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Author Topic: Is there any hope/ non vs. chalcedonian?  (Read 3212 times) Average Rating: 0
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germanus
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« on: October 30, 2005, 05:25:23 PM »

How can we as the Orthodox church allow there to be a seperation between us in such dire times as these? I know the basics on why we are a seperated faith but it is hard to understand why one cannot even be allowed to worship in the Coptic rite because I was baptized as an Eastern Orthodox under the American Orthodox Church. I suffer from this greatly! I found the faith through reading Haille Selassie's book, "my life and Ethiopia's progress". Before that, I was worshipping Emporer Selassie as a Rastafarian...(I made a huge mistake) the first few chapters of this book changed my life. He gave all credit to Christ, and the church which he had been raised in, for the Glory and Grace which he recieved for his mission as emporer. When I found the Orthodox church, I fell at Christ's feet. But know that I have uncovered some of the problems that exist in the church, I wonder how we can recover what we lost...Do our Bishops even talk? isn't it time for another Echumenical Counsel? Wouldn't we want to recieve the beautiful Eucharist in any Orthodox Parish? Possibly someone wiser than myself would see this thread and enlighten me...Chief of all who sin...+germanus+
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2005, 05:46:01 PM »

four views...no replies.
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2005, 06:50:39 PM »

four views...no replies.


Yes....well....if you do a search through some old postings, you will see that this site has a long history of passionate discussion on this very issue.....some may not be willing to open the can of worms again....there are some rules regarding discussion on this and other chalcedonian/prechalcedonian topics that I don't recall, which an administrator would be glad to tell you about.

I know it seems like we're dragging our heels on this issue, but Orthodox people rarely do anything in great haste.ÂÂ  As someone once quipped on this board, "I'm sure re-union will happen.....maybe in about 500 years....."ÂÂ  to which someone else replied tongue-in-cheek:ÂÂ  "that's a good, brisk Orthodox pace!"

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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2005, 06:54:50 PM »

I know it seems like we're dragging our heels on this issue, but Orthodox people rarely do anything in great haste.ÂÂ  As someone once quipped on this board, "I'm sure re-union will happen.....maybe in about 500 years....."ÂÂ  to which someone else replied tongue-in-cheek:ÂÂ  "that's a good, brisk Orthodox pace!"

That reminds me of a story I heard about an Orthodox bishop who was giving an interview and said that contrary to popular belief, not only did change happen in the Orthodox Church, but there was both a fast track and a slow track.  The fast track takes 300 years.
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2005, 06:59:47 PM »

ÂÂ  The fast track takes 300 years.

 Wink Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2005, 02:56:19 PM »

Well,...Atleast explain to me the differences that seperate us from the Tawahedo E.O. communtity....An old priest (schizmatic) told me once that "the difference was like someone putting an iron rod in the fire. Who can say where the fire ends and the rod begins"... Vague and yet understandable. But that is as far as I have come. Is there a site that could lead me in the right direction? I understand why we are not in communion with the Roman church (that's kinda easy). But it seams like we might have nit picked the subject with the Ethiopians way too much. My point being, St. Philip himself lead the first ministry into northern Africa...into a country that has as old a history in the faith as Israel and Greece....Is it true that the E.O. church believes that Christ was not God/Man until baptism? Do they share communion with the Roman Church? ???Are there actually two churches in Ethiopia that don't commune with eachother?                 So many Questions...I apologize to those who are probably exasperated with this type of dribble. Maybe this type of stuff just isn't that important to many people... 
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2005, 03:23:56 PM »

Quote
Is it true that the E.O. church believes that Christ was not God/Man until baptism?

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church believes, as with every other church of the Oriental Orthodox Communion, that The Word was the subject of Christ's Incarnation, and hence the Incarnate Word was instantaneously the God-man upon His being conceived in the Holy Virgins' womb.

Quote
Do they share communion with the Roman Church?


