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Religious Articles Archive
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Year 2009
That The Bishops Be Blameless
One who was not given the gift of teaching and preaching is not worthy to be thought of for the position of priest or bishop. 10/17/09
Without God We are Nothing
It is more reasonable to believe in God than to reject the hypothesis of God by appealing to chance; more reasonable also to believe than to escape into agnosticism. 10/4/09
Should Christians Speak Against Clergy Sexual Misconduct?
Should Christians unconditionally obey our church leaders? Should Christians remain silent when church leaders lead us astray? Should Christians judge others? Should a sex offender remain a bishop? 9/24/09
Signature in the Cell
In his book, Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer methodically challenges the central doctrine of today’s scientific establishment that life arose from purely undirected materialistic and naturalistic forces in the absence of intelligence. 9/23/09
Intelligent Design - Unlocking The Mysteries Of Life
A thoughtful and well presented argument for a turn away from the dry/rationalist argument that the miracle of life is a "nothing but" - scientifically explained foregone conclusion. Their is "intelligence" behind the design. 9/8/09
God and Science Do Mix
If God kept arbitrarily interfering in nature as Haldane and Krauss imagine, we could never distinguish His message, the signal, from the noise of nature’s irregularities. To reveal Himself to humans—to communicate—He must break into nature sometimes, but He must do so rarely. 8/21/09
Become Like a Little Child
The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask. The real you has to meet the real God. 9/16/09
When Bishops Disappoint
In this podcast Fr. Thomas Hopko addresses the key issue of “What do we do when those in leadership are not exercising their leadership properly?” 9/9/09
The Calling of a Bishop is to Preach the Gospel
All bishops are to proclaim and interpret the gospel of Christ to the church and to the world. Bishops should be elected largely on the basis of their knowledge and ability to skillfully communicate the Holy Scriptures. 8/13/09
Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayer?
This is one of the most perplexing questions for all Christians. In this episode of The Illumined Heart, host Kevin Allen engages author and theologian Dr. Jerry Sittser 6/29/09
Radical, Moderate God
So often in Christian teaching, we learn that God, oftentimes a radical in His dealings with human beings, is also essentially a "moderate" when it comes to figuring out His will. 8/25/09
Pope: Church Needs Priests in love with Christ
The priest today must indicate or facilitate those “who do not believe the path that leads to Christ and his Church”, and for those who already believe, the priest must “stimulate, nurture and support the spiritual battle.” 8/6/09
Russian Archbishop Hilarion Calls Stalin "a Monster"
"I think that Stalin was a spiritually-deformed monster, who created a horrific, inhuman system of ruling the country," Archbishop Hilarion had said. 8/4/09
Without a shared moral code there can be no free society
Either we recover the moral sense or we will find, too late, that in the name of liberty, we have lost our freedom. 7/31/09
So Help Me, God
Almost every officer-holder in the land embarks upon his service by swearing to serve the people, “So help me, God.” We should not allow them to take this invocation of the Lord’s name in a frivolous manner. If they’re going to use it, we should hold them to it. 7/21/09
Our Adolescent Culture
The Church’s approach to students must never embrace adolescence as normal. “Meeting them where they are” is no excuse for leaving them where they are. 6/3/09
Are you saved? - an Orthodox Christian answer
Very good video from YouTube discussing the Orthodox Christian approach to salvation. 6/29/09
Keeping Students Connected to the Orthodox Church
Fr. Kevin Scherer - How do we help Orthodox Christian students make the kind of personal discoveries that lead to deep moral conviction? 6/29/09
Caritas in Veritate: Why Truth Matters
Relativists beware. Whether you like it or not, truth matters – even in the economy. That’s the core message of Pope Benedict XVI’s new social encyclical Caritas in Veritate. 7/8/09
The Pope, the Rabbi, and the Moral Economy
Some of our contemporary economic problems reflect a deeper moral crisis within Western civilization. Until we acknowledge this, shifts in economic policy and business practice will only provide limited solutions. 7/15/09
OrthodoxNet Blog Wins 2009 Best Group Blog Orthodox Award!
Our OrthodoxNet Blog has won the 2009 Eastern Christian New Media Awards for Best Group Blog. 6/11/09
Beauty and Desecration
We must rescue art from the modern intoxication with ugliness. June 2009
Helping Students ‘Get It’
A major project for those of us who work with students is to help them “get” Christianity. While a significant number of Christian students reject Christianity during their university years, far more struggle to embrace a faith that is not really authentic or orthodox. 5/15/09
How Deep the Father's Love
Through Jesus, His life and parables, God the Father has approached us, His sons and daughters, one more time. Jesus comes to us with two powerful and interconnected truths. 5/6/09
On Enduring Scandals in Faith
While being persecuted our Holy Father John Chrysostom wrote his treatise On the Providence of God to encourage his flock to trust in God, and without doubt to believe in His sovereign providence governing all events. 5/1/09
Ignore Our Christian Values and the Nation Will Drift Apart
Every society, for its wellbeing, needs the social capital of common values and the recognition of certain virtues which contribute to personal and social flourishing. Our ideas about the sacredness of the human person at every stage of life, of equality and natural rights and, therefore, of freedom, have demonstrably arisen from the tradition rooted in the Bible. April 2009
Helping Students ‘Get It’
A major project for those of us who work with students is to help them “get” Christianity. While a significant number of Christian students reject Christianity during their university years, far more struggle to embrace a faith that is not really authentic or orthodox. 5/15/09
How Deep the Father's Love
Through Jesus, His life and parables, God the Father has approached us, His sons and daughters, one more time. Jesus comes to us with two powerful and interconnected truths. 5/6/09
Fr. Johannes Jacobse: Paschal Message 2009
Only the Gospel of Christ, the proclamation that Christ is risen from the dead, reveals that death is an enemy destroyed and exposes the nihilistic embrace of death as a lie. 4/19/09
One Word of Truth Outweighs the Whole World
When the Gospel is preached, Christ is revealed. Christ is Savior, and our introduction to Christ — the means by which we awaken to His existence and become aware of His benvolent love towards us — occurs when we hear the Gospel. 3/28/09
What Are We For?
Our life together in Christ isn’t simply about deciding what we’re against, what we won’t do and what we won’t allow. It’s also about deciding what we’re for. 3/27/09
Condoms don’t protect souls
Is abstinence, in particular, more realistic than promiscuity or less so? Is Christianity more realistic than Oprah or less so? Is the Pope wiser than Madonna’s “Sticky and Sweet” tour dancers? 3/22/09
Helping Us Pull Our Ox Cart
Many people, throughout Christendom and in other faiths, still want to enter the Kingdom of God by their very own brand of righteousness. Through a sprinkling of good deeds and works, they feel entitled to citizenship in that Kingdom. Heaven laughs. 3/19/09
Christianity Under Fire: Why Fewer People Identify With The Faith
Why are so many people in America leaving the faith and so few turning to Christ though faith? 3/9/09
Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom
The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom is read at the end of Orthros (Matins) at Pascha, the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, universally throughout the Orthodox Church.
Obama: Destroying Human Life for the ‘Greater Good’
Coming on the heels of the promise last month to overturn the “conscience clause” that prevents pro-life hospitals and doctors from being forced to perform abortions, Obama’s lifting of the ban on federal funds for embryonic stem cell research is a troubling sign. 3/17/09
Jesus Loves Global Taxation?
