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Author Topic: Why I became Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox  (Read 5415 times) Average Rating: 0
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Arystarcus
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« on: January 20, 2005, 12:03:57 AM »

Greetings all,

Some time ago, I came across a website, the only of it's kind that I am aware of, where a convert to Orthodoxy talks about why he converted to Orthodoxy in the Oriental Church, instead of the Eastern Church.

Here is the link:

http://www.geocities.com/mfignatius/others/byzantine.html

I am posting this to see what my Orthodox brethren in the Oriental Churches have to say about this, to see if the author presents accurate information and good reasoning, so please share your thoughts on it.

In Christ,
Aaron

PS- I would very much like for this thread to stay with it's original intent, so I hope people don't start posting to try to turn this into some kind of Eastern vs. Oriental war. We have been there and done that people, so let's not resort to that.
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2005, 12:08:46 AM »

IC XC NIKA
Personally, I find this site to be correct.  When people ask me to explain why I choose OO over EO, I usually explain it in light detail, then give that link; but I am not as informed as many OO on this site, so take my opinion as you will.
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2005, 12:29:03 AM »

The author of that site is a member of our site, who posts as Mikho, although he has not posted in some time.

Anastasios
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2005, 02:45:15 AM »

After spending years, bored to tears, trying to find something in the Protestant, semi-liturgical, evangelical, new-church-popped-up-on-the-next-block, new-golden-boy-preacher, psycho-pop-preacher/teacher/TV motivational money seekers ------- it is such a relief to read posts by people that discuss things that I am virtually clueless about!  I am excited to have to look things up, just to keep up with one post or comment! 
Is there a good source on the internet for finding out the background of the difference between OO and EO (I figured out what those mean, lol!)  I just want to know for info...not trying to start anything Smiley  Thank you!
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2005, 02:47:47 PM »



I am posting this to see what my Orthodox brethren in the Oriental Churches have to say about this, to see if the author presents accurate information and good reasoning, so please share your thoughts on it.

In Christ,
Aaron

PS- I would very much like for this thread to stay with it's original intent, so I hope people don't start posting to try to turn this into some kind of Eastern vs. Oriental war. We have been there and done that people, so let's not resort to that.


The author (Mike) must be from the Antiochian Syriac Orthodox church.  There is something very wrong in his Oriental Orthodox FAQ.  He has consciously created a question against the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox). I must say that his judgement about the Church is wrong. Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is officially a amember of Oriental Orthodox communion and is repsesented in all OO official ecumenical meetings with other Churches, that is from 1965 (last Ecumenical council of OO in Addis Ababa) onwards.

Regarding other topics in his website, I have no comments. I have plans to create a true version of OO FAQ against such false information.

To learn more about the Oriental Orthodox history in an impartial way,  please visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Orthodox


I have no comments about other topics, such as council of Chalcedon etc. in the website of Mike.

Peace

Paul
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2005, 03:55:55 PM »

paul2004,
Please pardon my side question here, but you mention "...all OO official ecumenical meetings with other Churches, that is from 1965 (last Ecumenical council of OO in Addis Ababa) ..."
Exactly how many and what are the ecumenical councils of OO since 451?

Demetri
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2005, 04:01:42 PM »

Demetri,

Sorry to butt in but there were not "officially ecumenical" councils from 451 to 1965.  The 1965 was called by His Royal Highness Emperor Haile Salaisse.

Anastasios
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2005, 06:58:46 PM »

Demetri,

Sorry to butt in but there were not "officially ecumenical" councils from 451 to 1965. The 1965 was called by His Royal Highness Emperor Haile Salaisse.

Anastasios


451 was not an ecumenical council from OO perspective. After 431 (Ephesus), heads of OO churches and representatives met only once, that was in the council convened by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1965. This council mainly reaffirmed the common OO faith, OO unity with Eastern Orthodox and other churches, common Sunday school curriculum for OO etc. Following churches participated in this council:

Armenian Apostolic
Coptic Orthodox
Ethiopian Orthodox
Antiochian Syrian Orthodox
Malankara Orthodox Syrian


For a trustworthy account of the 1995 council and about Oriental Orthodox Church, please visit the following site:

http://ethiopianorthodox.org/oriental/aaconf/Theorientalchurchmeetings.htm
http://ethiopianorthodox.org/images/todaysphoto/1965addisababaconference/index.htm
http://ethiopianorthodox.org/images/todaysphoto/maingallerypage.htm

May Almighty bless the person who created the above pages.

