Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just who is orthodox?

I started this as a reply to comments on the last post, but it got kind of long for that, so here it is. My venting.

Thanks to Caminante and Grandmere Mimi.

Caminante asked, "Has your bishop defined what he means by that catch-all word, 'orthodoxy,'" and the answer is no.

"Orthodoxy" is one of those imprecise words that means different things to different people, even different things to the same person at different times.

There's a large element of personal judgment in making calls on another person's orthodoxy.

Who decides what is orthodox? If it's defined as "the way it's always been done," then perhaps our services should be in Latin.

If we're going to be truly Orthodox(TM), we're going to have to run things differently in this diocese.

Anyone who seems a little "funny" or different should be run out of town at the least, or burned at the stake.

There will be no guitars or praise teams (I know, many of you wouldn't miss praise teams!) in church if it is truly orthodox. No prayer ministers ready to lay hands on parishioners after they take Communion. None of that is part of the traditional, orthodox Catholic-Anglican way of running a service. No female deacons or priests - remember that, ye women clergy who cling so desperately to the Orthodox(TM) pretension. A number of your Orthodox(TM) brethren just can't wait to get rid of you.

The Diocese of Central Florida honchos pride themselves on "orthodoxy," yet the charismatic/evangelical/fundamentalist strain of Anglicanism they practice is not orthodox Anglicanism, for all their calls to orthodoxy.

The ironic thing is, Jesus was NOT orthodox. He constantly outraged the Orthodox(TM) religious community of his day. He ministered to the lepers, the tax collectors, the castaway women, the gentiles. He took them as his Apostles and disciples — there's a thought. Jesus let his disciples eat the show bread. He healed on the Sabbath (shocking!).

Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, to minister to us after he was gone from the Earth. Yet, some of the "orthodox" would deny the Spirit's work among us, because the Holy Spirit is no more orthodox than Jesus was.

And, as for making judgments about who's a "real" priest or bishop, or Christian, what does the Holy Spirit say to that? What did Jesus say about making those kind of judgments?


Felida said...

Isn't there something in the ordination that involves chrism and the words "you are a priest forever"?

If someone wants to renounce their priestly vows, fine. But the chrism remains, just as baptism remains even if a person wishes to renounce it as "not real".

Saint Pat said...

Felida, I don't see anything with those specific words in the BCP. Perhaps Padre Mickey, MadPriest or one of our other priestly visitors may have more insight on that - I'm not an expert on ordination vows.

We are all marked as Christ's own at baptism. Paul says we are all members of a royal priesthood.

Certainly, there no term limit implied in the ordination of a priest.

During the service for new ministry, the new rector is presented with water, oil, stole, BCP, keys and a Bible as symbols of his/her service and role in the parish and larger church.

The new rector is also presented with the Constitution and Canons of this Church,and told to obey them and share in the councils of the diocese.

The new minister then kneels in the middle of the church and says, "O Lord my God, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; yet you have called your servant to stand in your house, and to serve at your altar. To you and to your service I devoted myself, body, soul and spirit. Fill my memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten my understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and may all the desires of my heart and will center in what you would have me do. Make me an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to my care, and grant that I may faithfully administer your holy Sacraments, and by my life and teaching, set forth your true and living Word. Be always with me in carrying out the duties of my ministry. In prayer, quicken my devotion; in praises, heighten my love and gratitude; in preaching, give me readiness of thought and expression; and grant that, by the clearness and brightness of your holy Word, all the world may be drawn into your blessed kingdom. All this I ask for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Paul (A.) said...

Maybe Felida can explain what "after the order of Melchizedek" means, then we'll all be on the same page.

But if I understand you correctly, Pat, you define "orthodox" = "pharisaical".

That makes it simple.