My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This is the actual radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation released by the chief of naval operations, 10-10-95.
Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the captain of a US Navy ship, I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: This is the Aircraft Carrier US LINCOLN, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied with three Destroyers, three Cruisers and numerous support vessels. I DEMAND that you change your course 15 degrees north. I say again, that’s one-five degrees north, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
This may seem humorous, and it is, when the conversation is between a ship and a lighthouse. But, what about when secular humanity is the ship and God’s church is the lighthouse?
It’s almost a daily occurrence that someone says to me, “that’s the Orthodox perspective.” This is usually said when one doesn’t agree with us. Whether it be about the mysteries, i.e. Holy Eucharist or Holy Confession; traditions, like Holy Icons or Fasting; or, ethics and morality of contemporary modern issues of our society, like stem cell research, etc. “Perspective” implies that diversity of opinion can result in multiple truths. I love what Plato says regarding this, “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”
God’s church is the lighthouse - His uncreated light that is the beacon therein. The church is built upon “the rock” of faith. It is unmovable; it is truth.
This world will continuously ask us to “divert our course” to accommodate what it believes is truth. The demand will come in such conviction and belief that we may even begin to have doubts. The opinions of those who lack knowledge become “truths” for those unwilling to recognize what truly is. And what truly is? He is! Truth is truth—there is no opinion or diversity.
So where do we reside? In the lighthouse with the truth? Or, on the ship asking for accommodation? It’s our choice!
In His Service,