-Paul

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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2005, 07:52:14 PM »

Wow Paul!  Thanks for the links to this site!
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2005, 01:07:32 AM »

Yes, thanks paul2004.

(Sure, I know you don't accept as 'ecumenical' 451, but you did participate. no?)

Demetri
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2005, 01:16:09 AM »




451 was not an ecumenical council from OO perspective. After 431 (Ephesus), heads of OO churches and representatives met only once, that was in the council convened by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1965. This council mainly reaffirmed the common OO faith, OO unity with Eastern Orthodox and other churches, common Sunday school curriculum for OO etc. Following churches participated in this council:

Armenian Apostolic
Coptic Orthodox
Ethiopian Orthodox
Antiochian Syrian Orthodox
Malankara Orthodox Syrian


For a trustworthy account of the 1995 council and about Oriental Orthodox Church, please visit the following site:

http://ethiopianorthodox.org/oriental/aaconf/Theorientalchurchmeetings.htm
http://ethiopianorthodox.org/images/todaysphoto/1965addisababaconference/index.htm
http://ethiopianorthodox.org/images/todaysphoto/maingallerypage.htm

May Almighty bless the person who created the above pages.

-Paul



Paul,

I know that Chalcedon is not an ecumenical council from your point of view. That is the whole reason that we are separated.  I meant to write 431.

Anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2005, 02:11:31 PM »

Yes, thanks paul2004.

(Sure, I know you don't accept as 'ecumenical' 451, but you did participate. no?)

Demetri


Please take this response lightly, not in the sense of content, but how ones emotions may be affected. Any discussion on Chalcedon can turn sensitive for both of us.  I don't know if this is the right thread for a discussion on the Ecumenical nature of a council. Neither Indian, nor the Armenian church participated in 451. But the faith adopted in this council, called the 'Thumsa of Leo' was rejected. Thus what makes a council ecumenical is not the participation of all, rather a common consensus, the faith accepted, without disrupting the unity of the Church. Such a common understanding was not reached in 451. In this sense, it is not Ecumenical for OO. In 1995, OO reached a common understanding on how the Church should relate to other Churches, especially closer relationship with EO.  In this sense 1995 is Ecumenical, as it is described in the minutes of the council.

Peace always.

Paul


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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2005, 02:19:51 PM »

Thank you, Paul.
And, no, I am not offended. Your explanation is exactly what I have been looking for. As the EO have had local councils and even general synods since the 7th, councils which are not formally called 'ecumenical' but have the force of our universal acceptance by virtue of not being rejected by any EO church, I have tried to find similar OO councils. My wishes have been fulfilled. Thanks to all participants in this thread.

Demetri
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2005, 08:22:00 PM »

"The question then comes in how these terms are used in regards to Christology. In the Nicene-Contantinopolian Creed, we see that "Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary," thus the foundation is made clear. In terms of Christology the Oriental understanding is that Christ is "One Nature--the Logos Incarnate," of the full humanity and full divinity. The Byzantine understanding is that Christ is in two natures, full humanity and full divinity."

I still do not understand how this is anything more than a semantical difference.
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2005, 09:30:40 PM »

I still do not understand how this is anything more than a semantical difference.

Matthew777,
Please do yourself a big favor and locate a copy of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in the original Greek as accepted in Ecumenical Council. Then locate the exact word in Greek, translated through Latin into English as "incarnate". You will not find the word "incarnate" in the original Greek. What you will find, and I will not tell you more, is a word which has major impact on your semantics argument and one which does not mean "incarnate" as it is being used. More I will not say on this board, keeping to the rules. You must learn on your own.

Demetri
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2005, 11:36:57 PM »

You must learn on your own.

Why? This is like trying to strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2005, 10:05:06 PM »

It was not my intention to offend anyone but this topic does make me feel bad.

The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches view each other as heretical but what they share in common is their belief that the Oriental Churches are heretical.

And we are out on the sidelines and we don't think that either of you are heretics, and we just want the arguing to stop and the peace to begin.

I'm sorry if I've made this issue sound more simple than it really is.
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2005, 10:25:30 PM »

What I would really like is for an EO member of this board to defend Chalcedon, not just by saying "This is what my church believes and therefore it is true" but by actually sharing well-developed personal resaons why we should accept Chalcedon.

I also would like someone to explain how believing that Jesus is of two natures instead of one nature that is both fully divine and fully human is not dualism.

I honestly would like that, and I am not trying to offend anyone in this request.

And please refrain from calling us "monophysite" because that really is nothing more than a strawman. We are miaphysites, and there is a difference.


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« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2005, 12:28:39 AM »

Quote
And we are out on the sidelines and we don't think that either of you are heretics, and we just want the arguing to stop and the peace to begin.

Who is the "we" that you have chosen to speak for?

I would assume the Oriental Orthodox, but I am not so sure that all of the Oriental Churches share your "beliefs", especially in regards to Roman Catholicism and whether or not it is heretical.

Insofar as stopping the "arguing" and for the "peace to begin", it has been going on for quite some time now and I don't believe that any of the Churches are just going to all get together and have a happy family reunion at the drop of a hat because that is what you think it would take.

During this unfortunate time where the Churches have been seperated, some bad blood has unfortunatley been built up, and things have been done and said by all sides, so it is going to take plenty of time and prayer for all the wounds to be healed.

Quote
What I would really like is for an EO member of this board to defend Chalcedon, not just by saying "This is what my church believes and therefore it is true" but by actually sharing well-developed personal resaons why we should accept Chalcedon.

I also would like someone to explain how believing that Jesus is of two natures instead of one nature that is both fully divine and fully human is not dualism.

I think if this was to happen, it should happen in another part of the forum, because I don't think that it would be appropriate to place to post reasons why the Oriental Orthodox should accept Chalcedon in a section of the forum where our Oriental Orthodox brethren can take refuge from that sort of thing.

You may wish to start a new topic in another part of this forum.

Quote
PS- I would very much like for this thread to stay with it's original intent, so I hope people don't start posting to try to turn this into some kind of Eastern vs. Oriental war. We have been there and done that people, so let's not resort to that.

The above is how I taken from my original post which started this thread, and I think your requests to "prove Chalcedon was correct" and that Jesus had two natures is an attempt to take this thread off track and the consequences of people providing you with answers to your requests may bring a negative aspect to this thread which it did not have previously.

Quote
And please refrain from calling us "monophysite" because that really is nothing more than a strawman. We are miaphysites, and there is a difference.

I've yet to see anyone do this yet and if they decide to do something that silly then I am sure that Antonius and Mor will take care of business.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2005, 12:56:46 AM »

You may wish to start a new topic in another part of this forum.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,5191.0.html

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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2005, 12:58:33 AM »

I've yet to see anyone do this yet and if they decide to do something that silly then I am sure that Antonius and Mor will take care of business.

That is just what the Orthodox Christian Information Center calls us.
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« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2005, 01:05:16 AM »

Quote
That is just what the Orthodox Christian Information Center calls us.

Well, no offense, but what do you expect? The Orthodox Christian Information Center also doesn't have a lot of positive things to say about some Eastern Orthodox Churches either.

In any event, I do not believe that you should worry about anyone from that site coming here and name calling.  Grin
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« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2005, 01:18:29 AM »

In any event, I do not believe that you should worry about anyone from that site coming here and name calling. Grin

Excellent.   
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« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2005, 01:54:56 AM »

What I would really like is for an EO member of this board to defend Chalcedon, not just by saying "This is what my church believes and therefore it is true" but by actually sharing well-developed personal resaons why we should accept Chalcedon.

I also would like someone to explain how believing that Jesus is of two natures instead of one nature that is both fully divine and fully human is not dualism.

I honestly would like that, and I am not trying to offend anyone in this request.

And please refrain from calling us "monophysite" because that really is nothing more than a strawman. We are miaphysites, and there is a difference.


Read The Rules.

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Read the RULES of this BOARD. Chalcedonian discussion Prohibited.

R
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« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2005, 01:57:43 AM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,3758.0.html

Here's a link for your convenience.

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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2005, 03:30:25 PM »



Read the RULES of this BOARD. Chalcedonian discussion Prohibited.

R

Then please email me any knowledge you may have on this subject: spokaneindependent@yahoo.com

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« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2005, 07:02:28 PM »

I'm sorry that I didn't read everyone's posts on this interesting topic as I am pressed for time.

I am currently EO, but am convinced that I should become OO for the following reasons:

It has been said that whatever differences there might historically have been between the two Churches, they now at least accept each other's Christology as Orthodox.  I, personally, would call this a correct answer, but are we asking the right question?

