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“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

I think the word “orthodox” might be in trouble. Let’s try and save it from losing its meaning.

I am seeing a lot of people calling themselves “orthodox” Christians and using the term to put down others as “unorthodox”, “heterodox”. But actually I don’t think these particular people should be allowed to use the term “orthodox” – as they are changing its meaning (and hence emptying its meaning IMO). They are perfectly welcome and free to start a new movement, start a number of new movements, but these particular people are not orthodox – there is a perfectly good word for them: they are homodox.

Orthodox, first of all, means “right worship” (ortho – right; dox – like doxology – worship). If you call yourself orthodox, at the very least it should mean that most Christians for the first 1500 years or so of Christian history should be able to walk into your worship and pretty much feel at home. Augustine, Teresa, Ambrose, Luther, Francis, Hildegard, Basil, Julian, Justin, etc. should be able to walk into your worship and recognise you are following a lectionary inherited from the Synagogue, have the basic shape of worship inherited from the earliest church, a Eucharistic Prayer, and responses that go back to the Last Supper and beyond, to a thousand years or so earlier…

Orthodox, would also mean, right beliefs. At the very least that would surely be affirming the important doctrines and disciplines of the seven ecumenical councils of the united church of the first thousand years or so. Should that not include the church’s structure that along with its liturgy and scriptures evolved fairly quickly in the earliest period of the church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Some might call themselves “orthodox” but could probably not name the councils, let alone state anything they teach, or justify why they reduce them to, for example, four, or claim to hold to them but would balk at, for example, calling Mary “Theotokos”)

Homodox means “having the same opinion”. Many people who are misusing, abusing the term “orthodox” are in fact not orthodox at all, they are homodox (let me preempt the comment now: it does not mean worshipping gays 🙂 ) They want everyone to think exactly like them (yes, often particularly about gays). Orthodox can cope with diversity, do not need everyone to agree about everything, celebrate diversity, honour difference: In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas. (In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.)

So next time you see someone putting down others, and calling themselves “orthodox”, pause, check whether they really are orthodox or whether that word is being abused and emptied of its meaning. And then, if they pause momentarily from their tirade, and you have even an inkling they might be prepared to listen to someone else, take a deep breath and very politely tell them they aren’t orthodox but homodox. Of course if they listen to you, and are prepared to change their mind,… maybe they aren’t.

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34 thoughts on “homodoxy”

  1. `Orthodox’ can also be regarded as the name of the “winning” tradition/belief-set, that steered its way from Peter and/or Paul, around Arius/Athanasius, etc. (I’ve been reading Borg on Paul and some Ehrman lately, where the term “proto-orthodox” comes into its own.)

    There is much potential to separate what one preaches (hate & venom) from what one practices (oh crap a real person we actually know is gay, well we can’t stone them to death for that after all). So what is a non-hypocrite called? Is this orthopraxy as well?

    1. I think you mean Saul of Tarsus, or Saul, Saul – that is what Jesus called him, according to the Bible, although in Luke he says “Saul, also known as Paul”..
      by Jesus, I mean Yeshua. The word Jesus is only a few hundred years old because the letter J didn’t exist in the latin alphabet until then. I’m not familiar with the Borg, unless you mean the Star Trek Borg, or the Vyborg – the people living in the central district of Leningrad. Those Borg started the Russian Revolution, which led to the world’s 2nd full-fledged democracy. It lasted all of 2 seconds, it seems. I guess they got paranoid after almost half the world decided to support their Tsar during the Russian Civil War. (On the wikipedia article, I count about 60 flags fighting against the Bolsheviks and their Chinese friends. The result was alot like Vietnam – when the majority of people in a country want something badly; no force can stop them.)

