Becoming Orthodox?

What does it mean to be orthodox?
I must confess that when I think of becoming orthodox I think of the Russian Orthodox Churches I visited while in Russia. I also think about sitting in Church History classes and discussing the first church split in 1054 — enough of that history stuff.

The thing is that orthodoxy isn’t a bad thing. Orthodoxy is simply a standard. Something that everyone agrees to in principle. What could be wrong with that?

Apparently the problem is we don’t agree or at least we think we don’t …

We exist in a culture that wants to believe everything is up for debate and can be changed if you want. BUT, there are some truths that won’t be changed. From the beginning of the church there have been disagreements and controversies. Paul spent most of his letters writing to dispel false teachings and settle arguments. Ecumenical Councils met in the early church to write some Creeds that will put down in writing the truth (or orthodoxy) of what we believe. Not everyone always agreed with what was determined as Truth and as a result people leave.

Jesus had people leave Him. Paul had people leave. Peter had people leave. The history of the church is a history of drawing a line in the sand and forcing people to choose. When did tolerance of all things become the story of the Gospel? When did tolerance replace standards? When did God’s love trump God’s holiness?

Jesus said, Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:51-53

The church today needs to rediscover it’s orthodoxy. And as we rediscover it, may we hold onto our Orthodoxy as a standard of faith using it to draw lines rather than as a club to harm and destroy.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of the Orthodox Creeds of the church.

Take time to consider what is it that you believe?

Does it match up with the standards of the faith that have been handed down to us?

And in those moments of disagreement amongst Christians can we heed these words of wisdom: In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; and in all things charity.

May your orthodoxy bring you closer to God.


I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

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