No, they do not. Being of the Oriental Orthodox Communion, they can only legitimately commune with other Oriental Orthodox Churches. I know that for pastoral and practical purposes partial communion is sometimes established with other non-Oriental-Orthodox Churches - as is the case between the EO and OO in Egypt (and only Egypt) regarding the sacrament of marriage -ÂÂ  however I do not know if any such thing exists in Ethiopia; I have personallyÂÂ  never heard of it.

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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2005, 03:45:22 PM »

So what is the difference between Eastern Orthodox and the Ethiopian Church/    What is the difference between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox?
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2005, 03:48:43 PM »

Also I heared that Eastern Orthodox don't commune with Assyrian Orthodox... are they also Oriental Orthodox?
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2005, 04:04:47 PM »

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So what is the difference between Eastern Orthodox and the Ethiopian Church/    What is the difference between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox?

Well, your two questions ask essentially the same thing, since the Ethiopian Church is an Oriental Orthodox Church, as is the Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, and Indian.

The difference is that the Oriental Orthodox Church only adheres to the Councils of Nicaea 325, Constantinople 381, and Ephesus 431 as Ecumenically authoritative and binding.

Quote
Also I heared that Eastern Orthodox don't commune with Assyrian Orthodox... are they also Oriental Orthodox?

I believe this is the Nestorian church. They are not Oriental Orthodox since they reject Ephesus 431.

+Irini nem makarismos
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2005, 06:32:04 PM »

All we can do is hope and pray for the reunion of the two holy and blessed families of Orthodoxy.  It has been too long.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2005, 04:18:01 PM »

Shenouti, I noticed the allez cuisine at the bottom of your message...I am an aspiring Iron Chef!
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2005, 10:34:22 PM »

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Shenouti, I noticed the allez cuisine at the bottom of your message...I am an aspiring Iron Chef!

I am a fan of the series, and consider myself a sort of Iron Chef, hehe.  I'd say the "Iron Chef America" series makes an honest effort, but nothing is as good as the original from Japan.
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2005, 10:01:27 PM »

Without going into historical issues (such as Chalcedon) that were discussed before on the forums, look at other issues that cannot be neglected in pursuing unity. I will try to be as balanced as I can and try to look at the issues as an outsider. Consider for example:

- Who will have jurisdiction over the dioceses in West ? These are very important dioceses for evangelism and for resources. While Egypt and Syria will not be disputed and the Balkan and Eastern Europe will not be challenged, the remaining West is open and has congregations of immigrants that cannot be neglected in number and in influence. According to Apostolic laws, you can have only one Bishop in the diocese.

- The relation between H.H. the EP and their Holiness the Patriarchs of the OO Church is also a sticky issue. OO do not believe in Supremacy or Primacy of the EP ( or of Rome ) and the EO definitely do. Will the Patriarchs of the EO accept that they submit to the EP while their equals on the OO side do not ? This is a faith issue, by the way, and not political.

- There are controversial figures on both sides that were not excommunicated by either Church but whose teachings are very suspecious and are not short of heresies. I am NOT talking about the figures of Chalcedon, I am talking about contemporary writers, "theologians" whose Orthodoxy is challenged based on their writings. If you unite both churches, these figures will be acceptable in the other circle and this is a great danger. Their writings will circulate on both sides. In fact, this is already happening based on the common declaration of faith.

- Both sides believe that the Church is infallable. How would you explain the schism if neither side will confess any error and will hide behind the word "misunderstandings" ? If the Church can err once, why can't the Church err again. It will prompt a new wave of revision the Church teachings and history. Unity is not worth that for either side. We are talking about a list of saints, a list of councils and a list of writings that make up a huge part of the history of both churches.

