Re: Clarification Regarding Holy Spirit
- Holy Orders
It is the belief of Orthodoxy that Christ is the only priest, pastor, and teacher of the Christian Church. He alone forgives sins and offers communion with God, his Father. Christ alone guides and rules his people. Christ remains with his Church as its living and unique head. Christ remains present and active in the Church through the Holy Spirit.
Through the sacrament of holy orders bishops give order to the Church. Bishops guarantee the continuity and unity of the Church from age to age and from place to place, that is, from the time of Christ and the apostles until the establishment of God's Kingdom in eternity. Bishops receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ in the Spirit to men. Bishops are neither vicars, substitutes, nor representatives of Christ. It is Christ, through his chosen ministers, who acts as teacher, good shepherd, forgiver, and healer. It is Christ remitting sins, and curing the physical, mental, and spiritual ills of mankind. This is a mystery of the Church.
George C. Thomas, Kuwait
I was told by some priests in some class that Holy Spirit once given can be withdrawn only by God. For example once you ordain some one as Bishop, I understand we can only strip his jurisdiction in the Church. You cannot remove his bishop hood. This is based on acts of apostles Chapter 19 in which one man is warned by St. Paul and gives curse on him. But he still has Holy Spirit up on him. Kindly clarify
- I have two points on this subject.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is within us since conception. It is nurtured in the mother's womb till birth by the mother's prayers and communion with God. At baptism, the Holy Spirit is sealed within us.
Secondly, there is a need for Orthodox believers to read on the faith of other denominations of Christians and other religions. God is not restricted to Orthodox Christians alone. He is the God of the Universe. If we do not read, we would be like a frog in the well.
Cdr Ninan P Mathai (Retd), Mumbai
- Dear all,
In response to my message regarding the Holy Spirit, ICON 4926, I received a personal e/mail that a part of which I am giving below.
Letter. `' Thank you for the good message. My specific query in this regard is if you consecrate a bishop or priest and later by his violation of authority if you have to suspend him will his bishophood/priest hood terminate. By a "mukaku kalpana" you are only preventing him to use his authority in this world as priest /bishop. Othewise once you give him a "kaiveppu" it is valid till he leaves from this world. Some people have this misunderstanding ..''
Just as God hadn't taken away the freedom of choice once He gave to Adam, free choice that priests/ bishoprics received don't disappear, but is not allowed to do any spiritual or administrative role in the parishes or dioceses or church under the specified jurisdictions for each. Though the freedom remained, Adam had to leave from the Eden Paradise and live in a world that of prickles and woes. The person in question can be barred to do any clerical function from one parish/diocese/church but may be allowed to attend the worship; all depend on the severity of the problem and the conditions laid for each. If it is heresy, he may be excommunicated from the church, but can be reinstated by confessing his misdoings or heresies. However, grieving the Spirit of God who gave him the spiritual authority to lead the flock is not matter of joke.
They generally leave from that particular church and can lead the flock in another church, provided they accept his clerical authority and the conduct of life. Some people create new churches by getting ordained/consecrated by bishops of sister churches, the reason for mushrooming so many denominations and cults. All what has been happening in Kerala since the 15th century are monumental events. There is only one queen `in gold of ophir', Bride for the Groom, Ps.45, hence only, `'only Lord, one faith, one baptism ..'', Eph.4, 3-8. All other denominations are the Bride's maids, `virgin companions' because accepting many Brides ends in polygamy that adds to another heresy. `kaiveppu' remains like that of the seal of the baptism of the baptised ones who don't follow the church discipline, without bearing the desired fruits.
This is my understanding, better get it clarified from erudite clerics/bishops of our church.
--- In IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com, "John" <john_aliceau@...> wrote:
> Dear Mrs. Susan Eapen,
> I would note down my understanding about the H.Spirit and His work. The full abundance of the Spirit of God works in us since the sacrament of baptism. This is to be renewed every moment as we are prone to sinning in our thought, word and deed. As we grow older the Spirit of God is grieved by our sinful nature that don't produce the fruits of the H.Spirit, Gal.5. This state of condition can be ameliorated by the sacrament of confession and receiving the Holy Body of Christ or by inner cleansing. We sin because Satan get into our minds and steal the good seeds from our heart flower, Mt.13. The Holy Spirit once received won't leave from us if there is the continual contrition of heart. But if it is not renewed every time by repentance, the the works of grieving Spirit fades away its activities in us slowly, and reaches to a state of the seal of the Holy Spirit only remains within us. `'Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption, Eph.4.25-32. We receive the seal of the Spirit of God at the time of baptism. If not renewed by recompense and the work of God, only the seal of the Holy Spirit remains in us at last.
> I have a request to you. Your thirst in the Orthodox faith can be quenched only by the quality of your life. Reading all the cheap opinions of writers of other churches, other religions and psychological books won't very much helpful to enhance the Orthodox faith; but such readings are helpful to add a new dimension in your faith, if you are rooted in the right faith. Only prayer and meditation by submitting ourselves at the foot of the cross by participating in our sacraments may be the way of the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Spirit of God bloweth only where it listioneth. I write this piece only because you write that you want to enhance your knowledge and faith that may lead to the right path. The Spirit of God once you received is to be renewed, otherwise it may slowly wane away from you. Every time God's Spirit doesn't come into you; the Spirit that is to be renewed for getting more strength of the H.Spirit will enlighten you. It abides with us since the time of baptism.
> In the OT time the Spirit of God came upon people, for example, 70 elders chosen for helping Moses, King Saul . and the like. But in the N.T period Holy Spirit descended upon all who came on the day of Pentecost and authorized the apostles, ambassadors of God, to lay hands and baptize the believers. Laying of hands on the devotee for ordination is assigning the work of the Holy Ghost for God's work of celebrating the sacraments. The unauthorized coming of the spirit on the charismatic devotees is not the right one, a bogus claim made by them.
> If you haven't read, Annammayum paterum' or its translation, mirror of Apostolic faith, please read it. It is explained in short about the working of the Holy Spirit there. I wrote it only because of your inquisitiveness.
> E.S.John, Australia