Even if the teachings of the EO Church are not continuous with those implicit at Chalcedon (the vindication of the Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary of Reunion of 433 bearing truth to this), the EO Church is still, nevertheless, historically continuous with that Council.  Some important questions are raised as to the pneumatic and apostolic validity of a Church which is historically and causally continuous with a Council as questionable as Chalcedon.  These are questions not to be taken lightly.  It raises the question, "Exactly how much fulness of Truth or Holy Spirit abides in a Church which maintains continuity with a council so questionable?"  Exactly how much Holy Spirit resides in a Church which falsely condemned St. Dioscorus or which had to "clarify" itself with another Council (Constantinople 553)---I mean, does the Holy Spirit, speaking through the auspices of a General Synod, really need to "clarify" Himself?  These are questions I don't pretend to know the answer to.  But that is precisely why I want to become OO.  I'd rather join a Church which I know to always have had the fulness of Truth and Holy Spirit than a Church where it is merely uncertain.

You see, I have the ardent desire to be connected to the True Church (and I do believe there is a true Church).  Becoming OO would be one more step to such a surety.
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2012, 12:11:33 AM »

Can this article still be accessed even though Geocities shut down?
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2012, 12:13:17 AM »

I'm sorry that I didn't read everyone's posts on this interesting topic as I am pressed for time.

I am currently EO, but am convinced that I should become OO for the following reasons:

It has been said that whatever differences there might historically have been between the two Churches, they now at least accept each other's Christology as Orthodox.  I, personally, would call this a correct answer, but are we asking the right question?

Even if the teachings of the EO Church are not continuous with those implicit at Chalcedon (the vindication of the Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary of Reunion of 433 bearing truth to this), the EO Church is still, nevertheless, historically continuous with that Council.  Some important questions are raised as to the pneumatic and apostolic validity of a Church which is historically and causally continuous with a Council as questionable as Chalcedon.  These are questions not to be taken lightly.  It raises the question, "Exactly how much fulness of Truth or Holy Spirit abides in a Church which maintains continuity with a council so questionable?"  Exactly how much Holy Spirit resides in a Church which falsely condemned St. Dioscorus or which had to "clarify" itself with another Council (Constantinople 553)---I mean, does the Holy Spirit, speaking through the auspices of a General Synod, really need to "clarify" Himself?  These are questions I don't pretend to know the answer to.  But that is precisely why I want to become OO.  I'd rather join a Church which I know to always have had the fulness of Truth and Holy Spirit than a Church where it is merely uncertain.

You see, I have the ardent desire to be connected to the True Church (and I do believe there is a true Church).  Becoming OO would be one more step to such a surety.
How is Chalcedon any more "questionable" than the three that preceded it?
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2012, 12:13:45 AM »

Can this article still be accessed even though Geocities shut down?
Try this:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080706065615/http://www.geocities.com/mfignatius/others/byzantine.html
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« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2012, 12:30:28 AM »

Can this article still be accessed even though Geocities shut down?

This link delivered the goods for me:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040923032316/http://www.geocities.com/mfignatius/others/byzantine.html
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« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2012, 12:35:42 AM »

I'm sorry that I didn't read everyone's posts on this interesting topic as I am pressed for time.

I am currently EO, but am convinced that I should become OO for the following reasons:

It has been said that whatever differences there might historically have been between the two Churches, they now at least accept each other's Christology as Orthodox.  I, personally, would call this a correct answer, but are we asking the right question?

Even if the teachings of the EO Church are not continuous with those implicit at Chalcedon (the vindication of the Antiochene interpretation of the Formulary of Reunion of 433 bearing truth to this), the EO Church is still, nevertheless, historically continuous with that Council.  Some important questions are raised as to the pneumatic and apostolic validity of a Church which is historically and causally continuous with a Council as questionable as Chalcedon.  These are questions not to be taken lightly.  It raises the question, "Exactly how much fulness of Truth or Holy Spirit abides in a Church which maintains continuity with a council so questionable?"  Exactly how much Holy Spirit resides in a Church which falsely condemned St. Dioscorus or which had to "clarify" itself with another Council (Constantinople 553)---I mean, does the Holy Spirit, speaking through the auspices of a General Synod, really need to "clarify" Himself?  These are questions I don't pretend to know the answer to.  But that is precisely why I want to become OO.  I'd rather join a Church which I know to always have had the fulness of Truth and Holy Spirit than a Church where it is merely uncertain.

You see, I have the ardent desire to be connected to the True Church (and I do believe there is a true Church).  Becoming OO would be one more step to such a surety.
How is Chalcedon any more "questionable" than the three that preceded it?
This poster has not been active since 2005, I doubt you are going to get an answer, unfortunately.

