Dear Discussion Community,
I made a very similar post as this on another site today, and it occurred to me that this may be an appropriate topic here as well. I will modify it a bit here and hopefully it will work as a starting place.
On the other site, I read a post by a man this morning which brought to mind a nagging question. simply put, 'Who speaks for Orthodoxy?'
This man has written:
Quote:Of course bishops are sometimes "wrong", but we do not require our bishops or even our saints to be infallible.
What I mean is as we use the term Protestants, they ultimately appeal to an infallible bible and the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit, Roman Catholics ultimately appeal to the Pope. It is very clear and easy to understand the answer to this question as it relates to these two particular Christian groups.
But, as for Oriental Orthodoxy, if someone would ask me who speaks for the O.O. Church, I honestly would not know what to tell them. In the case of the E.O., I have read that we are not a true hierarchy because there is a check and balance system of a kind whereby what may be (as we have seen in the past in the history of the Church) approved by hierarchs can potentially be rejected by the people and abandoned.
Usually when I ask this question, I receive what seem to be meaningless cliches, or language that speaks of things like a zealousless zealousness whereby at the end of the day it seems we cannot articulate an answer.
Honestly, with no malcontent, I would like to ask, is the answer to this question that there can be no articulation of an answer.
In the past, there usually is a series of well honed responses followed by an appeal to a special understanding as it relates to this question.
But, I can't help but wonder if the reason why we speak as we do as it relates to this question is because if we start to define and measure what we have in common with the Protestants as it relates to our practical theology we might see more in common than we would like.
But, simply put, can we articulate the O.O. position as it relates to the question, 'Who speaks for Orthodoxy?'