking to my priest yesterday after confession and we were talking about my Protestant upbringing. I am so grateful for Orthodoxy and how it lays the path out before us. Now I just have to rely on God and walk in that path. That is the hard part, but it is so much better than guessing what you are going to do next. I suppose I like things spelled out, but that might just be the musician in me!

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  2. Some like things spelled out and some don’t; but I suspect we all need them that way. And yes, I think protestant upbringing is a frequent topic of conversation among converts struggling with things they wish they didn’t have to deal with. You’re not alone.

    Thanks for stopping by, Pam.

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  3. C.S. Lewis: “Humans are amphibians-half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.”

    Fr. Alexander Men [the evangelical Orthodox martyr priest]: “Man is amphibious, the man-amphibian is a being who by nature is called to live on two planes, not simply biological beings; we belong to another category.”

    Hmmmmm beautiful!

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  4. Thank you Iona (or is it Lona? Sorry…)

    I’ve also heard it suggested that time is a symbol that partakes of eternity and the scriptures certainly say that the body of Christ is a spiritual body. So what you are describing is I think further along than a lot of us get to! But there’s further to go yet, if I understand.

    I’ve never heard of Fr. Alexander Men; I’ll have to look him up.

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  5. Your words ring true to the point where they seem to create a divide between the systematic and holistic aspects inherent in Orthodox Christianity and all other Christianities.

    We can be thankful for what we have accepted from our holy and pious ancestors in the faith and from the saints with whom we are living and working out our salvation today, and we can also praise them.

    The opportunity lies in our invitation extended to those who haven’t yet “seen the true Light… received the heavenly Spirit… found the true faith.” This is no scolding, but an invitation to greater love,

    that greater love which causes us to lay down our lives for our brothers. And who are our brothers? People even closer to us than our neighbors, and yet even between them we draw no distinction.

    We are all met by Christ Himself, regardless of whether we are Orthodox or not, even Christians or not. We are all met by Him and offered eternal life, by the Savior of the world who did not let his divinity overwhelm his humanity.

    In the same way, sister, let’s walk together in the seamless faith which confesses no tear, moving through the world as the One Body of Christ wearing his undivided garment, that which soldiers wagered to win.

    “He who does not gather with Me, scatters,” says the Lord Jesus Christ, who does not notice anything about us other than our need. Just as you have said, we are unspiritual. The Spirit in us must take us to Himself.

    The sheep who were wandering aimlessly without a shepherd have been gathered and are being gathered by the Shepherd of souls, who is presenting us to His Father, the heavenly King.

    Come let us worship, and fall down before Yahweh our Maker, for we are the people He pastures, the flock that He guides. Keeping our eyes on Jesus, following Him closely, other sheep follow, if only we give them room.

    My dear friend and sister in the Lord, Mary Lona, is who wrote the comment above, just for your information.

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  6. I am not comfortable with talk of “other Christianities”, Romanos, any more than I would be comfortable with talk of “other Christs” if the Christ meant was a different version of the same Christ.

    There is only one Christ and only one Church, and those who believe in Christ are Christian only to the extent that they partake in Orthodox Christianity.

    Those who destroy souls in the name of Christ get no slack with me. Those who follow them in sincerity I have great tenderness for. I don’t think this is going to change any time soon; I am no authority but this is what I have learned and where I believe the truth lies in so far as I can grasp it.

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  7. Lona, I’m glad you came by and I was not addressing any criticism to you. I know that’s all you said and I understand why you would appreciate Romanos’ viewpoint and friendship.

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  8. I have already stated over and over again at my blog that I do not accept the notion of a divided Church; there is only one. I have recently written at my blog that those who do not speak the word of Jesus are not the Church; that covers all those whom you describe as destroying souls in the name of Christ. I am no stranger to the ravages of such serpents, as my own life and hopes have been brutally crushed by the effects they have worked on my wife and family. I am waiting for the Lord’s mercy and have only the cross of Christ to cling to. But though my own life has been trampled by these beasts, what time I have left I will spend in passing on to others the love and the welcome I have received and still receive from Christ, who is still carrying my broken life in His tender arms. Everything that I am and have is placed at the disposal of the One who seeks the salvation of all mankind. I want my acts and even my words to hold open to all the door to paradise that was opened to me, the thief and sinner. I do not notice as I cannot combat the destroyers of souls: the Lord has long since vanquished them. My goal is only to protect the weak and wounded, and to help them find salvation and paradise, following Him who has gone ahead of us to prepare a place in Himself for us. I have no quarrel with your soul, and nothing to answer you, for you have found the haven of safety to which you were headed. Your young life has not yet had to face things that I hope you never have to face, nor met with circumstances to which you can see no solution yet must accept with trust that counters ordinary human reason. We cannot put all our trust in the words that fill our minds or fall from our lips, though they too have their purpose and effects and mold our world. But we can put all our trust in the word of Him who is the Truth, and following His directions build our house on the Rock that He is, because outside of that, there is nothing worth being or having.

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