A friend of mine asked the following when my post re-posted as a note on Facebook. Others can chime in with their comments (about these criticisms/issues raised or their own critique of my thoughts), and I will try to address some of them over the next few days. ;o)
Ashleigh, an excellent reflection. A few questions and thoughts. First, does orthodoxy exist in stagnation? I raise this question because it seems to me that orthodoxy has developed and continues to develop in the tension of multiple conversations. It was a radical concept in the book of Acts that a Christian did not have to be circumcised. It was suppose to become established “orthodoxy” that Christians would obtain from blood in food, but it could be inferred that Paul somewhat differed with this. The development of Christology is dependent on various people and views that were modified, rejected, condemned and accepted. The continual councils of RCC show in my opinion that orthodoxy is constantly being revealed by the Spirit.
My second question becomes, can Protestants be probably called orthodox Christians? I raise this b/c the logic outlined here is the same arguments that Catholics and even some of the Orthodox church used and use to argue the illegitimated of Protestants as Christians. The Reformation was a radical departure from the historic faith of its time. It is not to easy to dismiss this claim when you consider that the Protestant movement has produced probably over 50,000 denominations in our current day, and Providence knows how many throughout history.
Thirdly, for me this raises the question who defines orthodoxy? If one considers the politics of the historic councils, one could easily doubt their doctrines because the principle of Christian love is often wanton from their historical records. If one says the Book, well like any book it is still subject to human interpretation. Finally, I am personal glad we have departed in some areas from the “historic faith”. Otherwise, we are left with the argument that all women ordination are to be condemned. One could argue that we have restored the historic faith by doing this, but that is difficult argument that will lead to stalemate with those who argue the opposite….
By having people who are on the fringe and maybe on unorthodox, often challenges the faith to live up to the faith and reflect on issues that have been ignored. The faith to me can never be defined by doctrine alone but also by orthopraxy and orthopathos.