ORTHODOXY – PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
THE LAW THAT GOVERNS THE ENTIRE CHURCH
When Christ asked His disciples, whom do me say that I am, Peter, enlightened by the Father replied: “You are the Christ the Son of the living God.” The Lord blessed Peter, saying: “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father who is heaven. And I say unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The Father starts the work, and reveals the fundamental truth, laying the foundation stone of the edifice, as it is written: “Behold, I lay in Sion a choice stone, a cornerstone, and he who believes on him shall not be confounded.” Peter received his confession from rhe Father and this confession is the rock upon which the holy Church is built, being its chief dogma: “You are the Christ, Son of the living God.”
The Son continues the building by means of the Mystery of the Eucharist, and with His own Body and Blood, like clay, puts together and cements the stones of the edifice. The Holy Spirit guides the Church, binding and loosening, approving or disapproving those who are accepted and those who are rejected. For the “keys to the kingdom of heaven”, which Christ promised to Peter, are the directive authority of the Holy Spirit who rules and guides the holy Church through Peter and those like him. The authority and power to bind and loose are what is referred to as the governing law of the Church. These laws govern the Church and lead it to its destiny. The Son sends down the Holy Spirit from the Father, as is written: “When the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me” (John 15:26). The Son imparts the Holy Spirit and its directive authority on those he chooses, saying: “And He breathed upon them saying, Receive Holy Spirit. Whoever’s sins you remit, shall be remitted to them, and whoever’s sins you retain, they shall be retained.” Also: “Whatsoever you lose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This power and authority is distributed through the apostles and bishops to those who are worthy. This governing law remains in the Church as a guide to those in authority.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth by Christ, for He guides the faithful into all truth, which is always in harmony with the right Logos of God, the truth who came down from heaven, as He says: “The Holy Spirit will testify of me.” Nothing that the Logos has uttered will be overlooked but the Spirit will testify to everything, for He is all-knowing. Christ says: “He shall not speak of himself, but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak, and He will show you the things to come. He shall glorify me, for He shall receive of mine and shall show it unto you.” There is perfect agreement with the Spirit’s testimony concerning all that He said and did.
The popes of Rome with their invented claims of authority and infallibility have no clue as to the Holy Spirit’s function in the Church. Christ is indeed the head of the Church, divine and human as is His Church. But He established the Holy Spirit to be its mentor and guide, reminding all the faithful of what Christ has said and done, knowledge which the Holy Spirit preserves perfectly. To bind and to loose in Holy Spirit means to forbid and prevent whatever is opposed to the laws laid down by Christ, and to permit whatever is not contrary to these laws. It also means to reprimand sinners in a manner that their sins deserve, and to pardon them when they are sorry and repentant before God.
The contention of the papacy and their infallible pope, who claims to be the only divinely enlightened one, is refuted in the Acts of the Apostles. A discussion arose as to whether heathens who enter the Church are required to be circumcised. The Apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, decided to free the Christians from the Mosaic yoke which required circumcision. They also decided that Christians must abstain from all food offered to idols, and from blood, and strangled flesh and fornication. Herein we see the dissolution with few exceptions of the Mosaic Law, which is replaced with the Gospel and Gospel Law. The Son of God commanded His Apostles to baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Simon the sorcerer after being baptized by Philip, offered money to the Apostles to purchase some of their authority and power that he could personally use. Peter the Apostle reprimanded him, saying: “Your money perish with you because you have considered that the gift of God could be purchased with money." Then Peter excommunicated him advising him to repent and ask for mercy from God. But Simon would not hear it and told Peter that he should pray to the Lord for him instead.
The Acts also records that Ananias and Saphira gave the Apostle money and held back a portion of it for themselves. Asked it they sold the house for such and such a price, they falsely testified that they did. Both of them died quickly, for they did not lie to men but to the Holy Spirit through Peter. They were given no time to repent because they committed an unpardonable sin. This is a warning to all of us, that we must be truthful in all matters of our lives to avoid deadly consequences. For Christians must be honest in all they say and do.