- Take the issue of marriage for example that is overlooked by the OO in unity talks for unknown reasons. EO, as far as I know, bless marriages between EO and non-Orthodox "christians". OO do not and oppose such marriages. This will result in OO running to EO churches, after unity, to marry non-Orthodox because the OO churches will not allow such marriages. The run-awat OO would be considered a faithful orthodox by the EO , and can take communion, where he is regarded as an unrepented sinner, living in adultry by the OO church and will not allowed to commune.

- Both churches are facing severe conditions. Islamic terror is on both sides, Protestant infiltration, morally liberal movements insdie and outside, .... etc. There are more immediate needs that have to be fulfilled and clear and present dangers that take priority over unity talks. I do not blame either side. One might argue that unity can be a force against non-Orthodox movements and teachings, but it can be also argued that based on historical facts, the unity might introduce more problems.
Note that the above mentioned severe conditions need powerful politics, something both church lack. In short, neither side offers any political "protection" to the other, in contrast to a unity with the Vatican, for example, who have everything except the Orthodox Faith. May God protect both.

- H.H. the EP, who is behind the unity and one of its main advocates to my knowledge, does not seem to command enough support from other influential Patriarchs on the EO side. That does not help.

If you add the historical issues to the above points and the faith-related conflicts, it is a difficult way and maybe not beneficial for either Church.
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2005, 10:22:06 PM »



 OO do not believe in Supremacy or Primacy of the EP ( or of Rome ) and the EO definitely do.
ÂÂ  No we don't.

- There are controversial figures on both sides that were not excommunicated by either Church but whose teachings are very suspecious and are not short of heresies.
Yeah...you mean crypto-Protestant fundamentalists like Vladimir Moss and his cronies?ÂÂ  Though, I'm sure YOU are referring to Fr. Matthew the Poor, Fr. Bulgakov, et al. who ARE acceptable to ME.

 

- Both sides believe that the Church is infallable.
ÂÂ  Maybe YOU do.ÂÂ  We certainly don't.ÂÂ  Allow me to demonstrate something:

Person A is not infallible

Person B is not infallible

Person C is not infallible

Person D is not infallible

Person E is not infallible

Person F is not infallible

Person G is not infallible

Person H is not infallible...

ERGO....neither can the combination of Persons A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H be infallible.ÂÂ  That's like adding a bunch of zero's together, expecting to get a One....can't be done.




Quote
How would you explain the schism if neither side will confess any error and will hide behind the word "misunderstandings" ?
I HAVE expressed the error of Chalcedon, as many other EO's have....and will continue to do so.ÂÂ  Now it's your turn.


 
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2005, 10:47:02 PM »

- Who will have jurisdiction over the dioceses in West ? These are very important dioceses for evangelism and for resources. While Egypt and Syria will not be disputed and the Balkan and Eastern Europe will not be challenged, the remaining West is open and has congregations of immigrants that cannot be neglected in number and in influence. According to Apostolic laws, you can have only one Bishop in the diocese. 

Sorting out "who will be what bishop in what city" may actually be simpler that one thinks.  It is the redistricting of the diocese that will be more difficult; how many parishes per diocese?  Or will they be arranged by state/provincial and national borders?  Once those issues are set out, then each bishop will get assigned to a diocese and will have that place as their local church (I'm sure they'll go in order of seniority by ordination date to determine who gets to stay put and who will be going to a different city).

Of coruse, assuming unity, there will be too many bishops and diocese and parishes and people for the whole of the US to be anything but at least Autonomous.  Any issue regarding which Patriarch they will answer to initially will be inevitably hammered out in the reunion talks, before formal reunion is announced (the bishops are fairly astute; they know that dogmatic agreement can still be derailed by the politics of redistricting).

- The relation between H.H. the EP and their Holiness the Patriarchs of the OO Church is also a sticky issue. OO do not believe in Supremacy or Primacy of the EP ( or of Rome ) and the EO definitely do. Will the Patriarchs of the EO accept that they submit to the EP while their equals on the OO side do not ? This is a faith issue, by the way, and not political. 

