Byzantine Orthodox Ethos: A threat to Our Liturgical Theology? E.S.John, Australia

Written By: on Jan 28th, 2011 and filed under Columns, Opinions.

“I believe that warning about unbridled freedom is implicit in our Lord’s reminder, “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.”

Man bereft of discipline is like an animal which is not tamed and disciplined. We have enough past experiences of drinking bitter chalice from the colonial imperial churches that have ultimately created an Indian orthodox church of organieed chaos, because of imbibing from any heretical whirlwind that bring us temporal benefits.

Discipline is like breathing and drinking water that sustains all other body system under control. If one aspires to cherish an Indian orthodox worship, the church must be insulated from all other alien influences that slowly can bring in corrupt practises, ultimately rebelling and challenging against the authority and discipline because one man’s food is another man’s poison.

Weed out all cosmetic and peripheral influences for keeping a pure apostolic church and its faith. We expected angelic gifts from the Dutch and the
British Governments and their churches; they came with olive branches and eventually formed branches of their own thorny denominations.

A stone-throw can make numberless ripples that can’t be controlled later because of the fluctuations of our thoughts seconds by seconds. Better keep away from all innovations and renovations because the impact of personal agenda will imprint upon the soul of the church slowly. Nothing is spiritual now; only a hybrid worship of personal agenda dominates in this world of a global fluid culture.

As our children yells out, ‘it is a free county and a free world and an open society”. If the church aspires to survive with its apostolic faith, discipline that brings a coherent culture is a must for our survival. Don’t borrow anything from anywhere because a crossbreed paradigm of faith has threatened our existence. Even the church denominations that sprang up few decades ago is stronger and capable of sustaining a better spiritual ethos among themselves and attracting people from our church than the 2, 000 year-old Indian orthodox church.

Nothing apparently is wrong in the beginning that may invite a disastrous war in the church later. Be careful not to adapt to changes as in the case of secular and social set-up.

Source: ICON

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4 Responses for “Byzantine Orthodox Ethos: A threat to Our Liturgical Theology? E.S.John, Australia”

  1. Louis Damani says:

    I rarely comment on articles no matter what their content, but this was a very precisely articulated “state of affairs” concerning Oriental Orthodoxy, especially in the United States. I’m a convert into the Coptic Orthodox Church out of Roman Catholicism. Oriental Orthodoxy is THE true Faith. Catholicism and the faith of the Eastern Orthodox groups must be understood internally, and not just in our theological wording or purely theoretical reasoning, to be incorrect and not within the same “ethos” as that which comes from the same Faith (i.e. the Oriental Church). As a convert convinced of the Truth of Orthodoxy (by Orthodoxy I mean the Faith of St. Cyril, St. Athanasius, St. Severus, St. Dioscorus, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Mark the Apostle, St. Thomas, St. Peter, etc. and not the brand name “orthodoxy” of St. Vladimir’s and other non-Oriental groups), it was difficult to find any person who actually believed that the Faith that was fought for and died for by the Church Fathers was any different from the faith of those who persecuted them. It’s saddened me and caused me much personal confusion to hear from those I admire that there is no difference between what I’ll experience in an Oriental Orthodox Church and what I would find in a Greek or Catholic one. This is false teaching, purely. I certainly am a sinner, and no scholar, and the chief of the imperfect; however the Faith of St. Dioscorus is not imperfect, and we cannot even implicitly support those groups who teach us and the entire globe otherwise.

  2. Jenson says:

    Jesus was also a jew?

    He don’t know what is chritianity.

    Please, dont allow people like this to write in this site. This is a shame for our church…

  3. I thank the author for exposing the practices that have slowly crept into the church that is gnawing at the foundations of our faith.. I must also acknowledge the post by John Mathew who has elaborated on the historical orgination of our Church but fails to understand that the current crisis in the Orthodox faith is due to the acceptance of outside influences in the hierarchy of the church, which was innocent at best to begin with soon spread schism and now rampant anarchy in each dioceses. We have to say enough is enough and take measures to preserve our identity and sanctity of faith. The name Catholicos is now wielded by everyone-last count three- and diminished in its supremacy and glory. Soon our liturgy and traditions will be polluted and the influence of money-the corruptor of all- will change the nature of our church for ever- our uniqueness is slowly eroding…; time to stop this stanch.

  4. John Mathew says:

    “the church must be insulated from all other alien influences that slowly can bring in corrupt practises”

    Does this mean that we must not absorb anything that is non-Indian? If so, then how will the author worship Christ who, while on Earth, was a Jew from Palestine? How will the author honor Thomas, of the same background?

    Suppose the author admits Jesus and the Apostles to his insular domain.

    Now, how will he worship? In what language? Definitely no more Syriac, since that’s an alien language. Then what? Malayalam? Nope, that’s a modern language too, formed from the interbreeding of Tamil and the foreign Sanskrit tongue of the Aryan immigrants of Kerala. Perhaps Tamil then, our pure ancient tongue.

    Fine. Now, what liturgy? We can’t use the liturgy of St. James, since that’s a Syriac version of an originally Greek liturgy. That’s a double foreign. Then what?

    And our episcopal system, etc. I suppose no more bishops with the title “Mar/Mor” (that’s Syriac), no more Greek names (Didymos? Dionysius? Gregorios? All foreign Greek names!) Probably no more bishops either, since all of that comes from Greco-Roman culture; right down to the titles (Metropolitan, Catholicos, etc. — all of that is from the Greek/Roman style of political administration. Does the author even know what a “Catholicos” originally was? A pagan Roman governor.). And the priesthood? That’s alien as well. Melchizadek was not an Indian. Aaron was a Jew, as was Zachariah the father of John the Baptist, the baptizer of Jesus. Hence, this is an alien system to us Indians.)

    No more hymns from Mar Ephrem and Mar Jacob and Mar Balai — all foreigners. No more Promeons and Sedros. Perhaps the only thing that we could use would be the Hoothomos written by HH Mor Augen. That’s the only “Indian” contribution to our liturgy. Of course, we’d have to rename Mor Augen — can’t use that foreign Greek name Eugene. And let’s ignore that Mor Augen was a great (perhaps our greatest) scholar of that foreign Syriac language.


    The author doesn’t have a clue of what he’s talking about. Not one single shred of an iota of a clue.

    Please, Byzantine-educated priests, deacons, etc. take over! Purge our church of the mass of ignorant individuals who constantly pollute it with uninformed opinions.

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