It is upon the Trunk that a gentleman works. — Analects of Confucius, I. 2
The Lindy Effect is a probability indicator that tells us if we want to determine whether something that exists right now will be around in the future, we should look at how long it has been around in the past. If something exists now in much the same form as it has existed in the past, it is more likely that it will remain in tact for at least as long as it has existed so far. The staying power of Mozart's music illustrates the Lindy Effect.
With that perspective, would you believe that there is an ancient, vibrant, and currently thriving Christian tradition that spans the globe, that employs the most ancient of liturgies, the Saint James Liturgy, that this tradition has 40 million rock-ribbed members, 30 thousand monasteries, 400 thousand clergy, positive birth rates, has a strong presence in the West as a whole, in the United States in particular, and is especially strong in the inner-cities of places like Washington, D.C. and many other densely populated places where World War III--the "narrative" war for control of the human mind--is currently raging?
THE TRUNK OF THE CHRISTIAN TREE, ORIENTAL ORTHODOXY
The Oriental Orthodox Church is a group of Lindy Christians that also includes the Armenian Orthodox Church and the Egyptian Coptic Church. The Oriental Orthodox are part of the original "trunk" of the Christian tree. The Oriental Orthodox agree with and accept the first three Church councils–Nicea (325), Constantinople (381), and Ephesus (431)--but did not follow the rest of the church when the Eastern Orthodox branched off the original trunk at Chalcedon in 451. Chalcedon was the first significant Christian schism. Later divisions occurred in 1054 when the Catholics separated from the Eastern Orthodox and on October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther started the Magisterial Reformation, separating Protestants from Catholics. The result is now that there are thousands of different, and often competing, branches on the Christian tree.
WHY THE LINDY CHRISTIANS ARE IMPORTANT NOW
World War III has revealed itself as a war for the control of the mind of humanity. Instead of kinetic weapons, World War III's initiators and anagonists are employing weapons with much greater destructive potential: fear-inducing false narratives designd to cause people to injure and enslave themselves and their children. The failing WWIII game plan is to use false narratives to scare people into placing digital shackles on themselves and their children. The goal was and is to use the "pandemic narrative" and the "vaccine narrative" to get people to choose to subject themselves to permanent control via electronic health records. The WWIII antagonists have used the pandemic health scare as the means to obtain voluntary submission to their future plans. No vaccination passport = no permission to participate in "civilized" society.
Of course, its not working and it won't work. And we still have to play our part.
The most robust false narratives at the moment--the pandemic narrative, the climate change narrative, the transgender narrative, etc.,--have one thing in common. They all begin with the flawed epistemological presupposition that man is in charge of his timespace experience and that man has the power to write mankind's story. That is, man determines what reality is. All experience is subjective. There is no objective reality. There is no Sovereign God. Man is sovereign. Man can solve disease without God, man can solve global warming (or global cooling depending on which day of the week it is) without God, and man has the power to choose his gender. Man does not need God. God is a fiction or, if God is real, then it is because man created God. That is the epistemological foundation of the humanist (and transhumanist) narrative. Smartphones, computers, and forced government education/indoctrination give the "man is in charge here" narrative writers a powerful advantage that often appears unassailable.
And it would be unassailable if man did not have the power to choose, if those gadgets did not have an "off" button, and if there was not a counter narrative that passes the Lindy Effect test.
Lindy Christians are important because you cannot fight something with nothing and, in war between narratives, the Lindy Christians are playing Mozart and have been for 2000 years while Davos Man is playing techno.
All of Christendom, including the Lindy Christians, has been negatively affected by World War III. Chalcedonian Christendom (Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox), however, has very particularly not fared well in the narrative war that is World War III. As high as 60-80 percent of the Chalcedonian Christian world has now submitted to a compelled, and potentially lethal, experimental drug therapy (a/k/a vaccination) that was enabled by the pandemic false narrative. That is, a majority of Chalcedonian Christendom has put one foot in the lobster trap that is transparently designed to permanently digitally entrap them and their children.
Although there have been bright spots, namely, the Grace Church in California, Archibishop Vigano in the Catholic Church, Rev. Artur Pawlowski in Canada, Bulgaria (always the rogue and uncouth outsider in Eastern Orthodoxy), Belarus, and perhaps Russia, Chalcedonian Christendom's submission to lockdowns, masks, social isolation, vaccine mandates (now for children), and compelled deadly treatment protocols, has been the norm. The Catholic Church as an institution, or at least its Pope, appears to have completely surrendered its narrative to Davos Man. There are of course many individual heros in this story, many brave doctors, philosophers, and a growing number of persuasive and influential commentators. Some are Christian, but many not affiliated with any faith. The thing that those opposing the false narratives of WWIII lack: a consistent, time tested, and unifying counter narrative.
Meanwhile, in Lindy-Christian dominated Ethiopia, the percentage of the population that has accepted the pandemic narrative and submitted to the dangerous experimental drug therapy shot is 4.4 percent. In Egypt and Armenia (and rogue Eastern Orthodox Bulgaria) the rates of submission to experimental drug therapy are around 20 percent. Again, this does not necessarily argue the relative merit of any individual Lindy Christians or argue that the Lindy Christians are comparatively better than other Christian groups. The Lindy Christian narrative has suffered severe historic and catastrophic losses: the Armenian genocide is just one example.
Vaccination rates, however, provide some correlative evidence of the relative resilience and success of different cultural narratives. In a narrative war in which the human mind is the war zone, the power of false narratives to penetrate the minds of the faithful is a highly relevant fact. 60 percent vaccination rates in the Chalcedonian United States compared to 4.4 percent in Lindy Ethiopia is a relevant fact. If we are concerned not just about winning WWIII but also are interested in choosing a narrative that will put our descendants 2000 years from now on a solid, resilient foundation, we should at least consider the Lindy Christian narrative. Because it may be working.
In the first phase of WWIII, the Lindy Christians in the United States, comprised mostly of humble, keep-your-head-down immigrants, have not rebelled or publicly made any waves against the pandemic narrative. At the same time, they did not cower or change their order of business and have never submitted to the idea that man is in charge of their narrative. Liturgies (including, most importantly for this essay, historically accurate accounts of past saints and martyrs resisting authoritarian despots) never stopped, they merely moved online. Mask rules were diligently and respectfully observed until they were exposed to be completely without authority.
The international data above indicates that the Lindy Christians have been more resilient and immune to the false pandemic narrative than has Chalcedonian Christendom. This could of course be mere correlation. But the most austure of the Lindy Christians, the Ethiopians, have also been the most resilient. Very few Ethiopians have been fooled by the pandemic narrative. Anecdotally, Google's Chief AI Ethics Officer, an Ethiopian, resigned after the first year of World War III.
The relative apparent success of the Lindy Christian narative so far in World War III may also offer us opportunity to course correct our own personal and institutional narratives and perhaps align them with more optimal, tried and true Lindy Effect narratives.
RIGHT ROADS, WRONG ROADS, AND WRONG AND NECESSARY ROADS
Because life can only be understood backward, but must be lived forward, history offers us the benefit of hindsight. Hindsight allows us to see right roads we have taken as well at the wrong ones and sometimes the "necessary and wrong" roads. The necessary and wrong roads are the most interesting because, with hindsight, we can see that although they felt "right" at the time, they now reveal themselves to be wrong. At the same time, very often the wrong roads are the ones most necessary to our personal development. The same may be true of the Church.
We need to pay attention to Lindy Christians because they have a consistent narrative that has not changed for 2000 years and because it appears to be effective in WWIII's narrative war. In the case of the the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the narrative goes back to the Queen of Sheba in the Old Testament.
The Lindy Christian narrative is humble, apophatic, and universal. It is not limited to any particular self-chosen ethnic group. The Lindy Christian narrative firmly places God in charge. The regular Coptic Liturgy, the Saint Basil Liturgy, contains a veneration of saints segment in which the history of the church is specifically recited. The weekly liturgies of all Lindy Christians recite the stories of historical Christian saints and martyrs, including Roman soliders like Saint George and Saint Mercurius who rejected the "man is in charge" narratives of their time, defied Roman Emperors after serving as heroic and victorious warriors, and proclaimed Christ as their King. These powerful and truthful narratives are related to Lindy Christian children every Sunday.
The Lindy Christian narrative tells the story of how gentle and faithful Christians toppled a global empire. The Ethiopian narrative also includes victories over fascism, communism, the Jesuits, a proto-Bolshevik queen, and a political leader who was so respected and so revered that many thought he was the Second Coming, which he vigorously denied. His unpersuaded followers nevertheless established a new religion in his honor. In the end, one of this new religion's most revered followers on his deathbed awakened to the Lindy Christian narrative and converted to Ethiopian Orthodoxy.
WHAT HAPPENED AT CHALCEDON?
If we have been raised in the Chalcedonian narrative, World War III may be the crisis that presents the opportunity to determine if we have taken any "wrong and necessary" roads in our personal journeys. A Pilgrim's Progress is never perfect, always presents challenges, and always requires the humbling and sanctifying process of walking back every step taken down a "wrong" road.
The Lindy-Chalcedonian divide relates to Christology: Who is Christ and what is His Nature? It was at Chalcedon that Christendom first attempted to officially define Christ's "nature"' and it was also the first time the word "two" was officially used in describing Christ's nature:
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach people to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; (ἐν δύο φύσεσιν ἀσυγχύτως, ἀτρέπτως, ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀχωρίστως – in duabus naturis inconfuse, immutabiliter, indivise, inseparabiliter) the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person (prosopon) and one Subsistence (hypostasis), not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten God (μονογενῆ Θεόν), the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
Chalcedon, from the Chalcedonian persepective, was necessary to refute the alleged "new fusion" Christological formulations of Eutyches and also to deal with the political turmoil surrounding the controversial Dioscorus, the then-Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt. The Chalcedonians (then Eastern Orthodox, now also Catholics and Protestants) view Chalcedon as a necessary final stomping out of the pernicious heresies of Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophystism, and Docetism and also the disciplining of a rogue bishop. To the Chalcedonian branches of the Christian tree, the "two natures" Christ is theologically accurate and was necessary to build an impenetrable wall around Christ to prevent further invasion of these pernicious heresies.
From the Lindy Christian perspective, Chalcedon represents something like "man with a hammer sydrome," an inelegant and overbroad solution to a delicate and mysterious problem. "Chalcedon, the ominous," as the Copts refer to it, also perhaps represents man overstepping his bounds by attempting to define the nature of his Creator and Redeemer. To all Lindy Christians, Calcedon represents a departure from what the church had theretofore stated and believed and which Dioscorus defended at Chalcedon when he stated:
If Eutyches holds opinions contrary to the doctrines of the church, he deserves not only punishment but hell fire. For my concern is for the catholic and apostolic faith and not for any human being.
The Lindy Christian Christological view is supported by the Lindy Effect fact that the early church fathers, including Saint Cyril, referred to Christ's nature as "one nature of God the Word incarnate," and rejected any use of the word "two" in describing or circumscribing the nature of Christ. At the same time, the pre-Chalcedon Church always acknowledged the mysterious paradox that Christ was and is at the same time "fully human" and "fully Divine." Saints Athanasius and Gregory accepted and taught the "one nature" (and simultaneously both Divine and human) Christological formulation. But so did Eutyches, the man whose teachings and activities prompted Chalcedon and who was anethamatized at Chalcedon (and again later by the Copts). Eutyches may have gone further, however, and claimed that Christ's "one" nature was a "new" nature that somehow involved a fusing of the Divine and human natures. Eutyches was not present at Chalcedon to defend his view.
From a disinterested observer's perspective, Chalcedon looks like a semantic, "lost in translation" dispute, a misunderstanding caused by language's inability to define the undefinable. Chalcedon to these observers represents an irresolvable difference between the meanings of "nature," "essence,"and "person" in different languages. These people maintain that the Chalcedon debate is a navel-gazing distinction without a difference. This may be true, not only the secular sense but possibly in the spiritual sense. The dispute at Chalcedon could represent man's intellectualization of something that, from God's perspective, should have never been discussed, debated, or decided--because Christ's paradoxical "nature" is a mystery beyond finite man's limited comprehension. In short, the entire discussion of Christ's nature could be beyond man's "pay grade" and perhaps should have been avoided as an idle, intellectual departure from Christ's "faith of a child" admonition.