First, don't use "Supremacy" - because it doesn't exist in EO ecclesiology outside the direct person of Christ (who exerted His supremacy through washing feet, becoming incarnate, and dying).  Primacy (primus inter pares) was something that the OO did believe before the schism - of course, at that time it was the Bishop of Rome.  The heads of Autocephalous churches do not "submit" to anyone but Christ and His Church - so the decisions that they follow are set down in the Synods of the Church.  The only time when the EP (whichever city has the EP, be it Rome, Constantinople, or other) can direct another Autocephalous administrative head to do something is when it is in regards to an appeals process, as described in the canons of the Church.

- There are controversial figures on both sides that were not excommunicated by either Church but whose teachings are very suspecious and are not short of heresies. I am NOT talking about the figures of Chalcedon, I am talking about contemporary writers, "theologians" whose Orthodoxy is challenged based on their writings. If you unite both churches, these figures will be acceptable in the other circle and this is a great danger. Their writings will circulate on both sides. In fact, this is already happening based on the common declaration of faith. 

If you have theologians who are controversial, and maybe not Orthodox, then they'll get tossed out eventually... when a controversy arises, someone will call a Synod (they usually do).

- Both sides believe that the Church is infallable. How would you explain the schism if neither side will confess any error and will hide behind the word "misunderstandings" ? If the Church can err once, why can't the Church err again. It will prompt a new wave of revision the Church teachings and history. Unity is not worth that for either side. We are talking about a list of saints, a list of councils and a list of writings that make up a huge part of the history of both churches.   

I don't think this is fully correct - the Church does not believe itself to be infallible in the moment - only over the passage of History do we find out.  Whatever survives the passage of time is infallible, but otherwise the church isn't (see iconoclasm, etc as they reared up in the context of the EO, and then were later squished... i have no localized examples from within the OO).

- H.H. the EP, who is behind the unity and one of its main advocates to my knowledge, does not seem to command enough support from other influential Patriarchs on the EO side. That does not help. 

It depends on the issue as to whether or not he commands support from the other EO patriarchs...

Bed-time...
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2005, 07:49:13 PM »

I don’t think a reunion is possible on a practical level, until one church concedes to having being the “guilty party”, and hence cause of schism, at Chalcedon. After all, this is not simply about two churches re-uniting together, but rather it is more accurately (ecclesiologically that is) about one church re-inter-communing with The Church.

The status ascribed to Chalcedon ultimately has a direct bearing on this. Thus, even if such blunt discussion surrounding the question of "who's the guilty party?" were to be evaded, any ultimate conclusions regarding the status of Chalcedon would implicitly answer it nonetheless. For the OOC to concede to Chalcedon as an Ecumenical Council, would be an implicit admission that it was they who primarily "stuffed up", and the converse for if the EOC were to renounce Chalcedon as an Ecumenical Council.

The above may sound overly simplistic, but frankly speaking, I really think it's just that simple - assuming that the ecclesiological premises underlying my thoughts are valid (I know some EO's and OO's who believe that both the EOC and the OOC constitute The Church together - I personally don't see how this view can be reconciled with the understanding of ecclesiology grounded in Church Tradition - even as it was understood prior to 451 A.D.).

I thus believe it to be superfluous on a practical level to discuss any other issue prior to the issues mentioned above.

+Irini nem makarismos
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2005, 08:10:43 PM »

If you have theologians who are controversial, and maybe not Orthodox

I believe Beavis's implicit analogy has some validity to it. Our "controversial" figures, such as the prominent Fr. Matta el-Maskeen (Fr. Matthew the Poor, who is particularly famous for his works "Orthodox Prayer Life" and "Communion of Love"), are no more or less (actually, probably less) controversial in the OOC, than Fr. Sergius Bulgakov is in the EOC. I would still personally maintain Fr. Matta's Orthodoxy however; i'm not sure if you would argue the same for Fr. S. Bulgakov.

