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The Church and ancient Israel - pure and blameless?

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#1 Reader Luke

Reader Luke

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:33 AM

I've been thinking lately about the Church and Ancient Israel. I know the the Fathers teach that we are one in the same, and so although we refer to Pentecost as the birthday of the Church, that really the Church goes back even to Abraham, as we are the continuation of Israel and the Hebrews, however now it has been extended to the Gentiles. (IE: most of us)

I've thought about the nature of the Church and how it is referred to as the undefiled and blameless bride of Christ. Then, knowing the Biblical history (at least most of it), I've thought about Ancient Israel and how it is often referred to as a "whore" and think about the many references about God seeking after Israel as a husband may seek after a rebellious wife.

I then thought about how it was possible that the Church and Israel are one in the same. Then I began thinking, is it not true that the blood of Christ (and baptism, etc...) not only washes us, but washed the "Church" as well? So now, the bride of Christ, who once was constantly seeking after others, is now spotless. Then I realized that the blood of Christ not only extends forward in time with the Church, but also washed Israel's past, and washed away it's iniquity, so that it was as if it never departed.

I've always been taught that we should never curse the Church, that even though we dress her up and make her look like a whore, that she in reality is blameless and undefiled. I also think about Christ's words about how the gates of hell will never prevail against his Church.

So then, is it accurate and Orthodox to say these things? That what is in the Old Testament is ours just as much as those of the New Testament, and that our Church is undefiled because of Christ, the bridegroom of the Church?

I hope this conjecture isn't un-Orthodox and I don't know if it can be found in the Fathers. But I would like some feedback on it to make sure it's not just some prideful exploration of my own theological opinions.

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