Sin Cannot Be Blessed by the Church

Fr Photious Avant Sin Cannot Be Blessed by the Churchby Fr. Photius Avant –
Sin itself, of any variety, cannot be blessed by the Church. It can’t be. Sin is destructive. It is corrosive. It has within it the principle of death, of dissolution.

“Thine they were. Thou gavest them Me and they have kept Thy Word” says the Lord Jesus Christ in His high priestly prayer to the Father (John 17:6). And it is the Word, Jesus Christ Himself, which the Father gave to the apostles, Whom the apostles have kept.

And, it is the Word Jesus Christ Who is defended at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in 325 which we commemorated yesterday. A terrible heresy had disrupted the peace of the Church: the heresy of Arius. Now, he was not the first heretic and certainly not the last. But, heresy, all heresy, is destructive because in changing what we understand about Christ, in changing about what we understand about the Holy Trinity, the end goal gets changed. The goalposts have been moved. [Read more…]

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Living in an Age of Many False Teachers

Fr. Seraphim Rose - Living in an Age of Many False Teachersby Fr. Seraphim Rose –

Never has there been such an age of false teachers as this pitiful twentieth century, so rich in material gadgets and so poor in mind and soul.

Every conceivable opinion, even the most absurd, even those hitherto rejected by the universal consent of all civilized peoples — now has its platform and its own ‘teacher.’

A few of these teachers come with demonstration or promise of ‘spiritual power’ and false miracles, as do some occultists and ‘charismatics’; but most of the contemporary teachers offer no more than a weak concoction of undigested ideas [Read more…]

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Don’t Be Surprised by World’s Hostility to Orthodox Christianity

Dont Be Surprised by Worlds Hostility to Orthodox Christianityby Fr. Geoffrey Korz –

We should not ever, ever be surprised when the world responds to Orthodox Christianity with skepticism and hostility.

We should not be surprised when the world tries to reinterpret the Bible, or the Church Fathers, or the lives of the saints, to fit some modern agenda.

We should not be surprised when even so-called Orthodox people follow the example of the parents of the Blind Man, and try to make themselves friends of the world, and won’t say a word that might cause waves with the world.

That’s the way it’s always been. Even since the time of Christ Himself. Even with the Apostles, when you think about it. [Read more…]

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The Meaning of Life: Follow Christ, Seek the Holy Spirit, Desire Salvation

The Meaning of Life: Follow Christ, Seek the Holy Spirit, Desire Salvationby Fr. Gabriel (Hieromonk) –
The answer to the question, the meaning of our life, is the Holy Spirit of God being poured out upon us. It is our calling on the name of the Lord and being saved.

Throughout all the ages of human history, mankind has been ceaselessly occupied with a single question: why? What is the meaning of life, what is the purpose of birth and death, of love and of suffering? Why have we appeared in this world which is so full of both beauty and misery? Men and women of every culture and nation, of every philosophy and religion, have sought for countless centuries to find the answer to this question, and still there are those who seek to find it today despite the modern cacophony of triviality which has all but overwhelmed us. [Read more…]

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Moses and the Ten Words

Moses Ten Commandments Orthodox Christianityby Fr. Lawrence Farley –
Recently I read an interesting critique of American Christianity. It pointed out that in an earlier day the schoolrooms for our children used to feature the Ten Commandments written on the wall, rather than (for example) the Beatitudes. The author thought this rather odd for a Christian nation, and evidence that something was wrong. I grant you that the preference for the Ten Commandments over the Beatitudes does invite comment.

One begins by asking how the Ten Commandments became so prominent in the eyes of Christians to begin with. One of course understands how a Jew would opt for the Ten Commandments which Moses brought down from the height of Sinai, rather than the Beatitudes of Jesus found in the New Testament. But how did the Ten Commandments become so culturally popular among American Christians? [Read more…]

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Faith Gives People True Freedom and Unites Them with God

Patriarch Kirill Faith Gives People True Freedom and Unites Them with GodPatriarch Kirill (Moscow and All Russia) –

A person who believes in God is filled with tremendous power, because knowledge is revealed through faith. Faith brings a person into living contact with the Lord, and everyone who turns to God with faith gains a special life experience said His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, in his sermon on February 7, on the 35th Sunday after Pentecost, the feast day of the Synaxis of New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church.