The communists and totalitarians in the WCC want to justify punitive taxation and radical reforms as "Christian." 3/3/09
Creating Equal
Christ offers salvation freely to all who repent and follow him, yet he does not cease condemning the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and hardness of heart (Matt. 23). When asked if only a few people are going to be saved, he answers: “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” (Luke 13:24). 3/2009
Obama to Overturn “Conscience Rule” for Pro-life Doctors
President Obama has begun quietly to begin the process of overturning regulations that protect doctors and hospitals from being forced to perform or refer abortions. 2/28/09
Soaking The Rich Means Crippling Churches, Charities, and Home Values
If Obama wants to raise rates above 39.6 percent, he should do so openly and honestly, and without doing enormous damage to the not-for-profit and housing sectors. 2/27/09
Orthodox Mission in the 21st Century
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev - To recover the missionary dimension of the Church is today’s greatest imperative. We have to recover a very basic truth: that the Church is essentially Mission, that the very roots of her life are in the commandment of Christ: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19). 2/21/09
Prayer and Silence
When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you. And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 3/3/09
Divorced from Reality
The decline of the family has now reached critical and truly dangerous proportions. Family breakdown touches virtually every family and every American. Feb. 2009
Real Christianity?
More than any other world religion, Christianity asserts an intimate relationship with the divine, lifting human beings above their trying circumstances. So it is that oppressed peoples across the globe have found not only solace but genuine strength and purpose from Christianity, when brought to them in a positive fashion. 1/13/09
The Theological Virtue of Hope
The theological virtue of hope goes hand in hand with the theological virtue of faith. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans tells his readers that Abraham, "in hope believed against hope that he should be the father of many nations (4:18). 1/13/09
Created Equal: How Christianity Shaped the West
Christianity is largely responsible for many of the principles and institutions that even secular people cherish, chief among them equality and liberty. 1/6/09
Year 2008
‘Merry Christmas’ and Other Offenses
It’s Christmas time but Christmas cheer isn’t abounding as it did when we were kids. The lack of cheer is not due to the recession (which the mainstream media can’t quit talking about) but because of the myriad atheistic "Grinches" who have made it their life’s goal to steal Christmas. 12/24/08
The Light of Hope in Darkness
The ravenous evil stalking our world then was easier to see than now, but the evil is very much present in our lives, whether it makes the headlines or not. Hatred of Jews and of Christians, persecution of both of these lights of hope in our world, is at the essence of evil. 12/23/08
Looking Back on American Orthodoxy 2008
OCA News helped make the People of God accountable to each other. Mark Stokoe’s work was a labor of love. His commitment to truth and integrity kept the important issues in view (despite many efforts to discredit him). 12/22/08
No, Christ isn’t allowed in Christmas
A public school teacher in Mississippi marked down an eleven-year-old’s Christmas poem assignment and told the boy to rewrite it because he used the word “Jesus,” which, the instructor explained, is a name not allowed in school. 12/20/08
The Secularization of the Church
Secularization is the process by which a society becomes more and more distant from its Christian roots. 12/10/08
Transforming Culture: Christian Truth Confronts Post-Christian America
The most basic contours of American culture have been radically altered. The so-called Judeo-Christian consensus of the last millennium has given way to a post-modern, post-Christian, post-Western cultural crisis which threatens the very heart of our culture. 12/2008
The Power of a Bold Bishop
Bishop Martino credited for fact Pennsylvania Catholics did not vote for Obama as they did nationally. 12/1/08
Struggle to stay Christian
Of the world’s 2 billion Christians, 200 million are persecuted in some way. Many of them are in Islamic countries or in rabidly anti-religious regimes such as North Korea’s. 11/27/08
Orthodox Church in Saudi Arabia for Mosque in Moscow
Representatives of Orthodox public organizations addressed the King of Saudi Arabia an open letter with a request to build an Orthodox Church in his country. 11/26/08
Moral Tradition and the Assault of Gay Activists
Many in the movement embrace lawlessness. They are, to use a modern twist on an old philosophical term, anti-nomian — (against the law). But it’s not merely the legal culture they hold in contempt. It goes deeper. 11/24/08
Metropolitan Jonah’s Vision of Orthodoxy in America
Being Orthodox is not about what we do in church, that’s maybe 5%. Being an Orthodox Christian is how we live. It’s how we treat one another. 11/21/08
How Not To Help The Poor
A Christian approach to helping the poor, from Acton Institute. 11/16/08
‘Freedom of Choice Act’ nightmare for bishops, pro-lifers
In effect, FOCA could undo most, or even all, of the existing restrictions on abortion under a patchwork of state and federal laws. 11/13/08
Fr. Thomas Hopko: Christianity and Armageddon
How does St. John’s Revelation speak to us today? 11/10/08
Tired of Life?
There has been a steady campaign by some Christians who regard themselves as orthodox and conservative to persuade the rank and file of their Christian brothers and sisters to rethink their predictable support for political candidates who are pro-life. 11/15/08
The Ownership of Property
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon - "Caesar is our servant, not a thief." 11/1/08
An Open Letter to Frank Schaeffer
Challenging the assertion that Obama is "pro-life." 11/1/08
California Orthodox Bishops Issue Statement on Proposition 8
Orthodox bishops have announced their support for Proposition 8, known as the “California Marriage Protection Act.” The measure would amend the state constitution by adding this line: Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. 10/28/08
Freedom from freedom? Atheism, Christianity, and September 11
Those who would eliminate Christianity from public life are sawing off the branch they are sitting on. 10/15/08
Where Are the Orthodox Dominionists?
A friend sent me an article from the Hellenic Voice titled, “Religious Right must not set agenda for Orthodox Church.” Well, reasonable enough. But the article got so many other things wrong that I was tempted to simply quit reading half way through. 10/8/08
The Three Parts of the Gospel
Depending on the persons to whom it is addressed, the Christian Gospel is readily divided into three parts. 10/8/08
Responding to Neo-Atheism
Neo-atheism has had a very successful publishing run over the past several years, with best-selling books by Christopher Hitchens (”god is not great”), Sam Harris (”Letter to a Christian Nation”) and Richard Dawkins (”The God Delusion”), among others. 9/21/08
What Happens When We Die?
Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind "out-of-body" experiences. 9/18/08
If There Is No God
For all the problems associated with belief in God, the death of God leads to far more of them. 8/19/08
The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow
There is an interesting phenomenon occurring in Orthodox Christianity in America today, and reflected powerfully in our seminaries. Seminaries are loaded almost exclusively with converts, reverts, and the sons and grandsons of clergy. 9/18/08
Christianity and the Welfare State
Though well-intentioned, it is a mistake to ask the government to tax non-Christians to help the poor when we Christians have not given enough. 8/29/08
Christianity and the Cult of Celebrity
With the emergence and ensuing immersion of this entertainment culture onto the American landscape, the Church finds itself in the unique position of offering people something entirely different from the celebrity-soaked emphasis on the material world: the Gospel. 8/22/08
In the Name of God(lessness)
Dennis Prager - One almost never hears described the deleterious consequences of secularism — the terrible developments that have accompanied the breakdown of traditional religion and belief in God. 8/19/08
A Christian Perspective on the Dark Knight
There are striking parallels between characters in the most recent Batman film, The Dark Knight, and important elements of the Judeo-Christian meta-narrative. This review explores deeper insights into this year's most popular movie. 8/14/08
In Defense of the Pre-Born Child's Right to Life
My brothers and sisters in Christ, this election has only one issue that is of paramount importance: the life of the child in the womb. How can we worry about the condition of our –sometimes up, sometimes down – economy, while we ignore the fact that over one million of our pre-born babies are slaughtered for profit every year within our hospitals and abortion chambers? 8/14/08
Forgiveness Without Repentance?
