marc hanna Wrote:It sounds very much like you are presenting a plea for unity among the Orthodox churches. What about the Roman Catholic church?
Honestly, this is the opposite of what I think I am writing about much because as another has wisely said of such unity:
Quote:Administrative and official recognition can only follow the recognition which the people have already achieved as members of the One Church.
I have participated in another forum in a thread titled "An American Orthodoxy?" And, in this thread most people think I am presenting a plea for a united American Orthodox Church and that I am speaking of jurisdictional issues; but, there as well, when I speak of transcending all divisions in Christ, I am not speaking about the administrative, jurisdictional, or ecclesiological at all. This
is the opposite of what I am writing about.
What I am contributing here has everything to do with the organic unity (a relational ontology) spoken of in the quote I provided to Don earlier in this thread, and nothing to do with providing a solution to the context of division in which the Church finds herself in today in terms of ecclesiology/polity.
Because of human nature, the works of the flesh, I am convinced that it is a lost cause for any to attempt to bring unity between the divided churches in Orthodoxy today, from the top down, just as it would be for those who would attempt to bring unity to the RCC, Protestants, Orthodox, and other "Christian" Churches, from the top down.
This is because, again referring to the article I shared with Don above, this has to be a naturally occurring organic process and because of the deep divisions of today, this will be like any other time of awakening or revival that we have seen in the Scriptures or in the history of the Church . . . it will require divine intervention. And, what does any approach (objective or other) have to do with the Providence of God?
What can any one person or group of people do but repent and position themselves for a possible movement of God? If you are up on current events in Orthodoxy Marc, then you know that our so called leaders are modeling not a humbling and repenting which could position us for blessing, but just the opposite. Overall, the leaders are not leading. In even this sense. the hierarchy, what was meant to unite us is what divides us.
It does not take a very smart person to see this.
This is something that cannot be overcome or solved regardless of the approach.
And, this is why I would rather take a nap or do just about anything other than to make a plea for unity between the bishops of the Orthodox churches today.
But, if we are to consider promoting a dialogue between the lay members of the Orthodox Church, as well as the clergy of the Orthodox Church who see the hopelessness of the current situation but would like to subscribe to a theology of hope as it relates to a unity which can be found in the "Inner Kingdom" regardless of whether one is an EO or an OO or a whatever O . . . then this is a different story.
And what about the Roman Catholic Church, as you say Marc? What about the Protestants? What about any who exhibit and follow Christ as His disciples? Are any of these excluded from the Kingdom of God because of their label, or because they do not have their doctrinal ducks in a row? Probably most of these would need to first be educated on the Christological debates so they could even have a chance of participating and choosing a side (which is kind of the point!)
You know, I wonder if we would, if we could take our doctrines of today, if we could go back in time to the beginning days of the Church (which were more simple as you have said) and share with and show the earliest Christians what is so important to us today, and what divides us today . . . I wonder what they would think? Beginning with those who were persecuted in the first three hundred years, and then moving forward from there. I sometimes think that if Martin Luther could have seen how much of his efforts would result in such violence and division that he would have done things much differently.
So, just to be clear, given the choice to lower my head and try to break through the brick wall on my home or to spend my life pleading for unity in the Church from the top down . . . as long as I could wear a helmet, I would choose the run at the brick wall in a heartbeat!
But, when it comes to the "We" or the "Us" as it relates to the "Kingdom of God" then this is a different story. And, in some ways this almost sounds a little gnostic, I understand this, but I really think that for the most part "We" do recognize each other as brothers and sisters in Christ even just through words on a screen or over the internet. Sometimes it is not apparent at first--sometimes words and labels do get in the way . . . but now we are back to the beginning here which is really what I am talking about if anything. There is an expression that I like which is "In the End, the Beginning." It has many applications, but I like it as it applies to this conversation very well.