Friday, July 27, 2012
A Bumpy Ride on the Bosporus
You can read all about the battles and the final end of Metropolitan Jonah other places and I will not attempt to duplicate all the coverage here. Read it on GetReligion or a dozen other good sources.
What impresses me in this is how this shows the problems inherent to Orthodoxy in America. It is in many respects captive to its own culture and this resignation reveals much about the ethnic and cultural identities which work against Orthodox vitality and presence. It shows the fractures in the unity and difficulty with which the various Orthodox jurisdictions function in America. Finally it reveals that those who are attracted to Orthodoxy often find the same contradiction and paradox as those attracted to Lutheranism -- the theory of these churches is often different than the practice. It is this that has caused many disillusioned Lutherans to swim the Bosporus but when they get there they often find the same conflict between the church of the theologians and the church lived out in the parishes and jurisdictional structures. There is no church NOT in need of the reform which calls her faithful back to the sources and to reflect their core doctrine in their united practice.
I have a friend who left Lutheranism for Rome and he once admitted that what he missed most is the music of the church -- in hymn and anthem some of the greatest gifts to Christianity came from a Lutheran pen. The Church that gave birth to Bach may not be entirely comfortable with him today but the average Roman parish is even further removed from the gold standard of church music. Contradiction is all around us and you better think twice about swimming the waters of one faith or another in order to find a perfect place.