Is there biblical evidence in support of Icons?

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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Is there biblical evidence in support of Icons?

In the Holy Bible, Cherubim are Angels. Icons (images) of Angels.

Exodus 26:31 > “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.

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Exodus 25:17-21 > 17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.

* * *​

Hebrews 9:5 > Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

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Acts 5:15 >As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.

Peter’s shadow is an icon (image) of Apostle Peter.

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Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis

Orthodox Web

Orthodox Web

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Concerning Angels – Saint John of Damascus (+749)

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EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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SynaxisAngels

Concerning Angels

by Saint John of Damascus (+749)

He is Himself the Maker and Creator of the angels: for He brought them out of nothing into being and created them after His own image, an incorporeal race, a sort of spirit or immaterial fire: in the words of the divine David, He maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire: and He has described their lightness and the ardor, and heat, and keenness and sharpness with which they hunger for God and serve Him, and how they are borne to the regions above and are quite delivered from all material thought.

An angel, then, is an intelligent essence, in perpetual motion, with free-will, incorporeal, ministering to God, having obtained by grace an immortal nature: and the Creator alone knows the form and limitation of its essence. But all that we can understand is, that it is incorporeal and immaterial. For all that is compared with God Who alone is incomparable, we find to be dense and material. For in reality only the Deity is immaterial and incorporeal.

The angel’s nature then is rational, and intelligent, and endowed with free-will, change. able in will, or fickle. For all that is created is changeable, and only that which is uncreated is unchangeable. Also all that is rational is endowed with free-will. As it is, then, rational and intelligent, it is endowed with free-will: and as it is created, it is changeable, having power either to abide or progress in goodness, or to turn towards evil.

It is not susceptible of repentance because it is incorporeal. For it is owing to the weakness of his body that man comes to have repentance.

It is immortal, not by natures but by grace. For all that has had beginning comes also to its natural end. But God alone is eternal, or rather, He is above the Eternal: for He, the Creator of times, is not under the dominion of time, but above time.

They are secondary intelligent lights derived from that first light which is without beginning, for they have the power of illumination; they have no need of tongue or hearing, but without uttering words they communicate to each other their own thoughts and counsels.

Through the Word, therefore, all the angels were created, and through the sanctification by the Holy Spirit were they brought to perfection, sharing each in proportion to his worth and rank in brightness and grace.

They are circumscribed: for when they are in the Heaven they are not on the earth: and when they are sent by God down to the earth they do not remain in the Heaven. They are not hemmed in by walls and doors, and bars and seals, for they are quite unlimited. Unlimited, I repeat, for it is not as they really are that they reveal themselves to the worthy men to whom God wishes them to appear, but in a changed form which the beholders are capable of seeing. For that alone is naturally and strictly unlimited which is uncreated. For every created tiring is limited by God Who created it.

Further, apart from their essence they receive the sanctification from the Spirit: through the divine grace they prophesy: they have no need of marriage for they are immortal.

Seeing that they are minds they are in mental places, and are not circumscribed after the fashion of a body. For they have not a bodily form by nature, nor are they tended in three dimensions. But to whatever post they may be assigned, there they are present after the manner of a mind and energize, and cannot be present and energize in various places at the same time.

Whether they are equals in essence or differ from one another we know not. God, their Creator, Who knoweth all things, alone knoweth. But they differ from each other in brightness and position, whether it is that their position is dependent on their brightness, or their brightness on their position: and they impart brightness to one another, because they excel one another in rank and nature. And clearly the higher share their brightness and knowledge with the lower.

They are mighty and prompt to fulfill the will of the Deity, and their nature is endowed with such celerity that wherever the Divine glance bids them there they are straightway found. They are the guardians of the divisions of the earth: they are set over nations and regions, allotted to them by their Creator: they govern all our affairs and bring us succor. And the reason surely is because they are set over us by the divine will and command and are ever in the vicinity of God.

With difficulty they are moved to evil, yet they are not absolutely immovable: but now they are altogether immovable, not by nature but by grace and by their nearness to the Only Good.

They behold God according to their capacity, and this is their food.

They are above us for they are incorporeal, and are free of all bodily passion, yet are not passionless: for the Deity alone is passionless.

They take different forms at the bidding of their Master, God, and thus reveal themselves to men and unveil the divine mysteries to them.

They have Heaven for their dwelling-place, and have one duty, to sing God’s praise and carry out His divine will.

Moreover, as that most holy, and sacred, and gifted theologian, Dionysius the Areopagite, says, All theology, that is to say, the holy Scripture, has nine different names for the heavenly essences. These essences that divine master in sacred things divides into three groups, each containing three. And the first group, he says, consists of those who are in God’s presence and are said to be directly and immediately one with Him, viz., the Seraphim with their six wings, the many-eyed Cherubim and those that sit in the holiest thrones. The second group is that of the Dominions, and the Powers, and the Authorities; and the third, and last, is that of the Rulers and Archangels and Angels.

Some, indeed, like Gregory the Theologian, say that these were before the creation of other things. He thinks that the angelic and heavenly powers were first and that thought was their function. Others, again, hold that they were created after the first heaven was made.

But all are agreed that it was before the foundation of man. For myself, I am in harmony with the theologian. For it was fitting that the mental essence should be the first created, and then that which can be perceived, and finally man himself, in whose being both parts are united. But those who say that the angels are creators of any kind of essence whatever are the mouth of their father, the devil. For since they are created things they are not creators. But He Who creates and provides for and maintains all things is God, Who alone is uncreate and is praised and glorified in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

From his Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book II, Ch. 3.

Mariorie a person in Christ in Piraeus, Greece

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

Mariorie a person in Christ in Piraeus, Greece

Οur story hero, Mariorie, was an ordinary person. She walked on this Earth. Here she got tired, happy, hurt- most of all she got hurt. She died like all people on a December night. Yet in reality she was found totally different than other people. She took everyday life one step further and rose above it.

She lived simply and humbly someplace in Piraeus, Greece, working hard to bring up her two children who had been abandonned by their father when they were just toddlers. “Who knows what happened, what went wrong” ,Mariorie would say trying to find an excuse for her situation. “Τhe evil one grudged him his happiness! It doesn’t take long for any person to wither like a thunder struck tree when he’s left unprotected from the winds”.

She was careful not to belittle her children’s father and she prayed to God to enlighten him , to make him see more clearly, to repent, to come back. But, years went by, and he didn’t seem to understand. He had already settled down with Kleoniki and he had become the father of another two children.

Kleoniki always considered her marriage to Thodoris her greatest victory.
But what goes around comes around and things can turn upside down. In their prime, people build palaces in their minds and egos and they estimate that they will complete their happiness in them.

But the arrogance of one’s mind builds on the sand. When Autumn comes in their lives, hard and lonesome, then they see that the storms inside them cannot be tamed by any material pride.

So, the last winter in Thodoris’ life arrived. A sudden incurable disease dipped him in an abyss and rose like an avalanche ahead. He was walking side by side with death, and this made a feeling of justice wake up inside him. And one winter night, when winds battled with the rain and the lightning grooved the darkness of the skies, he asked Mariorie to visit him at the hospital. She did,with the discreetness and integrity needed towards a dying person. She sat next to him like Paradise with gates wide open. He lifted his tired eyes and looked at her.

-I want you to forgive me Mariorie…

-With all my heart, Thodoris, she humbly answered.

