"I started reading the Lutheran Confessions anachronistically. I tried to convince myself that Lutheranism was Orthodoxy...just the Western version of it. A few Lutheran pastors I know, including my own, would tell me "that's not how we were taught to understand the Confessions" but I couldn't pretend to be Orthodox if I couldn't be allowed to read the Confessions in a particular light."I commented there, but thought it also worth mentioning here...it's hard also, when coming from the Southern Baptist Church to Orthodoxy, to let go of the idea (which is even less ancient than Lutheranism) of "Once Saved Always Saved," wherein God is either so loving that He lets you KNOW you're saved, or He's a sourpuss who nitpicks at every little work you do as you scrape together your own salvation.
As Fr. Thomas Hopko says, God is a God who, when He meets our sin, says, "You're not gonna get me to bless it, but you're not gonna get rid of Me, either." The possibility of choosing sin and death over Life remains, but the love never wanes--nevertheless, every now and again it gets hard not to paint a "Once Saved Always Saved" veneer over the somber faces on those icons...
They're somber for a reason.
They're somber 'cause they care.