This one-sidedness of which you speak is not something that I am familiar with. I have not found it in the manner in which I was instructed from the time of my catechism onward. I do not see it in the instruction of my brother clergy. Somehow I think that your experience was not so general as you have come to believe.
Please read more about my experience of one-sidedness regarding grace and free will here, and also about the possibility of not fearing hellfire. I have indeed found that the ethos of the Orthodox Church is against the Orthodox Faith.
For example, am I the only one to feel pain at reading this post:
I myself can affirm that under Protestant Christianity, even believing in "Once Saved, Always Saved," I became a much better person than I was as an agnostic, but that didn't make OSAS true or historical. In fact, I would say that being forced by reading the Fathers to abandon OSAS has had a negative effect on my spiritual life, as I can affirm that my pursuit of personal righteous behavior suffered a massive hiccup from that point forward. Should I interpret this to mean that OSAS was true, and that I should return to the SBC, as I was more inclined to seek righteousness under its care? (For that matter, I haven't done as much evangelizing, either, after switching to Orthodoxy -- went from 60 to zero, one might say. What does that say about the truth of Orthodoxy?)
Where are the people in Orthodoxy correcting his one-sidedness - which is the one-sidedness of the Orthodox Church acting against the Fathers of the Church? Or should I rejoice that the evils of "once saved always saved" have been refuted? Where is the healthy balance acknowledging that some people need - for various reasons - ‘infallible assurance’, but others need to hear about the real possibility of hell fire, and yet probably for most a mixture of the two is more appropriate?
Again, search this modern catechism:
Justification by faith alone is not even mentioned; there is no discussion on grace versus free will (like Calvinism verses Arminianism). This is the same in all books I have found (though I think one book published by in Greece did try, but still refused to fully acknowledge the spirituality of St John Cassian). Find me one dogmatical book - or other work so that everyday people can see what Orthodoxy teaches - that acknowledges the fullness of both grace and freewill. The relationship between grace and freewill is not difficult or exalted, but simple: A parent can rebuke one child for wrong doing, yet praise another for good actions. Here is no contradiction, but I have found that in Orthodoxy God is not allowed to relate to each one as is needed: one size fits all, so to speak, and this implies all must eventually fear hell fire! (Divorce is an unpleasant reality, but should one partner constantly remind the other of its possibility? Yet such is the Orthodox teaching on 'falling from grace': not let up is allowed. Why is Orthodoxy so negative, always assuming the worst in people?)
For example, I have two sisters: one a Calvinist, the other a Catholic. Theologically, I try to be as close to one as to the other: yet in Orthodoxy Catholicism is nearly praised and Calvinism is cursed. (The MP and EP both have dialogue with the Catholics, yet who will dialogue with the Calvinists, acknowledging that a huge chunk of Calvinism is found in St John Cassian?)
I once attended an Orthodox conference, in which the speaker worked his way through the Letter to the Romans. I overheard one person disparagingly comment, "I am so glad that we will hear about Romans. Certain parts of it sound almost Calvinistic!" Funnily enough, if you have read St John Cassian’s 13th conference you will be able to see the Orthodoxy within. However, it is not only Protestants that can be accused of ‘rejecting the baby with the bath water’: modern Orthodoxy does it too! In rejecting the totality of Calvinism, a part of Orthodoxy is rejected too. As I once read in the Philokalia (St mark the Monk, about half-way through his bit on No Righteousness by Works; from memory): Humility consists, not in condemning our conscience, but in recognising God’s grace and compassion. Yet we are rebuked for needing to hear about God's love in keeping us safe when it is good for us, love begetting love, not begetting carelessness.)
However, I think it could be better to continue the discussion on the one-sidedness of grace and freewill in Orthodoxy in the Comparison between Arminianism and Orthodoxy thread, which is where I put my experience on grace and freewill in Orthodoxy.
Just one more example of one-sidedness for now:
Certain Roman Catholic saints have said the following about how Mary stands between us and Christ:
Even if our acts are very holy, they are not completely without stain, and if we want to offer them to Jesus Christ, we should give them first to Mary Immaculate, as her own. She will give them to Jesus Christ as hers, so that they will come to him stainless and pleasing. Then, receiving infinite value through Jesus, our acts will worthily honor God our Father.
("Mary Immaculate", St Maximilian Kolbe, Augustine Publishing Company. ISBN 0-85172-663-1; p.19-20).
Additionally, elsewhere in this booklet it mentions that God has assigned justice to Christ, but mercy to Mary. Even more so, it says that if we say the name "Mary" before taking holy communion then Mary takes communion instead of us, and that this is the greatest offering we can make to her.
Where is the refutation of this heresy, that we can only please Christ by offering via Mary? Nowhere. Heresy is allowed to live and grow within Orthodoxy because of its one-sidedness, ever leaning towards Rome and arrogantly disdaining Evangelicalism. (Have you seen fanaticism in Evangelicalism? Yet I have seen and experienced the same fanaticism carefully hidden in ‘pleasant, peaceful, Anglo-Catholicism' in Orthodoxy! That is why I seek to be as close to one as to the other: they are the same, and the Orthodox Faith is just as close to Rome as it is to Protestantism, but the Orthodox Church refuses to live according to the fullness of the Orthodox Faith.)
I do note that some Catholics do not believe this (see two posts below the one quoted above), but where is the refutation of this teaching, so that Orthodoxy may shine? Why are our leading bishops and theologians (whether modernist or traditionalist) so ignorant of how they can be misunderstood? Heresy is allowed to breed because no bishop or theologian teaches accurately regarding such things.
I am beginning to realise that Orthodoxy’s one-sidedness comes from a denial to let the reality of deification influence all aspects of our theology. But anyway, am I alone in thinking like this? Do other people have any other experiences of one-sidedness, where a clear healthy balance is rejected? or am I just nuts?
PS As you can tell, there is of course some pain still relating to my experiences of Orthodoxy's one-sidedness. I hope I do not offend anyone, but I am convinced that such one-sidedness is deeply entrenched in Orthodoxy. Any help would be appreciated.