Orthodox Priests Challenge Met. Kallistos Ware’s Views of Monogamous Homosexual Relationships

Orthodox Priests Challenge Met. Kallistos Ware Views of Monogamous Homosexual RelationshipsFollowing the release of Bishop Kallistos Ware’s scandalous Foreword in the latest issue of The Wheel journal and the critical summary published by the OrthodoxNet Blog, several Orthodox priests and an Orthodox professor have also written articles that challenge Met. Ware’s misleading questions, manipulative arguments, and theologically unsound opinions.

Anatomy of a Foreword: Metr. Kallistos on Sexual Morality
by Fr. John Cox

Met. Kallistos Clearly Implies that the Church Should Bless Committed Same-Sex Relationships
by Fr. Juvenaly Repass

Metropolitan Kallistos and The Wheel
by Fr. Lawrence Farley [Read more…]

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Orthodox Liturgy Heals and Properly Orders the Human Soul

Orthodox Liturgy Heals and Properly Orders the Human Soulby Fr. Johannes Jacobse –
People say that the Liturgy is the Kingdom of God entering time and while this definition works I suppose, I have never really understood what it really means. Yes, I understand it abstractly, but abstraction has only a limited usefulness. So I’ve come up with another.

Worship is necessary because it creates the place where the soul can experience a measure of the necessary reordering that fosters healing. The soul has structure, and the healing of the soul, which is also the healing of the person, is one of the concrete, experiential constituents of salvation. Salvation is not metaphorical. It is real which means that it is experiential and affects concrete change and transformation measured as the healing of the person. [Read more…]

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Heretics Also Appeal to Scripture to Deceive Believers

Heretics Appeal to Scripture Also - St. Vincent of Lerinsby St. Vincent of Lerins –

Here, possibly, some one may ask, Do heretics also appeal to Scripture? They do indeed, and with a vengeance; for you may see them scamper through every single book of Holy Scripture – through the books of Moses, the books of Kings, the Psalms, the Epistles, the Gospels, the Prophets.

Whether among their own people, or among strangers, in private or in public, in speaking or in writing, at convivial meetings, or in the streets, hardly ever do they bring forward anything of their own which they do not endeavor to shelter under words of Scripture.

Read the works of Paul of Samosata, of Priscillian, of Eunomius, of Jovinian, and the rest of those pests, and you will see an infinite heap of instances, hardly a single page, which does not bristle with plausible quotations from the New Testament or the Old.

But the more secretly they conceal themselves under shelter of the Divine Law, so much the more are they to be feared and guarded against. For they know that the evil stench of their doctrine will hardly find acceptance with any one if it be exhaled pure and simple. They sprinkle it over, therefore, with the perfume of heavenly language, in order that one who would be ready to despise human error, may hesitate to condemn divine words. [Read more…]

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Met. Kallistos Clearly Implies that the Church Should Bless Committed Same-Sex Relationships

Fr Juvenaly Repassby Fr. Juvenaly Repass –

In his Foreword to The Wheel magazine Met. Kallistos Ware doesn’t just say “let’s learn more about this problem,” he questions whether Church teaching is right. He asks whether it is right for us (the Church) to impose on persons of same-sex orientation, the “heavy burden” of not being able to marry. The very clear implication is that they should be able to marry (in Church)!

Or perhaps he means that they should be able to have some sort of church blessing other than marriage – but in the Orthodox Church, marriage is the only context in which sexual union is blessed; apart from marriage, it is deemed sinful, and how can what is sinful be blessed?

It is shameful that a hierarch would hold these views, and worse still (if that’s possible) that a hierarch would mislead others by disseminating these opinions. Met. Kallistos has stepped over a line, and he should be disciplined. [Read more…]

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Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian – An Orthodox Explanation

St. Ephrem the Syrian Lenten Prayer Orthodox by St. Luke, Archbishop of Crimea –
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

The prayer of St. Ephrem (St. Ephraim) the Syrian occupies a special place in the services of the holy Church. It is repeated many times during the services of Great Lent.

This prayer penetrates the heart like none other, mysteriously acts upon it, and you feel a special, exceptional divine power in it. Why is that so? Because it was poured from a heart that was perfectly purified and holy, and from a mind that was enlightened by divine grace and had become a participant in the mind of Christ. [Read more…]

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Christians Must Witness Their Faith, Speak Up, and Resist Evil

St. Paisios the Athonite by St. Paisios the Athonite –
If Christians don’t begin to witness their faith, to resist evil, then the destroyers will become even more insolent. But today’s Christians are no warriors. If the Church keeps silent, to avoid conflict with the government, if the metropolitans are silent, if the monks hold their peace, then who will speak up?

The spirit of lukewarmness reigns. There’s no manliness at all! We’ve been spoiled for good! How does God still tolerate us? Today’s generation is the generation of indifference. There are no warriors The majority are fit only for parades.

Godlessness and blasphemy are allowed to appear on television. And the Church is silent and doesn’t excommunicate the blasphemers. And they need to be excommunicated. What are they waiting for? Let’s not wait for someone else to pull the snake out from its hole so that we can live in peace.

They’re silent out of indifference. What’s bad is that even people who’ve got something inside have begun to grow cool, saying: “Can I really do anything to change the situation?” We have to witness our faith with boldness, because if we continue to be silent we’ll have to answer in the end. [Read more…]

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On the Character of Men and on the Virtuous Life: 170 Texts (Philokalia, Vol 1)

St. Anthony the Great Character of Men and the Virtuous Lifeby St. Anthony the Great –

1. Men are often called intelligent wrongly. Intelligent men are not those who are erudite in the sayings and books of the wise men of old, but those who have an intelligent soul and can discriminate between good and evil. They avoid what is sinful and harms the soul; and with deep gratitude to God they resolutely adhere by dint of practice to what is good and benefits the soul. These men alone should truly be called intelligent.

2. The truly intelligent man pursues one sole objective: to obey and to conform to the God of all. With this single aim in view, he disciplines his soul, and whatever he may encounter in the course of his life, he gives thanks to God for the compass and depth of His providential ordering of all things. For it is absurd to be grateful to doctors who give us bitter and unpleasant medicines to cure our bodies, and yet to be ungrateful to God for what appears to us to be harsh, not grasping that all we encounter is for our benefit and in accordance with His providence. For knowledge of God and faith in Him is the salvation and perfection of the soul. [Read more…]

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Let There Be Light: God, Not Random Forces, Created Our Universe

Let There Be Light: God, Not Random Forces, Created Our Universeby Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon –
The opening chapter of Genesis has long been a favorite of Christians, and ancient commentators discovered in its lines profound levels of meaning.

In more recent times, on the other hand, some readers of Genesis, distracted by apologetic concerns alien to the deeper interests of the Sacred Text, have failed to discover those depths. For example, even from boyhood I recall that some of my teachers were preoccupied with the length of the six “days” of Creation. Was it really necessary, they asked, to think of those “days” in the sense of having twenty-four hours? Might they not, instead, represent long periods of Natural History?

No, this is certainly not what the biblical author has in mind. The problem with such questions is that they distract the mind from the deeper message of the Sacred Text. [Read more…]

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Unhinged Hatred: Frank Schaeffer Curses Donald Trump and His Family

Unhinged Hatred: Frank Schaeffer Curses Donald Trump and His FamilyInfamous progressive leftist Frank Schaeffer, who describes himself as “an atheist who believes in God” has reached a new low in his descent towards insanity and spiritual darkness. In a video posted on facebook on September 5, 2017, Frank snarls: “G-d damn you Donald Trump” and proceeds to curse President Trump. Calling for a “day of prayer” to also “curse your nepotistic horrible grifter unloving hard-hearted callous family,” Frank then ends by wishing that Trump will “live to see” his family “torn apart.”

Frank is infamous for his many outrageous and hate-filled rants on his facebook wall, directed at Christian conservatives, President Donald Trump, and other Orthodox Christians who defend the traditional theology and moral teaching of the Orthodox Church. Frank claims that he is a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, despite contradicting and attacking the Church teaching on abortion, homosexuality, marriage, transgenderism, and other matters of faith and morality. [Read more…]

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Nashville Statement Affirms Traditional Christian Principles on Marriage and Sexuality

Nashville Statement: Affirming Traditional Christian Principles on Marriage and Sexuality Here’s a worthy, true, and clear statement that all Orthodox Churches and hierarchs in America should support.

A coalition of conservative evangelical leaders across America issued a public declaration titled the Nashville Statement that affirms universal and traditional Christian principles on marriage and human sexuality. It is a response to an increasingly post-Christian, Western culture where many homosexual advocacy groups aggressively attack and purposely distort the moral teaching of Christianity.

