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Opally
Dec 29th 2007, 08:55 AM
There are numerous takes on Church history, many of which focus on when the Catholic Church went "wrong." These are usually amended with a theory as to what happened to the "true" Christian church during the time period between when the Catholic Church went "wrong" and when the "true" church came back into visible existence.

Very few attempt to use the wealth of early church documentation to argue for the existence of some Christian church other than the Catholic Church . Most of these theories refer to small churches that remained persecuted, hidden or unseen throughout the course of documented Church history. However, the lack of documentation on these small churches would seem to be indicative of their actual lack of existence.

-----

It should be underscored that the writings of the early church fathers and authors do not supercede Scripture. A lot of the problems that divide Christianity today come down to one thing: interpretation of Scripture. If you look hard enough you can most likely find at least 3 interpretations for nearly every line of Scripture. This is why it is important to read what some of the earliest Christians believed and taught. In some cases some of these early Christians were taught directly by Jesus's disciples themselves (e.g., Ignatius of Antioch was a student of John).

visit: EarlyChurchFathers.com (http://www.earlychurchfathers.org)
Also at: The Fathers of the Church (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers)

solja
Dec 29th 2007, 12:20 PM
Thankyou for the links

David Taylor
Dec 29th 2007, 08:08 PM
There are numerous takes on Church history, many of which focus on when the Catholic Church went "wrong." These are usually amended with a theory as to what happened to the "true" Christian church during the time period between when the Catholic Church went "wrong" and when the "true" church came back into visible existence.




From how I see it, this type of thinking creates several false assumptions.

1) It assumes a point in time when the Catholic church 'went wrong'; which begs the idea that because of this errored point in time, there are no 'true Christians' found within Catholicism afterwards....and that this 'point it time' is clearly identifable.

I would say that while the Catholic church has made many choices that 'were wrong', there is no distinctive single point; and any group of believers who has been around any length of time has probably had points in time where their teachings have 'went wrong'. RCC just happens to have a longer history to dig through to identify those points.

That however, doesn't mean that after some 'went wrong point' that there stopped being true Christians within the Catholic church, nor does it mean that today there aren't true Christians within the Catholic church.

2) The idea that the 'true church' disappeared after some early Catholic wrongdoing, and then reappeared later, is too a invalid assumption. The 'true church' is comprised of born-again believers who follow Jesus Christ and are redeemed through His blood; and they transcend any groups or sects. There have always been true Christians found within the Catholic church, as well as true Christians found outside of the Catholic church.

There has never been a time when the 'true church' went missing.



Very few attempt to use the wealth of early church documentation to argue for the existence of some Christian church other than the Catholic Church .

PM this reply to "The Parsons". I'm sure he would love to share some of his research with you that he has compiled of the early church from the pre-nicene times through the reformation, that catalogues and discusses extant Christian church bodies outside of the RCC during that period.



Most of these theories refer to small churches that remained persecuted, hidden or unseen throughout the course of documented Church history. However, the lack of documentation on these small churches would seem to be indicative of their actual lack of existence.

Documentation is out there, perhaps you just haven't found any of it yet. Talk to the Parsons....he has a bunch.



It should be underscored that the writings of the early church fathers and authors do not supercede Scripture. A lot of the problems that divide Christianity today come down to one thing: interpretation of Scripture. If you look hard enough you can most likely find at least 3 interpretations for nearly every line of Scripture. This is why it is important to read what some of the earliest Christians believed and taught. In some cases some of these early Christians were taught directly by Jesus's disciples themselves (e.g., Ignatius of Antioch was a student of John).

visit: EarlyChurchFathers.com (http://www.earlychurchfathers.org)Also at: The Fathers of the Church (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers)

Very true.

David Taylor
Dec 30th 2007, 03:04 AM
Opally,
I moved your post asking why RCC teachings were included as apart of WR (along with Islam), here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1483800#post1483800), in the Chat-to-Moderator's forum. Someone who was involved in making those changes way back when, will be along there shortly to answer your question.

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 2nd 2008, 05:17 PM
PM this reply to "The Parsons". I'm sure he would love to share some of his research with you that he has compiled of the early church from the pre-nicene times through the reformation, that catalogues and discusses extant Christian church bodies outside of the RCC during that period.

Very few attempt to use the wealth of early church documentation to argue for the existence of some Christian church other than the Catholic Church .



I've looked into this as well, and there are many early, apostolic, non-Catholic groups (the eastern and oriental orthodox being the most prominent) as well as the Assyrian Church of the East. All of these groups are just as old as the CC and their membership is still quite large even today. There are also several smaller splinter groups that existed.

