Monday, November 12, 2007

My Search For the First Church and Other Reasons I Became Orthodox

In order to continue the story I began in my previous post it is important for me to include some background information. My unique journey to the Eastern Orthodox faith can be attributed to many factors. I don't feel I need to prove Orthodoxy or that I could even try. My goal is to tell my story.

I was raised in the Protestant tradition (Methodist and Baptist respectively.) In my teens I became serious about my faith. While studying the Protestant reformation in high school I developed an interest in Church history. I loved studying Martin Luther and the reformation. I made the study of theology my hobby. I loved the who, what, where, when, and why of what I believed. This attitude of searching for the "reasons why" would be vital in my conversion.

Orthodoxy was unaffected by the work of my beloved Luther's reformation. It is something completely different (a bit of history that is interesting to study.) It has actually been said that Luther and his followers might not have started the reformation if he had known more about Orthodoxy. It was both culturally and geographically removed from Europe and the reformation. It is neither Catholic nor Protestant and is it's own entity, Orthodoxy.

So many factors led me to Eastern Orthodoxy. Along with my love of theology I also had an interest in the worship of the First Church. I had read a series of Christian fiction books set in the first century. I began to speculate, much like the author, about what the first church was truly like.

Orthodox worship isn't traditionally held in a living room accompanied by an accoustic guitar. As I said in my previous post I thought I was looking for an independent non-denominational church. Interestingly in the 70's and 80's a group of Campus Crusade for Christ leaders also embarked on this quest. They would find Holy Orthodoxy. I cannot tell their story as well as they can, I highly reccomend Fr. Peter Gillquist's book Becoming Orthodox. It tells their story.

In January 2007 I set out on my quest to find a new church. I visited several Protestant denominations. As I was searching I found myself drawn to what I called a more "traditional" style of worship. This attraction to liturgical worship would also lead the way to my conversion.

The conditions were perfect for me to discover Orthodoxy. My knowledge of Orthodoxy was rudimentary to say the least, but I was ready to find it. It was nothing like I expected, which is much like the paradox that is Christianity itself. It was perfect, and it is the first church I was searching for.


Susan Cushman said...

Telling stories is always more effective than trying to prove things, and your story is quite compelling so far. Keep writing! I'm enjoying your blog.

Meribeth said...

I second what Kh. Susan says and I love stories! I am all ears...well, eyes. I look forward to learning more about you and from you.
MB, your GM

elizabeth cameron said...

i linked you on my new cameron family blog, because you much better at telling stories than i. i take the pictures.

Laurin said...

So glad I found your blog! good to read about you and what is going on in your life :).

~Laurin Boeving