O paralelă interesantă și pertinentă între vechiul Regat de Nord și de Sud al lui Israel, pe de o parte, și Biserica Răsăriteană și cea Apuseană, pe de altă parte. Dacă putem extrapola paralela pentru viitor, ne-am putea gândi că vor veni vremuri când, sub imperativul unor evenimente dramatice, rămășițele din est și vest ale bisericilor se vor reuni.
God still cares for the separated body. Whereas the Old Testament contains largely a Southern focus, God did not entirely abandon the Northern Kingdom. He still sent prophets to her to proclaim repentance. Elijah, one of the greatest prophets and highly revered in Orthodoxy, was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom. Even though they had rejected God’s covenant with David, they were still regarded as being recipients of the covenant given to Abraham and ratified with Isaac and Jacob. As St. Paul stated, “The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). If we (I speak as an Orthodox Christian) do maintain that the Orthodox Church is uniquely the Church of Christ, then I believe that we must also acknowledge that the apostolic churches that have gone into schism from Orthodoxy do retain the apostolic gift and ecclesiastical calling of God. They should be treated as being beloved for the sake of the covenant, for if the ten tribes of Israel were still counted as such after rejecting the promise to David and after setting up schismatic shrines, how much more should the labors of the Apostles throughout the world be counted as precious, even if they have departed in schism?
Like repentance, unity is something that must be fought for, struggled for, and suffered for. Sectarianism in so many ways represents the opposite, the lack of struggle and the lack of suffering for our separated Christian brothers and sisters.
Eric Jobe, Departing Horeb blog, Sectarianism: A Biblical History and Lessons for Today