After some time Kleoniki got sick as well. Her future looked bleak. And her children were still little. When Mariorie heard the bad news, she stood by her like an angel of peace. She stayed all night awake to take care of her on her last days…

-Forgive me , Maririe, forgive me, I ruined your life, Kleoniki said kissing her hands

-I forgive you with all my heart , sister, answered Mariorie wiping her tears…

In a while Kleoniki was recalled by her Creator and passed the borders of this life.

It seemed as though grief and sorrow never ended in this world. Mariorie was left behind to take care of four children

-How can you, how could you, how could she, most people kept saying.

Where did this deep philosophical thinking, this endurance and patience, this selflessness and forgiveness come from?

“What kind of person are you?”, people asked.

-In Christ, Mariorie would answer had she not been hindered by her modesty… A person in Christ.

Sources:

http://multilingual-christianity-orthodoxy.blogspot.com

MULTILINGUAL CHRISTIANITY – ORTHODOXY

&

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqNCEoRaEGYLYyaXLyN89Jw

VASILEIA

General and specialized clergy

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TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

General and specialized clergy

I recently read a book with the theme: “Who are priests?” which supposedly proves that the way the Orthodox Church functions is erroneous. So, I would like to submit some observations on some of the arguments of this book.

* * *

When we want to disprove a viewpoint, it is not proper to write our own theories as to what others believe in, and then disprove that which WE think they believe in. The correct way is to discredit (if possible) that which they actually believe in.

This unacceptable phenomenon is almost always observed with regard to the Orthodox Church: Someone writes a personal theory as to what the Church believes in, and then proceeds to discredit this imaginary dogma. This is what happened in the book I am referring to, so, I must put certain details on this topic in order, so that no false impressions are left behind.

The word “priest” – which we Orthodox maintain that it refers to every Christian – given that all Christians are the “regal priesthood”.

In the Orthodox Church the expression: “specialized clergy” has a METAPHORICAL meaning only. In other words, there is no THEOLOGICAL difference between the terms “specialized” and “general” clergy. In fact, there is no difference whatsoever; because what we call “specialized clergy” is a “function” which, like the so-called “general” clergy, springs from Christ Himself, Who is our only priest.

This is also where the solution lies, to the issue that confuses our Protestant accusers. Christ is the Head of the Church and the Church is His BODY. Consequently, when every Christian becomes “Christened” (“all of you be in one Jesus Christ”), he partakes of the hieratic office of the Lord. But because all Christians are “each others’ members” in the Body of Christ, they have VARIOUS FUNCTIONS within that body. Of this “regal priesthood”, some perform the duties of the Laity (“general clergy”) and others the duties of Deacon, Presbyter or Bishop.

Thus, those who have the duties of the Laity (from where the term ‘liturgy’ = ‘mission for the laity’ is derived) cannot perform the Divine Eucharist without the member that is called ‘Presbyter’ or ‘Bishop’, but equally, NEITHER THE PRESBYTER NOR THE BISHOP can perform the Divine Eucharist without the Laity (as opposed to Papists, with whom Protestants confuse Orthodoxy). That which must be understood, is that the bloodless sacrifice is not performed by the Presbyter or the Bishop, but THE LAITY. The so-called “specialized clergy” is the LAITY’S HANDS in that ritual. During that moment of sacrificing, they offer their sacrifice to God, ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE BODY OF THE CHURCH.

At this point, we should respond to another unjust accusation. When we say ‘bloodless sacrifice’ WE ARE NOT performing a repetition of the Lord’s sacrifice. We are offering the Lord a portion of material creation, AS PRIESTS (all Christians); in other words we are offering bread and wine, which is why we Continue reading “General and specialized clergy”

Were Angels created when God created the heavens, or have they been with God all of eternity? – S.W., USA

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HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

Were Angels created when God created the heavens,

or have they been with God all of eternity?

– S.W., USA

The Bible does not specifically state when the angels were created, but we can look at some verses that give us clues as to a possible time frame.

First of all, let’s look at some background information. We know that God created all things, including the angels. In COLOSSIANS 1:16, Paul writes the following:

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (COLOSSIANS 1:16).

In this verse, the words “principalities or powers” refer to angelic beings. We also know by reading GENESIS 1:1–5 that God created the heavens and the earth on the first day of the creation week.

Now let’s build on this background information by looking at some additional verses. We can learn from reading JOB 38:4–7 that the angels, called “sons of God” and possibly “morning stars” in verse 7, witnessed some of God’s work during the Creation Week. In these verses, God is speaking to Job. God says the following:

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (JOB 38:4–7).

The angels “shouted for joy” in response to God’s wonderful creative work! These verses tell us that the angels rejoiced when God laid the foundations of the earth. This could be a reference to day 1, when God made the earth; or it could be a reference to day 3, when God made the dry land. Either way, the angels were in existence before day 4 of the Creation Week.

We can find more information about the creation of angels by reading verses about the creation of Satan. Keep in mind that when angels were created, Satan and the fallen angels had not yet sinned. We know this because God declares His creation to be “very good” in GENESIS 1:31. This next set of verses is long. See if you can find the hint about when Satan was created. EZEKIEL 28:13–15 states the following:

“You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you” (EZEKIEL 28:13–15).

Did you notice? Verse 15 mentions that Satan was created on a specific “day.” Since time did not exist before day 1, this means that Satan was created during the Creation Week.

After doing a little research, I think we can conclude that the angels were created at some point during the Creation Week, no later than day 3.

Source:

https://answersingenesis.org

ANSWERS TO GENESIS

What is the origin of the different races?

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EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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What is the origin of the different races?

The Bible does not explicitly give us the origin of the different “races” or skin colors in humanity. In actuality, there is only one race—the human race. Within the human race is diversity in skin color and other physical characteristics. Some speculate that when God confused the languages at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), He also created racial diversity. It is possible that God made genetic changes to humanity to better enable people to survive in different ecologies, such as the darker skin of Africans being better equipped genetically to survive the excessive heat in Africa. According to this view, God confused the languages, causing humanity to segregate linguistically, and then created genetic racial differences based on where each racial group would eventually settle. While possible, there is no explicit biblical basis for this view. The races/skin colors of humanity are nowhere mentioned in connection with the tower of Babel.

At the Tower of Babel, when the different languages came into existence, groups that spoke one language moved away with others of the same language. In doing so, the gene pool for a specific group shrank dramatically as the group no longer had the entire human population to mix with. Closer inbreeding took place, and in time certain features were emphasized in these different groups (all of which were present as a possibility in the genetic code). As further inbreeding occurred through the generations, the gene pool grew smaller and smaller, to the point that people of one language family all had the same or similar features.

Another explanation is that Adam and Eve possessed the genes to produce black, brown, and white offspring (and everything else in between). This would be similar to how a mixed-race couple sometimes has children that vary in color. Since God obviously desired humanity to be diverse in appearance, it makes sense that God would have given Adam and Eve the ability to produce children of different skin tones. Later, the only survivors of the flood were Noah and his wife, Noah’s three sons and their wives—eight people in all (Genesis 7:13). Perhaps Noah’s daughters-in-law were of different races. It is also possible that Noah’s wife was of a different race than Noah. Maybe all eight of them were of mixed race, which would mean they possessed the genetics to produce children of different races. Whatever the explanation, the most important aspect of this question is that we are all the same race, all created by the same God, all created for the same purpose—to glorify Him.

