Author Topic: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?  (Read 4822 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« on: May 27, 2011, 11:38:39 PM »
I know I've seen monks use the term this way in videos, but I was wondering if this was merely poetic or if Orthodoxy sees both the individual believer and the Church itself as Bride(s?) of Christ.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 11:39:14 PM by Volnutt »

Offline mike

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 04:35:27 AM »
I know I've seen monks use the term this way in videos, but I was wondering if this was merely poetic or if Orthodoxy sees both the individual believer and the Church itself as Bride(s?) of Christ.

Quote from: Ephesians 5:22-32
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 04:35:55 AM by MichaƂ Kalina »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2011, 09:34:23 AM »
Ok, thanks.

Offline mike

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 10:24:47 AM »
Sorry, I misunderstood your question.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 10:37:06 AM »
Oh, I thought you were answering it just by quoting the verse as if to answer my question in the negative.

I mean, is an individual Orthodox ever thought to be "literally" married to Christ or is the Church corporate His only Bride? I have in mind not only the Catholic concepts of priests and especially monastics being married to Christ (even having wedding rings in the latter case) as well as the idea I was exposed to by a Protestant ministry that I as a believer am also married to Christ

From other threads I checked out on here, the answer seems to be negative?

Offline bogdan

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2011, 10:47:41 AM »
Yes, the bride of Christ is the Church, corporately. If we are in the Church, then we share in that common "brideship".

Monks do have a more marriage-like commitment to Christ, but aside from perhaps the most poetic descriptions i don't think we typically describe it in those terms.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 10:49:27 AM by bogdan »

Offline Salpy

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 12:11:11 PM »
It's always been my understanding that the marriage allegory is Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church as the Bride.  It's not supposed to be Christ and the individual Christian being Bridegroom and Bride.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2011, 12:14:56 PM »
It's always been my understanding that the marriage allegory is Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church as the Bride.  It's not supposed to be Christ and the individual Christian being Bridegroom and Bride.
My thoughts as well.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Is the Individual a Bride of Christ?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2011, 03:40:22 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We must really put this deep and poetic allusion from the Tradition in a less modern conception of romantic love.  Today in our sensuous world people have really began to forget what sincere love from the depth of the heart is in regards to romance. The love of a deep marriage is beyond mere romance, it is a deep moving force from the hearts of those together.  The heart moves beyond reason, beyond comprehension, beyond sense, and is very active.  In this same form should be our relationship with Jesus Christ.  It should be from the feelings of our heart, not our minds.  We should feel this love in an almost tangible way, though in truth it should be beyond description.  For those who have had a similarly deep love and intimate spiritual connection with a spouse, then it is meant to be a kind of guide for the way in which we should feel out or relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is the Bridegroom coming to enrapture us in the thralls of divine love, a pure embrace of love which allows us to live out eternity in reverence and worship.  It overpowers the senses and wells up from inside. It allows us to have trust fully in something other than our selfish grip on reality, and it makes us especially vulnerable and receptive to grow and adapt.  This imagery and symbolism then is to reflect a kind of physical way which is a common human experience to explain the spirituality our Apostolic Church and its marriage with Jesus Christ.

Further, in the Church Marriage is a Sacrament, a Divine Mystery, which is in the Grace of God.  Marriage, like Baptism or Communion is an operative force of the Spirit which brings us into the Divine and interconnects us with God's Will.  So if we are married to Christ, then we are in a Sacramental relationship with Him, which is of course also the case with Communion.  Our earthly Marriages are sealed with Communion with the Bread and Wine, and in our Marriage to Christ is equally consecrated with these same Offerings.  Just then as we in Orthodox are to acknowledge, indeed venerate, our earthly Marriages as Divine institutions that God has placed in our lives towards our Salvation and entering into His Will, so to should we venerate our relationship with our Lord and Savior.

Stay Blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10