Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Watered Down Orthodoxy"

Actually the post title is a misnomer. There is no such thing as Watered Down Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy is Orthodox. If water is added then it ceases to be Orthodox at all.

In my two posts Why We Left...Where We Went and Do Orthodox And Baptists Have A "Similarity of Beliefs", I included discussion about the fact that the Antiochian Diocese, under Metropolitan Philip, had left adherence to the doctrines, traditions and Canons of the faith especially where it comes to the reception of converts. I mentioned that the prevailing contemporary attitude was "Come on in your water is fine", in that my family was not baptized nor even asked to show a certificate of our Southern Baptist baptism. I also pointed out that priests in the Antiochian Diocese were not consistent in their reception of converts, notably the fact that one priest in California required his former Charismatic Episcopal converts to be baptized while my local receiving priest did not. I have been the subject of sharp rebuke especially from those who feel that I have "besmirched" our former priest and "brought shame" upon our local congregation by severing our communion with Antioch while providing a statement as to why we have done so. With this in mind, I was particularly interested to see A Letter From A Sad Khouriya in which the wife of an Antiochian Priest reveals,

"Metropolitan Philip asked, in his address of the General Assembly if he betrayed us by welcoming the Evangelical Orthodox Church into the Archdiocese. As one of those former EOC members, I believe that he did betray us. Not by his encouraging us to join ourselves to the true and historical Church, but by not preparing us to truly be Orthodox. He did not prepare us for Holy Chrismation and even Ordination. None of us, that I know of, were even asked to go to confession before our chrismations. The priests and deacons were not even confessed before their ordinations. Was this an act of love and great vision? Is it loving and commendable to endanger people’s souls in this way? What kind of precedence did that convey? That confession is not important, that we don’t need to prepare ourselves to receive the blessed sacraments of the Church? The Metropolitan did not give us sponsors to help us along the road of actually becoming Orthodox. He gave us watered-down Orthodoxy."
So has this Khouriya "besmirched" or "brought shame" or is she also recognizing the Heresy of Ecumenism into which she and thousands of other Converts have been birthed? Perhaps it is the Metropolitan and the priests in communion with him who have besmirched and shamed the Church of Christ by participating in and allowing such deviation from the Faith.

It is time for the Converts of Antioch to stop defending their jurisdiction and start defending the Faith of Our Fathers. Start with following the biblical and canonical guidelines which would call for the deposing of a heretic such as Philip Saliba. Would someone, anyone, have the courage to rise up and shout, "Depose!"?

"As we walk the unerring and life-bringing path, let us pluck out the eye that scandalizes us, not the physical eye but the noetic one. For example, if a bishop who in the eyes of the Church conduct himself in an evil manner and scandalize the people, he must be plucked out. For it is more profitable to gather without him in a house of prayer, than to be cast together with him into the gehenna of fire together with Annas and Caiaphas." Saint Athanasius The Great

Once having plucked out the scandalizing bishop, go back to where the axe head fell into the water. Be baptized by triple immersion in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This water is not the watered down kind but the Sacrament that you were denied and that which will remit all sins.

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