Most of us are familiar with “u-turns”. They are a reminder that we have been mistaken and need to go in a different direction. Actually, a u-turn often means that we need to go in exactly the opposite direction because we have been 180 degrees off.
Anytime we acknowledge a need to change it is humbling. If I am always right, then humility is unnecessary; in fact, it is impossible.
If humility is a spiritual virtue, that virtue cannot exist within a belief system that demands that I always be right. Perceiving my own rightness and feeling the compulsion to assert that rightness in a divine calling is a potent stimulus to my ego, needless to say. I can couch my contentions in whatever “loving” scenario I want, but the bottom line remains- I am exalted and the rest are put down. At the most elementary level, that is what Orthodox Christianity and all religions that claim God’s special attention and blessing are all about. They can call theirs a message of love, family values, godly piety, and good news all they want; but, in the final analysis, it comes across as self promotion with a very thin veneer of benevolence.
The church’s dogma is its own worst enemy. A doctrine which demands that it be right in order for its affiliates to be all right means that it can never change. However, change is unavoidable, so when that inevitability becomes a reality, the church will sputter and fuss about the need to maintain the oldtime faith, but then ultimately transition to a new position, hoping that no one notices.
The church can continue to wring its hands over the lack of interest and even outright hostility toward its message forever, taking solace in the assumption that many folks are just too evil to accept it. However, when the GPS says turn around, some folks admit a mistake, and actually make that “u-turn”, embracing wholesale change as the only way to reach anywhere worth going.