Source: Elmer L. Towns, Bible Answers for Almost All Your Questions, THOMAS NELSON / 2003 / PAPERBACK

The Saint of love, forgiveness & discernment: Saint Jacob Tsalikis of Evia Island, Greece (+1991)

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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The Saint of love, forgiveness & discernment:

Saint Jacob Tsalikis of Evia Island, Greece (+1991)

22 November

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/98806.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Our age and today’s culture has, unfortunately moved away from the vision and pursuit of sanctity. The Orthodox faith is based on the presence of the saints. Without these, our Church is on the path towards secularization. Naturally, as we know from Scripture, God alone is holy, and sanctity derives from our relationship with Him, and therefore sanctity is theocentric rather than anthropocentric. Our sanctity depends on the glory and the grace of God and our union with Him, not on our virtues. Sanctification assumes the free will of the person being sanctified. As Saint Maximos the Confessor says, all that we bring is our intentions. Without those, God doesn’t act. And Saint John the Damascan repeats that we render honour to the saints ‘for having become freely unified with God and having Him dwell in them and by this participation having become by grace what He is by nature’. The saints didn’t seek to be glorified, but to glorify God, because sanctity means participation in and communion with the sanctity of God.

The source of sanctity in the Orthodox Church is the Divine Eucharist. By partaking of the Holy One, Jesus Christ, we become holy. The ‘holy things’, the Body and Blood of Christ, are given as communion ‘to the holy’, the members of the Church. Sanctity follows on from Holy Communion. The ascetic struggles of the saints are not an aim but a means which leads to the aim, which is Eucharistic communion, the most perfect and complete union with the Holy One. In the Lord’s prayer, the ‘Our Father’, we see that sanctification is associated with the Kingdom of God. We ask that His Kingdom come into the world so that everyone can praise Him and can partake of His sanctity and His glory, which is what we call ‘deification’.

The Kingdom of God and deification are an eternal extension of the Divine Liturgy within space and time, as Saint Maximos the Confessor writes. By taking part in the Continue reading “The Saint of love, forgiveness & discernment: Saint Jacob Tsalikis of Evia Island, Greece (+1991)”

What are Seraphim? Are Seraphs Angels?

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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What are Seraphim? Are Seraphs Angels?

The seraphim (fiery, burning ones) are angelic beings associated with the prophet Isaiah’s vision of God in the Temple when God called him to his prophetic ministry (Isaiah 6:1-7). Isaiah 6:2-4 records, “Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” Seraphs are angels who worship God continually.

Isaiah chapter 6 is the only place in the Bible that specifically mentions the seraphim. Each seraph had six wings. They used two to fly, two to cover their feet, and two to cover their faces (Isaiah 6:2). The seraphim flew about the throne on which God was seated, singing His praises as they called special attention to God’s glory and majesty. These beings apparently also served as agents of purification for Isaiah as he began his prophetic ministry. One placed a hot coal against Isaiah’s lips with the words, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). Similar to the other types of holy angels, the seraphim are perfectly obedient to God. Similar to the cherubim, the seraphim are particularly focused on worshipping God.

Source:

C. Fred Dickason, Angels: Elect & Evil, Revised, MOODY PUBLISHERS / 1995 / PAPERBACK

He who does not love his brother dwells in death – Saint Patrick of Ireland (+461)

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IRELAND OF MY HEART

He who does not love his brother dwells in death

Saint Patrick of Ireland (+461)

Saint Patrick of Ireland:

“It would take too long to discuss or argue every single case, or to sift through the whole of the Law for precise witness against such greed. Sufficient to say, greed is a deadly deed. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. You shall not murder. A homicide may not stand beside Christ. Even “He who hates his brother is to be labeled murderer.” Or, “He who does not love his brother dwells in death.” therefore how much more guilty is he, who has stained his own hands in the blood of the sons of God, those very children whom only just now he has won for himself in this distant land by means of our feeble encouragement”.

—Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus (c.450?)

When you sit down to eat, pray – Saint Basil the Great (+379)

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HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

When you sit down to eat, pray

* * *

Saint Basil the Great (+379)

When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

St. Basil the Great: When you sit down to eat . . .

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

2018: Saint Arsenios of Paros Island of Greece resurrects a baby girl in Belgium

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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Saint Arsenios of Paros Island, Greece (+1877)

January 31

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2018: Saint Arsenios of Paros Island of Greece,

resurrects a baby girl in Belgium

Source:

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2018/01/st-arsenios-of-paros-resurrects-baby.html

FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH

A few minutes ago, Nun Arsenia Tsantouli (the Abbess of the Monastery where St. Arsenios of Paros Island in Greece lived in asceticism), and the Nuns offered the following astonishing miracle:

In Belgium lived for many years the sister of Abbess Arsenia, where she had a family, and her granddaughter was made worthy 5 months ago to become a mother.

The baby girl was baptized this year, 2018, on the feast of Theophany and received the name Arsenia in honor of the Venerable Arsenios.

However, the baby got sick suddenly and they took her to the hospital with dyspnea.

After two days, January 8th 2018, the baby unfortunately left this life, leaving her parents inconsolable.

That very day, a Greek doctor, who was in that very hospital, was making his rounds, and received as a visitor an old man with a cane, whom he told that the baby was dead. The old man told him to go and perform chest compressions and breaths, and even though 24 hours had passed since her death was confirmed by science, that the child would live.

The doctor noted in a letter that he did what the old man said, and the baby Arsenia, glory to God, returned to life!

As the mother returned to the hospital in order to prepare for the funeral, she found her baby girl alive in her bed.

The Elder who spoke to the doctor was St. Arsenios himself, as his appears in his icon.

“God is wondrous among His Saints!”

Fr. Dionysios Tampakis
January 22nd 2018
The Holy Monastery of Christ of Forest – St. Arsenios, Paros Island, Greece

Fasting – Orthodox Catechism

Fasting

Orthodox Catechism

Source:

http://stots.edu/about_orthodoxy.html

http://sttikhonsmonastery.org/article.php?id=17

Seeing that bodily disposition is important in worship and spiritual life, in general, great emphasis is placed in the Orthodox Church on fasting; if one should add up all of the fasting seasons and days of the Church calendar, he would find that more than half of the year is devoted to this ascetic labor. The question might rightfully be asked, then, as to why this is so.

According to St. Basil the Great, Adam, the first-created man, loving God of his own free will, dwelt in the heavenly blessedness of communion with God, in the angelic state of prayer and fasting. The cause of this first man’s fall was his free will; by an act of disobedience he violated the vow of abstinence and broke the living union of love with God. That is, he held in scorn the heavenly obligations of prayer and fasting by eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Lack of abstinence, then, was the cause of the Fall and, as a result, because of this original greed, the soul becomes dimmed, and is deprived of Continue reading “Fasting – Orthodox Catechism”

What is the Holy Bible?

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ORTHODOX HEART SITES

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What is the Holy Bible?

We believe the Holy Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In faith we hold the Holy Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, God-breathed, and the complete and final authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

While still using the individual writing styles of the human authors, the Holy Spirit perfectly guided them to ensure they wrote precisely what He wanted written, without error or omission (2 Peter 1:21).

Saint Theophanes & Saint Pansemni the former prostitute in Antiochia, Syria (+369) – June 10

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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Saint Theophanes

& Saint Pansemni the former prostitute in Antiochia, Syria (+369)

June 10

The venerable Theophanes was born in Antioch, to unbelieving parents, but this did not thwart him from becoming a Christian at an early age, though he was not Baptized. When he was fifteen years old, his parents insisted he take a wife. Being married for three years, he was widowed when death intervened and took his wife.