David Taylor
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:40 PM
Maybe simply when Paul said, "Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world - (Romans 10:18)"

That the sound of the gospel that was received throughout the ends of the world, went into many a region, village, and countryside....into all types of congregations and local gatherings of new believers; whether Catholic or not.

....And continued....and continued.....and continues today....in towns, villages, and coutrysides by both Catholic and non-Catholic fellowships.

jeffreys
Jan 3rd 2008, 03:16 PM
There are numerous takes on Church history, many of which focus on when the Catholic Church went "wrong." These are usually amended with a theory as to what happened to the "true" Christian church during the time period between when the Catholic Church went "wrong" and when the "true" church came back into visible existence.

Very few attempt to use the wealth of early church documentation to argue for the existence of some Christian church other than the Catholic Church . Most of these theories refer to small churches that remained persecuted, hidden or unseen throughout the course of documented Church history. However, the lack of documentation on these small churches would seem to be indicative of their actual lack of existence.

visit: EarlyChurchFathers.com (http://www.earlychurchfathers.org)Also at: The Fathers of the Church (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers)

Why would the Roman Catholic Church write about small churches they were trying to extinguish? Also, we do know that there were a LOT of other ancient churches - including the Orthodox Church.

Toymom
Jan 3rd 2008, 03:33 PM
Hmm, I looked at this site http://www.earlychurchfathers.org/ and it has a chart listing beliefs of the RCC and how ecf writings support them. What is the point of that?
I agree that some of the ecfs had very good contributions to our understanding of Christ.
I have read On The Incarnation by Athanasius and it is just incredible.
He really saw the oneness of the body of Christ.
He saw many things that many Christians today still do not see.

However, just because someone was a Christian many years ago and wrote about it does not mean that what they wrote was correct.
Most of the things in that chart are considered heretical or at least wrong by most of Protestant Christianity because those things are not supported in the Bible and they do not lead people to Christ and sometimes lead people away from Christ. Invocation of Saints, Mary as Co-redemptrix, indulgences,and veneration of relics would definitely be in that category.

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 3rd 2008, 07:38 PM
Why would the Roman Catholic Church write about small churches they were trying to extinguish? Also, we do know that there were a LOT of other ancient churches - including the Orthodox Church.

The Roman church DID make records, usually through local or ecumenical councils, of "heresy" that sprang up from time to time. I think that the OP seems to imply that we don't see reformation/reformed/evangelical doctrines like we do today.

Even if we dont, we see MANY expressions of Christianity. I know that the Orthodox church, which is just as old, has a COMPLETELY different view of christianity than we have in the west. Same goes for the oriental orthodox and the assyiran church of the east.

brakelite
Jan 3rd 2008, 08:28 PM
The Roman church DID make records, usually through local or ecumenical councils, of "heresy" that sprang up from time to time. I think that the OP seems to imply that we don't see reformation/reformed/evangelical doctrines like we do today.

Even if we dont, we see MANY expressions of Christianity. I know that the Orthodox church, which is just as old, has a COMPLETELY different view of christianity than we have in the west. Same goes for the oriental orthodox and the assyiran church of the east.

I read a book 20 odd years ago called Truth Triumphant by B.G.Wilkinson
It shows evidence of established Christian churches as far as Vietnam, Phillipines and Japan, Mongolia and China. All before the close of the 2nd century. The gospel quickly spread along the then very busy trade routes throughout the east. Entire provinces were Christian in later centuries. Genghis Khans daughter and I think a grandson were Christian and ruled their ares according to Christian princilples.
The RCC of course, in claiming to be the only "true" representative of the faith sought to destroy as much as possible evidence of these congregations. A clear example of that is the Celtic Christian church of which Patrick was a major contributor. I think the popes emmisaries did not arrive in Britain until the 7th or 8th centuries. Already finding the church well established it set out to bring them under the popes jurisdictiion. This they refused to do and so began the long and bloody battle for the rights of freedom in religious matters which have plagued those shores for nigh on 1500 years.

Brakelite

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 3rd 2008, 10:52 PM
I read a book 20 odd years ago called Truth Triumphant by B.G.Wilkinson
It shows evidence of established Christian churches as far as Vietnam, Phillipines and Japan, Mongolia and China. All before the close of the 2nd century. The gospel quickly spread along the then very busy trade routes throughout the east. Entire provinces were Christian in later centuries. Genghis Khans daughter and I think a grandson were Christian and ruled their ares according to Christian princilples.