Is the OCA hierarchy's call for forgiveness without truth, without repentance, without personal accountability, and without real contrition truly the Christian approach as reflected in the Scriptures and the Orthodox Moral Tradition? 8/28/08
Patient Endurance
The age old question: How can a good God permit such tribulations and travails? Such calamities are perceived as evils by those who ask. 8/2/08
Faith Comes by Hearing
In addition to being the gift of God, faith is also an act of man, taking its rise in attendance to the Word of God. Faith begins with "hearing" (akoe) that becomes "obedience" (hypakoe). 7/27/08
Not Compromising the Gospel
Pakistani-born Bishop Michael Nazir Ali of the Church of England continues to roil his leftist and Islamist critics by recently defending the right of Christians to share the Gospel with Muslims. 6/27/08
Prayer Brings Us to God
Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis - Prayer is not just some ritual Christians do out of a sense of obedience and obligation. It’s not some kind of superstition— like “I didn’t do well on my job interview because I forgot to pray.” Or “I better pray hard so Johnny can win his soccer game.” Prayer isn’t something we just break out in times of crisis. And it is not just a tool we use in the church. Prayer is a gift from God to us His people. 6/25/08
Marriage: Why Hi-Jack a Christian Institution?
Whatever is going on in California, it is not marriage. Two men or two women can no more be married, than a man can be wife or woman a husband. 6/18/08
Bishop Hilarion Opposes Radical Liberalization in Protestant Communities
According to Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, many Protestant communities are experiencing the "radical liberalization of morals" during the last decades, when, for example, the same-sex union is considered a marriage, and members of sexual minorities are ordained bishops. 6/9/08
Early Christians and Abortion
In the first three centuries after Jesus all Christian authors who mentioned abortion considered it a grave sin. Although Origen mentioned it without discussing its sinfulness, no Christian author in the three hundred years after Christ condoned it. 8/2/08
G.K. Chesterton on Materialism and Christianity
Chesterton argues against materialism, the philosophical view that only matter has any reality; non-material constitutents of human experience like love, meaning, compassion, etc. are not real. 5/26/08
Beyond the Death of God - Scientific Challenges to Atheism
While our attention has been riveted on the momentous political and ideological realignments that mark the century's end, we have all but overlooked a quiet revolution in scientific understanding with far more radical implications for the modern world view.
Raising Children Who Believe
Fr. Peter Gillquist - One of the great struggles we have today in the Church is preserving our children in the Orthodox Faith. Too often they seem not to be interested. Can we somehow motivate our kids to be excited about following Christ and being Orthodox Christians? I believe there is a way. It takes commitment and hard work, but it's worth it.
Bishop Hilarion - Christianophobia Rising in Europe
Instances of Christianophobia and of discrimination against Christians should be officially condemned. The public display of Christian symbols should nowhere in Europe be prohibited, and the celebration of Christian feasts should nowhere be discouraged in the name of falsely-understood tolerance. 5/5/08
Pope Benedict, Logos, Chaos, and Freedom
Today, as in the Civil War, Logos is on the side of freedom. And in spite of the secular media effort to obfuscate, Benedict’s message couldn’t be clearer: Logos rises to defend against the secular call for submission to the Chaos unleashed by Islam. 5/3/08
That All May Be Saved
The evangelization of the Jews is the third rail of interfaith relations, for obvious reasons, many of which are the fault of Christians. It can kill a promising dialogue and expose any Christian who proposes it to scorn and contempt. Apr. 2008
Pascha in Dachau 1945: The Souls of All Are Aflame
In 1945, a Paschal Liturgy like no other was performed. Just days after their liberation by the US military on April 29, 1945, hundreds of Orthodox Christian prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp gathered to celebrate the Resurrection service and to give thanks.
Encyclical for Great and Holy Pascha 2008
Partriach Bartholomew - A sacred Pascha -- great and holy -- has arisen; and it warms, lights and makes radiant the world. “Now all things are filled with light, both heaven and earth and the nethermost regions of the earth.” 4/26/08
The Ethos of Lent
The ethos of Lent for the committed Orthodox Christian is told to us by St. Dorotheus of Gaza. He likened it to a wake up call, ‘a coming to one’s self’ (like the Prodigal Son) to find meaning for the entire year. 4/1/08
It's a risk to stand up for what we believe to be the truth. It's a risk to have faith in someone and hope that that someone helps us in our time of need. 4/1/08
When Others Pray for Your Conversion
If people would feel zealous about sharing a health regimen, why would we expect any less with respect to what they believe heals not just the body, but the soul? 3/28/08
The Greek Orthodox Church in America - Dead or Alive?
In looking at the Greek Orthodox Church in America over the past several decades, the lack of growth raises several questions. 3/5/08
Humility And Purity Of Heart: A Lenten Reflection
Only someone who is humble can follow the prescription of the spiritual Church Fathers who point out that discrimination and watchfulness are the way to achieve purity of heart. For someone proud, this exercise will be useless. 3/5/08
Liberal Christianity Will Not Survive For a Long Time
The liberalization of moral standards, initiated by some Protestant and Anglican communities several decades ago and developing with ever-increasing speed, has now brought us to a situation where we can no longer preach one and the same code of moral conduct. 2/13/08
Dealing with Immortals
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit.
Alaska Today - by Fr. Michael Oleksa
+Nikolai, the OCA bishop in Alaska has forbidden us to baptize children who have not been given Orthodox Christian names. We have parishioners going to the Catholic Church to have their children Christened. Some of the directions we receive make little or no pastoral sense, but we are afraid to disregard them, for fear of being “reported” and incurring the ire of the hierarch. We live in fear more oppressive than what I knew under Soviet occupation during the Cold War in Czechoslovakia. For most of my brothers, this is a new and terrifying condition. For me it is too reminiscent to accept. 2/22/08
Atheism and Orthodoxy in Modern Russia
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev outlines the history of atheism in Russia during the last hundred years. He considers the kind of atheism present in Russia before the Revolution. 1/30/08
This is the Faith that Sustains the Universe?!
One of the statements in the Synodikon proclaims: "This is the faith of the Apostles. This is the faith of the Fathers. This is the Faith of the Orthodox. This is the faith that sustains the universe." What does this statement mean? 3/14/08
Can Christians and Muslims Reconcile?
