There can be only one unity, and that unity is unity in, with, through Christ. Any forced unity is not true unity but conformity. Blind obedience never constitutes “unity” but rather conformity which is contrary to the “Body Principle” (aka Phronema, Mind of Christ, Life Force in the Body, the Holy Spirit within). In short, blind obedience disrupts the “unity”—never preserves it—and grieves the Holy Spirit because it cuts against the Body Principle. In 1st Corinthians, St Paul prefaces a series of directives with the qualification, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ”. (11:1) Even as an original Apostle, obedience was predicated on his following Christ. No one is obligated to obey any edict contrary to Christ, the Fathers, or Body Principle. Upholding conformity becomes a coward’s out on any level.
Unity of Christ Means Unity of Truth
Because Christ is Truth, all truth has unity. In other words, no mystery stands alone but fits coherently into every other mysterious truth of the Church embodied in Christ. Buy in means, taking on the whole or as St John put it, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13). As the “Spirit of Truth”, the Holy Spirit has come and leads us into “ALL” truth, not just one part of it. No doubt, this coming into truth is a never ending process. If we know Christ in the Eucharist, then we must come to know Him in other corporate substantiations as well. To know Christ in the Eucharist, leads us to know Him in the Members, and the flesh-body of Man.
The Corporate Christ: Three Legs of a Stool
When our Lord bodily, historically, and in full sight ascended into heaven, He left behind His Corporate Body. Even Protestants can identify with the historical Christ that ascended into heaven, and, of course, the Orthodox know Christ in the Eucharist, yet our concepts of the Holy Mystery of the Corporate Christ often falls short because two other aspects of the Corporate Christ are largely being ignored.
Consider: three legs is the perfect configuration for a stool as it is unavoidably stable. Removing one causes failure of purpose; a stool is made to stand on the simplest configuration possible giving support to someone or something. In like manner, rightly discerning the Body means resting squarely on all three tenants as depicted by St Paul; all delineated in his first writing to the Corinthians.
Thinking about Corinth, it was a pagan town steeped in the Greek gods much like Athens. Ritual prostitution was woven deeply into the culture. Without the Jewish background found in other places, the conversion of Corinthians brought unique pastoral challenges as many habits took time to break including wholesale fornication typical of Greco-Roman culture. St Paul’s letter regarding unity in Christ was the antidote for the one-ups-manship inherent in polytheism as well as addressing the moral issues of prostitution.
For the Corinthians—and us as well—, the Apostle lays a solid foundation that connects the Eucharist with unity among the brethren and the sacredness of the human body; his terminology bridges all three. For recent converts who knew nothing other than pagan Corinthian culture, this would have been a steep climb for sure.
St Paul speaks of three substantiations of the Corporate Christ we must pay attention to. All three are connected as a unity of Christ. This—I believe—is the issue God is putting His finger on during this epoch. Let us look at all three.
1. Christ as Eucharist
For the most part, we as Orthodox have this one down; or at the very least our liturgy has become our hall mark feature. After all it is a participation in the cosmic dance that binds God to His creation.
In this we hold true; yet, taking it out of its context of the other two causes us to tip over. Like the Protestants, we have taken one brick and made it the whole building; but even the cornerstone needs the rest of the building it circumscribes. Bottom line: Christ is never without His people: Corporate Christ=Jesus + People (in their bodies); liturgy (literally: work of the people) without the people (in their bodies present) is not canonical liturgy (unless you are Roman Catholic). St Paul connects all three.
2. Christ as Members
Now concerning the eucharistic thanksgiving, give thanks in this way. First, as concerning the cup: We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of your son David, which you made known to us through your Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. Then as regards the broken bread: We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledgec which you made known to us through your Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ unto ages of ages. (Didache).
While St Paul’s dissertation on members unified in Body—with their respective functions— is quite clear, other sources echo his thoughts in more poetic fashion. In this early second century document, believers thought differently. In their minds they could bridge between what happens in the altar with who and what they were as God’s chosen people with a destiny in mind. Not only did they see Christ in the Eucharist, they saw themselves as the Church to be gathered from the ends of the earth. It defined how they related to each other and thought about the Church as a whole. To our modern minds, we are clueless. Modern obsessions about personal rights has blinded our eyes to the richness of Man—made in the image of God. To say Christ and His people are one is easy, but to live out this truth seems impossible as there is nothing in the modern world that reflects the inherent unity of the Members that exists in Christ.
Early Christians lived in a different world, one we may soon be going back to or one even one more difficult; tectonic shifts are happening as we speak. Recovering their bravura, we can certainly learn a few things about life, life as God’s people and not just a herd of “individualists” showing up each Sunday to give God His 90 minutes before we go on our merry way. By the circumstances of the day, the early Church was forged into an unbreakable unity, one we cannot even comprehend.
