Now this is a difficult topic for me. See I find myself at a crossroads with the idea of Orthodoxy, and I am having a challenging time finding a way forward on even the most meagrely of established paths. Here’s my dilemma. I think Orthodoxy has a place in Christian thought, and I think that it is still valuable today as we see ways to move forward in that faith. However, I think that there are well argued, well thought out positions of faith that are emerging, or re-emerging that ought to be reconsidered and should certainly not be dismissed because they are not orthodox.
In short, I do not want to dismiss orthodoxy, however I also believe we are free to thoughtfully challenge and overturn it when needed.
What I tend to find in conversation is one side or the other of that debate. Either a total adherence to orthodoxy (usually a specific one is stated at that point; Reformed Orthodoxy, Catholic Orthodoxy, Russian Orthodoxy, what have you). Or there is a total dismissal of Orthodoxy. If you go one way you are labeled a heretic, if you go the other way you are labeled out of touch. But what if you want to walk a middle ground? Am I then heretically out of touch? Maybe.
And If I am going to be labeled as such well then fine. I am honestly ok with that labeling, I feel like everyone I hear talking about these issues is so into labeling that the labels have become just about as meaningless to me as Klingon, a language I do not know and have no intent to learn. but I also want to be honest with you about how I feel standing over here thinking of walking out into this sparsely trodden jungle; I’m scared. I’m scared that my thoughts will have no relevance to anyone but me. I’m scared I will loose even more friends as I journey farther from these paths, I’m scared that I am wrong.
I feel like I am standing on a cold Wisconsin road, somewhere in the Northwoods; to my right is a group of friends holding Hot-Coco, Amish quilts, and John Piper books, beckoning me to come and warm myself in the glow and tradition of Orthodoxy; While on my left there is another group of friends holding Irish Coffee, Finger-Knitted stocking caps, and Rob Bell books, reasoning with me to come and warm myself in the environmentally conscious glow of progressive thought.
But my path lies somewhere between them, and it looks cold, and dark, and lonely. Jesus was a man of many sorrows, must I be to follow him? This is a question that haunts me. Jesus was often found alone in quite places, was this because he was a meditating praying guru of faith, or because his path felt lonely too? And those quiet places became his comfort, his warmth. Maybe it was both.