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Historic Setting of the Orthodox Church Presented by: Molsey Thomas

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1 Historic Setting of the Orthodox Church Presented by: Molsey Thomas
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS’ TRAINING CERTIFICATE UNIT I Historic Setting of the Orthodox Church Presented by: Molsey Thomas

2 YOLO Proud to be an Orthodox SS Teacher? Vbs, bible, SS dir general 
History is not boring – It reminds us WHO WE ARE! Our hx doesn’t start in 18th century or even in 16th century… It goes all the way to the FIRST century!!! To be an American citizen…. As a proud Indian, we know……….. To be a proud Orthodox (original & oldest church) SS teacher, we must have an understanding of the fundamental doctrines of our church, importance of our Fathers, the struggles we faced historically and how we found solutions through ecumenical councils.

3 Topics covered: The Three Great Councils Church Fathers Monasticism
-The Council of Nicea, Constantinople & Ephesus Church Fathers -Apostolic Fathers (2) -Defender of Orthodoxy (1) -Great teachers of the church (4) -Oriental Fathers (4) -Local Fathers (2) -Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Fathers (3) Monasticism -Fathers of Monasticism (2) -Monk’s Life of Worship and Prayer -Monk as a Messenger and Teacher of the Society

4 Introduction Early struggles of the church:
Persecution (by Jews & Romans) (first 3 centuries) Roman Emperor Constantine became a Christian thru his mother Queen Helena. Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire. Heresies Arianism – Christ is not the same as God the Father Mecedonian heresy – Holy Spirit was created Nestorian heresy – St. Mary is not the mother of God because Christ was not God when he was born.

5 The Ecumenical Councils
What is an Ecumenical Council? It is an invited meeting of the bishops and leaders of different churches to discuss and decide on controversial teachings within the church and matters concerning faith. Resulted in our doctrines, creed and faith (Theotokos, One United Nature, Holy Trinity, Christology etc.) Jerusalem Council The first council of the Christian Church Assembled in Jerusalem at the time of the apostles ~50 A.D Mentioned in Bible (Acts:15) Controversy re converting Gentiles to Christians. Some Jewish Christians in the church of Antioch argued that Gentiles must first follow Moses’ law and become a Jew first before he can receive baptism and membership in Christian church. Apostles of the Gentiles: Paul and Barnabas, James (first Bishop of Jerusalem), Peter and leaders of many churches attended this council. Decision was made NOT to give any extra burden to Gentiles.

6 Three Great Councils Place & Date Defenders Of faith Heresey Heretics
Outcome Nicea, 325 A.D St.Athanasius Jesus was not the same as God the Father. Arius Defined that Christ is the same as God the Father in substance and in One Essence with the Father. Created first part of the creed. Constantinople, 381 A.D St.Gregory, the Theologian St.Gregory of Nyssa Holy Spirit was not coexistent; but created Mecedonius Defined teaching on Holy Trinity. Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Life Giver. Completed the creed Ephesus, 431 A.D St. Cyril of Alexandria Christ was not God when He was born and therefore St.Mary is not the mother of God. Nestorius Defined teaching on Theotokos. Forbade any changes to our creed in the future.

7 Some Other Councils mentioned in our book (not recognized by Oriental Orthodox Churches)
Place and Date Heretic Heresy Defender of Orthodoxy Outcome Second Council of Ephesus, 441 A.D Eutyches (to discuss his excommunicatio) St.Dioscorus Eutyches denied his heresy and therefore accepted by the council. Did not read Tome of Leo Council of Chalcedon, 451 A.D Bishop Leo Tome of Leo - Dual nature of Jesus St. Dioscorus was excommunicated and exiled. Counter Council of Chalcedon Dual nature of Jesus St.Timothy(Aelerus) Refuted and cancelled the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon.

8 Great Fathers of our Church
Fathers who played an important role in the history of the church and in confirming the orthodox faith. We remember these holy fathers in our Thubden #5. Apostolic Fathers Holy Fathers who were contemporaries of Jesus and disciples. They were persecuted for their faith. Many of them became martyrs. Their faith and courage strengthened church. They wrote letters to churches to encourage other members to be steadfast in their belief. St.Ignatius – Theophorus (= The Bearer of God) He is said to be the child Jesus picked as an example of humility Was the 3rd bishop of the Church of Antioch (St.Peter, St.Evodius) After his encounter with Emperor Trajan and refusing to sacrifice for Trajan’s pagan God, he was condemned to be thrown before wild animals in the Roman amphitheatre.

