Saturday, March 31, 2007

The true church for you, but not for me

At the time this puzzled me. In my reading about Orthodoxy I had quickly discovered that it claims to be, not just one among many alternative "denominations," but the true Church of Christ on earth. Yet it seemed as if the Orthodox themselves were telling me, "Yes, Orthodoxy is indeed the one true Church, but you should on no account join it. It is only for us Easterners, Greeks, Russians and the rest." Adherence to the saving truth appeared to depend on the accidents of birth and geography.

There remained, however, one powerful dissuasive. If Orthodoxy is really the one true Church of Christ on earth, how could it be (I asked myself) that the Orthodox Church in the West is so ethnic and nationalist in its outlook, so little interested in any form of missionary witness, so fragmented into parallel and often conflicting "jurisdictions"?


  1. This may be Ware's experience, but it is not the experience of many others. Sometimes, in particular places, at particular times, the Church may not always be easy for people to find.

    Sometimes the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. -- Matthew 13:44

  2. Wow, you're killing me with that Scripture application. Do I not correctly call you "self-deceived"?

  3. >Wow, you're killing me with that Scripture
    >application. Do I not correctly call you "self-

    Really. So according to you the true church must always be the most obvious one? The one that you would never find "hidden in a field"?

    Gee, and those 1689 baptist churches are pretty hard to find too, so I guess you're not the true church either.

  4. Orthoducks,

    Did the man in the parable hide the treasure again because Christians ought to "hide" the kingdom of God? No, the point of the parable is the *value* of the treasure--he sold all that he had in order to buy the field. The teaching of the parable is about the *value* of the Kingdom of God, and by implication the value of the Person through whom one enters it--not the fact that it is hidden. It is hidden and God has to reveal it, but the thrust of the parable is the man's reaction to finding the Kingdom of God. We are directly commanded to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth--not hide it. One thing is for sure, this verse isn't about the EOC. Nice try reading your meaning back into the verse though...

    And who said I'm a Baptist?