From time to time I dip into this series: http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/orthodoxyheterodoxy by the good Father Andrew Damick. It is a difficult series for me to listen to, since he brings up a lot of good points which get me thinking and cause me to do a lot of reading. But, for that reason, I keep coming back time and again. Like most orators, he has a problem over-emphasizing some ideas and glossing over inconvenient ones, and he tends to cherry pick his examples. That aside, it is an excellent series and a wonderful springboard that has helped me examine my own faith much more deeply.
The episode I am listening to now, from 24 Nov, has posed some interesting questions for me. For example, what is the Church? What is the nature of the Body of Christ? Why did Christ begin a fellowship of believers, what was/is its purpose and how is it grown? If I meet another believer, say in Hong Kong, and we share not language, culture, ethnicity or socio-economic class and we only agree on 80% of Biblical doctrine…are we not yet brothers in Christ? Are we in communion, through our shared belief in the saving act of Jesus? Or must I treat him as un-orthodox until he shares more of my doctrine? How much doctrine can we disagree on, or which ones, and still be in communion? What allowance must we make for others to have time and opportunity to grow in their faith and, big question, how much do we really trust the Holy Spirit to be responsible for the growth and maturity in belief of others and how does that affect how we view the un-orthodox beliefs of others (and the ones we hold to ourselves!)?
I’m sure these questions will keep me busy for some time….