78. The Falling Asleep of the Theotokos

      This feast is observed by Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and some traditional Protestants. Most Protestants ignore Mary’s death because they say it’s not in the Bible. This  is true. They also ignore Mary after her death because they say that is not in the Bible. This is false! We’ll come to that later. Mary’s Death We Orthodox title this day the Falling Asleep of the Theotokos – or her Dormition (from the…

77. Orthodoxy and Other Faiths: Extra-Protestant Groups – Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses – and finally: How to Live in a non-Orthodox Society

No, this week’s introductory image is not missing. (I think those who receive the Blog by e-mail don’t see it? I’ll add it again here to the left, just in case.) I chose it to symbolize Christian Science. Read on. But first, speaking of introductory images: If anyone saw the image at the beginning of last week’s Blog Post and wondered if I am now selling underwear online, I would like to apologize. This…

76. Orthodoxy and Other Faiths: Some Extra-Protestant Groups, Part 1 – Unitarians, Mormons

By Extra-Protestant I mean groups that most Protestants don’t claim, but because they sprang out of Protestantism I think they belong in this series. If there are mistakes in what follows (and in some cases I sincerely hope there are) will somebody please correct them in the Comments below. I am not intending to make light of the teachings of these folks, but I think I should comment on the more un-Orthodox…

75. Orthodoxy and Other Faiths: Modern Protestantism, Part 3 – Why is the Mainline down? Why are Evangelicals up? Pentecostals. Charismatics.

We’ve been tracking the decline of the Mainline Protestants and the rise of the Evangelicals.  According to Pew Research in 2014 above, maybe the change in American religion has been even more radical. Look who’s growing fastest now, and rapidly. I can’t begin to describe how different the American religious scene feels today compared to 50 or 60 years ago. Then it seemed as if everybody went to church. Christianity was all over…

74. Orthodoxy and Other Faiths – Modern Protestantism, Part 2: Everything turns upside down.

Contemporary Protestantism That means “within my lifetime”. I know, to some of you this will seem like ancient history! There is so much to say about Protestantism. Can you all hang in here for an extra week? … … I just heard a unanimous cry, “Yes!” So now it’s 3 weeks on modern Protestantism. Then 1 more on “extra-Protestant” groups – Christian Science, Mormons, Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses – and that will be…

73. Orthodoxy and Other Faiths – Modern Protestantism, Part 1: Protestant disunity, Orthodox unity

The Fragmenting of Protestantism Now…  if you have no acquaintance with  Protestantism and probably even if you have, prepare to be confused. From early times there have been followers of Christ outside the Church – Arians, for example, were quite numerous, as Protestants are today. Then came the great division between East and West. The Protestant Reformation led to several separate denominations. But nothing like this! Beginning about the turn of the…

72. Orthodoxy and LGBTQ – Part 2

A Prelude In his book Contemporary Ethical Issues: An Armenian Orthodox Perspective *, Professor Vigen Guroian writes: “The ancient world did not possess a concept of fixed sexual orientation. In other words, the ancients did not speak of the alternatives of heterosexuality and homosexuality. This form of speech emerged fully only in the 19th and 20th century. In early Christian thought, the temptation to engage in homosexual acts was simply taken to be a part of the sinful human…

71. Orthodoxy and LGBTQ – Part 1

Back in the 1930s my mother, an intelligent well-read small town professional woman, had heard of “homosexuality”. When she was in her 30s she finally asked my father what it was – and could scarcely believe it. Times have changed. I trust you know what LGBTQ means. If not, look it up. I think I understand except for Q which used to be an extremely derogatory term for G, which is a replacement…

70. What Ever Happened to Fathers?

I remember a little boy years ago: His father would sit in his chair, and the boy would sit in his chair. His father would cross his legs, and the boy would cross his legs. His father would turn the page of his newspaper; and his son would turn the page of his book. As time went on his father got so busy with his work that he left before the kids…

69. All Saints of North America

Little did the apostles imagine that 2000 years later, 8000 miles from Jerusalem, in a land they had never even heard of, the Church would still be carrying out their apostolic work. On the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday after All Saints, many Orthodox jurisdictions commemorate their national and regional saints. I wish we all did, for our holy ones should be remembered. Although by Orthodox standards the Church in North America is still…