Do We Need The Church Fathers?
The Church Fathers; Flawed & Perfect
We quote them regularly, read their stories (and sometimes exaggerate their stories!) daily and commemorate them as heroes. But what happens when our heroes are revealed to be flawed? What happens when you scramble through history books and read about your champion of the faith lost his temper, expressed sexist ideals, or even worse, misinterpreted a key verse in the bible?
The church fathers are quite obviously a large part of Orthodox tradition. But this reverence we have for our ancient heroes is a double edged sword, as we start running into problems when we read stories of our heroes falling short, arguing amongst each other or even interpreting the faith inconsistently with one another. This is when we need to understand who they are, and remember that even though the Spirit guides them they are still human. This Spirit that worked in saint Athanasius is working in you and I- the very same Spirit. They just learned to work with the Holy Spirit. I won’t ramble much because you really have to walk a fine line when discussing this topic- and my own thoughts on this have changed and are changing over time. That being said, do we really need the fathers?