The CONTEXT of the situation Maria brings to this thread was in a discussion regarding the dictates of conscience over against the Church.
So what if the Church, in an older era of anathematizing Jews and wanting to burn heretics, declared Jews heretics and wanted to burn them at the stake: asked if you had a Jew hiding in your house in that case, what would you do? What if it wasn't Ceasar, but the Bishop?
And to make it very contemporary: what if the Church once again were to have the authority to persecute heretics and unbeleivers? Would you go along with the Church's error?
You are no
t very familiar with the Orthodox Church history are you?
Kind of a smart Alec response. Ok. I am not a Church historian but I have read at least a little. Certainly the iconodules followed conscience against the official Church's error. I would be happy for you to refresh my memory with additional examples
Mr. Smart Alec was referring more to your presumption that the Church was the entity responsible for burning heretics (in reality, the state punished heretics and in the Orthodox Eastern Roman Empire, this was done largely with bureaucratic means--building permits, fines, exile--and not through execution, especially not burning, which only appears to have happened once in Constantinople. As for maiming, this was a punishment employed largely for political, not religious enemies of the state. Mostly, it was heretical emperors who were more likely to kill or maim Orthodox individuals.) and that Jews were anathematized--I don't recall that, seeing that there would be no need, as the Jewish-Christian split happened in Apostolic times.
So, the Church was not setting the policy. Indeed, as one finds examples of Fathers supporting the imperial policy against heretics and Jews, one also finds Fathers opposing it.
But, if the intent is to judge the state and its policies based on today's values of religious freedom, the argument fails. I think, however, that today and in ages past, you would find that, if the Orthodox government or for some odd reason the Orthodox Church wanted to kill Jews and heretics, you would find faithful Orthodox Christians hiding them from being killed because, at a moral level, it is a terrible thing to turn someone over to face death, whether justly or unjustly--especially given that the line between justice and injustice is not always clear and certainly shifts and blurrs, ISTM, when you factor human vs. divine justice.