+Irini nem makarismos
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2005, 09:35:03 PM »

The solution is plain and simple: We reject the ecumenicity of all Councils after Ephesus.  This is the only way to do it.  I do not buy into Conciliar Infallibility.
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2005, 04:18:37 PM »

I believe Stavro was speaking in a broader sense, Beavis.  Both Stavro and Beavis bring valid statements to the table, but I believe some of the issues of jurisdiction have been resolved.  For example, it is the Coptic pope who will retain the proper Throne of St. Mark when the reuniting of Alexandria with Constantinople is under way, and the Greek patriarchate will be as a diocese within the patriarchate of Alexandria. 

I am, by the way, a big fan of Fr. Matthew the Poor.
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« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2005, 03:46:34 AM »

Quote
Cleveland:Primacy (primus inter pares) was something that the OO did believe before the schism - of course, at that time it was the Bishop of Rome
The Coptic Church rejects all primacy claims of Rome at every step of developing such teaching. We do not believe in any primacy of the Great St.Peter over other Apostles, we do not believe that St.Peter established the Church in Rome but it was St.Paul, and we do not find evidence that the Bishop of Rome ever held any primate position in any theological dispute or in admininstrating the church affairs. If the Primacy role is confined to calling synods, presiding over them, speaking first in councils and being an arbitrar when disputes arise, is there any trace of Roman Primacy in the first three councils ? If Primacy is defined as such, then Alexandria must have been exercising such Primacy for the first centuries. In addition, I am not sure why Antioch was not chosen for such honor if the Primacy thing about St.Peter was correct, for the church there is most definitely established by him.
I know the EO confess such thing, and therefore their unity with the RC church will be easier than the unity between EO and OO.
Quote
Cleveland:I don't think this is fully correct - the Church does not believe itself to be infallible in the moment - only over the passage of History do we find out.  Whatever survives the passage of time is infallible, but otherwise the church isn't ...
Beavis:ERGO....neither can the combination of Persons A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H be infallible.  That's like adding a bunch of zero's together, expecting to get a One....can't be done.
When the infallability of the Church is defended, it is the infallability of Christ and not the hierarchs that is proclaimed. Councils do not develop new dogams but formulate what was already known. They do not discuss "the current best approach" to a certain theological issue. The Church in such councils confirms the Apostolic Faith and nothing more according to the nature of heresy that appears or the reason of its assembly. Because the Apostolic teachings are traced back to Christ, no error can happen if the faith is simply confirmed. If heresy is proclaimed by a council, the church that adopts such heresy ceases to be the Church as its deviated from the Apostolic Faith, the Rock. It ceases to be the Body of Christ and Christ is no longer its head, but fallable men become the Head.
As such, the Church never embraces heresy. 
Quote
Beavis:Though, I'm sure YOU are referring to Fr. Matthew the Poor, Fr. Bulgakov, et al. who ARE acceptable to ME.
Clever guess, and you are right. I had both on mind, although I am more familiar with the writings of Fr.Matthew. I do not intend to discuss Fr.Matthew's errors (or positive aspects), but he serves as an example to show my previous idea. Is Fr.Bulgakov acceptable in many EO circles ?

As for jurisdiction, I agree with Cleveland that it will be sorted out before unity, if it ever happens. 
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« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2005, 10:01:32 AM »

I believe Stavro was speaking in a broader sense, Beavis.ÂÂ  Both Stavro and Beavis bring valid statements to the table, but I believe some of the issues of jurisdiction have been resolved.ÂÂ  For example, it is the Coptic pope who will retain the proper Throne of St. Mark when the reuniting of Alexandria with Constantinople is under way, and the Greek patriarchate will be as a diocese within the patriarchate of Alexandria.ÂÂ  

I am, by the way, a big fan of Fr. Matthew the Poor.

