Monday, October 02, 2006

Adventures in Sola Scriptura

I am back from my women's Bible study this morning. It is a group from my former church and the women are really great and practically my best friends. They are very dear to me. And they've been very understanding and supportive about my deciding to leave the church and the whole journey that I'm on. I told them I am coming to the group until they kick me out.

Oh, Lord, I feel a conflict within myself coming. As I've looked at how the Orthodox church explains Sola Scriptura, I can see how there is so much doctrinal confusion. In one discussion/bible study we covered predestination, grace by faith, grace by works, growing by reading scripture, growing by listening to bad Christian music (I added the "bad" part - I've never been a good Christian music listener) types of evangalism, being Spirit-led, and much more. While I put aside most of the stuff that I now feel in one way or another disagree with, I think going to group is going to feel more and more conflicting. Everyone has such different opinions, or have never thought about certain theological ideas. And now I seem to be way in left field. I'm hoping to avoid sounding caustic or arrogant to them when I challenge another woman's understanding. I don't want to be a burden to any of them either. I feel like I'm in limbo. So I'm trying to do what always works out best - keep my mouth shut. Lord help me.

As far as the read your Bible to grow idea, I do agree. Reading scripture focuses your mind on Jesus. And doing that leads you to not be such a schmuck throughout your day - thus helping you grow. Because being a schmuck comes naturally. However, I'm learning that you can only get so close to God that way. Orthodoxy has opened a window that I never knew existed.

I notice I feel sad that I'm missing out on a lot of the stuff my friends are doing with the church and with the married groups. I feel left out. But it was my decision. Weird feelings.

On a brighter note, I really enjoyed church this Sunday. It is starting to feel more at home. The foreign is becoming familiar, and a few issues I've had about the Saints are being explained more clearly. I think bringing our prayer book helped too since the Liturgy is on there and we can follow and sing along. The Liturgy is really quite beautiful. We go home singing "From the intercessions of the Theotoks..." We kind of laugh and hopefully we aren't being completely blasphemous. We had lunch there too during the coffee hour and had some much needed fellowship - there's a churchy word for you. But we really did.

Transitions are never easy.


Blogger Thomas Ham said...

Through the intercession of course! ;-) I don't think it's blasphemous! You're asking for Christ to save you, to help you and for Mary to pray for you! That's beautiful!

Also, next week if you stick around for food, we can actually hang out with Matthew telling me I need to go clean in the kitchen =D

4:55 PM  
Blogger sara said...

Good to hear you had a more comfortable Sunday. Your singing story is funny because I remember driving home singing parts of the Liturgy once we started getting it down too! Then songs would stick with me throughout the week. That is a really beautiful thing.

About the Bible study...It must be hard to be in that situation. It's nice that the other women are understanding and supportive of where you're at. Hopefully, the theological conflict will help you to clarify your thoughts and practice love...Something I know I can always use practice with :)

Sometimes Orthodoxy is hard to argue for when people have very little context. You're right sometimes it is better to keep silent. Knowing when is the hard thing. I seem to screw that up. May God be with you.

I don't know if you would be interested or if it would be too far but there is a group of Orthodox gals I meet with on Thursday nights at 8:30 at a Starbucks in Fullerton. We read aloud and drink coffee, sometimes knit and just hang out. Most of us have kids, hence the later time. Also, we go to the park on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 with other Odox moms/kids...I would love to meet you. I think you have my phone number...feel free to call anytime!

1:10 PM  
Blogger s-p said...

Hi Lauren,
I was surfing around blogs and found your post. Welcome to Orthodoxy and the path of disengagement. :) I don't know if you've been to our website or our podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio, but if not you might check them out. We have a 4 part series on sola scriptura (and a LOT of other stuff) that you might find helpful.
God bless you as you buck the system. Been there, done that! :)

9:14 PM  

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