We must refrain from the life of the “super correct”
Driven by fear, there are people who leave the Church and head into schism. In Greece there are at least eighteen “Old Calendar” Orthodox churches who claim to be THE Church, not recognizing each other as canonical. In the United States there are nearly the same numbers, some Slavic and others of Greek origin. Many of these groups are filled with prideful people, thinking of themselves as the only remnant of Christ’s Church.
These people practice a form of Christianity that is filled with self righteous rigidity, totally lacking in humility. Walling themselves off from World Orthodoxy, they become extremely pharisitical, harsh, punitive and rotten to the core. In their legalistic approach to the canons and traditions of the Church they enter into a state of constant judgment against anyone outside their arrogant, cultish religiosity.
In their narrow minded approach to the Church, they fail to trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding and protecting His Church. They don’t see the Holy Spirit operating in the life of people because they themselves are closed off to the Holy Spirit. Where is the life of the Church manifested among such people? They do nothing for the love of humanity and their lack of love begets more schism. Schism begets schism begets schism. A never ending downward spiral into the abyss.
Their usual premise is based on the issue of the calendar change and false ecumenism. The calendar issue is more important to them than the unity of the Church, forgetting, as they do, that the early church celebrated many of the great feasts on different days.
False ecumenism is hardly an issue today, with the numbers of theologians and bishops who are truly caught up in it has dwindled to almost nothing, along with the liberal thinking that has gone out of fashion since the fall of communism. The Russian Church, the largest of the Local Churches, has taken a strong stand against false ecumenism and is powerfully pushing forth the unchanging canons, traditions and faith of the ancient Church.
Orthodox Christianity has withstood two thousand years of attacks and persecution, yet the gates of hell have not prevailed against her. This was Christ’s promise to his disciples before His Holy Resurrection. To believe otherwise is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.
Love in Christ,
Photo: A deer in the northern forest of the monastery.
Thursday June 7, 2018 / May 25, 2018
2nd Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. Fish Allowed
Third Finding of the Precious Head of St. John the Baptist (850).
Virgin-Martyr Helen (1938).
New Hieromartyr Tavrion (1939).
St. Innocent archbishop of Cherson (1857).
Hieromartyr Therapon, bishop of Cyprus (4th c.).
St. Dodo, prince of Georgia (6th c.).
Synaxis of Saints of Volhynia: Saints Yaropolk, Stephen, Macarius, Igor and Juliana.
Commemoration of the reunion of 3,000,000 Uniates with the Orthodox Church at Vilna in 1831.
Martyrs Pasicrates, Valentinian, Julius and others at Dorostolum (302).
St. Aldehelm, bishop of Sherborne.
Martyr Celestine (Greek).
St. Olbian, monk (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.
John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus
18 Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. 19 And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
20 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” 21 And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.
22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, thelepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not
offended because of Me.”
24 When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
28 For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
Wind and Wave Obey Jesus
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”