Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Church is Not a Democracy

"Democracy is the greatest and noblest ideal of the human community. But in its very essence it does not apply to the Church for the simple reason that the Church is not a mere human community. She is governed not 'by the people, and for the people' — but by God and for the fulfillment of His Kingdom. Her structure, dogma, liturgy and ethics do not depend on any majority vote, for all these elements are God given and God defined. Both clergy and laity are to accept them in obedience and humility."

~ Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann,
"Clergy and Laity in the Orthodox Church" (1959)

3 comments:

Bryan Owen said...

"The historic church does not depend upon modern cultural sources to legitimize it. Its sources are mature and made sufficient by the ways that the Holy Spirit has brought centrifugal unity to Christian teaching in the earliest centuries of Christianity." ~ Thomas C. Oden

"The liturgy is not a compromise with this world; rather, it is a promise of the world to come."
~ John Chryssavgis

Fr. Reich said...

obviously they had not ever witnessed TEC's bicameral Convention, or they would have never written those words.

Kelso said...

Democracy is not the "greatest and noblest ideal..." Democracy is mob rule. The Founding Fathers were rightly against a democracy - that's why America is a Republic of laws.

The clearest expression of democracy was the Jim Crow era in the South - the majority were perfectly satisfied.

Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. Advance America! Long Live the Great Republic!