The Orthodox Priest wrote:
If you have lived your Christian life and never heard the story of our relationship with God put in the sort of terms used above, then you have missed out on hearing most of the New Testament. You have missed the story as told by the Fathers of the Eastern Church (which means, most of the Church Fathers). It is possible that you have heard such a distortion of the Christian faith that you have wanted nothing to do with it.
But if what I have described above sounds like good news – then the news is very good – because this is the teaching of the New Testament and the Church founded by Jesus Christ and which continues to be proclaimed by the Orthodox Church.
I’m having a hard time with this concluding statement and the reason is because it comes across to me as a plug for the Orthodox Church. It feels to me as if the priest is saying that the good news is proclaimed by the Orthodox Church and not those other guys. I admit the possibility that my biases have caused me to misunderstand the man’s point.
I wanted to leave a comment but I didn’t want to presume to lecture a priest about the Bible or the Church so, in my caution, I ended up saying something that utterly failed to communicate what I wanted to say. I wrote ,
The news is very good not because it’s delivered by the Orthodox Church (or any body of believers) but because it is TRUE…as one day, all who are called by His Name will see.
Consequently, the priest percieved that I was divorcing the Gospel from the Church, saying that the Church is part of the Gospel. How does that sound to you?
The Church is part of the Gospel.
I’m going to chew on that some and post about it later…but until then I would like to hear how others respond to that statement.