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April 30, 2012 / Dale Melchin

How Eastern Philosophy Saved my Faith in Christ

I generally have an order to my blogs, but I figured Saturday’s blog and the comments it generate made this one next in the series.

I try not to talk too much about myself. However, I think for the last few blog posts, I’ve pretty much failed at it and I’m about to fail again. However, remember that success if is built upon failure.

Back in late 2004-05 I was having issues with Protestantism. Those of you who know me and read this know where I was at at time in my life so please do not take a it personally. It was me and a complex combination of things at the time.

I was tired of the conflict, the lack of unity in the whole of Protestantism. I was tired of the theory-based dogmatism on the one end and then theological relativism on the other end. Sometimes the occurred together, and that was really frustrating to me when they did.

Some of this may have been me projecting my inner conflicts on the situation at the time. I accept that as a possibility. However, after understanding that God is Three in One and that He would not lead us astray and that the Church is the body of Christ on Earth. I was at a crossroads. Either: I was wrong and Christianity was a lie and I should give up the whole business, or God was intentionally deceiving us to keep us in line, or we as a Church had stopped listening and were using His Gospel to build our own fiefdoms.

This occurred while I was actively studying martial arts. I encountered two philosophies, Buddhism and Taoism (Daoism). I confess both of them were very attractive to me. I even bought the Tao Te Cheng and checked out Buddhism for Dummies. I also took to wearing Box collared shirts. Taoism appealed to me more than Buddhism did because in Buddha’s mind God’s existence wasn’t relevant to the discussion of our freedom from Samsara.

Taoism on the other hand pointed me back West, toward Jerusalem.

“The Sage constantly lowers himself, but the Tao always lifts him up.” When I read that passage, it was as though Christ was tapping my shoulder and saying: “Hey buster, get back over here.”

So I was in crisis. AGAIN! Finally, I forswore all things denominational, and I friggin ment it. I told Christ that night. You, the Trinity, Bible and Creed, that was it. No more Calvinsim or any theories. I want straight dope. I want the truth. (Unfortunately I was still hard wired to think like a Calvinist, but you know, I tore out that old wiring and God helped me re-wire the attic.)

He pointed me to the Orthodox Church. (I bypassed the Catholic Church, lol.) Since then, I have found truth that I can be dogmatic about, and I have learned to be right, without being a judge.

I found continuity, alignment, peace, knowledge and a Church that is built upon universal truth. The universe isn’t black and white, it is dynamic, not static.

So in looking for Tao, I found Christ, and in Christ I found the Orthodox Church.

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