Friday, January 23, 2009

C 1

Out of the blue I got an email from a man at Christ for the Nations. He found something I wrote about F.F. Bruce being instrumental in my conversion to Orthodoxy and wrote to me to find out more. I won't name him, or even put his questions here, but I will post some of my answers to his questions. I will label these blog entries "C".

Glory to Christ!
Glory Forever!

C., in reading F.F. Bruce's book, "the Canon" I first realized that there was a time when the Church didn't have a New Testament, and centuries went by before there was agreement on what books are canonical, or even if we should have a New Testament at all. In short, without his meaning to, F.F. Bruce convinced me that the Church decides which writing are Scripture, that is the Church is prior to, above, and produces Holy Scripture, not the other way around.

I understand what you mean about seeking more reverent worship. I am the son and grandson of Pentecostal preachers. I visited Christ for the Nations with my parents in 1977, when I was a child.

Everyone in Orthodoxy will rejoice when you become Orthodox (and you probably will. Few begin the journey from Pentecostalism to Orthodoxy without completing it.) but you should be prepared to lose a lot of your Protestant friends. They will think you have become a heretic or a legalist. Some will think you are not even a Christian anymore. Without becoming angry or feeling abandoned you will need to count it as part of the cost of following Jesus.

I don't know anything about you, but if I may make one more recommendation, follow the advice of one of our foremost priests (in fact, he has been given the title "protpresbyter" by the bishops) Thomas Hopko. He recommends that people who want to know about Orthodoxy not attend the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. Rather, go to Vespers or Vigil services on Saturday nights. Attending the Divine Liturgy can be confusing and overwhelming, since it is really the fulfillment of the service on Saturday night. Also, more than half the Divine Liturgy is for people who are already Orthodox. You're not going to get much out of it. Stick to the Saturday night services for a while.

In Christ,


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