As some of you have probably noticed, this blog reflects the workings of my personality to a certain degree. I started at the beginning of Great Lent and my writing had a more “orthodox slant” then. Now, in the season of Pentecost and Ordinary time my writing has a more evangelical slant. I am writing about justice issues and engaging society rather than “escaping it” (which is easy to do when taking a to legal approach concerning lent). If you read all my posts you will notice this tension between my “orthodox personality” and my “evangelical personality”. You will notice this journey back and forth between the two. I have them both and they do not contradict each other really.
Being a part of the Evangelical Orthodox Church this tension should not come as a surprise. My personality reflect the enviroment I find myself in. The old saying that we “become like the ones we spend time with” still rings true. If I find myself in a church that emphasize orthodox theology and evangelical expression, my personality should reflect this (and it does, specially in my blog:).
These two “labels” sounds contradictory if we only view them as labels. Even if we go beyond the label and realize what the words really mean (right teaching – good message/news) there is still intrinsic tension when you put those two together. But what we have failed to realize to often is that tension like this is good. Tension is life. It is tension, the battle and the questioning that brings old, nominal traditions to life. Tension is the flowing back and forth between to entities and this movement is energy. And energy is life. Ever since the fall it is only from experiencing tension that you can know what rest is. Tension, brings rest. tension brings peace.
Church needs structure, an order of worship to be able to maintain her purpose in time. She needs established rules to be able to function. She needs the law. But she also needs freedom and spontaneity to bring to life that purpose, to move beyond time. She needs the life that the Holy Spirit has established through history but she also needs the life that the Holy Spirit is continually pouring out right now. Wherever you may find the church, she needs an orthodox aspect, a structure. But she also needs freedom , an evangelical aspect. Now, the church does not have to be labeled as an Evangelical Orthodox Church but she needs to live in the tension of structure and freedom to be able to perform the work of salvation in the world.
If you look close enough you will see this tension, this “collaboration” between structure and freedom everywhere you look. You will se it in our ability to choose (but not ultimate choice). You will see it in creation and the workings of energy. You will see it the laws of nature. You will see it in the church year and in liturgy. You will see it in family. This tension lends glimpses of insight into how the Holy Trinity works and therefore this tension is found everywhere if we look close enough.