Jesus Christ and the Social Problem

Jesus Christ and the Social Problem by Archimandrite Georgios Kapsanis –
The more that people are cleansed of the passions, the greater their capacity for real communion with God and other people.

Those who take a romantic and external view of the human person transfer wickedness from the person onto society, which is why they proclaim that any improvement in society will bring with it an improvement in people. But, without denying the importance of social effects on people, we Orthodox prioritize the transformation of the person through repentance and divine grace.

It’s a grave error to want to change society without first striving to change ourselves. It is, at the very least, naive to believe that a change in a few social institutions will also bring about a change in people even if they don’t repent. [Read more…]

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Satan Attacks Purity First to Lead Us Away from God

Satan Attacks Purity First to Lead Us Away from Godby Peter Howard –
That’s why Satan attacks purity first because then we can’t see God (“Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God”). Lack of purity (moral impurity) results in loss of holiness and that lack of holiness leads to division in relationships, which results in lack of communion of life, which results in not transmitting life and love.

That’s the oversimplified, but nonetheless true, breakdown how impurity leads from a culture of life and love to a culture of death and self-centered immorality.

And the world — and many in the Church — have rejected the call to purity, embraced immorality and abandoned God, calling this insanity “freedom.” [Read more…]

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How to Know When God is Calling – Tuning in to the Call of God

How to Know When God is Calling - Tuning in to the Call of Godby Regis Nicoll –
“When God calls you to do something,” the speaker cautioned, “your only response is, yes.” I saw a number of heads nodding in agreement, but I sensed a question stirring in the heads of others: “But how do I know when God is calling?”

It’s an important question. In fact, there is no question more important for Christians. For how can we follow Christ, if we can’t tell his call from that of the culture or of those darker angels that would lead us into temptation or prod us to another have-to, got-to, need-to duty that seems good and feels good—and maybe, is good—but is not God sent? [Read more…]

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Parable of the Wheat and the Tares – Why Priests Must Vigilantly Keep Watch

Parable of the Wheat and the Tares - Why Priests Must Vigilantly Keep Watchby Archpriest Victor Potapov –
The devil sows tares, says the Lord, while men sleep. In other words, the devil sows his tares secretly, unnoticeably, when the guards appointed to look after the field, that is, the pastors of the Church, keep watch inadequately, and when the faithful themselves live carelessly as well and listen too credulously to impostors and false teachers.

In the parable of the sower and the seed, the discourse was about how men accept the word of God in different ways, and how this word affects men in different ways. In the next parable ­ that of the wheat and the tares ­ Christ speaks of the fourth portion of seed, which had fallen on good ground, and how the enemy of man’s salvation does everything possible in order to ruin that which grows in this good ground.

The parable of the wheat and the tares is extremely topical for our days, when people raise the question of the origin of evil in the world and are perplexed over the temptations, schisms and fallings away which they encounter in the Church Herself. [Read more…]

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The 2018 Resolution on Same-Sex Relationships the OCA Bishops Rejected

OCA synod of bishops As publicly confirmed by a senior OCA priest and privately confirmed by other OCA priests, at the Nineteenth All-American Council in July 2018, a Resolution aimed at asking the bishops to correct errant clergy and lay persons who promote false teaching on same-sex relationships was rejected by the OCA Synod of Bishops and not permitted to be voted on by the assembly. Concerned that publications such as The Wheel were perceived to be given a tacit blessing by the hierarchy, senior priests urged the bishops, through the resolution, to send an unambiguous message that false teaching will not be tolerated.

The OCA Synod rejected the resolution citing that it was not appropriate for the All-American Council to “give direction” to the Synod. The OCA bishops also did not provide any feedback to revise or edit the priests’ statement to make it more acceptable to them. [Read more…]

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No Scriptural Approval, Acceptance, or Tolerance of Homosexuality

Bishop Alexander Mileant - no example in all of the New Testament of approval, acceptance, or even tolerance of homosexualityby Bishop Alexander (Mileant) –
There is no example in all of the New Testament of approval, acceptance, or even tolerance of homosexuality.

Homosexuality: Although there is much more open discussion about homosexuality in the twentieth century than in previous times, there is definite reference to it in ancient writings. The frequently used synonym, sodomy, comes from the apparent homosexual activity among men of Sodom (Genesis 19), and the severity of strictures set forth in the Holiness Code, with nothing short of the death penalty being imposed, suggested that the need for discipline must have been great, (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). The Old Testament understood normal sexual intercourse as not only a way of expressing a loving relationship, but also as a divinely appointed way of procreating new life.

In the New Testament, St. Paul condemns male prostitutes and homosexuals (I Corinthians 6:9-11). In the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans (Romans 1:24-32), he also judges it as unnatural. [Read more…]

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Orthodox Worldview: Orthodox Christianity Not Limited to Church Building

Orthodox Worldview: Orthodox Christianity Not Limited to Church Buildingby Fr. Seraphim Rose –
There exists a false opinion, which unfortunately is all to widespread today, that it is enough to have an Orthodoxy that is limited to the church building and formal “Orthodox” activities, such as praying at certain times or making the sign of the Cross; in everything else, so this opinion goes, one can be like anyone else, participating in the life and culture of our times without any problem, as long as we don’t commit sin.

Anyone who has come to realize how deep Orthodoxy is, and how full is the commitment which is required of the serious Orthodox Christian, and likewise what totalitarian demands the contemporary world makes on us, will easily see how wrong this opinion is.

One is Orthodox all the time every day, in every situation of life, or one is not really Orthodox at all. Our Orthodoxy is revealed not just in our strictly religious views, but in everything we do and say. Most of us are very unaware of the Christian, religious responsibility we have for the seemingly secular part of our lives. [Read more…]

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Rebuke and Publicly Denounce Blasphemers

Rebuke and Publicly Denounce Blasphemers - St Nicholas Slaps Arius Iconby St. John Chrysostom –
But since our discourse has now turned to the subject of blasphemy, I desire to ask one favor of you all, in return for this my address, and speaking with you; which is, that you will correct on my behalf the blasphemers of this city. And should you hear any one in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so.

Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow, and if any should accuse you, and drag you to the place of justice, follow them there; and when the judge on the bench calls you to account, say boldly that the man blasphemed the King of angels!

For if it be necessary to punish those who blaspheme an earthly king, much more so those who insult God. [Read more…]

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Repentance is a Change, Not a Simple Regret

Repentance is a Change, Not a Simple Regret - Patriarch Daniel of Romania by Aurelian Iftimiu (on Patriarch Daniel of Romania) –
‘Repentance is an effort for inner change, not a simple regret,’ His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel [of Romania] said in his Sunday homily at St Gregory the Enlightener Chapel of his Patriarchal Residence.

His Beatitude noted that repentance does not simply imply saying ‘I’m sorry’ and moving on, ‘it is an effort to change the way of thinking, of speaking and of acting.’

In this regard, the Patriarch recalled that many saints ‘were originally thieves and criminals, but through repentance they changed themselves and became wonderworking Saints.’ ‘Some of them used to be decadent, as Mother Mary of Egypt who through much repentance became a Saint. When praying she rose from the ground because she was more related to heaven than to earth,’ Patriarch Daniel said Jan. 13.[Read more…]

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Bishop Thomas Tobin: LGBTQ “Pride Month” is Especially Harmful for Children

Bishop Thomas Tobin: LGBTQ Pride Month is Especially Harmful for Childrenby Jennifer Davis –
A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children. ~ Bishop Thomas Tobin

On June 1 Catholic bishop Thomas Tobin issued this cautionary and reasonable reminder to Christian parents via his Twitter account. Given the often depraved, blasphemous, and pornographic nature of nearly all LGBTQ Pride parades, this advice is appropriate and helpful. Perversion is nothing to be proud about. Children should never be exposed to the sickening and sexually depraved displays frequently accompanying these “Pride” parades.

