The Western Rite and the Flow of History

A minor debate within Orthodoxy has concerned what has been called “the Western Rite”. By this term is meant an (often doctored) version of the text of the Roman Catholic Mass or the Anglican Communion Service. Is the substitution of this Western Rite in place of the Byzantine Divine Liturgy advisable for Orthodox churches? Is it even legitimate? I would like to examine this question as dispassionately as possible, keenly aware that…

Can a Christian be Demon-possessed?

Believe it or not, I am sometimes asked the question “Can a Christian be demon-possessed?” Not often, admittedly, since our culture declares that demons do not exist, and that anyone who imagines that demons do in fact exist should probably be locked up and not let out with their keeper. Belief in angels is sometimes allowed (though presumably not by people like atheistic Richard Dawkins), because that belief makes us feel good,…

Loving the Sinner

The concept of loving the sinner while hating the sin has fallen upon hard times. Fallen man finds it very difficult to hold in tension the notion that one must love the sinner along with the notion that one must hate the sin which the sinner commits. It is easy—far too easy—to equate the sinner with his sin and conclude that because the sin is an abomination the sinner must therefore be…

A Little Administrative Reminder

Just a few comments about comments: I have changed internet mail servers and now sometimes comments take several days to reach my inbox. Sometimes the WordPress programme that Ancient Faith has set up for my blog sends a legitimate comment into the spam folder, and I do not see it at all unless I go rooting through the collected spam and retrieve it. Given that I have a real job in running…

“Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Answers and…People”

I have just finished reading a slim volume by Fr. Vasileios Thermos, an Orthodox priest in Greece, entitled, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Answers and…People. It is more a booklet than a book, consisting of less than eighty pages of actual text, but its small size belies its importance. It deals with the topics of homosexuality and gender identity, and was written as a handy non-technical summary of his more massive and…

Bread and Peanut Butter and the Forgiveness of Sins

What do bread and peanut butter have to do with the forgiveness of sins? More than one might think at first glance. Recently a friend told me of how he met a pan-handler in the parking lot of a grocery store, asking for spare change. He knew the man well, for he had often met him and given him the requested spare change. They hailed each other by name as usual, but…