OCA Bishops: Synodal Affirmation of the Mystery of Marriage

Orthodox Church in Americaby OCA Holy Synod –
At the Tenth All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, held in Miami, Florida in July 1992, the Holy Synod of Bishops issued a document titled, “Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life.” The Affirmations were issued after a lengthy process of study and discernment with the intention of addressing issues that, even in our time, continue to be a source of debate and division within American society.

The first section of the Affirmations, titled, “The Mystery of Marriage,” reads as follows.

“God creates human beings in His own image and likeness, male and female. He declares human life, with all that He makes, to be ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:27-31).

“God wills that men and women marry, becoming husbands and wives. He commands them to increase and multiply in the procreation of children, being joined into ‘one flesh’ by His divine grace and love. He wills that human beings live within families (Genesis 1:27; 2:21-24; Orthodox Marriage Service). [Read more...]

St. John Chrysostom on the Terrible Passion of Homosexuality

St. John Chrysostom virtue of faithby Fr. Sarantis Sarantou -

“Because of this did God give them up to dishonorable passions, for even their females did change their natural function into that which is against nature; and in like manner also the males having left the natural use of the female, did burn in their longing toward one another….” (Romans 1:26-27)

The Apostle Paul, according to the Holy Fathers, is the holy mouth of Christ, and divine Chrysostom is the mouth of the Apostle Paul. Commenting on the very important Epistle to the Romans of the holy Apostle Paul, the divine Father gives a divinely inspired analysis of homosexuality, among other issues.

All the passions are degrading to humanity, but especially the mania of men for men. He summarily characterizes homosexuality as an unforgivable passion, not because it really is, but because the entire male personality becomes so distorted that there is a chronic allegiance to this abomination, which is a difficult passion to restrain by the fallen.

The golden words of Chrysostom are remarkably balanced. His unshakable logic, which he uses to spiritually support his flock, is universally acknowledged to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. [Read more...]

Children Need Our Marriage Tradition

Children Need Traditional Marriageby John M. Smoot -
In the United States, we were fortunate to inherit a marriage tradition of monogamy with a strong stigma against divorce. Did it work for everyone? No. Did it work for our society as a whole? Yes. Was it beneficial for most children? Yes.

Then the sexual revolution happened. As Yale Professor George Chauncey writes in his article “Gay at Yale: How Things Changed”:

All around them, lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men saw their heterosexual friends decisively rejecting the moral codes of their parents’ generation, which had limited sex to marriage, and forging a new moral code that linked sex to love, pleasure, freedom, self-expression, and common consent. Heterosexuals, in other words, were becoming more like homosexuals, in ways that ultimately would make it harder for them to believe gay people were outsiders from a dangerous, immoral underworld. [Read more...]

Cultivating Faith in Children

Faith Children Orthodox Christianby Evgeny Poselyanin -
There are children who have strong faith despite their parents’ disbelief in, even hostility towards religion. The beauty and order of the universe awakens faith in them, as it did in Great Martyr Barbara.

The writer and New Martyr Evgeny Poselyanin (his real surname was Pogozhin, 1870–1931) reflects upon the teaching of faith to children in his book, Faith, and the Path to Faith.

Such a mind [as Great Martyr Barbaras’] arrives on its own at an inevitable faith in the Creator and Caring Provider of all that exists.

Then, a person with a lively and deep mind and a nature distinguished by a sense of justice finds it necessary to investigate those strange attacks on religion, of which he has become a witness. He strives to make sense of it all. And it could be said that other people, who would have remained indifferent to nature in times when religion is not persecuted, turn to it with all their souls during times of persecution.

However, the path that I have just mentioned is the path of direct faith, and it is the path of a few chosen souls. [Read more...]

The Soul Abstracted from Life

Public School Indoctrination Brainwashingby Daren Jonescu -
Modern civilization willingly consigns almost all of its children to the living hell of forced retardation. Everyone knows the educational establishment is beset with problems, corruptions, and the downward ratchet of lowest common denominator standards. And yet parents continue to send their children to government schools, hoping, perhaps even half-believing, that this will not significantly harm the children’s adult lives. They are dead wrong. What follows is an anatomical diagram of mankind’s greatest shame.

The primary purpose of all government-controlled education — regardless of how this is expressed by particular defenders of the enterprise — is to produce the kind of citizens the government sees as best suited to its established form of governance. By “the government,” I mean those people and factions within the political infrastructure who are in a position to determine the long-term structure and interests of the community as a whole. [Read more...]