      You mention Arius. The Arians were largely given the boot by Flavius Valerius Constantinus Augustus, who was a blatant Homoousian – all Christians/Catholics are Homoousian now as a result. I think they prefer the word Trinitarian nowadays. I’m not sure why. You will notice that all four of the above words constituting the name of Constantine end in ‘us’. That comes from his Zeus worshiping parents. Not known for his modesty, Constantine stuck his ‘us’ in Yeshua, resulting in a mistranslation to Iesus, which eventually became Jesus around the time of Karl Marx. There isn’t a connection between the two in name, of course. But in spirit? This is what George Orwell had to say about it (verified in his WIkiquote page):

      “the most important part
      of Marx’s theory is contained in the saying: ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ But before Marx developed it, what force had that saying had? Who had paid any attention to it? Who had inferred from it — what it certainly implies — that laws, religions and moral codes are all a superstructure built over existing property relations? It was Christ, according to the Gospel, who uttered the text, but it was Marx who brought it to life. And ever since he did so the motives of politicians, priests, judges, moralists and millionaires have been under the deepest suspicion — which of course, is why they hate him so much.”
      -George Orwell, _As I Please_ (25 February 1944)

      1. Thanks, Itajara. Please use your ordinary name, not a pseudonym, on this site. If Itajara is your ordinary, daily name – that’s fine. Lent Blessings.

  2. Phewee! As I recently debated something with a bunch of faitheists* from the position of an orthodox Christian I’m mightily relieved that by the criteria of the post I’m orthodox. But I’m not Orthodox. Which is also another source of confusion when using the term outside the family of faith. (Roman Catholic by accident of birth and adult choice if it matters)

    *Faitheists is my term for evangelical proselytising atheists who, unsatisfied with ‘mere’ agnosticism, are absolutely certain from the logic of their own arguments, reasoning an experience that there is no God. They often claim to be, and do a great disservice to, Humanists but in discussion display a great lack of charity towards other people – like Christians, including me, often do when arguing stuff.

  3. Interesting concept.

    Yes, orthodoxy could be seen as “right beliefs” since doxos is a derivative of the verb dokeo, “to think.” However, orthodoxy, taken in context, is a compound construction of orthos, “straight, erect” and doxos, “opinion, estimate, splendour, brightness, a most glorious condition, most exalted state.

    Hence, the best meaning is direct or upright rendering of worth-ship (worship) or glory. The term truly means the way in which we give glory to God, and, with all respect, has nothing at all to do with tolerance/celebrating diversity, the Councils or Theotokos.

    As far as right beliefs, the canon of Scripture will do nicely…most folks’ daily walk with Christ will function far better than filtering the Faith through the councils: “Faith comes by hearing; hearing by the Word of God.” If our Christian community is completely founded on His Word, we can then easily teach them concepts like the God-bearer, or how the Councils either affirmed or missed the mark on the Scripture. Once they are firmly entrenched in the Word, we can also teach orthodoxy very easily, if we explain it in terms of the Word and Spirit.

    Regarding tolerance, the truly orthodox will be so focused on the Lord that they will not have time for criticizing their brothers/sisters. It simply would not be productive in an orthodox outlook. They’re too busy rendering glory to God, and pointing His glory out to others around them to be critical.

    They will, however, be able to readily identify sin, in themselves and others and to vocalize it in terms that would be congruent with the Gospel message. Since we are all to be held accountable at the judgment for those around us, we sometimes are in the position of calling sin for what it is. That being the case, that means that sometimes the orthodox are not tolerant or indorsing of sin, such as homosexual practice (or, for that matter, adulterous heterosexual practice), but instead identify it as sinful and dangerous. In this case, the orthodox would hate the sin, while loving the sinner. That’s giving upright glory to God.

    So, we differ. God bless you for an open forum.

  4. I’ve always used the word orthodox as a synonym for “traditional,” incorrectly apparently. Thanks for the clarification.

    Gen. Pattan said that if everyone is thinking a like then no one is thinking. Maybe that is why the Scripture, the orthodox kind, instructs us to test everything and hold on to the good.

    @LuvStomp: So, can two people be homodoxaphobic and still like each other?

