On April 14, 2012 I was received into the Eastern Orthodox Church through chrismation. Below is the letter that I wrote to my family to share news of this life-changing event.
The context of the letter is rather specific. My family consists of primarily Southern Baptists who have become either independent Missionary Baptists or nondenominational Charismatics. I wrote trying to build some bridges with those traditions, and as a result, left out many of the finer points of Church history and theology. But I post it here in case it’s helpful to anyone else.
In the third installment of factors leading to seminary, it seems good to talk about the denominations along the road and the gifts that each one gave me for the journey.
But as I started writing this entry, I realized it was waaaaaay too long. So I’ve divided it into two parts. The second half will come soon…
Generally when we discuss constructive theological issues, its important to establish the authorities recognized by the participants, be it Revelation, Tradition, Scripture, Reason, or Shared Experience.
In many discussions, both scripture and traditional interpretation of scripture head up the list. Once those authorities are recognized, theological arguments often fall victim to cherry picking of select verses to back up a point.
Recently while looking over a Quaker response to the Lima text (aka Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, a publication of the World Council of Churches) from the London Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, I found a great paragraph in their discussion of that sort of biblical proof-texting:
Last week the APA released a new report regarding sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), more commonly known by some of its more common forms such as conversion therapy, reparative therapy or ex-gay ministries.
The Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation looks at a variety of published research findings from the 60’s through 2007 in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness and/or potential harm caused by the programs in question.