“All atheistic work aimed at destroying the faith in our country consisted of rationally, relying supposedly on some scientific achievements, proving that there is no God. [Read more…]

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How to Seek Inner Peace

Holy-Eucharist_icon_01by Fr Dn Charles Joiner –
In the beginning of our spiritual journey we realize that we lack an inner peace, and realize that the way we are seeking to find it only seems to bring more turmoil. We have a feeling that God is distant from us and that our inner being is seeking a peace it cannot find. This motivates us to renew, or even begin for the first time, our search for God, and a deep inner spiritual peace only He can bring. This effort is brought about by our conscience and engages our will to take actions that will help us change our way life.

We seek spiritual books to read, we seek out a spiritual father to teach us the way, and we begin to attend worship services more regularly. With our sincerity in this effort, we are properly guided and encouraged to also actively participate in the sacramental life of the Church, primarily Confession and Holy Communion. We learn about, and begin, the ascetic disciplines of fasting and daily prayer, and learn how to properly prepare to receive Holy Communion regularly. [Read more…]

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The Church is THE Essential Institution

Orthodox Christian Church Liturgy, communal and sacramental faithby Fr. Abbot Tryphon –
A nation that forbids her people from participating in corporate worship, is a nation that is doomed.

Christianity is a communal faith, one that requires its followers to be actively involved with others. The Church’s worship is communal, and salvation itself is a corporate act, one that necessitates interaction with others. One is not “saved” in a vacuum, but as part of the corporal life of the Church. Your salvation must be as much a concern to me, as is my own salvation. My relationship with Christ is not about me, but about us. Our sins are not just against God, but against the Body of Christ, the Church. Our love of God can not be salvific if we do not love others, for just as the Lord said, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20)”. [Read more…]

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Archbishop Kyrill Protests Against California Ban on Church Singing

Archbishop Kyrill Protests Against California Ban on Church Singing A brave and faithful Orthodox archbishop speaks out against California’s scandalous ban on singing in houses of worship. He provides the entire Church and all the other bishops with a great example of how a faithful shepherd protects his sheep and fights back against tyranny. AXIOS!

“For it is a commandment of the Lord not to be silent at a time when the Faith is in jeopardy. Speak, Scripture says, and hold not thy peace.” ~ St. Theodore the Studite

Open Letter to The Honourable Gavin Newsom, Governor of California from His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America in light of the decree issued by the Governor of California that forbids choral singing in churches. (July 8, 2020)
+KYRILL, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR)

Your Excellency,

I hereby express my protest against the recent prohibition of liturgical singing in houses of worship, which is an infringement of the rights and religious freedoms of the clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Diaspora, the other Local Orthodox Churches, performing their ministry in this state, as well as other religious bodies. [Read more…]

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The Stars and Stripes Forever – Stand Up to Marxist Evil Threatening America

The Stars and Stripes Forever – Stand Up to Marxist Evil Threatening Americaby Fr. Abbot Tryphon –
Stand up to those who would destroy our nation’s heritage.

Earlier today it was announced that the statue of Christopher Columbus that has long stood before the state capital in Columbus, Ohio, has been removed. But what really shocked me was hearing that they are now considering changing the name of their city, seeing Christopher Columbus as responsible for the genocide of indigenous peoples.

That we Americans are allowing ANTIFA Marxists to dictate the destruction of national symbols of our history is unbelievable. That there are leftists demanding the removal of the presidential images on Mt. Rushmore, the toppling of statues, not only of Confederacy, but even of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, all in the name of social justice, is appalling to me. The fact that some of these Marxists have even gone so far as to demand all images of Jesus Christ, and His Holy Mother, be destroyed as symbols of white supremacy, is beyond belief. [Read more…]

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Russia Affirms and Defends Traditional Marriage, Rejects LGBTQ Delusion

Russia Affirms and Defends Traditional Marriage, Rejects LGBTQ Delusionby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Russia’s Constitution now openly honors God, affirms marriage, and supports the Christian faith. It officially recognizes the authority and role of the Orthodox Church in the life of the people.

