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Considering Propositions
16-04-2009, 01:31 PM
Post: #21

It sounds very much like you are presenting a plea for unity among the Orthodox churches. What about the Roman Catholic church? I too would like to see such a thing but there are quite a few semantics to work out first.

That aside, maybe we should talk about that which divided us in the first place; those who strayed away from the Orthodox faith. But then this creates a new area of contention because we will have to argue about who it was that actually strayed away. So without accusing one or the other I will discuss the separation.

First and foremost, the schism that occurred after the Council of Chalcedon was not a punctiliar event, it occurred over the course of about a hundred years. Those now referred to as the Oriental Orthodox could not accept the Tome of Leo or the term "in two natures" as these were deemed to be at the heart of Nestorianism and they were being forced by imperial decree to accept them with the consequences of exile, torture or death if they refused. The authority of the council was overturned and re-overturned several times all the while the OO's remained hospitable to those who wished to join their belief by allowing EO priests to simply come over and after a period of time were allowed to resume their ministry. The EO's on the other hand required that OO priest wishing to make the switch be stripped of their priestly ordination and be re-ordained. Eventually, as decades went on, and the violence continued, the OO's gave up hope for reconciliation and ceased to mingle with the EO's, which was facilitated by the geography and the crumbling empire.

I think that today, the OO's still retain a tolerance of EO theology which is very much similar to ours now, but the anathemas must be lifted unilaterally so that injustice is not laid upon either party. The EO position has always been, the the OO's must accept the Council of Chalcedon in order to be in communion with them, but this will never happen because we will not endorse what we believe to be a corrupt and politically motivated council that deposed one of our beloved Saints and destroyed the unity of Christianity.

That got a little more one-sided than I originally intended but it speaks volumes to the issue of unity. The EO's believe it critical to the faith to accept Chalcedon, and the OO's consider such a thing to be a betrayal of our faith in Christ.

And this ties very closely to the Nicene Creed. In very much the same way that the Arians were considered a heretical group that were ultimately cast out once and for all, so the EO's and the Catholics have treated the OO's. But neither of these circumstances was an immediate separation, but both were the result of imperial intervention. Shortly after Nicea the Christian world awoke to find that it was Arian and was facilitated as such through imperial force, but Orthodoxy eventually prevailed and Athanasius was crowned a pillar of faith, but in the case of Chalcedon, political motives prevailed and so peace could not be found thereafter.

In both cases, Christians were forced by law to believe something, which we OO's do not subscribe to as a christian thing. I would like to see unity between the churches, and I think it is possible, but the issue is so polarized even to this day, and few people approach it with the objectivity it requires in order to solve it.

Anyone converting to orthodoxy will eventually learn about the schism, and if this is enough for Satan to take control of their heart and lead them away, then there is little we can do except keep our arms open for when they return. But we should learn ourselves, a lesson from all this, about the dangers of asserting limiting statements of faith, especially those which are so high level so as not to be understood by the laity. In the Coptic church right now there are those who have differing theological positions but should we condemn each other as heretics? But when someone begins to teach questionable doctrines to the laity, then we must refute them and bring them back in line with orthodoxy. Nestorious could have remained in the church in peace, but he began to speak out emphatically against the Mother of God, therefore Cyril had to refute him, so likewise Athanasius had to refute Arius, and the OO's refute Chalcedon.

Messages In This Thread
Considering Propositions - admin - 08-04-2009, 09:33 PM
RE: Considering Propositions - DanielM - 27-07-2013, 12:05 AM
[] - marc hanna - 08-04-2009, 11:05 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-04-2009, 01:51 PM
[] - marc hanna - 09-04-2009, 02:19 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2009, 01:35 PM
[] - donald wilson - 13-04-2009, 02:05 PM
[] - marc hanna - 13-04-2009, 03:05 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2009, 03:38 PM
[] - marc hanna - 13-04-2009, 04:03 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2009, 04:18 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2009, 04:49 PM
[] - marc hanna - 13-04-2009, 04:58 PM
[] - marc hanna - 13-04-2009, 05:00 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 13-04-2009, 05:24 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 14-04-2009, 02:36 PM
[] - marc hanna - 15-04-2009, 12:47 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 15-04-2009, 11:52 AM
[] - admin - 15-04-2009, 02:32 PM
[] - marc hanna - 15-04-2009, 06:45 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 16-04-2009, 11:58 AM
[] - marc hanna - 16-04-2009 01:31 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 16-04-2009, 02:31 PM
[] - admin - 27-04-2009, 11:20 AM
[] - marc hanna - 27-04-2009, 02:12 PM

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