Blessed Is the God of Our Fathers

For much of popular Christianity today, faith is an entirely personal matter. We are all individuals on our own personal journey to heaven, and the trappings of a “corporate” experience are altogether optional. The Church is not a kingdom of Saints, but rather one of many ways to get to God. But throughout Orthodox prayer books and services, God is referred to as “the God of our Fathers.” This phrase, lifted directly from the…

Why Orthodox Christians Celebrate the New Year on the First of September

The first day of September is celebrated as the Ecclesiastical or Church New Year by Orthodox Christians. It is also a day marked by prayers for the environment, reminding us to be good stewards of the world around us. So This is the New Year? The old Roman term for this day is Indictio, meaning “definition” or “order.”  This was a day established as the beginning of a fifteen year cycle, marking the redefinition of tax…

Orthodoxy on the Internet: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s always a good thing to be interested in learning more about the Orthodox faith. There are many ways to do this. For some people, it means buying and reading lots of books. For others, it simply means attending services or asking their priests lots of questions. Still others will make friends in their local parish, finding those at a similar place in their own spiritual journeys, sharing common discoveries. And many more…

The Modern Myth of Rights and How to Best Love Our Neighbors

When it comes to politicized, controversial, and otherwise binary issues in our world today, should Orthodox Christians pick sides? Or should we look deeper and live in a way that transcends the political divide? Global Warming and Voting Obama For example, whenever I share an interesting article about the climate on social media (whether in favor or opposed to an anthropogenic influence), the share is accompanied by a dizzying array of one-sided, emotionally charged…

The Official Orthodox Christian Position on Marriage Equality

The following statement was released by the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) on August 13, 2003. For the sake of anyone unaware of the official, Orthodox stance on same-sex “marriage,” this news release describes the clear and unchanging position. SCOBA Statement on Moral Crisis in Our Nation Wednesday, August 13, 2003 As members of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), representing…

Orthodoxy Is Not Found through Archaeology

Many Orthodox Christians speak of a search for the early Church; of a search for the “ancient faith.” As such, it can be all too easy to conflate Orthodoxy with that which is “old.” But Orthodoxy is not true because it is old; it is true because it is orthodox. Even though many people confuse references to the ancient faith or the faith of the apostles with a call to the past, what we…

The Good News and the Life of the Kingdom

What is the difference between the life of the Church and the Gospel message? Between the Mysteries of our faith and the good news of Jesus Christ? Are they identical, or should distinctions be made? The King and the Kingdom As Orthodox Christians, we are blessed with an immense heritage. From the central tenets of holy tradition to the various customs of nations that have over the centuries been grafted onto the vine of Christ’s…

How to Read the Bible and Divide the Church

How can we know the original context of the Bible? For many Christians today, this is a question at the heart of what it means to even be a follower of Christ. Discerning the correct interpretations of scripture from the incorrect; the exegesis from the eisegesis; the quality commentaries from the rubbish. But are these the right questions to be asking? And can we even know the answers? Context Abhors a Vacuum I’ve participated in…