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:: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 ::

Diversity and Unity: Part I

Justin writes, "Orthodoxy probably does have a lot of diversity, but it's not the kind of community that some of us are talking about. Standing in a room with other people and doing the same thing is a completely different type of community than actually getting to know each other and interact."

Actually the two are intimately connected...which is why, IMO, the emergent movement is having such a hard time with this issue.

There is a closeness, a deep connection that is made when there is a common purpose--it is in sharing in the same worship, the same way of life, the same prayers, etc that we *truly* form the foundation any true friendship requires. The ability to form community outside the walls of the Church is directly related to how united we are inside those walls...which explains, again, why Orthodox people are a) so diverse and, paradoxically, b) so united.

A group of people, all believing and living in radically different (and in many cases, contradictory) ways will have a very difficult time forming lasting friendships, deeply satisfying community, and stable faith....long term.

The emergent movement's answer to this is to simply to intensify the "diversity"--a rather nebulous and artificial concept that starts with the assumption that unity and community will develop if only we had more voices to add to the cacophony of modern day Christianity. The truth is that true diversity is the natural child of authentic unity...but not its mother.

We see this perfect balance and relationship between unity and diversity in the Orthodox Church time again throughout history.

As Bishop Ware writes, "The mutual indwelling of the persons of the Trinity is paralleled by the mutual indwelling ('pericorisis' in Greek) of the members of the Church. In the Church there is no conflict between freedom and authority; there is unity, but not totalitarianism. There is diversity, but not subjectivism or individualism."

More to come in Part II....

Update: Robbymac continues the discussion.

:: Karl :: 8:10:00 AM [Link] ::

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