  5. I read this with interest. I say the Nicene Creed every week in church, and have the Apostle’s Creed memorized–and the Episcopal Church follows a similar structure of liturgy to that used in the historic church–so I suppose that makes me “small o” orthodox.

    But much more important to me, than the word or its dilution, is the loss of spiritual practice in the lives of many who do not follow orthodoxy. My evangelical friends go to Bible study and pray. And they go to church. And this is wonderful, to a point.

    But the idea of things like lectio divina or praying the daily office is foreign to them. And in that foreignness, they have lost a great deal of the ancient practices that have worked so well to form Christians through the ages.

    Repetition of water cascading upon rock erodes rock. Repetition of musical pieces or sports, called “practice,” refines one’s ability to perform under pressure at a recital or a game. Repetition of spiritual practices, erodes our resistance to following God–and it enhances our ability to perform–have faith–under stress and misfortune.

    I’m sure that the Trisagion (Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.) has been on many orthodox folks’ lips and in their hearts since the tragedy of the Haiti earthquake. It doesn’t require thought–it is a natural action because it is a prayer that is such a practiced part of our liturgy.

  6. I think it was Tony Campolo who said, “Love the sinner; hate your own sin.” It confounds me why some “orthodox/homodox” folks feel they have an obligation to hate other people’s sin and do anything but pray. Whose job is it to convict of sin, the “orthodox/homodox” person or the Holy Spirit? All those people whose sin you’re busy hating–are you winning many to your way of thinking/believing? More than you’re driving away?

  7. How can you call yourself “orthodox” if you accept the filioque? This was never the universal teaching of the church.
    How can you call yourself “orthodox” when you argue for and accept women presbyters and bishops? – something never found in the undivided church but an innovation of later Protestantism.
    How can you call yourself “orthodox” if you argue – as you do, indirectly in many places – for accepting homosexual realtionships for Christians? You know fully well that this has NEVER been part of Christian ethical teaching, East or West.
    Bosco, your sly little joke about “homodox” (yet another dig at Bible-reading, church-going, daily praying evangelicals) really rebounds on yourself. You’re a fine chap but you’re not orthodox – you’re a pick ‘n’ mix Protestant.

  8. Kevin

    The practice of having women in ministry is something that comes from St Paul’s admonition that in Christ there is no Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free, Male or Female. It can also be argued that there are many instances of women’s full involvement in the ministry of the Church both in Scripture and in some of the evidence found of early Christian grave sites (women referred to as ‘Presbytera’). In any case, perhaps it sometimes takes the people of God, in partnership with the Holy Spirit, some time to work out how Scripture, Reason and Tradition work together and to come up with appropriate responses to the needs of the world and with the principles of our faith – I mean, having dealt with the Jew and Greek thing early on, look how long it took to get to grips with Slavery…

    Last, but not least, Orthodox does not mean Roman Catholic, or its more narrow form, ‘Orthodox Church’ (Is this what you mean by the undivided Church?). It means that worship and life which is founded on Scripture and the Catholic Creeds – a tradition which is obviously very much embraced by Bosco!

  9. Kevin,

    Anglicans have not limited the conversation about orthodoxy to the filioque clause, although through Anglican-Orthodox dialogue we are responding to the concerns of Eastern Orthodoxy. In 1976, the Anglican members of the Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Commission said in an Agreed Statement that the filioque should not be included in the Creed because it had been introduced without the authority of an Ecumenical Council. In 1978, Anglican bishops meetings at the Lambeth Conference recommended that churches of the Anglican Communion consider omitting the filioque from the Nicene Creed. The 1985 General Convention recommended the restoration of the original wording of the Creed, once this action had been approved by the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council. The change was then endorsed by the Lambeth Conference of 1988, the 1990 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, and the 1993 joint meeting of the Anglican Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council. The 1994 General Convention affirmed the intention of the Episcopal Church to remove the filioque clause at the next revision of the Book of Common Prayer.

