Unity vs. Truth?

Centrists / Religion

I stumbled across this blog and this particular post today. It details the writing of an Orthodox monk who is examining the ways that particular Orthodox believers (Old Calendarists etc) are actually behaving in ways that oppose the teaching of the Patristic theologians when they call for church splits between themselves and those whose views they can not accept.

The author of the blog uses the life of St. Sophronius as an example of the point he makes and then applies that example to the Unpleasantness in the Anglican Communion:

“St. Sophronius would neither compromise the truth for the sake of unity, as the Monothelites desired, nor would he sacrifice unity for the cause of truth, as modern zealots demand. In short, he rejected the false choice between unity and truth.

In this era, when nearly every church has its purist-zealots who are eager to separate over the pettiest of differences, it is heartening to read of the Fathers’ extreme hesistation to break communion. I think history shows that the Fathers were correct. Heresies often fade with the deaths of their respective heresiarchs, but schisms can persist long after their intial justifications become moot. Schism should always be a long-delayed last-resort response to persistent, documented, unrepented heresy, not a knee-jerk reaction to a passing fad or weak theology.

In the ongoing disintegration of Anglicanism, we see the spectacle of impatient bishops on both sides demonstrating their contempt for the Anglican Communion – and, indeed, for the Body of Christ – by instituting hasty, ad hoc schisms, ignoring the documents they signed and the procedures they initiated to strengthen the communion and bring to account those who cannot abide by the Anglican consensus.”

Read the rest here: Unity vs. Truth?

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...