With its multiplicity of rules, canons, and liturgical stipulations, one might be forgiven for thinking that Orthodoxy is primarily about rules and regulations, coupled with a corresponding fear of breaking the rules and regulations. Orthodoxy therefore would then involve going through life fearful of infraction, mistake, misstep, and contamination from […]
Author: Fr. Lawrence FARLEY
Regardless of how we view the chances of returning the West to the Christian faith we at least must acknowledge that this world is not our true home. Our true home is the heavenly Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, and at our baptism we took up citizenship in that Kingdom.
Scientifically each person was created by the work of mommy and daddy; theologically each person was created by the love of God. And this means that each person bears a tremendous weight of dignity and value, since each person is the handiwork of the Trinity, and (as someone once said) God does not make junk.
We live in a liberal democracy, where open political debate is allowed and encouraged. This includes the freedom to gather and protest peacefully. This is very good, and can help to build a healthy society. But building a better society is not the Church’s primary task, and never was, even in Byzantium.
For some people, fidelity to the Fathers seems to mean effectively junking the idea of a scholarly reading the Scriptures in their original context. It also means participating in their spirit and reading with the same trembling respect that we bring to our exegesis.
Christian Zionists say that the establishment of the State of Israel was not simply a good thing, but the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy to regather Israel to the Promised Land, and that this was a necessary event presaging the imminent Second Coming of Christ.
Nicea is commemorated every year right after Pascha. But it is too important to be commemorated only then. In a sense we commemorate Nicea every time we say the Creed—i.e. at least every Sunday. For the Creed is not simply one item in the Liturgy, one piece of furniture within the ecclesiastical house. It constitutes the very walls of that house.
The trembling soul should not be given the false medicine of Eternal Security, but the true medicine of the Eucharist. Salvation is not just a single experience; it is also an ongoing journey. On that journey one continually returns to God for renewal, forgiveness, and cleansing.
One is reminded of the aphorism of JFK: “You cannot negotiate with those who say ‘What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable’”. It is possible to enter into debate with anyone. But honesty should compel us to make our true intentions and goals known.
If one disbelieves in Christ and Pascha, then our cultural of denial of death makes good sense. We can’t do anything about the fearful fate which awaits us, so why think about it? Eat, drink, be merry, and watch television. But if what the Church says about Christ and Pascha is true, we don’t need the lies or the denial.
If the church were to produce a new canon which read, “If anyone teaches that a woman may be ordained to the sacramental and holy priesthood just as men can, let him be anathema!” would these Orthodox feminists sign on and agree with the canonical sentiment?
Our society has largely forgot what a wedding is. That is why it cannot understand why the gift of sex should not be given before the wedding day. Instead it asks, “Why wait?”