Chalcedon nevertheless represents the first major division in Christendom and it was the proximate cause of the first organized internecine violence between Christians--the Chalcedonian Greeks subsequently persecuted and murdered the Egyptian Copts for being heretic "monophysites." Further, some credibly argue that Islam is an Arian Christian heresy that arose in spite of Chalcedon. For these reason, in the spirit of unity and enlightenment, let us nevertheless humbly consider the idea that World War III has presented us with the opportunity to evaluate whether Chalcedon represents a simultaneously "right" and at the same time "necessary and wrong" turn in human development and in the story of God's Church.
Anyone entering into the Chalcedonian discussion should be open-minded and commit to conciously putting aside, at least for the moment, perhaps a lifetime of psychological and emotional Christological "commitment bias." Perhaps the hardest psychological barrier to overcome in the "neccessary and wrong road" exercise is the "party spirit" barrier. Anyone who is or knows a sports fan knows the difficulty of overcoming the "my team" mentality. Loyalty and consistency feel good. Loyalty and consistently in adhering to suboptimal ideas is, however, destructive in the long run. So, let us keep our minds and ideologies open because "out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry."
In sum, if we believe that there can be a "winner" and a "loser" in the Chalcedon debate we may have lost the plot.
WORDS AND IDEAS MATTER
For those of us who believe in the power of words and that ideas have real-world consequences, the dispute at Chalcedon is forever relevant. The question of Christ's nature, and how and whether to officially express it, is perhaps the most important question in Christianity and therefore history.
The story of Dioscorus, the Patriarch of Alexandria who was deposed by the division that resulted from Chalcedon, tells us that Chalcedon was at least as much about politics as it was about theology or Christology. Nevertheless, Chalcedon left a permanent schism in the original Church, with the Chalcedonians claiming that the Lindy Christians were Eutychian Christological fusionists and "monophysites" and with the Lindys countering that the Chalcedonians were Nestorian Christological "two persons in one" dualists. Neither accusation is perfectly accurate. As the video below shows, there have been 1600 years of off-and-on parallel conversations between the Lindys (the Oriental Orthodox) and the original Chalcedonians (the Eastern Orthodox) and very little meeting of the minds.
The Chalcedonians conclude their end the debate by setting up this dilemma: "If Christ had only one nature, then which nature to you deny Lindys, His Divinity or His humanity?" The Lindys, for their part, ask the Chalcedonians: "If Christ had "two" distinct but indisguishable natures, which of those natures died on the Cross, which was resurrected, and which nature do we share with Him?"
To the Lindys it seems that Chalcedon's use of the word "two" is the main problem because it attempts, for the first time, to draw a dualistic line through a mysterious and undefinable paradox.
Judging from their attempts to bridge the Christological divide, it appears that both the Lindys and the Chalcedonians would agree that Christ Incarnate was a vessel, not different than any other human vessel, and that He was comprised of both a fully human and fully Divine "nature." I believe both sides would also agree that because Christ lived a perfect and sinless life, that His human nature could be expressed as perfect, capital-H Human Nature. Thus, in Christ God expressed to the rest of us what the Perfect Human looks and acts like, and also that, in Christ, perfect Humanity is indistinguishable from perfect Divinity. The one-and-only Perfect Human's thoughts, words, and actions always have and always will perfectly align with God's will and will therefore always meet the standard of: "Love God with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." In the eyes of God, therefore, Humanity and Divinity are the same thing. When Christ asked Peter: "Who do you say that I am?" Peter did not respond by saying, "well, Jesus, I am perplexed because I see a lot of my imperfect humanity in you and at the same time I see Your amazing Divinity." He instead said: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!" Peter's words were in no way limiting and did not intellectualize or attempt to parse Christ's paradoxical "nature."
I believe that the Lindys and the Chalcedonians would also likely agree that the rest of us, lower case "h" humans born into a fallen world, can individually only move in the direction of Divinity (sanctification/theosis). Thus our individual divinity should be expressed with a lower-case "d." This will be true as long as we are bound (or perhaps perceive ourselves to be bound) by time and space. When we act in concert with other members of the Church and are aligned with God's will, then and only then can we, collectively, accept a "Divine" appellation. The "Church" is Divine as the Body of Christ. We participate in that Divinity not individually, but corporately.