It is time for those interested in peace between Muslims and Christians to face some cold, hard facts. This is not the first Jihad. This is not the first Holy War. 2/4/2008
The Treason of the Bishops
Some readers are aware that the Orthodox Church in America, my church, is undergoing a huge scandal now centered on the hierarchy — especially Metropolitan Herman and his coterie at church headquarters. It involves money, mostly, but also — it has been alleged — sexual impropriety of some of the players. 1/31/2008
Life in the Womb & Abortion
Since in the teaching of the Church, abortion is wrong and equivalent to the taking of innocent life, that is, a form of murder, it is a “thing that does damage.” The name take by those who encourage and facilitate abortions, to promote their cause is “Pro-Choice.” 1/20/08
C.S. Lewis - From Atheism to Theism
YouTube - C.S. Lewis - From Atheism to Theism
The Bible Calls it a Sin
Metropolitan Kyrill, foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church, discusses Christian values in the post-communist era, his relationship with the pope in Rome, Vladimir Putin the churchgoer — and wrangles with SPIEGEL about homosexuality. 1/10/08
Year 2007
Of Mice and Men, Science Mimics Creation
As scientific research and advancements, supported by increasingly more powerful computer technologies, delve into the vast complexities of biological organisms, the handiwork and genius of their Creator become more obvious and irrefutable. 12/15/07
The Nativity of Christ 2007 - Archbishop Demetrios
On this glorious day of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ we celebrate the truly historical, universal, and eternal event of His Incarnation. 12/25/07
Patriarchal Declaration for Christmas 2007
Beloved brothers and children in the Lord, It is with great joy that our Church calls us to glorify God for His loving and personal presence on earth in the divine-human hypostasis of Christ Jesus, one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. 12/25/07
The Crucial Moment, A Letter to Archbishop Job by Fr. Berzonsky
Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky - I ask your blessing as I share with you some reflections on the state of our beloved and battered Orthodox Church in America. We are at a crucial moment in our sacred history, an intersection that will determine our Church’s future. It must make a choice and travel in only one of two fundamentally divergent directions. 11/29/2007
Why The Christmas Wars Matter
The secular grinches were out in full force again this pre-Christmas season. But it is not just crèches and twinkling lights that the secularists want to ban — their ultimate goal is the elimination off all faith-based thought from public life. 12/21/2007
What a Christian Bishop Should Be Like, by Fr. Thomas Hopko
The Orthodox Church’s main hymn (troparion/apolytikion) for the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra is the general hymn for all of the Church’s holy bishops. As such, for example, it is sung the day after the feast of St. Nicholas for the celebration of St. Ambrose of Milan. This hymn tells us what a Christian bishop (and, by extension, also a presbyter) ought to be for his people. And so it also tells us how all Christians should be. 12/7/2007
Using Current Events (The Golden Compass) to Combat Secularism in the Home
Parents, as heads of their “domestic church,” have even a higher God-given calling: to lead their children to the awesomeness of God. Use of the media, the weapon of those who attack God and His Church, an ideal way to accomplish this. 12/4/07
Looking for Miracles in All the Wrong Places
All too often we overlook the hundreds of small miracles in our life, the small glimpses into the kingdom of God because we are too darn busy seeking the big miracles, the walking on water type of miracle. 11/22/2007
Answering the Atheists
A Reader’s Digest version of why I am a Christian. - 11/13/2007
Christian Marriage, Sacred Union of Man and Woman
The Christian idea of marriage is based on Christ’s words that a man and wife are to be regarded as a single organism-for that is what the words ‘one flesh’ would be in modern English.
Orthodox Leadership in a Brave New World
Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse - Salvation is not understanding the correct theological concepts; it is not nostalgia for civilizations past; it is not formal membership in a long-standing parish; it is not social activism; it is not morally appropriate behavior; it is not mastery of the moral vocabulary. Any Orthodox response to the cultural challenge must first presume a recovery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. - 10/3/2007
The Shame and the Sham: Why I Resigned from the Special Commission
Fr. John M. Reeves - Individuals may opine as to the collective wisdom of the recent resignations from the Special Commission by several of its members. I cannot speak for the others who did. However, I can speak for myself. And at last, I feel the freedom to do so. - 10/1/2007
Let's Get Real About Priestly "Indiscretions"
Fr. Aris Metrakos - I concede that we are all sinners, but clergy relinquish the right to even think of engaging in certain classes of sin. When a priest sins sexually he damages the Church the way that crooked judges, lawyers, and police officers damage the legal system. How can anyone not understand this? - 9/21/2007
The Spiritual Struggle of Mother Teresa
Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis - What causes spiritual despair? First, relentless attacks from the devil. The devil attacks the one struggling to grow in Christ. The devil doesn't bother with the casual Christian or the habitually immoral person -- they do not need the devil to attack and destroy them, they are self-destructive. The devil attacks the committed Christian. - 9/21/2007
God's Law: Threat or Promise?
Fr. John Breck - To the Eastern Church Fathers, the Church is not a courtroom; it is a hospital. The Body of Christ is a locus of healing, of renewal and reconciliation. Nor is God primarily a Judge. - 9/6/2007
Let's Get Real About Priestly "Indiscretions"
Fr. Aris Metrakos - I concede that we are all sinners, but clergy relinquish the right to even think of engaging in certain classes of sin. When a priest sins sexually he damages the Church the way that crooked judges, lawyers, and police officers damage the legal system. How can anyone not understand this? - 9/21/2007
A Church in Denial
Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky - The fundamental problems of the Orthodox Church in America go much deeper than the financial scandal. It has to do with the very structure of the Church. Are we Orthodox or are we papist? - 10/2/2007
Becoming Like Children
Fr. William C. Mills - Matthew tells us that this is what Jesus demands from his followers, utter dependence on God for our sustenance, for our food and for everything that we need to get through this life. After all we too are children of God, we call God Father. - 8/28/2007
On the Priesthood
Fr. Aris Metrakos - Four different ways of looking at the priesthood work together to sharpen our vision about the work of the parish priest. We can't see the entire picture without comprehending what each perspective reveals. - 8/7/2007
What it Means to be an Orthodox Bishop
Bishop Joseph - Interview on Ancient Faith radio. [Audio clip - MP3]
What Is the Church's Position on Abortion? An Interview With Fr. Thomas Hopko
We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to discuss this very important subject with the Very Rev Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, New York. [6/20/2007]
Finding My Religion - Monk's Best Friend
The Monks of New Skete, an Eastern Orthodox community in Cambridge, NY, rehabilitate dogs with issues. Their training techniques are based on getting a dog calm, centered and balanced, as well as encouraging the deep emotional and spiritual connection possible between humans and dogs. [6/25/2007]
In Praise of Money
Perhaps the world’s most misquoted Biblical verse is “money is the root of all evil”. The actual words are “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). But this has not stopped people from demonizing money and those who exchange and loan it. [5/30/2007]
The Violent Love of God
Fr. Thomas Hopko - Commencement address delivered at St. Vladimir's Seminary "I can tell you that being loved by God, and loving Him in return, is the greatest joy given to creatures, and that without it there is no real and lasting happiness for humanity." - 5/19/2007
Mission to Romania
Fr. Aris P. Metrakos - An American priest helps the Romanian Orthodox Church: "I came to Romania to teach the Romanian Church some American youth ministry theories and techniques." [5/24/2007]
Is Silence Golden?
It must be agreed that there are times when "silence is golden". However, there are other times, when silence is not "golden". It may be just plain "yellow" or cowardly in such instances! To remain silent at times when one should speak up is to be guilty of cowardice and results in a failure to do one's duty.
Failed Stewardship
Fr. Christopher Wojcik - For anyone who has worked with abuse victims, the pattern in the OCA is clear and universal. An abuser commits ten violations. The victim finally puts her foot down and threatens to leave. The abuser then backs off on his last two violations, and “shows positive changes” for a while. [5/29/2007]
The Devil, You Say
This is the problem of evil. It is a theological problem. You won't find it addressed in textbooks on psychology or sociology, least of all on the editorial pages of The New York Times or USA Today. The people who write these textbooks, these editorials, don't grasp what is at stake. [4/24/2007]
Pascha Today
In our civilization, so rich in knowledge and in power, we can no longer offer any reply to the enigma of death. We want only to forget death. [4/23/2007]
Home Bible School
The stories of the Bible, assimilated in the context of his family, gave shape to Timothy’s moral imagination, conferring on his conscience a narrative moral sense. These biblical stories gave imaginative organization to his mind. [Mar. 2007]
The Easter "Hit" Parade
Beginning in February the news and entertainment media have fired a stunning barrage of criticism at religious beliefs, religious practice, and religious symbols. Nothing is too sacred to attack this year, not even the most crucial teachings of Judaism and Christianity. [4/4/2007]
Christian belief a 'hate crime' under plan
Americans worried about new "hate crime" legislation that could be used to make criminals of those whose religious faith doesn't endorse homosexuality could be facing a two-pronged attack, according to groups that monitor those developments. [3/3/2007]
Go Fast From Food and Change the World
The reward of fasting is drawing nearer to God, to prepare to be in God's presence. We cannot let our faith be governed by strict rules of fasting, any more than we can say that Christianity is governed solely by an ethical code of behavior. It is our drawing nearer to God-coming closer to the light-that changes our fasting, our behavior and our hearts and minds. [2/18/2007]
The Ethos of Orthodox Christian Healing
To understand healing we must first understand sin, illness, death and love, a task that brings us back to Genesis. Genesis reveals that God created the world as good. He set mankind as the crown of His creation. [12/21/2006]
Go Fast From Food and Change the World
The reward of fasting is drawing nearer to God, to prepare to be in God's presence. We cannot let our faith be governed by strict rules of fasting, any more than we can say that Christianity is governed solely by an ethical code of behavior. It is our drawing nearer to God-coming closer to the light-that changes our fasting, our behavior and our hearts and minds. [2/18/2007]
God vs. Caesar?
