Diagnosing the Crisis (Part I)

York_Minster_-_The_Harvest_of_the_Earth_and_the_Vintage_of_the_Wrath_of_God_(full)

“The Harvest of the Earth and the Vintage of the Wrath of God ” – source

A friend was sharing his diagnosis of the current fallout (to add to the previous) in the Church, and I added something to it which I think equally obtains, and could be applicable to American/European Christianity in general.

At the core of the problem (among many other things) is the modern abhorrence of giving privileges to the “particular” and the great admiration of making all things work in harmony and equality.

We think that by telling other religions, cults, denominations, and the whole mass of the unbelieving world that they all stand under a heavy obligation to submit in repentance towards the risen Christ as the only true God and Ruler of Creation, and to grasp hold of his forgiving love offered in His cross as the only way to enjoy everlasting happiness and avoid the eternal pains of hell, is a commitment the “evil” of particularism, discrimination, proselytism, judgmentalism, fundamentalism, and even colonialism (as I heard recently).

Somehow and someway, we have become duped into thinking Christ was only a committed integrationist such that all his concern was for us to get along, and to do so in the most peaceable manner, despite divergent beliefs and habits.  A Christ who is particularist, who will only save the sheep and scourge with hell the goats is simply no longer admissible. That Jesus is no longer allowed in churches today. Those who worship this “Jesus” would be surely surprised to read that the Jesus of the New Testament “hates” false doctrine, and threatens to fight against those who hold to it with everlasting judgment (Rev 2:15-16).

This is why the language of the Church has changed to be what it is in the last 50+ years. It is now meant to offer tea and biscuits and a lovely time , rather than to communicate a divine summons from a Heavenly Lord demanding men to prepare the way of the Lord who comes to separate the wheat and the chaff.

The truth is, ever since Lucifer, and the host of fallen angels, rebelled against the Creator, there has been a division within creation that cannot be closed as long as this rebellion exists. Moreover, since it was tricked into the philosophy of self-reliance and God’s insufficiency, the human race has joined into the other side of the dividing line in opposition to the Creator. There is no cessation of this division, ultimately, since we know that God has prophesied the eschatological destruction of the devil and his angels, together with the mass of disobedient humanity. Withal, this suffering will have “no end” (2 Thes 1:9). This is also why there will always be a division in the world against the children of God and the children of the devil (1 John 3:10), and this division can’t be dissolved as long as both sides retain their character. This is also why secular politics is deceived into thinking it can govern humanity while catering to this division. Even the unsolvable problem of civil unrest shows the need for a Messiah who will come to clean away the opposition and establish an everlasting Kingdom for only one side of this division, the just.

Final note: No, I don’t intend here to say there is no universalist aspects to the Lord. So before I see citations to “when I be lifted up, I will draw all men into Myself” or “God so loved the world”, or “God is no respecter of persons”, please read me in context. I want to be clear that there is a universalism insofar as Christ is king of the universe and demands the universe to bow to Him as Lord and Savior. To quote someone, “A form of universalism, if you’d like…sure”

 

6 thoughts on “Diagnosing the Crisis (Part I)

  1. An additional question about Theodore the Studite – some Orthodox actually also question whether or not the notorious papal quotes in his letters were really as papal as they are in the English and other translations.

    The argument is essentially that if one actually reads the primary sources, it’s visible that Theodore wasn’t actually a crypto-papist, and that it’s only the secondary translations that make it look like Theodore believes in the divine foundation and infallibility of the Papacy and the See of Rome.

    What would you say about this argument? Are the secondary sources and translations which seem to show a Catholic ecclesiology in Theodore a faithful translation of the primary sources or not?

      • In other words, the fact the translations haven’t been instantly contested and that (for example) Orthodox scholars such as Siecienski and others (Siecienski even cites the Epistles from the Patrologia Graeca in the footnotes directly!) admit and accept the secondary source crypto-papal / pro-papal translations without denying their accuracy should push us toward accepting the translations as authentic.

  2. By the way, do you plan on responding to Perry from energeticprocession on the Acacian schism? You stated you had an upcoming work on that planned in September. When do you think will it be finished for public availability, and will it be published on the blog here, or in a booklet form maybe?

    Either way, Perry also makes another argument in another blog post, citing some saint who participated in an Ecu Council from the 8th century who describes the definition of what an Ecumenical Council is and how it’s done and how a council becomes and gains the status of Ecumenical, and the definition of how a council is Ecumenically authoritative doesn’t include Papal ratification, but simply the presence of all bishops from the universal church, and that this goes against Papal supreme authority.

    I even already have a response in mind to that objection, namely that the definition doesn’t really prove much: Because an Ecumenical Council really is Ecumenical insofar as all or most bishops from all churches or bishoprics attend to it, and that Papal ratification being necessary doesn’t imply that the Council itself doesn’t have some measure of infallibility and universal authority as a council, it’s just that the Pope also has that authority and his ratification is important. So proclaiming what makes an Ecu Council an Ecumenical one without including Papal ratification in it isn’t necessarily because Papal authority didn’t matter – the definition of Ecumenicity need not always include that in the definition, since one is interested in the sheer Ecumenicity of the council, which is easily defined simply via the presence and assent of all bishops, without mentioning the Pope.

    In fact, even a Pope would reject a council as Ecumenical if it didn’t have sufficient participation, and though the Pope could in theory make it ecumenical via his additional authority by declaring it universally binding, it is in practice rare since the participation of bishops is independently important for true and fully Ecumenicity.

    What do you think?

    • Well, considering that this council is simply trying to refute the constitution of the Council of Hieria 754, the appeal to all the Patriarchs simply means that the Council of Hieria couldn’t pretend to be Ecumenical since it was regional. I don’t think this is attempting to answer what an Ecumenical Council is from the ground up

      • Thanks for the helpful response!

        One more question though, regarding 1 Clement – is that letter good early evidence of Papal Unijury? I’ve read that the letter describes the church of Rome intervening in the affairs of the church of Corinth regarding wrongly deposed elders, and how Rome bring them back, thereby clearly exercising a jurisdiction beyond it’s regional, natural borders.

        Would you say the Clementian letter is a good and clear instance of Rome exercising universal jurisdiction? Or can Orthodox appeal to an early recognized appellate primacy to explain the actions of Rome?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s