Church's Organic Nature

April 6, 2017

“The classical Christian teaching is that the Church is the mystical Body of Christ. It is never described as a business or a corporation. It doesn’t have to have buildings. Properly, it is not simply a manifestation of the “religious” sphere of our lives, for there is nothing in a Christian life that is not rightly united to God. “Church” is not an affiliation – it is an organic communion and belonging.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

 

“Church, as defined by the early Church Fathers, is not a religious institution but a living organism that is the hospital for the soul…Enter into the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law." (Abbot Tryphon, St. John Chrysostom)

 

“The Church of Christ, founded by Our Heavenly Savior for the attainment of our salvation, is the crown of God’s love and the guide for His creation. It is only through the Church, and by no other means, that one is able to attain the fullness of a transfigured life. Our presence in the Church makes us members of Christ’s Mystical Body. We are thereby in deep organic union with Jesus Christ, the Church’s Supreme Head.” (A. Woronen)

 

“With the fulfillment of that promise beginning at Pentecost, the Church was founded with a status far above that of a mere institution. Saint Paul was right on target in Ephesians 2:22, where he called the Church the “dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” The Church was a living, dynamic organism, the living Body of Jesus Christ. She made an indelible impact in the world, and those who participated in her life in faith were personally transformed.” (Fr. Jon E. Braun)

 

“The Church is not just a place we go on Sundays, but a living organism that has existed from the beginning and shares a synergistic relationship with Christ. Christ does not distinguish between Himself and the Church, and from the lips of our Savior He illumines our minds to this mystical union (Acts 9:5).” (Andrew Nova)

 

“The Church, in which Christian life develops, is not primarily an organization, but an organism whose parts or members receive their edifying power from Christ to grow up into Christ.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 4:11-16)

 

“The Church is not a religious institution. The Church is a living organism and a hospital of the soul, where one finds wholeness and healing. When we give ourselves over to the life-changing and life-giving grace that abounds in the Church, we can find true happiness and lasting peace. It is only when we treat the Church as though it were a religious institution that we remain sick, neurotic, self-centered..." (Abbot Tryphon)

 

“The unity of the Body of Christ is organic...the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts—that we are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body.” (Dynamis 7/29/2013, C. S. Lewis)

 

“Christianity is essentially a life to be lived, not a set of doctrines or moral precepts. It is not just any life, however. Christianity is life in Christ. This is understood not as an ethical imitation of Christ, but as an organic union with Him in His Body, the Church.” (Clark Carlton)

 

 “We are not called merely to obey and imitate God in a moralistic fashion, but it is our vocation to participate by grace directly and organically in the divine life and glory, becoming one with the Holy Trinity in a transforming interchange of love." (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)