“The spirit of our age does not delight in God’s good design of male and female. Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity. … The aim of The Nashville Statement is to shine a light into the darkness — to declare the goodness of God’s design in our sexuality and in creating us as male and female.” ~ Denny Burk (President, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) [Read more…]

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Spiritual Blindness: Inability to Discern Good from Evil, Truth from Lies

Patriarch Kirill Spiritual Blindness: Inability to Discern Good from Evil, Truth from Liesby Patriarch Kirill of Russia –
What is spiritual blindness? It is people’s inability to see into the essence of what is happening around them. It is the inability to see good and evil, to discern truth from lies.

The spiritually blind person is like a vessel in the ocean without a navigator. If the captain has no idea where the vessel is located, where it is going, where the reefs are and where the calm waters are, where it is shallow and where it is sufficiently deep, then such a vessel will most likely shipwreck. It is the same in our lives—if a person has no spiritual vision he is taking a great risk. He can choose the wrong way of life, the wrong path in life. He can join his fate with a person in whom he did not see, did not discern evil from good or good from evil. [Read more…]

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The Abnormal Cannot Dictate What’s Normal

The Abnormal Cannot Dictate What is Normalby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Those who are darkened by spiritual corruption or sexual depravity cannot be trusted to lecture others about what’s normal or demand that the normal embrace abnormality.

Those who are confused about their own sexuality or reject traditional Christian moral principles are incapable of giving advice on normal human relationships or family life inside or outside the Orthodox Church.

Those who believe or teach that sodomy is either “normal” or not sinful have separated themselves from the true teaching of the Orthodox Church and go against the laws of nature. [Read more…]

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Fr. Thomas Hopko: Homosexual Advocates Should be Denied Communion in the Orthodox Church

Homosexual Advocates Should be Denied Communion in the Orthodox Churchby Fr. Thomas Hopko –
For this reason, those who publicly affirm and promote homosexual behavior (like those who publicly advocate abortion) cannot be sacramental communicants in the Orthodox Church.

When Church leaders rightly remove persons from sacramental communion, they must understand their action as therapeutic and not punitive.

From Chapter 23 – Same-Sex Attraction and Sacraments in
Christian Faith and Same Sex Attraction: Eastern Orthodox Reflections book by Fr. Thomas Hopko

  • In Orthodoxy, communicants in the sacramental mysteries are not only obliged to be steadfast in the Christian faith and perpetually repentant over their failures, they are also obliged to take full responsibility for the Church’s teachings and practices, and to be ready, to defend them unto death. [Read more…]
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Gay Iconoclasm: Holding the Line Against the Radical LGBT Agenda

Gay Iconoclasm: Holding the Line Against the Radical LGBT Agendaby Fr. Josiah Trenham –
So here is the essence of the conflict, my friends. It is the LGBT versus the JCIB: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Gay propaganda throws such classical wisdom to the wind without a thought nor a reference, as though it never existed, as though these religious traditions do not possess the hearts of the great majority of the world’s populations. They want civilizations to reorient themselves, overthrowing millennia of wisdom, to embrace the legitimization of sodomy and to crown it with the august dignity of the title marriage. Such a cultural redefinition of marriage is suicidal.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Your All-Holiness Catholicos and Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II: Evlogēson, Despota. I ask your blessing. Highly esteemed and deeply respected brothers, Levan and Alan and Larry, such a joy to be here in Georgia, and I’m so deeply grateful to have this invitation to speak.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, as my father and his father before him. Los Angeles is the birthplace of the LGBT revolution. Los Angeles is the international center for homosexual propaganda and activism, the leading producer of its literature, the primary source of its media, the location of its religious iteration in the so-called “gay church,” and the center of its financial base in Hollywood. [Read more…]

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Moral Lives, Repentance, and Confession Before Holy Communion

Moral Lives, Repentance, and Confession Before Holy Communion Orthodox Churchby Fr. Paul Gassios –
Many times you have to say to your kids “no, you can’t do that” even if it means your child getting angry at you; they might even say they hate you when you need to enforce an admonition with some type of consequence when they defy it.

In a similar fashion our Orthodox Church teaches certain things that at times are not popular concerning the lifestyles we are to live. There are times we as priests and laity need to say to ourselves and others “no we can’t do that” and if we do; there is a consequence we face if we choose to ignore what the Church teaches. I have already stated when it comes to matters of faith such as the Nicene Creed, that if we don’t accept the tenets of the Creed and outright reject the confession of faith found in it, one should not come to communion until they change their thinking and can say “Amen!” to what the Creed professes to be true.

In the moral area, if someone commits certain sins such as murder or adultery, our Church canons (or rules) call for a certain number of years where one cannot go to communion and must do acts of penance (i.e. actions to show you are sorry for what you did) before someone can be restored to communion. [Read more…]

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