by Andrea Elizabeth
Is there a difference in believing that Orthodoxy really is the True Church, even though its people are flawed; and in believing in another church even though the adherants believe that their church is flawed? The latter seem to think that they owe their church faithfulness, to some extent, as an act of accepting love of warts and all. I believe there is a difference. There are warts, and there is cancer. I suppose one has to believe in the Orthodox Seven Ecumenical Councils to see this. If an Orthodox clergyman messes these up as an individual, the Church isn’t changed, because there is a category for heresy, even within her. It seems that the Church isn’t 100% strict on these in that it doesn’t seem an individual clergy person need be as specific as St. Gregory the Theologian, for example, in his homilies, nor as ascetic as St. Simeon the Stylite in his prayer rule. The standards remain however. To me, if a person’s church has denied the necessity of holding such truths, then accepting that church becomes an act of unhealthy codependence, rather than condescending loving-kindness.