When does a refusal to change become a refusal to accept reality?
As I understand it, the reality
is that the non-Chalcedonians do not accept the Ecumenical Councils of the Orthodox Church, and that their separation from the Orthodox Church hinges on the rejection of one Council in particular.
At what point do we become like the Pharasies in adhernece to ancient traditions?
If I remember the Gospels correctly, it was the exaltation of the traditions of men
, to the nullification of the law of God
, for which the Pharisees were condemned.
As far as the Orthodox Church is concerned, the Council of Chalcedon was a grace from God, on the same level as the other Ecumenical Councils. While one can profess to be a Christian and disagree with this (just as there have been, and still are some "Christians" who reject the Symbol of Nicea), they are not Orthodox
Christians if they persist in doing such.
There is nothing "pharisaical" about standing up for the dicates of the Holy Spirit. The same Lord Who condemned the hypocracy and innovation of the Pharisees, had great zeal for that which was true and sacred; His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me."
If one lives in North America....why would one want to be part of the "Russian Church in exile" that has a presence in many other countries -- particularly if one is not a Russian refugee from the Communist revolution?
If one lives in North America, why would one want to be a part of the Antiochian, Greek, Romanian, Serbia
etc. Archidocese', whose only purpose for existing as administratively separate entities is to preserve ethnic identies, and less savory, act as impliments of power playing at the hands of foreign heirarchies that simply had no business being here to begin with? Lest we forget, the following...
- The Americas were once universally understood to be the mission territory of the Russian Orthodox Church; it was only after the upheavals in Russia and the inability of the Moscow Patriarchate to properly oversee it's foreign missions, that everyone in the old world "took advantage" of the situation and flooded North America with their own set of heirarchs, creating the completly anti-canonical situation of overlapping "juristictions" and flocks divided along purely ethnic lines - almost forgetting that phyletism
is in fact a heresy
according to Orthodox dogmatics.
- The Metropolia (what is now known as the OCA) of it's own accord was part of the temporary foreign administration commonly known as ROCOR (or ROCA), which was created on the basis of Patriarch St.Tikhon's Ukaze #362, to administer the "Russian Orthodox Church Abroad"; and it was by their own accord that they twice went into schism from the ROCOR (once being reconciled, the second time creating a schism which sadly has persisted to the present day). That said, it is at least
highly debatable whether the OCA can be smugly insisted upon as legitimatly representing the continuation of the Russian Church's pre-revolutionary mission in the Americas, to the exclusion of the ROCOR at least
equally (if not more so) representing the continuation of that mission.
Of course, further grounds for one "wanting" to be a part of the ROCOR, would be the simple reason that they (as Bp.Kallistos Ware readily admits in his wel known The Orthodox Church
) embody the fullness of Orthodox piety and tradition (as manifested by what one hears and see's when you go to a typical ROCOR parish, or as manifested by a monastic presence which far outstrips their numbers as compared to other juristictions in the west), which sadly many other juristictions in the west have diminished one way or another. ROCOR doesn't envision itself as a part of the "church which is becoming", or entertain never ending revision of just what Orthodox Christianity is
in some vain desire to accomodate heterodoxy (as if there were a "back door" by which it could somehow be invited into the Temple of God); but simply as an Orthodox Church, continuing in the faith and traditions of the Church.