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Heretical Orthodox

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  • Oruaseht
    In a recent discussion with a friend about Orthodoxy vs. Lutheranism being the real deal visible Church on earth, my friend posed this response to me: If an
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 19, 2010
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      In a recent discussion with a friend about Orthodoxy vs. Lutheranism being the "real deal" visible Church on earth, my friend posed this response to me:

      "If an Orthodox Church has some wacky priest and they are not doing and receiving what God has given, are they the true visible church simply because they are members of the Orthodox Church?

      Of course not."

      His comment is regarding Orthodox priests/parishes who are either teaching non-Orthodox doctrine or living in a non-Orthodox life. What is the Orthodox take on "Heretical Orthodox?"
    • Christopher Orr
      The Kingdom of Heaven (the Church) is like a net pulling up good fish and bad fish. Another way to look at it is how Orthodox is a child. He/she understands
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 20, 2010
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        The Kingdom of Heaven (the Church) is like a net pulling up good fish and
        bad fish.

        Another way to look at it is how Orthodox is a child. He/she understands
        little of Orthodoxy and probably has a lot of bits and pieces wrong. This
        child is fully Orthodox and in the Church.

        It is really not all that different for priests and bishops, even
        Patriarchs. None are infallible. The Church will not fall, the rest of us
        may at any point - and probably are fallen right now. They are members of
        the Body of Christ, perhaps diseased members, but still members. Just as
        the initial, fertilized zygote is fully human with all the DNA and
        potentiality to live, so, too, even the most diseased, cancerous cell in the
        Body is fully human with the potentiality to live or be healed (or
        resurrected).

        This is different than mechanisms to identify heresy and root it out. The
        messy history of the Ecumenical Councils is the history of how God's Body
        has dealt with such things. No one person (Athanasius), no one local church
        (Alexandria), no one region of the church (the West), not just the
        hierarchy, not just the monks, but the entire Church must witness to the
        apostolic faith once delivered to the saints. This is why the testimony of
        a broad swath of apostolically founded churches, by martyrs and confessors
        of the faith, by universally acknowledged saints, by miracle workers (yes,
        we still have them and don't explain away their lack by saying it was only
        for apostolic times), by the laos tou Theou, and across the various
        linguistic, cultural, economic and political boundaries of the Church, etc.
        is so important. This is conciliarity, this is the Church speaking. At no
        time did the Church succumb fully to heresy (death), there were always large
        parts of the Church that held firm. For instance, Athanasius was never
        literally alone against the world, neither was Maximus. There were always
        local churches and regions, bishops and Metropolitans and Patriarchs,
        monastics and laity that held firm in the Faith just as a the heart and
        brain keep working for some time in people who drown in frigid waters.

        Christopher


        On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 11:38 PM, Oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > In a recent discussion with a friend about Orthodoxy vs. Lutheranism being
        > the "real deal" visible Church on earth, my friend posed this response to
        > me:
        >
        > "If an Orthodox Church has some wacky priest and they are not doing and
        > receiving what God has given, are they the true visible church simply
        > because they are members of the Orthodox Church?
        >
        > Of course not."
        >
        > His comment is regarding Orthodox priests/parishes who are either teaching
        > non-Orthodox doctrine or living in a non-Orthodox life. What is the Orthodox
        > take on "Heretical Orthodox?"
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Christopher Orr
        I believe Arius and Nestorius were both accorded the honors of their rank (presbyter and Patriarch, respectively) during the Councils and Nicea and Ephesus.
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 20, 2010
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          I believe Arius and Nestorius were both accorded the honors of their rank
          (presbyter and Patriarch, respectively) during the Councils and Nicea and
          Ephesus. It is only once they were defrocked and anathematized for
          unrepentence that they were not treated with the honor of their Order. The
          Fathers weren't Donatists. This is why it was so scandalous that St.
          Nicholas slapped Arius.

          Christopher



          On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 11:38 PM, Oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > In a recent discussion with a friend about Orthodoxy vs. Lutheranism being
          > the "real deal" visible Church on earth, my friend posed this response to
          > me:
          >
          > "If an Orthodox Church has some wacky priest and they are not doing and
          > receiving what God has given, are they the true visible church simply
          > because they are members of the Orthodox Church?
          >
          > Of course not."
          >
          > His comment is regarding Orthodox priests/parishes who are either teaching
          > non-Orthodox doctrine or living in a non-Orthodox life. What is the Orthodox
          > take on "Heretical Orthodox?"
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Benjamin Harju
          Christopher s comment about Donatism is helpful here. Your friend s response: ...are they the true visible church simply because they are members of the
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 20, 2010
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            Christopher's comment about Donatism is helpful here. Your friend's
            response: "...are they the true visible church simply because they are
            members of the Orthodox Church? Of course not," is incorrect. Of course
            they are part of the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church is itself the
            sacrament of the Kingdom, the abode of the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Church
            as such is more objective in nature than what your friend has conceived. As
            a comparison: As a Lutheran, if a wicked congregation administers the
            Sacrament of the Altar, or a wicked person receives that Sacrament, do you
            as a Lutheran believe that there is no Sacrament present? Of course not.
            That's not what Lutheranism teaches. It's like that.

