Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Wheat and Tares - a Much More Fundamental Question

Expand Messages
  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Vladimir Kozyreff (and others) have been arguing a position that the Orthodox Church cannot have any compromise with untruth (he calls this sergianism ); that
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 4, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Vladimir Kozyreff (and others) have been arguing a position that the
      Orthodox Church cannot have any compromise with untruth (he calls
      this "sergianism"); that a Church that fails to keep purity of faith
      loses Apostolic Succession and grace; that heresy cannot coexist with
      true teaching in the Church.

      In reality, the history of the Church proves the situation to be
      otherwise. There were many renowned Saints of the Church who were
      ordained by heretics. St. Tarasios of Constantinople stated that
      fully half of the Fathers of the Sixth Ecumenical Council were
      ordained by heretics.

      A number of the Church Fathers wrote and taught outright heresies,
      yet have not been condemned as being outside the Church. St. Gregory
      of Nyssa taught the false doctrine of universal salvation, for
      example. Several of the Church Fathers taught chiliasm.

      And, we know from examples in the Church services that heretical
      bishops sometimes received special signs from God. The most
      significant example is the heretic Eudoxios, Patriarch of
      Constantinople, an Arian heretic twice condemned by Councils both in
      the East and the West. It was to this heretical bishop that the Lord
      sent His Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro, in order to warn the bishop
      and his flock of the plot to defile the faithful by tainting the food
      in the markets with blood used in pagan sacrifices. This is
      remembered by the Church every First Saturday of Great Lent. And the
      Church services call the flock of this heretical bishop "the faithful flock."

      How can this be?

      How can the Church tolerate both true teaching and false teaching coeexisting?

      The answer was given by Christ Himself, in His parable of the wheat
      and the tares:


      24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of
      heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

      25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the
      wheat, and went his way.

      26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then
      appeared the tares also.

      27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir,
      didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

      28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said
      unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

      29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up
      also the wheat with them.

      30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of
      harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the
      tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat
      into my barn.

      =============================

      So--the Church has tolerated some tares among its good wheat during
      the entire time of its existense.

      It is not Cyprianism that first invented the terms "ailing and well
      members" of the Church. This was used by St. Tarasios to describe the
      situation of the Church at the time of the iconoclastic heresy--and
      also by St. Basil the Great to describe the sad state of the Church
      during his time.

      So--the final answer is that the Church can tolerate those within it
      who bear false witness in times of persecution. They do not stain the
      Church, and it does not lose grace because of this.

      The wheat and the tares will coexist within it until the time of harvest.

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • podnoss
      ... The Kingdom of God & the Church are not the same thing. When a church does not point beyond itself to God, it enters into idolatry. So don t idolize
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 8, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
        <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
        >
        > others have been arguing a position that the
        > Orthodox Church cannot have any compromise with untruth
        > How can the Church tolerate both true teaching and false teaching
        > coeexisting?
        >
        > The answer was given by Christ Himself, in His parable of the wheat
        > and the tares:
        >
        >
        > 24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of
        > heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
        >
        > 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the
        > wheat, and went his way.
        >
        > So--the final answer is that the Church can tolerate those within
        > it
        > who bear false witness in times of persecution.
        > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
        >
        The Kingdom of God & the Church are not the same thing. When a church
        does not point beyond itself to God, it enters into idolatry. So
        don't idolize anything: even your bishop & priest can be taken from
        you.
        John Walker
      • Protopriest David Moser
        ... Now this strikes me a just plain not Orthodox. The Church *is* the Kingdom of God - they are one and the same. If this is not the teaching of the Church
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 9, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "podnoss" <podnoss@y...> wrote:
          >

          > The Kingdom of God & the Church are not the same thing.

          Now this strikes me a just plain not Orthodox. The Church *is* the Kingdom of God - they are one and the same. If this is not the teaching of the Church someone please show me where in the writings of the fathers and in the apostolic teaching this is denied.

          As a former protestant, this statement resonates very much like the protestant teaching of the Church which denies that any "visible" Church exists but that the Church is some sort of ethereal body without any knowable boundaries - it has no earthly structure or substance but is a mystical union of believers that will only be revealed at the final judgement. And that is just plain wrong.

          Protopriest David Moser
          St Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church (ROCOR)
          Boise, ID
          homilies: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/propoved/
          ask Fr David: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/frd_private/
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.