Council Day 4 – Dissension from amid

The council was supposed to have approved a creed by now. Instead we have divided ourselves among more groups than we started with. I was caught by surprise by the decision of the council, but especially my faction. While there are voices that care and help in a productive manner, there are internal conflicts we need take care or we will not be able to agree on a creed.  Starting with both factions, there can be more impetus of the council in a more accepting and productive manner than thus far. There are also strong factions being created among the current council and bishops’ votes are reflecting that. The third council day was not what we hoped to achieve by now, and it is a reflection on the council, the empire, our church as a whole. There was nothing acceptable about a wasted opportunity to get the creed agreed on and signed by the council.

The council thus far has had some challenging viewpoints and concerns. These concerns were brought up and both parties discussed, agreed, and moved on. Council day 3 was not any different, except the Alexandrian faction was very adamant about disagreeing with the rest of the council. The main concern that is causing this major separation is over the matter over whether Jesus, the begotten Son of God, is the homoousios or homooiusios to God. These two words more or less mean the same thing and do not add any meaningful distinction to God or the Son. In order to keep our beliefs without changing all that we agree on, the Arians agreed to take out the Son “is of similar substance” to the Father and “co-eternal with God” which were the only two words that were causing so much of the tension. This new change was presumably the last change the council was awaiting, but the votes did not reflect that.

I am excited with the Emperors decision to now make all votes anonymous. I believe we need that, because the level of influence the Alexandrian faction has had on the council has been political and misleading. The council was in agreement with the creed and when the votes were taken by hearsay the majority did not vote for the creed. I believe many of the council members were under the influence of the Alexandrian faction and we need anonymity in our votes. When the Alexandrians’ start to compromise and the votes are anonymous we will be able to clearly see what we need to change to pass the creed.