Well, that seems a good stab at it.
When you write:
Quote:I would like to suggest that the type of Oneness spoken of by Christ in His priestly prayer will never be found between those arguing from any ecclesiological place/plane. I think at best, amity may be found at some point by some. However, it seems more than apparent to me that it is only when those come together who already speak a Kingdom language (and this is not to be confused with a mere desire or preference for some type of ecumenism), that barriers and boundary markers come down and are pulled up.
you get to the heart of this.
At the centre of this discussion is the difficult question of ecclesiology. This is perhaps particularly difficult for those who are converting from another Church, or who are thinking of doing so. After all, if all Churches are the same, why bother?
This is one of the places where ecumenism seems most appealing; let us find the lowest common denominator, close in on that and say 'we are one' - done deal! It is tolerant, it is in tune with the values of western civilisation, and it makes you seem broad-minded, liberal, tolerant and just about any other word that brings an 'hurrah!' to the lips.
Surely, we can say, the first Christians had no understanding of the later ramifications of the Trinity? They believed in the Lord, they repented, they walked in His way (or tried to), they amended their lives and they sought to be one with Him; we do that and we're like them. If we're really clever we can even convict Origen of heresy from beyond his grave, because he believed (or may have) some stuff the Church later decided was heretical. Doesn't that just show that the idea of 'the Church' is more trouble than it is worth; does it not justify the old Protestant view that it is the Creeds and the Church that cause all the trouble? Let us get back to primitive Christianity!
Well, in an odd way the Oriental Orthodox, whilst disagreeing with the spirit behind this, would not dissent from the appeal to ancient practice - since we would urge that that is our own practice - as indeed would the EO; and the RCC would only dissent in so far as it is convinced it has the right to 'interpret' the tradition.
Since we can only be sure about our own Church and its practice and tradition, that is why we are there; others may hold similar views of where they are; it is those who feel uncertain that the Church is where they are who look to move.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)