tisdag 13 februari 2018

The Innovations of the Roman Church #1 Filioque

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). Even in his lifetime, Makrakis was notorious as an “Orthodox Fundamentalist” and got himself into trouble. However, whilst his approach is abstruse, and at times florid verging on rant, he is not wrong in his identification of the main issues in which the Roman church appears to be in error. I make no claim to be able to follow the argument except in the most general terms. 

I have seen simpler explanations: that the Son is begotten of the Father and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. This makes more sense than the Roman formulation with Filioque, which conveys the image of the Holy Spirit as a kind of appendage to the Father and the Son.

The first innovation (or heresy) was the addition to the eighth article of the Symbol of Faith (or Creed) of the Latin words “filioque,” meaning “and from the Son,” and signifying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son, contrary to the words of our Lord, who said: “But when the Comforter cometh, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me.” (John 15.26). The addition “and from the Son” bisects the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit, cutting it in two, so to speak, and makes the Son a father—an allegation which is nothing short of blasphemous and heretical.

The Second Ecumenical Synod, which supplemented the Creed of the First, defined that no one has the right to add anything to or to subtract anything from the Symbol of Faith, or Creed, as established by it. The minutes of both these Synods were attested and signed by the representatives of the Popes then holding office. The addition of “filioque” is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and the source of it is the Devil, also called the Dragon; and, according to the words of the Lord, it will be forgiven “neither in this World nor in the world to come.”

“Proceedeth” signifies the manner of generation, and not the act of sending nor the fact of being sent. The Son is begotten only by the Father; but the Spirit, too, proceedeth only from the Father, or, as is more to the point and closer to the meaning of the Greek word in question, is yielded only by the Father: two branches from the same root, brothers, as it were; effects of the causeless, initial, and absolute cause; timeless, eternal, inalterable, everlasting, because their being is derived hypostatically from the timeless, eternal, inalterable, and everlasting Father; being simultaneously, and not alternatingly, at the same time the Father, at the same time the Son, and together and at the same time the Spirit. Mind, Speech, and Spirit—or, Nous, logos, and Pneuma; the first Mind (Father) begets (generates) the Speech or Word (Logos) and yields (prolates) the Spirit to the Logos and Son, and through Him to the Church.

That is why the Lord Said: “whom the Father will send in my name.” Jesus, as victor, legally acquired the right to send the Spirit to the Church, and the Father send the Spirit in His name.

The representative, therefore, of the militant Church of Christ on the earth is the Comforter, or Paraclete, a perfect God from the perfect God and Father, immortal and infallible. St. Peter and the other Apostles and Holy Fathers and teachers of the Church are faithful servants of the Holy Spirit, though sinful and mortal, yet the decisions of the many when convened and gathered together in one and the same place in Holy Spirit possess legal validity in the Church, but not the decisions of each singly, one by one. All pastors or teachers who oppose or defy the Canons of the Apostles and Ecumenical Synods or the text of the Holy Scriptures, err and build on sand. The Papal innovations and councils are invalid and illegal, because they oppose and defy the decisions of the Apostles and Ecumenical Synods and the text of the Holy Scriptures. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” (Rom. 3.4). The innovations, therefore, and decisions of the Pope, claiming primacy, must be combated until they disappear from the province of the Church.

Let us hope that this may be speedily consummated. Respecting the triune character of the Deity and the relations between the three persons of the Trinity, Christian theology teaches that God is essentially one and that He is the cause and Creator of all things, but that He exists in three coeternal persons; of whom the first person is the Father—Mind unbegotten, the second person is the Son-Logos eternally begotten of the Father Mind, and the third person is the Holy Spirit—Thought eternally yielded by only the Father Mind and revealed and sent in time to the World through the Son. Both the Son-Logos and the Spirit-Thought, however, are due to one and the same cause and eternal principle, the Father-Mind; and they are co-essential with the Principle from which the Son-Logos is begotten and the Spirit-Thought is yielded, or prelated (i.e., is caused and given forth), eternally. The terms begat and yield signify the manner of production and the relation of the Son-Logos and of the Spirit-Thought to the Father-Mind, by whom the one is begotten and the other yielded. But how are the terms begotten and yielded to be differentiated logically?

The first Being, the beginningless and unbegotten Mind, who, cognising Himself through Himself eternally, produces, in cognising Himself, the Idea of Himself, which, of course, is like Him and is His exact image and similitude, as well as the first Truth and presentation of Him, being, in fact, an Idea of the first Mind, or of the first Being, equal to God, substantial (hypostatic), personal, possessing beinghood and entity. For if it were otherwise, it would consequently be merely an imaginary (fantastic) idea and imperfect; but a perfect Mind cognising Himself imperfectly would not be a perfect Mind at all.

It follows, then, that the perfect Mind educes out of Himself a single perfect Idea of Himself, and thus begets, or generates, one who is consubstantial with Him, that is to say, one of the same substance. And because the Idea of the perfect Mind perfectly presents and pictures the first Mind, it is consequently also the first Truth, inasmuch as truth is a true and exact picture and presentation of whatever is. The manner in which the Idea is produced by the Mind is called begetting or generation, for it is similar to the begetting of a son by a father. But the relation of the Spirit Thought to the Mind is different from that of the Son-Logos being begotten by the Father-Mind.