Two recent Lenten letters, from Metropolitan Herman and Archbishop Job, reveal the legal and theological tensions that exist in the Special Commission, Metropolitan Council and Synod of Bishops on how to deal with OCA's ongoing crisis. [2/26/2007]
Simply Lewis
Millions around the world have been introduced to, and nurtured within, the Christian faith through C.S. Lewis' work where their own preachers and teachers were not giving them what they needed. [Mar. 2007]
Why liberals are right to hate the Ten Commandments
The left’s fiery obsession with removing Ten Commandments monuments from public property throughout the United States may seem odd and irrational but actually reflects the deepest values of contemporary liberalism. [2/28/2007]
Atheism and the Experience of God (1)
Books arguing for atheism are topping the best-seller lists these days, and more and more people seem to be listening. Those who take issue usually try to fight scientific dogma with religious dogma. They would perhaps do better if they appealed to the unprovable but, to those who give their lives for it, undeniable experience of the living God. [1/23/2007]
Year 2006
The Historical Problem of Christmas
A special historical problem attends the Gospel accounts of our Lord's Nativity, but the correct solution to that problem, I believe, offers a unique perspective on those narratives. This subject is easily understood and very much worth the pursuit. We will look first at the problem, and then consider its solution. [12/21/2006]
Celebrating Christ's Nativity
With the hyper-commercialization of Christmas in American culture, it's important for us to step away from the noise and tinsel, in order to hear once again what Orthodox Christian tradition tells us about the real significance of this feast. This takes us back first of all to the Nativity stories of the Gospels. [12/21/2006]
God's Greatest Gift at Christmas
As Christians, we believe that the birth in the flesh of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ, has set into motion the process of salvation. St. John Chrysostom's insightful characterization of the Nativity feast as "the center of all festivals" indicates that all subsequent events in the life of our Lord, celebrated liturgically by the Church, find their commencement with the human birth of Christ. [12/21/2006]
Micro-Finance: A Way Out of Poverty
“The poor you will always have with you,” a great wise man once told us long ago. And indeed we do. But the micro-credit movement has helped many of the poor become less poor, and to lift themselves, their families, and their neighbors out of abject poverty. [10/25/2006]
The Nexus of Moral Discernment in the Church
Today, in the sophisticated world of the West, there is a profusion of anxiety about the future, and about what is really happening underneath the simplistic reports on the evening news. There is a foreboding sense of danger on many horizons, and a rising level of unease about society and the state of the world. [10/22/2006]
A Marriage Made in Heaven: Longevity in the Pastorate
How long should a pastor remain in a particular parish? Twenty years ago, the conventional wisdom was seven years: Years one through three, the pastor accrues leadership capital; the fourth and fifth year are his most productive; by year six he has worn out his welcome and it is time to shepherd a flock in greener pastures. [10/22/2006]
What if God Was One of Us?
"What if God was One of Us?" asks Joan Osborne in her song of the same name. What would the answer be? He is one of us. The second would be Jesus. But is this really so? [10/17/2006]
What is the Church's Stand on War?
What happens to Christians is that we get caught up in the current culture that labels warfare as the greatest of all evils and so we reflexively renounce it. There certainly are times when war should be renounced, but a more sober understanding sees warfare as a part of life that you just can't wish away. [10/4/2006]
Waiting for God
How does God work? Judging from St. Paul's experience, He doesn't follow our way of doing things. God's timetable tends to flow at a very different speed from what we are used to and often that bothers us, especially if we are trying to do things for the Church - even for God. [10/31/2006]
The Nexus of Moral Discernment in the Church
Today, in the sophisticated world of the West, there is a profusion of anxiety about the future, and about what is really happening underneath the simplistic reports on the evening news. There is a foreboding sense of danger on many horizons, and a rising level of unease about society and the state of the world. [10/22/2006]
Overcoming Depression
Of all mental disorders, depression is the third most prevalent with about 8% of the population suffering from it. It is also currently the leading cause of disability world-wide. The effects of depression are varied affecting not only the patient, but family and society as well. [10/5/2006]
What is the Church's Stand on War?
What happens to Christians is that we get caught up in the current culture that labels warfare as the greatest of all evils and so we reflexively renounce it. There certainly are times when war should be renounced, but a more sober understanding sees warfare as a part of life that you just can't wish away. [10/4/2006]
Orthodox Church Archbishop attacks ‘Islamic fanaticism’
In yet another furore to grip the Christian community, the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece has joined the Pope controversy by attacking what he calls Islamic fanaticism in Africa. In a scathing attack, barely 48 hours after a Somali Islamic cleric called for Muslims to kill the Pope for his Tuesday utterances, Archbishop Christodoulos told a sermon in Athens that Christians in Africa were suffering at the hands of ‘fanatic Islamists’. [9/17/2006]
Murder in the Cathedral: Terrorizing the Innocent
Those of us who have attained the status of what is now called "senior citizen" can recall a far different time when most of the manifest evils of our time -- abortion, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drug addiction, pornography, political corruption -- were, if not completely absent, at least known to be evil, and so were vigorously fought by individual citizens, by civic groups, and by the various levels of government. [9/5/2006]
Greek Orthodox Church Should Say No to NCC Collaboration on Stem Cell Research
Fr Johannes L. Jacobse - Why are we compromising the Orthodox moral tradition in order to satisfy the demands of NCC member communions? Why do we turn a blind eye to a moral question of such crucial cultural importance? We are we so eager to curry favor with the NCC while ignoring the needs of our own faithful and the larger culture? [9/2/2006]
There is an American Orthodoxy
Fr Aris Metrakos - A myth needs to be debunked. It goes like this: Orthodox unity is years away because there is no such thing as "American Orthodoxy". Call it an ecclesiastical instead of urban legend if you want. It's been in circulation for at least two decades among the Orthodox Christians of the United States and it keeps us frozen in a state of tribalism and territorialism that prevents us from planting Orthodoxy more firmly in America. [8/28/2006]
Abortion, Morality and the Guidance of Christianity
Should Christian churches provide guidance on abortion, or should they just leave such life-and-death decision-making to the whims of personal opinion and secular culture? [8/25/2006]
What the Heart Sees
In the desert of our hearts, God is apparent. We do not acknowledge His presence until we really need Him. Our journey is fraught with trying to succeed in a world that is finite. We use our eyes and minds to make our lives a better place not realizing that the Heart is what should be guiding us to our successes and failures. [8/4/2006]
When Schools Silence God Talk
With schools opening around the country, it's unfortunate that many principals and school boards are not educated on the true meaning of the Establishment Clause. Under the Free Exercise Clause, a student can express his or her personal religious beliefs in an assignment or as a valedictorian. [8/27/2006]
What the Heart Sees
In the desert of our hearts, God is apparent. We do not acknowledge His presence until we really need Him. Our journey is fraught with trying to succeed in a world that is finite. We use our eyes and minds to make our lives a better place not realizing that the Heart is what should be guiding us to our successes and failures. [8/4/2006]
Vatican vows to expel stem cell scientists from Church
Scientists who carry out embryonic stem cell research and politicians who pass laws permitting the practice will be excommunicated, the Vatican said yesterday. [6/30/2006]
Animals Are People Too
No matter how virtuous the strong feelings of compassion felt by congressmen may be, we don't pay our representatives to legislate on the basis of their feelings. That is how civilizations commit suicide. We would greatly prefer it if they weighed up long term future effects against today's call of compassion. [5/26/2006]
The Dictatorship of Relativism
We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires. We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. [5/19/2006]
The Da Vinci Code: Decoding the Agenda
Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos - Much has been written and said about Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Potential viewers, as they evaluate the film for themselves, ought to be mindful of the whopping historical falsehoods on which the book is based. [May 2006]
The Da Vinci Code: The X-Files of Ancient Lies
Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos - The apocryphal myths contained in the X-Files of early heretical texts have once again emerged as the protagonists against the Sacred Tradition of Orthodox Christianity seeking to lead the catechetically uninformed and spiritually fickle into a hollow pursuit whose ultimate destination is death and destruction. [May 2006]
An Orthodox Response To The Da Vinci Code
The articles on this site have been assembled to provide real seekers of "Truth" with an opportunity for honest dialogue. Since Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is based on so many inaccuracies - our goal is to help set an appropriate basis for a healthy discussion concerning the cultural merits of Christianity by first setting the historical, scriptural and theological record straight!
