Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Appeal of the Orthodox

Those of us who are familiar with Brother Nathaniel know that he is a Jew who converted to Christ. That puts him in the same category as the Apostle Paul. Nathaniel adopted the Orthodox branch of the church. I am not knowledgeable of much of their theology. I know them mostly by their art, which I find very appealing.

Two days ago, on Easter, I heard Brother Nathaniel speak on the different view his church has on the mission of Jesus. His confession of faith is the same as you would find in a Protestant church. No surprises there.

But then he said that his church emphasizes the victory of Jesus over death, a victorious Christ, Christ winning over death and evil. People of the Western church can rightly claim the same of course, but I know of no church I have been to that has his emphasis on Jesus winning over evil, like an all-powerful general, brighter than the noon day sun, as in Orthodox art.

I needed to hear this, expressed in a few words, as it was. I am going to confess something that may at first seem heretical. I am weary of being told of my sin and need of redemption.

There, I said it! I agree with all the Bible tells me on this subject. I confessed my fallen state over fifty years ago and ask God to forgive my sins each time I pray. But as a child who lived through World War II, I knew the weariness of war talk, and the longing for a happy life. I know how sweet the news of victory can be. Please, preacher, stop talking about my sin, and let me hear of God's great victory.

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