Everything here represents my own opinion and not the opinion of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or the United Methodist Church.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ortho - what?

During Staff Chapel on November 30, Adam Hamilton spoke on Part IV of Thomas Merton's Life and Holiness.
On page 73 of Life and Holiness, Thomas Merton writes:

It is quite possible to "believe in Christ," in the sense of mentally accepting the truth that he lived on earth, died, and rose from the dead, and yet still live "in the flesh," according to the standards of a greedy, violent, unjust and corrupt society, without noticing any real contradiction in one's life. But the real meaning of faith is the rejction of everything that is not Christ in order that all life, all truth, all hope, all reality may be sought and found "in Christ." (Merton, Thomas. Life and Holiness. New York: Image Books Doubleday, 1963.)

There is a difference between each of the following:

  • Orthodoxy - right belief
  • Orthopraxy - right practice
  • Orthopathos - right feelings

Orthopathos particularly made an impression on me. I had not considered what it meant to have right feelings about God. Right feelings and the right attitude - an openness to God's action in one's life and the ability to simply trust God. You can assent to and do the "right things" but without faith and trust in God there is something lacking in our life of faith. Christian discipleship is a call to giving all that we are to God in a way that goes beyond our thoughts and actions.