Tuesday, 06 March 2012
I just saw a video a friend posted on Facebook featuring former Eastern Orthodox Archbishop Lazar Puhalo. I appreciate the grace-filled God that he presents in the video and the historical context for the strongly held beliefs of the western church. Here's a few quotes from the video:
'Morality as a legal code becomes a heresy because it becomes a substitute for a life in Christ.'
'When you moralize a social issue you have no hope of solving it.'
'Manipulate people to follow my particular brand of morality...this is something that Jesus Christ never did. He reached out to touch others with a co-suffering love.'
'Western Christianity tends to be in tension with science because it was formed by Aristotelian rationalism and the dialect of the Roman law court (scholasticism).'
'So long as we realize that we (Churches and denominations) are offering models of reality and not concrete reality, then we can adapt to new knowledge and new understanding.'
'Sin is an illness that needs to be healed. Passion means suffering, and passions are inner human sufferings that are so intense it leads people to do things that separates them from God, therefore sin.'
'The mystery of redemption is a mystery of the co-suffering love of God with mankind, it has nothing to do with juridical justification. Christ did not die on the cross to satisfy the justice of an angry God.'
'Christ takes upon himself our suffering. He identifies and reaches inside our suffering in order to heal it. The whole ministry of Christ was a healing ministry not a juridical ministry.'
'The juridical idea of atonement which was a novel doctrine, only came about around 1100's...was completely unknown in the church before that. [It] was based by Ansolm of Canterbury on the fact that there had to be a legal act and a legal response, ie there had to be a dialectic of the law court involved in redemption.'
'Who's to blame for the current judgmental Christianity? A bit of it is the blame of Ansolm, a great deal of it is the blame of Augustine of Hippo...and of course Tertullian, who was a lawyer. In the West these people are considered Fathers of the church, we (Eastern Orthodox church) don't consider them anything like that.'
'The only way she (the woman caught in adultery, Jn 8:11) could have fulfilled [Jesus'] request that she go and sin no more is that He had penetrated her heart with a special grace, a grace of co-suffering love and healing.'
What do think of the concept that the reason the church is in tension with science is because the church has forgotten it's merely offering an interpretation of reality (or truth) and not absolute truth? Or what do you think of the idea that merely 'missing the mark' of relationship with God is a sin, and sin is an illness to be healed through the co-suffering love of God -- not more discipline?