Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We are not alone

One of the first things I noticed about Orthodoxy was the feeling of being surrounded and supported. This feeling has intensified since my chrismation so much so that I find myself pitying other Christians who don't have it, my past self included. The tragedy of sola fide and sola scriptura is the "sola" part. Sola means alone. It leads to this "just me and God" mentality. The idea that all one needs is Scripture or "asking Jesus into my heart" seems such a lonely proposition. From the Orthodox perspective healing and salvation occur in the context of the Church. And what is the Church but relationships! Relationships with each other and with God and with the faithful souls who have gone before us.

One of the things I learned through several years of therapy, is that it is in our relationships that we are revealed to ourselves. When I'm alone I tend to think I'm pretty great but when other people are added to the equation, I begin to see how selfish I am and how far I have to go. In healthy relationships where forgiveness and mercy exist, healing then occurs.

I saw a bumper sticker this evening that reminded me of this truth. It was in the shape of a band-aid with the words "God can fix it". In many Protestant evangelical circles, translated, this means God will fix my problem and all that is necessary is for me to believe and ask. No others need to be involved. As a result so many good Christians are alone and isolated and barely hanging onto their faith. God created us to be in relationship. At Adam's creation He said, "it is not good for man to be alone". Through Christ he gave us a relationship with Himself and from that a relationship with his Church. Now and ever and unto ages of ages.

1 comment:

Margi said...

I always think that if a room has an icon in it you are not alone either :-)