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)”

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.

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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”

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)

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

When you sit down to eat, pray

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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

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2014/11/27/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