16 March 2008

The Sunday of Orthodoxy Anathemas

To those who deny the existence of God, and assert that the world is self-existing, and that all things in it occur by chance, and not by the providence of God, Anathema!

To those who say that God is not spirit, but flesh; or that He is not just, merciful, wise and all-knowing, and utter similar blasphemies, Anathema!

To those who dare to say that the Son of God and also the Holy Spirit are not one in essence and of equal honor with the Father, and confess that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not one God, Anathema!

To those who foolishly say that the coming of the Son of God into the world in the flesh, and His voluntary passion, death, and resurrection were not necessary for our salvation and the cleansing of sins, Anathema!

To those who reject the grace of redemption preached by the Gospel as the only means of our justification before God, Anathema!

To those who dare to say that the all-pure Virgin Mary was not virgin before giving birth, during birthgiving, and after her child-birth, Anathema!

To those who do not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and apostles, and by them taught us the true way to eternal salvation, and confirmed this by miracles, and now dwells in the hearts of all true and faithful Christians, and teaches them in all truth, Anathema!

To those who reject the immortality of the soul, the end of time, the future judgment, and eternal reward for virtue and condemnation for sin, Anathema!

To those who reject all the holy mysteries held by the Church of Christ, Anathema!

To those who reject the Councils of the holy fathers and their traditions, which are agreeable to divine revelation and kept piously by the Orthodox Catholic Church, Anathema!

To those who mock and profane the holy images and relics which the holy Church receives as revelations of God's work and of those pleasing to Him, to inspire their beholders with piety, and to arouse them to follow these examples; and to those who say that they are idols, Anathema!

To those who dare to say and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ did not descend to earth, but only seemed to; or that He did not descend to the earth and become incarnate only once, but many times, and who likewise deny that the true Wisdom of the Father is His only-begotten Son, Anathema!

To the followers of the occult, spiritualists, wizards, and all who do not believe in the one God, but honor the demons; or who do not humbly give their lives over to God, but strive to learn the future through sorcery, Anathema!

13 March 2008

Orthodox Monk vs. 'The Anti-Tradition Traditionalists'

I hadn't read any on Orthodox Monk's blog in a while, so I decided to check it out this afternoon. He has been righting the deranged, once again. I recommend checking out his most recent post.

I, for one, am glad that such a clear, honest, educated, and Orthodox voice is still around to explain to the whackiness-spreaders the nature of their errors.

It is no surprise to me that there is much interest in resurrecting Origenism in the current social climate. After all, an Origenist conception of the universe would be much more open to ecumenical dialog, syncretism, and pagan philosophy--because that's exactly what it did to Christianity when it was propagated the first time. Despite what Kyriakos Markides says, you can't dig Origen back up, overturn the findings of three ecumenical councils concerning his teachings, and introduce that back into the Church. Such a thing is a total denial that the Holy Spirit has been leading, guiding, and instructing the Church since the Fifth Ecumenical Council, when the condemnations of Origenism were issued.

Lord, have mercy on the innovators!

11 March 2008

Desert Calling

Title links to the Desert Calling Blog site.

I've recently been invited to join the team writing for the Desert Calling blog. I must say, I was quite humbled by the opportunity. The effort is being spearheaded by Isaak, from the Dust and Ashes blog, who has also been the mastermind behind the Desert Calling web community.

So, in addition to my usual teaspoon depth here on the Codex, I will now be posting the occasional thought at Desert Calling as well. I do promise not to duplicate post--that would be cheating, and I don't like cheaters. Desert Calling has its own sort of voice, audience, and direction; the Codex is more intensely about my struggle, and my posts on Desert Calling should begin to reflect concerns about the larger (and sometimes, seemingly more abstract) issues concerning Orthodoxy and the post-cultural future.

+Blessed be the Name of the Lord, henceforth and forever more!

05 March 2008

The Martyr John the Bulgarian

from the Synaxarion:

The Martyr John the Bulgarian was a native of Bulgaria. In his early youth through spiritual immaturity he became enmeshed in the devil's snares, succumbing to the superstitions of the Turks and renouncing his faith in Christ. In a short while the hapless fellow realized the full gravity of his transgression, and he left his native region for Holy Mount Athos, and there in the Laura of Saint Athanasias, in full obedience to an elder, he besought forgiveness of God with bitter tears and prayers of repentance. The power of repentance in young John was so great and his desire to serve the True God so intense, that he left the Holy Mountain and went to Constantinople. There, in the church of Saint Sophia, which had been converted into a mosque, he began openly and fearlessly to confess Christianity. The saint was unmoved both by the false flattery and the fierce threats of the Hagarites [Mohammadeans/Muslims]. On 5 March 1784 the 19 year old preacher was beheaded.

God help me, but this record in the Synaxarion reading for today moved me deeply. The idea that after more than 300 years of Turkish domination of Constantinople, and their use of the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God as a mosque, that a 19 year old man full of the grace of the Holy Spirit should walk boldly in before the Mohammadeans and preach the Gospel of Christ is awe inspiring. Would that I had his faith or his boldness! Would that we all had the strength of conviction to stand up to the Mohammadeans of our own time.

Holy Martyr John, pray for us!+