When I first started on this path, a friend of mine asked me why I was ordained as a gnostic, rather than in some other church. Lately, I've been thinking about why I chose the Johannite path, rather than just being a solitary gnostic, or another wisdom tradition, maybe some for of Americanized Eastern thought or even a mystical but orthodox Christianity.
The Johannite path has a number of qualities it emphasizes that appeal to me, and most of them are expressed in dualities. It's as though one quality drives the Church and its members forward, while the other quality reigns the activity in and keeps it from becoming too extreme.
For example: We are an innovative church. We have a number of approved rituals for use at the Eucharist and a great deal of latitude in how we perform the other rituals. Yet we are a traditional church, using older forms of governance and honorifics, and keeping us within due bounds. We use modern technology and ancient rituals. We have modern social mores, opening our offices to all of humanity, but for some ritual and theological purposes we still use male gendered language for the Divine.
It's this tension, this interaction between the answers of the past and the answers of the present, that make us vibrant and growing forward. In some degree we're cutting new ground, in another degree there is nothing new under the sun. We're a strange amalgam of the past and the future intersecting in an uncertain present.
And that's what I love about this Church. To a degree, it's a social frontier. It's an institution which is trying to take the best from the past and distill it with the best of the present to make an amazing future for all of Humanity, we hope. Mostly likely, it'll be a select few of Humanity, as that's how Gnostic religions work. They appeal to a few, but they are a drop in the wider Human pool, that colors and spreads far beyond its literal reach.
As the Church grows, we're moving into an era where we have a wider reach, more materials, and more springboards for the questions that keep our tension between the past and the present alive, and keep us moving forward, keep us reaching out to as many who will listen, and helping put their feet on the path.