OrthoAnalytika

[Videos and livestreams: https://www.youtube.com/user/74snipe]

Inquiry Class 001: Introduction
Holy Resurrection (Waynesville NC)
Christ the Savior (Anderson, SC)

Introduce self.  Married for thirty- one years.  Orthodox twenty-one years.  Priest for fourteen.  Taught at seminary for thirteen.  I’m on my third parish assignment.  Role of Orthodoxy.

Purpose of these classes.  Inquirers at Holy Resurrection and Christ the Savior.  Others are always welcome. 

Deeper purpose of this class.  God desires that all be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth.  He has given the Church the responsibility for bringing that about.  While we celebrate the role the saints and angels have played in salvation history, it also means having knuckleheads like me do things like YouTube classes on Tuesdays at 9PM. 

Why not just point to one of the many excellent introductions out there?  Great question.  It’s about ecclesiology.  More on that later.

Format of the class.  Alas, not guided discussion.  I’ll be talking for thirty minutes, keeping an eye on your comments.  Then I’ll address all the comments I can.  I also encourage you to reach out to me between classes if you have questions.  I won’t be sharing any slides or pictures in this class, but, Lord willing, I will for future ones.

Format of the series.  Each class will have a specific topic.  This one is just a warm up.  The first ten or so will be basic stuff to help inquirers on their journey.  All of you have things that you are interested in, and you have started mining the inexhaustible vein of online Orthodox content to feed your interest.  For some of you, that’s all about heresy and how Orthodoxy defines and avoids it; for others it’s about beauty and how it will save the world; for others it’s about Bible study; for some, it’s Orthodox cosmology; for some it may even be spirituality.  That’s great.  A course like this is like a survey course, making sure you know enough about the basics to allay your concerns and commit.  Because commitment is required.  We are not saved by leaning more but by our faithfulness.

How to find the series.  May be obvious, but I’ll be livestreaming these and posting them to my YouTube channel.  My understanding is that this will be easier for you to keep track of if you subscribe and ring the bell.  Another way to find it is to go to the calendar at the parish websites.  There’s a link there.  I’ll also post the list of upcoming topics there.  Lord willing and I can carve out the time, I’ll cross post the audio of these to my podcast, OrthoAnalytika.

Advice for starting out.

  • Give your life to Christ.
  • Live accordingly.  Two commandments?  How are you going to be faithful to those?  That’s what this takes.  Dedicate yourself to worship, holiness, and sacrificial service to others.  We’ll break those down in future classes.  But being one of God’s holy one’s (that is to say, a Christian) is not a hobby.  It’s 24/7 forever.  That brings endless joy and peace, but it also takes effort.  We’ll talk about that more, too.
  • But what books should I read?  [ask for favorite introductions]
    • Show them the real recommendations:
      • Prayer Book (every day)
      • Scripture (every day)
      • Lives of the saints (every day)
      • The service book in the pew (every Sunday)
        • A trick (not really – it’s a segue)! 
    • Most important: be faithful in your attendance
  • Another piece of advice: there are a lot of distractions out there.
    • You’ll be tempted to pick a side in things that some Orthodox disagree on
    • It’s fine to have opinions on things like the unpleasantness between the EP and MP or about how best to deal with health issues
  • But ecclesiology needs to be lived, not just disputed.  And we do that as active members of a local parish.  That means living with people you don’t agree with about everything.  Learning to love and live with people you disagree with is what we sometimes call “adulting”, but it’s quickly becoming a lost skill. 
  • You’ll need it to live a life of holiness in Christ.  This is SO important.  And it may be hard for you. 

The challenge of moving from inquirer to saint.  Right now, you are above The Way, judging Orthodoxy to see if it is worthy of your commitment.  Using discernment in this process is critical.  It’s how you ended up here and not at the Kingdom Hall.

But at some point you will need to find a home.  A place where you can let down your filters and relax in the love of the Lord.

Until then, I encourage you to keep those radars up and question everything.

Well, not everything.  You have to trust the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And there is a reason I encourage you to pray and worship with the Orthodox every day and every week.  Those prayers and especially that Divine Liturgy are completely trustworthy.  You can lower guard and soak them in.

I am happy to be here with you, (HR CtS) shepherding you through this process.  I believe that Orthodoxy will earn your trust because I believe that you are sincere and it is real.  But even if you end up elsewhere, I believe that learning about Orthodoxy will deepen your relation with Christ and stoke the yearning for even more (a yearning that I believe is best met through the Orthodox Way).

Direct download: 001-InquiryClass-Intro.mp3
Category:Orthodox Podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm EST