I was close to becoming Roman Catholic. Told you my story long ago. Many things drew me into Orthodox as “most correct” but it was writings of the Desert Fathers and Theosis that held me willingly as it was the piece missing from Roman Catholic and Protestant theologies.
I’d see Theosis “in part” in Roman Catholic (I read twice through the Catechism as it was in the mid 1990s – big big book). I saw it “in part” in Quakerism (actually quite a lot in Quaker but then it was missing other things). Didn’t see it at all growing up Methodist, where I remember walking through the church (where I had a 7 day/wk after school job as janitor from age 13-18), at age 14, marveling at the sun shining through the stained glass and then having a deep sadness:
“This place needs more candles”.
But it wasn’t the physical candles. Methodist had the “Do Good, Be Good” right. But it could be replaced with a social service organization. What was missing?
Roman Catholic had the historical linkage but it had a few things clearly wrong, or rather they were “mushy” about, as if it was willing to let some things slide in order to grow its membership rolls.
But Orthodox got those missing things right.
As a social organization, Roman Catholic is better. Outreach, helping programs, service — all those things I liked from the Methodists were there in the Catholic.
It had history.
But its theology was too mushy, more akin to an Ecumenical organization than a preserver of what’s correct.
I already had the WCC (World Council of Churches) for my ecumenical sense, so that wasn’t missing for me.
But correct theology was.
So, Orthodox. It’s correct. I can go through why if you like, but it’s correct.
My sci-fi brain liked Theosis for it’s JUST how a higher dimensional being would operate in order to restore its loving project that went wrong: being akin to itsself (you shall be like us) yet distinct, willingly sharing in participation of fulfilled potentiality.
Go through the pre-schism history. The Orthodox messiness is ALWAYS how it operated even when Rome was part of the church.Aquinas and Augustine are good, No arguments there.
Organizationally, Roman Catholic is strong, although it covers up its messiness at the local Bishop/priest/parish levels.
Its relationship with world leaders has been politically strong for hundreds of years, so it has viable world power and influence.
I was mostly focused on “what’s correct” theologically, intellectually.
Organizationally, Roman Catholic has room for Eastern Christian theology too. That’s part of its modern liberal shift. I could go Roman Catholic and be “ok” with it. I’d just be shaking my head at some things I’d hear.
I was too far extreme anyhow. I sort of aligned myself with ROCOR, which was the Russian schism group – VERY strict theologically, pulled in by fantastic propaganda/public relations / sales brochures / ‘zines and online forums.
I’m glad I did – no regrets, but I had to loosen up a little later.