J. C. Kuehn Miller

Read. Write. Repeat. Aspire to be a Janitor.

Please, Call Me Jason

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: One God, Amen.

7 years ago, during freshmen orientation, my friend nick-named me “Morocco.” It stuck.

I joke that only my family and ex-girlfriends call me Jason. That’s somewhat true.

Two weeks from today, I will be chrismated into the Eastern Orthodox Church: the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.” (Chrismation is the act of being anointed with oil as a mark of the Holy Spirit, confirming my entrance into the Church.)

Before I continue, I must explain why I am leaving Protestantism for Orthodoxy.

Some Theological Problems

(Those of you not interested in academic theology, skip to the next section)

I was never a good Protestant. My reformed friends are now chuckling and nodding in agreement.

“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10

The Protestant Reformation was absolutely needed. The Roman Catholics added unsound doctrine and dogma to the pure faith that was handed down from generation to generation. Included in these doctrines were the teaching of indulgences, purgatory, Papal supremacy, the filioque, and other smaller deviations.

Unfortunately, the Protestants didn’t return to the fold of the Eastern Church, but instead made another tradition. Thus, they became schismatics born from the schism of the Roman West.

Let’s quickly turn to the doctrines from the Reformation, namely the 3 main Solae.

1) Sola Scriptura. This is not in the Bible. Despite claiming Bible Alone, that phrase is not found in the Bible. In fact, the Canon was not closed until the 4th century. The Bible was written by the Church, within the Church, and for the Church. Private interpretations can be harmful. These private interpretations are the cause for the 24,000 different denominations. Without the Tradition of the Church as led by the Holy Spirit, we fall into error in our interpretation of Scripture. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 3:15 that the Church of the Living God is the “pillar and foundation of the truth.” Without the Church, the Bible would be just another book, even in its current form.

2) Sola Fide. The term “faith only/alone” is found only once in Scripture. James 2:24: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” Now, works alone do not justify the man, but faith as well. Can one be saved by faith alone and not repentance? A better translation of Ephesians 2:8 is “For by grace you have been saved through faithfulness.” And we cannot have Ephesians 2:8 without Ephesians 2:10. Works are the outworking of an inner faith. Without the outward works, inner faith should be questioned.

3) Sola Gratia. Though Orthodox have no dog in the Calvin/Arminius fight (we see it as useless squabbling that just further divides the Church), we agree with the Arminian concept of “synergy.” Our Grace comes from the Holy Mysteries (known as Sacraments in the West). When forced into a corner by the Lutherans to number our Mysteries, we suggested 7: Baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist, Confession/Repentance, Holy Unction (oil for the sick), Marriage, and Ordination. Through these Mysteries, we are co-workers with God in which Grace is imparted to us.

I could no longer be a Protestant because they took too much away. I couldn’t be a Roman Catholic because of what they added. I was stuck.

When my friend (who is a Protestant) pointed me to Orthodoxy, I wasn’t ready just yet. It took me another month of searching through the different denominations. When I finally went to the Divine Liturgy, I knew I was home. (It took me several weeks to admit it.)

I went to my old church this morning to make sure I was making the right decision. Where was the incense? Where were my icons? Where were the beautiful prayers? Where were the 1000 year old hymns? Where were the beautiful Gospel Book? Where were the crosses? Where was the altar? Communion was merely a “representation.” Everything I had quickly grown to love, was not found in my old church.

My Name Is Jason

Now, back to the issue of my name.

When I officially asked to be accepted into the Church, I was instructed to pick a Christian name for myself. When you are baptized and chrismated into the Church, you take on a new name. Reading the lives of the saints, I was drawn to St. Basil the Blessed, Fool for Christ. However, I had my hesitations. Saint Jason, named in the New Testament had a beautiful story. He led many to Christ. Because of his work, many of my brothers and sisters ended their lives in martyrdom at the hands of the government.

With the blessing of Father Paul, I will be adding new depth to a name that I have long abandoned.

This is why I am humbly entreating you, please, from now on, call me Jason. When you call someone their Christian name, it is a simple prayer to the patron saint.

Please don’t be offended when I correct you. It is only proper and good that I revert back to the name my mother gave me.

In addition to Saint Jason’s story, the name Jason means “healer.” Though I am leaving Protestantism, I’m not leaving my brothers behind. I long for the day where “Orthodox,” “Catholic,” “Baptist,” “Lutheran,” “Pentecostal,” or “Anglican” are removed and the title Christian stands alone. If God wishes, with the blessing of my bishop, I want to do everything in my power to bring our Family back together. I highly doubt it will happen in my lifetime, but it is something good and right to strive toward.

As I close, I will leave you the two Hymns of Jason and Sosipater (April 29):

Troparion in the 3rd Tone:

O holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater,
Pray to the merciful God,
That He may grant to our souls
Remission of our transgressions.

Kontakion in the 2nd Tone:

O Jason, source of healing
And Sosipater, glory of the martyrs of Christ:
You were enlightened by the preaching of Paul,
Both becoming a great consolation to the world through your miracles.
Thrice-holy and God-bearing Apostles and defenders of those who suffer
Intercede with Christ God that He may save our souls.

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: One God, Amen.

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3 comments on “Please, Call Me Jason

  1. Debbie Mills
    February 22, 2015

    Love you, Jason.

    • Sharon Willarad
      February 23, 2015

      Jason, this was beautiful. Let me know what time will be good for you on Sunday, March 8 for your Chrismation.
      Sharon

  2. Jonathan Holliday
    February 23, 2015

    I applaud your seeking of the Lord in this brother!
    Be blessed!

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This entry was posted on February 22, 2015 by in Blog and tagged , , , .
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