He Is Not Here!
Fr. John Breck - As the Risen One, we declare with the angel, Jesus was "not there." As the Crucified One, however, he is and remains in the darkness of the tomb, in the abyss of Sheol, reaching out his hands to seize, to embrace, and to raise up with himself both the living and the dead. [4/20/2006]
Testing our faith
Easter is the most extraordinary of religious holidays because it dares believers to step up and embrace the impossible: the declaration that Jesus of Nazareth died, was buried and rose on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.
A Gospel In The Gospel Of Judas?
The fact that the Gospel of Judas has been authenticated as belonging to the third century, the original written about a century earlier, does not of course mean what it says is true. St. Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 180 AD) knew about it and denounced it as heresy. Many other Church Fathers and theologians have, before and after Irenaeus, refuted the same kind of thinking found in dozens of similar documents which distorted the apostolic faith. [4/20/2006]
Worship and Rhythm of Life
Fr. Bohdan Hladio - There is no easy or painless way to achieve spiritual renewal or growth either in our Church or in our personal life - but attending the services is the first step if we're truly interested in seeing this growth. [3/5/2006]
Separated At Birth
The United States is engaged in a massive experiment with its children, according to Mary Eberstadt. This "separationist experiment" is designed to see how well American children fare without much attention from one or both of their parents. [March 2006]
NCC Exit Poll
Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse - The NCC has become increasingly more political than religious, and that its politics has a decidedly leftward slant. The organization had also become increasingly associated with pro-homosexual and anti-marriage causes. [2/24/2006]
Lessons from Limbo
The Roman Catholic Church recently announced that it is closing the doors on "limbo." For important theological reasons, this is a good thing. Yet it gives us cause to reflect a little on our own understanding of the state of existence after death and on the development of theology within the Church. [2/19/2006]
The Education Monopoly and Intelligent Design
With the recent election results in Kansas and Delaware, the debate continues to intensify over teaching evolution and "Intelligent Design" in the public schools. There is much at stake, from scientific integrity to philosophical baggage. The stakes are greater than they ought to be because of the way our country delivers educational services. [1/4/2006]
Can God Suffer?
The image God offers us of Himself in the Gospel takes this conviction a crucial step further. It is the image of a God who not only governs the world and our individual lives, bringing blessings and permitting pain and suffering. This same God makes it clear that He actually shares that suffering with us. [1/2/2006]
Year 2005
The Parable of the Missing Samaritan
Chris Banescu - A certain Orthodox parish was on her journey towards the Kingdom of Heaven, but on her way she fell among thieves, who chased away the good shepherd guarding her flock, stripped her of the fullness of life that she is called to represent and support, wounded her, scattered her sheep ,and departed, leaving her half dead.
Disarming Men
If Christians are going to be serious about recovering a biblical vision of manhood, we ought to start by looking around our churches this next Sunday. Young Scott Peterson will be there, waiting to hear if we have anything different to say. [May 2005]
United Churches of Castro
Fr. Johannes Jacobse - Like many of its left-wing counterparts, the NCC displayed a slavish devotion to Marxist ideas and anti-American cant. It strove to become the official dispenser of religious respectability to those who adopted either. Dispensing respectability made NCC bureaucrats feel important and offered the rationale that justified the NCC’s existence. [8/25/2005]
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
St. Nicholas, when discussed in his true form, truly gives the meaning of Christmas. This great wonder-worker humbled himself before his God and before mankind, by spreading joy to those less fortunate than him.
Bishop Tikhon (OCA) on Intelligent Design
Bishop Tikhon - "I feel it's important to note that "intelligent design" has NO scientific answers to any scientific question. It is an expression of various religious tenets held mostly by the Evangelicals." [12/5/2005]
Bishop Tikhon (OCA) Against Intelligent Design in Schools
Bishop Tikhon - "the fact remains that "Intelligent Design" doesn't make it as any kind of science, and to subject children to a religious teaching that is even more half-baked than the most rigid Fundamentalism is not respectable pedagogy." [12/6/2005]
Uncommon Dissent (Read for Arguments Supporting Intelligent Design)
Book Review: Darwinists demand a bigger miracle than any creationist could ever claim, as they assert that "only matter in mindless motion" gave birth to intelligent life and consciousness. Indeed, the faith required to believe that chaos allowed inanimate matter to become alive and to eventually develop into rational beings is far greater than the faith needed to acknowledge that an intelligent Creator designed it all from the beginning.
God and Gambling
Is gambling a sin? With the proliferation of gambling throughout society in recent years, this question seems more pertinent than ever before. But at the same time, the stigma that once went along with gambling obviously has diminished. [11/2/2005]
Upbringing of Children as Pious and Orthodox Christians
All Orthodox Christian parents who have babies or young children should consider very carefully how they are going to raise those children. Each one is a beloved and precious gift from God. From their first breath - indeed, from their conception - children should be surrounded by both love and prayer. [Oct. 2005]
Vanishing Sea of Faith
The plight of Christianity in Europe, if not yet in America, has become the topic of the moment in religious as well as secular circles, and the modern Christian establishment professes bewilderment. [Oct. 2005]
Goodbye My Son
Fr. Apostolos Hill - Are we adults living the kind of lives to which our own children can resort for inspiration, example, and encouragement? Are we leaving a legacy of faith, fortitude, contentment, character, and joy in our relationships that will serve as a bulwark to the cynical resentment which so animates civic life today? [10/22/2005]
Atheism And Orthodoxy in Modern Russia
Bishop Hilarion - Russian atheism may well one day die, but this will happen when the country has not only been baptized, but has been enlightened and born again. The Orthodox Church should play a key role in this spiritual rebirth. [10/14/2005]
Fr. John G. Panagiotou - So many times today we are confronted with the reality that many people do not understand what the meaning of the word character is. Literally, the word means that which typifies a person in his/her own inner essence. In effect, it is the aroma of our souls that lingers with people once we have exited a room. [8/18/2005]
Smart Parenting
Fr. George Morelli - The first place we have to start is with ourselves. If we are not keeping a "life in Christ" how can we expect our children to do so? [9/17/2005]
The Decline and Fall of Christian Morality
No Christian today can deny that we are drowning in a deluge of immoral sexuality. We are living in a culture that is bent on desecrating marriage and sex. We are sexualizing our children, exploiting our teens and producing adults whose understanding of relationships is so warped that marriages are now more likely to end in divorce than not. [9/17/2005]
Whose Side is God On?
