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On the fringe?


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#1 Brad D.

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 03:30 PM

This morning in my morning readings I read the following passage from Matthew:

And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent round to all that region and brought to Him all that were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the fringe of His garment; and as many as touched it were made well" (Mt 14:35,36)


Those that touched the fringe of His garment were made well, just as those whom Christ touched with His bare hands were made well in other passages. Both were made well, however they touched Christ in different manners and in varied degrees of "closeness".

Would you feel comfortable with drawing an analogy here to the Body of Christ today? His bare flesh perhaps being the Orthodox Church, and the fringe of His garment being some of the other Christian bodies? Seems like a fair analogy, but I am curious of your thoughts.

Thanks,
Brad

#2 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 03:48 PM

It has been discussed in several threads that different "Christian bodies" maintain different levels of fidelity to the Orthodox witness, albeit oft times mixed with much that is in error. I suppose that could be viewed as a relative measure of "closeness" but still I suspect such a comment will be somewhat problematic to many denizens of these fora. First we have the problem of which "Christian bodies" we are talking about as still being "close" to Orthodoxy. Your list may be very different from mine and others may well object to both of ours.

No analogy survives too much stretching, but this one doesn't have much give to begin with. Clothing, no matter how many layers, does not have "error", and I believe there may be serious problems with being "close" to a "naked" Christ that really does not need any elaboration, since the problem Orthodoxy has with other "traditions" that "remove" rather than "add to" the Orthodox witness. Too much has been "stripped away" to be considered "fringe", and all of these errors obfuscate or distort who Christ is. Clothing serves a useful purpose. Error does not.

Little thoughts from a bear of little brain.

Herman the Pooh

#3 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 04:09 PM

Adding to what Herman has written. In Orthodox ecclesiology the one Church is exactly identical to the One Body. This one Body is composed of those who are grafted into the One Head Who is Christ according to Orthodox belief and practice.

In other words in Orthodox ecclesiology there are not multiple Bodies or groups & institutions which are 'more His Body' and 'less His Body'.

That though is different from acknowledging that there are those who seek after Christ according to the degree to which they understand this. Most Orthodox I think would accept that this does occur.

This searching after Christ though & looking for His true Body, I think is most often found in people mainly on the personal level. I think that we make a mistake when we try to draw up a scale of whole groups and denominations that are closer or further from Orthodoxy. Sometimes what is externally closer to Orthodoxy ends up being the greatest roadblock for a person. While it could easily be that a simple godless person or Hindu ends up converting much more easily.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael

#4 Brad D.

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 01:53 PM

Many thanks for your responses!




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