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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Orthodox Layman's Position In Christ

"Clericalism can be lethal in our Orthodox Church. One evil it produces is the fact that the lay people in the Church become spiritually passive, indeed religiously helpless. Clericalism foments an inordinate dependence on the priest." 

"The result has been to reinforce dead religious formalism in the Church. How can such professional priests be called shepherds of souls? They serve the kingdom of darkness by quenching the fire of the Holy Spirit. Christ calls such religious leaders “workers of iniquity”. They lack the capacity of rejoicing with the angels when lives are regenerated and the name of Jesus is highly exalted. They feel threatened by anything religiously unfamiliar."

"Such promoters of clericalism and of our over-institutionalized Church are the first to champion the Church Fathers. Yet, in effect they violate their teachings and fail to embody in their pastoral ministry the basic principles and precepts of our Holy Fathers."

"In the teachings of the Church Fathers we find an unmistakable emphasis on faith rooted in a heart experience. They do not teach an intellectual theology. Christ as the object of faith is experienced with the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s heart. The fact of personal communion with Christ is fundamental.

"Every man and woman who with faith is baptized in water and in the Spirit is qualified to be an active witness unto Christ. It is not Ordination that qualifies you to be active in ministry. But each believer who is not ordained is entitled, for example, to minister as an evangelist, prophet or teacher in the body of Christ. It is for performing the sacraments that ordination is necessary. But to minister the Word of God is not only the right of any believer, but also a mandate of Christ for every believer."

From Rev. Archimandrite Fr. Eusebius A. Stephanou, Th.D., Brotherhood of St. Symeon the New Theologian, Miramar Beach, Florida. Read the whole article HERE.

[JTO anticipates that some will focus on denouncing the source of these quotes rather than disputing the content. The reason? Because the quotes are truths that cannot be disputed so  the "attack the messenger" ploy is used. Such ploys will not be posted in the COMMENT section.)

Related Article: http://journeytoorthodoxy.blogspot.com/2012/12/spiritual-guruism.html

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