In light of our current understanding of human psychology and the powerful influence of words on our minds and bodies through neuro-linguistic programming, if one accepts the idea that Christ possessed "two" natures, this risks putting one's belief system and perception of reality into a dualistic linguistic box. This is the danger that I believe the Lindys avoided by not accepting Chalcedon and by never making any "official" pronouncement about Christ's "nature." Because words can never completely capture complex or paradoxical ideas, when we use limiting words to define something we risk limiting our beliefs, our perception of reality, and thus limit our personal boundaries and progress.
For example, if I accept the Reality that "I am in Christ and Christ is in me for all of eternity," but I also believe that Christ had "two" natures, one very much like mine (human) and one that does not appear to be anything like mine (capital "D" Divine), what does that do to my finite human mind's capacity to connect with the Divine "part" of Christ's nature? By simply invoking the word "two," have I not built something like a psychological barrier between my beastly "human" nature which I know intimately and Christ's Divinity which becomes more abstract and unattainable simply because I have used the word "two" to describe Him? Is it not now more difficult, and perhaps impossible, to "do greater things than these" or "have life more abundantly" or more basically, "follow Christ?"
On the other hand, if I accept the same "in Christ" Reality and also accept that Christ had one nature that was mysteriously paradoxically fully Divine and fully Human, that through His death and resurrection He restored and reconnected me with God the Father, irrevocably making me a Son of God, then there is no dualistic, linguistic, or psychological barrier between my humanity and the Divine. Being "in Christ" and having Christ "in me" is a direct passage into the Divine that involves a powerful and unexplainable mystery. My humanity and divinity are aligned with and irrevocably pointed in the direction of His Humanity and Divinity. It is my beastly nature that has been reckoned dead by Christ and the Cross, not my humanity. My conscious, intentional humanity is alive and well and its potential has no limit.
LINDY QUANTUM CHRISTOLOGY
The relationship between Chalcedonian Christology and Lindy Christology looks like the relationship between Newtonian (classic) physics and quantum physics. Newtonian physics is confused by quantum physics. Paradoxical quantum entanglement, what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance," is what divides Newtonian physics from quantum physics. Dualistic and mechanical Newtonian physics is not capable of grasping the idea of "two" things being essentially "one and the same" and mysteriously, timelessly, and immediately connected while simultaneously being physically distant from one another. Mechanically causal Newtonian physics doesn't attempt to explain things like the synchronized movement and mysterious connection of starlings in flight. Time and space are very real obstacles that Newtonian physics feels the need to address and overcome. Quantum entanglement, on the other hand, does not even acknowledge the existence of time and space. Indeed, when quantum scientists do acknowledge the existence of time and space by engaging in "observing" and "measuring," the quantum magic disappears in the form of a "collapse of the wave function."
Very mysterious. Quantum physics certainly doesn't negate the truth Newtonian of physics. Yet at the same time, quantum physics does indicate that Newtonian physics' understanding of the inter-connectedness of physical world, and perhaps time and space, is somehow incomplete. Perhaps the same is true of relationship between Chaldedonian Christology and Lindy Christology.
Four hundred years after Newton and over 1600 years after Chalcedon--despite all the woundrous advancements enabled by Newtonian physics and despite Chaldeonian Christendom's enveloping of the globe---all of the Chalcedonian Christian West (and much of the East) finds itself in the fight of its life in WWIII's narrative battle. And it is not just the pandemic narrative. All of Chalcedonian Christendom is under the heavy yoke of money masters, exclusive legal tender laws, involuntary servitude to the state as represented by the income tax, the surveillance state, the warfare-welfare state, etc. Pessimism, reflected in low birth rates, is the world's real pandemic, and it is particularly prevalent in the Chalcedonian Christendom.
The Covid Coup with its lockdowns, travel restrictions, quarantining, vaccine passports, etc., has made manifest the dystopian dark side of Newtonian technological advancement and also the weaknesses in the Chalcedonian narrative. Where is the Christian society today that reflects or is capable of manifesting the principle: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty"?
Interestingly, Newton himself was a serious student of Christology. Newton was a member of the Chalcedonian Anglican Church. Newton, a graduate of Trinity College, secretly rejected Trinitarianism in favor of Arianism:
By 1672, he had started to record his theological researches in notebooks which he showed to no one and which have only recently been examined. They demonstrate an extensive knowledge of early Church writings and show that in the conflict between Athanasius and Arius which defined the Creed, he took the side of Arius, the loser, who rejected the conventional view of the Trinity. Newton "recognized Christ as a divine mediator between God and man, who was subordinate to the Father who created him." He was especially interested in prophecy, but for him, "the great apostasy was trinitarianism."
