July 30, 2014

Ecumenical Patriarch: Cohabitation of Same-Sex Couples Contrary to Gospel

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (via OCN.Net). The following is an excerpt from the Message of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the 42nd Clergy-Laity Congress in Philadelphia, delivered July 7, 2014 Our Lord, through His first miracle in Canaan, Galilee, blessed the holy sacrament of marriage, in which two persons of different sexes come together to unite into one body: and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is a profound one and I’m saying that it refers to Christ and the Church (Eph. 5: 31-33). Through this union of the two persons male and female in Christ the family becomes a dwelling of Christ, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named (Eph. 3: 15-16); every family, i.e. every genealogical origin and presence on earth of which the family is the cell from Adam and Eve, through which life goes on, the earth is inherited, and the heavenly kingdom granted to the man who has been created in the image and likeness of God. Human … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah at the Institute of Religion and Democracy: Secularism and Depersonalization [AUDIO]

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Source: Juicy Ecumenicism Metropolitan Jonah recently spoke at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He served as the head of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) from November 2008 until July 2012. He spoke about “Secularism and Depersonalization” and its impact on society and the church. Listen here: … [Read more...]

Fr. Josiah Trenham: Protecting Religious Freedom [AUDIO]

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Source: The Voice of Russia - American Edition | Andrew Hiller WASHINGTON (VR)– Some might argue that the founding of the Americas and the keystones of the United States were largely based on three principles: fair taxation, freedom of religion, and property rights. Now, two of those seemingly are under attack in Kansas. This all centers on a bill that purports to defend the rights of business owners to refuse to serve a customer if they feel compelled by strong religious beliefs. Radio VR's Andrew Hiller spoke to Father Josiah Trenham of St. Andrews Orthodox Church in Riverside, CA about the necessity of protecting business owners, gay marriage, abortion, and the tug of war between Judeo-Christian principles and secular policy in America today. -Listen here: … [Read more...]

Information, Creativity, and Surprise

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My review of Gilder's book published by the Acton Institute follows these preliminary comments. I believe that the book Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World is indeed revolutionary. Author George Gilder is first an economist so this book, which he sees as the culmination of his life's work (Gilder also wrote Wealth and Poverty), is appropriately about economics. But it is much more. Gilder draws on information theory and posits that information, not chemical and physical processes are the ground of epistemology. What does that mean in plain English? Simply this: science itself is discovering that knowledge can not be circumscribed by what we can see and measure; that much more can be known about the world beyond the measurements of the world's material properties (the chemical and physical processes of things). This is astounding for for two reasons. The first is that it corresponds to what St. Maximos the … [Read more...]

Thank You to Everyone Who Contributed

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Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for the support you showed to a priest in need. He has asked me to convey his gratitude as well. The situation was nothing short of a crisis and your generosity has helped him leap over a canyon. He works hard, very hard in fact, but unjust treatment, a poor economy, and a very unexpected event for which he could not prepare all came together at the wrong moment. Thank you too for your trust. I asked for help not giving any concrete details. I'm not sure what to say about this but I find it deeply moving, even a cause for joy. Everyone responded immediately. When you call on others for help, they really deliver and that's a blessed thing to see. This is very encouraging. Thank you again. Fr. Hans Jacobse … [Read more...]

Helping a Priest in Need

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It's unfortunate but true: Sometimes priests are treated unfairly and the results can be financially catastrophic. A friend of mine, a solid priest with a great track record and no hint of scandal, untoward behavior or anything else that warrants the kind of treatment he is receiving, is undergoing some grave difficulty at the moment. I want to raise $1,000 to help him through his current distress. I need to keep his name private to protect his dignity. You might ask why doesn't the Church help him out? It will if you help. You might also ask why don't his fellow priests help him out? That is what I am trying to do here. You might ask why doesn't his bishop help him out? That answer is known only to God. I wish it were different but unfortunately it isn't. If you can help with any amount please donate below: Thank you very much. Fr. Hans Jacobse … [Read more...]

