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Orthodox Church and the Kingdom of God


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#1 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 09:15 PM

I had always thought, insofar as I had thought about it at all, that the Church and the Kingdom of God were the same. I have just seen this on the web site of the Antiochian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland:

'Is the Church the same as the Kingdom of God? There is huge overlap of course but these are not identical references.' (see http://www.orthodoxr...xy/churches.htm)

Is this correct?



#2 Kosta

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 03:52 AM

Better question would be is the author equating our physical universe (the cosmos in his words) as being the kingdom of God? He seems to imply it, even says anyone can say they are in the kingdom of God!
Being in the Kingdom of God means being in Union with God and in communion with the triumphant saints. It is progressing in theosis, partaking of His mysteries and observing His statutes. Many saints speak of the aquisition of the Holy Spirit as Christ said the Kingdom of God is within you. I Would say the article is extremely simplistic.

#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:24 AM

Kosta's view coincides with what I thought was the case. The OCA web site expresses it thus:

'The Kingdom of God is what Christ has brought to the world. The Gospel is full of Christ’s insistence that the Kingdom of God is given to men by His coming. It is a Kingdom not of this world, but of God, a Kingdom of everlasting life in union with God, the Trinity.

Thus, we define the Kingdom of God as life in and with God. The Orthodox believe that this life is communicated to men in the Church through Christ and the Holy Spirit.'
 
Other web sites speak of the Orthodox Church as the Kingdom of God on earth, e.g. http://www.sinaimona...int.php?lid=257

Edited by Rdr Andreas, 17 July 2016 - 07:38 AM.


#4 Phoebe K.

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:43 PM

I have always understood that the Liturgy is the primary expression of the kingdom of God on Earth, the is expressed by the Priest starting the Liturgy with the Words "Blessed is the Kingdom..", incidentally many of the other mysteries such as baptism also start with this petition which is an indication that they were originally celebrated in the context of the divine Liturgy.   We have to remember that we are called to be Christ barers and in that we carry the kingdom of God within ourselves, and that although we can define the boundary of the Church we cannot define the action of God.  Also the Kingdom of God is an eschatological reality which will only be fully relieved in the eschaton, however we step into this in the Liturgy as we step out of linear time into the eternal now of God.

 

The explanation given by the writes of Orthodox for absolute beginners is simplistic but it is not aimed at those who are knowledgeable about theology but rather those who are trying to work out what the Orthodox Church and it's principle beliefs, it is rely the starting point from which questions can be asked and catichisam given.



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 07:59 PM

It is interesting to recall, as Phoebe reminds us, that some services do begin with, 'Blessed is the Kingdom'. Whilst the article is aimed at beginners, it does seem to me to be misleading in suggesting that the Kingdom of God extends beyond the Church; this, of course, is not to deny the activity of the Holy Spirit beyond the Church.




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