    As a result of Anglican-Orthodox dialogue, you should see many future editions of the Book of Common Prayer across the provinces be rid of the filioque clause. The relation of the Holy Spirit to the first and second persons of the Holy Trinity remains a matter of theological discussion and is ultimately unknowable, at least on this side of the grave. The real issue is twofold:
    1. on what authority a statement of faith agreed upon by bishops and theologians of the whole Church, East and West, may be changed; and
    2. what course is most faithful to the theological traditions of Anglicanism.

    Because the filioque clause was removed unilaterally by the Western Church, something Anglican theologians were unaware of in the 16th and 17th centuries, Anglicans wrote in support of the filioque clause. Now in conversation with the East and more aware of history, our understanding is changing.

    With Anglicanism, while orthodoxy (little o) has been seen as a broad stream, it has generally pointed to fidelity to the creeds and the first seven ecumenical councils of the church. Anglicans have most often pointed at the Trinity (Nicea) and that Jesus was fully human and fully divine as hallmarks of this orthodoxy, and not to varying theological positions on that which the church has not considered dogma.

    We’ve generally seen dogma as paramount – the Trinity and the two natures – that which the Church has spoken conclusively about in ecumenical council, followed by doctrine which is important, but occasionally can change (patripassionism – that the Father is able to suffer is an early church heresy that cannot suffer that Christians of this age generally accept as being theologically acceptable), then moral theology, and then church teaching. Moral theology and church teaching vary widely between culture and have not been raised to the level of importance of dogma and doctrine.

    In other words to say that the Trinity and the two natures of Christ are as of great importance as the Church excluding women from leadership roles after the Byzantine influence in the Church is simply ludicrous. (One cannot after all make the argument that Jesus himself did not have women in leadership roles since after all Mary Magdalen was the first witness to the resurrection in all four Gospels and the Apostle to the Apostles.) Not all teaching of the Church is of the same weight and merit.

    One also cannot make the argument that the church’s understanding of marriage and sexuality have not changed throughout the centuries. Marriage rites tended to see women as property in the last 500 years. The Church’s perspectives have changed over the course of history. Again, the question becomes is the church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, which have changed throughout the ages and have varied in different cultures the same as the Trinity and the two natures?

    Bosco’s point I think is to point out the hijacking of the word orthodox (again right worship, right glory, right thinking), to mean complete uniformity of perspective. I would hold a more generous perspective about orthodoxy, using the metaphor of a wide stream and not a narrow trickle. And perhaps the most important point being worked on today is the notion of orthopraxy. We’ve tended to create “believers” who can wrap their heads around a perspective and not “disciples” who practice the faith and are interested in cooperating for a better world. It isn’t that the church’s teachings about the nature of God aren’t important, but what are the implications of loving God and loving neighbor, the beatitudes, the teachings of Jesus about the coming Kingdom of God. In light of the Jesus in Matthew’s gospel “what you did to the least of these who are my brothers and sisters” one might reconsider orthopraxy as something of importance again.

  10. Thanks, Bosco – you’ve described with clarity a real danger in the church, especially the Anglican Communion (whatever that is).

    As you indicate, the most prominent characteristic of homodoxies is that they are pharisaical busybodies: convinced of the rightness of their own, excessively narrow, view of life – and therefore the wrongness of everyone else’s – they are free to criticize anyone at will, and do so lavishly.

    As literature constantly reminds us, it’s busybodies who destroy community much more than the outliers, those on the edges of community norms, do. And Jesus himself had very little good to say about those who judge others, whether accurately or otherwise.

    (As you draw a distinction between the orthodox and the homodox, so also I draw a distinction between busybodies and Evangelicals on the one hand and Anglocatholics on the other. But just as you point out, the homodox call themselves “orthodox;” so also busybodies call themselves “Christians” of this stripe or that.)

  11. I wonder if the definition of Orthodox can apply any anyone who is in the Anglican Tradition. I started out as RC and left the church for many years, before returning but to the CofE.

