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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Don’t Dialogue With Sin

Dont Dialogue With Sin Fr. Ioannes Apiariusby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Don’t dialogue with sin. Don’t engage sin. Don’t self-identify with sin. Don’t take pride in sin. Don’t define sin as essential to human identity. Don’t celebrate sin. Turn away from sin. Flee from sin. Repent of sin. Struggle and fight against sin. Help others turn away from sin. Help them to fight against sin. Teach others to avoid sin and reject sin.

“The demons want us to enter into dialogue with them. We must do everything we can to avoid this. The only way to do this is to totally ignore all their suggestions, to not pay them any attention,” wrote Elder Sergei of Vanves.

These are basic and universal Christian principles and moral precepts that keep us on the narrow road that leads to salvation and eternal life. They help us clear the weeds of destructive passions from the soil of our souls, and prep it for the Word of God to be implanted, take root, and bear much good fruit. They help us fight the good fight. They help us live in truth. They help us seek and worship the True God, not the idol many of us craft from our own distorted thinking and call it “god.” [Read more…]

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Heresies and Schisms Will Appear in the Churches, in the Last Days

St. Ambrose Heresies and Schisms Will Appear in the Churches Mocking The Holy FathersSt. Ambrose of Optina (1812-1891) –
My child, know that in the last days hard times will come; and as the Apostle says, behold, due to poverty in piety, heresies and schisms will appear in the churches; and as the Holy Fathers foretold, then on the thrones of hierarchs and in monasteries there will be no men to be found that are tested and experienced in the spiritual life. Wherefore, heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many.

The enemy of mankind will act skillfully, and whenever possible he will lead the chosen ones to heresy. He will not begin by discarding the dogmas on the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ, or the Theotokos, but will unnoticeably start to distort the Teachings of the Holy Fathers, in other words the teachings of the Church herself.

The cunning of the enemy and his “tipics” (ways) will be noticed by very few — only those that are most experienced in spiritual life. Heretics will take over the Church, everywhere, and they will appoint their servants, and spirituality will be neglected. [Read more…]

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Blasphemy and Open Rebellion by Nik Jovcic-Sas the “Orthodox Provocateur”

Blasphemy and Open Rebellion by Nik Jovcic-Sas the Orthodox Provocateurby Jennifer Davis –
Why would anyone invite Nik Jovcic-Sas to any academic conferences or ask for his opinion on any Orthodox Church issues? Have these clergy and academics lost their minds?

Nik Jovcic-Sas (Nik Jovčić-Sas), describes himself as “Violinist, LGBTQ+ Activist, Drag Queen, Eastern Orthodox Theologian & Vampire.” Nik also calls himself the “Orthodox Provocateur” and runs a Facebook page by the same name where he regularly posts blasphemous, offensive, and scandalous material.

None of that bothered the “consortium of scholars from the University of Exeter and the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University” who organized an Oxford Conference (Aug. 16-17) with the help of Deacon Brandon Gallaher and Gregory Tucker (man “married” to another man) where “contemporary issues of sex, gender, and sexuality were discussed in relation to the Orthodox Church.” Nik Jovcic-Sas was one of the invited speakers (I assume in the “LGBTQ+ activists” category) who presented at the conference. [Read more…]

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Trust Faithful Orthodox Elders, Avoid Modernist Liberal Academics

Trust Faithful Orthodox Elders, Avoid Modernist Liberal Academicsby Fr. Michael Wood (Hieromonk) –
For the academic, nothing is a given, nothing is sacred, all must be questioned and challenged.

While I have spent a fair amount of my life in and around academic institutions, and would count myself an historian and liturgist, I am above all an eremitic monastic priest. While I certainly cannot lay claim to the extremes of monastic asceticism that many of our great Orthodox Elders have held to, nevertheless in all matters theological, I will always come down on the side of Scripture, Tradition and the Fathers, for that is where Orthodox truth is to be found.

We are, as Orthodox Believers in The Church, dependent entirely upon revelation and as such our real theologians are not academics at all, but rather the great experiencers of God.

Hence when we have academic clergy presuming to pronounce on the faith, from their height of academe, I would counsel the faithful to run away from them. [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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Warning to Orthodox Church: False Teachers and Deceitful Venues That Contradict and Distort Church Teaching

Warning to Orthodox Church: False Teachers and Deceitful Venues That Contradict and Distort Church Teachingby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Orthodox Church is being attacked by false teachers and deceitful venues that question, challenge, mock, deconstruct, contradict, and distort Church teaching, practices, and theology.

With help from the Orthodox editors, I have compiled a list of articles, essays, and petitions written by Orthodox Christian priests, deacons, professors, and writers warning the Church about false teachers and deceitful venues (especially Public Orthodoxy, The Wheel Journal, Orthodoxy in Dialogue, Fordham University’s Orthodox Center, Lazar Puhalo, Sister Vassa) that question, challenge, mock, deconstruct, contradict, and distort Church teaching, practices, and theology.

