The western world has entered a period of decadence and decline, departing far from her Christian roots. With the European Union denying the historical and cultural Christian heritage of her member states, a secular based world view reigns dominant. This, together with the mass immigration of peoples from Islamic countries at a time when the birth rates of indigenous peoples are at an all time record low, threatens the very existence of Western civilization.
The naive would have us believe that we are living in an age of enlightenment, with borders falling, people uniting. They ignore the plight of the Coptic Christians of Egypt whose churches are being burned down in record numbers, young Coptic women being kidnapped and raped, and priests, bishops and anyone identified as Christian being fair game for assaults and murders. They ignore the growing persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East.
The government of Saudi Arabia has been building Islamic centers near university communities throughout the United States and Western Europe. While allegedly pushing for “Islamic rights”, they are wooing young westerners into Islam. While demanding Muslims be allowed their five times a day worship periods in the work place and on campuses, they forbid Jew and Christians the right to build synagogues and churches in Muslim countries.
Political figures throughout Western Europe and the United States have taken to calling anyone who raises a word of alarm as bigoted Islamaphobes, while ignoring the outright persecution of Christians throughout the Muslim world. It has become commonplace for attacks against Christians in Muslim countries to be written off as the acts of a few extremists, yet we hear no condemnation from imams of the growing discrimination experienced by Christians. If attacks against Christians are simply perpetrated by a few Islamic extremists, why don’t the imams raise their collective voices in decrying the violence of their co-religionists against their Christian neighbors?
Perhaps it is time to demand a church or synagogue be constructed in every Muslim country before any new mosques can be constructed in our cities. If Saudi Arabia wants to continue funding the construction of new mosques in the United States, perhaps we should demand the right to build churches in Saudi Arabia.
It is important to remember that Islam cannot be separated from politics. Sharia law, which is constituting the political and social frame of Islamic teaching, is incompatible with Democracy. The Arab Spring is proving this fact with the Islamic unwillingness to allow Coptic Christians the freedom they deserve to practice their faith openly. To compare Islam with Fascism is not too far fetched. Remember, Afghanistan was once a Buddhist nation, and Turkey and the Sudan were Christian nations. Islam makes no room for any form of religion other than Islam. The Western secular view of religion can not survive the growth of a faith that is both a political ideology and a religion. Nor can we as Christians refuse to share our faith by being complacent. Ministry is not about tickling ears, but tapping souls into awakening to the truth.
Christianity’s decline must be reversed and the only way this can happen is if those who are still practicing Christians become missionaries and give witness to Jesus Christ. Muslim immigrants who’ve moved to this country should not be shunned, or asked to leave our shores. They do, however, deserve the chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Muslim understanding of Christianity has been tainted by false teachings masquerading as Christian. This false image of Christianity, together with the climate of decadence embraced by a secularized western world, offers nothing to a follower of Islam. Only a loving witness to the truth, that in Christ we have a direct link to a personal God Who loves us and offers something that is life changing and eternal, has the draw that will bring Muslims to Christ.
Love in Christ,
Wednesday March 20, 2013
First Week of the Great Lent. Tone eight.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
The Holy Hieromartyrs of Cherson: Basil, Ephraim, Capito, Eugene, Aetherius, Elpidius, and Agathodorus (4th c.).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1930).
New Hieromartyr Nilus, Virgin-martyrs Matrona, Mary, Eudocia, Ecaterina, Antonina, Nadezhda, Xenia, and Anna (1938).
Venerable Paul the Simple of Egypt, disciple of St. Anthony the Great (4th c.).
St. Paul the Confessor, bishop of Prusias in Bithynia (850).
Venerable Emilian of Rome.
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Surety of Sinners” in Korets (1622), Odrin (1843) and Moscow (1848).
Sts. Nestor and Arcadius, bishops of Tremithus (Greek).
Venerable Laurence, founder of the monastery of the Mother of God on Salamis (1707) (Greek).
St. Ephraim, Patriarch of Antioch (546).
St. Dandus and all Saints of Thrace.
St. Eosterwine, abbot of Wearmount.
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,
3Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4He shall judge between the nations,And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
The Day of the Lord
5O house of Jacob, come and let us walk
In the light of the Lord.
6For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with eastern ways;
They are soothsayers like the Philistines,
And they are pleased with the children of foreigners.
7Their land is also full of silver and gold,
And there is no end to their treasures;
Their land is also full of horses,
And there is no end to their chariots.8Their land is also full of idols;
They worship the work of their own hands,
That which their own fingers have made.9People bow down,
And each man humbles himself;
Therefore do not forgive them.
10Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust,
From the terror of the Lord
And the glory of His majesty.
11The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
24Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The Value of Wisdom
2 My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
2So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
3Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
6For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
9Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
10When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
12To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things,
13From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness;
14Who rejoice in doing evil,
And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
15Whose ways are crooked,
And who are devious in their paths;
16To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words,
17Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.
18For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
19None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life—
20So you may walk in the way of goodness,
And keep to the paths of righteousness.
21For the upright will dwell in the land,
And the blameless will remain in it;
22But the wicked will be cut off from the earth,
And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.