Rome’s dense theology: an Orthodox perspective

1. FILIOQUE*. To say that the Holy Spirit (Lord and Giver of Life) proceeds from the Father “and the Son” (in Latin “Filioque”) in place of just the Father, seems to put the Father and Son on equal footing above the Holy Spirit. It has, I’m told, been defended as a safeguard against Arianism, but the Orthodox East never added it, and they’re still, well, orthodox. That’s why Orthodox Christians indeed deem the Filioque clause (and the historical attempts to impose it on the East from whence the [true] Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed came without the “Filioque”) to be at the very least pretentious and at the most heretical. Bad behavior.

2. THE GODHEAD. Orthodoxy neither professes nor confesses a godhead or divinity that is lifeless, impersonal or separate from, much less superior to, God the Father, Son or Holy Spirit. God, godhood and godliness are manifestly inseparable realities. We don’t believe that there is godhood above God, and we don’t believe you can be godly apart from God. We do believe that, with God, you can attain to theosis, which Western mystics term the “Via Unitiva” or “Unitive Way” (not to be confused with the Communist employees’ organization). We do believe that God is, paradoxically, both knowable (in his energies) and unknowable (in his essence). “Godhead” is a crutch, awkward at best and misleading at worst; it has no place in orthodox Christian theology.

3. CARNOCENTRISM. I can’t stress this enough. Easter (really Pascha) is more important than even Christmas, as the deep (or, if I may, biblical) Christian realizes. It is even more important than Good Friday. Christians (read “true Christians”) are an “Easter people,” and every Sunday, which is the Day of the Lord, was so designated because of Easter and is their “little Easter.” Easter is Christianity Day par excellence, full stop. This is because our Faith is about Life, not this earthly life (that would fall under the domain of common sense) but Life that is invincible and interminable. Where Christianity departs from the humanities is that it is geared toward the spirit over the flesh. Without this potent salt, heterodox Christianity is ipso facto Satan’s workshop. All that directs man to worldliness, however elaborate their explanation, is directing man to Satan. The mystery of the Incarnation, miles from its orthodox meaning, has been thus abused in the modern Christian West as an inroad for shadow. It seems the leadership within the Canonical Orthodox and Papist Catholic communions are lately acknowledging the Coptic Alexandrian Papacy’s miaphysitism as not being monophysitism (“one nature”) but indeed perfectly orthodox. This is also indicative of where the churches are finding the true Faith.

CONCLUSION. Positions that are unbiblical cannot be orthodox (nor honestly catholic). Also the Romanist’s assumption that the East is completely Gnostic frankly says far more about them than about the East.
* The Filioque is considered by some Orthodox as communicating the error of Subordinationism, since it subordinates the Holy Spirit to the other Two. I have never heard anyone assert that it amounts to “the sin against the Holy Spirit” Christ calls eternally unforgivable, but it’s hard to say with any certainty that it isn’t. Perhaps this is why the Vatican (“Rome”) no longer says “Filioque”?

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