A Pilgrim’s Podvig: Part Ten

Transition by Fr. John Whiteford As my doubts about Protestantism increased, I found myself in a very unpleasant situation. As an associate pastor, I had certain responsibilities, which included leading a small group on Sunday nights, and also occasionally preaching on Sunday morning. I continued to fulfill these duties, but was increasingly less convinced about the things that I was expected to teach and preach. I also began attending Saturday night vespers at St. Benedict on a regular basis, and then on Sunday morning, I was back at the semi-charismatic Nazarene Church of which I was the associate pastor. The contrast between these … [Read more...]

No Cheap Grace

by Brigid Gavin Cheap Grace is the message of my "cradle" church, the one I grew up in, the Evangelical Christian Church. Back then it only took one prayer. One little “sinner’s” prayer and I was assured I was going to heaven. I was told, and I believed, that I was, "once saved always saved." I rested on my laurels. Spiritual growth did not come easy. I longed to be closer to God. For over thirty years I struggled with vague answers regarding Biblical questions on sin and my own personal propensities and prejudices. I had so many questions. Why did others have confession and we did not? Why were some parts of the Bible glossed … [Read more...]

Sweet Home, Orthodoxy

by Seminarian Jesse Dominick I was raised as a non-denominational Evangelical Protestant in southern Pennsylvania.  We were pretty conservative morally, and theologically in some ways -- we believed firmly in the Trinity, the Virgin birth, that Christ is God, that Christ is sinless, etc -- but we did not believe in liturgical worship, the sacraments, the Saints, etc.  For us, salvation was "Once Saved, Always Saved;" I was saved forever, no matter what, because I had placed my faith in Christ as a child.  I always believed in absolute truth (relative truth is an absurdity and this was always obvious to me) therefore I always believed that … [Read more...]

Why Do We Do What We Do?

by Doug Loss I was born into a religious family.  Many of my relatives were active in the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) church, as ministers and as laity.  Albert Einstein once said, "What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?"  That's pretty much how I viewed religion in my early life; something that was all around, so pervasive that it was a general assumption and not something I really noticed. As I grew older, I became curious about the tenets and practices of my denomination and my faith.  "Why do we do the things we do?  What do the various actions represent?  What makes this church, this … [Read more...]