Voters in Russia have approved constitutional amendments that enshrined traditional Christian values in the country’s supreme laws. The new Russian Constitution defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. There was widespread support for these new amendments that uphold the traditional definition of marriage and declare “faith in God” as a core value. Russia’s Central Election Commission reported that 78% of Russian voters approved these changes to the country’s laws. Voter turnout was also an impressive 65%.

Russia’s Constitution now openly honors God, affirms marriage, and supports the Christian faith. It officially recognizes the authority and role of the Holy Orthodox Church in the life of the people and the state. This is a blessing for the Russian faithful. [Read more…]

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Archbishop “Many Spoons” Elpidophoros – Heresy to the Nth Degree?

Archbishop Many Spoons Elpidophoros Lambriniadis from Monomakhos Blog –
Is heresy far behind? One would think so, because these directives indicate that we don’t really believe that the Chalice contains the real Body and Blood of Christ.

Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, implemented some significant changes to our Tradition. Troubling changes. Everything from how we commune, to how we venerate the icons, greet one another, engage in fellowship, to participating in Divine Liturgy has been modified.

Though he specified these were “temporary” changes, it’s hard to understand why he would move forward with them now, after the lifting of the restrictions in the outside world. This leaves one to wonder if what we’re seeing really is just “temporary”. After all the hard work it took to draw up these directives, what’s to say this isn’t the “the new normal”. Viruses aren’t going to go away. [Read more…]

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Orthodox Hierarchy Response to Coronavirus Crisis is Not Orthodoxy

Orthodox Hierarchy Response to Coronavirus Crisis is Not Orthodoxyby Nora Kowalcheck –
If I have “unreasonable faith” as one bishop described it to me back in March, perhaps his grandparents and parents had “unreasonable faith,” too, and perhaps that is what lead him to the priesthood and years of service in our church.

I am an Orthodox mother. I have been Orthodox for the last 30 years and my husband is cradle Orthodox, born and raised in the OCA. We have four children here, and one in Heaven.

In the last three months, I have not heard one bishop, or directive from a bishop, speak about our children. Not one. The ONLY reference to children has been that if they cannot distance themselves properly, they will need to remain home.

I am deeply grieved by this and, quite frankly, angry and I believe rightly so. My husband and I, like many other Orthodox parents, have struggled and done the hard work, week after week, year after year, for twelve years now, to take our children to church and teach them our faith. [Read more…]

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Hundreds of California Churches Plan to Open May 31, Not Asking for Permission

Hundreds of California Churches Plan to Open May 31 - Not Asking for PermissionBrave and inspiring leadership from our Protestant brethren. Christians can be safe, loving, and faithful, without being lukewarm or fearful.

by Heather Sells –
Nearly 500 California pastors are preparing to open their doors on Sunday, May 31st — whether or not they have guidance from the state.

“The churches are not asking for permission,” said Bob Tyler, a religious freedom attorney advising the pastors. “The governor is sitting here as a dictator, trumping the Constitution and is kind of hanging on to this state of emergency for as long as he can hold it.”

“We’ll give the governor an opportunity to amend his order,” said Tyler. “If he doesn’t, these pastors have told me that they’re committed to opening regardless of what the governor decides.” [Read more…]

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Pascha Celebrations Did Not Spread the Coronavirus in Georgia

Pascha Celebrations Did Not Spread the Coronavirus in GeorgiaThere was no increase in the cases of coronavirus infection following the celebration of Pascha in Georgia, where the churches remained open though observing the necessary sanitary standards, according to a leading infectious diseases expert in Tbilisi.

“At the recommendation of the government, the Church itself has taken a very correct and good position and, in fact, we quietly passed through the period that could have been the basis for the growth of the epidemic,” said Tengiz Tsertsvadze, the Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital, on
on Adjara Television on May 4.

“There has been no increase in the number of infections due to religious holidays,” the expert said. [Read more…]

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