Another Jesus

One is tempted to hearken to the siren song of our relativistic and pluralistic society and conclude that all Christian churches believe pretty much the same thing. There are differences of course—some have bishops and some don’t; some consider the Eucharist to be the true Body and Blood of Christ, and some don’t. And of course Catholics have the Pope. But apart from these incidentals (as the world regards them) all people…

Annunciation: Exalting Those of Low Degree

In most Orthodox churches, the image of the Mother of God towers over us—sometimes literally, as her icon fills the upper apse of the church temple, proclaiming there how she united heaven and earth by her willing assent to the Incarnation of the divine Messiah. In all her icons she is a majestic figure—regal, composed, serene, the Queen of Heaven. Many icons of the Annunciation portray her as seated on a throne,…

The Council of Crete and its Aftermath

What was originally billed as “the Great and Holy Council” threatens to leave a legacy of a great and unholy mess. The mess to which I refer is the bitter battle and division swirling around the question of whether certain documents produced by the council were genuine and unexceptionable or erroneous and heretical. The statement on ecumenism draws most of the fire, with some people saying that the use of the term…

Why Wait?

One question that young singles often ask when confronted with the Church’s traditional teaching that one should not engage in sex until marriage is “Why should I wait?” It is a reasonable question to ask when everyone in our sex-soaked culture is bombarded with the assumption in every movie, television show, and pop song ever produced that of course healthy young people will be sexually active before marriage. Indeed, one young Christian…

A Little History Lesson

Not long ago the question about whether or not Orthodox Churches could accept homosexuality as a valid lifestyle came to the fore. The year was 1983. A denomination by the name of the “Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches” applied for membership in the association of mainline Protestant churches, the National Council of Churches. The raison d’être of the Metropolitan Community church was the acceptance of homosexual lifestyle. It was and saw…

The Language of Unworthiness

In his first epistle to Timothy, Paul wrote “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am first” (1 Timothy 1:15). The last part of Paul’s words is familiar to us Orthodox, since it forms part of our pre-communion approach to the Chalice, when we pray, “I believe, O Lord, and I confess that You are truly the Christ,…