Yep, although the Christians in Japan were Nestorian (Assyrian church of the East).

HisLeast
Jan 4th 2008, 02:45 PM
Even if we dont, we see MANY expressions of Christianity. I know that the Orthodox church, which is just as old, has a COMPLETELY different view of christianity than we have in the west. Same goes for the oriental orthodox and the assyiran church of the east.

That sounds interesting. I'd be interested in learning more. Could you suggest some resources where I could research these different views?

Teke
Jan 4th 2008, 03:55 PM
Why would the Roman Catholic Church write about small churches they were trying to extinguish? Also, we do know that there were a LOT of other ancient churches - including the Orthodox Church.

The RC has a colorful history of this. And it is one of the reasons that Orthodox are very careful about any dealings with them. Along with the fact that they changed their apostolic teachings to a scholastic form, which was adopted predominantly in the west.

St Peter the Aleut (http://www.allsaintsofamerica.org/orthodoxy/peter.html) was one of the first Orthodox martyrs in America, where what is now California. He was killed by the RC priests who tried to convert him.

The scholastic form of theology (a sort of progressive revelation ideal with scripture to develop doctrines) which the RC developed is one of the reasons that Orthodox do not read some of their fathers. ie. Augustin, Aquainas, Jerome which are quite popular in the west.

Orthodox stayed in eastern thought with the Cappodocian fathers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cappadocian_Fathers) and the Desert fathers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_Fathers).

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 5th 2008, 12:33 AM
That sounds interesting. I'd be interested in learning more. Could you suggest some resources where I could research these different views?

www.orthodoxinfo.com (http://www.orthodoxinfo.com) has a lot of good info on the eastern orthodox faith. points of interest include a different view of justification/sanctification (a synthesis of both known as theosis), a rejection of the western notion of original sin, and a doctrine of the atonement that devoloped differently than catholics/protestants would understand it.

if you are looking for info on the nestorians

www.nestorian.org (http://www.nestorian.org) - because they use different laguages, they have different terminology than greeks/romans/protestants

also, it is very interesting to read the wikipedia articles on the oriental orthodox church.

Br. Barnabas
Apr 14th 2008, 05:39 PM
I agree with Teke that some of the fathers became more interested in scholastic field. It became more about philosophy it seems rather then religion. Although Tertullian was declared a heretic after he became a Montanist he had a great saying "What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?" Meaning what does Greek Philosophy have to do with Christianity.

It is also important to note that very early on the West and Rome had nothing or very little to do with the development of theology. Very few people from Rome or other Latin speaking areas did not come to the four Ecumenical Councils. It was a language barrier they did not understand what the Greek speakers where talking about because it did not translate into Latin very well. For example the whole debate on the substance of Christ was he "homoousia" (same substance, as the Father) or "homoiusia" (like substance). The Latin speakers did not have words for this so they did not really care.

The Fathers also discussed the issue of diocese from Nicea Rome was given the West, Alexandria was given most, if not all of Northern Africa, and Antioch was give the East as in the Bishop over that city was the head bishop for the area.

It seems to me and no offence to Catholic, because if there was not an Anglican Church I would most likely be one, that they try to explain every thing. Whereas the Orthodox shrug their shoulders and say it is a mystery, who are we to explain how God does stuff. Which I think is a great attitude.

DanDMan64
Apr 14th 2008, 06:56 PM
There are numerous takes on Church history, many of which focus on when the Catholic Church went "wrong." These are usually amended with a theory as to what happened to the "true" Christian church during the time period between when the Catholic Church went "wrong" and when the "true" church came back into visible existence.
Very few attempt to use the wealth of early church documentation to argue for the existence of some Christian church other than the Catholic Church . Most of these theories refer to small churches that remained persecuted, hidden or unseen throughout the course of documented Church history. However, the lack of documentation on these small churches would seem to be indicative of their actual lack of existence.
-----
It should be underscored that the writings of the early church fathers and authors do not supercede Scripture. A lot of the problems that divide Christianity today come down to one thing: interpretation of Scripture. If you look hard enough you can most likely find at least 3 interpretations for nearly every line of Scripture. This is why it is important to read what some of the earliest Christians believed and taught. In some cases some of these early Christians were taught directly by Jesus's disciples themselves (e.g., Ignatius of Antioch was a student of John).
visit: EarlyChurchFathers.com (http://www.earlychurchfathers.org)Also at: The Fathers of the Church (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers)This is an interesting discussion, and it brings to my mind the following observation which I would like to share as my contribution to the discussion.

