Monday, September 2, 2013

The Church

There are countless ways of expressing what the Church is. Each one explores different aspects, complementing each other, giving us a more comprehensive overview of its ontology. Here Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos explains:


“The Church is not a human organisation, but a Divine-Human Organism. It is not a human corporation, but the Divine-human Body of Christ. The source of the Church is this God Himself. It is not men’s invention, it is not a fruit and result of men’s social need, but it is the sole place of man’s salvation. That is to say the impression is created that men made the Church in order to be able to survive in such difficult and tragic social conditions of life. But, the source of the Church is God Himself, and man’s salvation takes place within it. Clement of Alexandria observes: ‘for just as it is a work of his will and is called the world, so also the salvation of men is his will and this is called the church’. And this means that the Church will never cease to exist, in spite of such difficult and unfavourable circumstances.
In the Church all the problems are solved. We are not speaking of an abstract Christianity which we link with an ideology, but of a Church which is a communion of God and man, of angels and men, of earthly and heavenly, of man and world. The Church is ‘a meeting of heaven and earth’. Peace, justice, etc., are not simply some social conventions, but gifts which are given in the Church. Peace as well as justice and all the other virtues such as love etc. are experiences of the Church. In the Church we experience the real peace, justice and love, which are essential energies of God”[1].



[1] Hierotheos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, The mind of the Orthodox Church, (Levadia, Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 2000), p. 36

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