The “Smoking Gun” of Non-Chalcedonian Christianity

by Fr. Alexander Webster

The “smoking gun” regarding the non-Chalcedonians is their adamant refusal TODAY to accept the rejection of the “monothelete” heresy by the Sixth Ecumenical Council in AD 681. To his dying day, Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Orthodox Church and other hierarchs and theologians among the non-Chalcedonians still alive insist that the Incarnate Son of God possessed only a divine will (“monotheletism” from the Greek words for “one” and “will”) instead of a divine will and human will in accordance with His divine and human natures. The doctrinal deviancy and spiritual danger of monotheletism is to reduce the humanity of Jesus Christ to a partial nature with no human will as an energetic manifestation of that nature.

From a more practical perspective, monotheletism empties the Lord’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross of any significance in the economy of salvation–as if the Lord were merely going through the motions or play-acting.

Holy Orthodoxy embraces fully the teachings of all Seven Ecumenical Councils. An ecclesial entity cannot affirm only five or even six of the seven without embracing heresy and departing from the Church.

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About Fr. John A. Peck

Director of the Preachers Institute, priest in the Orthodox Church in America, award-winning graphic designer and media consultant, and non-profit administrator.
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