@Deborah and Achronos Thank you both!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 12:44:13 AM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2012, 02:11:31 AM »

Provided that suitable theological explanations for Christological formulations can be found, would it be theoretically possible for OOs to posthumously recognize Chalcedon and subsequent EO councils as ecumenical in the sense that they weren't originally ecumenical but they could become ecumenical after OO affirmation?
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« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2012, 03:38:08 AM »

Provided that suitable theological explanations for Christological formulations can be found, would it be theoretically possible for OOs to posthumously recognize Chalcedon and subsequent EO councils as ecumenical in the sense that they weren't originally ecumenical but they could become ecumenical after OO affirmation?
I think EOs have to define what "ecumenical" means first, which is yet to be known.  If it's all about faith, then EOs should acknowledge that we already "accept" them without actually accepting the literal statements, canons, and condemnations.  If EOs however care about conciliar inerrancy, then there will be no unity.
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« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2012, 08:47:04 AM »

Provided that suitable theological explanations for Christological formulations can be found, would it be theoretically possible for OOs to posthumously recognize Chalcedon and subsequent EO councils as ecumenical in the sense that they weren't originally ecumenical but they could become ecumenical after OO affirmation?
I think EOs have to define what "ecumenical" means first, which is yet to be known.  If it's all about faith, then EOs should acknowledge that we already "accept" them without actually accepting the literal statements, canons, and condemnations.  If EOs however care about conciliar inerrancy, then there will be no unity.

How Copts/OOs in general define what "ecumenical council" means?
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« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2012, 11:46:43 AM »

Provided that suitable theological explanations for Christological formulations can be found, would it be theoretically possible for OOs to posthumously recognize Chalcedon and subsequent EO councils as ecumenical in the sense that they weren't originally ecumenical but they could become ecumenical after OO affirmation?
I think EOs have to define what "ecumenical" means first, which is yet to be known.  If it's all about faith, then EOs should acknowledge that we already "accept" them without actually accepting the literal statements, canons, and condemnations.  If EOs however care about conciliar inerrancy, then there will be no unity.
How Copts/OOs in general define what "ecumenical council" means?
Well, to us, an ecumenical council is merely an imperial council that defines what the faith should be.  It may contain some canons that pertain to today and other canons that can only be understood for its time.  In the end, the understanding of the councils and their history along with the fathers who lead it are an appreciation of the faith they preserved, but as St Cyril has shown, he did not require the council of Ephesus to be literally accepted, but that certain articles of faith, which lead to the famous unity with John of Antioch.  That is what acceptance means.  If the faith is preserved, it should not matter the persons or the councils literally accepted.  It's the the underlying faith if the council.
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« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2012, 12:37:05 PM »


Well, to us, an ecumenical council is merely an imperial council that defines what the faith should be. 
I would agree.
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« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2012, 12:58:22 PM »


Well, to us, an ecumenical council is merely an imperial council that defines what the faith should be. 
I would agree.
Let me rephrase that. It affirms what the faith should be.
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« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2012, 01:05:13 PM »


Well, to us, an ecumenical council is merely an imperial council that defines what the faith should be. 
I would agree.
Let me rephrase that. It affirms what the faith should be.

Doesn't it often do both though? I mean "define" not in the sense of introducing something new, or as giving some authoritative stamp of approval, but in that it elaborates on what had previously been less specifically defined. So, for example, the fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council didn't create the idea that Jesus is consubstantial with the Father, they just introduced language at the council that made the orthodox view more precise, to stand as a witness against those who were distorting orthodox belief.
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« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2012, 01:15:25 PM »


Well, to us, an ecumenical council is merely an imperial council that defines what the faith should be. 
I would agree.
Let me rephrase that. It affirms what the faith should be.

Doesn't it often do both though? I mean "define" not in the sense of introducing something new, or as giving some authoritative stamp of approval, but in that it elaborates on what had previously been less specifically defined. So, for example, the fathers of the 1st Ecumenical Council didn't create the idea that Jesus is consubstantial with the Father, they just introduced language at the council that made the orthodox view more precise, to stand as a witness against those who were distorting orthodox belief.
I agree, but I didn't want my words to be misconstrued.  I often say it's the faith that defines the council, not vice versa. Hence why in context of what I wrote, the acceptance of the faith is above acceptance of saints, councils, hagiographical stories of miracles, and specific terminologies.  As St Paul would say, this isn't the church of Cephas or Paul or Appollos.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 01:26:35 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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