Note: I first wrote this essay back in April of 2017. I am posting it publicly today.
In my last post, which may have caught some people by surprise, I said I was leaving Lutheranism, and was in the process of becoming Eastern Orthodox. Tomorrow, (4/30, Myrrh-bearers Sunday), I will officially be made a catechumen.
But why? Why am I becoming Eastern Orthodox? But first, I want to explain why am I leaving. I was very upset with the liberalism in the ELCA. Many of its churches, and pastors have departed from historic Christian orthodoxy. Another part is healing, I want to be apart of a church that takes biblical, and sacramental miracles seriously, so that (I pray) I will be healed from my wounds, and illnesses. I don’t think Lutheranism can offer me those things.
Being high church, I loved the Lutheran Mass, and receiving the Body, and Blood of Christ every Sunday. I seek the sacraments regularly as a high church Christian. Eastern Orthodoxy has a lineage of bishops going back to the Apostles, and has valid sacraments, or mysteries, with a beautiful ancient liturgy. The Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy will continue to provide me with these things that I found in Lutheranism.
So now, why am I becoming Eastern Orthodox? The main reason is actually quite simple, the true reality of the incarnation, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In my post about my journey to Lutheranism, I laid the stress about how God became man (fully divine, and fully human), Jesus Christ, through the incarnation in the Virgin Mary (Theotokos, pray for us). God came to Earth as Jesus to make a way to save us. Orthodoxy takes this, and gives it a shot of energy booster so to speak.
In Orthodoxy, the incarnation is a very important reality. It actually happened, as in it is a historical theological fact. Jesus, who is both God, and man, came to Earth, born of the Virgin Mary, and conducted an Earthly ministry, before being betrayed, arrested, and crucified to death. In, and before his death, Jesus lived like we did, in a sinful, and sick world, and experienced the reality of what we frail humans call life.
Yet, death couldn’t hold Jesus back. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead in victory over Satan, and death. By the victory of His resurrection, Jesus redeemed humanity, and made a way to have a relationship with God again. This completed the process of the incarnation started.
And this is why I am becoming Eastern Orthodox. I know in my heart, God truly became man. This man was Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity. And I know he truly lived a human life, was crucified, died, and rose again to save humanity.
I know because of my baptism, I am a Christian. And because of my baptism, I desire to follow what’s true, and right. The theological liberalism in the ELCA has undermined both the incarnation, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Since Orthodoxy places renewed emphasis on both these true historical facts, I know it is true, and therefore I seek to become Orthodox. Orthodoxy has not departed from these true facts, which many Lutheran churches have sadly done.
I hope this better explains where I’m coming from. This move has been a long time coming, and I know in 10 weeks time, it will good to be welcomed home to the the original church of the Holy Apostles.