A Generous Orthodoxy
23-08-2007, 05:54 PM
Yes, without love, as St. Paul reminds us, there is nothing.
I am struck by the way some people seem to need to explain away what St. Paul means by saying it is a different love to the one we feel. Is it that different, or just fuller because it is His.
It was His love that made Him want to save us, and St. Isaac tells us that Calvary was to show how much and deeply He love us, His children by adoption. Well, as we can only know the Father through the Son, why use the two words at all if they do not help us know something we cannot otherwise grasp; His love for us is like that of a Father for a Son; it is not the same, it is 'like'; that's as much as our feeble intellect can grasp - and all we need to know when you think about it.
If we could live in love with our neighbour, would the world not be a better place? So what do we do when faced with evident error - 'Christ was a nice chap who taught some really groovy stuff, but don't lay that guilt trip on me' sort of thing?
Well, really, what can we do? We can chat with whomsoever and put of point of view, but no more. We don't, thank God, live any longer in a society in the west where the Church can get the Monarch to get the instruments of state control to burn heretics.
Who pronounces on error for the Orthodox? For the Copts it is the Holy Synod. But what if something it says conflicts with the previous teaching of the Church, or with what other Oriental Orthodox confess? Who speaks for the EO? The Athonite monks have been known to be extremely uncharitable about the EP; is that OK then? Who says?
Whether we hold to a relativistic view of things or not, we live in a society that does, and our quarrels as Christians can make us look like nothing more than a bunch of bigots arguing over the number of angels who dance on a pinhead. We, of course, know we are not - but we can see, looking about us, how much influence the Faith now has on a society which it helped to shape.
The great Anglican Church is a shadow of its former self - a female American 'bishop' talking about how salvation can be found 'most anywhere, not just in Christianity; and I'm sure she speaks for many in this society. What is our response? No, lady, just to those in the Church? Which 'Church would that be then?' The Orthodox one. 'Which Orthodox one?' We can get off talking about where the Church is not but not where it is - by which time no one is listening.
We've tried conflict, oh, how we as Christians have tried that one. Would a bit of love in a Generous Orthodoxy be out of the question? :shock:
Watch for those low flying porcine creatures.
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)
|Messages In This Thread|
Love - John Charmley - 23-08-2007 05:54 PM