Currently I'm presenting a Sunday School class to my congregation (Not a pastor by the way) regarding the book of Revelation, and recently concluded with chapters 2 and 3, which are the letters to the seven churches of Asia.

In doing the study we discovered how the messages to those seven churches were not just intended for them, but when studied carefully we can clearly see the history of The Church is also addressed and spoke of and spoken to. When looked at in that light you can clearly see what God intended for The Church to be like, how displeased He was when "the leadership" decided on their own to allow the world to influence it's doctrines and slowly allowed "paganism" to creep-in and get mingled with the clear and simple teaching of The Gospel of Christ, as seen in the letters to Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira which was the period where the RCC went astray, after being "embraced" by the Roman Empire after having been persecuted during the period of Smyrna.

Later, in the period of Sardis, we find the Lord is displeased with all seven main branches of His candlestick, including the protestant branch, all of which claimed to be "The true Christian Church" but none of them where shining with the light that they should since Christ held their lamps it in His hand, yet in that period He did have a few faithful followers whom He was pleased with.

Today we are in the period of Philadelphia and Laodicea, and we'd all do well to make our congregations be more like the first and less like the other, so let "he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:22.;)

Teke
Apr 14th 2008, 07:49 PM
I agree with Teke that some of the fathers became more interested in scholastic field. It became more about philosophy it seems rather then religion. Although Tertullian was declared a heretic after he became a Montanist he had a great saying "What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?" Meaning what does Greek Philosophy have to do with Christianity.
Hi Uriel :)

It is noteworthy to speak of 4th century writings of the church fathers of that time ( ie. Cappodocian fathers), in reference to "philosophy" as it is meant in their writings when translated into English. "Philosophy" had a twofold meaning, of the Christian religion generally and of asceticism in particular.

Example quote

" As philosophy is the greatest, so is it the most difficult, of professions, which can be taken in hand by but few, and only by those who have been called forth by the divine magnanimity."

St Gregory of Nyssa, "The Life of Macrina", trans. by W.K. Lowther Clarke, (London: SPCK, 1916)




It is also important to note that very early on the West and Rome had nothing or very little to do with the development of theology. Very few people from Rome or other Latin speaking areas did not come to the four Ecumenical Councils. It was a language barrier they did not understand what the Greek speakers where talking about because it did not translate into Latin very well. For example the whole debate on the substance of Christ was he "homoousia" (same substance, as the Father) or "homoiusia" (like substance). The Latin speakers did not have words for this so they did not really care.

The difference one letter can make....things that make you go hmmm.:D
I don't know it was so much a matter of Latin, but they wanted to get it right as it was causing somewhat of a problem between three groups.

I believe you really begin to see the Latins start developing into what they would come to theologically, from the period of Charlemagne and his internal reforms along with building the Holy Roman Empire.

Jerome1
Apr 15th 2008, 03:21 PM
The RCC of course, in claiming to be the only "true" representative of the faith sought to destroy as much as possible evidence of these congregations.


I believe a better term would be that it claims to teach the, "fullness of the truth." I believe the second vatican council said other churches can have elements of the truth, but do not teach the fullness of the truth. Which basically means to my understanding that if their teachings do not align with RC doctrine, then it is false.



The scholastic form of theology (a sort of progressive revelation ideal with scripture to develop doctrines) which the RC developed is one of the reasons that Orthodox do not read some of their fathers. ie. Augustin, Aquainas, Jerome which are quite popular in the west.


How would you consider Innocents writing on, "The way into the kingdom of heaven?" Which i think is very good incidently.

Also didn't Theodore communicate with the pope during the iconclasm because Rome supported him. Photius also appealed to the pope regarding the Patriarchy of Constantinople.

Teke
Apr 15th 2008, 05:52 PM
How would you consider Innocents writing on, "The way into the kingdom of heaven?" Which i think is very good incidently.

Yes! St Innocents writings are quite good. My own church is named after one of the Aleut converts (St Innocent was a missionary of Alaska and helped convert the Aleuts), St Peter the Aleut, who was the first martyr in America, unjustly killed by Roman catholics trying to convert him.



Also didn't Theodore communicate with the pope during the iconclasm because Rome supported him. Photius also appealed to the pope regarding the Patriarchy of Constantinople.

Actually they all went back and forth on this subject depending on the politics of the time. Theodore the Studite wrote a letter to pope Paschal against the emperor, which was an act with strong political implications. Emperors had a strong influence of what was to actually be done. They could burn all icons, crosses etc if they so chose to. The Church (clergy, monks and laity) would just hide as much as they could and flee to outer areas.