            Think of it this way: the Orthodox Church is the sacramental home where God
            makes His Holy Spirit "available" for our salvation. We already know that a
            bad priest cannot thwart God's working regarding this (the ruling against
            Donatism). And if people in a certain place don't "get it," that doesn't
            mean the Orthodox Church suddenly disappeared. Rather, God gives them time
            for repentance, and where that is lacking then such a place may find
            themselves removed from the Church in some objective way. Think of the
            letters in Revelation, where Christ warns certain congregations about what
            they are lacking, and that they risk having their lamp stand removed. Or
            think of St. Paul's comments in Romans about the olive tree having branches
            pruned off so that wild branches (the Gentiles) can be grafted in. He warns
            about the possibility of such "new" branches being trimmed off again due to
            our slothfulness and faithlessness. Bad congregations can be still part of
            the Church, until such time as they are removed from the Church, or until
            Christ returns and He removes them at the Last Judgment.

            All of this is to speak of the Church according to where we are sure she is
            - the Orthodox Church. If God's Church extends beyond this to congregations
            not in communion with her, we have no certain knowledge of this and leave it
            to God to work out. We are called to focus on following Christ in the
            certainty He provides in His Church, and in this Church to take care for our
            souls by walking circumspectly. So, again, let's say there's a bad
            congregation - a bad one. Just because they are still in the Church doesn't
            mean that I should associate with them in their badness, that is, join them
            in their spiritually dangerous walk before God and risk having God's
            judgment fall upon me. The saints give examples against that. Rather, such
            congregations need to be helped to come to repentance, and I *assume* there
            is a mechanism to that end in the Orthodox Church.

            In Christ,
            Benjamin Harju

            On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:

            > I believe Arius and Nestorius were both accorded the honors of their rank
            > (presbyter and Patriarch, respectively) during the Councils and Nicea and
            > Ephesus. It is only once they were defrocked and anathematized for
            > unrepentence that they were not treated with the honor of their Order. The
            > Fathers weren't Donatists. This is why it was so scandalous that St.
            > Nicholas slapped Arius.
            >
            > Christopher
            >
            >
            >
            > On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 11:38 PM, Oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:
            >
            > >
            > >
            > > In a recent discussion with a friend about Orthodoxy vs. Lutheranism
            > being
            > > the "real deal" visible Church on earth, my friend posed this response to
            > > me:
            > >
            > > "If an Orthodox Church has some wacky priest and they are not doing and
            > > receiving what God has given, are they the true visible church simply
            > > because they are members of the Orthodox Church?
            > >
            > > Of course not."
            > >
            > > His comment is regarding Orthodox priests/parishes who are either
            > teaching
            > > non-Orthodox doctrine or living in a non-Orthodox life. What is the
            > Orthodox
            > > take on "Heretical Orthodox?"
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Christopher Orr
            I would add that the visible/sacramental Church point is underscored by the Donatist heresy. The Lord s Supper is in some sense the sacrament par excellence.
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 20, 2010
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              I would add that the visible/sacramental Church point is underscored by the
              Donatist heresy.

              The Lord's Supper is in some sense the sacrament par excellence. It creates
              the Church because it unites us with the Body of Christ, which is the
              Church. If the Body of Christ consecrated by an unworthy or even heretical
              priest (not yet suspended or defrocked) is 'valid' and grace-bearing, than
              so, too, are that priest and the communicants in his parish equally "The
              Church" in a visible and sacramental way, regardless of their error.

              (This assumes the Divine Liturgy was served according to Tradition, on a
              valid antimens, bread and wine were used vs something else, all the
              appropriate prayers and actions were done, the priest has not been suspended
              or defrocked, etc.)

