Sunday, November 08, 2009

Our Proverbial Week Of Creation

For months now, since leaving the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese and all of World Orthodoxy, to seek communion with the True and Genuine Orthodox Church,  I have fielded attack-comments from anonymous bloggers, and other friends and acquaintances, many assuming that, because we left our local Antiochian Orthodox Church, and all of World Orthodoxy, we must be without a church, without a priest, and drifting aimlessly in the sea of spirit-barren apostasy. The erroneous presumptuousness of such comments is glaring, considering we have not posted specifics of our day-to-day, Sunday-to-Sunday activities, until now...

The fact is that, since day one, we have met as a family in our home for regular daily prayers as we began a specific search for a Genuine and True Church with which to be in communion. 

By the proverbial day two, we had made contact with several priests in several Communions. 

By day three, we had followed the leading of Holy Spirit to enter specific dialogue with a specific priest in a specific communion. Under the priest's guidance and blessing, and with the knowledge of the Bishop, we began using the Typica Reader's Service for regular Sunday worship, and quickly added a full Matins service; our time in prayer and worship being about 1 1/2 hours. We had an advantage over some in our position due to the fact that my wife was well-versed in the Byzantine chant having been a chanter-in-training on the chanter's team, and my daughters had either sung in the choir or had attended chanter's classes. We treated the layman's Matins and Typica, the "Service Without a Priest," with commitment and reverence, rising early, dressing in our most presentable clothes, and shutting out all outside distractions. 

By day four, we began a thorough catechism, talking with the priest by phone and video conference, once, and sometimes twice a week. 

As the sun rose on day five, we had set a date, time, and place for our baptisms.

On day six, occurring on Sunday, November 29th, 2009, my wife and our two daughters and I will have entered the Church through holy baptism and chrismation.  

On day seven, we will rest in knowing that the continuing theosis of our souls will be sheltered in the arms of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Our proverbial 7-day-week will have taken only 7 months. 

Thanks be to God for His faithfulness and long-suffering toward us. Thanks be to God for giving us the peace and fortitude to endure the transition which included malicious, and always uninformed attacks from our former "brothers" and "sisters", many of whom, evidently are the anonymous bloggers. I am thankful for all who have persecuted us in having allowed us the opportunity to practice the principle of praying for those who falsely accuse and who spitefully use us. My prayer list has increased with each proverbial day.

With our entrance into the Church, we will continue to worship Holy Trinity, working out our salvation with fear and trembling. and adhering to the Faith of Our Fathers:

Julian (old) Calendar 
+ Holy Tradition 
+ The Seven Ecumenical Councils 
+ the Holy Scriptures 
+ the Holy Fathers 
= Holy Orthodoxy.

Whether it be the Lewis' family alone or should we unite in worship and work with other like-minded people in this prosperous Middle Tennessee community, we are assured that,

"Where two or more are gathered in my name there will I be also."


  1. Debbie Espen4:11 PM

    I don't wuite understand... does this mean you are not affiliated with any established orthodox church and are instead independent?

  2. No, Debbie, we are affiliated with an established orthodox church. The Genuine and True Churches make up about 10-20% of the Orthodox churches across the world. I will write more on our specific decision and what jurisdiction after our baptism. Good to hear from you!

  3. Anonymous9:37 AM

    You say that you've been maliciously attacked by your former "brothers" and "sisters", but do you realize that you have discredited three of our Sacraments and you directly bashed our priest? What did you expect to happen? That we'd all just tell you to do what you think is best? Hardly. I'm sorry that you feel like you're being attacked, but you shouldn't expect anything less.
    Also, being "independently Orthodox" isn't really a thing. It's good that you are praying together, but you shouldn't substitute it for a Church. Yes Christ said that if only two gathered in His name that He would be among them, but that doesn't replace an actual church. You can't base your whole worship on that one sentence. Just like you can't take on verse of the Bible and base your faith on it or use it to your advantage. You must take it as a whole into effect and you must understand what the whole message is before you use a singe verse.

