Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's not arrogant to simply be correct

Something that occured to me today...

Orthodox are sometimes castigated over what is seen as sheer arrogance - particularly the audacity to claim that we are the Church that Jesus founded and that we have the lone claim to the fullness of the Faith.

And, I can kinda see where that viewpoint comes from - when you come from a viewpoint that has the truth being like shards in a broken mirror, and when you put it all together you get the whole truth, it's very confronting (or, at least, counter-intuitive) to have someone say 'actually, we've got the whole mirror, unbroken'. I can kinda understand why someone would say 'you think you've got a mirror, nuh, no way.'

But real practise, we don't find Orthodox beating their chest or waving pom-poms saying 'we've got it ri-ight' or anything like that. Surely, though, one leads to the other, so why isn't this the case?

The problem here is that:
IF when you believe that you have the fullness of the Faith, and
IF you know that it's not like you made it (i.e. we believe that we got it passed on, unchanged, from Christ),
THEN any kind of decent self-reflection is going to mean that you don't consider yourself worthy of this; which means that you're going to go 'this is awesome' and love it, but it's not like you can be that triumphalistic about it.

Orthodoxy is fantastic and I love being part of it, but it's not something I can laud over people. It is something, though, that I can, with full confidence, say 'this is the Truth' - not because of me, or anything that I've done, but because this is God's religion.

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