Церковные ВѢХИ

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church. For salvation is the revelation of the way for everyone who believes in Christ's name. This revelation is to be found only in the Church. In the Church, as in the Body of Christ, in its theanthropic organism, the mystery of incarnation, the mystery of the "two natures," indissolubly united, is continually accomplished. -Fr. Georges Florovsky

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑ Ή ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ!

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑ Ή ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ!
§ 20. For our faith, brethren, is not of men nor by man, but by revelation of Jesus Christ, which the divine Apostles preached, the holy Ecumenical Councils confirmed, the greatest and wisest teachers of the world handed down in succession, and the shed blood of the holy martyrs ratified. Let us hold fast to the confession which we have received unadulterated from such men, turning away from every novelty as a suggestion of the devil. He that accepts a novelty reproaches with deficiency the preached Orthodox Faith. But that Faith has long ago been sealed in completeness, not to admit of diminution or increase, or any change whatever; and he who dares to do, or advise, or think of such a thing has already denied the faith of Christ, has already of his own accord been struck with an eternal anathema, for blaspheming the Holy Ghost as not having spoken fully in the Scriptures and through the Ecumenical Councils. This fearful anathema, brethren and sons beloved in Christ, we do not pronounce today, but our Savior first pronounced it (Matt. xii. 32): Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. St. Paul pronounced the same anathema (Gal. i. 6): I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. This same anathema the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the whole choir of God-serving fathers pronounced. All, therefore, innovating, either by heresy or schism, have voluntarily clothed themselves, according to the Psalm (cix. 18), ("with a curse as with a garment,") whether they be Popes, or Patriarchs, or Clergy, or Laity; nay, if any one, though an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Thus our wise fathers, obedient to the soul-saving words of St. Paul, were established firm and steadfast in the faith handed down unbrokenly to them, and preserved it unchanged and uncontaminate in the midst of so many heresies, and have delivered it to us pure and undefiled, as it came pure from the mouth of the first servants of the Word. Let us, too, thus wise, transmit it, pure as we have received it, to coming generations, altering nothing, that they may be, as we are, full of confidence, and with nothing to be ashamed of when speaking of the faith of their forefathers. - Encyclical of the Holy Eastern Patriarchs of 1848

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество

За ВѢру Царя И Отечество
«Кто еси мимо грядый о нас невѣдущиiй, Елицы здѣ естесмо положены сущи, Понеже нам страсть и смерть повѣлѣ молчати, Сей камень возопiетъ о насъ ти вѣщати, И за правду и вѣрность къ Монарсѣ нашу Страданiя и смерти испiймо чашу, Злуданьем Мазепы, всевѣчно правы, Посѣченны зоставше топоромъ во главы; Почиваемъ въ семъ мѣстѣ Матери Владычнѣ, Подающiя всѣмъ своимъ рабомъ животь вѣчный. Року 1708, мѣсяца iюля 15 дня, посѣчены средь Обозу войсковаго, за Бѣлою Церковiю на Борщаговцѣ и Ковшевомъ, благородный Василiй Кочубей, судiя генеральный; Iоаннъ Искра, полковникъ полтавскiй. Привезены же тѣла ихъ iюля 17 въ Кiевъ и того жъ дня въ обители святой Печерской на семъ мѣстѣ погребены».
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The First Ecumenical Council

Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

He [The Holy Emperor Constantine]...wanted a gala occasion and rejoicing;
as he said in his speech to the assembled
bishops on the opening day, disputes were
"more dangerous than war and other conflicts;
they bring me more grief than anything else."


Today we remember the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, convened at Nicaea in 325. The results of the Council were very important, but so was its personal meaning for those who attended, as Father Alexander Schmemann described:

For the first time, after centuries of semi-subterranean existence, prelates gathered from all parts of the Church, many still with the marks of wounds and mutilations received under [the persecutions of the emperor] Diocletian. The unprecedented magnificence of their reception and the hospitality and kindness of the emperor [Constantine] confirmed their joyous assurance that a new era had begun and that Christ was indeed victorious over the world. Constantine himself was the first to interpret the council in this way.

The great accomplishment of the Council was to refute Arianism, a widely-held heresy that threatened to divide the Church. It was a dispute, as the emperor said, that was "more dangerous than war and other conflicts" because it called into question Jesus' ability to be our Savior.

The Arians claimed that Jesus was not eternal, not equal to His Father, but a created being. The Church insisted that He had to be the divinely powerful Son of God in order to be able to save us. So, opposing Arianism, the Fathers of the Council at Nicaea proclaimed that Jesus Christ is of the same substance as His Father, and there was never a time when He did not exist. His perfect divinity, therefore, was able to assume perfect humanity, and save all who are human.

This teaching is squarely Biblical. In one verse of the reading chosen for this day, John 17:5, Jesus prays, "And now, Father, glorify me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made." Father and Son have the same glory, and have had it forever.

Today we remember the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, convened at Nicaea in 325. The results of the Council were very important, but so was its personal meaning for those who attended, as Father Alexander Schmemann described:

For the first time, after centuries of semi-subterranean existence, prelates gathered from all parts of the Church, many still with the marks of wounds and mutilations received under [the persecutions of the emperor] Diocletian. The unprecedented magnificence of their reception and the hospitality and kindness of the emperor [Constantine] confirmed their joyous assurance that a new era had begun and that Christ was indeed victorious over the world. Constantine himself was the first to interpret the council in this way.

The great accomplishment of the Council was to refute Arianism, a widely-held heresy that threatened to divide the Church. It was a dispute, as the emperor said, that was "more dangerous than war and other conflicts" because it called into question Jesus' ability to be our Savior.

The Arians claimed that Jesus was not eternal, not equal to His Father, but a created being. The Church insisted that He had to be the divinely powerful Son of God in order to be able to save us. So, opposing Arianism, the Fathers of the Council at Nicaea proclaimed that Jesus Christ is of the same substance as His Father, and there was never a time when He did not exist. His perfect divinity, therefore, was able to assume perfect humanity, and save all who are human.

This teaching is squarely Biblical. In one verse of the reading chosen for this day, John 17:5, Jesus prays, "And now, Father, glorify me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made." Father and Son have the same glory, and have had it forever.

Despite its clear Biblical basis, there are many who don't accept the Church's teaching, including Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, and the Mormons whose work is so generously supported by the devout Marriott family's hotel empire. Even immediately after the decisive declarations of Nicaea, there was conflict. Saint Athanasius was the hero of the Council because he formulated the term "homoousion" (meaning "of one substance" and referring to Christ and His Father.) But Athanasius was hounded ever after by his Arian enemies; they managed to get him condemned and exiled.

The truth established at Nicaea remains basic to our faith. But then, as now, truth was accompanied by deceitfulness and the persecution of truth tellers. We must take comfort, as fourth century Orthodox Christians also had to do, in another verse (16:33b) from John's Gospel: "In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

http://dce.oca.org/assets/templates/bulletin.cfm?mode=html&id=27

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