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11608Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: "Friends"? ...Moderator?

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  • ourlittlecity@aol.com
    Jun 30, 2004
      In a message dated 6/30/2004 2:14:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      frraphver@... writes:
      What you had written was, "who believes the MP is our friend?" The
      implication of this question is not in line with what Christ means
      by 'friend' (ie your neighbour) and it ends up doing the opposite of
      what Christ commands ie "lay down your life." The point of your
      question thus implies what is directly contradictory to Christ's
      teaching and so I ask again, "is the Church made up of our friends?"
      I am unclear about Fr. Raphael's answer; is he saying the MP is our friend,
      our enemy, or that it is altogether irrelevant?

      The point of my question was quite simple, "Who believes the MP is our
      {ROCOR's} friend? How is asking that question contrary to Christ's teaching?

      Fr. Raphael says the Church is not made up of our friends, but how can that
      be? St Basil the Great asked: "Who could actually regard as an enemy the
      person beside whom they have raised a song to the one God?" [Commentary on Psalm

      St. John Chrysostom said: "Nothing is so injurious to mankind as to
      undervalue friendship; and not to cultivate it with the greatest care; as nothing, on
      the other hand, is so beneficial, as to pursue it to the utmost of our power."
      {Homily II on 1 Tim.] Also, according to St. John the absence of friendship
      is the "occassion of all heresies. For men who loved not their brethren, have
      envied those who were in high repute, and from envying, they have become
      eager for power and from a love of power have introduced heresies."

      Is there any injury to the Church when friendship in the Church is
      discounted? One of the greatest benifits of friendship is "openness," not towards the
      enemies of the Church, but towards members of the Church. Is this not one of
      the primary marks of our being members of Christ? "By this shall all men know
      that you are my disciples, if you love one to another." [John 13:35]

      I have no cause to defend that gives me cause to argue with St. Issac the
      Syrian, but I do not think the quotation contradicts my observation about
      enemies. I am uncertain what Fr. Raphael means by "in terms of the Church we are
      called to see all as our friends and none in fact as our enemies." Does he mean
      to say we must see all members of the Church as our friends? Or does he mean
      to say we must see all, whether in or out of the Church, whether apostate or
      heretic as our friends (?); if so, this seems would require more exposition.

      St. Cyprian wrote in his book on Church Unity..."He who has turned his back
      on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an
      alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not
      the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He says: `he that is not
      with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.' Whosoever
      breaks the peace and harmony of Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers
      elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ."

      Saint Cyril of Jerusalem said: "Abhor all heretics...heed not their fair
      speaking or their mock humility; for they are serpents, a `brood of vipers.'
      Remember that, when Judas said `Hail Rabbi,' the salutation was an act of betrayal.
      Do not be deceived by the kiss but beware of the venom. Abhor such men,
      therefore, and shun the blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, for whom there is no
      pardon. For what fellowship have you with men without hope. Let us confidently say
      to God regarding all heretics, `Did I not hate, O Lord, those who hated Thee,
      and did I not pine away because of Your enemies?' For there is an enmity that
      is laudable, as it is written, `I will put enmity between you and the woman,
      between your seed and her seed.' Friendship with the serpent produces enmity
      with God, and death. Let us shun those from whom God turns away."

      rdr. john dunn

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