  4. “Bashed our priest?” If the definition of "bash" is, “to hurl harsh verbal abuse at,” then I challenge you to go to the post where I have done that, copy the section, and paste it here in the comments. In fairness, it would also be balanced to copy the portion of my posts where I commend our former priest, his heart and spirit, including his kindness toward us. What I did do was point out his own, stated, confusion, concerning the application of baptism to converts and revealed my discovery of a common threat throughout all World Orthodoxy. That is neither “bashing” nor “besmirching”, as another as accused. I have also spoken to the "Frog In Boiling Water" syndrome, that allows a priest or parishioner to remain with a heretical Bishop regardless of what they do. Also, why do you assume we are acting Independently? I have stated here exactly what we are doing under the authority of our priest in an Orthodox jurisdiction. Why is there a "Reader's Service In The Absence of A Priest," if it is not wholly sanctioned by the Church for such use? This is not a substitute for the church, it is a function of the church. You are not privy to our day-to-day activities other than what we have shared on this blog. Be careful not to presume to the point of false witness. The “two or three are gathered scripture,” obviously means, I would rather be in communion with two or three who haven't compromised the faith than with a thousand who have. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Anon, Another point: I don't categorize your post as "maliciously attacked". I appreciate your ability to put forth an argument in civil discourse. You are not, however, totally privy to the personal indictments, name-calling, predictions of my demise and that of my family, assumptions and presumptions of our character and attitudes, that we have endured. If I am not mistaken, we are not to do that even to our enemies. We pray for them. Again, this is different than defending the faith or expressing loyalty to your local church or priest. That I do expect. I have posted almost all of the attack comments, save one, that was too vile for publishing. Again, I thank you for this discourse with you and would hope that you would come out of the shadow of the anonymous. It's much more challenging in the light.

  6. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Many years to you on your baptism in a few weeks! Baptism is truly a wonderful and blessed experience.

    Andrew (a fellow convert to the Genuine Orthodox Church)

  7. Andrew, how refreshing, timely and gracious are your words! Thank you! I would love to hear your story and become acquainted with you. Please feel free to e-mail me if you wish.

  8. Debbie Espen10:44 PM

    I think I get it now. I found Am I on the right track?

  9. Debbie, the link you posted is one of the "genuine" jurisdictions. I will be more specific concerning the jurisdiction with which we are in communion, at a later date.

  10. Nathan,

    It truly and powerfully fills my heart with joy to know that November the 29th is near approaching. I was with you when you left and saw some of the struggle you endured. And I share in your joy now knowing that you are closer to the goal.

    You'll never know how positively you have affected my life in Christ and how much I've always valued your insight and friendship. I've always trusted you and trusted that you follow God regardless of what men say about you. It is very inspiring. And though I hate so many people have thrown insults at you, I am sure it has helped you in your journey to the truth and, with sincere hope, has loosened the hearts of those insulting you to see the plight of Ecumenism and spiritual pride.

    I trust a man who follows God amidst persecution and does so with humility and grace over all the priests, preachers, and established religions in the world. I want you to know that I see in your replies to your critics and attackers a very humble Christ-like spirit. So few are able to handle conflict or persecution well. I have seen you do so and thank you for choosing God so that He may do such a work in you that has enabled you to follow the truth and face those who try to harm you gracefully.

    Israel has always killed it's own prophets. Men who would trust men rather than God shall fail. The gate is small and the way is narrow.

    I am a most inconsistent person. I have never quite been able to keep myself dedicated to anything except an abstract understanding of God's way that becomes clearer as He makes it known to me. I raise my sails, but am often tossed to and fro before the Paraclete sets me straight. But earlier this year, I believe that God set a few things straight in my life and I would love to tell you about them. If you should like, I will make time for it when in Nashville next time, God willing.

    I'm working on a film series based on the Sermon on the Mount. Would love to show that to you, too.

    So, again, I rejoice with you and pray God's blessings upon you and your family. And I look forward to hearing more.

  11. Rex, You are a man after God's own heart. Your words are encouraging and powerful. I will take them with me into this unsurpassed weekend. I do look forward to talking with you more.


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