Our path to Orthodoxy
March 8, 2010
I’ve been working on an introductory post, but it’s getting too long to be of any benefit to anyone. For now I will attempt a brief overview.
Both my husband and I are from devout Protestant backgrounds and we both have found these experiences lacking. David has felt this way for as long as he can remember, and he went through a very intense period of cognitive dissonance shortly before we began attending Liturgy. In fact it was the Church that pulled him from the dark state that he was in. I’ve experienced a cognitive dissonance of sorts for the past ten years or so. This is where we were when our son was born and when we began to feel that maybe we should start attending church.
My husband initially learned about Orthodoxy through a comment made by N.T. Wright. (The particular comment is here – begins at about 35 second into the clip.) He also had noticed mention of it on one of his favorite websites, reddit. His interest was piqued. I began reading about Orthodoxy and although initially I was skeptical, in the end I was hooked.
As we read more about the early church and also the Protestant Reformation, it became clear to us that no matter what happened, we could no longer consider ourselves Protestant.
As I mentioned earlier, we never considered Roman Catholicism.
We are knowledgeable about other religions but we have never considered any of them.
We were left at a point where it was clearly either the Orthodox Church or nothing. We’ve both been down the “nothing” path before and have found it lacking. We were searching for Truth and meaning, and the “nothing” path has literally nothing to offer in this regard.
We were drawn to the mysticism of Orthodoxy. We were relieved to find that we didn’t have to try to explain God. We were accustomed to Christian traditions that try to find an answer to everything, and we personally found many of these answers wanting.
We were drawn to a church service where worshiping and communing with God is first and foremost. This was also different from the tradition we were accustomed to; a tradition of “four bare walls and a sermon.” A tradition with too much empahsis on one earthly man (whoever was preaching that day). A tradition without any visual aesthetics. A tradition which has all but forsaken the Eucharist.
We weren’t religious when we discovered Orthodoxy. But it clicked for us almost instantly. For many others I know that the conversion process takes much, much longer. That’s perfectly ok and I think it’s even a good thing. Nothing worth having comes easily, and that which is easily acquired is easily forsaken. I feel like David and I have been on the path to Orthodoxy for a long, long time – we just didn’t know it yet. Now we are starting on a new portion of this path as catechumens. It feels good and it feels overwhelming. We are so happy to be here and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Glory to Thee, O Lord, Glory to Thee.