What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
Cross-posted at Blogger of Jared.
photo credit: quikdraw
Orthodoxy is an interesting subject as it pertains to the LDS faith. The word itself comes from the Greek ortho (‘right’, ‘correct’) and doxa (‘thought’, ‘teaching’, ‘glorification’). As it relates to religion, the word can be defined as an authorized or accepted set of religious beliefs and doctrines.
My personal observations lead me to conclude that orthodoxy is looked down upon by a society that grows ever more secular and liberal. As we tilt to the left, more and more turn to heterodoxy and scorn those paleoconservatives clinging to tradition and time-honored practice.
Even within a Church (and especially the bloggernacle) one can observe a tendency among some individuals to shirk orthodoxy and embrace more radical, liberal teachings, practices, and doctrines.
Why is such a course of action wrong? Elder Maxwell explains:
True orthodoxy thus brings safety and felicity! It is not only correctness but happiness. Strange, isn’t it, even the very word orthodoxy has fallen into disfavor with some? As society gets more and more flaky, a few rush forward to warn shrilly against orthodoxy!
Remember how, with Pharaoh’s angry army in hot pursuit, ancient Israel aligned themselves with the Lord’s instructions? Moses stretched forth his hand and the Red Sea parted. With towering walls of water on each side, Israel walked through the narrow passage obediently, and no doubt quickly! There were no warnings about conforming on that day!
There are passages ahead which will require similar obedience, as prophets lead the “men [and women] of Christ” in a straight and narrow course. (Neal A. Maxwell, via Quoty)
It is interesting to note the link Elder Maxwell establishes between orthodoxy and obedience. In my own life, those acquantances I have who veer to the left in the LDS faith are most certainly the ones who are less obedient to certain commandments and policies established both in scripture and modern prophetic teaching.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord taught about the “straight and narrow course” Elder Maxwell referred to:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Strait and narrow = obedience = orthodoxy
Wide and broad = disobedience = heterodoxy
A simple principle that perhaps some overlook, as they become soaked in the stain of Babylon and find luxury and comfort in the broad way that, as Jesus taught, ultimately leads to destruction.