Monday, December 8, 2014

Church as a failure?

Christos Yannaras believes that the Church’s history is one of failure, since it has been separating itself constantly since its birth. However, the Church as the Body of Christ, and not as a historical body, has a different course and understanding. John Meyendorff claims that:

‘Failures do, of course, occur in individual lives, and in the lives of whole nations and societies; but the Church, as a gift of God, cannot be a failure, “for He wished to present it in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish”. (Eph. 5:27). The existence of this Church is a perfectly free gift of God, and its infallibility is in no sense deserved by those who compose it, but is solely the consequence of the fact that God dwells in her. All members of the Church, every Christian community, may succumb to sin as well to error; but through that very fact they cut themselves off from the Church and must be reunited afresh through penitence’. [1]

[1] Meyendorff, John, Living Tradition, (Crestwood, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1978), p. 17. 

1 comment: