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Author Topic: Can OO and EO, "preach to all nations" "hand in hand" before re-union?  (Read 1453 times) Average Rating: 0
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EkhristosAnesti
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« on: December 18, 2005, 11:54:52 PM »

Over time, I have come to realise that my position on, and approach to the whole EO-OO issue has been quite blunt and uncompromising. This is not indicative of a character flaw, but rather representative of a most honest conviction in response to the facts of history as I have come to learn and understand them in light of a range of interpretations offered according to many varying perspectives. However, apparently there exist people on both sides of the fence (so-called “moderates”?) who seem to think EO’s and OO’s are capable of co-operating as a team in the practice of preaching and evangelising the Orthodox Faith around the world. Are these people being dishonest with themselves? I have created this thread to hear them out, and to see whether their arguments can stand the fire of valid criticism.

First, I would like to understand their position on ecclesiology, and their basis for such a position. I would then like them to explain the practical implications of their ecclesiology with respect to matters of evangelisation.

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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2005, 02:54:42 AM »

I would call myself a moderate in this matter (perhaps a bit more than that, even).

As for ecclesiology, I say look at John of Antioch. He was excommunicated during an Ecumenical Council, and yet we both agree he was brought back into communion without disrupting the infalliability of the Council. In short, he decided to accept the Council as Ecumenical, and so was restored. I think a similar situation exists between EO-OO. If the OO can accept the Chalcedon (as John did with one Council), and the later Councils as well, the EO could resote them back into full communion, from Dioscorus to today. It would just be seen as a thing that happened and was unfortunate (perhaps like a ROCOR-esque situation), but that we both have made amends with.

Now, in regards to evangelism, I think this makes it in some way more complicated. If there will be a future unity, who gets authority over which churches? If a church is set up in a more EO country, should the EO get it no matter who did the mission work? And vise versa: should the OO get a church in OO lands whether they have done the work or not? These are issues we will have to sort out, either now, or when a reunion takes place. Though, after the reunion, no such problem will exist, of course!
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2005, 03:31:40 AM »

First, I would like to understand their position on ecclesiology, and their basis for such a position. I would then like them to explain the practical implications of their ecclesiology with respect to matters of evangelisation.     

Is it a stretch to say that there is the implied question, in the context of this discussion, such as "can the EO and OO decide on a unified position on Chalcedon and the following Synods - either for or against - without having to declare one party wrong and the other right?"

Or are you asking the broader question of Ecclesiology as in "can two Churches that technically (because of their ecclesiology) don't see each other as true Church work together to bring people into the Church?"
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2005, 09:45:09 AM »

I guess both questions are applicable.

With respect to the latter question however, I’d slightly modify it, since those who I am specifically addressing seem to somehow view both the EOC and OOC as the One True Church, such that evangelisation which leads to the conversion of one to the Coptic Orthodox church is viewed as more or less a “win” (ignore any competitive overtones - you know what I’m trying to say) for “The Orthodox Church” inasmuch as evangelisation which leads to the conversion of one to Greek Orthodox church for example.

The thing is, most of the people I know that hold this view seem to be reasonably intelligent and well educated (with respect to Orthodox education that is) people. That is why I am genuinly curious as to the reasoning behind their positions. I know one member on this board who seems to take this view (S_N_Bulgakov — an SVS seminary student I believe) and I hope he will be able to give his input (though I haven't seen him online here for a while now)

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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2005, 10:11:01 AM »

That is why I am genuinly curious as to the reasoning behind their positions.   

I would suppose that this position of cooperation is founded on the belief (rightly or wrongly) that there are no actual doctrinal differences between the two parties in question, and that it is only a matter of each one's language of understanding the other and historical circumstances of the past that keep the groups separated at this moment.

If one were to hold this position, then the conclusions on cooperation would be natural, since the thing that is the stumbling block (the fact that we are no longer in communion with one another which, because we hold almost the same ecclesiology, which naturally excludes the others at the moment) would be able to be dispensed with more easily than with any other religious groups.  If each Church sees the other as doctrinally correct, then the matter of communion (while still extremely serious) will seem to be more solvable and, thus, there is more hope for restoration of communion in the near future.

I also know plenty of people who hold this position, and a few of them I respect a lot for their knowledge and discernment.
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2006, 02:21:15 PM »

Quote
Now, in regards to evangelism, I think this makes it in some way more complicated. If there will be a future unity, who gets authority over which churches? If a church is set up in a more EO country, should the EO get it no matter who did the mission work? And vise versa: should the OO get a church in OO lands whether they have done the work or not? These are issues we will have to sort out, either now, or when a reunion takes place. Though, after the reunion, no such problem will exist, of course!

Actually, why unite AFTER the preaching, when we can unite before any further work is done?

Anyways, how are the Churches going to be sorted if the two Churches unite? The way the EO Church is structured + a few more Patriarchates for India and Ethiopia/Eritrea/Armenia, and the combined Patriarchates (Antioch, Alexandria) will be merged?
Also, is this feasible within the years we are going through?
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