Now unencumbered, Theophanes hastened to a Christian church, and received the Mystery of Holy Baptism. Then he built a narrow cell near Antioch, where he enclosed himself and expelled all his passions that dominated his body and soul, and excelled in the virtues.

With the passage of time, Theophanes learned that in the city dwelled a prostitute named Pansemni, who brought ruin to many men. Pricked in his heart over this calamity, both on behalf of the woman and her male admirers, Theophanes entered into deep prayer, whereupon he was enlightened to ransom Pansemni and take her as his wife. Therefore, he removed his hair shirt and donned expensive apparel. Theophanes visited his father to reveal his intentions in taking a second wife, and the father gladly gave his son ten gold coins.

Theophanes then visited Pansemni the prostitute in her home. Upon entry, he was invited to eat and drink with her. After engaging in a pleasant conversation, Theophanes bluntly asked Pansemni how long she had been involved in her indecent vocation. Unoffended, she stated she had been engaged in her occupation for twelve years. She also added that of all her admirers, Theophanes was by far the most handsome. Unaffected by the compliment, since Theophanes desired to preserve the purity of his soul and body, he told her: “I desire and intend to take you in honorable marriage.” Pansemni was quite pleased at his pleasant proposal, reasoning that it was a singular token of esteem for her, being a shameless prostitute. Accepting his proposal, Theophanes gave her his ten gold coins and told her to hasten in the preparations for the wedding.

Taking his leave, Theophanes returned to his cell outside the city. While Pansemni prepared for their marriage, Theophanes also made preparations for Pansemni by building her a cell not far from his own. Not long after, he returned to the city and visited her. However, this time he placed a condition on her. Unless she accepted the Christian faith and became a Christian, they would be unable to cohabit. Pansemni initially found this condition difficult to accept, so she requested time to consider the matter.

Seven days later Pansemni heard someone speaking about the future judgement, how the righteous would enjoy eternal life and the blessings that come from it, while the unrighteous would receive eternal condemnation. Her conscience became censured by this, and the grace of God moved her to profound contrition, allowing her heart to be transformed from impious to pious. Conscious of her sinfulness, she disowned her ancestral polytheism, and assented to the teachings of the Gospel.

Seeking the perfect path of piety, Pansemni resolved to enter the ranks of the newly-illumined, and received Holy Baptism. Her new path in life moved her to free her retinue of servants and handmaids, and she donated everything she received and acquired through her disreputable occupation to the Church of God for suitable distribution. Pansemni, therefore, bidding farewell to the pleasures of this world, devoted herself to qualities her name implied, that is, to be all-modest.

Having nothing left in the world, she hastened to Theophanes who brought her to the cell he built for her. Inflamed with divine eros, she sought to contemplate the beauty of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, the fairest among men, and sought union with Him intensely and with longing.

Pansemni kept watch over her inward thoughts and guarded her heart in this endeavor, and through asceticism of the body and soul, her labors attracted divine grace, gaining spiritual regeneration and victory. She had such an outpouring of divine grace that she was able to dispel demons and heal diverse passions and illnesses. And this was done in a very short time, since the devout and venerable Pansemni lived only fourteen months after baptism, and she was translated to the Heavenly Bridegroom on the same day the venerable and wonderworking Theophanes surrendered his soul to the Lord.

Source:

http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece

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HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece

Orthodox Christians believe that God is “the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invis­ible”. The world is not eternal; only God is eternal. He created the entire world out of nothing: “for he spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood forth” (Ps. 33,9).

Man cannot determine the manner in which the world came into being; for it is not an object of scien­tific examination, for it transcends man’s “rational” ability (his logic). Man is part of created reality, he cannot become an “observer” of the manner in which he himself was created!

The world is not of the same nature with God; “by nature” it is entirely different. The world is not a creation from the essence of God, “light from light” but the fruit of God’s volition and freedom; there is an insurmountable chasm separating God’s essence from the essence of the created world.

God need not have created the world. The world, however, was pre-eternally in God’s “thought”. Thus the creation of the world does not mean a change in God’s life. The world came into being according to God’s plan and at a time which pre-eternally existed in God’s will.

Before making visible creation, God created the spiritual world, i.e. the angels: “When the stars were created, all my angels with a loud voice praised me”, says God to Job (Job 38,7). Neither angels nor men existed pre-eternally. Angels are spiritual persons. They were created in time and are limited by Continue reading “Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece”

What Every Christian Needs To Know About All Of The Christians Who Saved Jews In The Holocaust ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* A growing list of Orthodox Christians that rescued Jews during the Holocaust era

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ORTHODOX HEART SITES

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What Every Christian Needs To Know

About All Of The Christians Who Saved Jews In The Holocaust

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

A growing list of Orthodox Christians that

rescued Jews during the Holocaust era

Much has been said regarding the famed Yad Vashem awards given to a number of Roman Catholics and Protestants. What needs to be noted however, is that there were just as many Orthodox Christians who were participants of rescuing Jews from the Nazi death squads and who selflessly did so at the expense of their own lives in a number of cases. May God honour their blessed memory as I list, although still growing, of a number of these blessed souls.

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Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986)-This Japanese diplomat in WWII was a convert to the Orthodox Church due to his contact with the Russian Orthodox Church via his first wife. Despite leaving his first wife, he never wavered in his Orthodox Christian faith and managed to lead his second wife, Yukiko, to the Orthodox Faith. He and Yukiko, worked tirelessly to write passports via their embassy in Lithuania, to allow many Polish Jews to leave the region to escape Nazi death camps. When he was asked as to one of his motivations for his actions, he mentioned his faith in God. He was discharged from his position unceremoniously after the War, and was only to be discovered later by one of the Jews he rescued, in Russia. He was later awarded Yad Vashem by Israel in 1985, one year before his death, but was too ill to receive the award and thus his son received it on his behalf. His wife, Yukiko, mentions that she had read the Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament, and thus was motivated to ask her husband to save the Jews as well in Lithuania.

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Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens (1891-1949)-This blessed Archbishop of Athens, when Greece fell under Nazi occupation in 1941, did everything possible to rescue Jews from death. He is renowned for writing a letter to the occupying government protesting atrocities committed against Jews and urged the government to desist from arresting them or committing any harm towards them. In addition, when asked to put the names down of Jews to be arrested and taken away by the Nazi forces for throwing into concentration camps, he put his own name on the list. In addition, he was known for quietly urging a number of congregants to issue baptismal certificates for Jews to allow them to escape.

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Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Zakynthos (1890-1958)- Similar to the above, also risked his life to save the Jewish community in Zakynthos, Greece. He and also Mayor Loukás Karrer, refused to comply with Nazi demands of listing the Jews in the island for deportation and instead submitted their own names. In addition, they made sure that the Jews were distributed throughout various villages to prevent capture. Both were awarded by Israel in 1978 with Yad Vashem for their good work.

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Angelos Evert (1894-1970)- A police officer during the Nazi occupation of Greece, he was inspired by Archbishop Damaskinos to act selflessly for the Jews and was also responsible for issuing Christian identities for Jews in Greece. Awarded in 1969 by Israel with Yad Vashem.

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Prince Constantin Karadja (1889-1950)-Serving as a diplomat in Romania under Nazi occupation, he personally organised the saving of 10,000+ Jews in Romania using all his diplomatic ability. He was awarded Yad Vashem posthumously in 2005.

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Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark (1896-1982)- She was married to King Carol II of Romania and was renowned for saving Jews in Romania. And caring for the wounded under Nazi occupation. For her righteous work, she was also awarded Yad Vashem by Israel too.

