Council Day 1 Reflection (Athanasius)
Admired Constantine, Respected Ossius, and other esteemed members of the council,
Though I was unable to attend the first day of the council due to travel complications, I have heard good things from my Bishop Alexander. My sincerest apologies for my absence, and am eagerly awaiting our next council session so that I may better serve Our Lord by participating in the discussion of the nature of the Godhead.
As I understand it, the creed established on the nature of God is as follows: “We believe in one God, a single unchangeable divine power, the Almighty, maker of all things, visible and invisible, everlasting, ingenerate, true, wise, just and good, sovereign, God of Law and Prophets and the New Testament.”
I am very pleased by the outcome of this creed, as it retains the complete divinity of God, and omits any hint of Gnosticism or heresy. I believe that there is only one God and that He created the universe and is the God of the Jews. I am not surprised by the inclusion of the term “unchangeable” in an attempt to compromise with the Arians, and respect the Emperor Constantine’s desire for compromise and unity, but am disappointed in the other Alexandrians for capitulating to those who do understand the nature of the Godhead and stubbornly refuse to accept the truth. Though unity is an admirable goal, the Church is not a secular organization, and truth should be sought over compromise. Should the Arians repent their heresy I would accept them back into the Church like any other lapsed Christian, but if they refuse to repent and will not accept the gap of knowledge between ourselves and God, they are not true Christians. I do not intend to instigate conflict, nor antagonize the Arian faction out of spite, but out of my love for God, and my belief that the Church cannot and should not survive if heresy is not rooted out. Just as heresy is sinful, the toleration of heresy, and the desecration of God is sinful. The message of Christ is forgiveness, and I am more than willing to forgive, but Christ did not tolerate sin or the lies of heretics, and neither should true Christians.
I am indifferent on Theclus’ push to remove gendered speech from the Creed; the terms Father and Son are simply words used to describe the relationship of the Godhead in a manner that us mere mortals can understand. That being said, I am apprehensive of this push because it leans towards including women within the clergy and allowing them to hold office in the Church. It is important to note that Christ Jesus referred to God solely as the Father and never as the mother; the scripture is a source of truth and we should be careful to abide by its teachings. I do not believe that this would be beneficial to the spread and unification of Christianity, because it would be difficult to convince Romans that women should hold that kind of power within the Church if they do not hold that power in the secular sphere. Though Mary Magdalene was a true Christian and devoted follower of Christ, she was an exception to the pattern. Of the twelve disciples, all were male. If Christ appointed males into positions of power and responsibility over women, then should we not continue this tradition (one that is coincidentally and conveniently similar to the secular construction of Roman society)?
May the Lord’s eternal grace and peace be with you and may He bless our mission to consecrate the truth and worship Him faithfully and correctly.