9 Apostolic Fathers (Cont’d)
St. Clement Was a Roman noble who received Greek education, similar to St. Paul. Became a Christian through St. Paul Was a bishop of Rome (Rome was one of the ancient Patriarchate/holy see) Wrote biographies of the disciples and letters to confirm Christians in their faith. He is referred by St. Paul in his letter to Philippians Emperor Trajan martyred him by throwing him into the Black Sea bound to an anchor

10 St. Athanasius – the defender of orthodoxy
Fathers of the Council Church Fathers who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries and defended our orthodox faith in the Great Councils St. Athanasius – the defender of orthodoxy Born of pagan parents in 296 A.D. He was the young deacon who debated against priest Arius in the Council of Nicea Both Arius and Athanasius were from Alexandria.(one of the ancient Patriarchate/Holy See) All his life, Athanasius had to continually defend, denounce and fight against Arius and his heresy. Because of his fight against Arianism, Athanasius’ life was like the whole world turned against him and he turned against the world. So, he was called Athanasius Contra-Mondum. Because of his continuous suffering and struggle for the faith, he deserved to be called “Apostolic” in likeness to the divine apostles.

11 Monastic Fathers Monks/ Hermits of our church who were great teachers, missionaries, writers, translators and national leaders. St. Antony – Father of Monasticism Lived in Upper Egypt Mid 3rd century Received his calling while listening to the Gospel reading in church Lived alone 20yrs as a hermit. Closely associated with to St. Athanasius in fighting Arianism. St. Pachomius – Father of Communal/Coenobitic Monasticism Lived in Upper Egypt end of 3rd century Born of pagan parents/was serving in the Roman army Founded many monasteries/gained reputation because of his monastic rules:celibacy,obedience,chastity, povery & devotion. St.John Chrysostom – the Golden Mouthed St. John Chrysostom is remembered for “Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom” and as a great teacher/preacher of our church. Mor Ivanios

12 Monastic Fathers (Cont’d)
St.John Chrysostom – the Golden Mouthed (Mor Ivanios) St. John Chrysostom is remembered for “Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom” and as a great teacher/preacher of our church. St.Basil the Great One of the Cappadocian fathers Friend of St.Gregory Nazianzen Brother of St. Gregory of Nyssa and Sister Makrina Wrote “The Longer Rule and The Shorter Rule” for monks Established a tradition for the church to be responsible to help those are in need. (The Basileiad) He is also remembered for the “St.Basil Liturgy.” St. Gregory the Theologian, Nazianzen Friend of St. Basil Defender of the teachings of the church on Holy Trinity at the Council of Constantinople

13 Monastic Fathers (Cont’d)
St. Gregory of Nyssa Brother of St. Basil & Sister Makrina One of the three Cappadocian fathers He was an eminent theologian Along with St.Gregory the Nazianzen, he defended orthodox faith against the Mecedonian heresy at the second council

14 Oriental Church Fathers
These are the local church fathers from the oriental churches: St. Dioscorus - Patriarch of Alexandria - Disciple of St.Cyril and became his successor. Defended orthodox faith in both Second Council of Ephesus and at the Council of Chalcedon. St. Severus ( ) - a monk - defender of the One United Nature of Christ – Patriarch of Antioch St. Timothy (Aelurus) –Patriarch of Alexandria - held a council to cancel the decisions made in the ill famous Council of Chalcedon.

15 Military/Soldier Saints – not mentioned in Thubden #5.
St. Menas of Egypt St. George of Cappadocia – April 23rd is the feast day Syrian Church Fathers St. Philoxenos of Mabbug ( ) – He attacked Nestorian heresy Malankara Orthodox Church Fathers St. Gregorios of Parumala Born on June 15, 1848 in Chathuruthy family, Mulanthuruthy Left his earthly abode on Nov. 2, 1902 – on a Koodosh Etho Sunday. Canonized as the first Saint of Indian Orthodox Church in 1947 He started the monastery/dayara at Parumala

16 Malankara Church Fathers (Cont’d)
St. Geevarghese Mar Dionysius of Vattasseril Known as Malankara Sabha Bhasuran or the great luminary Born on 10/31/1858 in Vattasseril family, Mallappally Ordained as priest by Parumala Thirumeni Great scholar and authority in Syriac, church history, faith and doctrine, the church fathers and theology He was Malankara Malpan and wrote Doctrines of the Church He was instrumental in establishing the Church Constitution He was called Moses of the Malankara Church He was Malankara Metropolitan from 1909 until his death in 1934.

17 Malankara Orthodox Church (Cont’d)
Eldho Mar Baselios (Kothamangalam Baava) Born in Iraq in A.D. 1593 Became the Maphryono (Catholicose) in 1678 Came to Kothamangalam in 1685 at the age of 92 He came to India to train Syrian Christian in their ancestral faith and get them out of the influence of the Portuguese(Roman Catholics) He consecrated Mar Ivanios as Episcopa He departed for his heavenly abode on September 29, 1685 His feast is celebrated on October 2nd and 3rd.

18 A song of devotion to our Church
Malankara Sabhaye Parishudha Sabhaye Masihayude Manavaatti Sabhe… Punya puraathana sabhaye nirayanam Ulakengum nin apadhaanam Malankara Church, Holy Church Bride of the Messiah…. Sacred and Ancient Church, let Your fame be filled all over the world!!

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