it was a little over four years ago we stepped into an Orthodox church for the very first time. it was overwhelming. so much of my life-long Protestant catechesis was questioned. and thank God it was. i don’t know how it would have been possible for me to be saved in that world.
i was thinking about that yesterday when i couldn’t fall back asleep at around 330 in the morning. somehow my mind drifted off to an old email conversation between an old North Carolina friend and myself about 6 years ago. during a significant spiritual struggle, i remember writing to her “i cling to christ and his resurrection”. okay. really? how did i do that? all of that clinging happened in my head. and no where else. (modern protestantism/evangelicalism is very gnostic). if something happens in your head but not in reality, is that reality?
in Orthodoxy, we participate in the resurrection every pascha. we mystically enter into it. it really, truly happens to us. that is actually how someone clings to Christ and his Resurrection.
if i make a confession, but am not baptized into a concrete reality, can i really be saved? or is that salvation only happening in my head?
the heresies of penal substitution and predestination also wore me down over time. God was hateful and couldn’t wait to send sinners like me to hell. i was doomed no matter what. yeah, there was some of my own neuroticism and pride all wrapped up in that, but instead of rooting those things out, these awful doctrines make it worse. gosh, do i hate those doctrines. they create hell on earth.