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Individual

The reality of theosis not only bears witness to the love of God, who wishes to share God-self with us, but also expresses a very positive view of the human person. Church of the East believes that each person has an intrinsic value and importance in virtue of his or her unique relationship to God. The spirit person is never seen as being totally fallen beyond a state of repair. The "image of God" which can be distorted by sin, can never be eradicated. Through the life of the Church, there is always the opportunity for fulfillment. When the Sacraments are administered, they are always offered to the individual by name. This action not only reminds us of the dignity of each person but also emphasizes the responsibility each person has for his or her relationship to God.

While Eastern Christianity recognises the value of the person, it does not believe that we are meant to be isolated or self-sufficient. Each person is called to be an important member of the Church. The process of theosis takes place within the context of community.

To be united with God in the midst of the Church does not mean that our unique personalities are destroyed. We are not engulfed by an impersonal force or power. As with all love which is true and valuable, God's love for each of us respects our personhood. God's love is not one which destroys. God's love is one which reveals, elevates, and perfects our true selves. By entering into the life of God, we become the persons we are meant to be. Church of the East, following ancient Tradition (since her faith was expressed by the priest-king Melchizedek and the father of Judaism Abraham, and Yesu's teaching in Indo-Persia), advocates the individuality of persons in their search for God and in working out their individual spirituality, whilst partaking in the worship and communal life of the church.

Church of the East represents and expresses the rich spiritual treasures of Eastern Christianity. It should not be forgotten that the Gospel of Christ was first preached, and the first Christian communities were established, in the Eastern communities. From here, starting during Yesu' time on earth the Gospel message spread from Persia, India, China and the East Indian Islands through the Mediterranean to Africa and Europe.

The spirit of the Yesu movement which was nurtured in the East had a particular flavour. Initially it was distinct, though not necessarily opposed, to that which developed in the Western Church of the Roman Empire's Constantinople and Rome. While Christianity in the West developed in lands which knew the legal and moral philosophy of Ancient Rome and adhered to the rational philosophy of Aristotle, Eastern Christianity developed in lands which knew the Semitic and Arian cultures and the mystic philosophy of Plato, Lao Tzu and the Bhagavad Gita - and the Greek and Aramaic languages of Yesu and His earliest followers - and of those who first recorded His messages.

It was not until the 5th century when it became clear that a split between the theology of the East and West was about to keep the worlds apart. In the middle of the sixth century a western Council broke with ancient Yesu tradition and declared Yesu to be whole and nothing less than the Ultimate One, the Creator God of all. Doctrines strange to the eastern understanding came to be and served to drive the wedge between the two worlds even farther apart. Devotees of the East can never reconcile themselves with the late invention of the doctrines of Mary being the mother of God, reincarnation suddenly being declared heretical after 600 years of it being an inherent Wayist Christian teaching, and that The ONE CREATOR, God the Mother and Father of ALL came to live on earth for a while.

A difference of major proportions, one that marks the divide in the spirituality of the Eastern and Western traditions is this: While the West is concerned with the Passion of Christ and the sin of humankind, the East emphasizes the Life of Christ and the deification of humankind. While the West leans toward a legalistic view of religion, the East enshrines mystical theology.