I read an excellent article this morning on the Orthodox Christian Information Center’s website (www.orthodoxinfo.com). It deals with something I have struggled with since becoming an Orthodox Christian – how are we to respond when overhearing or reading something that is heretical or blasphemous? As an Evangelical I would immediately go on the offensive and “defend the Faith!” However, the more I am changed by the One, True Church, the more I start to question emotional-type responses within myself. Adding to that, the more I begin to realize that I have to be careful not to call out the sins of others because “my own sins are many.”
Here is an excerpt from the article from http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/prot_rc_heresy.aspx:
“The time has come for all faithful Orthodox Christians to speak out and promptly put an end to this spurious form of Orthodoxy known as ‘ecumenistic Orthodoxy’. It is a betrayal of the Holy Orthodox Church, a negation of its essence. It is time to take her divine dogmas ‘out of the storeroom,’ where [Ecumenical] Patriarch Athenagoras I relegated them [in the sixties], bring them to the open light, and proclaim them by every means, and in every land… Let us not offer to the world the pseudo-Orthodoxy of ‘Orthodox ecumenism,’ which puts error on the same level as truth… This offering will be an act of true Christian love, a fulfilling of Christ’s commandment of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Christ says, ‘What man is there of you whom if his son asks for bread would give him a stone?’ (St. Matt. 7:9) ‘Orthodox ecumenism’ does precisely the latter… People today are searching for the truth that saves; yet these ecumenists have put the bread of truth in the storeroom and have been offering instead the stone of untruth, of error, and of heresy that leads to perdition. The commandment of love demands that we take the bread of the teaching of the Orthodox Church out in the open and offer it lovingly to all who hunger for the truth that frees and saves.” (From a lecture by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Atlanta, GA, on March 16, 1997)http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/prot_rc_heresy.aspx
On that page, there are links to related content referencing heresy. I would urge all of you to spend some time in study on this topic. The days are dark and everyone seems to only seek out what they WANT to hear, not what they NEED to hear.
For Further Reading
- St. Photios, On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit (Studion Publishers, Inc., 1983). Aside from a superb English translation of St. Photios’ Mystagogy, this important book also includes the Synodicon on the Holy Spirit, “St. Photios and the Filioque” by Michael Azkoul, and “The Life of St. Photios” by St. Justin Popovich.
- The Lives of the Pillars of Orthodoxy (Buena Vista, CO: Holy Apostles Convent and the Dormition Skete, 1990). Contains the lives of St. Photios, St. Mark of Ephesus, and St. Gregory Palamas. Over 600 pages.
- Ostroumoff, Ivan, The History of the Council of Florence (Boston, MA: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1971).
- The Papacy: Its Historic Origin and Primitive Relations with the Eastern Church,by Abbe Guettee. Out of print but still available. Read this excerpt on the False Decretals of Isidore.
- Christianity or the Papacy? An Appeal to Roman Catholics, by Fr. Alexey Young (St. John of Kronstadt Press). A concise explanation of the differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. 31pp.
- The Roman West and the Byzantine East, by Bishop [now Archbishop] Chrysostomos of Oreoi [now of Etna] and Hieromonk [now Bishop] Auxentios (Etna, CA: The Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1988). A superb, short treatment of general differences between East and West.
- Kalomiros, Alexander, Against False Union (Seattle, WA: St. Nectarios Press, 1982). He is the author of the famous essay “The River of Fire“.
- Welton, Michael, Two Paths: Papal Monarch—Collegial Tradition (Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 1998). From their website: “[C]ompassionately, simply, and factually explains the historic, theological, and liturgical differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions.”