Why I have Left Anglicanism for the Orthodox Church

Posted by:  "Loriann Zachary"      

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/freligion/1664761/posts

  I discovered the Orthodox Faith at the same time I discovered the Anglican Church. My earliest experiences of both came while I lived in Isfahan, Iran in the late 1970s. There I visited St. Luke’s Anglican Church and also the Armenian Orthodox cathedral in Jolfa.

St. Luke’s had an English-speaking congregation comprised mostly of American and British expatriates. The Orthodox services were beautiful and moving, but I couldn’t understand a word. So, taking the path of least resistance I ended up an Anglican. The same situation arose when I moved to Athens in 1979. There was an English-speaking expatriate church and although I visited the local Greek Orthodox church, I wasn’t able to understand what was being said.

  Although I didn’t join the Orthodox Church, I was nevertheless deeply moved by my experiences. I vividly remember the Armenian children’s delight at receiving their Pasca eggs so beautifully decorated. And I remember the white bearded Greek Orthodox priest standing in the street in front of his church with a torch that blazed in the night. He had just lit the new fire and was preparing to carry the Light into the dark church for the Great Easter Vigil.   

Leaving Anglicanism has been a difficult decision and I believe that part of me will always be Anglican, but it is the part that embraces Orthodoxy. I can see how it was that the Anglicans and the Orthodox were once so close that they actually discussed being in communion.

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Lest one forgets, there are those Anglican Churches who, having been accepted by the Russian Orthodox Church under the blessed St. Tikhon, continue in celebrating that which was approved for use which was formerly their (Anglican) BCP now modified in accordance with Orthodox theology, liturgy and life.  Thus, not all Anglicanism has gone to "hell in a hand-basket" (so-to-speak)... but are a part of Orthodoxy in spirit and truth to this very day!

Of course all that changed with the ordination of women priests and the prayer book revisions in the USA, Canada and the UK. The classical Book of Common Prayer is something most Orthodox people would feel comfortable with because Thomas Cranmer’s liturgy is rooted deeply in the liturgy of St. Basil the Great, which is one of the liturgies used in Orthodoxy. Also, until recent decades most Anglican parishes offered Matins before the Sunday Eucharist, a custom the Orthodox Church has maintained.   My journey to Orthodoxy began by visiting both Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches where I found a striking contrast. I discovered that the ECUSA 1979 liturgy has the same shape as the Post-Vatican Catholic liturgy and I was at first very comfortable with that. I was less comfortable at first with the Orthodox liturgy, but I was spiritually fed by the rich Psalmic material of the Orthodox Matins (also called “Orthos”), and shocked that I could stand for the better part of 2 hours and not be tired.     

I have great appreciation for the Roman Catholic Church (Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church which Rome schismed from in 1054 A.D.), although I am not moved by most of the Vatican II liturgical reforms.

I admire the depth of Roman Catholic scholarship, but am troubled by theological arguments designed to reinforce innovative papal claims. It seems to me that the Roman (Jurisdiction of the Catholic) Church has backed itself into a corner and now feels it necessary to pontificate more boisterously than ever. I sense some arrogance there.

I also sense some suspicion of mysticism, yet the western saints that I identify with are mostly mystics: John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, Aiden and Cuthbert. They were people of humility, and it is their humility that convinces me that they are God’s friends.

I know that the Orthodox Church is not perfect, but I find in it a healthy balance of intellect and kenosis, of spiritual strength and humility. It is a church that has suffered and through suffering has wrought holiness, and its saltiness has been preserved through a lively mysticism.   

The liveliness of Orthodoxy has been sustained also by a healthy monasticism. Recently a friend of mine visited two monasteries, one right after the other. One was Anglo-Catholic and the other was Romanian Orthodox. She found the experiences to be as different as night and day and said that she would never return to the Anglo-Catholic monastery. In her words, “there is a dark spirit there now.” I’m not sure exactly what she meant, but at the Anglo-catholic monastery she experienced harshness instead of kindness and a judgmental attitude instead of generosity.   