Jesus clearly upholds the moral law regarding "sexual immorality." (Mark 7:21) St. Paul specifically affirms the prohibitions against homosexual acts at several points. He wrote: "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) [9/8/2005]
Remembering September 11
Fr. James Kordaris - This month we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Lifegiving Cross. Every September for the rest of our lives, we will remember the horrible events of September 11. And yet, as Orthodox Christians, we will also remember that three days later, the Church raises up before us the Cross of Christ. [Sept. 2005]
The rejection of materialism (Part XXI)
The primary reason Karl Marx hated religion -- specifically Judaism and Christianity -- was that he regarded it as the "opiate of the masses." This attitude has permeated all leftist views of religion since Marx: Religion keeps people from making revolutions to materially better their lives.
Religious War & Peace
The equating of Christians with Wahhabis (radical Islamists) is reminiscent of the assertion of the moral equivalence of the West and the Soviet Union that we so often heard from the European and American left during the Cold War. [July-Aug 2005]
Bishop Tikhon of the OCA on Banning Abortions
Bishop Tikhon: "One of the most successful instruments in the latters' [neoconservatives] propaganda kit, Anti-abortion as a slogan, accompanied by great temporizing and a certain ambiguity, because if abortion were to be banned outright and we returned automatically to the old illegal unsanitary and more-profitable-than-drugs "coat-hangar" garage abortions that we had in the good old days..." (Posted on 9/9/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Fr. Symeon Responds to Bishop Tikhon's Comments on Abortions
Fr. Symeon: "Do I read that he suggests the slaughter of the unborn on a massive scale is BETTER than the danger of a few unsterile abortions???? Oh yea, that's reasonable, that's rational! Such reasoning is as irrational as the Good Bishop's theory that man was CREATED 'omnisexual.'" (Posted on 9/9/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Bishop Tikhon: Man is an "Omnisexual" Being, Post #2
Bishop Tikhon: "A human being is born biologically and traditionally capable of being sexually excited by anything and everything; hence the 'omni-' in 'omnisexual'." (Posted on 8/26/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Fr. Symeon Debunks Bishop Tikhon's "Omnisexual" Teaching
Fr. Symeon: "I suggest that the proper challenge is for the Dear Bishop to produce a single teaching of the Church that confirms his absurd teaching that man was CREATED with an aberrant sexuality, called omnisexuality." (Posted on 8/27/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Bishop Tikhon: "Man Mostly an Omnisexual Being"
Bishop Tikhon: "Man being mostly an omnisexual being, able to get excited by a tree trunk, a calf, satin, all sorts of oils and unguents, tubes, sharp objects, pressure faucets, and so on, which can be found in almost any house or other dwelling, is going to act as he pleases." (Posted on 8/23/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Fr. Symeon Challenges Bishop Tikhon's Comments
Fr. Symeon: "For one of such a cynical view as to see human sexuality as "omnisexual" sex itself is so debased it is "animal only" "physical only," so how could such a one grasp the spiritual reality of marital intimacy? This bishop or any bishop does not stand in your bedroom and should not insinuate himself into what the Holy Spirit has deemed, 'undefiled in all.'" (Posted on 8/26/2005 - Indiana Listserv)
Terrorism and Liberty
Fr. Hans Jacobse - The terror inflicted on America last week should shake clear thinking Americans into deeper sobriety. It should ring in our ears as a wake up call. Strong democracies are strong by more than military might. Strong democracies are strong through the virtue of its citizens.
Lest We Forget - Remembering Romanian persecution
In 1999, the Romanian National Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism published a volume entitled "The Imprisoned Church: Romania, 1944-1989." It is presented as a "dictionary" that details the persecution and suffering endured by clergy and other figures in the Orthodox, Catholic (Eastern and Roman) and Protestant Churches in Romania during the period of communist domination. [Aug. 2005]
Great News: Antiochian Orthodox Church Leaves National Council of Churches
The nearly 400,000 member Antiochian Orthodox Church of America has voted overwhelmingly to leave the National Council of Churches (NCC) because of its liberalism. "This decision by the Antiochian Orthodox is good news for all who care about genuine Christian ecumenism, as opposed to the faux ecumenism of the NCC, whose primary concern is politics, not churches." [8/4/2005]
God-Lite Doesn’t Cut It
A new poll tells an old story: Americans are deeply religious, especially compared to Europeans. "Religious devotion sets the United States apart from some of its closest allies."
Meaning or Meanings of Scripture?
Fr. John Breck - This is an odd question, one that has been asked many times since the beginning of this “postmodern” age. Yet the thought behind it is as ancient as the pre-Socratic philosopher who asked if a person can step twice into the same stream. Now, as then, the answer is both Yes and No. [May 2005]
Debate Between Christianity and Secularism
Bishop Hilarion - In the modern battle for values people find themselves more often than not on opposite sides of the barricades, with those inspired by religious ideals on the one side and those whose world-view is formed by secular humanism on the other. Today only religion is systematically resisting the desperate attack of globalization, entering into an unequal battle for the defense of those values which it considers fundamental and which are being challenged by globalization. [4/12/2005]
Sinful Silence - When Christians neglect their civil duty
Chris Banescu (book review) - Christianity requires us to not only stay faithful to Christ's teachings and our religious traditions, but to also actively engage our society and civil authorities and help them reflect God's wisdom, truth, and love. Anything less will mean that our Christian calling is missing a key characteristic that God has always expected from His people and their works; both in the Old and also the New Testament.
Nature must not be worshipped: Judeo-Christian values, Part XVI
Why would people who value compassion, kindness or justice venerate nature? The notions of justice and caring for the weak are unique to humanity. In the rest of nature, the weak are to be killed. The individual means nothing in nature; the individual is everything to humans.
The Pope Is Christian!
The changes Catholic revisionists are proposing for their own church are not simply of the sort that offend conservative Catholics, but all Christians. At the base of the progressive mind as it is revealing itself in the Catholic Church is a will to make it not a different kind of Catholic Church, but no church at all. [June 2005]
Secularism and the meaningless life
Judeo-Christian values: Part XIII - Whatever the logical inconsistencies or theoretical arguments in either direction, the fact remains that while secular individuals can believe that their own lives have meaning, secularism by definition denies that life has meaning. The consequences have been devastating to mental health and to social order.
Evangelicals Equated With Nazis at NCC-Sponsored Conference
If your denomination is a member of the National Council of Churches, prayerfully consider presenting a resolution to your church council opposing any nominal or financial support for a body like the NCC that undermines Christian unity rather than promoting it.
Got Salt?
Doug Giles - To be a faithful salt dispenser for Christ, you and I must have the resilient thick hide and attitude of a bulldog to maintain faithfulness to His call, even, or especially, when it means saying that which might cause consternation.
Abortion and Ecumenical Relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches
It is ironic that even as the Greek Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople is working hard to improve relations between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, the American Archdiocese of his Greek Church jeopardizes those relations by awarding abortionists
We are not just animals: Judeo-Christian values part XV
People who do not believe in God or religion can surely lead ethical lives. But they cannot lead holy lives. By definition, the ideal of the holy, as understood by Judaism and Christianity and that unique amalgam known as Judeo-Christian values, needs God and religion.