These links summarize the extensive true and public witness of approximately fifty-three (53) Orthodox Christians (mostly priests) all of whom are in good standing with the Orthodox Church (spanning multiple jurisdictions). They represent Orthodox priests, archpriests, hieromonks, seminary professors, and two deans of Orthodox Christian Seminaries. [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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Public Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy in Dialogue, The Wheel = Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Public Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy in Dialogue, The Wheel = Wolves in Sheeps Clothingby Fr. John Parker (transcribed from video) –
(The following excerpts were transcribed from a public video of Fr. John Parker’s presentation at the Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care conference from June 2018. Topical headings and bolded words were added for emphasis.)

But the digital age also provides a greenhouse for what I would like to call anti-catechism: the subtle and not-so-subtle questioning of, for example, the moral teachings of the Orthodox faith. On the whole, this anti-catechism is unmonitored and, one hopes, not blessed for publication; and yet, with several examples, we can see the advancing of agendas simply unrelated to Orthodox personhood and the moral life.

Public Orthodoxy
What do we do, for example, with a site like Public Orthodoxy? Public Orthodoxy is, according to their website, “a peer-reviewed online publication produced for the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University” in New York, whose “goal is to feature insightful, provocative op-ed pieces from scholars of Orthodox Christianity.” The blog is a main electric medium to “foster intellectual inquiry by supporting scholarship and teaching that is critical to the ecclesial community.” I’ll place my emphasis on “provocative” and “critical”. [Read more…]

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Dishonest Dialogue of Orthodox Liberals and Deconstructionists

Dishonest Dialogue of Orthodox Liberals and Deconstructionistsby Fr. Lawrence Farley –
The term “dialogue” (along with its synonyms, “conversation” and “discussion” and “engagement”) seems to have taken its place alongside the proverbial terms “motherhood”, “apple pie”, and “the flag” as sacred and untouchable. It used to be that no one in their right mind would speak against this Trinity of American values, and now no one is allowed to suggest that anything bearing the sacred word “dialogue” should be viewed with suspicion. A commitment to dialogue is considered an essential part of civilization, and a sign of one’s tolerance, reasonableness, and open-mindedness. Anyone lacking a sufficient commitment to these modern virtues (the new Trinity of American values) is a fitting candidate for denunciation and insult. If you think this last sentiment is too strong, you probably do not own a computer or go online very much.

One could almost formulate a spiritual law that any site or online contribution which contains the D-word or its synonyms is pushing the same basic agenda. Take for example the site, “Orthodoxy in Dialogue” (with D-word prominently displayed) or the site “Public Orthodoxy” (which says that it “seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives [Read more…]

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Orthodox College Students: Staying Orthodox in Anti-Christian Environment

Orthodox College Students: Staying Orthodox in Anti-Christian Environmentby Fr. Abbot Tryphon –
The summer months are coming to a close and many young people will be facing the prospect of heading off to college, some for the very first time. A scripture passage comes to my mind as I think of these wonderful young people preparing to leave home: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).” College professors almost universally enjoy challenging young college students to question authority, yet are taken aback when their own authority is questioned. They know they are addressing a class of impressionable minds and almost make sport of attacking the positions of their students.

My advice to Orthodox students is to refuse to be intimidated and don’t be discouraged. Most of these professors took years to acquire the knowledge and the skill to successfully defend their belief system, or lack thereof, including atheism. [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 Ware on the Ordination of Women and Blessing of Same-Sex Marriages

Kallistos Ware on Ordination of Women and Blessing of Same-Sex Marriagesby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Excerpts from an August 2, 2008 interview with Bishop Kallistos Ware published on VirtueOnline. Fr. George Westhaver questioned Bishop Kallistos regarding the various topics discussed at the Lambeth Conference held in 2008. According to the Anglican Church, the Lambeth Conference “takes place approximately every ten years” and is attended by Anglican bishops from around the world and “presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury” to address the issues of the day.

Among the topics raised were the issues regarding the ordination of women and the blessing of same-sex marriages by the Anglican Church, and the implications for the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. [Read more…]

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Met. Kallistos Ware Comes Out for Homosexual “Marriage”

Kallistos Ware Comes Out for Homosexual Marriage pro LGBT by Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
In the latest issue of The Wheel magazine (edited by notorious pro-homosexual activist Inga Leonova and other pro-LGBT activists) Bishop Kallistos Ware bemoans the unfair and “heavy burden” the Orthodox Church places on homosexuals and criticizes the “defensive and reactive” manner in which the Orthodox Faith deals with homosexual sin.

Writing the Foreword for the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of The Wheel, Ware questions the Orthodox Christian teaching regarding sodomy and homosexual relationships, places erotic desire between a man and a woman on the same moral level as homosexual eroticism, accuses the Church of being obsessed with “genital sex,” criticizes the call to celibacy for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, and appears to advocate for the acceptance of same-sex couples into the sacramental life of the Church. [Read more…]

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