    There is such a wide range of belief and understanding in the Anglican Tradition, that I feel we all believe the basic tenets of our faith, but take different positions on some aspects. In particular in recent years, Gender and Human Sexuality.

    If we go on the basis of Scripture, Reason and Tradition, there are already three points for different stances, which can be drawn out into hundreds or thousands.

    I would not wish to be called Orthodox or any other Dox, as my faith and belief is within the Anglican Tradition, from my individual viewpoint. I suspect that I am not alone in this.

    Still a well written piece, which give us something more to disagree on. Good thing as well.

  12. Well it’s no surprise to see that your post has mostly resulted in people rehearsing the same old positions. I find it sad to see how ready some are to dismiss years of tradition in favour of one approach to interpreting Scripture.

    Personally, I found the discussion of the meaning of “orthodoxy” very helpful as I have struggled with being of a liberal persuasion while leading catholic worship…


  13. I may be wrong, but I didn’t read the article as Rev. Peters declaring himself orthodox, just as him defining orthodoxy. Whether one is orthodox or not, one should be able to write on the definition. The bottom line is that there are few, if any, who church the way Christians did in the very early church and I’m sure almost none who would want to. As we grow, we all have to discern what our faith means to us, and throwing around terms like orthodox to beat others over the head with surely helps no one grow any closer to God.

  14. Very interesting. Curious if commenter “Chip+” is the retired Bishop of Mississippi? If so, I knew him WAY back in the day in South Haven.

  15. I’m thinking part of the problem with defining anything is that we have to use words that in and of themselves require definition as we press forward.

    How we users of the English language define the word “right” will have a big effect on how we then perceive the definition of right worship or right doctrine.

    I would tend to define “right” in terms of the verb form and with the concept of “to do justice” underlying the meaning. Others seem to be focusing on the adjective form and the concept of “right” = “correct” (which then leads to “right” = “best”.)

    Thanks for an insightful and thought-provoking post.

  16. Wow, I had never HEARD of the Filioque before. Upon reading about it, I just find the whole thing confusing. If the Trinity means that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all equally God, and are One God, I don’t really understand the difference between the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father only, or the Father and the Son. It was interesting learning who added language and when to the Nicene Creed.

    That led me to reading the various English versions, some translations of those used in worship in other languages in the Eastern churches of the Nicene creed-the variation was huge. The Armenians seem to include the most other things, but I would definitely include the Armenians in the small-o orthodox, despite changes to the creed.

    I like how much I learn about Christian history from this site–whether it be from posts or comments.

    I like Alastair’s point:

    “worship and life which is founded on Scripture and the Catholic Creeds”–we may disagree about interpretations of scripture, but the rhythm of life and worship that comes out of liturgical worship and praying the office, is the timeless aspect of small-o orthodoxy. And in all truth, I think that the differences between the most liberal Protestant, the most fervent evangelical, and the most conservative Orthodox and Catholic of our brethren are comparatively small compared to the varied beliefs of the very first Christians in the first centuries until the Canon of the Bible was selected and a formal theology of normative belief decided upon.

    You know, there are people of various denominations, even evangelicals, showing up for retreats at the Taize community in France nowadays. I believe the catholic, small c, and orthodox, small o ways WORK as spiritual practices of value, and are being adapted by many people of various Christian denominations. There is grassroots orthodoxy happening. We may not have control over what our overall church worship service looks like, unless we change churches, but we can certainly incorporate the contemplative Christian practices of praying the office, affirming the creeds (whichever form we use), reading the Scriptures with lectio divina, etc.

    There is grassroots orthodoxy happening. There is a hunger for structure and discipline. Look at how many people read this blog.