IIRC, the plan was for the Greek Patriarchate to become a diocese within the Coptic with both bishops equal until one decreased with the survivor becoming sole ruling hierarch no matter which.
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« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2005, 03:06:02 AM »

The Orthodox Church is a undivided community in Christ to this day. I cannot understand why this is not understood by all Orthodoxy.

Chalcedon, Nicea and so on are true conditions of OUR relationship as Orthddox Christians and is not divisionist or revisionary in nature and was not meant to be. We are one in Christ or we are not it is really that simple. St. Paul teaches that there is only ONE faith ONE baptism, ONE body. The Holy fathers dispute on the nature of Christ is simply that...A DISPUTE...NOT DOCTRINE. Beleiving or porporting that Christ has one nature or two or ten is the thuoghts and pre-occupation of men. The Church is one from the beginning and one now and will be one when Christ returns. How? because He said so. In speaking with St.Philip Christ responded to him as he questioned Him..."show us the Father so that it surfices us"?....Christ said to him he has seen Me has seen the Father...Me and my Father are ONE. St. Philip clearly is questioning the nature of our Lord and Savior as having two natures but Christ has it put that HE and the Father are One. The scripture also teaches..."there is three that speak in heaven the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and these three are ONE.

I cannot find anything in scripture that challenges oneness of GOD. Christ says the Church is the Bride and I am the Bride Groom. And thus we know from this the oness of the faith since when a man and women are wed they are ONE flesh and no longer two. St. Paul says this is a mystery...thus we must beleive by faith in the oneness of two and the oness of three. ONE are we.

Let us observe the word Orthodox...this is old greek word meaning ..."straight doctrine" or "Ortho-Doxa".
Thus we are not describing a "church" but the faith in Christ....He is the Church and he WILL NOT AND CANNOT BE DIVIDED. "doxa" is Christ for Christ say that he is the living "word" or "doxa" which we now say doctrine. Christ said I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life....so we the Way of course is Him and He is neither crooked or broken nor bent but Straight or "Ortho". We can obtain from this small sample the theology of the term...ORTHO - DOC or Orthodox (striaght faith). Orthodoxy well explained clearly shows that it is neither eastern or oriental or american... Orthodox as a term stands on it is own. It needs no man or place of origin. It is a term that is implicitly the property of the Holy Spirit. WE must conform to it. It will NOT change. WE change. and that is where the problem start.

I am not a scholar and have only very minimal training; so please find the time to look into the points I have made here asking in prayer for guidance.

I am Baptised in the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia. That means to me that I am a faithful in the Orthodox Church first and that Ethiopia is a geographical location where Orthodox faithful emerged and brought me the Gospel receiving me as a beleiver.

I have had one of the most spiritually uplifting experiences attending a service at a Russian Orthodox Church. I was there by invitation from a co-worker who is Ukranian Orthodox. Who by the way is still one of the most faithful and admireable Orthodox Christians I have ever met. This person risked loosing her job for not attending to a special assignment that required her to work on a Sunday. She was not fired but she latter quit since she found it risky to her spiritual life to have to be tempted to go against her faith. How many of us would do that? (rhetorical)

Also I find that the Russian Orthodox Church from my experrience maintains to this day some of the most important practices that come down to us from the Jerusalem Church even here in the USA...NO pews at all....a sign on the door which instructs the faithful that women must not enter the Church in pants or without their heads covered; and other things most of which has long been done away with in the minds of the faithful of other communities; including the EOTC in certain respects.

WE can all learn from each other. WE have Orthodoxy (remember the meaning) so how can we go astray.

The Fathers in the Church must make amends at their level so as not to divide the flock of Christ with various predispositions, preoccupations right or wrong.

UNITY is the good fight!

What would you sacrifice so that Unity could prevail?

Christ sacrificed His life so that there could be a reconciliation between the inhabitants of earth and the the inhabitants of heaven...he is the good Shepard; Amein.

Follow Christ and pray for Unity.
Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
Tags: unity Chalcedon 
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