Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gangra - Canon 6

If any one shall hold private assemblies outside of the Church, and, despising the canons, shall presume to perform ecclesiastical acts, the presbyter with the consent of the bishop refusing his permission, let him be anathema.

Besides the fellowship in meeting together as in Canon 5, the ecclesiastical workings of a normal functioning church were not to be allowed: normally Lord's Supper, baptism, prayer, and teaching.  Such start-ups were generally instigated by someone on the outside or on the fringe (i.e., Eustathius, et al acting as elders) who had a desire to be free from the order God had placed in his church both as an organization and as an historic entity reaching back to Christ and the apostles.  Elders were and are given to shepherd and oversee the flock.  Splintering the group only serves to provide Satan more opportunity to disrupt than has already been manifest in the circumstances leading to the split.  In this case Eustathius as elder, without the permission of the overseer above him, had already set up another meeting to continue what he considered to be a true, pure church.

No comments: