Friday, April 5, 2013

The Church is One

Studying the relations between the Anglicans and the Orthodox and evidently the Ecumenical Movement and Dialogue, it is apparent that every church has different views about itself and about the other ecclesiastical group. However, can we truly state that the Church is divided? Is there truly a sense of disunity? Many within the inter-Christian Movement claim that there exists the sin of church disunity. Nonetheless, A.S. Khomiakov explains how the Church is one. Here we depict some fragments from his book, emphasising his beliefs on this issue.
“The Church is one. Her unit follows of necessity from the unity of God; for the Church is not a multitude of persons in their separate individuality, but a unity of the grace of God, living in a multitude of rational creatures, submitting themselves willingly to grace…The Church visible, or upon the earth, lives in complete communion and unity with the whole body of the Church, of which Christ is the Head. She has abiding within her Christ and the grace of the Holy Spirit in all their living fullness, but not in the fullness of their manifestation, for she acts and knows not fully, but only so far as it pleases God…

From the creation of the world the earthly Church has continued uninterruptedly upon the earth, and will continue until the accomplishment of all the works of God, according to the promise given her by God Himself…
The Church is called One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic; because she is one and holy; because she belongs to the whole world, and not to any particular locality; because by her all mankind and all the earth, and not any particular nation or country, are sanctified; because her very essence consists in the agreement and unity of the spirit and life of all the members who acknowledge her, throughout the world; lastly because in the writings and doctrines of the Apostles is contained all the fullness of her faith, her hope and her love”[1].

[1] Khomiakov, A.S., The Church is One, (London, S.P.C.K. 1948)

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