Are All Orthodox Christians Supposed to Evangelize? (UPDATED)

The following is culled from comments I made on a Facebook thread in a private group ...  the Lord's command to go into all the earth and preach the Gospel was given only (or mainly) to the apostles. Allowance was made for ...  will be more effective the more fully His presence is known in us.) But that is not the actual model that we see in Scripture or in ...

Jesus Didn’t Come to Earth to Help Us

...  Sunday after Pentecost / Third Sunday of Matthew, June 25, 2017 Romans 5:1-10; Matthew 6:22-33 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew ...  to understanding this comes at the beginning of today’s Gospel, where the Lord Jesus says: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if ...  your eye affects everything. If you can see well, you know where to go. You can see your path. You can avoid obstacles. You can ...

What I Saw at #AFCon

...  past week I attended the Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference (AFCon), an event which I ...  of folks who, like me, are excited about communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in accordance with Orthodox tradition in ways that ...  And sometimes some folks (including me!) don't know what they're talking about even though they think they do. But there is ...

Those Who Quit Church: Why Do We Talk About Converts More?

...  someone wrote to ask why the Orthodox blogosphere and media seem to talk far more about converts to ...  fruitless, almost impossible work. Nearly every priest I know (including me) has done a huge amount of work to try to bring back people ...  and discussed instead of people actually responding to the Gospel and coming into the Church? This question in a form gets dealt with by ...

What’s the Point of Miracles?

...  of the Paralytic, May 7, 2017 Acts 9:32-42; John 5:1-15 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew ...  they were sent forth into the whole world to preach the Gospel? We see in the passage ready today from Acts a little of how amazing ...  up from the dead? The Scripture says, “And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” Again, we get ...

The Priesthood After the Resurrection

...  Sunday and the Feast of St. George, April 23, 2017 Acts 5:12-20; John 20:19-31 Very Rev. ...  because it’s the only life I’ve got, so I wouldn’t know. That said, Great Lent, Holy Week and the Paschal services we have just ...  encounter with Thomas. We see Jesus twice in the Gospel for today. He first appears to ten of the disciples—Thomas is not ...

Lent and Priesthood #1: The Priesthood of Humility

...  of the Publican and the Pharisee, February 5, 2016 2 Timothy 3:10-15; Luke ...  Lord Jesus relates in the eighteenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, shows us two men who go to the Temple to pray. One is a Pharisee, a ...  people. The other is a Publican, a tax collector, a known sinner, hated by his own people for his collusion with the Roman ...

Who Shall I Be at Christmas?

...  of the Nativity, December 24, 2016 Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 13:18-29 V. Rev. Fr. ...  my own sense of how things ought to be, my own sense of knowing what is right that I am not open to the One Who is coming? Shall I ...  Who is born? Shall I be as the shepherds, hearing the Gospel of great joy out in the fields, struck in fear and astonishment at what ...

Jesus Is Not Part of the Christmas Story

...  before the Nativity, December 18, 2016 Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-15 V. ...  entirely. If that’s what we think, then we don’t know what Christmas is. Jesus is not part of the story of Christmas.  ...  is born into human history. And this is why we read the Gospel of His genealogy on this Sunday before the Nativity. It is a witness to ...

Stop Using “Religion” to Mean Bad Religion

...  from the ashes of his Mars Hill Church career and now nesting in greater Phoenix, ...  faith: yet they did not so much remember Him as know He was with them. And in Him was the end of “religion,” because He ...  of Jesus praying alone to His Father that we see in the Gospels, we also see Him praying corporately in the synagogue and Temple, ...

Heaven is Like Good Company

...  of the Forefathers, December 11, 2016 Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24 Very Rev. ...  celebrated two Sundays before Christmas, we hear the Gospel of the Eleventh Sunday of Luke, which is a selection from Luke 14. And ...  is the evening meal. It may be formal or not. We do know that in this passage it is a “great” dinner to which “many” were ...

Is Orthodox Education Really Necessary?

...  of the things I've encountered among some Orthodox Christians in America is the ...  yiayia and babushka and sittoo (or taita) didn't really know that much, but they sure loved the Church! Right? This attitude is, I ...  6:5, Matthew 22:37 and Luke 10:27. The Synoptic Gospel writers are all quoting Jesus referencing that passage from ...

Our Mission is Not From Man But From God

...  of the Apostle James / Sixth Sunday of Luke, October 23, 2016 Galatians 1:11-19; ...  essentially the step-brother of Jesus. He would have known Jesus when He was a boy, though James was probably a good bit older than ...  starts out this way: “I make known to you that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man; for neither did I ...

This Good News is Who I Am

...  upon Elevation to the Rank of Archpriest, October 2, 2016 The Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen ...  ready to begin a new life, even though I didn’t really know what that would mean. If there is one thing that a graduation is above ...  announcing of the good news. This is the moment of the Gospel, its first preaching. If there is any moment that has defined my ...

How I See Things After the Orthodox Council in Crete

...  note: The following represents my personal opinions and is not in the name of anyone ...  that suggested a thematic link; here's one). As is well known to anyone who's followed these events closely, four of the fourteen ...  of Jesus and sent them into all the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This, I believe, was missing from the agenda in Crete. ...