  17. Thank you for people’s positive comments here. Might I add especially to Fr Sean’s: the Canadian Book of Alternative Services has removed the filioque, as has the Old Catholic Oud Katholiek Kerkboek. Anglicans are in full communion with Old Catholics. I am not sure where Kevin thinks he is getting his information. I have never, for example, written about the filioque. But would actually favour its removal from our prayer book to restore it to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan original. The recitation of this creed at the Eucharist only became prevalent when the Eucharistic Prayer began to be prayed silently by the presider. Previously the Eucharistic Prayer was regarded as our prayerful declaration of faith, the recitation of the great acts of God, our Shema. Hence the creed’s liturgical recitation was not a universal practice of the united church. With the restoration of a fuller Eucharistic Prayer, NZ Anglicanism has made the requirement of reciting the creed at the Eucharist optional. For the record, I consider myself Bible-reading, church-going, daily-praying, and evangelical. Kevin’s response appears to reinforce the point of my post rather than weaken it.

  18. Bosco, thanks for an insightful distinction between orthodoxy and homodoxy. It seems to me that homodoxy can in some instances be orthodxy but orthodoxy is not necessarily homodoxy. The danger in homodoxy is that is can become isolated from the Tradition, the historic councils and the liturgy. It becomes a container whereas I understand orthodoxy to be more akin to the environment in which we live, move, and have our being.

    Peace, Mike+

  19. If my memory serves, I think Marion Hatchett’s little book of seven pre- reformation celebrations of the Eucharist comments that the Nicene Creed emerges as a regular part of worship in Eastern liturgy long before it does in the west, the former being in the 600 or 700s perhaps and the latter perhaps after the Great Schism of 1054. I’d have to look at it to check my memory which I am unsure of these days.

    I have no problem saying the Creed as a part of the liturgy regularly. While I think it is fine that the New Zealand BCP doesn’t require it, there is something to be said for one having to grapple with it.

    It seems to me that it is more a prayer to be prayed than an oath to which to be conformed. It seems a profession of sacred mystery, and yet our inheritance from our forbears.

  20. Excellent points. I think “orthodoxy” has almost become a forbidden word in American mainline Protestantism out of fear of offending anyone. We ought to reclaim it. To paraphrase Thomas Oden, there is a great diversity in orthodoxy, and we grow stronger by exploring its center as well as its boundaries. Too many on the extremes are actually “homodox”, and our mission has suffered for it.

  21. Did Jesus leave any instructions for us as to what sorts of things we should all agree on?

    Did he pass on any direct authority?

    Did Paul claim to be a directly commissioned apostle of Jesus, prophesying in his name and reporting his commands?

    If so, then we should all be homodox on those things.

    If not, and Paul was mistaken, and was a false prophet on certain things, and we disagree with him, then we as a church have the right to throw him out. Sure.

    However, ironically, that right extends forward into the present. People seeking to follow Jesus today have the same exact right–the right to throw out those they disagree with.

    Both the “homodox” and those who complain about them could learn a thing or two about how Paul handled bad behavior & belief in the church. His letters were soaked in the hope for reconciliation–indeed, the absolute drive that it take place. He would settle for nothing else–but he would not settle for false reconciliation, based on lies.

    One wonders, however, if the church in Corinth would have ignored his first letter and gotten worse, rather than repented and striven to prove themselves innocent of Paul’s charges. How many letters would he have written to them in the same tone–before finally coming out against them, as he had threatened? I don’t think his threat was a rhetorical trick.

    Both the “homodox” and the “enlightened” need to learn to fear God first, rather than each other. That would be a start. If we want to all grow into the image of Christ–one body. In agreement with the words of God. Fearing God would demand real changes of belief, opinion, and behavior–for both parties.

    Tolerance is a virtue, but, like marriage, it is a passing one, not an ultimate one. It is a means, not an end. Tolerance is certainly not the chief gospel virtue. We tolerate tares in the wheat field because we are copying Christ, who is longsuffering of the straying and unfaithful. But we don’t call the tares wheat, and we don’t call ravenous wolves lambs, either. To do so would be to directly contradict Christ’s own words.

