Our Post of the Month winner for May 2011 is Ozgeorge
for the following gem:
I have no authority to speak for the Church, and no one person does. I can speak only what I believe.
- Is this actually the consensus amongst Orthodox Christians that all the non-Orthodox (heterodox) Christians are actually worshiping a false god rather than the One True God simply by having some doctrinal misunderstandings, or is this only the view of the minority that wish to be polemical?
The only way in which we can know anything about the Trinity is what the Trinity has revealed to us. We can't deduce anything about God, we can't conceptualize God, and we can't simply decide for ourselves what the nature, attributes, relationships etc of God is. Each Person of the Trinity has a unique relationship to each other Person of the Trinity, and God has a unique relation to each created thing, and the only way we can possibly know any of this is if God reveals it to us. God is Absolute, and therefore, the truth about God and His internal and external relationships is also Absolute- this truth cannot be relative. God is one, and the truth about Him and His relationships is also One, and what we know of these has been delivered once and for all through the Apostles and cannot be added to or subtracted from, and the Apostles declare that there is only "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism". The little we know about the Transcendent Trinity we all once agreed upon. This includes the Truth that the Father is the Eternal Begettor of the Son, as well as the Eternal Source from which the Spirit proceeds. When the Latin Church added the Filioque to the Creed, the relationship between the Persons of the Holy Trinity came to be understood differently. This became even more compounded until Roman Catholics came to believe that the Holy Spirit was "the love between the Father and the Son". This is a different understanding of the Trinity to what Orthodox Christians hold. Now remember, the only way we can know anything about God is if He reveals it to us. So now we have two diverse opinions about the Trinity: one says that the Father is the Source and Begetter of the other two Persons, and the other opinion says that while the Father is the Begettor of the Son, the Spirit is the mutual Love between the Son and the Father and therefore is sourced from both of them. So which one is the revelation of God to humanity? They can't both be, since they disagree with each other. So one of them is the revelation of God, and the other is a creation of human thought and imagination. So one group of believers is worshipping God as He revealed Himself, and the other group of believers is worshipping a God which is a combination of God's revelation mixed with the projection of human imagination. The question "Are they different Gods?" is a tricky one, not for reasons of political correctness, but because we need to understand the implications of this difference. Let's say you invite me to your house for dinner, and I bring along a female companion. I introduce her to you by name and tell you that she and I live together. At some point we ring home to check on the baby sitter. You ask us how long we've been married and we tell you that we are not married. The following Sunday you see us both Communing in Church, and after Services, people ask you about us. What do you say to them if you must tell the truth? You say that we are not married but live together and have a child, and this spreads through the congregation and reaches the Priest. The following Sunday we arrive at Church and are refused Communion, and the Priest asks us to see him after Church. At the meeting we explain that she is my recently widowed sister and nephew who have moved in with me because she could not afford her rent. My sister, myself and my nephew were understood aa one thing and then understood as another. We as persons have not changed, but your understanding and of our personhood and relationship to us have changed- or as we say in common parlance: we are different people to what you thought we were.
Join us in proclaiming him AXIOS! WORTHY! AXIOS!
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.