The Journey - part IV

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A. The Pitfalls
 
I can briefly describe an Orthodox Worldview in a few minutes, but I can offer no easy solutions when it comes to actually acquiring one. Developing an Orthodox mind is hard work, and takes time. But before I get into the means that God has provided for this, let me briefly mention some of the pit falls and snares that stand in our path. You can always be assured that the demons will oppose any spiritual effort -- in fact if you are not battling with demons, then you are most likely not making any spiritual progress.
 
One of the biggest snares which Satan has laid for us in our day is Modernist Orthodoxy. This is especially a problem for converts from Protestantism, because the Modernist Orthodox mentality is Protestant in origin, and so the convert is likely to be attracted at first to aspects of it because he will find himself at home there -- it will strike a cord of familiarity. Surprisingly, the origin of Modernist Orthodoxy is not primarily from converts who have brought such thinking into the Church, but rather it is cradle Orthodox who have been

The Orthodox mind - part III

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Coming to the point where a Protestant realizes the spiritual bankruptcy of the Western Worldview may bring them to the doors of the Church, but simply rejecting Protestantism is not enough. For that matter, being convinced that Orthodoxy is the true Faith is good enough to have you made a Catechumen, but much more is needed. One must enter into the Spirit of Orthodoxy. Even when one reaches the point at which they are ready to receive Holy Baptism, this process must continue -- Baptism is the beginning of your life in the Church, it is a spiritual birth, but only a stillborn baby will not continue to grow spiritual. For a convert, must not only struggle against demons and against the flesh to accomplish this, but one must still contend with the modes of thought that he operated in prior to conversion.

The Protestant Ethos - Part II

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Now some might dispute the need for studying the Protestant way of thinking -- perhaps it might be OK for the purpose of winning converts, but why should those already Orthodox be bothered? The reason is simple: we live in a society that is thoroughly Protestant. Furthermore, the Protestant ethos is to be found even among many who have been Orthodox all their lives.
 
There is a Chinese proverb which says:"Know the enemy and know yourself, and in a thousand battles you will not see defeat" [These words were written over 2,000 years ago by the great Chinese military strategist, Sun Zi in his book which is usually called in English "The Art of War."]
 
The first duty of every Orthodox Christian is to "know yourself", in other words, to know the Orthodox Faith, as well as to be aware of our own strengths and weakness and to so walk in humility -- which is not a false humility, but is actually a very realistic appraisal of ourselves in comparison with the examples of the saints and in the light of God's standards of Holiness and Righteousness.

"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

Mathew 28:19