Why America Needs the Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church offers a uniqueness in the pantheon of world religions and belief systems, seemingly paradoxical at times, yet never uncertain. In a time of “situational ethics”, moral relativism, and general apathy, Orthodoxy makes a bold claim. The Orthodox Church proclaims loudly that it is the Church of the New Testament and of the Apostles, it is the Bride of Christ.
In his essay Authority and Unity, Prof. Serge Verhovskoy clearly enumerates the differences between the so-called “independent” Christian churches and the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. In his first paragraph he leaves no doubt of his intentions when he states:
Unity is of the essence of Christianity. We are not Christians if we live by ourselves. If a Christian community considers itself as independent and separated from the Church, is it not a sect? An independent parish is merely a secular corporation with religious purposes rather than a real parish.
Our fundamental reasoning capacity leads us to recognize that the Church cannot be divided, for then Christ would be divided. Logic dictates that the Holy Spirit will not contradict Himself, therefore the Church’s essential beliefs must be consistent. Further, deviation of these essential beliefs causes schism, or worse, introduces heresy, which leads to an irreparable rending of the Garment of Christ.
Today, America has become more than the proverbial “melting pot”, it has become a land that is disjointed, fractured, and dissonant. The youth are becoming corrupt from a decadent society, filled with delusions of entitlement and lack of responsibility. As the Church, or any religious systems for that matter, are marginalized, a gaping void remains, waiting to be filled with unsavory and unscrupulous hedonistic practices and belief systems. With alarming rapidity, each new generation seeks to “outdo” the previous generation in its proclamations of freedom from the “old ways” – old religions, old societal conventions, old definitions of gender, marriage, and family.
The antidote to this selfish age is to become ‘self-less’ and to put on Christ. The love of God and neighbor pays immediate and immeasurable social benefits. Adorning ourselves in a garment of chastity and righteousness reduces crime, strengthens the family, quells anger and violence. The adoption of a true Orthodox and Christ-loving way of life is not merely a philosophy but a true way of life, seeking a true equality that socialism and communism can only dream of. The revolution in Orthodoxy is the inward struggle in the heart of each and every one of us, where the inner carnal warfare is waged in our efforts to become god-like, not in some new-age definition but in the way that our God intended for us.
A true Orthodox Christian consciousness leads to new and lasting solutions for violent crime, poverty, care for the elderly, the homeless, the orphan and the widow. Who knows, even the environmental-conscious would even be satisfied as man puts aside gluttony and arrogance with the belief that the Earth is our play thing. Orthodoxy teaches a respect for all that the Lord hath made, for He saw that it was good.
This discussion has merely scratched the surface of this topic. Let us take this to heart to transform our lives so that we may be an example to others and that the light of Christ will shine forth through us.