Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ramblings . . . and the importance of knowing the truth

So, I really have no idea where exactly this blog will go. The last week and a half have been filled with some great times and some hard times. My holidays were busy, but with stuff that I wanted to do and enjoyed doing, for the most part.

I took my first major road trip by myself. I had never driven more than a couple hours away from home without family or friends with me. So, off I went to Victoria for a good friends` wedding. All in all it was a good drive. I have only been to the ocean a couple of times so I spent most of the ferry over to Victoria outside enjoying what I was seeing.

Victoria was a crazy story. I was left scrambling last minute to find a place to stay as my plans fell through. But, I also cought up with the family of my friend, who I know and am friends with, so that was nice. The morning before the wedding was crazy as there were lots of details left to handle and we were busy with all that.

The wedding was interesting to say the least. They were getting married in the Greek Orthodox Church. It was not your typical wedding ceremony, in any way. There was no exchanging of vows . . . the bride and groom did not face each other at all during the ceremony - they did not even look at each other at all . . . the ceremony alone was 80 minutes (try sitting on a wooden pew for the long, but apparently we were lucky there were pews to sit on because they usually don`t have any in the sanctuary to sit on, they stand for it all). It was just so incredibly different from everything I had ever seen in a wedding. It honestly did not seem much like a wedding to me at all . . . but I guess I am basing that on what would be considered normal in our culture.

Probably the hardest part of the wedding for me was the problems I had with some of their theology. Not that I profess to be an expert on theology, but I do feel that I have a pretty good understanding. There were just a few things said during the wedding ceremony and printed in the information they gave us about what to expect that made me wonder. It seemed to me as though there were things that they took out of context or twisted a little bit to make them mean something else. And, further reasearch since I have been home has not made me feel any better about it all. Being curious I wanted to know where the ideas they had came from, so I went to their website and started researching a bit more into the theology of the Greek Orthodox Church. What I found was a lot of writing where they quote people and talk about tradition, without a lot reference to Scripture. That concerned me . . . anything we claim to believe should be able to be backed up with Scripture. In my mind, tradition is great and the writings of scholars are great, as long as Scripture supports what they are saying. In this case I am not completely sure that is the case.

I also found they way they treated the icons they use in worship concerning. They claim that they are not worshipping thesee things, but what I saw made me wonder how they can say that. I saw many people from the church walk in and before they sat down, they crossed themselves and kissed a copy of the 4 Gospels that was gold-plated. There were many other times during the service where they kissed and bowed in front of these icons that they claim not to worship. From ym understanding of what idol worship is, they are worshipping idols. I do not see how they can say they are not.

I guess what hurts the most about all of this is that one of my very good friends from growing up is caught up in this. She grew up in a strong Christian home, spent a year at a good Bible college learning about the Bible . . . and yet, she got caught in it all. She knows the truth and there is just enough truth in this all to pull her in. (I say this, not to put-down the Greek Orthodox Church, because I did also see snippets of truth in all that went on, but I also saw much that leaves me very concerned.)

As I have sat here writing this, I have started to think about how easy it is for any one of us to be drawn away from the truth. There are so many groups out there that have just enough truth from Scripture in them, that they can draw us in and confuse us if we are not careful. I think my purpose to night is to issue a caution to all who claim to be followers of Christ: Watch that you test all that comes to you from someone as truth. Make sure it is actually true according to Scripture.

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