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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Should We Treat Schismatic And Non-Orthodox Churches As Enemies?

There is so much vitriolic diatribe in the struggle for the pure orthodox faith. Name calling, accusations, judgement, and slanders abound. Various professing orthodox groups treat one another with suspicion and some orthodox bloggers have as their mission to actively condemn any and all who call for unity. As a blogger, I myself have been called an "enemy of the church". But did not Jesus call for unity? "...so they may be one even as I am one...". Yes, we know that unity/oneness cannot come unless all share in common the orthodox profession, but would not our Lord's desire better be served by all of us striving to bring redemption to the heretics, schismatics and the lost rather than just shouting "Enemy! Enemy"! How can it not be God's will for all of us to have the heart of Saint John of Kronstadt and to share in his prayer?

"Confirm in this faith my own heart and the hearts of all Orthodox Christians: enlighten us to live worthily of this faith and this hope; unite in this faith all the great Christian bodies which have dangerously fallen away from the unity of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, which is Thy Body and whose Head art Thou and Savior of the body; subdue the pride and opposition of their teachers and their followers; grant that they may comprehend with their hearts the truth and salutariness of Thy Church and unite with Her without laziness: join also to Thy Holy Church those ailing from schism, breaking their obstinacy and standing up against Thy Truth with the power of Thy Spirit's grace, that they may not perish in their resistance as did Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who opposed Moses and Aaron, Thy servants. To this faith attract all the nations which inhabit the earth, so that with one heart and one mouth all nations will glorify Thee, the One God and Provider of all; unite all of us as well in this faith with the Spirit of humility, piety, meekness, simplicity, impassibility, patience, forbearance, mercy, compassion, and the sharing of joyfulness."

The Lord has convicted me of my sin as of late, wherein I have mistaken the fine line between seeking justice and seeking righteousness. I have confessed my sin and made restitution personally to those to whom God has led. I ask the regular JTO readers, and others who may pass this way, to forgive any such sin or attitude I have displayed in any of the hundreds of articles I have posted throughout the years. 

Schismatics and Non-Orthodox are not our enemies. We must love them into the faith. Speak the truth always, and dogmatically if need be, but speak the truth in love.

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