Why I Converted to Orthodoxy

This past Saturday ("Bright Saturday" in Orthodoxy) I was officially Baptised and Chrismated into Orthodox Christianity at St. Ksenia of St. Petersburg's Russian Orthodox Church. This is a culmination of a couple of years reconsidering the Evangelical Protestant faith of my childhood, and I decided to share my reasoning.

I was convinced to look more closely into Orthodoxy for three reasons:

1. The Beauty and Naturalness of the Liturgy, Art, and Holy Days.

The Orthodox Church strives for timeless, transcendent beauty in it's liturgy and art; while all too often Protestant churches strive for mere fashionability.

Add in the feasts and fasts, and Christianity easily becomes part of the natural tempo of life, rather than simply being for Sundays, Easter, and Christmas, with the other 312 days of the year dedicated to secularism.

Of course this is not an exclusively Orthodox virtue--it's shared to at least a certain extent with Lutherans, High-Church Anglicans, and the Roman Catholics; in fact a Catholic blogger (John C. Wright) was a major influence on me in this area, but it is something sadly lacking from the Evangelical traditions.

Reading more about the "High-Church" traditions left me feeling that there was something missing from the churches of my childhood, which started my journey towards Orthodoxy.

2. Authority versus Radical Individualism.

Protestantism has embraced a form of radical individualism in it's attitude towards truth, doctrine, and morals. But if we must each come to our own conclusions about the tough questions that leaves only two possibilities:

  1. Universal direct Spiritual guidance, aka: everyone's a prophet. But those people who do claim such a gift of prophecy are often the most contradictory to each other and to mainline Protestantism.

  2. Each man follows his own intellectual reasoning. But, forgive me for being a little arrogant here: I'm am very, very intelligent, and enjoy reading moral and philosophical works; if independent reasoning is the important factor, then I should have been closer to the truth than nearly everyone, but an honest appraisal of my own thoughts and history shows that it took me years to figure out fairly basic questions. One man alone, no matter how smart, can not develop a full system of Christian morals and doctrines by himself.

If neither universal prophecy nor independent reasoning can lead us to the truth, or at least not to anything approaching the full truth, then the question is not "what opinions to hold", but rather "what authority or authorities can I trust to inform and shape my opinions".

3. Standing Against Political Correctness.

In reading various writers on social subjects, while many writers from all parts of Christianity and beyond held views I could agree with, I found myself agreeing with writers from a relatively little known faith tradition far more often than I would have expected. (In particular I should mention David Scott Klajic who writes at American Dad, but he was far from alone)

I found myself wondering why both clergy and laymen, of this relatively small and little-known [in the west] sect was so over-represented among Christians who actually where willing to take a stand against the abuses of Political Correctness. Perhaps this was the Church that had a rightful claim to authority?

Conclusion

There where various other issues I've looked at over the last year or two--the Bishop of Rome, Church History, Ecumenical Councils, Sola Scriptura, etc.--but these three factors are what originally got me through the door of my local parish a year and a half ago, and laid the foundation of my decision to convert last week.

Categories: Religion
Date: 2017-04-27 03:20:55, 61 days ago

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