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Fidelity, Dogma, Bishops and Laity

MarkosC

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In this thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8261.15, Anastasios states:

On the issue of obedience, for instance: obedience in matters spiritual is essential, as you pointed out, but you cite St Seraphim and various desert fathers out of context.  They are talking about the spiritual life, not providing a dogmatic foundation.  In the dogmatic teachings of the Orthodox Church (i.e. the canons), if one's superior falls in the faith, then we are commanded--not advised--to break communion with him and cease obedience to him.  It's this simple.  This is not democracy, but rather a synergy among the entire laos, both clergy and lay.  There are many examples of this happening in the history of the Church.  Of course the danger is that one can go to fractionalism, but amazingly, there has not been that much fractionalism [snip]
I have seen this general opinion expressed on this board (summarized quite well by Anastasios), and I would like to know more about it in general. ÂÂ

Specifically:

1. can someone discuss this in a bit more depth?

2. are there books or other basic Orthodox teaching materials which discuss this in more detail, as well as the relationship between the Bishop and the rest of the Church?

3. Will my local OCA, GOA, AOA priest tell me basically the same thing if I ask him about the subject?  Will I see this taught in more depth at St. Vladimir's or Holy Cross?  If so, what kind of course covers this?

I'm just curious on this subject; I don't mean to entrap or otherwise insinuate that anyone on this board is out of line with canonical Orthodoxy.

Thanks!

MarkosC
 

serb1389

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Obedience I think is different depending on who your source is.

To a desert father obedience must be absolute, up to the point of stories like:
"A monk told his disciple to go fetch him a glass of water. The disciple runs to get the water, in the process spilling some of it. So the monk tells him to go get water again. The disciple runs and goes again to fetch water. Upon returning, the monk tells his disciple 'now pour the water out' so the disciple, very vexed, pours the water out. The monk explains to the disciple that he was wondering if the disciple would have obedience."

I was told this story so that's why there isn't a citation.

You could also have a priest give you his version of obedience, or even a bishop his.
What I wonder is, who do the bishops have obedience to? And why is it that I never see it? ;D ;)

At Holy Cross there isn't a class on obedience. The closest thing you're going to get is "Pastoral Theology" where you cover pastoral issues and the theology around it. So obedience would probobly be a part of that. Maybe some of the older guys can enlighten us on this?
 

Elisha

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serb1389 said:
To a desert father obedience must be absolute, up to the point of stories like:
"A monk told his disciple to go fetch him a glass of water.  The disciple runs to get the water, in the process spilling some of it.  So the monk tells him to go get water again.  The disciple runs and goes again to fetch water.  Upon returning, the monk tells his disciple 'now pour the water out' so the disciple, very vexed, pours the water out.  The monk explains to the disciple that he was wondering if the disciple would have obedience." ÂÂ

I was told this story so that's why there isn't a citation. ÂÂ
I think it is probably in one of those "Sayings of the Desert Fathers" books.
 
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