There is a general perception that the Orthodox Romanian Church. The perception is based on valid arguments, a lot of times people representing the clergy give you rules, habits, suggested actions – “In order to get to God, you should do X / Y / Z”. Invariably, some rules seem stupid (Why should I feast? Why do I have to go to church each Sunday?), while for others there is a conflict of interest (You should give money to the Church, and since I am your closes representative of the Church to you, you may give it to me).
While I do believe that rules exists, the correlation between following those rules and still consider yourself Orthodox is not there for me. In other words, I don’t think that in order to call yourself Orthodox you have to abide to each & every rule.
More than this, I think that following internal rules is much more difficult than the fight/obedience to external rules. So, if a priest tells you something you don’t agree with you, you can choose your action. This choosing may be good or bad.
But it’s much more difficult to follow your own set of rules (if you have any), to fight your internal demons, to stop your forbidden pleasures, than focusing on what the priest says.
According to an attributed quote I can’t find easily online, the opposite of sin is not virtue, but freedom (Kierkegaard). What does this quote says, to me at least? The sin is a set of rules – it’s a sin to not respect your parents, to steal, to kill, to do lust. But the virtue is another set of rules – to respect your parents, not to steal, not to kill, not to do lust. If you replace sin with virtue, you replace one set of rules with another. But what K. says in the above quote is that the opposite of sin is actually the option of choosing. Now you can choose what you want to be. You have an option – you can sin, or not sin. You have freedom, not another set of rules.