Early in the second century, a communication between Roman officials gives an outsiders perspective into the fledging Church. In seeking occasion to persecute Christians, Pliney (the younger) interrogated several Christian women to find out what the Christians were up to in their constant gatherings. Relating to his superior what he had learned, his report is quite remarkable:
They [the believers interrogated] asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day [Sunday] before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath [Latin: sacramentum], not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food—but ordinary and innocent food [agape meal]. (Pliny to Trajan, brackets added).
Notably, Pliney makes the connection between the weekly oath (sacramentum) and their loyalty to each other echoed in, “not to falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so”. In his mind, the “oath” of Christians taken every Sunday was not just to Christ but to each other. As an expert in Roman principles of law, this horrified him as he saw the covenant foundations of a militant army. In reality, he was spot on target even though his assumptions about their motivations were totally erroneous. In time the Christians did conquer Rome but not by insurrection.
As for us in the modern age, we are totally lost to this brand of commitment to each other; extremely impoverished because of it. The world system has replaced most everything that used to be the shoe leather of the Church shrinking drastically the influence, mission, and vision for the Church to be God’s hand extended through benevolence, education, and defining culture. From the beginning, the Church is/was to be the antidote for the world system creating a slice of heaven on earth where God could reign in and through His people. But, if the boundaries are too blurred, the Church becomes ineffectual as salt and light. God’s call is to “come out and be separate.”
When the world system fails, then can the Church recover the bonding experienced of the early Church, where we move from independency and spiritual co-dependency back to interdependency where every member carries the onus, mission, and Body Principle of the whole, not just the clergy.
3. Christ as the Flesh-body of Man
Seeing Christ in the Eucharist is easy because it is “other” to us. Seeing Christ in our fellow parishioners is a bit more difficult because we see their faults. However, it goes hand in hand with seeing Christ in the saints; that there are saints in the making all around us.
Seeing our bodies as members of Christ is the most difficult. This is a mystery. It’s difficult to be objective—adhering to the truth about the body—while living with its limitations, pains, and embarrassments. Yet, if we are to be faithful, we must regard it as St Paul instructs:
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6: 16-20).
In the Apostle’s reprimand, he is getting at the issue of fornication. By doing so, he relates the truth that our bodies are members of Christ and by joining with a harlot is making the members of Christ members of a harlot. As sin against the body it is a defilement of the temple of God.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (1 Corinthians 3:16-7).
Image somebody going into one of our beautiful temples and tearing icons off the wall, knocking over the iconostasis, or spray painting graffiti. Would you for one second put up with it? No, we would never tolerate it for even a moment, and neither would God. Paul is clear; those who destroy the temple, God will destroy.
Yet, our bodies are the temples of God, are they not? And anything joined to our bodies makes it—whatever it is— members of Christ. Does this only follow in the sin of fornication? I dare say no. Any defilement of the body is sin against the body, therefore sin against the Body (corporate), and therefore sin against Christ in Whose image the body is formed.
COVID Vaccines and the Body
Every day now brings another revelation of the horrors of the vaccines. When fully vaccinated individuals still get the disease, this should pull people’s heads out of the sand. But many prefer delusion to hard reality.
For the more informed, the blood clots, cancer accelerations, and genetic alterations are not an accident but actually on purpose. The fact is, long standing—and hidden—forces have now come clearly out in the open proclaiming their anti-Christ, anti-man, and anti-humane agenda; evil is afoot as never before.
Once that is sorted, then enough light shines in to steer people away from any more participation in the ongoing demand for more shots no matter the plague-de jour.
Inherently, all vaccines are billed as a “savior”; “take this shot and you will be immune”—saved from (whatever). Yet, like the first lie—ye shall be gods—it fails to deliver, but delivers something very different, often very ugly, and regret sets in.
In this regard, rightly discerning the flesh-body of Man as the temple of the Holy Spirit and members of—a participation in—Christ would have been enough to deter binding one’s body to something worse than a harlot. At least, a man can leave the harlots bed, but once taking the jab, there is no getting out of that bed, and notice how she (the vaccine regimen) just demands more and more and more; all evil works like a black hole sucking you in until recovery is impossible.
Pfizer “vaccine” under a microscope showing the presence of graphene oxide, various particulates, and parasites.
How about, just say no! Stop docking with the vaccine harlot and go into Wisdom, sup with Wisdom, take into your body Wisdom.
 Sacramentum was the Latin term for oath taken by every Roman soldier upon initiation.
For more great memes like this one, follow Global Orthodox News on Telegram: https://t.me/globalorthodox