There was an icon council that was dubbed non canonical because the pope didn't come. But that is because he is a bishop as any other bishop, and at such ecumenical councils all the bishops representative of the whole church had to be there for them to be ecumenical.

Jerome1
Apr 15th 2008, 06:53 PM
There was an icon council that was dubbed non canonical because the pope didn't come. But that is because he is a bishop as any other bishop, and at such ecumenical councils all the bishops representative of the whole church had to be there for them to be ecumenical.


Even Orthodoxy recognizes the pope as the, "first among equals."

Teke
Apr 15th 2008, 08:56 PM
Even Orthodoxy recognizes the pope as the, "first among equals."

I don't know about "first", but he is an equal bishop as any other bishop, and a bishop of one of the patriarchates. Unfortunately he is considered to be in schism with the Apostolic Church Christ established.

Jerome1
Apr 15th 2008, 10:31 PM
I don't know about "first", but he is an equal bishop as any other bishop, and a bishop of one of the patriarchates. Unfortunately he is considered to be in schism with the Apostolic Church Christ established.

Iv'e heard the term used many times, if you google it you will get countless sources affirming it. In a joint commission just last year the Orthodox recognized the pope as the,"protos' among the patriarchs."

Teke
Apr 15th 2008, 11:51 PM
Iv'e heard the term used many times, if you google it you will get countless sources affirming it. In a joint commission just last year the Orthodox recognized the pope as the,"protos' among the patriarchs."

It was the first patriarchate established, because Rome was the center of Christianity, which included Jerusalem, Antioch etc.

That has nothing to do with a bishop's status among other bishops.

All patriarchates were established in the places the Apostles established the first churches.

Christians aren't nationalists, so national politics are irrelevant in decisions of the church.

Jerome1
Apr 17th 2008, 03:03 PM
It was the first patriarchate established, because Rome was the center of Christianity, which included Jerusalem, Antioch etc.

That has nothing to do with a bishop's status among other bishops.

All patriarchates were established in the places the Apostles established the first churches.

Christians aren't nationalists, so national politics are irrelevant in decisions of the church.

Political motivation has been a key factor in the election of many patriarchs.

Do you think there was any motivation behind Photius wanting to split from the western church?

It seems his antagonism started after the pope sided with Ignatius regarding who was the rightful Bishop of Constantinople.

Jerome1
Apr 17th 2008, 03:09 PM
It was the first patriarchate established, because Rome was the center of Christianity, which included Jerusalem, Antioch etc.

That has nothing to do with a bishop's status among other bishops.

All patriarchates were established in the places the Apostles established the first churches.

Christians aren't nationalists, so national politics are irrelevant in decisions of the church.

Political motivation was a key factor in the election of many patriarchs.

Do you think there was any motivation behind Photius's decision to split with the western church?

The pope sided with Ignatius when Photius appealed to the west over the dispute about the patriarchy of Constantinople.

Teke
Apr 17th 2008, 06:44 PM
Political motivation was a key factor in the election of many patriarchs.

Do you think there was any motivation behind Photius's decision to split with the western church?

The pope sided with Ignatius when Photius appealed to the west over the dispute about the patriarchy of Constantinople.

Photius was what we call a "player" of his time. He played (lied and was underhanded) both sides to his advantage. He should have went with his first thought and became a monk because he certainly became corrupt with power.
When Nicholas (pope of the Roman see of that time) learned of the truth from Ignatius it was to late. Photius had already assumed enough power to excommunicate the Latins altogether. So his motivation to split came from Nicholas's refusal to accept him, as Photius wasn't giving up what he had underhandedly taken from Ignatius.

Political motivation wasn't' necessarily a factor in electing patriarchs. As the patriarchates are overseen by the governing forces. But that is just a history lesson for us to learn from. Just because a political figure adheres to a certain religious belief, doesn't mean everyone else has to. I'd rather sit in jail like Ignatius rather than succumb to such a thing.

However, let's not confuse previous events with current thinking. Such political agenda's is not the case of the schism between east and west. Dogma is.

Jerome1
Apr 17th 2008, 07:14 PM
Political motivation wasn't' necessarily a factor in electing patriarchs. As the patriarchates are overseen by the governing forces.


So you don't think Photius was put in Ignatius's place because his brother was married to Empress Theodora's sister, or because he was employed by the government?


