There’s no salvation outside authentic community and Orthodoxy is all about community. The fierce individualism found in much of what claims to be Christianity is in opposition to the Orthodox understanding of Faith. We’re united in Christ in the Church as the Body of Christ, becoming part of community. Literally, the ancient Greek word Ekklesia means to be called into authentic community. Our personal transformation has an intimate connection with the interaction we have with others within the Church, and runs side-by-side with our fellow believers. Ekklesia in modern usage refers to the Church and her role as a spiritual hospital, a place wherein we receive Christ’s healing. The Scripture underlines this truth when it calls us to be at peace with our brethren before receiving the Holy Mysteries. Christ asks us to forgive others as we’d be forgiven. Christ even calls upon us to love our enemies. We can’t live our Christian faith in a vacuüm. Our personal transformation requires working out our salvation within community. Even confessing our sins takes place within this community, for each time we sin, we sin against the whole of the Body of Christ.
8 December 2015
Igumen Tryphon Parsons
I’d add, “That’s why Me n’ Jesus is heresy”. Christ can only save me in the midst of my fellows, not apart from them. That’s why we can’t have anything to do with “Evangelical” foolishness.