Have Icon, Will Travel

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The Ministry of an Orthodox Army Chaplain in Southwest Asia Post-9/11 by Alexander F. C. Webster This article appeared in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. At 11:20 p.m. on April 3, 2010, a loud explosion broke the night silence around the main chapel on Bagram Air Field (BAF) in Afghanistan. I was putting on my vestments in preparation for the midnight Paschal services. A few of the attendees rushed outside the wooden building to see what was happening. Then, two minutes later, a second shell landed so close that it rocked the chapel as if an earthquake had hit us. At that point, the intrepid souls outside were summoned back inside the chapel to at least a modicum of safety under our wooden roof, which was better than open air. And I confronted my own mortality with a calm serenity that, frankly, surprised me. Was this a “creeping” rocket or mortar bombardment that would take out our chapel next—and those of us in … [Read more...]

Leite: The Revolutionary Mentality is the Confusion of our Time

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- By Fabio L. Leite The ideas of the Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho provide important tools not only to analyze, but to criticize and resist the destructive current cultural currents of our time. Many of these currents spring from the ideologies that oppressed our brothers and sisters in Europe. Olavo de Carvalho currently lives in Virgina. THE THREE INVERSIONS Three "inversions" characterize the revolutionary mentality (Nazism, Communism, feminism, homosexualism et.al.) writes philosopher Olavo de Carvalho regardless of their putative values or whether they use peaceful or violent means. They are: Inversion of Perception of Time The utopic future is fixed, everything before it is fluid. The past can be reinterpreted as many times as necessary to justify the progress toward that fixed future. The present can be shaped at will to bring that future. Because the past and present are seen as naturally fluid, there is no sense in the concept of reality … [Read more...]

Estocin: Four Orthodox Christian Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.

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Download Four Orthodox Christian Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr. (pdf). By: Andrew F. Estocin Our Church has never hesitated to fight, when it felt it must, for the rights of mankind….there are times when we must risk everything, including life itself, for those basic American ideals of freedom, justice, and equality, without which this land cannot survive. Our hope and prayer, then, is that we may be given strength to let God know by our acts and deeds, and not only by our words, that . . . we, too, are the espousers and the fighters in a struggle for which we must be prepared to risk our all. (Archbishop Iakovos, Selma, Alabama, 1965) Every January Americans pause to honor the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who led a civil rights movement that called this nation to see every person as created in the image and likeness of God and worthy of equal treatment under the law. One of the most beautiful moments in American Orthodox history was when … [Read more...]

How the Faith was Lost in the Church of England

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Source: Virtue Online | Alan Marsh When the Church becomes a fixed part of the local landscape, it ceases to preach repentance and conversion, and instead "reaches out" with social programs Mainstream churches, Catholic, Anglican and most of the Protestants have allowed themselves to become too closely identified with the surrounding society - even if not formally "Established" they are established to all intents and purposes. Contrast this with the Old Testament, where there is the ever present fear of assimilation by pagan neighbors, and a determination to keep Israel separate from them at all costs. The prohibition against homosexuality is a key part of Israel's identity: it distinguishes Israel from the idolatry taking place in Egypt, Greece, Babylon or Rome. A Church which is established slips imperceptibly from being a Great Commission Church to a Church which thinks of itself as providing a pastoral service to the local community or to the State. It loses the will … [Read more...]

Pat. Bartholomew: Christmas Enyclical Affirms Unborn Life and Traditional Marriage

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In what can only be termed as a remarkable shift in tone and emphasis, Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew soundly defends the sanctity of unborn life in his recent Christmas Encyclical. His Holiness writes: The Lord assumed and sanctified all of human nature. The pre-eternal God condescended to become for us an embryo and be borne inside the womb of the Theotokos. In so doing, He both honored human life from its earliest stage and taught us respect toward humankind from its earliest conception. This is a far cry from earlier statements where Constantinople's support of the unborn life reached no deeper than the shallow logic employed by abortion activists (see: A Patriarch who ‘Generally Speaking, Respects Human Life’), and where an ethic of human life according to the moral tradition was never properly formulated. Hopefully the shift portends even greater moral clarity in the future. The Patriarch also affirmed traditional marriage (a misnomer because in Christian … [Read more...]

Socrates in the City: Eric Metaxas interviews Dr. Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design [VIDEO]

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Darwin, the scientific method, Danny DeVito, and Cher all manage to find a place in this mind-boggling and entertaining conversation between Eric Metaxas and Stephen Meyer, at the Union League Club in New York City on September 12, 2013. It's things like this that make me wish I lived in New York. Many thanks to Socrates in the City for making this available on video. To skip intro start at 11:00 … [Read more...]