However, let's not confuse previous events with current thinking. Such political agenda's is not the case of the schism between east and west. Dogma is.

It was about a lot of things, power, language barriers, abuse of the patriarchy, and dogmatic differences which were blown out of proportion possibly because of ulterior motives.

HisLeast
Apr 17th 2008, 07:46 PM
The silver lining to living through the final days of the Earth will be seeing this rift come to conclusion.

Teke
Apr 17th 2008, 09:36 PM
So you don't think Photius was put in Ignatius's place because his brother was married to Empress Theodora's sister, or because he was employed by the government?

Why would he want anything when he had so much (also well educated and charismatic from what I understand). Because he was power hungry and greedy. The church wants no part of such. The church would flee to the desert again.


It was about a lot of things, power, language barriers, abuse of the patriarchy, and dogmatic differences which were blown out of proportion possibly because of ulterior motives.

We're still on the subject of Photius, right....

Teke
Apr 17th 2008, 09:40 PM
The silver lining to living through the final days of the Earth will be seeing this rift come to conclusion.

It's not a big deal to the average Christian. :D

Jerome1
Apr 17th 2008, 10:44 PM
Why would he want anything when he had so much (also well educated and charismatic from what I understand). Because he was power hungry and greedy. The church wants no part of such. The church would flee to the desert again.


I'm sure there were advantages not just for Photius but for others if he were patriarch.



We're still on the subject of Photius, right....


Not just Photius but the several schisms that occured between east and west before they finally split. There were a whole lot of issues not just doctrinal disagreements.



The silver lining to living through the final days of the Earth will be seeing this rift come to conclusion.


This is true, when Christ returns he will set everybody straight.

Teke
Apr 18th 2008, 12:01 AM
I'm sure there were advantages not just for Photius but for others if he were patriarch.

Advantages for those aligned with him possibly. Not the church.


Not just Photius but the several schisms that occured between east and west before they finally split. There were a whole lot of issues not just doctrinal disagreements.


As far as we are concerned in the church, canon is the guide to who's in line and who's not. It may surprise you to know that the eastern churches haven't changed any canons since before the schism.

As an Eastern Orthodox I can tell you that there is not much else to address other than dogma. As to things like Eucharistic intercommunion, that is always going to be a matter of the bishops. Even in the US the more traditional EO will not allow their laity to partake from any other EO church other than their own, unless approved by their bishop.

Jerome1
Apr 18th 2008, 01:41 AM
Advantages for those aligned with him possibly. Not the church.



So political decisions aren't irrelevant in the church if the government had a say in who should be patriarch.


As far as we are concerned in the church, canon is the guide to who's in line and who's not. It may surprise you to know that the eastern churches haven't changed any canons since before the schism.


Yes the eastern churches accept the first seven ecumenical councils and some also accept the fourth and fifth councils of Constantinople as ecumenical.


As an Eastern Orthodox I can tell you that there is not much else to address other than dogma. As to things like Eucharistic intercommunion, that is always going to be a matter of the bishops. Even in the US the more traditional EO will not allow their laity to partake from any other EO church other than their own, unless approved by their bishop.

Dogmatic issues are the main cause for separation now, some of these issues are being discussed through dialogue. Nationalism may also be a factor in ongoing hostilities given the history between the east and west and their suspicion of each others motives.

Teke
Apr 18th 2008, 01:09 PM
So political decisions aren't irrelevant in the church if the government had a say in who should be patriarch.

Political decisions are irrelevant to canon. In the church clergy are seen as canonical or non canonical. In Photius's case he was found non canonical. According to canon no bishop or clergy can hold a political office or affiliation nor be in any military status.



Dogmatic issues are the main cause for separation now, some of these issues are being discussed through dialogue. Nationalism may also be a factor in ongoing hostilities given the history between the east and west and their suspicion of each others motives.

EO are not nationalist Christians. There is strong emphasis of this in the US to counter the ethnic stamp on EO.

Jerome1
Apr 18th 2008, 06:02 PM
Political decisions are irrelevant to canon. In the church clergy are seen as canonical or non canonical. In Photius's case he was found non canonical. According to canon no bishop or clergy can hold a political office or affiliation nor be in any military status.



I know political decisions can't effect canon, i was referring to politics influencing the church and vice versa.



EO are not nationalist Christians. There is strong emphasis of this in the US to counter the ethnic stamp on EO.


Isn't the majority of the EO population made up from the Russian Orthodox Church? There are different forms of nationalism. For example, pride in ones nation and culture, or resentment from foreign influence or domination.