Re:Reply to Fr. (Dr.). Mani Rajan
- Dear All
Let me illustrate ,so that there is no confusion, my statement that Christians should believe in God more than Church (standing within the true Holy Apostolic Church of Antioch),is meant to say that some times people believe in Church more than God,this is how Vattaseri made a parallel church against Holy throne of Antioch.Or in other words it depends on church and attitude bishops who lead church,for example Roman Catholic church,always believed in church more than God,though they say Pope is infalliable and they killed Mor Ahatulla in 1653,if they belived in God more than church they would not kill Mor Ahatulla or Joan of Arc.Hence we can always say God and Church are different in this case.We christians have to examine whether there is gap between God and Church ourselves in each church.
In earlier days God and church were closer ,later now both are different and I believe we have to keep the balance so that people do not belive in Church more than God,the whole IOC is example of people believing in church more than God.
Sir Winston churchill considered church and God separate,Daniel Defoe considered both different,
The message of Jesus Christ himself to Syriac lady(mentioned in Bible),emphazised by St.Sleebo is "God is a Spirit and true worshipers must worship the Father in truth and spirit ".In this direct message to Syriac people Christ says a time will come when this will happen,irrespective of physical location of a particular church.
So God and church are different,God is supreme and not church,which is the body.
Now self financing college issue,though I am not an expert,its unwanted bargaining by minority christians exploiting minority status for the personal gain of them who run these institution and a financially weak minority student cannot expect any favour from them.
Bishops can make political statements if they are wise enough to make a cogent statement for a noble cause and their statement will not back fire and tomorrow will not cause shame to them or christianity,of course they can stand for justice without violating the shalmootho take by them and teachings of Christ.
As far as Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch is concerned it always believes in God more than church,it retains only spiritual power but if some of its bishops likes to retain temporal power also,i will say they belive in Church more than God.I think we should not complicate this issue,unwanted political bargaing by any church for its vested interest is surely against teachings of Christ as said by Geevarghese Mor Koorilos,but again we should be able to identify which is vested interest and which is not.
There has been Syriac monks(ordained by Patriarch of Antioch) who never belonged to any physical church but worshipped God the father in truth and spirit in isolation,this means great monks can have direct relationship even without being members of a physical church.St.Abdel Jaleel Mor Gregorios lived for 2 yrs (I think)in disguise in malabar before reaching Paravur,he worshipped God in spirit,hence it depends on faith of people ,how far a person can exist as a christian without going to a physical church,in present scenario its very difficult but St.Antony of Egypt was a monk who lived in isolation.Ofcourse they all belong to spiritual church.
Therefore the gist of matter is Christians(Jacobites) should believe in God more than church standing within the holy apostolic church of Antioch so that even if any false bishop arise within church tomorrow ,he will not get any public support for his vested interest.This means we have to closely monitor whether the bishops are keeping Shalmootho and practically the teachings of Christ in all their affairs.
Bibu Philip Matthew;