June 29, 2009
I wish to acknowledge publicly that my language towards Photios Jones in the exchange over my last post was intemperate and uncalled-for. I do not presume to know who is saved and who is damned; that is a judgment which belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ to make. If I in fact believed that Mr. Jones were eternally reprobate, I would not pray for him, as I have done and shall continue to do. I do strongly reject his ecclesiastical position; but it may well be that the Lord will account him a more righteous man than myself. If he is in schism, it is possible that I am as well, and with less justification.
For some time now, I have come to think that Rome’s claims to Petrine authority are essentially legitimate. I also think that the Orthodox Church is a true Church, and in many ways preserves more of genuine Christian life and piety than I am able to perceive elsewhere. It has nurtured my life in Christ, and I am unwilling to leave it for something that I would only perceive as a pale substitute and that might leave me feeling spiritually lost. Such a position might be condemned as cowardly and hypocritical and inconsistent, and in fact is condemned as such by Photios Jones, and probably by others; but I hope that, at least, I have been up-front about it. I would like to see a union between the Churches, in truth and peace; I do not want to see a union that results in reducing the Orthodox Church to something it is not. I have thought that the approach John Bekkos took to this issue centuries ago deserves, at least, to be understood, and perhaps to be emulated.
Last year, around this time, I discontinued this blog for a period of several months; the thought has occurred now to do the same, or to hang it up altogether. I need to get a real job, and to finish this book on Bekkos; the discussions which I have had with Photios Jones, although they make for good spectator sport, are soul-destroying, and are largely a distraction from my real work. I will probably take some time off from the blog during the coming weeks; there is much sorting out of things I need to do. I ask the readers’ prayers.