Very honest post Herme - thanks for sharing.<quoted text>==========
One of your statements from your excellent post was
" We really as believers have no right to place the Word of God on levels of human reasoning"
This is the source of so so much of our squabbling.We being our human weakness and passions to Our God's pureness throughout history and this has resulted in hatred,power struggles , suffering, and injustice.
Christ comes into our life. He offers his pure love.We respond by seeking to dissect what He has done and Instead of entering into love and relationship with Him.
We develop entire hierarchies to acquire more and more power based on our view.
The other views become the enemy.
Then we use His gift of salvation as a weapon to hold over peoples' heads.AS human weakness often leads us to do, we get bigger and bigger and more concerned with our beliefs, selling them and defending them.Christ does not then come first.
I am talking about my church- everyone's church.
I am not Sola Scripture whatever than means nowadays, it been defined so many different ways. But I would say it is the purest form of Christ's message.As Orthodox tradition can help us if checked against the Bible.
As far as committees of men getting together to tell me what the Bible says or what the Fathers say, you must always come back to Christ before you accept it at face value.
I believe Orthodox have a tremendous advantage having the tradition but again human weakness mucks it up. Some say this is the tradition. Some say that is the tradition.
And politics and fights among the 5 sees.
We shouldnt worry. As long as we Have Christ we will always have the Light that will burn and purify His message from whatever imperfect form it is handed to us.
Anyway wonderful post Pad. Thanx.
And you are right - Self determines our actions and efforts.
It doesn't matter what description you give yourself if you can be honest enough about how you go about and act and talk of - concerning "faith and belief".
Peace and light to you and yours.