Amongst the 2 most prominent churches renowned for helping and rescuing Jews are the Bulgarian and Serbian Orthodox Church. There were many clergy and laymen that risked their necks to rescue Jews from Nazi deportations and atrocities.

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In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, there is Patriarch Cyril aka Konstantin Markov Konstantinov (1901-1971), who personally risked his life to stop the Nazi deportation of Jews in Bulgaria.

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Dimitar Peshev (1894-1973)-Although he was a politician that signed a law in Bulgaria that supported anti-Jewish behaviour due to Nazi occupation, yet actions spoke louder than words. He was a friend to the Jewish community in Bulgaria, and when he learnt from a Jewish friend of a Nazi attempt to deport Jews in Bulgaria to various death camps, he personally went out of his way to stop this. He worked to sabotage Nazi operations in this regard and even wrote letters to stop any further anti-Jewish measures. He was finally recognized by Israel in 1973 and was awarded Yad Vashem.

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Maria Skobtsova (1891-1945)- Also has been canonised by the Russian Church as St. Mary of Paris. Also known by many as Mother Maria. She became a nun despite coming from a prominent family, and as a nun in 1940, when France was occupied by Nazi Germany, personally engineered the saving of Jews in France through her convent. She and Father Dimitri Klepinin (who was also canonised a Saint by the Russian Church as well) worked tirelessly to save Jews from death camps and to organise rescue missions. She and Father Klepenin organised baptismal certificates to be issued for Jews in France. Both she and Father Klepenin were martyred in Nazi death camps. She chose to die in the place of a Jewish woman in 1945. She was issued Yad Vashem posthumously and was canonized along with Father Dimitri Klepinin in 2004 by both the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and also by the Moscow Patriarchate.

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Father Dimitri Klepinin (1904-1944)-Canonized as St. Dimitri Klepinin in 2004, he worked alongside Mother Maria Skobtsova to rescue Jews. Serving under the Russian Orthodox Church as was St. Mary of Paris, he was initially serving the émigré community in France. Nazi occupation changed a lot for him and saw him being arrested for issuing false baptismal certificates to Jews and to be deported to the death camp of Dora, near Buchenwald. He was posthumously awarded in 1987 Yad Vashem by Israel and canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well as Moscow Patriarchate alongside Maria Skobtsova.

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Alexej Alexandrovich Glagolev (1901-1972)-A Ukrainian Orthodox priest that was awarded posthumously along with his wife and daughter in 1991 with Yad Vashem by Israel. Their son was awarded nine years later with the same. He and family were personally responsible for organising rescue of Jews and issuing them with baptismal certificates. He often faced beatings from the Nazis and his family also faced constant persecution too.

Since 2007, 127 Serbian nationals, and members of the Orthodox Church, have been listed as recipients of Yad Vashem. What can be said, is that the Serbian Orthodox Church played a great role in the rescue and saving of Jews from both Nazi German forces and the Croatian Ustache.

This list is by no means complete. However, what is certain, is that all these selfless men and women, are jewels of the Orthodox Church to the whole world. May their memory be blessed and eternal and may God forgive them of all their sins, both voluntary and involuntary. Amen

Source:

What Every Christian Needs To Know About All Of The Christians Who Saved Jews In The Holocaust

PRAVMIR.COM

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD

The Glorification of the Saints in the Orthodox Church – Fr. Joseph Frawley, USA

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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The Glorification of the Saints in the Orthodox Church

Fr. Joseph Frawley

Source:

https://oca.org

https://oca.org/fs/glorification-of-saints

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

This article was written by Fr. Joseph Frawley, a member of the Orthodox Church in America’s Canonization Commission. It was originally published in the April-May 2000 issue of The Orthodox Church Newspaper.

While the glorification of saints in the Orthodox Church has been taking place for nearly 2000 years, few people today are certain about how this really happens. Does the Church “make” a saint? Are there special panels which decide who can be considered for sainthood? Are saints “elected” by a majority vote? Does a person have to perform a certain number of miracles in order to quality as a saint? The answers to these questions may be surprising to some.

We know that there are several categories of saints: prophets, evangelists, martyrs, ascetics, holy bishops and priests, and those who live a righteous life “in the world.” What they all have in common is holiness of life. Three times in the Book of Leviticus (Ch 11, 19 and 20) God tells us to be holy, because He is holy. We must consecrate ourselves, for we are His people. Saint Peter reiterates this commandment in the new testament, challenging us to obey God’s commandments and submit our will to His will (1 Pet 1:16). Everyone is challenged to manifest holiness in their lives, for we all must become saints! This is our special – and common – calling from God. It is not something reserved for the clergy, monastics, or those who are “more pious.” Everyone who has been baptized into Christ must live in such a way that Christ lives within us. “Do you not know,” Saint Paul asks, “that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16).

So, the glorification of saints in the Orthodox Church is a recognition that God’s holiness is manifested in the Church through these grace-filled men and women whose lives were pleasing to God. Very early on, the Church recognized the righteous ancestors of Christ (Forefathers), those who predicted His coming (Prophets), and those who proclaimed the Gospel (Apostles and Evangelists). Then those who risked their lives and shed their blood to bear witness to Christ (Martyrs and Confessors) were also recognized by the Church as saints. There was no special canonization process, but their relics were treasured and the annual anniversaries of their martyrdoms were celebrated. Later, the ascetics, who followed Christ through self denial, were numbered among the saints. Bishops and priests who proclaimed the True Faith and fought against heresy were added to the list. Finally, those in other walks of life who manifested holiness were recognized as saints.

While the glorification of a saint may be initiated because of miracles, it is not an absolute necessity for canonization. The Roman Catholic Church requires three verified miracles in order to recognize someone as a saint; the Orthodox Church does not require this. There are some saints, including Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain (July 14) and Saint Innocent of Moscow (commemorated March 31), who have not performed any miracles, as far as we know. What is required is a virtuous life of obvious holiness. And a saint’s writings and preaching must be “fully Orthodox,” in agreement with the pure faith that we have received from Christ and the Apostles and taught by the Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils.

Can the Church “make” a saint? The answer is no. Only God can do that. We glorify those whom God Himself has glorified, seeing in their lives true love for God and their neighbors. The Church merely recognizes that such a person has cooperated with God’s grace to the extent that his or her holiness is beyond doubt.

Are saints “elected” by special panels or by majority vote? Again, the answer is no. Long before an official inquiry into a person’s life is made, that person is venerated by the people where he or she lived and died. His or her memory is kept alive by the people who pray for his or her soul or who ask him or her for intercession. Sometimes people will visit his or her grave or have icons painted through their love for the person. Then a request is made, usually through the diocesan bishop, for the Church to recognize that person as a saint. A committee, such as the Orthodox Church in America’s Canonization Commission, is formed to research the life of the person who is being considered for glorification and to submit a report to the Holy Synod stating its reasons why the person should or should not be recognized as a saint. Then the Holy Synod decides to number that person among the saints and have icons painted and liturgical services composed.

The formal Rite of Glorification begins with a final Memorial Service for the person about to be canonized, after which Vespers and Matins with special hymns to the saint are chanted and the saint’s icon is unveiled. The saint’s life is published and the date of his or her commemoration is established. The other Orthodox Churches are notified of the glorification so that they can place the new saint’s name on their calendars.

Through the prayers of all the saints, may we be encouraged to follow their example of virtue and holiness.

