Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vision of St. Paul on the Parishes and Priesthood

In this article my brothers and sisters we are going to highlight the vision of St. Paul on the situation of  the churches and the servants “priesthood”  through comparison between the Letters of St. Paul and the situation of the churches in this period;

Whereas, it is not easy to refer to a particular church because I do not like arguments and therefore we will talk about the situation in general

I prefer here to reflect the fact of the new dioceses and the Parishes in the diaspora, because it is an extension of the original churches in the homelands, such as the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox Church,

Whereas, and unfortunately, the migrants who belongs to the Orthodox faith, forgot what they had learned in the Home;  That led to the many risks in the spiritual life, and here I will refer to the two of them

The first bad thing is that, the persons became new characters far away from their origin faith, and little of them are continuing reading in the gospel and the Christian books, Such as the words of St. John Chrysostom, which was the most understanding and aware of the letters of St. Paul. but without spiritual care which led again to understand the wrong about the christ and his church, where
St. John Chrysostom had also pointed to how the priest must behaviour within the parish, which is interpretation to the letters of St. Paul.

The second bad thing according to the letters of St. Paul and the interpretation of St. John the Chrusostom is the behaviour of the Priests where they had changed from servants of the word to become in other direction where they become employees in institutions, looking for how much costs, how much salary, how many hours they work such as 40 hours weekly and so on.

What happening is in contrast to the Vision of St. Paul on the Parishes and Priesthood, where he sent reprimand to the parish of Galatians, addressed them used the hard words but clearly, because the parish there, began losing the way of Christ and went into other directions,
 the situation of Galatians is similar to the most of our new parishes Abroad,
(Galatians 3:1-5)
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

In his second letter to Corinthians, Paul had teach them parish about the meaning of the apostle “priesthood” and how he must expend himself in the service  
In this part of the letter we could distinguish two missions:
First one, is directed to the parish which do not know the meaning of apostle service and how the parish must to respect the apostle,

The second is directed to the servants must not become burden to the parish but they must spend for their parish everything and themselves as well.

(Corinthians 12:11-15)
I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.
Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not your's but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

It is a harsh phrases and bold, Touch the reality grim of the churches (servants and the people).
 Where always they are moving away from substance;
 It does not need explanation;
 It is building the spirit of the church directly.

But !!!!
Who will read? And who will seek to build?
 We ask the Lord for provide the mercy into  His Church.

Editor: Rev.Spyridon Tanous
Orthodox Patristic Church- Sweden
Ἐκκλησία τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