A short thought today on Orthodox Christianity and American culture. My intention in my recent post on this topic was not to lament the lack of Orthodox-produced culture in America, but rather to emphasize how productive of culture Orthodoxy is. It is something completely natural to Orthodox life if it is being lived in its fullness.
One of the delightful qualities of life is that it only has to be lived, not invented. Thus we do not need to worry about how we are to transform this culture any more than a grain of wheat has to worry about becoming a stalk of wheat. It just has to die and be planted.
So too, Orthodoxy needs only to live its life in its fullness – for this is the Life of God and it will bear abundant fruit – because it is Life. Standing in the way of this, are occasional well-meaning Orthodox who take a more Puritan approach to culture and believe that art and dance and non-Church music and literature are a waste of time. Of course this is like saying that breathing is a waste of time (we don’t have to be taught to breathe, either).
Thus we give thanks that every good gift “comes down from the Father of Lights,” and that as we draw more fully into Him we will become more fully what we were created to be. And, glory to God, it will be evidenced with an abundance of life.
Love God. Say you prayers. Go to Church. Keep the commandments. Forgive everyone for everything. It is a rare thing indeed that requires us to do more on a daily basis.