  22. I am grateful for the training in historical Christian belief and practice that I have received in the evangelical tradition I was raised in by my mother, and in the Presbyterian Church (USA) by my father. I am grateful for the many ways I have been shaped and grown and healed by all the influences upon me from the Anglican and Roman Catholic communities, the ELCA and Evangelical Covenant communities, and by the Emerging/Emergent conversation. All of these traditions and communities have had a core desire to know and honor God, and all of these communities have given me new understandings of how I best go about that pursuit myself.

    The bottom line for each of us – perhaps especially for those of us who have a call to secular vocation as we center our lives around pursuing God – is that we get to CHOOSE those to whom we give credence and those to whom we give skepticism. I must pursue God in community with other believers, but I must also choose which particular flavor of believer I align myself with, and which I offer honor but at a distance.

    Your definitions can be useful to me and others in that, Bosco! I do not want to alienate or hurt those with whom I differ, but sometimes love and justice require taking a stand against something, as well as the stands I take for other things. I choose to be in fellowship with all Christians who are orthodox, as per your definition. And I choose to take an open stand against homodoxy, as per your definition. I am called to follow Jesus and to obey His primary command in John 13-15. This gives me greater clarity in how to walk that out.

    Thanks for this post!

  23. Robin Lane Fox, in his book Pagans and Christians, says:

    ‘”Paganism” is a Christian coinage, a term that suggests a system of doctrine and an orthodoxy as Christianity knows one. But pagan religion was essentially a matter of cult rather than creed. No group of pagans ever called themselves “the faithful”. There was also no pagan concept of heresy – to pagans the term meant a school of thought rather than a false and pernicious doctrine. Among pagans, the opposite of heterodoxy was not orthodoxy but homodoxy, meaning agreement.’

  24. You can’t call yourself “orthodox” in the sense of agreeing with the consensus of the first 1500 years of Christianity AND agree with women’s ordination or same-sex relations. These are unorthodox, liberal Protestant views.

    1. Old Catholics ordain women. They are neither liturgically liberal, nor ecclesiologically or historically “protestant”. Following Kevin’s logic one would say:
      “You can’t call yourself “orthodox” in the sense of agreeing with the consensus of the first 1500 years of Christianity AND agree with interest on loans, contemporary Western banking, the rejection of slavery, etc…”

  25. Orthodoxy = right worship; So very Anglican of you : )

    By your second definition of Orthodoxy, being “right belief” particularly as found in the ancient creeds and the 7 ecumenical councils…could any Christian group be called Orthodox in the modern era? To the strict letter of the canons.

  26. Bosco writes: “Old Catholics ordain women. They are neither liturgically liberal, nor ecclesiologically or historically “protestant”.”
    So what? This 1870s breakaway from the German Catholic Church is getting increasingly unorthodox – and irrelevant. They have folowed the secular logic of WO and are big on gay ordination.

    “Following Kevin’s logic one would say:
    “You can’t call yourself “orthodox” in the sense of agreeing with the consensus of the first 1500 years of Christianity AND agree with interest on loans, contemporary Western banking, the rejection of slavery, etc…””

    Chattel slavery was rejected in Christendom by c. 900 and only revived in the 1500s by specious reasoning. Contemporary western banking may well be unorthodox – it isn’t serving us that well.

    1. Thank you, Leo, for pointing out that “Contemporary western banking may well be unorthodox” – it is a great point and maybe one that should involve the church more energetically!

      You are confused about your history of the Old Catholics. These trace their history back to St. Willibrord’s evangelisation of the Netherlands (early 8th century). Your 1870 date refers to many joining them because, like Eastern Orthodox, they do not accept the infallibility of the the Bishop of Rome which became defined at the unification of Italy and the loss of his Papal States.

  27. Thank you for this well stated response. I have had many to point out various accusations regarding Rick Warren and had not known what was the truth. This will help me with my response to others. What I have been saying is that what I do know is truth is this man’s Purpose Driven Life Book is what changed my life in recent years. It forced me to re-evaluate my life and see that I was not putting Christ first and myself second. For that alone I am indebted to Mr. Warren.

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