Friday, July 29, 2005

A profound admission of defeat: Antiochian Church reportedly withdraws from NCC

If the below report is indeed the case, it is a sad day for the Orthodox. It represents a massive failure of Fr. Florovsky's vision of an engaged Orthodoxy, a vibrant Orthodox Church serving as salt and light within the ecumenical movement, encouraging its better aims and curbing its less desirable tendencies. It is a profound admission of defeat. The rationales that are offered are paltry and sloganistic, lacking theological substance. "General liberalism?" News flash: NCC has had liberal leanings since its inception in the 1950's. The Bob Edgar incident referenced by the author happened half a decade ago. What has changed? Why now?

This is a victory for no one. It looks to me like the beginning of a very long retreat.

Breaking News: Orthodox Leave NCC
Dearborn, Michigan. July 28, 2005.

This afternoon the General Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America voted overwhelmingly to leave the National Council of Churches of Christ. The General Convention is holding its annual meeting this week in Dearborn, Michigan.The action was not a temporary "suspension" of membership, but a formal withdrawal from the NCC. The clergy unanimously approved the withdrawal, followed by a unanimous vote of the lay delegates supporting the move. An announcement of the final vote was met with thunderous applause by the Convention.

Reasons given for the withdrawal include the general liberalism of the NCC, whose General Secretary, Bob Edgar, withdrew his signature from a statement defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Metropolitan PHILIP, head of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, was reportedly outspoken in calling for the church to withdraw from the NCC, stating that the relationship had proven fruitless.

1 comment:

PM Summer said...

Related, but maybe not. Several years ago, while lamenting the deviation from Biblical orthodoxy of my Mother Church (the Episcopal Church), I was urged to join the Orthodox faith. My complaint with the Orthodox Churches was/is that they may well be a good Fortress of God, they are not very good at being the Church Militant. I am a Sacramental Evangelical.

My friend responded, "Evangelical? What has the Anglican Communion (Episcopalian) done to spread the Gospel of Christ?"

My response was "schism". By schism, I meant division (which is unhealthy for a body usually), wherein the Anglican Church had basically birthed through expulsion almost all of the Evangelical churches of the English speaking world.

But that was years ago, and each of those Gospel-fervant have now ossified. But the Lord remains the Lord, and his will remains unthwarted by human intentions.

Even if I don't get it.

Peace to you, as you suffer the pain of Man's short-sightedness within your home church.