The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate




 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
A Generous Orthodoxy
07-08-2007, 04:04 PM
Post: #41
 
Certainly not better informed, but I have also thought about these things for a long time without coming to firm conclusions.

I think I am sure that there are heretics and there is a sin of schism, which should not be understood as being directly applied to those who are born into a context - but rather to those who teach others to make choices in certain spiritually unhealthy directions, and also those who have a spirit of separation and exclusion in their hearts.

I think this was also the view of our Fathers who understood the difference between a Nestorius and a relatively simple layman in a Nestorian community.

But back to the topic, I wonder also if we are wrong to think in terms of God's displeasure as he looks at a Plymouth Brother, rather than a Greek Orthodox. Perhaps we should not think in terms of God's anger that someone is a Baptist, even a Baptist Pastor, but should understand that He is filled with love for that person and wishes them to experience more of Himself.

If being a Plymouth Brother is a step on the way to transforming Christian life in the Spirit, and is authentically already a partial means of transformation, then I don't see that God is angry. But looking at my own history, I can believe that He wished me to learn more and experience more.

I think, for myself, it would have been sin, and a cause of God's displeasure, had I rejected His call to take another step and then another. But this is the same for me now. I do not believe I am 'safe' because I have become Orthodox in the British Orthodox Church, rather I must still struggle to discern God's will and hear His voice so that I can follow the leading of the Spirit for the next step and then the next.

So I guess I am saying that I can believe that many of those in the other Christian communions are Christian, to the extent that they are being transformed by God and experience His life, but that I do believe He has more for them, and does will that they move to a greater experience of His life and love. Just as a cradle Orthodox must also make steps in their pilgrimage and must embrace as their own what is at first just an external spiritual environment which they may well fail to interiorise.

This does not mean that I believe that the other Christian organisations are THE CHURCH in the same way as the Orthodox. I do believe they are deficient - but I think it is permissible to seperate the faithful and devout believer in Christ from the organisation in which they find themselves, and the theology which they may embrace.

A Baptist may be a good Christian, but I believe God has a greater experience for them, and does provide them with opportunities to take steps into such greater experience even if these are not explicitly Orthodox opportunities. Many of the great Protestant 'Fathers' were orthodox if not Orthodox, which I think is a testimony to the fact that God is at work in many places and hearts.

Of course an Orthodox may be a bad Christian, which suggests to me that it is the journey, the pilgrimage, which counts, not the bare label. We may not be able to prejudge God's will for the path each of us takes, and for many millions the possibility of becoming formally Orthodox has been nil. But I think I am confident that if those millions are walking forward with God and to God and into God then they are not far from His will.

Is the Baptist and Brethren communion a means of grace? I believe so. Is the Orthodox Eucharist the reality of which these other practices is a shadow? I believe that also. But the latter truth does not mean that the former practice is without value.

Does any of this sound reasonable, and true?

Peter
Quote


Messages In This Thread
A Generous Orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 15-07-2007, 03:52 PM
[] - admin - 15-07-2007, 05:01 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-07-2007, 12:42 PM
[] - admin - 19-07-2007, 08:59 PM
On Transcending Divisions - Rick Henry - 20-07-2007, 12:57 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 20-07-2007, 01:56 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-07-2007, 04:38 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 20-07-2007, 10:05 PM
[] - admin - 21-07-2007, 09:48 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 21-07-2007, 03:42 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 22-07-2007, 01:24 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 22-07-2007, 03:13 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-07-2007, 12:04 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 23-07-2007, 11:30 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-07-2007, 01:32 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 23-07-2007, 03:52 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 24-07-2007, 01:19 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 25-07-2007, 08:27 AM
[] - admin - 25-07-2007, 11:10 AM
Re: a generous orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 25-07-2007, 07:29 PM
Thank You - Rick Henry - 25-07-2007, 08:21 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 26-07-2007, 09:35 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 26-07-2007, 02:46 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 26-07-2007, 04:23 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 27-07-2007, 03:59 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 28-07-2007, 11:25 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 01-08-2007, 02:11 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 01-08-2007, 03:24 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 02-08-2007, 08:37 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 02-08-2007, 11:21 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 02-08-2007, 12:09 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 03-08-2007, 08:31 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 03-08-2007, 02:54 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 03-08-2007, 03:46 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-08-2007, 10:37 AM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 04-08-2007, 11:26 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-08-2007, 12:21 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 07-08-2007, 02:15 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 02:57 PM
[] - admin - 07-08-2007 04:04 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 05:06 PM
[] - admin - 07-08-2007, 07:38 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-08-2007, 07:44 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-08-2007, 12:28 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 08-08-2007, 12:38 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-08-2007, 01:55 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 09-08-2007, 02:40 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 10-08-2007, 01:56 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 10-08-2007, 08:43 PM
Re: A Generous Orthodoxy - Rick Henry - 11-08-2007, 02:17 PM
Love - John Charmley - 11-08-2007, 04:38 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 13-08-2007, 08:35 AM
God is Love? - John Charmley - 13-08-2007, 12:00 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-08-2007, 05:35 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 14-08-2007, 04:30 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-08-2007, 02:59 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 15-08-2007, 04:18 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-08-2007, 06:41 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 15-08-2007, 09:42 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 16-08-2007, 09:02 AM
Judgement - John Charmley - 16-08-2007, 01:35 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-08-2007, 04:21 PM
A Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 18-08-2007, 12:23 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 23-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Love - John Charmley - 23-08-2007, 05:54 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 04-12-2007, 10:15 PM
Generous Orthodoxy - John Charmley - 07-12-2007, 04:42 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 11-12-2007, 02:24 PM
Rubber and road - John Charmley - 12-12-2007, 05:47 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 13-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Generosity - John Charmley - 13-12-2007, 11:18 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-12-2007, 01:34 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-12-2007, 01:46 PM
To believe on Him? - John Charmley - 17-02-2008, 07:18 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 17-02-2008, 09:58 PM
[] - John Charmley - 19-02-2008, 06:31 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-02-2008, 12:39 PM
[] - John Charmley - 23-02-2008, 04:50 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 24-02-2008, 01:15 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-04-2008, 01:36 PM
Ecclesiastical communities - John Charmley - 08-04-2008, 04:48 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-04-2008, 02:58 PM
[] - John Charmley - 10-04-2008, 08:50 PM
Part II - John Charmley - 10-04-2008, 09:15 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 11-04-2008, 01:28 PM
[] - John Charmley - 11-04-2008, 03:32 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 12-04-2008, 08:46 AM
[] - John Charmley - 12-04-2008, 12:14 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2008, 03:42 PM
[] - John Charmley - 14-04-2008, 01:54 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-04-2008, 12:07 PM
[] - John Charmley - 15-04-2008, 09:09 PM
a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 18-04-2008, 09:48 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 18-04-2008, 12:16 PM
[] - John Charmley - 18-04-2008, 02:16 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-04-2008, 01:42 PM
[] - John Charmley - 20-04-2008, 02:40 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 20-04-2008, 06:04 PM
[] - John Charmley - 26-04-2008, 11:05 AM
Lest Foundationalism is Dead: - Rick Henry - 28-04-2008, 02:55 PM
[] - admin - 28-04-2008, 07:19 PM
[] - John Charmley - 30-04-2008, 07:04 PM
Transition/Transformation? - Rick Henry - 01-05-2008, 10:53 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 27-05-2008, 02:23 PM



Twitter: britishorthodox | Contact: info@britishorthodox.org | © The British Orthodox Church 2012 all rights reserved