I’ve been asked how I see myself serving in the Orthodox Church. I am not sure. Perhaps as a teacher, or maybe I will take up the monastic life. In Orthodoxy I have felt more affirmed in my feminine role by the Church’s teachings. I appreciate the Orthodox emphasis on the role of women in the church, and am deeply moved when I hear of the “apostolic women” and the “holy myrrh-bearers.” In Orthodoxy there is also talk of spiritual mothers and holy virgins, and through veneration of the Theotokos, the most blessed state of womanhood is esteemed. The Orthodox Faith affirms the value of women’s contributions without distorting God’s design.

Orthodoxy makes it clear that women do not need to serve as priests to contribute to the life of the Church. They need only to be humble, holy and prayerful. (In the Greek Othodox Church, the ancient order of deaconess is being restored under strict guidelines.)   

Orthodoxy has preserved the teachings of and the traditions surrounding the fathers and mothers of Egypt, Syria and Palestine. For example, I had never heard of Saint Photini, the Samaritan women at Jacob’s well, until I began exploring Orthodoxy. In Orthodoxy Photini is a spiritual mother as are many others, even into contemporary times. I think of Princess Ileana of Romania who, as Mother Alexandra, founded the first Orthodox monastery for American women in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. She began her repose in the Lord in 1991.   

The Episcopal Church is so removed from the Church Fathers that the word “tradition” on revisionists’ lips causes me to shudder. ECUSA’s new gospel is madness, and this same madness is sweeping through the liberal mainline denominations. It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ once delivered to the Church. Many will be fooled by this counterfeit gospel, but in the end falsehood begins to stink like the rotten fruit it is.   

As I read how people are being led astray, I am reminded of something St. Anthony of the Desert said that describes our day. He said, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.’”     

My dreams have been helpful in pointing me back to the Fathers’ teaching. Here is a dream I had on March 27, 2000. I was in an educational building and my old and very kind “husband” took me to a concrete wall. There we got on our knees because He wanted to show me something that was buried in the foundation. He told me that He had hidden riches for me and then lifted a thin metal plate from the ground. As He removed it to reveal the treasure, I noticed that even the metal cover was dotted with droplets of pure silver.   

The Church Fathers are part of that treasure and they form a strong foundation for the Church’s teaching. Having said that, I should add that I remain ignorant of the patristic writings. I attended a Lutheran Seminary where the Lutheran Confessions were emphasized over the early Church Fathers. About 6 months ago I began serious study of the patristic writings. I recently finished St. Basil’s tract On the Holy Spirit and found it very profound.

I am now reading St. John of Damascus’ On Holy Images. These fathers have opened new horizons before me.   Consider how apt for our present conflict are these words of John of Damascus: “I see the Church which God founded on the Apostles and Prophets, its corner-stone being Christ His Son, tossed on an angry sea, beaten by rushing waves, shaken and troubled by the assaults of evil spirits.

I see rents in the seamless robe of Christ, which impious men have sought to part asunder, and His body cut into pieces, that is, the word of God and the ancient tradition of the Church.”   The teachings of the Church on the qualifications for ordination are clear both in the Bible and in the Tradition. The two are interwoven and cannot be separated without destroying the cloth. Jesus alluded to this when he spoke of putting new wine in new wine skins and mending a torn garment properly. We are to preserve things. We must avoid foolish actions that result in tearing things apart. Orthodoxy has preserved the Tradition. That is why there is continuity going back to even before the time of the Apostles, to the prophets and to the patriarchs. This continuity is not as evident in the western Church where the apostolic tradition came to be read through Scholasticism rather than through the Fathers.   

Leaving the Episcopal Church became necessary when I realized how it had destroyed the Tradition. Imagine if the Orthodox were told they could no longer pray Matins. Now add to this a contemporary liturgy required to be used in place of the liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil. Now place a women at the altar posing as a priest.

You can see that the continuity of the Faith once delivered has been destroyed.