The Spirit, as the cognitive power of the Mind—as Thought, that is to say—is yielded (prolated) by the Mind and out of the Mind as by and out of an eternal source, much in the same way as mother’s milk is yielded by and out of the breasts, as water flows from a spring, as fruit is yielded by a tree, or wool by a sheep. It reposes in the Son-Logos as It is yielded by the Father-Mind. The expression and production of the Spirit-Thought by and out of the Father-Mind is called yield, or procession, because it is similar to the yielding of milk by a mother, the flowing of water from a spring, the growth of wool from a sheep, the production of fruit by a tree, and the emission and radiation of light by the sun.

Thus the Spirit-Thought-is yielded by and proceeds from the Father-Mind, a perfect being from a perfect being, equal to and co-essential with the Father-Mind, a perfect personality proceeding only from that Father-Mind but reposing, or resting, in the Son-Logos, and being emitted and sent forth through the Son-Logos to those cognitive essences who are capable of receiving the latter. In fine, procession denotes the perpetual, the eternal emanation, emission, effusion, production, while transmission denotes Its being sent and passed on by and through the Son-Logos. The two words, in bold type are not, of course, exact translations of the corresponding terms used in the original Greek, ekporeusis and pompe respectively, to which there are no equivalents in the English language nor in the Latin.

That is why we have gone to such lengths in explaining just what they mean. Although the verbs yield and grant approach the true meaning of the Greek terms more closely than do the words procession and transmission, the use of them in this connection is attended with the inconvenience due to the lack of corresponding nouns distinguishable from the verbs and capable of being used in the same sense.

But the Roman Catholics confuse the transmission in time of the Spirit through the Son with the eternal procession thereof from the Father-Mind alone, wrongly assuming and holding that the Spirit’s procession is due to two factors,, the Father-Mind and the Son-Logos, which is absurd, for it implies an imperfection in both the producing Mind and the proceeding Spirit, If the Mind does not yield a perfect Spirit, then the Mind is by consequence imperfect, and the Spirit, or Thought, imperfect as well. But a mind thinking imperfectly, and having an imperfect thought, is not a perfect mind. Consequently it is plain that the Spirit-Thought proceeds perfect out of the perfect Mind alone, though It reposes in the Son-Logos, through whom It is also sent forth to the world, being granted in time for enlightenment and knowledge.

In God, therefore, there are three eternal and perfect beings, to-wit: 1) the Father-Mind; 2) the Son-Logos, His Idea;and 3) the Spirit, His Thought. Logos of God, Spirit of God, and God, the name of the essence of the perfect Being; Father, Logos, and Spirit—the names of the three co-eternal hypostases, or persons, of the one co-essential Deity. God the Father, or Mind; God the Son and Logos, or Idea; God the Spirit, or Thought—one triune God.

The distinction between the three hypostases may be seen from the fact that the Father-Mind is an uncaused cause, whereas the Son-Logos and the Spirit-Thought are causates co-eternal with the cause, and therefore are products, the Son-Logos being begotten and the Spirit-Thought being yielded by Him out of whom It proceedeth. Such is the concept of the one and triune God according to the Orthodox dogma and the Orthodox theology; and such is the logical explanation of the fact that the Son-Logos is begotten, and of the fact that the Spirit-Thought is yielded, and not that it merely proceeds of Itself, and also of the fact that the Spirit is transmitted and sent through the Son-Logos.

Such, indeed, is the relation by which the one and only true God, a Unity and a Trinity, can be conceived and understood just as He is lauded and glorified by our fathers and just as all Orthodox Christians believe and confess Him through the Creed, or Symbol of Faith. This relation becomes more clearly discernible by studying the following illustration.When a man’s soul clearly and distinctly knows itself and the things round and without——when it possesses knowledge of self and of God, it is called a mind.

A soul that is naturally mindful and intelligent begets speech, or discourse presentative of its own ideas and judgements. Those who hear the discourse imbibe the thoughts of the soul talking ,without removing them either from the discourse or from the soul’s mind. These thoughts are called spirit. Now, just as the soul’s mind naturally begets discourse and expresses, or emits, through its discourse thought and spirit to thousands of other souls, so the first and perfect Mind naturally begets the first and perfect Logos and at the same time yields the first and perfect Spirit, which is effused and transmitted from the Logos and by the Logos to other minds for their enlightenment and knowledge.

And just as the mind, the discourse, and the spirit of the soul are distinct yet united, naturally correlated and inseparable as regards the relation of the son to the father, of the picture to the original, and of flowing water to the source from which it springs, so do the same unity and distinctness and reference and relation exist as between God the Mind, God the Logos (Discourse), and God the Spirit, who for this reason is lauded and glorified as one and triune—a Unit in a Trinity and a Trinity in a Unit—Father, Son ,and Holy Spirit, the co-essential (homoousian) and inseparable Trinity.

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