I wanted to write this post today to talk about something that I hold very dear. I wanted to talk about my love for the Church. No, not just the people or the beautiful Orthodox buildings. But the church itself. Those who in the past have prayed, wept, and grieved giving me the heritage that I love and embrace today. I truley value those who gave their lives for what I belive and hold true.
I was thinking the other day about my niece Trinity. She is five years old and although I love talking with her on the telephone I can’t always understand what she is saying.
This same sort of thing happened to me and Paloma the other day when we were at her Doctors appointment. Dr. Choi went on to have a 20 minute conversation with us about Paloma and her lime disease, his daughter teaching in San Francisco and how Paloma should one day learn to be a good communicator as she grows older.
When we got home she said “I didn’t understand a word Dr. Choi said after the first sentence.” It was way over her head.
People say things that don’t always makes sense or come across clear. They say things that we just don’t understand. It could be from an accent, a baby learning to talk or they are speaking to us in an entirely different language. Isn’t it nice during those times when there is someone standing by to translate or interpret for you? My sister regularly has to explain to me what Trinity is trying to say over the phone. It helps to have someone who knows the person who is speaking so well that they can explain what that person is saying.
Many times the words of scripture are also hard for us to understand. In the book of Acts we read Philip asking Isaiah if he understood what he was reading. Philip replied “How can I, unless someone guides me.”
You don’t have to be a genius to see in our world that there is a lot of misunderstanding of scripture and of our Lords teachings. Some of these misunderstandings are because those who are listening just don’t speak the same language but more often than not those listening hear what they want to hear and never ask the ones who understand what Christ means about what He is saying.
“the doctrine of the Church has been under constant assault by forces inside and outside of the Church since the very beginning. But God in His wisdom did not allow for the Church to be defenseless in the face of attack. Rather than only leaving us with a written record of His wisdom, or allowing the Apostles to only leave us such a record, God allowed for the truth to be embedded within a living organization, the Church. This enabled the Church to imitate the wisdom of the Apostles. The Church did not have to rely on the written word alone to preserve God’s wisdom”. Douglas Cramer
It is a scary world we live in when there are so many who don’t truly understand the teachings of Christ but they make it their soap box and use it for their own clear conscience or to lead others astray. Interpreting scripture is not left to our own individual upbringing, narrow understanding, or even our theologically puffed up teachers. The Church has and should always be our guide.
One should not seek among others the truth that can be easily gotten from the Church. For in her, as in a rich treasury, the apostles have placed all that pertains to truth, so that everyone can drink this beverage of life. She is the door of life. St. Irenaeus of Lyons
Let us pray that as the body of Christ would hold fast to the teachings and traditions of the Church “whether in word or by letter.” (2 Thess. 2:15) and that we would not be people who are easily swayed by every wind of doctrine. (Eph 4:14)