July 27, 2014

When Bishops Disappoint

Fr. Thomas Hopko

It's very encouraging to hear an Orthodox leader speak to a problem many us are aware of but don't know how to frame in ways that we can responsibly speak about it. That problem is corruption, malfeasance, and plain old brokenness in clerical ranks. Fr. Tom starts with comments that corruption of this type is nothing new. True enough. All too often though, this statement is used to close discussion, as if the present calamity (not too strong a word in some areas of American Orthodoxy) ought not be broached and Fr. Tom thankfully does not take this approach. Instead, he delves into the scriptures to describe what proper Christian leadership consists of servanthood (not overlordship) and exhorts the faithful to help the priests and bishops to "tend the flock of God that is in (their) charge." … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah — The Necessity of Unity

At the Friday night Sept 4 first session of the Missions and Evangelism conference, OCA Primate Met Jonah makes a strong call for unity preceded in importance only by the preaching of the Gospel. Listen here:   … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah on Spiritual Maturity

Delivered in Atlanta, Georgia recently. … [Read more...]

Steve the Builder on Capital Punishment – Part 2

In the second part of the series Steve discusses the Flood as the dividing line in human history in regard to the meaning of death, fear and capital punishment. Did the Mosaic Law abrogate the covenant with Noah? What do the atheist and the Christian have in common in regard to capital punishment? Steve writes: I’ve already received quite a bit of listener feedback (for and against) and I’ve not even gotten into the meat of the issue. So before I begin, let me say this IS a work in progress. I am already revising future podcasts and adding more material based on comments I’ve received, so it is kind of taking on a life of its own. Depending on how it goes I may go through all my material and then do a Q and A and response to comments podcast at the end of the series. The other thing I need to say is, I am not past changing my mind on this topic even though I’ve wrestled with it for years. I’m too old and have changed my thinking too many times on too many important … [Read more...]

Steve the Builder on Capital Punishment – Part 1

In what is sure to raise consternation among some AOI readers, Steve the Builder begins a four-part series on capital punishment. In Part One he chronicles his work with emotionally disturbed children and the beginning of his shift from radical pacifism to a reconsideration of the death penalty. Steve writes, "My hazy philosophical views started shifting when I began living in the real world and not in the dazed and confused world of the hippie subculture and seeing the world from penthouse view of the ivory tower of theoretical theological speculation culture of my protestant seminary." "I know for certain the concrete shift in my thinking happened when I took a job running a residential treatment center for severely emotionally disturbed boys who had tendencies toward uncontrollable rage or calculated sociopathic violence." Let the discussions begin! Listen to the podcast: … [Read more...]

Postcards from Greece: Phyletism

PostcardsFromGreece

On a new Postcards from Greece, Fr. Peter Alban Heers explains the heresy of Phyletism, which means placing one’s ethnic identity above the Orthodox faith. Fr. Peter shares with us his ten years of experience of living the Faith and serving the Church in Greece, and in particular the ancient Church of the Thessalonians. On visits to parishes and monasteries, and in interviews with clergy and laymen, Fr. Peter, as an American convert, introduces us to the ancient practice of the Church in Greece in terms and ways we can readily understand and apply to our contemporary way of life. Listen here: … [Read more...]

The American Orthodox ‘Historiographical Problem’

Did they have a plan for America?

Each age tries to form its own conception of the past. Each age writes the history of the past anew with reference to the conditions uppermost in its own time. — Frederick Jackson Turner Here's a new site worth a visit. The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas has launched a new blog at OrthodoxHistory.org. The picture here, found in the archives of the Library of Congress, shows a meeting of Orthodox bishops in 1921. But, mysteriously, it's not clear what the meeting was about. As OrthodoxHistory.org explains: Few photos from the early 20th century history of American Orthodoxy are so rich in significance as this one. This was taken during the 1921 visit of then-deposed Abp. Meletios (Metaxakis) of Athens to America, beginning the process of founding the Greek Archdiocese. He came traveling with Bp. Alexander (Demoglou), who would become the first Greek Archbishop of America. Meletios and Alexander did a remarkable amount of work toward uniting the Greek … [Read more...]

Steve the Builder on the meaning of work

In the seventh podcast from the road trip to St. John's monastery, after a long day Steve reflects on the meaning of work, family and death and their relationship to our salvation. Listen here: … [Read more...]

Heresy vs. Hope: Dr. Peter Bouteneff on “Two Texts on Ecumenicism”

Peter-Bouteneff

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Man as Meat

In part five of the "On the Road" series, Steve the Builder stopped in front of whore house in the middle of the Nevada desert. Sex and death are inextricably intertwined in the human being. That is why the Playmate Ranch is the perfect icon of our fallen humanity. Listen here: … [Read more...]

The American Orthodox Church at a Crossroads

George Michalopulos, frequent contributor to the AOI blog and author of several articles on the AOI website, is this week's guest on The Illumined Heart, a program on Ancient Faith Radio. In June 2009 leaders of all autocephalous Orthodox Churches - excluding the OCA or any representatives from North America - meet in Cyprus or Geneva (undetermined at the date of this posting), at a meeting convened by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholemew I. This meeting is being called to discuss "the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology." The American Orthodox situation and its disunity is at the top of the agenda. In this edition of The Illumined Heart, host Kevin Allen and author George C. Michalopulos discuss this meeting, the history and state of Orthodoxy in North America and possible outcomes of this potentially pivotal convocation. Listen to Part 1 Listen to Part 2   … [Read more...]

FOCUS — Fellowship Of Orthodox Christians United to Serve

Announcing a brand new humanitarian social service agency in the United States by the Orthodox Church. Listen to a podcast by Fr. Justin Matthews:   From Fr. Justin Matthews, Executive Director and CEO of Focus: The dream of an Orthodox Christian social action agency entirely dedicated to reaching out to help our neighbors here at home has long been in the making. It is a dream whose time has certainly come. I need not mention extensively the desperate reality many are facing in our country and even in some of our parishes. One in fifty children in the US are homeless, evicted families are living in tents, millions are jobless, and even more feel hopeless. It is for this reason that I make this appeal to you, the faithful, to support this new ministry. … [Read more...]