Ghetto Christianity Impoverished Institutional Christianity
and the Rise of Islam in the West
The cure for the societal, political and demographic decline in Nordic and European countries is not to be found in nationalistic racism, nor in war against foreigners. The cure for all that ails the western world is a return to piety and fear of God. Spiritual decline has led to the total meltdown of societies that were previously rooted in the Christian faith. What remains of Christianity has been turned into a spiritual ghetto, where ethnic preservation and tradition have replaced the Power of the Imperishable, which is a life in Christ.
Until we in the western world bow our heads in humble repentance before God and restore the source of Western Civilization, Christianity, our world is lost. Attacking foreigners and Muslims will only quicken the end of our culture and societal institutions, for the basis of our very existence must be centered in the power of our life in Christ. In Jesus we can do anything. Violence against people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds is a terrible insult to the teachings of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, who came to save the whole world.
The apostles entered a pagan world and transformed it because they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. They did not remain in an institutional ghetto of religiosity, but went into all the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. It was the essence of this faith that transformed the western world, and it is this essence that can do it again.
What a wonderful world it would be if we lived our lives in total commitment to Jesus and giving witness to our neighbors of the sanctifying and transformational power that can be had in a life in Christ. Rather than fear immigrants of a different faith and race, let us reach out in love, welcoming them into hearts centered in Jesus Christ and devoid of institutional dryness.
Orthodoxy must be vibrant in her evangelical zeal. It is not the Church that is at fault, nor the liturgical worship and dogma of the Church that are in need of change, but rather the hearts and minds of her people. This can only be done with a renewed commitment to the Lord and the living out of an authentic and transformational Christianity that is truly the center of our daily living.
How attractive this Christianity would be to our immigrant neighbors if they could see the love we have for them. Radical Islam within our borders could be diffused if these new immigrants could see the love of Christ in the way we welcomed them. Instead of fearing them, let us reach out as missionaries, inviting them into the life of the Church that has changed us.
With love in Christ,
Monday March 25, 2013
Second Week of the Great Lent. Tone one.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Venerable Theophanes the Confessor of Sigriane (818).
St. Alexander confessor priest (1933).
New Hieromartyr John priest, New Hieromartyr Vladimir (1938).
New Hieromartyr Sergius priest (1943).
Righteous Phineas, grandson of Aaron (1500 B.C.).
St. Gregory the Dialogist, pope of Rome (604).
Venerable Symeon the New Theologian (1022) and his elder Symeon the Reverent of the Studium (987).
The Lydda Icon of the Mother of God Not-Made-by-Hands (1st c.).
Righteous Aaron the High Priest, brother of Prophet Moses the God-Seer.
Venerable Cyrus, monk of Alexandria (6th c.).
St. Alphege, bishop of Winchester, England (951) (Celtic & British).
St. Paul, bishop of Leon in Brittany (572).
St. Nicodemus of Mammola in Calabria (990).
Restoration of the Autocephaly of the Georgian Apostolic Church (1917) (Georgia).
St. Demetre the Devoted, King of Georgia (1289) (Georgia).
St. Theoctistus Dragutin of Serbia (1316).
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.
THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
21Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
22Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Cain Murders Abel
4 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” 2Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
6So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
34Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble.
35The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools.
Security in Wisdom
4 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
2For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
3When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
4He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
5Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
7Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
8Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
10Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.
14Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
17For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know what makes them stumble.
20My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.