My flowery overly poetic embrace of the Orthodox Church just before I joined. convertitis? for sure :P

 On Old Calender Palm Sunday (New Calender Easter, or the
Easter I would be celebrating were I continuing in the
Methodist tradition or transferring into the Roman Catholic
tradition), I will be embracing the Orthodox Church.
 
IMHO, God's grace is found in many different places of the
world, sometimes of a person of a Buddhist faith, in a
person of a Protestant background, in a person of Roman
Catholic background... and I believe the Holy Spirit is
present in much of the non-Orthodox world...
 
*However* - for myself, I could not become strictly
Buddhist, for it is not in my historical background, and the
amount of changes required in my faith would require
the change of a knowledge of God into a belief of the
worthiness of acheiving union with something like The Force
of Star Wars mythology.
 
And that was tempting, and it was almost okay.
 
And I was drawn towards many Protestant denominations,
especially towards the older of Anglicanism, and some of the
outward love of the Baptists.
 
And that was tempting, and it was almost okay.
 
And I was drawn towards the Roman Catholic Church, as it
showed me much ritual and much of the darker side of being a
Christian, something that I hadn't learned as a Methodist.
 
And if the Orthodox Church wasn't shown to me, I would have
joined the Roman Catholic Church.
 
But, perhaps through God's grace and infinite Mercy, I have
been shown the way to the Orthodox Church.
 
After a life of transformation and structure and change and
becoming more worthy of God's grace, would I have been
denied Heaven after my rebirth on my dying day?  If I had
led a life in a Buddhist faith or denomination as fully as I
could, I would hope that God's graces would be with me.
 
But having been shown the Truth of the Orthodox Church, it
is the only religious path I can authentically follow.  It
is so foreign, so new to me in so many ways... and yet, the
worship can be taking place no where else but in a
divinely inspired human representation of God's Palace,
blessed by God's graces and whose founders and
continuers guided by the Holy Trinity in so many ways...
there can *be* -no other Home- that will be right for me,
outside of the Orthodox Church.
 
Does this mean that my female Wiccan friend will be denied
Heaven?  I can't know of the truth of her heart, the love of
her heart for the Creator God (represented in Wicca as
God/Goddess)... but I have been showing her, piece by piece,
the new beauty I have seen with my own eyes in the Orthodox
Church, attempting to teach her the little I know of Icons
as Windows Into Heaven... how her Polish Catholic background
differs less from the Orthodox than it appears but how the
differences are profound...
 
She was impressed by the ancient democratic nature of the
worldwide Orthodox Church - how no one man or woman is held
as the cornerstone of the faith outside of Jesus Christ
himself... how the election process works (which I
understand in a simple fashion, and could only explain in a
simple fashion... may I be forgiven if I taught in error).
 
And, at the moment, she is the only person who is a
friend who desires to be a witness to my official embracing
of the Orthodox Church... who wants to see what I see in the
Divine Liturgy...
 
Do I wish her to "check her brains at the door" and drop
entirely the intense lessons being Wicca and an ex-Roman
Catholic has taught her?  No - these are building blocks in
a long journey.  And may the Holy Spirit be with us, with me
in my teaching of her (which is like a young child
attempting to teach another young child the finer points of
Quantum Mechanics - not a futile effort as it first
appears, for think of how futile the attempt of teaching
the fullness of God with our limited, human, childlike
understanding of his Glory?), and may the Holy Spirit
also be with her in her understanding.
 
On a more materialistic note - I have never really been able
to wear jewelry without a reason, nor T-shirts that seemed
to portray an alliance to a particular musical group...and
now - now I will *finally* have a reason to wear jewelry -
for their purpose will be as continual reminders of why I am
an Orthodox Christian, and secondarily, as a testament to
the faith of which I am embracing.
 
Any thoughts, comments, corrections?  I am so new at this
Orthodoxy, and an Orthodox or non-Orthodox, or Priest or
Bishop stanced comment would be welcomed highly by me...
even if only a private e-mail to say, "Ken, hey, you're
doin' alright" or even picking out the finer points of my
sloppy e-mail above and correcting.  Whatever is considered
love and appropriate.
 
Wishing you peace,
Kenneth Udut <kudut@ritz.mordor.com>
Listowner of the Children's Rights List <y-rights@sjuvm.stjohns.edu>
Listowner of the Minister's Discussion List <ministry@ls.csbsju.edu>

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