FURTHER COMMENTS REGARDING ARTICLE:
   
    "When it comes right down to it, the Eastern Patriarchal claim is that the See of Peter has the power to advise, but not to command and compel."   

Actually, many Roman Bishops of the 1st millennium made the same "infallible" claim that none were "infallible" (quite the paradox for RCs)...most Roman Catholics are never learned of these facts.  

 "The ENTIRETY of Orthodoxy fell to Islam, except for Russia, which fell to the Mongols, and then to the Communists."   

You fail to see the crucified Christ. Let's not forget that Rome marched against the East... ransacked Constantinople... brought Prostitutes into the Church of the Holy Wisdom and performed many despicable acts.

 

Which side represents true Christianity? Who is hung upon the cross? Those who formed no army, or those performing the nailing using worldly might?

 

I'd suggest studying the atrocities of Rome as they blended in with the invaders and became like the world around them.   

 

Yes, Constantinople fell as did all of Orthodoxy by worldly powers…As did Christ on the Cross (but only for a time).

 

Orthodoxy is not about worldly power...although some may think so...it is about the crucified Christ allowing the world to do its evil on His body, the faithful, until He returns. The only commander and chief is Christ, the only true Head of the Church.   

 

I hear so many westerns, so called Christians, justifying their worldly power on the basis that those that have remained truly humble and faithful have been led to the cross as the crowd (Islam, Roman Catholicism, Protestants) stands by thirsting for blood and justification.   "Look...He who raised others from the dead...cannot save Himself and come down from the cross"

 

Don't fool yourself into thinking that the weakness of men is the sign of weakness of God, Christ, or His body. That is worldly thinking...that is the spirit of the world and darkness…that is the “two-horned lamb that speaks like the dragon”.   

 

The author of this article had a dream she shared...so have I...which I share for you:   On the anniversary of the death of Pope Leo the IX (I only learned that it was this anniversary 6 months later), as I slept, I was asked three times who was the Pope that excommunicated the Orthodox Church in 1054. Two times I answered "I do not know". The third time I sat up from a sound sleep and answered, from a passage in John 21 that has puzzled me for many years..."It was the 153rd Pope". I ran down stairs to my computer and did a search and sure enough it was the 153rd Pope (although 6 months later when I was trying to document this dream I looked again and found that it was now listed as the 152nd Pope...only I remembered that I had printed the list out a week after the dream...the printout showed Pope Leo IX as the 153rd...the new list showed him as the 152nd...after careful study someone had gone in and changed the list so that it now showed two 92nd Popes see http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/articles/popelist.htm ).   

Although I firmly believed that St Peter was forgiven, I believe now that Christ was looking at the fish when asking "Do you love me more than these" (toutwn - neuter not masculine as is widely believed). This was Christ telling us about the future (for the next few verses speak also of the future for St Peter and St John) and that the Great fish were Roman Bishops, many good, some not so good, finally culminating in a Great fish that would no longer love Christ (that’s not to imply that there have not been some great Eastern Bishops and some really bad - it only relates to the conversation Christ had with St Peter and speaking of the future of his successors and Christ's foreknowledge of the Great Schism that would eventually lead to another very deceptive gospel).   A tree is know by its fruit and the fruit of this schism was like no other before or after. The worldly military might of Rome marched against their 1000 year brotherhood in the Body of Christ, the Judas Kiss, and raped, pillaged, murdered, and even justified cannibalism...while wearing the sign of the cross, marching in Christ's name, and justifying deeds of darkness "looking like a lamb but speaking like a dragon".   

I would highly suggest reading http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm, and http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx, and to understand that the 8th Ecumenical Council, which Rome was in agreement with for nearly 200 years until 1054AD when Rome switched it with the Robber Council, clearly stated that any change to the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed, ie the Filioque, already excommunicated the Pope of Rome.   

I know how tempting and comfortable it is to want to have something tangible in this world to replace Christ. Orthodoxy has been both the visible and invisible Body of Christ since 33AD…it has had it’s good and faithful Apostles and it share of Judas’s…but that was part of what Christ left us till the end…a means of separating the wheat from the chaff.