The Jews have a mission: Judeo-Christian values: Part XII
Dennis Prager - Ask any non-Christian what the Christian mission is, and you will get the same answer. Just about everyone, Christian or non-Christian, knows the Christian mission. Now ask any Jew, religious or secular, "What is the Jewish mission?" and the most likely response will be: "What do you mean?"
Democrats, Christians and social issues
The popular culture does routinely mock and demean Christians, who are the only group not protected by the selective "tolerance" of political correctness, but mere derision is not our primary grievance. We cite it mainly to demonstrate the antipathy of the secularist culture toward people of faith.
The Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem
"The Miracle of the Holy Fire" by Christians from the Orthodox Churches is known as "The greatest of all Christian miracles". It takes place every single year, on the same time, in the same manner, and on the same spot. No other miracle is known to occur so regularly and for such an extensive period of time; one can read about it in sources as old as from the eighth Century AD. [5/1/2005]
The war on religion
Religion may be a fine, stained-glass thing in its purely ornamental place, but actually to take a stand on religious conviction and fight for it, well, then you've gone from preachin' to meddlin' - and become a special interest, to use Mark Pryor's (Democrat) damning description.
Holding On to all that Humanity can Mean
Fr. Thomas Hopko - Pope John Paul II was not only a human being, but, amazing to say, he was a male human being in a world where prominent and popular people, particular men, are hardly human. He was the polar opposite of the men, and now also the women, who are ready to do whatever it takes to get whatever they want for the sake of personal power, position, prestige, profit and pleasure. [4/18/2005]
Towards a Catholic-Orthodox Alliance
"As a Russian Orthodox bishop, I hope, first of all, that the new pontificate will be marked by a breakthrough in relations between the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Churches, and that a meeting of the Pope of Rome with the Patriarch of Moscow does take place. This meeting must be preceded by concrete steps in the direction of a better mutual understanding, and by careful elaboration of a common position on major dividing issues." [4/28/2005]
The Origins of Lent
Fr. Patrick Reardon - The word "Lent," now associated exclusively with the observance of the liturgical year, originally meant "spring" and had no directly religious significance. In English usage, however, its reference was gradually limited to the season of preparation for Pascha, a season that does, in fact, coincide with spring. [3/15/2005]
The Cube and the Cathedral (Europe's Church Crisis)
Europe's largest churches are often unused these days, reduced to monuments for tourists to admire. And there is a reason for this neglect. In "The Cube and the Cathedral," George Weigel describes a European culture that has become not only increasingly secular but in many cases downright hostile to Christianity. [4/14/2005]
Life in the Fast Lane
For Christians, the most important lesson about fasting is presented in blunt terms: Christ warns us in the Gospels that fasting is not to make us gloomy! It is not a bitter, excruciating ordeal: “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites. . . . But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father” (Matt. 6:16–17). [March 2005]
Rat Research Hints at God's Creation
Chris Banescu - Earlier this year, researchers in Spain made a remarkable scientific discovery. Rats are capable of discerning the rhythms of the human language and can tell the difference between different languages. Rather than support evolution, these findings actually reinforce the Creation model of the world. The research seems to indicate yet another weakness of the evolutionary model and adds more weight to a growing body of scientific evidence that disproves many aspects of evolution.
No need for Orthodox pickles
The heart of Orthodoxy must stay the same, but it is not enough to "put our faith into pickle jar and preserve it." Orthodox leaders must find a way to save the traditions of their homelands, but the clergy and laity must realize that their own children and grandchildren are Americans who need a faith that is stronger than old music, familiar foods, folk dancing and traces of an ancient language. [2/23/2005]
What Will Be Will Be?
Fr. Patrick Reardon - To say, as the Bible and the Church have always insisted on saying, that we are responsible beings answerable to God for our lives and our moral decisions, is to assert that our choices are really free, that we have a genuine say about what will be, that we do not simply act from compulsory forces outside of our control, that what comes forth from us is not just the sum total of the influences brought to bear upon us, that "it is not what enters a man from without that defiles him." [2/16/2005]
Mad Court Disease
Canada used to have an exemplary record of respect for human rights. That ended with adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. Under the pretense of upholding this Charter, activists on the Supreme Court of Canada have conducted a systematic attack on freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, and expression for Canadians who affirm the traditional principles of Judeo-Christian morality. [March 2005]
Choose life: The case for Judeo-Christian values: IX
There are good people on both sides of the Terri Schiavo tragedy, but chances are that if you affirm Judeo-Christian values, you have opposed pulling the feeding tubes from the severely brain damaged woman's body. Why? Because if there is anything that Judeo-Christian values stand for, it is choosing life and rejecting death.
Hate evil: Case for Judeo-Christian values, part VII
Dennis Prager - A core value of the Bible is hatred of evil. Indeed, it is the only thing the Bible instructs its followers to hate -- so much so that love of God is equated with hatred of evil. "Those who love God -- you must hate evil," the Psalms tell us. The notion of hating evil was and remains revolutionary. [3/1/2005]
Liberal feeling vs. Judeo-Christian values: Part VI
Dennis Prager - With the decline of the authority of Judeo-Christian values in the West, many people stopped looking to external sources of moral standards in order to decide what is right and wrong. Instead of being guided by God, the Bible and religion, great numbers -- in Western Europe, the great majority -- have looked elsewhere for moral and social guidelines. [2/22/2005]
Restating the obvious - the American Church is hurting
We are in trouble – Christians, the nation, the world – because of the Church. As so-called believers we do not act as we ought. And it is costing our witness, big-time. [2/16/2005]
Judeo-Christian values: Part V
Dennis Prager - Before continuing to make the case for Judeo-Christian values, it is time to answer a question frequently posed by Jews and Christians as well as others: How can there be such a thing as Judeo-Christian values when Judaism and Christianity have different, sometimes mutually exclusive, beliefs? [2/15/2005]
Judeo-Christian values: Part IV
Dennis Prager - One of the most obvious and significant differences between secular and Judeo-Christian values concerns human worth. One of the great ironies of secular humanism is that it devalues the worth of human beings. As ironic as it may sound, the God-based Judeo-Christian value system renders man infinitely more valuable and significant than any humanistic value system. [2/8/2005]
Raising Children Who Believe: Five Steps We Took as Christian Parents
Fr. Peter E. Gillquist - One of the great struggles we have today in the Church is preserving our children in the Orthodox Faith. Too often they seem not to be interested. Can we somehow motivate our kids to be excited about following Christ and being Orthodox Christians? I believe there is a way. It takes commitment and hard work, but it’s worth it. [Jan. 2005]
Judeo-Christian values: Part III
Dennis Prager - Those who do not believe that moral values must come from the Bible or be based upon God's moral instruction argue that they have a better source for values: human reason.
The case for Judeo-Christian values: Part II
Dennis Prager - For those who subscribe to Judeo-Christian values, right and wrong, good and evil, are derived from God, not from reason alone, nor from the human heart, the state or through majority rule.
Better answers: The case for Judeo-Christian values
Dennis Prager - Now, it is time to make the case for Judeo-Christian, specifically biblical, values. I believe they are the finest set of values to guide the lives of both individuals and societies. Unfortunately, they are rarely rationally explained -- even among Jewish and Christian believers, let alone to nonbelievers and members of other faiths.
Year 2004
Right Alliances
The fact that Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians are able to come together as we do tonight, in a spirit of fellowship and good will, is a tribute to our nation and to its great tradition of religious pluralism. Of course, it has taken us some time, we Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians, to get to this point. [Nov. 2004]
First Things First
A society in which vulnerable human life is not protected and in which marriage is made irrelevant is a society that will not long continue to care for the freedom, peace, and health of others. [Oct. 2004]
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