Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Love, majesty, and might

A beloved brother in Christ who is studying at a Protestant seminary and has a wonderful Greek New Testament blog patiently puts up with me, the unworthy and sinful servant of God, Romanós, when because of my bullheadedness I sometimes collide with him in unsynchronized discussion such as the following. He wrote, and I responded.

“I really wish I could be Roman Catholic and have it all spelled out for me by the Magisterium, but I don't think Scripture will let me do that.”

This probably sounds absurd to you, but the fact that you could write what is quoted of you above exactly demonstrates that you are still, in essential outlook, a Roman Catholic. Only a Roman Catholic can protest against and resist what is untenable in his own ‘faith tradition.’

It is at this point where what can be identified by the label ‘Orthodox’ (upper case O) stands apart, and stands upon the Word of God in its plain meaning. Hence, my saying that “Orthodoxy is the heritage of all followers of Jesus.”

I am not here speaking of institutional Orthodoxy, although what I am speaking of does intersect it, as well as intersecting with the personal faith of many followers of Jesus who do not, or for reasons cannot, confess institutional Orthodoxy.

You aren’t there yet, brother, but you deserve to be, and as long as you don’t pursue your thoughts at the expense of God’s thoughts, you should make it to that destination.

Even if you do, that is still only the front porch of the Father’s House. Fortunately for us, we cannot see what’s on the other side of the front door. All that we know is that it is the gateway to the uttermost East, and the country of the King of kings of kings (blessed be He). Arrive on the front porch, and then you have placed yourself in a position to enter by the Door (see John 10:1-11), though even standing before its threshold you can choose to remain outside.

This brings to mind an incident that I witnessed in my local church years ago.

The servant of God, his grace the Metropolitan Anthony (of blessed memory), was visiting our congregation and concelebrating with our presbyters. At a point in the service, he suddenly appeared at the Royal Doors (the central gateway in the wall of ikons at the front of the temple) and cried out, “People of God! Come with us! Come with us up to Mount Tabor!” This was not part of the liturgy. This was the mighty man of God being seized by the Spirit and prophesying to the people in his charge, inviting and challenging us to “leave behind all earthly cares, so that we might receive the King of all,” and follow him and his co-disciples up to the mountain of Christ’s metamorphosis, where not He, but we, are transfigured and lifted from earth to heaven, to take on our resurrection bodies in anticipation, and with eyes renewed by the unwaning light of the risen Son of God, to see Him as He always is, glorified with the Father and the Spirit, in the company of the Law and the Prophets, One in love, majesty and might.

1 comment:

Orthocathfacingeast said...


(Comment on Met Anthony's prompting of the Spirit).

Remarkable, but not at all surprising!

Thank God that on Mount Tabor, we all take on the appearance of Christ!