And sniping about the Anglicans is supremely pointless when you say that you "don't have infallible bishops", which essentially means that you feel free to toss aside what yours say as easily as I do in fact toss aside many of mine. Which means you're just another crypto-Protestant.
Lord have mercy. This would only be true if submitting to everything our bishops taught was the distinctive mark of Orthodoxy, which it is not. You haven’t been listening to what GiC has said. I think, if I haven’t misread (and I must admit that much of what I read I did so cursorily), he has stated the true Orthodox opinion on several occasions. We aren’t puppets of our bishops. We must submit to them as long as it doesn’t compromise the integrity of the Church, but even this doesn’t mean we must blindly accept everything they say as truth. We must do what they say, but we can still have our own opinions.
As I've said over and over again: it's not scripture and it's not the church fathers. It that you're interpreting, and by your own standards you aren't a legitimate authority to do so. By my standards, you're merely doing it badly, but that's another story.
Ok, well I’m always ready to be corrected when I’m wrong. So why don’t you show me how these passages should be interpreted and why you think your interpretation is better than mine or ours. All you’ve done so far is say, “You’re wrong in your interpretation.” Ok, so show me how you interpret them.
See, I don’t like this “It’s not Scripture and it’s not the Fathers, it’s just your interpretation” stuff. I hear this a lot from people 1) who don’t want to deal with what Scripture says or 2) want to dismiss Scripture as not significant enough because it’s too complicated. And to be honest, I hear these types of arguments mostly from Orthodox who want to hold onto certain non-Orthodox beliefs even though Scripture clearly contradicts them. See, Scripture says what it says, and it doesn’t require a secret decoder ring to understand. There are passages that are difficult, particularly if you have a preconceived view when you come to Scripture rather than simply let Scripture speak and put your own ideas aside, but if you come to Scripture honestly, read the whole thing and not just parts, and if you seek to let Scripture speak to you instead of trying to make it say what you want, then it becomes amazingly clear, even though there are always new depths in Scripture to be discovered.
Your argument is bogus because a man’s earthly status, i.e. whether he’s a slave or not, is completely irrelevant to his spiritual condition. God doesn’t care whether you’re a slave or a slave owner. This is all over Scripture, and this is why slavery, as an institution, can be nothing but morally neutral. What do you think it means when Paul tells slaves to treat their masters with respect, and masters to treat their slaves likewise? It isn’t important whether we’re slave or free. This is totally insignificant, and this is why it’s morally neutral. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how we treat each other, and whether we reflect the love of Christ. This is possible whether you own slaves or are a slave. Your arguments render our social status as somehow having some profound moral, and thus spiritual, significance, but this is false. Whether we’re slave or slave owner is completely irrelevant to our spiritual condition.
I find it interesting that the things the tradition of the Church, Scripture and the Fathers clearly declare to be immoral, e.g. divorce and homosexuality, the Anglican Church is ready to embrace with wide open arms, but if we talk about slavery, something the Bible, Church tradition and the fathers never once condemn, this is some great evil that can’t be tolerated even for a moment. You guys have elevated the self with its personal selfish desires above Scripture, the Fathers, and I would add God Himself.
You have been shown many bishops. Your argument that you want to know what we teach NOW is meaningless to us, because unlike Anglican teaching, ours doesn’t change. What Chrysostom said is every bit as valid today as it was when he was here on earth. Our teaching isn’t contextually relative. It is what it is and has always been. If a bishop today said something that contradicted what Chrysostom, Paul or any other ancient bishop wrote, it would not render Chrysostom’s, Paul’s or whatever other bishop’s opinion no longer relevant or valid. Your problem is that you have divorced yourself from the history of the Church, while we have not. Paul, Peter and every other bishop throughout history is every bit as much a part of the Church today and relevant to the Church today as he was in the year 100 AD, 400 AD, 800 AD, 1000 AD, etc.
You say “FIND ME A BISHOP.” Many have been found and shown to you. You don’t happen to like them because they aren’t alive now. Our response would be, “How is that relevant?” What makes you think a current bishop is more relevant than one from 1000 years ago? The only response you can give is if you think truth is relative, which, in my opinion, is heretical and completely outside the realm of Christian thought. But I think you’re church has gone there, and so I can see why this would be a problem for you. This is not intended to be "sniping" at your church, rather the simple recognition of the reason why our position is so hard for you to grasp. Chrysostom, Paul, Clement, Ignatius, Photius, etc. are no less relevant than +Kallistos Ware, Archbishop Demetrios, +Isaiah, +Maximos, etc. In fact, since many of the previous bishops are recognized as saints in the Church, their opinions are more relevant than those of current bishops who are not recognized as saints. So you have been given bishops, some of the greatest bishops with the greatest authority in our Church, bishops with far more authority than any current bishop.
And as GiC can attest, I’ve been called a Protestant many times. One of these days, I’ll stop banging my head against a door every time it happens.