Sadly I have never seen or heard a single Orthodox Christian bishop in America issue a similar public warning or reminder to Orthodox Christian families, ever. [Read more…]

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Not Gay or Homosexual, but Men and Women Created in the Image and Likeness of God

Not Gay or Homosexual, but Men and Women Created in the Image and Likeness of Godby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Open Letter to all men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction.

Christ is Risen! May Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, be with you always. Walk in the Lord and seek the illumination of the Holy Spirit on your journey to find salvation and acquire the joy and peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding.

Do not believe the lies of Satan. Do not accept the delusions and distortions of those who have forsaken the true God and abandoned the wisdom of Christ and the Scriptures. You are not “gay” or “homosexual.” You were not “born this way.” You are men and women created in the image and likeness of GOD! You were all designed by Him for everlasting life in His Kingdom. You struggle with carnal temptations and spiritual passions, like every single man and woman since the fall of Adam and Eve. In other words you are human. [Read more…]

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Former Homosexuals Choose Christ and Holiness Over Sin – Freedom March 2019

Former Homosexuals Choose Christ and Holiness Over Sin - Freedom March 2019by Janet Boynes –
Millennials and Gen-Xers stood together, unified with a voice that declared freedom is possible through Christ. The message is what so many need to hear but has been so quickly shunned. It lacks popularity but is packed with power.

Jeffrey McCall, the founder of the Freedom March, invited me to be a part of this historical event. Watching so many younger than I stand unashamed and passionate about their experience of walking out of the lifestyle of homosexuality into a life of freedom in Christ was a magnificent experience. This has been an answer to prayer.

They stood together, each one with their own story of how Christ came into their heart and gave them a brand-new life. [Read more…]

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The Sacraments in the Orthodox Church

The Sacraments in the Orthodox Church by Fr. Thomas Hopko –
The sacraments in the Orthodox Church are officially called the “holy mysteries.” Usually seven sacraments are counted: baptism, chrismation (or confirmation), holy eucharist, penance, matrimony, holy orders and the unction of the sick.

The practice of counting the sacraments was adopted in the Orthodox Church from the Roman Catholics. It is not an ancient practice of the Church and, in many ways, it tends to be misleading since it appears that there are just seven specific rites which are “sacraments” and that all other aspects of the life of the Church are essentially different from these particular actions. The more ancient and traditional practice of the Orthodox Church is to consider everything which is in and of the Church as sacramental or mystical.

The Church may be defined as the new life in Christ. It is man’s life lived by the Holy Spirit in union with God. All aspects of the new life of the Church participate in the mystery of salvation. [Read more…]

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Preserve Your Purity and Modesty, Guard Against Moral Corruption in Contemporary Society

Preserve Your Purity and Modesty, Guard Against Moral Corruption in Contemporary Society by Met. Philaret of New York –
Our Lord Jesus Christ, instructing His disciples and apostles, imbued in them the necessity of observing purity of heart and thought. From the thought and from the heart proceed our sinful impulses: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart,” says the Saviour; “and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies” (Matt. 15:18-19).

The Saviour pointed to this further with the following words: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery; But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 27-28). This law of the psycho-political nature of man is well-known to contemporary perverters, who are consciously striving to corrupt our youth. [Read more…]

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Teach Children the Truth About God and Jesus Christ

Teach Children the Truth About God and Jesus Christby St. John Chrysostom –
For let no one tell me that our children ought not to be occupied with these things; they ought not only to be occupied with them, but to be zealous about them only. And although on account of your infirmity I do not assert this, nor take them away from their worldly learning, just as I do not draw you either from your civil business; yet of these seven days I claim that you dedicate one to the common Lord of us all. For is it not a strange thing that we should bid our domestics slave for us all their time, and ourselves apportion not even a little of our leisure to God; and this too when all our service adds nothing to Him, (for the Godhead is incapable of want,) but turns out to our own advantage?

And yet when you take your children into the theaters, you allege neither their mathematical lessons, nor anything of the kind; but if it be required to gain or collect anything spiritual, you call the matter a waste of time. And how shall you not anger God, if you find leisure and assign a season for everything else, and yet think it a troublesome and unseasonable thing for your children to take in hand what relates to Him? [Read more…]

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