St. Emperor Justinian (+565): Dialogue with Paul of Nisibis

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EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

St. Emperor Justinian (+565):
DIALOGUE WITH PAUL OF NISIBIS

Translated by Dr. Jeffrey Macdonald, 1998.

Extract of the Discussion which the Emperor Justinian had with Paul the Bishop of Nisibis, who was a Nestorian.

Cæsar: Do you confess with us that God the Word, who has the same nature as the Father, is incarnate and has become man from the womb of the Virgin Mary and that He has taken a body which has the same nature as us and has made himself an indivisible unity [1], and that there is not another man, who would exist in a separate hypostasis, or be known apart from Himself, do you confess [this] or not? [2]

Nestorian: We confess, as we have taken from the Prophets and the Apostles, that the one who has taken the form and likeness of God has taken the form of a servant from the womb of the Virgin and is conjoined in an indivisible unity.

Orthodox: Thus I say, this is His own body, as for each of us there is a proper body.

Nestorian: Then Christ is not a particular man in His human nature, but is only God, because He does not subsist as a complete and hypostatic man in a natural unity. [3]

Orthodox: Christ is perfect man in His human nature, as He is truly also perfect God because He is one hypostasis which possesses two perfections. [4] But if there are two hypostases as you suppose, and not one, He is not able to be called one so as to possess two complete things, but each hypostasis being complete in itself, there would be no intermediary to unite the completed things. For that Continue reading “St. Emperor Justinian (+565): Dialogue with Paul of Nisibis”

The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579)

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ABEL LETTERS

The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579)

Source:

http://www.skarlakidis.gr/en/thema/18–1579-.html

On Holy Saturday 1579, according to the Church chronicles of the city of Jerusalem, the Turkish governors forbad the Greek patriarch and the Orthodox faithful to enter the Church of the Resurrection for the customary rite of the Holy Fire.

The works that make reference to this event do not specify the exact date, but they mention that at the time the patriarch of Jeru salem was Sophronius IV, the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria and An ti och were, respectively, Jeremiah, Silvester and Joachim, and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire was Murad III.

If we look at the official lists of these four patriarchates we shall find that the four Greek Orthodox patriarchs were indeed in office in the second half of the sixteenth century, and if we examine the exact period of each patriarch’s reign and that of Sultan Murad III, we discover that the only common year in which the leadership of the five men coincided was the year 1579.

The courtyard and entrance of the Church of the Resurrection.

According to written sources, on Holy Saturday of that year, a group of Turkish soldiers forbad the Orthodox entry into the Church of the Resurrection. The crowd of the faithful remained in the church courtyard throughout the entire day, and even after the sun had set.

The Greek Patriarch Sophronius IV was in the first year of his reign. It was the first time he would perform the most important rite of the year, but the Turks deprived him of his legal right. The patriarch stood in prayer at the left side of the church doorway, near a column. And suddenly, when night had already fallen, the column split and the Holy Fire leapt from its interior.

The patriarch immediately lit his candle and passed the Holy Fire to the faithful. Within a few minutes the sacred flame had spread to all those present and the courtyard of the church was illuminated. The awestruck Turkish guards then opened the doors of the church and the patriarch along with the rejoicing faithful poured in towards the Holy Sepulchre.

The split marble column to the left of the main entrance to the Church of the Resurrection, and beside it, the author. The fissure is 1.20 meters high and resembles a flame rising upwards.

The events of that day are recorded in all the so-called Proskynitaria of Jerusalem, guides for pilgrims to the Holy Land. The oldest of these proskynitaria in which the rupture of the column is mentioned is contained in a Greek manuscript found in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. It is the Codex Monacensis Graec. 346, which contains the Proskynitarion of Priest Ananias. The codex was written by the Cretan priest Akakios in 1634 and is a copy of the original work by the priest Ananias which was written in 1608, twenty-nine years after the miracle it describes. This means that Ananias was able to collect information from individuals who actually experienced the events.

An edition of the Bavarian State Library manuscript was first published in the original Greek in 1890 by Papadopoulos-Kerameus in St. Petersburg,1 together with a Russian translation. According to the account of the Cretan Akakios, the priest Ananias relates the following:

Outside the Holy Entrance, near the west side, there are three marble columns, and from the middle column, they say, a Holy Fire emanated in the olden days. And it is quite cracked and visible still to this day. And this miracle God showed in the following manner, as they say that back then those who gave orders to the patriarch did not allow [the Christians] to enter and Continue reading “The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579)”

Free will

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COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY

FREE WILL

Source:

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-i-am-writing-book.html

ORTHODOX APOLOGETICS

Saint Ignatius (110 A.D.)

“For when ye are desirous to do well, God is also ready to assist you.”

Saint Justin Martyr (150 A.D.)

“But lest some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever happens, happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, and chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate. We see the same man making a transition to opposite things. Now, if it had been fated that he were to be either good or bad, he could never have been capable of both the opposites, nor of so many transitions. But not even would some be good and others bad, since we thus make fate the cause of evil, and exhibit her as acting in opposition to herself; or that which has been already stated would seem to be true, that neither virtue nor vice is anything, but that things are only reckoned good or evil by opinion; which, as the true word shows, is the greatest impiety and wickedness. But this we assert is inevitable fate, that they who choose the good have worthy rewards, and they who choose the opposite have their merited awards. For not like other things, as trees and quadrupeds, which cannot act by choice, did God make man: for neither would he be worthy of reward or praise did he not of himself choose the good, but were created for this end; nor, if he were evil, would he be worthy of punishment, not being evil of himself, but being able to be nothing else than what he was made.”

Tatian (160 A.D.)

“How, then, shall I admit this nativity according to Fate, when I see such managers of Fate? I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command; I detest fornication; I am not impelled by an insatiable love of gain to go to sea; I do not contend for chaplets; I am free from a mad thirst for fame; I despise death; I am superior to every kind of disease; grief does not consume my soul. Am I a slave, I endure servitude. Am I free, I do not make a vaunt of my good birth. I see that the same sun is for all, and one death for all, whether they live in pleasure or destitution. The rich man sows, and the poor man partakes of the same sowing. The wealthiest die, and beggars have the same limits to their life. The rich lack many things, and are Continue reading “Free will”

St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will

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HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will

A lecture delivered by David Bradshaw,
Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky,
at the parish of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church,
House Springs, Missouri, September 29, 2007,
on the occasion of the 1600th Anniversary of St John’s repose.

Source:

http://orthodox-stl.org

http://orthodox-stl.org/grace_freewill.html

HOLY ARCHANGELS MONASTERY

HOUSE SPRINGS, MISSOURI, USA

Few questions in theology bear as directly on the lives of ordinary believers as does that of the relationship between grace and free will. As Christians, we know that we are to seek to please God and obey His commandments; yet we also believe that He helps us in such a way that to think that we have pleased Him, through our own unaided efforts, would be an act of pride. Already there is, if not outright contradiction, at least considerable tension between these two beliefs. The tension grows worse when we also take into account the conviction, firmly rooted in Scripture, that salvation is in some sense the result of divine election. Our Lord states in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me” (6:37), and a few verses later, “no man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (6:44).1 Taking these two statements together, it would seem that to be called by the Father is both a necessary and sufficient condition for coming to Christ (which here is tantamount to salvation). Yet in the same chapter Christ also exhorts his audience as if the choice were theirs. He urges them, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life” (6:27), and, when they ask him what they must do to work the works of God, he replies, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (6:29). Apparently, although to be chosen by God is both necessary and sufficient for salvation, that does not exclude the necessity of our own choice, and indeed of our “labouring.” This is very confusing. It seems both that the will of the Father is the sole cause of our salvation, and that we too are, in some sense, a cause.

