Some Catholic theologians have made this assertion that our theology is not something that has progressed. They feel that the Holy Spirit is always on the move and theology is always developing. I often view these type of accusations as coming from the mouth of a theological hipster which is what the Catholic Church feels like at times. It feels like this cafe of theological hipsters discussing how things must ”progress”. For example giving children Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Communion all in one go just wasn’t cool anymore for them, so they invented a new reason as to why they should do away and abandon this tradition, all in the name of gaining new converts no doubt.
They ( the Catholic Church ) are forever complaining that the Church of England is embracing new things just to appease secualr liberalism and get bums on the seats but they do the very same themselves. Apparently their Vatican Council II achieved this and statistically it did gain many converts, but does bums on the seat really count and are the converts just there because life and theology was made easier for them? I don’t think that would work well in the Orthodox church where one doesn’t enter merely to keep warm and dry from the cold and rain, but to become transfigured from the old to the new.
The Orthodox church does not exist to adapt to the world, but to be apart from the world. The law of 2+2=4 is old but we still apply the sum to our daily lives today. If someone gets the sum wrong, the laws of physics cannot adapt to such a persons weakness or feelings, rather the person in question must adapt to the it and there must be a teacher there to help such a person get the sum right. If the person becomes frustrated and leaves the classroom well that’s just too bad, lets hope they return with more fervor than before.
This is what the Orthodox church is. It is the ancient faith but her traditions and theology are always relevant. It does not adapt to the worlds weakness and it awaits and prays for the rest of the world to adapt to it and become another strong beam in the boat of salvation. The word ancient just represents when it began but the Orthodox church will always be more progressive than the progressive because it has that which is more priceless than any passing phase of human theological musings. . . The Truth as revealed by Christ himself.
The Orthodox do not need the use of gimmicks, balloons and of modern cultural music to convert people, we just need to become witnesses of the Gospel through our actions as best we can. If, (in relation to the earlier use of the sum) people cannot adapt to this way of life and become frustrated and leave, why should we be worried? We just pray and hope they return to learn and adapt with more fervor than before and overcome their demons.
Your prayers please,