True and False Spirituality: How to Deal With Fair-weather Friends

Job and Dealing With Fair-weather Friendsby Deacon Keith Fournier -
One of the most profound of biblical characters is the man named Job. The book which bears his name is rich with insights about real life. It is profound, disturbing, and yet incredibly helpful precisely because it reveals something of importance. Things aren’t always the way they seem – or feel.

Yet, – in the words of the Psalmist David – God “never sleeps not slumbers”. (Psalm 121:4)

This is a troubling and difficult time for many people. Over and over again, I hear the sad stories of financial setback as the U.S. economy struggles. People are watching their retirement funds, their homes and their savings, seem to vanish. When we look around us it seems our culture is in collapse as it rejects the moral foundations of a free society. [Read more...]

The Secret Sloth of Busy, Active People

Secret Sloth of Busy, Active Peopleby Dave White -
Slothful people, to many people’s surprise, are often active, busy, and hard-working people who have given their lives to trivial matters, not transcendent ones. They have immersed their lives with empty pleasures. Slothful people regularly find themselves bored and struggle to compensate by filling their time with self-centered diversions. It’s not that their lives are filled with motion, energy, and bustling about; it’s that their lives are slothful regarding the things that really matter!

Slothful People Embrace Escapism
Sloth is not mere laziness. It’s not a couch potato. Sloth is escapism of the deadly sort—including drug users, TiVo addicts, and obsessive video gamers. Yet escapism also includes most workaholics! Sloth saps our time and emotions through positive activities like clubs, hobbies, and sports—while leaving scant energy for our marriages or kids or preeminent duties. [Read more...]

The Church’s Fading Influence on American Culture

Silencing Christians Persecuting the Church in Americaby Simon de Hundehutte -
It seems people have misunderstood, as well as misrepresented, the church’s role and influence in “secular society.” The early Christians lived in the secular society of Rome, but by heralding the good news of salvation, what some might call “thumping,” their words along with their deeds changed all of society of their day. In present-day America, however, secularists have taken over and changed the rules of the debate on so many key cultural issues.

Religion, or more accurately, the Christian way of life, is being shoved out of not only politics but the American culture. We believers are being forced to accept things anathema to our way of thinking and living — accept them or be labeled “haters” or, more recently, “thumpers.”

Every Christian is keenly aware of the Great Commission, where Jesus commanded, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19). Christians in the earliest days of the Church did not keep silent about their faith, bringing it with them (and many times at great cost) into the public arena. [Read more...]

The Madness of Liberal Moralizing

Plan B Girls Children Drugs Madness of Liberal Moralizingby Heather Mac Donald -
The paradoxes of liberal morality were on glaring display last week. The Obama administration OK’d the sale of “Plan B” post-coital emergency contraception over the counter without prescription (or parental consent) to girls as young as 15. At the same time, the City Council moved a step closer to banning anyone under the age of 21 from buying cigarettes (the legal age is now 18).

Apparently, a 15-year-old is a fully mature adult (a “woman,” in nauseating feminist parlance) when it comes to deciding to have sex. But a 20-year-old, in the City Council’s eyes (or a 17-year-old, under current law), can’t be trusted to make her own informed decisions on smoking and must be restrained by the government.

The Plan B decision was still too restrictive for some abortion-rights and feminist groups. The New York Times, on cue, denounced the administration’s “stubbornness” in setting any age restrictions on Plan B. [Read more...]

Homosexual Tyranny: The Gay Takeover of America

Homosexual Tyranny Gay Takeover of Americaby Crystal Wright -
What is happening to our country? Gays, who represent less than 3% of our population, are trying to dominate our culture and society. Love whom you want. Love the one you’re with. People don’t really care. This is the message most people want to say but are afraid to because the LBGT (lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender) community will verbally flog anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Between gay marriage, gay adoptions, forcing the Boy Scouts to admit gay scouts and scout masters, and lauding a rich NBA player for announcing he’s gay, the message is clear from gay America to the 97% of the rest of us. You will accept our lifestyle as mainstream. My response: “No I won’t.”

Notice when anyone rejects this gay agenda based on religious beliefs or personal views, they are called bigots or mocked. Appearing on Meet the Press May 5, 2013, Republican Newt Gingrich noted the Catholic Church is prohibited from performing adoption services in states like Massachusetts and the District of Columbia because the Church will only allow a married couple (by definition a man and woman) to adopt a baby. This is a perversion of societal norms all in the name of liberals forcing their political correctness down America’s throat whether her people have an opinion about it or not. [Read more...]

