Orthodox Community

What many folks have referred to as “balance” I prefer to call “fullness.” In other words, “balance” has, for me, always connoted the need to remove or edit something in order to match its opposite. I guess the best word picture that comes to mind is that of a balanced budget. Stuff has to be cut, removed, in order to make that happen (does that happen anymore?). No, I definitely want FULLNESS in my Christian experience, which implies the need to add rather than remove stuff. For instance, my study of the church fathers and the Orthodox church has not forced me to be less “Pentecostal” in my worship. Nope – I just added the richness of that experience to what was extant of my Pentecostal experience. Fullness!

In this vein, CJ Mahaney recently included this quote from the venerable Francis Schaeffer in his blog:

One cannot explain the explosive dynamite, the dunamis, of the early church apart from the fact that they practiced two things simultaneously: orthodoxy of doctrine and orthodoxy of community in the midst of the visible church, a community which the world can see. By the grace of God, therefore, the church must be known simultaneously for its purity of doctrine and the reality of its community. (from The Church Before the Watching World)

We don’t need less emphasis on our doctrine in order to experience this orthodoxy of community – we need to uphold our commitment to doctrine and intentionally ADD meaningful relationships to our lives!


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