The Great Orthodox Council: The “Diaspora” as Key to Unity

...  that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the ...  vivified as they vivify us, imparting to us the spirit of knowledge and wisdom to bring all the world's peoples into the one, holy, ...  in today's world is how to communicate the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in language that can be understood at the time and place ...

The Blind Man and Lawrence of Arabia

...  of the Blind Man, June 5, 2016 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick Acts 16:16-34; ...  in fact each hill and valley in it had a man who was its acknowledged owner and would quickly assert the right of his family or clan to ...  alliance did not foresee where it would lead. In our Gospel lesson for today, the sixth Sunday of Pascha, we read about the healing ...

On Loss and Change

...  of the Samaritan Woman, May 29, 2016 Acts 11:19-30; John 4:5-42 Rev. Fr. Andrew ...  the change of the world in mind that we come today to this Gospel of the Samaritan Woman, the Woman at the Well. Jesus has come to this ...  of water, and He meets this woman here. She does not know it yet, but her whole world is about to change. This woman is a ...

Who is God? (Part 1 of 8): God is Our Judge

...  of the Last Judgment, March 6, 2016 1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2; Matthew 25:31-46 Rev. ...  not just talking about the world out there who do not know Christ. I am talking about right here, right in our Orthodox Church, ...  is the Sunday of the Last Judgment, because we read this Gospel today. Of the various images that we have of God, the one we may ...

A Failure at Prayer: On the Publican and Pharisee

...  of the Publican and the Pharisee, February 21, 2016 2 Timothy 3:10-15; Luke ...  talk about two failures at prayer, depicted for us in the Gospel reading from Luke 18. The Sunday on which we read the Gospel of the ...  That is, he is a failure who is praying. Now, everyone knows the Publican is a failure. He’s got a bad reputation. Tax collectors ...

A Time of Beginnings: 3 Resolutions for the New Year

...  before the Theophany of Christ, January 3, 2016 2 Timothy 4:5-8; Mark 1:1-8 Rev. Fr. ...  with the patterns of Orthodox liturgical life, you know that this is nothing terribly unusual. We love to layer things on and ...  worth noting here that, while Matthew and Luke begin their Gospels with the birth of Jesus, the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, which we ...

Christmas Means War

...  before the Nativity, December 20, 2015 Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-15 Rev. ...  Claus kneeling down at the manger in Bethlehem. And you know what I think about all that? It’s mostly just noise. It’s mostly ...  talk about Christmas. Why? It’s because of what the Gospel is actually about. The Gospel is the declaration of the coming of a new ...

Christ is the Samaritan & I Am the Beaten Man

...  Luke 10:25-37 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God.  ...  This is probably one of the most beloved and well-known passages in Scripture, and it even enjoys some fame outside of Church ...  on giving together with the message of this beautiful Gospel. A lawyer approaches Jesus and wants to know what it takes to have ...

Walking with Luke on the Road to Emmaus

...  of the Apostle and Evangelist Luke, October 18, 2015 Colossians 4:5-11, 14-18; ...  those names we often hear in our services, but we may not know him unless we have taken the time to learn about him. Because today is ...  a little time getting to know him. Luke wrote the third Gospel account, which is why he is called “the Evangelist” and which we ...

How I Made My Peace with “Ethnic” Orthodoxy

The following is from a larger talk I am working on about Orthodoxy in the West. That ...  “Ethnics” (forgive me the shorthand, but I hope you know what I mean) feel out of place at parishes composed mainly of converts or ...  things which in themselves are not antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then that means I am rejecting the people who love ...

Warnings at the Wedding Feast

...  align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Parable of the Wedding Feast, by A. N. Mironov(From Wikimedia ...  of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. The Gospel passage this morning is one that we do not hear every year in our ...  to be suited up? There is a cultural detail we need to know to understand this piece of the story. In that time and place, the ...

The First Fruits of Achaia: Setting Ourselves for the Ministry of the Saints

...  Sunday After Pentecost / Thirteenth Sunday of Matthew, August 30, 2015 I Corinthians 16:13-24; Matthew 21:33-42 Rev. Fr. ...  to the Corinthian Christians from people they might know. But there’s something beautiful lurking in that part between the ...  Our teachers’ task is to teach the Orthodox faith—the Gospel, the Scriptures, the theology, the lives of the saints, and so on. They ...

From “Membership” to Ministry: Feeding the Five Thousand

...  width="1024"] Church Floor in Tabgha, next to the Sea of Galilee(From Wikimedia Commons)[/caption] Feast of St. Paraskeva ...  Amen. We are all familiar with this account from the Gospels of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Though we read today from Matthew ...  etc., but when it comes to church life, where we know that, if we are faithful, we have God Himself on our side, why is it that  ...

St. Paisios and Salvation from Distraction

...  Sunday after Pentecost / Sixth Sunday of Matthew, July 12, 2015 Romans 12:6-14; Matthew 9:1-8 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen ...  silence for about an hour a day: to test himself, to acknowledge his passions and to fight in order to cut them off and purify his ...  to draw near and listen to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. We as Christians have been and continue to be preached the good ...