It is strange the things you find time to follow through on the world wide web when you have got the time. Well, this blog came about a result of an email reminding those of us in the C of S that The Assembly had decided that we should all consider wearing dog collars, sorry clerical collars. Yes, they really did….
Anyway, that led me to a few sites of some Orthodox churches, and what I discovered is simply this: their teaching on what priests should wear and what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do to their hair and beards puts that mild request of the Assembly in the pale. That is perhaps the biggest understatement of these blogs of mine ever!
It was so tempting to dismiss all of it since that is not my background at all, but I became sort of fascinated and kept reading. I made a discovery: they believed they were obeying something in the bible as they talked about each detail. I am not convinced by their biblical arguments but I deeply admire the fact that they were trying to say they were advocating what they were saying in their teaching because of obedience to Scripture.
It is good to remember that when we get hot under the collar about something that another believer or another group of believers say that we don’t agree with. Mostly they are actually following something they believe the bible, or even more specifically Jesus has said. We might not agree with their interpretation, but let’s at least give them the benefit of the doubt about that. With their understanding of Scripture they believe they are following the Word of God. We might believe them to be sincerely wrong, but at least let’s not get into the business of doubting their motivation.
Hope this helps you face any conflict with your fellow believers in the right spirit.