HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
I have been asked why we should join a church. The lady says she has a personal
relationship with Jesus without joining a church. Setting aside the absence of receiving
the Sacraments and the Mass, there are other reasons she should join a church.
I define church as those having the same faith, order and worship of the Apostles
and a valid Priesthood obtained from and through the Apostles by the laying on of hands.
Contemporary Christianity is fond of pushing Jesus without the Church.
Like its secular counterpart (in which people claim to be “spiritual,
but not religious”), it’s an attempt to have the relationship without
the rules. If I’m lonely or going through a tragedy, I can pray, but I
don’t have to worry about fasting when I don’t want to, or being
associated with a bunch of fellow believers that I look down upon.
JESUS WITHOUT THE CHURCH IS A DENIAL OF JESUS
To see this, you need to look no further than His own words. His opening
words in the Gospel of Mark are “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1.15). That
is, we’re not invited to a merely personal relationship with Jesus.
We’re invited to be part of His Kingdom. Trying to have the King without
His Kingdom is trying to put God on our own terms, and He never
plays ball with that.
St. Paul says that God “has put all things under
his [Jesus Christ’s] feet and has made him the head over all things for
the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all”
(Ephesians 1.22-23). So the fullness of Christ is Jesus and the Church.
That’s literally what the Bible says. A few chapters later, Paul
explains that Jesus is the Head and the Church is His Body, and compares
it to the one-flesh union of husband and wife (Eph. 5.23, 31-32).
And why should we trust Paul on this? Apart from the obvious fact that
it’s in inspired Scripture, Paul knows these things are true from
experience. Before his conversion, on his way to continue his
persecution of the visible Church (Acts 8.3), he is stopped by Jesus,
who identifies Himself as the Church (Acts 9.1-7):
“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of
the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the
synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way,
men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed
he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from
heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice
saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said,
“Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are
persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you
are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
hearing the voice but seeing no one.” ACTS 9:1-7
Jesus, already in Heaven, speaks of Himself as being actively persecuted
by Saul Paul in his persecution of the Church. That is to say, the Bible
presents the Church as a continuation of the Incarnation of Christ on
Earth. If you understand this, you’ll understand why a Christian that
says that the Church is unnecessary, or says that the earthly Church is
apostate, etc., is presenting a false version of Christianity.
All of this is to say that to accept what Jesus is offering means
accepting His Church. He comes with a Kingdom. To accept Jesus is to
accept His Church. So the question isn’t “should we have Jesus and the
Church, or just Jesus?” There’s no way to have Jesus apart from His
Church. He doesn’t offer us that. There is no such thing as me and Jesus,
it is always we and Jesus.
OUR APOSTOLIC LINE OF SUCCESSION IS ACCEPTED BY WORLD ORTHODOXY.
REMEMBER AS YOU READ THESE LETTERS OF AFFIRMATION THE BISHOPS BEING ACCLAIMED AS PART OF WORLD ORTHODOXY WITH GRACE FILLED AND SPIRIT FILLED ORDERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY OLD WORLD PATRIARCH, YET THE PATRIARCHS ACCEPT THEM AS EQUAL BISHOPS IN THE LARGER CHURCH WITH THE SAME APOSTOLIC MISSION.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE O.C.A.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM ALEXANDRIA
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
WE ARE SUCCESSORS TO THE APOSTLES, IN UNION WITH THE ORIGINAL 12 AND ALL THOSE WHO CAME AFTER THEM AND WITH ALL THOSE WHO WILL COME AFTER US.
HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
IS A NOT FOR PROFIT CHURCH CORPORATION
UNDER SECTION 501 ( c ) 3 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE .