The Orthodox Church: Fighting Heresies and Resisting Worldly Errors

Sunday of Orthodoxy, Orthodox Church Fighting Heresies and Resisting Worldly ErrorsG. K. Chesterton points out the glorious sanity and vigorous life that has existed in the Christian Church since Her founding. While Chesterton doesn’t specifically mention the Orthodox Church I found his comments most appropriate for the Sunday of Orthodoxy we just celebrated. “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 which has established the Universe.” ~ Confession of faith from the Day of Orthodoxy

“This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. [Read more…]

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The Orthodox Church: Fierce Defender of Theological Truths and Sound Christian Doctrines

The Orthodox Church: Fierce Defender of Theological Truths and Sound Christian DoctrinesThe masterful and wisdom-filled writings of G. K. Chesterton remind us why the Christian Church cannot afford to swerve even “a hair’s breadth” on important theological truths. While not written with regards to the Orthodox Church specifically, his insights also describe how the Orthodox Church has continually fought to defend the Truth and the Christian faith as taught by Jesus Christ, embodied in the Scriptures, preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, reflected in the writings of the Saints, and expounded by the Fathers.

“Last and most important, it is exactly this which explains what is so inexplicable to all the modern critics of the history of Christianity. I mean the monstrous wars about small points of theology, the earthquakes of emotion about a gesture or a word. It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you are balancing. The Church could not afford to swerve a hair’s breadth on some things if she was to continue her great and daring experiment of the irregular equilibrium. Once let one idea become less powerful and some other idea would become too powerful. [Read more…]

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Prayer for America, Prayer for Election Times

Prayer for America, Prayer for Election TimesFrom The Prayer of Azariah
Blessed are You and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name unto the ages. For You are righteous in all You did for us, and all Your works are true. Your ways are upright, and all Your judgments are true.

The judgments You made are true, according to all You brought on us and on the holy city of our fathers, because in truth and judgment You did all these things on account of our sins.

For we sinned and acted lawlessly to depart from You. We sinned in every way, and did not obey Your commandments. Neither did we treasure or do as You commanded, that it might go well with us. Everything You brought on us and all You did to us, You did in true judgment. [Read more…]

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The Beginning of the Day Belongs to Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ Light of the World, God and Saviorby Chris Banescu –
In Life Together, the book that highlights the importance of Christian fellowship and community life centered on Christ, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us that the beginning of the day belongs to God. “At the threshold of the new day stand the Lord who made it.” He exhorts us to silence all empty talk and distractions when we rise each day and instead let our first thoughts and words be offered to Jesus Christ, “to whom our whole life belongs.”

This is the same message that the Scriptures, wise men of God, the Orthodox Church, and the Christian Saints have taught and practiced throughout the ages. The Gospels bear witness that Jesus Christ himself started each day with prayer. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).

“For Christians, the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day’s work. At the threshold of the new day stand the Lord who made it. All the darkness and distraction of the dreams of night retreat before the clear light of Jesus Christ and His wakening Word. All unrest, all impurity, all care and anxiety flee before Him. [Read more…]

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Christians Need Each Other to Hear the Word of God

Christians Need Each Other to Hear the Word of Godby Chris Banescu –
This Nativity season it’s good to remember the sacramental role that a Christian community plays in our lives. Man was not created to be alone but live in communion with God and other human beings. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Christian martyr and theologian, reminds us that our brothers are the means through which Christ, the Word of God, reaches us most powerfully and effectively.

We need each other because the Christ in our “own heart is weaker that the Christ in the word” of our brother. Our own heart can sometimes be uncertain, but our brother’s is sure. That’s why we need other Christians as bearers and proclaimers “of the divine word of salvation” to remind us of the Word of God. [Read more…]

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Dostoevsky: Fear the Christian Socialist

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Fedor Dostoevskiiby Chris Banescu –
“The socialist who is a Christian is more to be feared than the socialist who is an atheist.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

A sober warning comes to us from the writings of Fyodor Dostoevsky in his book The Brothers Karamazov. Given that some Orthodox Christian leaders today embrace and promote socialist ideas, this ominous observation should give us pause. Is history repeating itself?

“We are not particularly afraid of all these socialists, anarchists, atheists and revolutionaries. . . .  But there are a few peculiar men among them who believe in God and are Christians, but at the same time are socialists.  Those are the people we are most afraid of.  They are terrible people!  The socialist who is a Christian is more to be feared than the socialist who is an atheist.”
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky (Fedor Dostoevskii), The Brothers Karamazov

[Read more…]

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When Orthodox Bishops Spoke Boldly: Clear Teaching on Marriage and Family

Orthodox Bishop Defend Marriage Family Wedding Ceremonyby Chris Banescu –
The current societal moral collapse and the intensifying attacks on traditional marriage and the family were foreseen by previous generations of bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Approximately 40 years ago, the Holy Synod of the OCA issued an Encyclical Letter on Marriage warning their flocks of the dangers posed by an increasingly secularized world and re-affirming the traditional, biblical, and orthodox teaching on marriage. The clarity of their teaching, boldness of their condemnation, and prophetic dimensions of their preaching are undeniable.

These shepherds saw the “signs of the times.” They discerned the growing darkness and corruption all around them and the seriousness of the cultural battles to come. They forewarned the faithful that the “moral foundations of society are collapsing.” They understood the ultimate consequences of a society that abandons its moral principles, abuses its freedoms, embraces the evil of abortion, is indifferent to the murder of millions of unborn children, and glorifies corrupt sexual behaviors.

We find it imperative to address you on an issue of crucial importance for the Christian life. An increasingly secularized world tends more and more to neglect the traditional biblical understanding of marriage and family. Misunderstanding freedom and proclaiming the progress of a humanity supposedly too mature, sophisticated and scientific to follow Christ’s Gospel, many have abandoned its moral demands. The consequences are plain for all to see: the family is disintegrating, legalized abortion is killing millions of unborn children, corrupt sexual behavior is rampant. The moral foundations of society are collapsing.

[Read more…]

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Orthodox Church Categorically Opposed to Abortion: Life Begins at Conception

Orthodox Church Categorically Opposed to Abortion: Life Begins at Conceptionby Chris Banescu –
The Orthodox Church, founded by Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, bears witness to the truth that all human life begins at conception. The teachings of the Orthodox Christian faith are very clear and unambiguous: all unborn human life is sacred and innocent human life must be fully protected. The Orthodox Church regards abortion as murder and opposes all forms of abortion. All Orthodox Churches throughout the whole world and across the 2,000 years since Christ have taught and proclaimed this same truth without alteration to all nations.

The Court’s assertions in the Roe v. Wade decision, regarding Christian theology prior to the 19th century, that “there was otherwise little agreement about the precise time of formation or animation” of an unborn child is completely false. This declaration has no basis in fact in the theology, teachings, or practices of historic Orthodox Christianity. It is a complete fabrication!

The truth of the actual teachings and theology of the early Christian Church and proclaimed by the Orthodox Church to this day, categorically affirm that life begins at conception and specifically reject other theories based upon quickening or formation. These timeless truths were expressed very clearly in the Amicus Curiae (“friend of the court”) brief that the Holy Orthodox Church submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States back in 1989. [Read more…]

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