God Recognized and Honored at Texas Graduation

Fr. Seraphim Holland - Orthodox priestby Fr. Seraphim Holland -

Proof that I live in Texas and not Massachusetts:
1. My daughter’s nursing graduation ceremonies began and ended with prayer.
2. Most autobiographies (probably 60 out of 70) thanked God.
3. They recited the Florence Nightingale Pledge at the end.

“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.” [Read more...]

The Great Surrender

Nation of Sheep Begets a Government of Wolvesby Daren Jonescu -
Those who have been forcibly divested of their natural liberty by tyrants must be pitied. They have been coerced into accepting lies of security and state beneficence as paltry compensation for the loss of their birthright of a life worthy of human beings. And yet such wretchedness of external conditions, though destroying a man’s practical life, does not destroy the man. More wretched than this is the spiritual self-destruction of one who would freely sell himself into tyranny in exchange for that very same subhuman compensation.

Western politics has fallen under the domination of progressive authoritarianism. The press, once perceived as a safeguard against government corruption and overreach, has become an almost monolithic mouthpiece and apologist for oppression. Art, long modernity’s bastion of moral questioning and humane doubt in the face of materialist reductionism, has finally reduced itself to dogmatic nihilism, collectivist amorality, and court jesterism in the service of power. [Read more...]

It’s a Great Day in America

Duck Dynasty Conservative Values Pro Gun Pro Familyby Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh -
“It’s a great day in America.” The atheist left is rejoicing that an NBA player is out of the closet and Tim Tebow, “the often-polarizing quarterback,” as the Washington Post describes him, is gone. Sport analysts and other NFL teams did not think he was good enough as a pro quarterback but he was a very popular player. His overt Christianity was offensive and annoying to the liberal PC police.

We are living in the “Great Diversion” era, one unresolved real or manufactured crisis after another and a disastrous economy, yet an NBA player’s sexual orientation, which should be nobody’s business, demands accolades and public speeches.

The word “courage,” which MSM uses loosely to describe such public disclosure, has lost its meaning entirely. Courage is fighting in battle when everyone else retreats, saving another human being from peril when the rest are cowards, and sacrificing heroically and bravely to the betterment of mankind.

No wonder people are turning away from the ugly and terrible reality to the “pane et circenses” (bread and circuses) reality TV, not just any reality TV, but Duck Dynasty. [Read more...]

The Search For Meaning

The Search For Meaning in Lifeby Dan Doyle -
Suffering comes into every life. Often it is so terrible we wonder how we can ever survive it. We can’t imagine the there could be any meaning in it. One of the most important books I’ve ever read is Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” In it he tells of his experiences as an inmate in several of the Nazi death camps during WWII. Frankl was one of the lucky ones, he survived. He was liberated at the end of the war from Auchwitz as the only survivor of his family. Out of his pain and loss, out of the hell of it all, he came away with a deeper faith in God and, ironically, in humanity. We are the lucky ones, then, who can read this small book and be edified by the powerful meaning he discovered in and through his own suffering.

When we suffer, nothing makes sense to us. We are overwhelmed with a feeling that the world is cold, indifferent to our suffering, that we are utterly alone in it and imprisoned by it. How could there be any meaning in it at all? This is the central question of Viktor Frankl’s book. The core responsibility of our individual human lives is to find meaning and purpose, not just in fame, or wealth, but in transcendent ways, through faith, hope and, most importantly through love. [Read more...]

The Price of Gay Marriage: The Galvanic Corrosion of Language

Defend Marriage Religionby Geoffrey P. Hunt -
When was that watershed moment where advocacy of gay marriage crossed into the mainstream from the radical chic of the intellectual elite ? Gay marriage, quite apart from homosexuality per se, has only in recent years been embraced by more than just a few libertarian sophisticates. Ironically it wasn’t too long ago when the progressive darlings and the beautiful people believed, to the contrary, that marriage of any kind was oppressive, a form of institutional bondage.

One of the more incomprehensible aspects of the gay marriage movement has been the spectacle of well-educated academics, plaintiff’s lawyers, politicians, judges and Protestant clergymen designing tortured arguments for deconstructing natural law, human biology, the history of civilization, language and logic. On the other hand, creating a new class of civil rights amidst claims of discrimination is easy when your world view equates justice with moral equivalence, accompanied by enabling the slow corruption of language. [Read more...]