If you brush your teeth twice every day, and floss at least once, you are an Orthodox. In general, orthodoxy is good for you. According to Merriam (Webster's Dictionary) -- which is a name rooted most likely from Mary, and a good place to be rooted -- an orthodox approach is one that most people accept as true. Granted, a democratic conclusion is not always the best one, but it's pretty darn good.
Orthodox Christianity, though generally thought to only refer to Eastern and/or Russian expressions of the faith, is a tremendous summary for the "way" one should live once they have accepted God as Father, Son and Spirit. In fact, the Catholic faith and all divisions of it and from it, follow a familiar and similar orthodoxy.
The baseline for all that is orthodox in Christianity comes down to a certain few things - The Gospel Message, Baptism, and Discipleship. As with any practice of Christianity, we can find literally thousands of orthodox issues. We hope that these three are enough for a follow through in your love relationship with God. These three things we bring up below represent God's loving history encapsulated in Jesus (the Gospel Message), our loving embrace of the Father and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Baptism), and our joyful embrace within the Body of Christ with our brothers and sisters in faith (Discipleship).
If you say yes to these three you cross the threshold of the Kingdom, and begin to leave homelessness behind.
The language of our Christian faith, summarized in terms like "Paschal Mystery" and "Baptism," have ancient roots and everlasting meaning. The Catholic Church has developed a considerable cache of foundations for the faith. We highly recommend a study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It offers a steady, heady explanation of belonging to the Body of Christ, and a marvelous biblical understanding of faith.
All Christians recognize the rite of Baptism, the act of becoming an "anointed" believer. Being baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit joins us with Jesus, and all our brothers and sisters in faith, in an awesome divine acceptance, Included in our anointing as a member of the Body of Christ, we experience a permanent washing away of our sin -- both backwards and forwards in our life.
Baptism says that we want to belong to the Body, and God joins us in relationship, telling us he wants to live in us. "Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed, and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament."
There you go. Not complicated. But, when unpacked the statement says everything. If you have heard the gospel proclaimed, meaning you have ears to hear, you are called to respond. For those folks who wonder about the exclusivity of such a statement, often citing aborigines living in hidden spaces, folks of other faiths who are not exposed to the Gospel, and unaware children, then the phrase "to those whom the Gospel has been proclaimed" puts the proper parentheses in place. For them, the expectation of responding to a call is yet to take place. Baptism is for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed. That certainly includes every Homeless Catholic or Christian alive. Unless, of course, the Gospel message is hidden under some religious covers or behind a musical curtain. (Those analogies are just that -- analogies. Please do not be offended!)
Baptism is a one time event. Yet, it is followed with a daily, even hourly, awareness that we need to be reborn, remade, and transformed. It is such a powerful event, and timeless, that Catholics, often understood as parochial and uncompromising (an improper understanding), accept the baptism of all Christians as authentic sacraments. Baptism is a one and done sacrament.
Consequently, our wide swath definition of religious homelessness means that most of those who find this website appropriate for their faith journey have already been baptized. If you did not understand the import of baptism, please study it now. If you have not been baptized, then the Gospel message hopefully blares out to you from your reading here.
Get thee to a baptismal font!!!
Jesus, too, was baptized. He went with us under the water, not just to show us the way, but to clear the way, to clarify the way. "This is my Son," is the banner of clarity that folks were looking for, and that answers the question of who Jesus is. In Baptism, we choose Jesus over this world. We reject Satan and all his works. Not only are we washed, but we're clothed in new garments, anointed and shown off to the Body of Christ as a willing member.
The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.”God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. (1129, 161,846)