              Christopher


              On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Benjamin Harju
              <benjamin.harju@...>wrote:

              >
              >
              > Christopher's comment about Donatism is helpful here. Your friend's
              > response: "...are they the true visible church simply because they are
              > members of the Orthodox Church? Of course not," is incorrect. Of course
              > they are part of the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church is itself the
              > sacrament of the Kingdom, the abode of the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Church
              > as such is more objective in nature than what your friend has conceived. As
              > a comparison: As a Lutheran, if a wicked congregation administers the
              > Sacrament of the Altar, or a wicked person receives that Sacrament, do you
              > as a Lutheran believe that there is no Sacrament present? Of course not.
              > That's not what Lutheranism teaches. It's like that.
              >
              > Think of it this way: the Orthodox Church is the sacramental home where God
              > makes His Holy Spirit "available" for our salvation. We already know that a
              > bad priest cannot thwart God's working regarding this (the ruling against
              > Donatism). And if people in a certain place don't "get it," that doesn't
              > mean the Orthodox Church suddenly disappeared. Rather, God gives them time
              > for repentance, and where that is lacking then such a place may find
              > themselves removed from the Church in some objective way. Think of the
              > letters in Revelation, where Christ warns certain congregations about what
              > they are lacking, and that they risk having their lamp stand removed. Or
              > think of St. Paul's comments in Romans about the olive tree having branches
              > pruned off so that wild branches (the Gentiles) can be grafted in. He warns
              > about the possibility of such "new" branches being trimmed off again due to
              > our slothfulness and faithlessness. Bad congregations can be still part of
              > the Church, until such time as they are removed from the Church, or until
              > Christ returns and He removes them at the Last Judgment.
              >
              > All of this is to speak of the Church according to where we are sure she is
              > - the Orthodox Church. If God's Church extends beyond this to congregations
              > not in communion with her, we have no certain knowledge of this and leave
              > it
              > to God to work out. We are called to focus on following Christ in the
              > certainty He provides in His Church, and in this Church to take care for
              > our
              > souls by walking circumspectly. So, again, let's say there's a bad
              > congregation - a bad one. Just because they are still in the Church doesn't
              > mean that I should associate with them in their badness, that is, join them
              > in their spiritually dangerous walk before God and risk having God's
              > judgment fall upon me. The saints give examples against that. Rather, such
              > congregations need to be helped to come to repentance, and I *assume* there
              > is a mechanism to that end in the Orthodox Church.
              >
              > In Christ,
              > Benjamin Harju
              >
              >
              > On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...<xcjorr%40gmail.com>>
              > wrote:
              >
              > > I believe Arius and Nestorius were both accorded the honors of their rank
              > > (presbyter and Patriarch, respectively) during the Councils and Nicea and
              > > Ephesus. It is only once they were defrocked and anathematized for
              > > unrepentence that they were not treated with the honor of their Order.
              > The
              > > Fathers weren't Donatists. This is why it was so scandalous that St.
              > > Nicholas slapped Arius.
              > >
              > > Christopher
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 11:38 PM, Oruaseht <oruaseht@...<oruaseht%40yahoo.com>>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > In a recent discussion with a friend about Orthodoxy vs. Lutheranism
              > > being
              > > > the "real deal" visible Church on earth, my friend posed this response
              > to
              > > > me:
              > > >
              > > > "If an Orthodox Church has some wacky priest and they are not doing and
              > > > receiving what God has given, are they the true visible church simply
              > > > because they are members of the Orthodox Church?
              > > >
              > > > Of course not."
              > > >
              > > > His comment is regarding Orthodox priests/parishes who are either
              > > teaching
              > > > non-Orthodox doctrine or living in a non-Orthodox life. What is the
              > > Orthodox
              > > > take on "Heretical Orthodox?"
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • randall hay
              I agree with everyone else. The hypocrite is externally a member of the body of Christ, but not so internally. Hopefully he will repent. One example of this
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 20, 2010
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                I agree with everyone else. The hypocrite is externally a member of the body of
                Christ, but not so internally. Hopefully he will repent.


                One example of this is the way in which heresies are dealt with in Orthodox
                councils. Each side is presented, and there is discussion. Many times--in
                ecumenical as well as local councils--participants have accepted the true faith
                after discussion.


                Theodoret of Cyrus, for example, was initially a Nestorian, and wrote one of the
                Three Chapters that were condemned by the 5th ecumenical council. He repented,
                however, accepted the true dogma, and was later canonized a saint. His
                exegetical writings have been influential ever since. (I use them myself.)




                ________________________________
                From: Oruaseht <oruaseht@...>
                To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thu, August 19, 2010 11:38:20 PM
                Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Heretical Orthodox


                In a recent discussion with a friend about Orthodoxy vs. Lutheranism being the
                "real deal" visible Church on earth, my friend posed this response to me:


                "If an Orthodox Church has some wacky priest and they are not doing and
                receiving what God has given, are they the true visible church simply because
                they are members of the Orthodox Church?

                Of course not."

                His comment is regarding Orthodox priests/parishes who are either teaching
                non-Orthodox doctrine or living in a non-Orthodox life. What is the Orthodox
                take on "Heretical Orthodox?"





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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