There are here two different but related questions. First is that of how our efforts to please God can be consistent with the fact that we are totally dependent upon His aid. Second is that of how salvation can be both determined by God’s choice and dependent on our free response. As regards the second question, Scripture adds the further complication that God’s election has in some sense been fixed from all eternity. St. Paul writes in his Continue reading “St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will”

What is the Orthodox Church? – Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)

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USA OF MY HEART

What is the Orthodox Church?

Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)

WHAT is the Orthodox Church? The Orthodox Church is a body or community of people, who, 1—correctly believe in divine revelation; and 2—who obey a lawful hierarchy instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, through the holy apostles. In order to belong to the Orthodox Church two principal conditions are required: First—to accurately accept, rightly understand and truthfully confess the divine teaching of faith; and secondly— to acknowledge the lawful hierarchy or priesthood, to receive from it the holy mysteries or sacraments, and generally to follow its precepts in matters concerning salvation.

From the Book: +St. Sebastian Dabovich, Preaching in the Orthodox Church: Lectures and Sermons by a Priest of the Holy Orthodox Church

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

St. Sebastian Dabovich: What is the Orthodox Church?

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What was Adam like? – Ken Ham

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HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

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What was Adam like?

by Ken Ham

Did Adam have black hair, brown skin, and brown eyes? Was he six feet eleven inches tall? These are questions we cannot answer sure, because we were not there to see Adam. However, from reading Genesis, and armed with a basic knowledge of genetics, we can learn a lot about what Adam was probably like.

Did Adam have a Navel?

But, how much detail can we go into concerning this man? Did he have a navel (belly button) for instance? This is something I have often been asked. Actually, I believe we can have a definite answer here. Your navel is really a scar formed from the attachment via the umbilical cord to your mother. After birth, the cord was cut, and where it was attached to your body it shrivelled up and formed a scar known as your belly button.

Adam was the First Man

Now think about Adam. Was he born in the same way you or I were? He certainly was not. He was made directly by God from the dust of the earth. In Genesis 2:7 we read, ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the Continue reading “What was Adam like? – Ken Ham”

Why did God use Adam’s rib to create Eve?

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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Why did God use Adam’s rib to create Eve?

The story of “Adam’s rib” is found in Genesis. Genesis 2:18–24 tells the well-known account of how God created the first woman, Eve, by removing a “rib” from Adam’s body and fashioning it into the woman. The creation account clearly indicates that God used Adam’s rib to create Eve instead of making her from the dust of the ground as He had done for Adam. The question also arises as to why God created woman out of Adam’s rib. God apparently had formed male and female animals separately, but the female human was originally part of man—Adam said, “She shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23).

God used Adam’s rib to form Eve to show that they were actually the same created being, two halves of a whole. The female was not created as a separate being, second to the male. She was formed as part of the initial man, in order to be a “helper suitable” for the male (Genesis 2:18). While Adam was in a divinely induced sleep, God “took one of the man’s ribs and . . . made a woman” (Genesis 2:21–22). Eve was brought into being to strengthen and powerfully help Adam; she was made from the same “stuff,” and she was every bit as perfect a creation as man and every bit as patterned after God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:27).

The woman made of Adam’s rib was designed to be a “suitable helper” for Adam (Genesis 2:20). The Hebrew phrase is translated “help meet” in the KJV and “companion who corresponded” in the NET. It is not synonymous with assistant, servant, minion, or subordinate. The Hebrew phrase, ’ezer kenegdow, in all other instances in the Bible refers to powerful and extensive aid and support. In most cases, the phrase was used to depict dominant military forces or armed men. Other passages, including Deuteronomy 33:7, 29, and Exodus 18:4, use the same phrase to discuss the potent interventions and deliverances of God Himself. Woman, therefore, was created as a complement to man, as an integral part of man, and as a powerful and influential companion for man.

Furthermore, the Hebrew word translated “suitable,” kenegdow, carries much more meaning than simply “fit” or “appropriate.” This word also means “opposite or contrasting.” This implies that the two beings were designed to work and fit together perfectly, not just physically but in all ways. The strengths of each compensated for the weaknesses of the other. It was “not good” for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), but, together, Adam and Eve were something far stronger and more magnificent than either of them could have been alone. Adam had to lose a rib, but he gained so much more.

Why did God use Adam’s rib? A closer examination of the Hebrew also reveals another surprising element of the story. The Hebrew word translated “rib” in Genesis 2 is tsela. The only other instance of the English word rib in the Bible occurs in Daniel 7:5, but the Hebrew word used there is different. In other passages where tsela or its variants are used, the word is translated “side.” For example, in Exodus 25, 27, and 35, the words tselo (variant) and tselot (plural) are used to refer to the “sides” of the Ark of the Covenant or the “sides” of the altar. In 2 Samuel 16:13, David encounters a cursing Shimei moving along the side (tsela) of a hill. In these contexts, translating the word tsela as “rib” would not fit.

This raises the possibility that Eve could have been fashioned of more than just Adam’s rib. In the Genesis 2 passage, tsela could actually be translated as Adam’s “side,” rather than Adam’s “rib.” If the appropriate translation is that God removed Adam’s side, how much of his side did God remove? It is possible that Eve was constructed literally from half of Adam. This would bring added meaning to Adam’s declaration that Eve was “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23).

Whether God created Eve from Adam’s rib or from his whole side, He accomplished the act in such a way that showed the woman was to complement and complete man in the integral union of marriage. Woman was created to be “beside” man, not beneath or above him. In salvation, man is no more “worthy” and woman is no less a citizen of God’s kingdom. “There is neither . . . male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). They stand side-by-side as fellow “heirs . . . of the gracious gift of life” (1 Peter 3:7).

Source: Elmer L. Towns, Bible Answers for Almost All Your Questions, THOMAS NELSON / 2003 / PAPERBACK

Eve created from Adam’s rib – Russell Grigg

http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

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Eve created from Adam’s rib

by Russell Grigg

Why did God make Eve from Adam’s rib? After all, if God had so desired, He could easily have formed Eve from the dust of the ground. In fact, He made Adam this way, (Genesis 2:7), as well as “every beast of the field” and “every bird of the heavens” (Genesis 2:19). So why did God make Eve differently? Perhaps He wanted to instruct us not only about the roles of Adam and Eve, but also concerning that of “the last Adam”, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45).

The first “not good” statement

Before God created Eve, He said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). In the creation narrative, the reader should be jarred by this statement, because up until now, every time that God has surveyed His creation, He has pronounced it “good”, as we would expect it to have been before the Fall. Man’s being alone is the first “not good” thing that required a solution.

So God created Eve as “a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18b). The term ‘helper’ (Hebrew ezer) does not indicate a lesser role or status, but rather function. She was to be his counterpart, his complement. Indeed, the term is used of God when He helps us, as in Psalm 33:20; 121:1–2. In fact, this is the basis for the biblical name Azaria(h) = God helped. Adam’s words on being presented with Eve were: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”[1] (Genesis 2:23)

The significance of ‘one flesh’

But was it really necessary for Eve to be made out of Adam’s rib? J. Calvin commented that “if the two sexes had proceeded from different sources, there would have been occasion either of mutual contempt, or envy, or contentions.”[2] And he went on to say that “something was taken from Adam, in order that he might embrace with greater benevolence, a part of himself. He lost, therefore, one of his ribs;[3] but, instead of it, a far richer reward was granted him, since he obtained a faithful associate of life; for he now saw himself, who had before been imperfect, rendered complete in his wife.” [2]

Eve also needed to be related to Adam—if she had been created out of the earth, she would be a completely independent creation. But in a unique way, Eve was descended from Adam, because she was made from a part of him.