Yet in spite of us, the Holy Spirit was given as a promise to guide us in all Truth.   Schisms will come and go just as Judas came out of the twelve…Christ’s faithful followers (Body) will be nailed to the Cross by the world until He returns…and He will…and the world will continue during that period to think as did the Jew of those days, thinking that the weakness was a sign of God’s weakness or the absence of God.   DON’T BE FOOLED

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Also: Hang Up Telephone Calls constantly get to you?

We get them all the time.  But one thing we do many are unaware of... We keep an automatic telephone log and then we turn them over to the same group who monitors and interacts with the hackers, etc.

It no longer matters if the caller telephones once in a day, every other day or every day or several times a week, once a week or for several months... All get logged, even those who think they have escaped notice by using the actual I.D. Caller number of "000-000-0000" which is has been used, even those who don't show up on caller I.D. as hang-ups now. With new technology being what it is it only takes one ring at a person's (receiving phone to activate some of the new technology being used which locks the caller's phone number in, even when they use by-pass alternate numbers to make shrewd calls).  We are advised one caller is facing terrorism criminal charges even though he used three different go-through numbers ranging all around the world, but were found to originate their call from California.  Hmmm.... what does this tell you?   Others, we are advised were found to be out of Michigan, Ohio, even Illinois and another state.

It is known that a telephone number showing up on some caller I.D.'s may actually be a telephone service provider phone number, yet... they too keep logs and information as to each individual cellular or local (their locale) phone usage... 

In the not-to-distant future, we intend to post some of those telephone numbers and, hopefully, persons, which constantly show up as "harassing hang-up" callers.  May be, you too have the same? 

Keep Watch!

Those who do such unscrupulous things, HATE some of the news, quotes, and such as to inform the general public.  Some of them pose as clergy, while a few are actually clergy from various "other" offshoot AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH or other jurisdiction(s) of the same or similar name of which we are, in some instances, their former MOTHER CHURCH (as is the same named Toledo, Ohio based, an offshoot, who had once been a part of us and unknowingly to our unworthy selves, were once a part of the clergy but they did not obtain permission to leave the jurisdiction they were under, according to Canon, and thus obtained for themselves re-ordination and consecrations, several times... and then using a variety of church names, including our own after they were defrocked and excommunicated, having more than three (3) times being excommunicated by other legitimate apostles/bishops); having joined in and with  "Independent" churches who have nothing to do with us or even true Orthodoxy.  We have the information on their numerous "Paper Church" names and name changes.  But the real issue is whether they were ever truly an ordained Priest and bishop?

 

It is true that when one is ordained to the priesthood, the old saying of "Once a Priest, always a priest forever..." holds true... But where there has been or is deception and fraud involved, the old saying is invalid altogether which is the stool kicked out from under any subsequent consecrations as a Bishop for the Episcopacy has then been obtained on a sheet of lies and therefore they are frauds, wolves in sheep's clothing.  The problem here is with civil authorities and agencies. 

 

Any documents a false one obtains from those who ordained him, including subsequent documents relating to consecrations; civil authorities never (or hardly ever) verify their validity and thus issue their own documents and errantly recognize the individual. 

 

These false sheep in wolf's clothing seek to go out of their way to character assassinate and disparage religious web sites who do not meet their own brand of standardization and those who know where the proverbial "bones are buried on them" which is evidence of the wolf not being "Orthodox" "Christian" or even "Catholic" no matter what their nomenclature corporate name may be.  The Toldeo, Ohio based same or similar named person/group under his/their so-called leader has been deposed, defrocked and excommunicated more than three different times by various bishops/apostles.  He, and several others, have become just as bad as the modern day Ecumenists of the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, the World Council of Bishops and more.  It matters not now... whether they use the so-called name of "Athonite" "Benedictine" "Celtic" "Old Roman" "Old Catholic" - etc..  A name does not make one Christian. Their ultimate aim and goal is destruction to those from whom they had either originated from or gone through to obtain the same or similar named "church" they claim to hold to by the state's civil law in which they reside alone.  They are not a "Schema-monk" or even a true "monk" for they were deposed and excommunicated for violations of the Holy Rule they claim to subscribe to, giving and openly providing false misleading and inaccurate information about other more honorable clergy.  These 'wolves in sheep's clothing attract other nefarious and questionable persons whose aims are similar: for fame, image, power and glory, and if it should be that 'fortunes' come along, all the more is their power based.

