Tag Archives: orthodox

They will kill you.

I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Jn 16:1–3
Continue reading They will kill you.

Dear Parents… Part Two: Prayer

I remember an old grandfather, God repose his soul, at my church growing up. He used to say Our Father so slowly compared to the rest of the congregation, and it was not because he lacked English skills. He simply refused to rush prayer, and he had a hearing problem.

This is part two of a series to dialogue with parents AND kids, on issues that we see in the service. Please, let’s interact. What’s worked in your home? What didn’t work? What are the problems/causes of our issues.
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Dear Parents… Part One: Christian Education

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Dear Parents,

I’m writing this to you because we, your servants, love your kids. This is not written to attack you or accuse you of anything “bad”. Again, I’m writing it because I, and other servants, love your kids. Because we love them, we also have some concerns. This blog got very long, so I will be dividing it into multiple parts. I am not saying any of this in an accusatory way – I am responding to real issues and things that are really said. I am not making up the issues. The Church cares about your children, as do you as parents, of course, and so it is important here and there to hear about those concerns, in the same way that many are more than happy to express their concerns to servants and clergy. This is not an exhaustive list of issues, but really just a sampling of categories in which there are issues going on in which I hope to engage you. Your comments and feedback are more than welcome.
Continue reading Dear Parents… Part One: Christian Education

Theosis and other problems: On Orthodox dis[unity] – Part 3

This is the third and last installment in this series. You can read the first two here and here.

I want to discuss some of the issues and characteristics that I’ve seen come up time and time again in this journey. I’m not claiming this to be an exhaustive piece or even a comprehensive one. This is not my specific area of expertise. If you wish to learn more and want to dialogue with someone who really ‘knows his stuff’, Father Peter Farrington is your priest! Please find his site specific to this topic here.
Continue reading Theosis and other problems: On Orthodox dis[unity] – Part 3

Q&A: Why am I not allowed to believe in [science]?

Question: Why am I not allowed to believe in the Big Bang Theory?
Question: Why am I not allowed to believe in Evolution?
Question: What is my stance supposed to be on dark matter?

There are too many questions of this kind that I cannot encapsulate them all other than the [insert theory here].

Continue reading Q&A: Why am I not allowed to believe in [science]?

Brothers who fought: On Orthodox [dis]unity – Part 1

There have been both progressions and setbacks lately in discussions about Christian unity – Oriental Orthodox vs. Eastern Orthodox. Catholic vs Orthodox. Protestant vs Catholic. You name it. We have acronyms to express every denomination and viewpoint on the planet. I cannot speak to most of those, but I want to reflect a little bit on the division between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox. This first blog will be an analogy of sorts from which to work from, and the follow-up blog or two will be personal reflections of this story as it applies to our present-day situation through the lens of my own life and experience thus far. They are thoughts about the matter after years of reading about it, being angry about it, and then arriving at where I presently am.
Continue reading Brothers who fought: On Orthodox [dis]unity – Part 1

2. The Ministers & The Chief of Ministers

Continue reading 2. The Ministers & The Chief of Ministers

1. Beginnings

eye-nebula
Let me tell you a story. It’s a long story, though. It’s going to be told in more than one part because you probably won’t be able to hear all of it today. It’s a beautiful story, but it’s also a sad story. The good thing, though, is that the story is not actually over, and a happy ending is very possible. Actually, the happy ending is preferred, and you will find out that you have a say in how it ends.

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Let Me Tell You a Story: Preface

The following is an excerpt from Yann Martel’s, Life of Pi, when the protagonist has finished telling his extraordinary tale of survival:

“If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for? Isn’t love hard to believe?”

“Mr. Patel–”

“Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”

“We’re just being reasonable.”

“So am I! I applied my reason at every moment. Reason is excellent for getting food, clothing and shelter. Reason is the very best tool kit. Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.”

I have hesitated at doing what I want to do in this “story” that I’m going to tell. I wanted to bring some of the Theology of books like “On the Incarnation”, while retelling the stories and traditions that we have received from the Holy Bible. In doing this there was a great fear that using the word ‘story’ might reduce the Truths that these stories hold to being mere tale-telling, fiction. That somehow the “story” would become less believable because it’s a ‘story’.

Yet, to borrow again a concept from Yann Martel, it’s like what I am trying to say is, “let me tell you a story that even though it is not true, it is true”. What I mean here, is that while I might give characters life or create a dialogue between them, give them new names or new looks, the story underneath it is a true story. Stories are valuable for us to understand truths. This has been the tradition of humanity since we were capable of communication.

The mere recounting of an experience is the telling of a story, and consequently, we ought not to look at story-telling with contempt. Story-telling does not make belief laughable, as story-telling is what all humans are doing all over the world, all the time. That does not make their stories false.

I want this story to be simple, because our story is simple. Our God issimple. The Covenant is simple.  I want anyone of any age to understand the foundations and promises of Love.

I will begin with some foundational blocks before going into recounting the stories of humanities encounters with our God. Feel free to send feedback, or to request elaborations on concepts.

Chapter 1: Beginnings
Chapter 2: The Ministers & the Chief of Ministers
Chapter 3: The people, the Gift and the Purpose.

Pray for me.
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Continue reading Let Me Tell You a Story: Preface