For several years I have preached that we must resurrect the Jerusalem church. This church combined amazing miracles with radical economic equality, they were zealous in evangelism so that people came to faith every day, and they faithfully hold on to the teachings of the apostles (Acts 2:42-47). They were in all ways doing church as Jesus wanted them to do, since it was led by His hand picked apostolic disciples. From the first post I wrote on this blog throughout my writing, I’ve emphasized that we must be like the church of Jerusalem.
Yesterday I found their website.
The greek orthodox patriarchate of Jerusalem seems to be the exactly sam church that was founded on the day of Pentecost 2’000 years ago. Even if Jerusalem has been conquered and even destroyed a couple of times the church claims to have an apostolic succession back to good ol’ James, Jesus’ brother. They celebrate their services in Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament, and their main church is built upon the place where they think that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. I find this extremely cool.
Of course, things have changed over the years. They do not practice community of goods very much, apart from the monks and nuns. Their theology is a bit different. But their mere existence made me think about a few things:
- Catholics are Protestants. We who have a Western mindset often think that the Orthodox split from the Catholic church in 1054 but of course it can be seen as the other way around. The Catholics wanted their pope to rule and to add filioque to the Nicene creed, which made the Orthodox to painfully exclude them.
- We should honor, pray for and study the church of Jerusalem. This church will always be our spiritual mother, regardless of which denomination we belong to.
- However, we must recognize that the modern church of Jerusalem still needs to go back to its roots as much as we do. They have indeed changed, a lot. For example, a lot of its Arab members complain over that mostly Greeks are priests. Just because you have apostolic succession doesn’t mean you’re apostolic, unfortunately.
And by the way, as Israel now seems to have attacked Syria, let us pray for the peace for Jerusalem, and that the church their will be a nonviolent peacemaker that end the oppression of the Palestinians.
- History of the Orthodox Church – Beginnings (christianityonlyharder.com)
- History of the Orthodox Church – Councils and Creeds, Pt. 2 (christianityonlyharder.com)
- The Orthodox Church…and a side note on Halloween (orthodoxmom3.wordpress.com)
- Interview with Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem (alainelkann.wordpress.com)