 

    Remember, anything that is a HALF TRUTH is not truth but a lie!  Many there are that you may know who fit those descriptions... pray for them.  Pray that God will send his Spirit of Truth upon them and lead them to Salvation through tears of Repentance, conversion of their cold and calculating hearts toward seeking forgiveness from God and those whom they attempt to harm. 

 

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    If you are of another jurisdiction, you too could find that your parishioners, clergy and faithful might become subject to the same as we have recently found. 

 

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    We have learned that the organization we subscribe to, whose members come from various legal and law enforcement backgrounds amongst other areas of society, are committed to the faith even though they may hold different theologies.  Yet, in their monitoring of electronic communications of various persons or people, they do not always make haste to bring perpetrators to justice until after enough evidence has been gained in order to build a solid case.  We do not always know what information they have gained, but we do know the organization, whom we've been asked not to name, has had a 97% success rate in bringing to justice and obtaining a conviction against individuals, people, and sometimes even religious organizations of a persona that gives the appearance of both secular and religious bearing but who abuse and misuse technology.  The organization views those who abuse and misuse the internet and other technologies as nothing more than a form of "domestic terrorism" - - - - and, it would seem to appear that the courts are in agreement!

 

 Those kinds of people, organizations, etc. who misuse and abuse communication technologies are no different than those who attempt to use coercive measures, and in some instance, even blackmail for the same idea is involved... to cause havoc and wreckage, to destroy the spirit and activity of those who struggle in the faith out of pain of heart for the Orthodox Church which is TRUTH. The degree that some have been known to go to, as seen by other jurisdictions, is to take advantage of questionably mentally challenged or those who have a lack of education and understanding to get them to make statements, even outright lies, in writing, in order to destroy.  Such persons or groups are spiritual terrorists for unholy and un-Orthodox causes, aims and goals.

 

    Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ.  The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...

 

    The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption!  It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".

 

  The Founding of Orthodoxy 

How Many Times

Is Christianity Collapsing? A theological evaluation regarding T.B.N. and its so-called ministers!

Part II -Is Christianity Collapsing?

The Demise of Marriage And Dissolution of the Family

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    Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ.  The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...

 

    The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption!  It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".

 

   "It would be better to have ten (10) true repentant X-felons who ask for and give true forgiveness than it would be to have one (1) non-x-felon or common person whose self-righteousness exceeds even the Pharisees, Sadducees, the gossip mongers, slanderers and un-repentant; for the repentant x-felon understands the true meaning of the Church's purpose as being the spiritual hospital." (siq) +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D., Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot, Primate

 

Yes... "Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater..." (1992-Fr. Alan Stanford)

 

One can ask, "What part of 'Prejudice' and 'hate' do you not understand?  Are you a complacent person?  In light of the saying, examine yourself!  You may be surprised if you are honest with yourself for your soul may convict you before Jesus Christ convicts you in the times to come!

 

"When tested by some trial you should try to find out not why or through whom it came, but only how to endure it gratefully, without distress or rancor."


St. Mark the Ascetic.


"
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalms 32:1-2
 

    For further information about how spammers, hackers and those who are angry with you can or will attempt to do damage, we offer the following link as regards some of the computer - internet problems:

 

http://msn.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,116258,00.asp

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Is Christianity At The Cross Roads?

 

As The World Goes, So Goes The Church

 

Anomalies in Ecclesiology of Contemporary Orthodox Churches

 

Attempts at Coming to An Understanding of Orthodox Catholic Christianity

 

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