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.
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.
Events in the world seem to be transpiring at breakneck speed. This is intentional. Keeping people swirling in a hurricane of sensory and informational overload is a psychological tactic, moreover, it is a spiritual tactic of the enemy. His toadies in this world simply execute his tactics and agendas. Illness, civil and political unrest, war, climate, threat of shortages, increase in expenses, and on the list goes. Most of these are controlled and constructed events. The goal is to keep people off balance and to immobilize them with confusion, doubts, anxieties, fears, and so forth. In such a spiritual state it is much easier to manipulate people. And manipulation is the goal.
True Christianity calls a person to total faith in God. A Christian must believe wholeheartedly that his life and his bodily death are in God’s hands. This does not mean such a one becomes reckless, no, rather, such a person goes through life knowing that his days are numbered by God Himself. He goes through life with deep faith in God. Of course, a Christian takes precautions and care, he also must be a good steward of this earthly life which is from God. Yet, he understands that this life is not his own, nor is this fallen world his home.
A special July 4th message from Father Hans about the USA and it’s critics on the left and the right.
Fr. Hans Jacobse has been a priest in the Orthodox Church for over thirty years. He is a senior contributor and a spiritual advisor to Patristic Faith’s team. He has a BA in History from the University of Minnesota, studied the Greek Language from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece where he lived for a year and started and English language school, a sought-after speaker, and contributed numerous articles to various venues on religion and culture.
How Big Foundation Money Is Subverting Traditional Christianity –
There is a struggle within Christianity right now between those who want to retain its traditional moral and social teachings and those who seek to modernize and conform Christianity to the modern liberal democratic social order of the west. We saw this in Protestant churches immediately after the Reformation with some of the more radical reformers fleeing Europe to settle in America. Once here, they were preaching social gospel and egalitarianism by the mid-nineteenth century. We saw it again in the Roman Catholic church in the mid-twentieth century, beginning mostly with Vatican II. In both Protestant and Catholic churches, traditionalists have been mostly drowned out by modernists. Many Protestant churches now accept female ministers, LGBT clergy, and even gay marriage and abortion in some cases. Pope Francis embodies all the modern liberalization within the Roman Catholic church. From his banning of traditional Latin Mass to leading interfaith prayers at pagan temples and advocating for socialist policies, Francis has all but completed the modern liberalization of the Roman Catholic Church.
Gray high-rise apartment buildings loomed in the gray overcast sky. Through the dust-covered window of the charter van, I watched as we passed an overcrowded electric trolley bus which was leaning heavily to one side. I wondered how the trolley was even driving … at the time it seemed more like a human sardine can. I glimpsed stoic faces staring off at some unknown point.
Humanism is not by default a bad thing. There have been, in the past, positive humanists. This positive humanism sought to lift mankind up through higher principles, culture, and beauty. Most importantly, positive humanism never viewed humanity as the end-all. Humanity was striving towards something sublime, something that is greater than man. An excellent example of positive humanism exists in a group known to history as the “Byzantine humanists.” There existed a clear understanding of beauty, of which humanity partook and even strove to guard (but it was still exterior to humanity; humanity was not the source). I will not unravel this point at the moment, because that is not my goal at present. I simply wish to note that there have been manifestations of positive humanism.