I know that we’ve been back and forth over which church to attend for a while. We’ve been attending (somewhat sporadically, at first) Saint Benedict Antiochian Orthodox Church since January, 2015. Saint Benedict is one of few western rite churches within the whole of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
I think that I have finally found the church that teaches what I believe is the truth in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Like the Roman Catholic Church, it is an ancient church that teaches Scripture and Tradition. But, unlike the Roman Catholic Church, it does not teach what I consider to be excesses – such as papal infallibility. It also doesn’t demand scholastic answers for everything like the RCC does. This scholastic reasoning in the RCC has resulted in such teachings as the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mortal/venial sin definitions and requirements, and a host of other things that just about drove me mad during the time I was in the Roman Catholic Church.
It is also different from Confessional Lutheran Churches in significant ways. The Lutheran Church does not teach that Tradition is authoritative, which hardly makes sense since the New Testament didn’t even exist in the early days of the Church! The Orthodox Church also teaches free will, unlike the Lutheran Church. The Lutheran Church teaches a confusing single-predestination which is best described as follows: If you get to Heaven, it’s God’s fault; if you go to Hell, it’s your fault. Ultimately, nearly all of Lutheran doctrine is affected by this faulty doctrine.
The Eastern Orthodox Church is a sacramental church, which I think is a necessity. Like both the RCC and Lutheran Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Church believes in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. It is apostolic in both senses – bishops ordaining bishops throughout time, and in that it adheres to the apostolic teachings. It is biblical – almost all the liturgy and prayer is taken from scripture.
I’m really excited to be becoming a part of the Eastern Orthodox Church. If all goes according to plan, we will all be Chrismated in November, before Advent.
Some people go to Church because they think it makes them good While others occupy their place because they feel they should In pleasant weather some will go a little time to spend And others like to grace the place to gossip with a friend Yes, people go to Church for many reasons, some quite odd But oh, what blessing waits for those who come to worship God.
Donna and I decided to start attending church closer to home. While we weren’t unhappy with Our Redeemer, we were just getting exhausted going into Wichita Falls so much. We also felt that it would be nice to begin getting to know some people in Holliday. We officially joined Holliday First United Methodist Church on October 5th. Donna and I both are in the choir, which we enjoy. The boys have Sunday School or nursery and they seem to enjoy it. It is really nice to not have to go to a restaurant afterwards on Sunday, too. It only takes a couple of minutes to get home, so we can eat there if we want to! All in all, I think it is a good move for us. We really look forward to getting to know our new church home!
Easter Sunday and everything leading up to it was wonderful, and exhausting…
We had a total of three Easter Egg hunts that I had to go to. Preston even had another one that Donna helped with! The City of Holliday’s hunt was a lot of fun. The Easter Bunny rode to Stonewall Park inside the Fire Truck, with its sirens blaring! Russell loved that. He also gave out free dum-dums, which Russell also loved. Preston wasn’t too sure about visiting the Bunny, even for free candy, but Russie went with him as moral support. It was very cute! Each of the boys hunted in a different ballfield, and so I had to run all over the place in order to get pictures. I made the mistake of starting in Russie’s field. I took a couple of pictures and then ran to Preston’s field. It had nearly been picked clean! I did get to enjoy watching Preston and a little girl run for the same egg at the same time. Preston ran a woman over, but the little girl got the egg! It was absolutely hilarious!
The Church’s Easter Egg Hunt was fun, and the kids found a lot of candy. We had it all gathered into one bucket, and someone accidentally took it! Oh well, the kids were going to have more candy than they needed anyway!
Church on Sunday was wonderful. Since Donna and I are in the choir, we had to be at both the early and late services. We were both exhausted, but they were beautiful services. After church, we headed off to Ardmore, where Donna’s mom made a wonderful lunch/dinner. We weren’t sure if we’d get to hunt eggs or not, but it dried out enough that our final egg hunt was on. Donna’s sister and her family all came. It was a ton of fun. I was certainly glad to get home that evening, though!
It is wonderful to get to celebrate Christ’s resurrection so fully every year. I think of how exhausted I get, and then I remember that Jesus was certainly tired leading up to the cross, but what joy awaits us in Paradise with Him! It is all worth it!
After a little over two years in the Catholic Church, Donna and I have decided to switch back to the Lutheran Church (LC-MS). We will be officially joining Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Wichita Falls this Sunday. It has been a bumpy road, but I am glad for the experience. To be honest, I always liked the theology of the Lutheran Church better than the Catholic, even when we decided to join the Catholic Church. Perhaps it was more “me” leading myself to the Catholic Church than God (which is what I thought at the time). I kind of think God just allowed me to go – not that He necessarily thought it was the best place for me. I don’t regret joining the Catholic Church though. I don’t think I would have fully appreciated all that the Lutheran Church has to offer without having been in the Catholic Church. Maybe that was God’s plan after all… No matter what, I know that I love God, and I intend to follow Him wherever He leads me.