One of the things that changed after my "wake-up call" last summer was how I saw God's nature. For years I had gone back and forth on the whole homosexuality issue. I have friends who are gay and are also wonderful, loving people. Would God turn His back on them because they were gay? That made no sense to me. I believed (and still do) in a loving God who wants all of His children with Him. But what I saw in my denomination and in our culture at large was this entrenched idea that if we have certain tendencies, God must want us to be that way and so not only would it be impossible to change but God wouldn't even ASK us to change. So the issue of homosexuality is the part of the iceberg that is above water. The larger problem is sin and repentance. That's the part that lurks under the dark, cold ocean of our world. How many people have wrecked lives because our culture and, God help us, our CHURCHES refuse to acknowledge it?
So last summer, by a work of God's grace, I arrived at my bottom line: The only kind of God that I wanted to worship was a God who has both the desire and the power to change me. Me. Not my husband, not my children, not my gay friends, me. I had to leave all those other people in God's loving and capable hands and trust Him enough to take care of them. My job was to put myself in a community that reflected this desire of God to change me and supported me in those efforts.
Because if God can't change me, why bother? A church that believes that is nothing more than a bunch of guys in dresses, playing with candles and pretty words. Its worse than wrong because it keeps people apart from the Truth and the Healer that can transform.
One of the things I am beginning to suspect about Orthodoxy is that they are people who believe in transformation. Not in a legalistic, punitive way but with a humility and awareness that even the best of us are as nothing compared to our Lord. I am going to my first Orthodox service this evening and I am SO hoping to find this is true.