Eve’s descent from Adam is also crucial to the possibility of her salvation. The prophet Isaiah wrote of the coming Messiah as being the “Kinsman-Redeemer”[4] (Isaiah 59:20), i.e. one who is related by blood to those he redeems. Hebrews 2:11–18 explains how Jesus took on Himself the nature of a man to save mankind, but not angels (nor hypothetical aliens for that matter). Jesus entered Adam’s line to literally become our relative, to be a part of this one human family (Luke 3:23–38).[5] If all people are not descended from Adam, this vital kinsman-redeemer concept is undermined. Or conversely, if there are people around today who are not descended from Adam and hence not related to Christ through Adam, they are not able to be saved. Both situations are biblically unviable.[6]

Responsibility

Adam, being the first human created, was and is the federal (or responsible) head of the human race. He was thus the one whose attitude towards God determined the course of human history. Eve, being made chronologically after Adam, as well as from Adam, is not assigned this responsibility in the Bible, even though she ate the forbidden fruit a few moments before Adam did (Genesis 3:6).

It was Adam to whom God had given the command not to eat (Genesis 2:16–17), and Adam was with Eve when she ate the fruit (Genesis 3:6). However, apparently he did not restrain her other than to pass on the warning (Genesis 3:1–3).[7] Sin is basically the desire to live independently of and in rebellion against God.[8] The New Testament affirms not only that Eve was deceived (by the serpent), but also that Adam was not so deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). It therefore appears that Adam made a deliberate choice to disobey God, i.e., the overt act expressed the sin that had already been committed within the heart (cf. Matthew 15:19).

The New Testament states that Adam was responsible for the coming of death into the world, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”[9] This reminds us that, just as Adam was the head of the human race, the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of redeemed humanity (Romans 5:12–21,[10] Ephesians 1:22–23; 5:23).

Roles of husband and wife in a Christ-centred marriage

One reason that marriage was set up by God is so that we would have a picture of what Christ’s love for the Church looks like. Monogamous marriage between one man and one woman serves this purpose in a way that a ‘marriage’ between two men, or two women, or any other arrangement cannot.[11] Indeed, when Jesus taught about marriage (Matthew 19:3–6, Mark 10:5–9), He cited the Creation account as real history (Genesis 1:27, 2:24).[12]

Furthermore the Bible sets specific roles for a husband and a wife within marriage. The longest passage on this is Ephesians 5:22–33. Husbands are told to “love their wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (vv. 25–27), “as their own bodies” (vv. 28–30), and ahead of all other commitments (vv. 31–33). Wives are told to “submit to their own husbands, as to the Lord” (v. 22). This does not contradict Paul’s assertion in Galatians 3:28 that “male and female … are all one in Christ Jesus.”[13]

Note too:

Upon marriage, we are meant to leave our parents as if we had none (metaphorically speaking), because Adam and Eve (literally and historically) really did have none.

We are meant in marriage, at least ideally, to be as close to one another as if we were ‘one flesh’ (metaphorically speaking) because Eve really was (literally and historically) taken from Adam’s flesh.

A bride produced by a wound

When God made Eve from Adam’s side, Genesis 2:21–23 tells us that God put Adam into a deep sleep. So Eve, the bride-to-be of Adam was (literally and historically) born from the wound in his side.

When Jesus, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), died on the cross, His side was pierced by a spear thrust, in fulfillment of prophecy (John 19:34, 36–37; Zechariah 12:10). This was just after His death—a death made necessary by the sin of the first Adam. Flowing from that wound in the side of God’s Lamb (John 1:29), sacrificed for sin, was the precious blood (1 Peter 1:19) by which believers are cleansed from sin.[14] These believers will constitute Christ’s bride, the church. So, metaphorically speaking, the church, Christ’s bride to be, was ‘born’ as it were from the spear wound in His side.

The heavenly Bride and Groom united

The Book of Revelation speaks of the ‘wedding feast of the Lamb’ at Christ’s return after the final defeat of death and evil (Revelation 19:6–9). The Good News is that although all of us have sinned ‘in Adam’, the first husband, we can all be redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the ‘last Adam’ and the Bridegroom of the Church, and through Him we can receive “the forgiveness of sins”, “the free gift of righteousness”, and pass “from death to life” (Colossians 1:14; Romans 5:17; 1 John 3:14).

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References and notes
1.KJV. Some versions incorrectly regard happa’am as having a time-suggestive meaning, so they include the words “at last”. But the word pa’am with the definite article ha means “this time”, or Gideon asking God “once more” for a test (Judges 6:39) or Abraham asking God about Sodom’s destruction “this once” (Genesis 18:32).
2.Calvin, J. Genesis, Translated and edited by John King, p. 133, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1965. Return to text.
3.Note, however, that Adam’s loss of a rib may well have been only temporary, since ribs routinely regenerate after surgical removal, as long as the outer membrane (periosteum) is left intact. See Wieland, C., Regenerating ribs: Adam and that ‘missing’ rib, Creation 21(4):46–47, Sept., 1999, creation.com/rib.
4.Hebrew goel, the same word used of Boaz in the book of Ruth, one of Jesus’ ancestors (Matthew 1:5).
5.Cosner, L., The genealogies of Jesus, creation.com/jesus-genealogies, 25 December 2012.
6.This section adapted from Wieland, C., One Human Family: The Bible, Science, Race and Culture, pp. 146 ff , Creation Book Publishers, 2011.
7.A correspondent has asked if either Adam or Eve lied about not touching the tree; however, a better explanation is that Adam passed on the warning not to eat the fruit to Eve, and then possibly added something like, “So don’t you even touch it, do you hear now!”, which Eve interpreted as coming from God. See Wieland, C., Did Eve lie before the Fall? creation.com/eve-lie, 17 March 2007.
8.See Grigg, R., Dawkins’ dilemma: how God forgives sin, Creation 34(1):32–34, 2012, creation.com/dawkins-dilemma.
9.Cosner, L., Christ as the last Adam: Paul’s use of the Creation narrative in 1 Corinthians 15, J. Creation 23(3):70–75, 2009; creation.com/1-corinthians-15.
10.Cosner, L., Romans 5:12–21: Paul’s view of literal Adam, J. Creation 22(2):105–107, 2008; creation.com/romans5.
11.Sarfati, J., One man, one woman: Does the Bible really teach monogamy? Creation 31(4):12, 2009; creation.com/monogamy.
12.Wieland, C., Jesus on the age of the earth: Jesus believed in a young world, but leading theistic evolutionists say He is wrong, Creation 34 (2):51–54, 2012; creation.com/jesus-age-earth.
13.While debating the detailed issues surrounding gender roles is outside the scope of this ministry, see Cosner, L., The Bible’s high view of women grounded in the creation account, J. Creation 23(2):53–58, creation.com/women, 2009.
14.The water which also flowed might be viewed as a picture of the life-giving Holy Spirit, just as the water flowed from the smitten rock in the wilderness at Horeb. 1 Corinthians 10:4 identifies that “spiritual rock” as Christ, who also promised to give “living water” (John 4:10).

Source:

http://creation.com

http://creation.com/eve-adams-rib

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