This is a brief but sincere confession regarding why I still feel bonded to you, but have made a choice that most of you have not……
I have been accused by certain RC of leaving Rome for the “attention”. (LOL is my first but friendly reaction.) Grant it, I have received much more attention than I realized I would because of it, but this definitely was not the catalyst for my decision. But neither was any obvious intellectual or well thought-out and convincing argumentation or line of scholastic reasoning. To my dismay, this misconception of my ability to choose without regard to “facts” has only exacerbated the attention I’ve received from well-meaning Romans who now think I am an easy target for a well-reasoned argumentation back into the jurisdiction of the Papacy. This might make sense, IF, the arguments were as well defined as they are between Rome and the Reformation, (Protestants), but I find that they are not. And don’t worry; there are plenty of Orthodox who are not only angry with me for expressing my faith with Catholics without intellectual justification (oftentimes), but who worry that either I will be hurt in the process or that I will hurt someone else in the process. I don’t take their concerns lightly, but neither am I cowered by them, and I don’t say that with any sense of personal pride or lack of humility whatsoever. I simply am where I am with no other possible position to take. It is not my choice…at least that is how I feel at the moment.
Smart people are very good at articulating convincing arguments to justify their positions, whether or not their positions are correct, especially those smart people who have years of literary experience, or, at least have had the time to put in the effort to gain volumes of historical and philosophical study. These articulate arguments not only convince themselves, but can oftentimes convince others as well. I am not one of them.
Upon leaving Rome for Orthodoxy I have found that arguments from both sides are much more complicated and convincing in defending the claims and legitimacy of each, than is any dialogue of reason I have EVER faced while leaving Protestantism for Rome. However, my decision to leave Protestantism for Rome was never based on the sheer power of a good argument either, even though the scholastic evidence is overwhelming. It was rather a call toward the Sacred and visible expression of the authority of Christ in the visible expression of His Church, something that Protestants both imitate, BUT, deny its very existence at the same time.
This self-defeating existence of the Protestant mind-set finally forced me to look closely at the one Church available for my examination that did not deny it’s visible authority, either in practice, nor in theory. Neither in space and time, nor in heaven and eternity. It’s visibility and authority did not try to spiritualize itself to the point of being irrelevant, invisible, and self-defeating as is the obvious and honest conclusion of every single claim of Protestantism and their futile attempts to keep Heaven separate from the Earth as they insist that death STILL separates our earthly existence from heaven and relegates the heavenly realm to the future; either at our own death, or at the culmination of the age. The Protestants have succeeded in participating in this delusion in spite of the fact that Christ’s Body is NOT divided, and especially not by death, as Christ alone has conquered death for all mankind once and for all. The curtain has been torn asunder. There is nothing left to wait for, nothing left to separate our earthly existence from our heavenly future. It is both now and future. We still ‘advance’ while in our temporal existence, but we still have our roots in Heaven, and they are growing there right this minute.
Anyway, long story shorter, since my brief year in Rome, I have come to witness yet another visible manifestation of heaven’s authority on earth coming out of Orthodoxy, and it’s beauty has been so overwhelming I could not ignore it’s veracity, and not of it’s intellectual arguments, but of its success in maintaining a window to heaven that is even clearer than what I’ve witnessed in the windows of Rome. Of course I have checked the claims of Orthodoxy and have weighed it’s arguments to some extent just to make sure there were no glaring problems that just might prove my eyes were deceiving me, but as I stated in the beginning of this note, the intellectual arsenal of defenses and apologetics for Orthodoxy are just as exhaustive if not more plentiful, as are those of Rome, and my only chance at making a move between the two was not finally going to be based on the intellectual, at least not immediately, it was going to be based on the clarity of the windows to heaven that each provided. Otherwise, I would be forced to choose neither until I was “smart enough” to make a move. This to me was unthinkable. I had to choose so that I could be in communion with heaven.
Too ‘cheesy’ for you? Too un-academic? I understand, and I am not only criticized by certain Romans for the current reason for my position, but by many in Orthodoxy as well as I stated earlier. So far I don’t care too much about these accusations because I am just enjoying the view of heaven I have at the windows of Orthodoxy giving me light to read and study so that my intellect can catch up. It could take me years, but this view I have is helping me to pass this time with patience. Until then, I find the view and the light source much more brilliant, refreshing, and consistently illuminating, in Orthodoxy.
Thanks for your time. I love you, at least the best way I can for now.
Sincerely, and warm regards,
(p.s., my above greeting and signature line are not some delusional impression of my own “piety”, lol, but are a rule of writing I am trying to adopt from certain priests I know. I find it a proper expression of respect and manners fitting for the Church.)