Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s Stated Clerk’s report – Orthodoxy. Orthopraxy. And orthopathos?

In his comments to the 1,000 plus attendees of the 31st General Assembly meeting of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Stated Clerk Jeffrey Jeremiah said, “I believe our Lord is saying to us today, ‘I see your orthodoxy. It is essential and I commend you for it. I see your orthopraxy as well. Now, show me your orthopathos.

Show me your passion for me.’ We are called to love the Lord with all our heart, all our mind and all our soul.”

Two legs of this three legged stool of true religion are well known and oft discussed.

  • Orthodoxy is right doctrine or right belief in the truth.
  • Orthopraxy is right practice or right implementation of truth to life.

But what exactly is orthopathos or orthopathy? The short answer is right affection or righteous passion.

Affections or passion is not to be equated with emotions or feelings. Historically, “affections” was a term used to describe holy and godly inclinations of the soul. The affections are attributes of the heart of God and include love, reverence, holiness, long-suffering, honor and righteous anger. These are God’s affections, God’s passions and by the power of the Holy Spirit they are communicable attributes to His people. When properly expressed, God’s people show forth God’s image. Indeed, His people reflect His glory to a world desperately in need of redemption.

Jeremiah concluded, “If the passion of our hearts energizes all we do in pursuit of our Savior and His great commission, then we can look forward to seeing our Savior doing things in us and through us that will blow us away – and we will be left in awe and praise and worship.”

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