Monday, 30 November 2015

Oriental Orthodoxy, Part I: Different Religions

This all started on October 17th when my spiritual father posted on Facebook that Vespers at his parish was cancelled due to this

I decided to comment, as I am a vocal opponent of the heresy of ecumenism which is plaguing the Orthodox Church, and I commented thus, "When I see events like this, or the one the OCA just held at St. Vladimir's, I always kinda scratch my head: I don't believe there can be any healing due to Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy being different religions. If we look at it from a Liturgical Theological point of view we need look no further than their version of the Trisagion Hymn to see we are worlds apart in our understanding of Christ and the Trinity."

Some people responded to my spiritual father's post, and then at 6:06 AM the next day he sent me a text which in the latter half had a link to this pod cast. So I eventually got around to listening to it and when I had some time between jiu-jitsu training sessions I emailed him a response.


The OCA posts “East Meets East” to be the theme of this year's St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary's Orthodox Education Day

The OCA posts the day's schedule, which included heretical religious services

The OCA posts a recap of the event "East Meets East"

Somewhere along the line the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College posted this:

Which brings us to October 17th, where I started

18 October - the text

The Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College posts a recap of their event "Healing Chalcedon"

29 October, I respond to the text via email:


This might be messy and disjointed, as I'm strapped for I listened to that podcast you texted me, and that was the St. Vlad's event I mentioned in my original Facebook comment. The thing about that event, especially that one, is that they were all praying together, which goes against the 65th of the Apostolic Canons--I understand Rev. Dr. McGuckin's point, but at the moment the Oriental Orthodox are heretics and so we cannot pray with them.

As a harsh critic of Christianity's love of money, every time I see something occuring which in some way involves someone making a profit I follow the money. In aboriginal culture religious services are never done for money, and so I think 'who has the most money to make out of this deal?" St. Vlad's definitely does as they've been having Oriental Orthodox students there for 50 years, and the OCA over-all definitely has the most interest in the Oriental Orthodox church returning to Eastern Orthodoxy, as I don't doubt for a second that the OCA has every intent of folding as many Oriental parishes into their own current Dioceses, or even going as far as letting them become "ethnic dioceses" much like they've done with the Romanians.

That's where I start. After that I make a distinction between academic theology and real theology, by which I mean mystical theology. What I mean by that is exactly what Clark Carlton means when he says the same thing, an explanation can be found here at the 23:50 to 28:16 marks.

I'm short on time so let's see here, the Dr. says "differing traditions of Christology," the problem with that is that so do us and the Roman Catholics, us and the Mormons even, and there is a reason why us and all three of the groups I just lumped together have differing traditions of Christology: it is because we have differing doctrine. I know, Rev. DR. McGuckin's opinion is that it's semantics and not doctrine that we are dealing with here, and to me this is exactly where the distinction between academic theology and mystical theology can be clearly seen. I obviously do not know his heart nor what he does in his prayer life, so all I can go on to conclude that he is an academic theologian as opposed to a noetic or mystical theologian is his speech and all the academic credentials and books/articles etc. that can be found online.

To qualify that last part, no where in his speech does he mention the mystical side to this theological issue, he just runs it off as a linguistic mistake, as if he and the Miaphysites know better than the Fathers! (It reminds me off Martin Luther, when at the Diet of Worms, I believe it was, where he was asked (I am paraphrasing), "so you are right and all of Christendom wrong?")

The word 'mia' means 'one,' and everytime I try to read things the way the modern Orientals try to say it reads I never get that full impression, that just some mistake due to a language barrier occurred here. Let's not forget that when I started down the road to Orthodoxy I too came across the Eastern and the Oriental, and everything I read and prayed about lead me to the Eastern Orthodox--if it is the same religion then some how the Holy Spirit obviously failed. But that's the problem of this sort of academic approach--it totally eliminates the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

What I mean by this is exactly the things that he left out of his lecture: their version of the Trisagion, the miracle of St. Euphemia, and the miracle of the cracked column of the Holy Light when the monophysites paid the Turks to keep the Orthodox out so that the monophysite Patriarch could get the light.

By all means, I welcome everyone who left back to Orthodoxy, hey, if the Orientals come back then talking about the Book of Enoch won't be such a big deal as the Ethiopians accept it as canonical--but that's just it, the only way for union, in light of the miracles mentioned above, is a return, an acceptance of all the Ecumenical Councils...unless the miracles are a lie, the Holy Spirit doesn't guide the Church, and it is all just semantics...but then who really cares if that was really the case? Only those who have money to be made from the situation...

Okay, so we can use St. Cyril as a focal point of our common faith. Last time I checked he wasn't an Ecumenical Council, and we could use a multitude of people to find "common faith" with all heretics, we could use St. Anne with the Lutherans, Popes Leo III and John VIII for the Catholics, Abraham for Jews--better yet, to find justification for union with all heterodox and even Muslims: "Our Common Faith: Jesus of Nazareth."

Another big problem with this whole mess is that the Coptic Orthodox also have an agreed statement with the Roman Catholics... 

"For this reason, whenever heterodox Christians visit us, to whom we extend love and hospitality in Christ, we are painfully aware that we stand apart in faith and, because of this, we are not able to have ecclesiastical communion.
Schism, the division between the Orthodox and the Non-Chalcedonians...truly amounts to a tragedy about which we must not become silent or complacent.
In this context, therefore, we appreciate efforts made with fear of God in accordance with Orthodox Tradition that look to a union that cannot take place through the silencing or minimizing of Orthodox doctrines, or through toleration of the false doctrines of the heterodox, because it would not be a union in the Truth.....we cite the case of the Patriarchate of Antioch, which, without a Pan-Orthodox decision, has proceeded to ecclesiastical communion with the Non-Chalcedonians. This was done despite the fact that a most serious issue has not yet been resolved. It is the latter's non-acceptance of the Ecumenical Councils after the Third and, in particular, the Fourth, the Council of Chalcedon, which in fact constitutes an immovable basis of Orthodoxy." -1993 Letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch from Mount Athos in regard to the Balamand Agreement.

Later that evening he emailed me back, "Very well written Thomas! Very well!" and then four or five days later I stumbled upon The Dyophysite Christology of Cyril of Alexandria on Scribd--synchronicity, act of the Holy Spirit, or more likely probably just the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?


With the current Syrian refugee crisis this topic is going to become more important. First, because people are and will use the term 'Christian' and probably 'Orthodox' as well, depending on who's doing the rhetoric. What we don't hear, and most likely won't, is whether or not we're speaking of Oriental or Eastern Orthodoxy? And secondly, because this will confuse the less informed.

Up until modern times it was very clear that the Orthodox Church and the Miaphysites are two separate religions. There was a whole roughly 85 year period following Chalcedon where reconciliation was attempted, where the semantics were delineated and wrought out clearly by both sides of the argument, and at the end of the day the line in the sand remained, but with the quiet acceptance of the heresy of ecumenism truth and falsehood are slowly being mingled. I will go deeper into this as time allows and as my studies lead me, but until then I pray for all, even if I do not pray with all.

I apologise for the layout, no matter what I did with the tool bar some stayed center and some went left.

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