The use of the word “ecumenical” with reference to the Church has been twisted to mean something entirely different than it has meant historically. The word itself literally means “universal,” but in the context of the Church it was used to refer to universal councils of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. These councils were not convened in order for Orthodox bishops to hobnob with heretics, or to sweep their differences under the rug. Quite the contrary, these councils were convened in order to drive heresies and unrepentant heretics out of the Church.
Holy Scripture says that you will know a tree by its fruit. What kind of tree will the world, non-Orthodox Christians, identify us as? In other words, will we be known as Orthodox Christians? First, we may want to ask: what makes someone a Christian? Does being baptized make one an Orthodox Christian? Well, our baptism brings us into the family and unites us to the body of Christ. It is the marriage ceremony whereby we become joined to the Church; however, like a marriage, if one does not work every day to love the one they married more and more, then that union falls apart. If one is baptized, but does not practice their faith, then there is no real marriage. It would be akin to legally marrying someone, and then never seeing them again. Would one really still be married? Recall brothers and sisters, Christ says if you love me, you will keep my commandments. So again, what makes us a Christian? To be a Christian is to love Christ, but to love Christ is to keep His commandments. Therefore, we must ask: do we really keep, or attempt to keep, Christ’s commandments? Do we follow Christ’s Church, who the Apostle says is the pillar and ground of Truth?
Dr. David Bradshaw joins me to talk about the more difficult and advanced aspects of Essence Energy Distinction and how it relates to the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity.
Renovationists are people who see that the Church is out of sync with the modern world, and rather than conclude that the world needs to repent and come into line with the teachings of the Church, instead assume that the Church is what needs to be fixed. To them, the solution to this problem is to make the Church more like the world, rather than to make the world more like the Church.
The fact that today we have people openly promoting the LGBTQP agenda in the Orthodox Church is something that was unthinkable less than a dozen years ago. But here we are. They are vocal minority to be sure, but like most leftists, they try to convince people that their opponents are the minority, and they are only motivated by hate.
In recent years, there are lines of division that not only show the signs of an emerging schism in the Orthodox Church — it is becoming increasingly clear that we are witnessing the birth of a new religion, which will only retain some of the outward trappings of the Orthodox Christian Faith, but in fact is increasingly becoming unrecognizable as Christian. We see this when it comes to how the innovators see the sanctity of life, sexuality, human nature, the Church, and Tradition.
Fr Hans’ sermon for the 6th Sunday of Luke, James (Iakovos) the Apostle, brother of Our Lord, Our Righteous Father Ignatius, Patriarch of Constantinople. Father teaches on the calling of the Apostle Paul, man’s nature, God’s nature, demons, how the knowledge & love God transforms us, and what happens when we open our hearts to God & admit our weaknesses.
The IOTA conference is the largest Orthodox conference ever held, and its inaugural conference was four years ago in Iasi, Romania, where you might remember I attended and presented my paper on the Dangers of Modernity and Technology. This year’s conference, in cooperation with Volos Academy for Theological Studies, will comprise of 350 scholars and academics from 50 countries around the world on a wide variety of topics.
In this video I talk about two topics and connect them with each other: Christ being tempted in the desert and His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. I mainly answer the question of whether we can speak of Christ truly being tempted and how we can understand His prayer in the garden of gethsemane using patristic witness such as St. Maximus the Confessor and St. John of Damascus.