Thursday, February 24, 2011
Church Attendance the Holistic Way
Holistic Church participation can be explained in the most concise term Orthopraxis. The unfortunate truth is that too many approach their Orthodox Faith and perhaps Christianity in broader terms by limiting their focus and attention to compulsory Church attendance. This nominal Christianity is tragic and a rejection of the profession of Faith.
This attitude is encouraged by a society which misrepresents secularism as a twisted protection of Religios Freedom. This secularism is actually a demand of freedom FROM religion and relegates ones religiosity as it where to Sunday mornings. The public square which wishes to openly acknowledge homosexuals insists on closeting people of Faith; particularly everything Christian. As dutiful citizens we accept this without reservation and compartmentalize the implications of our Faith. If Orthodoxy does not midigate our path we have failed. We banish every extension or integration of Church life into our actual living; and chop off every sprout or fruit of the Spirit. We hide our Faith where we can scarcely find it to dust it off for Sunday service.
To live holistically we can only find true meaning by embracing our Church as a fundamental member of our very being. We must consider and have within and before us, the Church and the Way. An holistic approach to Orthodoxy understands that we are to concern ourselves with the long effort of returning to the true order of things as it were. We must consider the other 22 hours in our Sundays and each and every hour and other day between services. If we fail to do this good work of bearing fruit and shining forth we are Christian only in name and have replaced our self identification of Orthodox Christian with nominal christian.
Church services are training sessions or like time spent at the gym. Our training doesn't end when we stop our workout actually it only begins there. Our diet, mindset and activity all affect your Christian living (Orthopraxis). It may seem a dense point but there is holism to Church to Orthodoxy itself. The Orthodox method is the 'correct' intervention for what ails the soul. Take another approach and naturally the intervention is changed and the cure further removed.
Unfortunately too many believers will affirm that only the monastics can fully apply Christian standards of prayer and fasting to their lives. This is not true. Living in the world is challenging in obvious ways but we are given in marriage to find our helpmate and together we join with our Church Whose sole purpose is to prepare, to heal and to serve the Faithful spiritual nourishment for the long journey.