Obedience and Authority: Dimensions of a Hierarchical Church

Authority in the Church is never the monopoly of an ordained few (cf. Eph. 4:11-12) whether bishops or other clergy. Authority is the responsibility of all (cf. Eph. 5:34). Likewise, obedience is not the obligation of an "inferior" laity or lower clergy, but a requirement of all faithful, lay and ordained. In the history of Christianity, centuries of institutionalism and clericalism, followed by the "lay revolution," in conservative and anti-hierarchical churches alike, have rendered the concepts of authority and obedience problematic a point of contention and almost disdain. Read More
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    The Synodal Structure of the Orthodox Church

    Basic to the ecclesiology of the Orthodox Church is the concept of conciliarity. The Church is, in fact, at her core always synod, the literal meaning of the word "Ekklesia." The concept of conciliarity, i.e., the conciliar or synodal approach to managing the Church's affairs, is not confined solely to convening various types of synods, but also includes every expression of ecclesiastical life. Through conciliarity, the nature of the Church as theanthropic communion in Christ is expressed. This is why any ecclesiastical practice which is not a result of conciliarity is a deviation from Orthodox ecclesiology. Read More

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    Unity and Autocephaly: Mutually Exclusive?

    The starting point of any study regarding unity and autocephaly must be the study of the nature of the Church in general. That is to say that ecclesiastical practice must reflect the doctrine of ecclesiology. Read More

A Church of Councils

The Church isn't run by a single person. Instead, we come together in councils to keep the Faith and guide the Church through challenges. From the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem (in the Book of Acts) through the upcoming Great and Holy Council, this spirit of togetherness opens us to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And this spirit of cooperation and service can guide us wherever we are, no matter our role in the Church. Be the Bee is a series about finding God everywhere, all the time, just like a honey bee finds nectar hidden in flowers.
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