"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

What Mean You by this Word, Apostolic?

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Being apostolic means we are linked to all other apostolic parts of the Body, and to remain in that relationship obligates us to not depart from the apostolic faith. Apostolic churches have always been able to differ on things that don’t really matter to salvation – the types of robes used, or the style of music sung.  On matters of salvation apostolic means consistent and unified in one faith.

When a church departs from the apostolic faith, by taking a unilateral action that breaks that linkage, the church can no longer profess that it is apostolic.  Indeed, every time that a person professes faith in the ‘one holy, catholic, and apostolic church’ they will be professing a lie.  In the modern era, I expect most would treat such a declaration with indifference, or would proclaim that justice and love win the day.  That is fine to say, but to continue to call yourself apostolic makes a mockery of the word. 

Such a departure has profound spiritual consequences, that will be a mystery to people fully grounded in the way of this world.  God may not withdraw his Spirit from the Church, as long as there are faithful who remain and suffer, but God will withdraw his Spirit from those who have violated their oaths before God.  If we expect we can live and proclaim whatever we want in God’s name, we are mistaken.  Like in physics, in the Spirit every action has an equal reaction.

St Irenaeus sets the meaning of apostolic out beautifully (the bolded line is my favourite):

As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it.  She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth.  For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same.  For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world.  But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth.   Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition.   For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.


Written by sameo416

October 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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