A Reflection on an Assembly

A few weeks ago, I attended the 40th Assembly of the Diocese of the South of the OCA.  My priest asked me to write a reflection on it which he shared in the church’s newsletter and I will share here.  I attempted, perhaps not too successfully, to tie the themes together from the various guest speakers, all of whom were quite engaging.

The guest speakers included:

Dr. Nathan Jacobs who has written and directed a documentary called Becoming Truly Human in which he reaches out to the religiously unaffiliated “nones.”  We watched the film and then discussed it for a while.

The second guest speaker was author and professor Dr. Clark Carlton who has written a series of books on the Orthodox faith.  His talk was entitled The Future of Orthodoxy in the Postmodern World: Welcome to the Catacombs (link).

The third talk, given by iconographer, artist, and speaker Jonathan Pageau, was entitled Pentecost for the Zombie Apocalypse (link).  It was honestly quite brilliant.  You can watch it below:

My Reflection

There is ever increasing awareness of the cultural fracturing and disintegration that is happening in America and Western culture as a whole.   From the insanity of our last political election and the riots that followed, to the splintering of sexuality and gender into an inconceivable number of categories, we are seeing an exponential increase in what some are calling chaos. Continue reading A Reflection on an Assembly

Teach me how to live when the tongue is done

On speaking in tongues

my chrismation-editedI was brought into the Orthodox Church through chrismation.  In this liturgical ceremony, the priest anointed me with chrism oil and prayed that I would receive the Holy Spirit.  In charismatic circles, we would probably call this a “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” just without the speaking in tongues.

My view on speaking in tongues has changed since my charismatic days.  It was taught to me that the only sign that the Spirit has come upon somebody is that they speak in tongues.  Now, I believe that the fruit of the Spirit is even more critical than the ability to speak incoherent words in an unknown language.

I am reminded of a song by Kirk Franklin in which he relates his young adult life.  He attended an energetic, “Spirit filled” church, but his life was a wreck with ruined relationships, insecurities driving him over the edge, pornography addictions, etc.  With a gripping honesty, he states, “The church taught me how to shout and speak in tongues, but preacher teach me how to live when the tongue is done.”

Continue reading Teach me how to live when the tongue is done