Orthodox Christian Faith and Our Culture

I think there is a fear (and a legitimate one) that the Orthodox faith will be coopted by people for political purposes. The Orthodox faith tends to restrain and anchor liberals among us and kick conservatives in the pants. It is not something that can be tamed to fit in one political camp or the other. There are horrors that are justified by both extremes of our political spectrum.

 
We need to have an Orthodox conversation about the things that are done in our society. We should be a prophetic voice to our culture. Instead we are remixing various protestant criticisms of our culture. Thus we find ourselves in camps where we condemn one kind of sin and find justification for why another is not worth condemning. By re-running poorly thought out heterodox issues that were really designed to polarize our political landscape (yes, deliberately designed) we have lost our unique calling of mankind to be transformed and reflect the Image of God in Whom we are created. — Fr. Steven Clark

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Cultural Wars

There are some in the Orthodox Church who seem to want to make Orthodoxy a player in the current cultural wars. The voices come at us from multiple sides. Some want us to throw away the clear historical teachings against abortion. Some want us to give our blessing to homosexuality. Some want us to battle against both of these and throw ourselves in with a group of people who have as their stated agenda to bring OT law as a sort of sheria in our land, while ignoring the problems of poverty, hunger, sickness, and soul killing greed.

We cannot change the Faith to adapt to our culture. Reacting against our culture runs the risk of getting us away from our Faith’s agenda, which is the Kingdom of God. (And there are many who would wish to co-op the Kingdom of God to one side or another of our cultural wars). We cannot say that homosexuality, nor abortion, nor greed, nor indifference to the afflicted are ok. To adopt the strategies of this world to address them will distort the Faith. We must go with what we received from the beginning and cooperate with God towards our own Theosis. Perhaps we have quoted St. Seraphim too often to hear what he is saying to us: “Acquire a spirit of peace, and thousands around you will be saved.”

Woe to the Christian Church when it will have been victorious in this world, for then it is not the Church which has been victorious but the world. – Søren Kierkegaard