It would interesting to see if Newton would change his views on anything, including Christology, if he was made aware of quantum reality.
YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS--THE VELVET HAMMERS OF LINDY CHRISTENDOM
Regardless of whether or not an examination of our Christology will aid us in WWIII, in a world of competing, and predominantly false, "narratives," most of which are designed to entrench the current elites and prevent upward (and downward) mobility in the natural Pareto distribution of wealth, it is comforting to know that there is a quiet, unassuming and tough as nails "velvet hammer" group of people that are living in the Reality narrative and have been for over 2000 years.
The EOTC is particularly unique in Christendom. It has the oldest liturgy, it has its own biblical canon, it has a unique calendar that begins on an easy to remember date: September 11. The EOTC credibly claims that it is actually the year 2014 A.D., not 2021.
The EOTC did not become "autocephalous" (its own boss), until 1959. Until then, it was under the jurisdiction of the Copts in Alexandria, Egypt.
The history of the EOTC is rich, below are just some of the unique attributes of these Lindy Christians and the fruits of their narrative.
Mary's Role in God's Story. The EOTC reveres, honors, and venerates Mary, not as deity, but as the greatest human to ever live. Mary is God's bridge that connects His Old Testament and New Testament narrative. To the EOTC, Mary is the most important and most essential human in God's narrative. From the EOTC perspective, Mary's humanity comes as close to capital "H" Humanity as is possible. This is because Mary sets the example to the rest of us of what complete submission to God's will looks like. God seeks our consent and our submission to His will to work in our lives. Mary explified that in her Magnificat--her consent to be used by God to magnify God and His Son.
The Liturgy. Traditional Catholics who appreciate the ad orientum nature of the Latin Mass will very much appreciate the EOTC liturgy. The standard liturgy is the oldest of liturgies, the Saint James liturgy. It is typically 3 hours long, not including Saturday evening Vespers or early Sunday morning Matins. The faithful typically stand for all 3 hours. Shoes off. Men on left. Women on the right. Most everyone wears a white linen robe during the service. Standing sticks are usually graciously provided. Latin Mass Catholics will also appreciate that the vast majority of the people in the congregation do not understand the priest's liturgical language. Modern Ethiopians speak Amharic. The liturgical language of the Saint James liturgy in the EOTC is the ancient semitic language of Ge'ez. So if you attend, don't be concerned that you don't understand what the priest is saying. Most of the other regulars don't either. Translations (in English and Amharic) are usually provided.
A Communal System Designed to Instill Delayed Gratification. The EOTC has some of the most rigorous disciplines in Christendom. They pray with their bodies, which includes full prostrations. There are 252 fasting (vegan only) days in the EOTC calendar. If you attend an EOTC liturgy, you may wonder why, at the end of 3-plus hour service and after communion, the congregation lines up to receive a Dixie cup of warm water. That is because they are serious about fasting (no food or water) for the 16 hours before communion. Everyone is thirsty.
Apophatic Theology and Humble Non-Certainty. Apophatic theology does not attempt to claim what God is, but rather asserts what God isn't and allows room for God to define Himself. This is a principle of Orthodoxy in general but it is particularly true of the EOTC and the Lindy Christians as a whole. The Lindy Christians said no the Chalcedon and also said no to the three additional Church ecumenical councils which added to the list of heresies.
The People. In addition to venerating heroic and relatable saints like Moses the Black, the EOTC tends to produce exceptional everyday humans. Haille Sellasie, the only known modern political leader who was mistakenly identified as the Second Coming of Christ, is just one example. Another is Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou, a nun who was educated in Switzerland, spoke seven languages fluently and was a brilliant pianist. Have a listen.
Have hope. World War III is a Big Lie and will soon be revealed as such.
Until then, find and choose a narrative that passes the Lindy Effect test. Pick a narrative that will outlive you and will best prepare and protect seven generations of your descendants from future narrative wars.
Because you can't beat something with nothing and the liars will never stop constructing false narratives designed to scare people into making poor choices.