156Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: A question, on Orthodox ecclesiology
- May 16, 2007Dear Andrew,
The fact is that the status of the children of the Reformation has not yet been revealed to the Orthodox Church. They aren't apostates, because an apostate is someone who had been Orthodox but who has departed from the Church. They aren't heretics, because a heretic is a member of the Orthodox Church who publicly teaches error, and persists in publicly teaching it after being admonished, and is formally declared a heretic by the Church.
So what are they? The Holy Spirit hasn't so far revealed that to the Church. Therefore, everybody has his own opinion.
We all fight hard for our own opinion, but in the end, we all have to acknowledge it's only opinion, and that the actual position of the Church is, "We don't know." We have no way of knowing for sure that the Holy Spirit is present or absent from their forms of baptism. We can neither recognize these people as Christians, nor clearly discern that they are not.
Each bishop, in such a circumstance, has to decide how these converts are to be received within his own jurisdiction, and/or whether to do it by strict application of the norm (Holy Baptism) or by "economia" (Holy Chrismation) or what. And that's why the inconsistency.
That's the straight up deal.
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