Confessing Christ today

pages: 205-216

Abstract

This theme is developed from the point of view of the centrality of Christ m the life of the Church. Christ as the Logos incarnate has revealed the essence of all things and has renewed the human being. Only in the eschaton (ultimate perfection) all things will be perfected. Until then the Church already participates in this eschatological perfection through the gifts of the Holy Spirit present in her since Pentecost.

The trinitarian theology points to the reality that God in Himself is the community of the Three Divine Persons, henceforth God's activity in history aims to introduce men and all creatures into the trinitarian community life. Therefore, the missionary activity is not in the first place directed to the propagation of intelectual convictions or moral commandments, but its main goal is to introduce all creatures into the trinitarian life of God.

The Church as the visible community in history reflects the togetherness or the Three Divine Persons. The proof that the mission is successful is not the member of »converts« but the holiness, unity and catholic character of the Church's life.

It has been observed that in the last centuries the sense of universal unity among different autocephalous Orthodox churches has been weakened. This inconsistency has to be done away with by a more active missionary work.

The beauty of Liturgy educates our hearts to see the uncreated light of the Holy Trinity. However, the Eucharist is not a means but the goal of the Orthodox missionary work. The Eucharist reveals also the iconic function of the Churcn.

The Christian witness ought to be addressed not only to the non-Christians but also to the Christians by name. On the whole, the Gospel is the call to salvation of all, the call to deification (theosis). However, it would be a contradiction in itself if this joyous message of the Gospel would not be communicated to all. The final goal in the missionary witness is the return of men to God tnrough baptism and the life in the Church.

Our tradition of the indigenization of the Orthodox faith into the diversity 10 national cultures should facilitate our missionary work. Our mission has never nad the flavour of colonization neither that of uniformity, but it has always tended to adapt the Gospel to the customs, language and the way of life of the newly converted people.

We have the problem of re-christianizing the indifferent and luke-warm Christians, who often identify the Orthodoxy with their national culture.

We ought to learn again the lesson of the Holy Fathers, namely to be like them on the side of the poor and oppressed. To have the courage of the Holy Fathers in order to criticize the leaders of the society.

In addition to the professional missionaries — bishops and priests — the laity should also be active in confessing Christ every day and everywhere.

Some are called against their own will to be witnesses of Christ when they have to become martyrs of Christ.

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