On the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, in my second presentation on the
council which the ecumenists are holding on Crete, I talked about the
heresy of "personalism," a teaching devised by Patriarch Bartholomew's
court theologian, John Zizioulas. I've attached the notes from that
talk to this email, which will give a brief explanation.
Today the council approved the document "The Mission of the Orthodox
Church in Today's World," and the "personalist" terminology about human
beings is intact.
"The text, largely bearing the stamp of Met. John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, was passed unanimously with minor changes. Theamendmentsproposed by Met. Hierotheos (Vlachos) in a letter to the Church of Greece on March 5, 2016 were rejected."
church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Presentation by Fr. Steven Allen on 30 May/12 June 2016 -
Second talk on the upcoming "Great and Holy Synod" in Crete.
I. Update on the "Great and Holy Council
A. The "official" churches of Antioch, Bulgaria, and Serbia have
dropped out of the council - Bulgaria primarily because they object to
the documents, the others primarily for political reasons.
B. Other figures, such as representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate,
have called for delaying the council, having more meetings afterwards,
C. In other words, it is a mess. The main problem is that all of
these people have compromised their confession of Faith for so many
years. Their ideas about what Orthodoxy is are very confused, and they
make decisions based mainly on political agenda. Even if this council
does not, in fact, happen, or is much reduced in scope. All of their problems remain: ecumenism, the new calendar, etc., etc.
Note: As it turned out, the Serbian Patriarchate went to the council and Moscow did not.
II. Today's topic: "Personalism"
The pet theologian of Patriarch Bartholomew is a bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate named John Zizioulas. Zizioulas
is the main proponent of "baptismal theology" (the idea that anyone
with anything remotely resembling baptism is somehow in some way inside
the Church) and a rabid ecumenist. He is also a proponent of leftist social causes like the "LGBT" agenda.
Besides the heresy of ecumenism, Zizioulas, along with the late Pope John Paul II, espouses a new heresy called "personalism," which overturns both the Church's dogma of the Holy Trinity and the Church's understanding of human nature. The proposed Council documents enshrine personalism as well as ecumenism as "teachings of the Orthodox Church."
a. In regards to the theology of the Holy Trinity: "Personalism"
teaches that the Holy Trinity is one because there is a "communion of
persons." But the Holy Fathers teach that the Three Persons are one
because they share the same nature - they are homoousios - as defined by the First Ecumenical Council. Zizioulas further teaches that the Father's begetting the Son was a "personal decision," and an act of the Father's will, which he locates in the Person of the Father. This is very close to Arianism, because it subordinates the Son to the Father (subordinationism).
b. In regard to Christology: "Personalism"
locates the will in the person, not in the nature. Our Lord is One
Person with two natures: God and man. But if the will is in the
Person, this means that Christ has only one will. This is the heresy of
b. In regard to man: The Church teaches that man's free will, as well as all the powers of the soul, reside in human nature,
the nature that we all share. Our personhood is what makes each of us
different from each other, our unique identity. But we all have the
same human nature. Both one's human nature and one's person are fallen.
Both are saved and grow as a unity - we are always essentially human
(i.e., human by nature) and always have our own identities. But Zizioulas
teaches that our nature is the fallen part of man, that you really
aren't born a person, just a faceless, undifferentiated blob of human
nature, and that you become a
person by "exercising your freedom." Everyone has to "define
himself". One can see easily how this is related to the growing chaos
involving the denial of human nature that is now destroying society.